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Introductions - A little lesson from yo' teacha

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Postby ds490 » Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:06 pm

I whipped up a quick tutorial in a topic in General Discussion, and decided to put it here as a new thread. Enjoy my tutorial on the two types of Intros, History and Story.

History intros are relatively vague depictions of events leading up to the game scenario
Okay, we'll be using an example or this lesson about introductions.
Fine Print: Any similarity to another work of fiction is purely coincidental.

once upon a time there was a queen. sHe was a good queen. and there was a prinx. but he didnot know he was a princ he thougt he was a simpel pig farmer and did not know he was a princ becase his mom telled him he was jusr a pig farmer. but oneday a night named ferdinan comed and telled the pig farmer the truuth that he was relly a princ and he did not beleve he was princ at first but ferdinan convinved him ater a wile. then the princ figered out he had to go an dsave the qeuen from the evel wiserd
your obgectife is to get the sord of power and defeat the wizard wiht the sord and kill him befor he gets mered to the queen and becums cing and takes over all the land and hurts all the poor people bcasue ther poroer then h eis

Cudos if you read through the full thing without vomiting. Many of the mistakes are ones everyone comes across (one or two fo them are authentic), but the key is to learn from your mistakes. Hehe. I've learned of a new form of comedy.
What's wring with this? First and foremost, it looks like it was typed by a six year old.
Side note: Neo could learn a lot from this
Okay, we clean up the grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc. and we coem up with this:

Once upon a time there was a good Queen.
Also, there was a prince, who didn’t know he was a prince. He thought he was a simple pig farmer and did not know he was a prince because his mother told him he was just a pig farmer.
One day, a knight named Ferdinand came and told the pig farmer the truth - that he was really a prince. He did not believe Ferdinand at first, but he convinced him after a while. Then the prince figured out he had to go an save the Queen from the evil wizard
Your objective is to get the sword of power. You must defeat the wizard with the sword and kill him before he gets married to the queen and becomes king. If that happens, he’ll do horrible things to the people in the Kingdom.

You'll notice this is still quite bad, mainly because of it's old, tired and over-used plot and it's overall crappiness. There are so many plot holes, such as: What the hell happened to th king? Where'd the evil wizard come in? What's up with Ferdinand, and why is he the only character named in the intro? Yadda, yadda, yadda.
One thing you always need to add is motivation. If a character doesn't have a reason to do what he's doing, then the plot is pointless and confusing. The intro is the best place to set the motivation.
Okay, one more thing to remember: use big words. It sounds simple, but it works.
So, I'll completely overhaul the plot and rework the intro with more-than-half-assed writing, character motivation and big words.

In a time and a world unknown to us, there was a kingdom in turmoil.
The King had been murdered in his sleep, the young and impressionable Queen left to rule the vast empire.
Unfortunately, a Wizard who turned to the dark ways had orchestrated the assasination and was planning to lure the Queen into marriage. By slipping magic concoctions into the Queen's meals, he slowly made her love him.
As the Queen fell into complete entrancement, and with the last part of her own conciousness departing, she deployed one of her most trusted Knights to find her long, lost son.
As the wedding date neared, the knight rode hard to find the prince. Finally, one night only one week from the marriage, he found you.
Before the knight could tell you all the details, an assasin from the Wizard burst in. The Knight fought and held long enough for you to escape. The next morning, you returned to find your family and the knight dead.
You swore revenge on the evil Wizard, and began your journey.

There is a rudimentary yet good intro. One part which is nice to have is a paragraph moving the player's attention from the intro to the game. This shouldn't be too hard to construct on your own.
Since the plot isn't really that good, I can't make much of an intro, but this should give you an idea.

Next episode, we examine Story Intros.

Edited By ds490 on 04 Sep. 2002 at 17:06
~ ds490
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Postby TheDataHacker » Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:25 pm


okay, i want more.
"Somebody set us up the bomb."

"Who you callin scruffy lookin?"
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Postby ds490 » Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:28 pm

The next episode is coming soon- I'm in pain right now, from carrying a 30 lb knapsack home. Three textbooks- gag me with an effing spoon.
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Postby ds490 » Thu Sep 05, 2002 9:47 pm

Well, another school day, another 30 lb knapsack- I took out two text books and a notebook, and added 3 half inch binders...
Gym was fun, but I was tired as hell an hour in. Seventy minutes playing football-type and capture-the-flag-type games. Then a 30 lb knapsack accompanying me in my nearly 2 KM walk home. I drank a whole 1l bottle of Coke™ and barely made it home. For an unfit, weak athsmatic kid, I'm suprised I'm nto collapsed on the sidewalk.

Anyway, enough of my ass-ugly day, now to lesson two: Story Introductions.
Story introductions, unlike the vague history intros, depict one or two specific events in detail. These tend to be written as stories, hence their name.
Here's an example of an awful story intro, following the same storyline as our previous lesson.

you were spanking a pig on day wehn you herad a nois is trhe bush. you were very curiu sso you wnt to see hoo it was and it was a night. he said he had a message fro you so you lisened and he telled you youre relly a princ and your mother the queuen is under a spel by the eve wiserd and youre the onyl one who can save her form the evel spell. you ask him why youre the onyl one who can save her but suddenly a demon bursts in and attacks the night. he tells you to run and you do
.you come back a fuw ours later and find youre family ded and teh night ded but he manegd to kill the demon befor it came lokoing for you.
so you decide to figur otu why youre the onlt one who can save youre mother.

