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Postby NickyDude » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:11 pm

Here's a intro for a game I'm making. Does it sound ok? Can you tell what it's about? Does it make you want to play? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. :)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You play Connor, a rogue / mercenary (think Han Solo) who ferry's cargo between star systems in the distant future, no questions asked. You been ferrying cargo between Celtrus III and Rigel VII for quite some time when, on one of your runs, you notice a large space craft that wasn't there a few days previously.

After a few more days ferrying cargo between the two planets, you have a gut feeling 'that there isn't something quite right' with the large craft, flying closer than usually you make out the name...

Event Horizon

Asking about it on the planets, you're told that a ship by that name disappeared 17 years ago, rumour has it that it was testing out some new sort of warp drive or teleport or dimension jumping, no one is quite sure but it disappeared and know one knows where it went.

Surmising that you could claim reward money for it, and wondering what you could salvage from the ship you make your way towards it, only to find it strangely deserted. You head for the landing bay, which has the force shield down, and land in the hanger.

You are about to become the one thing you didn't want...

... the saviour of mankind.
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Postby ElliotM » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:09 am

The intro is okay but I think it can be made better.

For anyone who has seen Star Wars, the phrase "no questions asked" and cargo running are strong enough hints as to who the player character is emulating so I don't think you need to explicitly reference Han Solo to conjure up something like him in the mind of the player. If anything else, you should just put extra work into letting the player get to know the main character rather then just telling us he is like Han Solo. I think you'll like it better that way. Show, don't tell, is how my English teacher put it. I recommend that you look up information about "freight dogs". They are jet cargo pilots who have very interesting lives that are similiar to Han Solo in a few ways. Rumor has it that the Tantooine Cantina scene was inspired by one of their bars.

The Event Horizon is drifting in space, right? The intro makes it sound like you do a few cargo runs after seeing it and then decide to take a closer look. By that time, any decent space traffic control would have already sent something to clear it out of the way. The premise of finding a drifting ship in space sounds cool and it can still work, you just need to adjust a few things. You could begin the game with the main character en route somewhere on the Celtrus Rigel route when he picks up something on the sensors that has no IFF transponder signal (IFF stands for Identify Friend or Foe, or something similiar). Space Traffic Control could radio the player to contract him on the spot to investigate since he is closest and the unknown vessel is drifting into an important space lane, < insert other scifi plausible reasons here>. If the player character is anything like Episode IV Han Solo, he won't get involved unless there is money, lol. The archetype of the Flying Dutchman would make excellent research material for coming up with things for the Event Horizon, even if you don't have ghosts involved.

Are Celtrus III and Rigel IV going to be places important to the game? Unless those places have back-story we get to experience or learn about as the player, I would drop references to them to focus more on what the player will actually get to see.

For a ship drifting in space, it would make more sense for it seem without power but with weird residual energy signatures to go with its experimental warp drive. In the least some kind of power saver mode would be active if any part of the ship still worked and could detect the presence or absence of any living crew. Shields that keep air in are cool but if I was investigating a deserted ship drifting in space I wouldn't trust its force fields to remain active or be stable enough to walk outside without a spacesuit. Restoring power almost seems a mandatory puzzle for the player concerning the genre.

You are about to become the one thing you didn't want...

... the saviour of mankind.


Thats laying it on rather thick don't you think, NickyDude? Not all stories have to be about saving the universe. For a presumably worldly character like Connor, I don't think he would think in terms like that, nor describe himself in such a manner. He would be more concerned about not getting involved in things that don't include money or reward.

Those were my thoughts, take them with a grain of salt. If you need input on anything I'd be glad to help.




Edited By ElliotM on 1208492046
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Postby revgiblet » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:10 am

Is it linked in any way to the ship in the film 'Event Horizon'?
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Postby ElliotM » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:16 am

Lol, I had thought of that film reference but forgot about it as I wrote my post.
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Postby NickyDude » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:07 am

Thanks Elliot, some great ideas there. :) The game is a first-person-shooter, not a text adventure (at the moment) so I can't really go in depth story telling wise in game but I'll rework the intro.

Event Horizon film? Yup, I liked it and got the inspiration from there.
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Postby ElliotM » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:10 am

NickyDude, there was a recent blogpost by Emily Short that might interest you. You can find it here.
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Postby revgiblet » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:18 am

Event Horizon is a really good film and provides a perfect plot for a game (IF or otherwise).

An IF tribute to Event Horizon wouldn't escape the fan-fic stigma, regardless of how good it is.

However, 'Event Horizon: The FPS' presents it's own problems. How do you keep it true to the source material (which was not really about a target rich environment)?
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Postby djchallis » Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:51 pm

Commenting on the intro, I think it's great other than the Han Solo reference. As a writer, I'm generally put off by the way you speak to the player as separate from the character in the first sentence and then treat them as the same from then on.
Otherwise I love it. Instantly makes me curious and want to find out more. The "event horizon" name is good and adds to the curiosity.
In the end though it depends on how you present it. It's an FPS? Is that text going to appear in the manual? As an on-screen text intro?
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Postby NickyDude » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:52 pm

However, 'Event Horizon: The FPS' presents it's own problems. How do you keep it true to the source material (which was not really about a target rich environment)?


Apart from the name, the game has nothing really to do with the film.

[SPOILER]
The game is about a ship that 'disappeared' (teleported to another part of the galaxy) and has come back infested with aliens. The ship is on a direct heading to Earth and needs to be destroyed.
[/SPOILER]

In order for the intro to work right, I needed to address 2 major points:

1/. Why the player is alone.
2/. Why should he investigate the space craft.

The mercenary character seemed to fit the bill. Perhaps I could change the player into some sort of enforcement officer who happens to be the nearest to investigate, what do you think?
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Postby NickyDude » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:55 pm

NickyDude, there was a recent blogpost by Emily Short that might interest you. You can find it here.


Thanks Elliot, that was quite interesting. :)
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Postby Ren » Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:45 pm

NickyDude wrote:In order for the intro to work right, I needed to address 2 major points:

1/. Why the player is alone.
2/. Why should he investigate the space craft.

2.

If he's a mercenary type, cut out the bit where he goes off to talk about it, and have him just see the name - Event Horizon. If you extend the time period from 17 years, then you could make the ship a legend - think parallels with a sunken treasure ship.

It depends on your background world - but if the ship was from a more technologically advanced period (e.g. pre-war), there would be an obvious value.

1.

Does he need to be alone? He could be captain of (or even an insignificant crew member on) the ship. As long as they all die horribly pretty soon after you land there's no problem. If he wasn't alone, you could even put the knowledge of the ship in someone else's mouth (e.g. a surprisingly knowledgeable passenger). This in turn opens up further plot possibilities later in your game (e.g. if they didn't all die, in the other passenger knew more than he was letting on).
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Postby phkb » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:05 am

I think getting the player alone would be better achieved by having some catastrophe on his own ship (potentially even caused by proximity to the "Event Horizon"), having to get launched in an escape pod, and then coming across the Event Horizon in a "I'm saved!" kind of moment.
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Postby Bondo » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:40 pm

I think that after the character is introduced; IE: Han Solo esque freight dog in space, the rest can be pure gameplay. Finding the derelict ship on your sensors. Taking some scans. Asking about it on a few planets, then going to find it again so you can land and check it out can all take place in the game itself, rather than just the intro.

If the player MUST be the "savior of mankind", don't say so until it becomes obvious.
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