Hopefully you weren't rendered mentally retarded by this excerpt which I will soon print off and use as toilet paper, then hand in to my teacher- in that order.
What's wrong with this? Aside from the grammar, spelling, sentence structure, yadda yadda yadda? Well, it's vague. It's still a History intro, because it doesn't sound or feel like a story. You want to treat this kind of intto as a piece of short fiction- you want to squeeze as much of your talented writing into it.
Now, as for the plot. We've made clear one part of the motivation, classified as curiosity. The pig farmer/prince must find out what makes him the only one who can save his mother, the Queen. Remember, no motivation means no goal, no goal means no reason to play your piece of crap game.
Okay, we've got a shot term goal, and of course, the long term goal of defeating the evil Wizard and saving the kingdom from imminent turmoil. What now? Characters. There's always going to be at least one character, the most important one, the player. It's important to introduce the player's character and make them relate to your creation- that way, the player can ask him/herself, "What would [What's-his-face] do?" and, if you've made the game logical enough, be able to complete the tasks easily (at least the ones you want them to).
As for other characters, you need to define them as well- possibly more than the player, to add depth to the game. Not only in the intro, but in character descriptions and conversations you need to have comments on their personality, and even the player's character's opinions on the character.
Well, this has gone beyond intros, now hasn't it. Ah well. Anyway, here's my artsie-fartsie version of the to-be-TP above.

Your hand comes down quickly, swiftly, and contact's the pig's bottom firmly. With an annoyed "oink", the pig is further motivated to move forward into it's pen.
Sighing and examining your red hand, you look up into the sky. It may be cheesy, but you think there's more purpose to your life than pig farming.
With another sigh, you look down to find another pig stalling. You spank this one too, and the whole lot of them are in the pen momentarily.
You close the gate and begin to head back into the house, finally ready for lunch.
But you are stopped as, with a mighty whinney, a knight upon a large steed blasts through the bush and stops right in front of you.
The knight's face is hidden by the shadow of his opened helmet visor. He looks at you with a satisfied smile, as if he had finished some task.
"You are Berdre?" he asks, short on breath.
You nod nervously.
"I must talk to you immediately,"
With that, the knight dismounts his horse, grabs you by the shoulder and leads you into your hut.
Your mother and father are suprised with your guest, but kindly offer for him to stay for lunch.
"No," he dismisses. "I cannot stay long. I must inform you of the situation in the Capital, and,"
With a hesitation, he stops his sentence and sits down at the table.
"The man the Queen is seeing," he begins.
"Sir Galahuntrie?" your mother asks.
"Yes. Galahuntrie, the wizard, is undoubtedly responsible for the late King's demise."
Faint gasps sound around the table, but the knight continues wihtout a pause. "And now, he is poisoning the Queen's mind to love him. They are set to be married but four days from now, and once he is King we can be sure the land will be taxed and terrorized into oblivion."
You stop him and inquire, "What does this have to do with me? Don't you have a vast army-"
"Our army is meager. Most of our men are scattered and we need time to gather them. Either way we would be no match for Galahuntrie's powers and his dark army or demons, dragons, undead. But there is one way we can defeat him."
The knight turns to you. A feeling of fear wells up inside you immediately. Your blood runs cold.
"You, Berdre," he says. "Are completely immune to Galahuntrie's powers and the powers of his minions. You can only be killed by a non-magic human."
"What? How is such a thing possible?" you gasp, stress coursing through your veins.
"You are the son of the Queen, the product of an affair with a knight."
Immediately you turn to your parents.
They both wear an expression of regret.
Your father looks up and speaks softly. "We discovered we were unable to have children. So when the knight came to us with you we took you in without a second thought."
"We're sorry we didn't tell you," your mother whispers, head in her hands. "But remember, we love you."
You don't know how to feel. Your emotions confused you close your eyes and sob.
The knight stands, startling you. By the time your eyes focus, he is weilding his sword.
"Galahuntrie must have found out about you. One of his Shadow Riders followed me to you. Run, Berdre." With that, the knight is out the door.
Swords clash outside for a few moments, followed by a yelp and a thump as a body falls to the ground.
Breathing hard, you open the door. All you see is the farm outside, no one seems to be there at all.
But as soon as the picture has registered in your head, some dark creature jumps into the hut.The best description is an agile, light creature with a wavy dark cloak.
Suddenly, you are dizzy. The monster's no longer in front of's gone right through you.
You turn back around, only to find the thing slashing madly at your mother's torso. Soon she falls to the ground, torn to pieces. Your father goes at it with a chair, breaking the thick, painstakingly carved piece of furniture over the demon's head.
But it proves to be futile, as the monster swiftly whirls around and slashes open your father's gut in one clean movement.
You watch, terrified, as your father falls to the ground.
The demon turns to you. With an inhuman growl, it jumps at you, but flies right out the door and onto the moist dirt outside.
It rights itself quickly and faces you, it's movements hinting at confusion. But it doesn't have time to charge again, as the knight rams into it, sword in had. He chops at the being, blood dripping from the fresh wound in his stomach. Finally, the demon is subdued and lies on the ground dead.
The knight soon follows, his eyes resting on your terrified face as he dies.

Damn, that was long. Ah well, you get my...dirft! Mwuhahahaha! Mwuhahahahaha!

This was rushed, so your game's intro should be way better than that one. So there's the lesson, I need to go do my homework. Lesson 3 coming soon...
~ ds490
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Postby Matt (Dark Baron) » Fri Sep 06, 2002 3:26 pm

Two days now.
It's the weekend now.
I think I can live with 2 days on 2 days off.
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Postby ds490 » Sun Sep 08, 2002 3:31 pm

Lesson Three
Well this isn't really a lesson, but more of a wrap-up. Basic lesson here: Do your game like you give a crap.

Okay. Pbth.
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