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Polaris

21. Posted:

SomeBitTripFan wrote:

@GuSilverFlame: It is an ARPG.

@Polaris: The story sounds particularly interesting, as long as the conflicts are fully fleshed out, which luckily seems to be the case. I don't know how many times I've read something the had a marvelous concept, but that concept was held on the backburner for no reason. I can't really give you any suggestions for the story just because I don't know the entire direction it will be heading. I honestly love the concept, and think that it's already heading in a good direction. What I would recommend is that you actually start working on the game. You can sit and contemplate about how to make your game better, but if you keep doing that, you'll only have a remarkable concept with no work to show. If you are already in the process of truly making the game, then just keep going. The more you work on it, the more your vision can come to a focus. Also, don't worry about incorporating every idea that comes to mind. Part of being a good developer is knowing when to stop. Cutting the excess fat off of Polaris will result in a better experience. One strong, fleshed out idea is better than 50 underdeveloped ideas.

I'm liking this feedback. If you've ever played dragon's dogma, I enjoyed the way that skills, exploration, leveling up and customization worked. Also the combat was fantastic but a little too simple for me. it works very well as a game.

Aside from that, I don't want to focus on gameplay or game mechanics right now. That's because it's not possible to start working on those things. I'm focusing on storyboarding and character development right now. That's the important part to me along with the cultures and environments explored in the game. It's a story before a game. And currently it's nothing like a game right now. As I may have said previously, I've written over 100 pages on paper and typed over 100 on the computer.

The story starts off with the first two main characters finishing up wrestling season. It starts a little dynamic as if it were a short film, then becomes something relatable. If can't explain the storyboard in detail here without boring some so I'm just going to say that this explains their background in combat. Wrestling IS fighting. The characters begin noticing strange occurrences happening and soon realize that very few people have psychic abilities. Already knowing that he is a 'Watcher' (has abilities that nobody else has because he is under the protection of an angel or spirit who gives him the power of Ice, or Polaris), Dave (also referred to as Carlos) and John (main characters) notice that the odd occurrences continue at a greater pace, finding people who can set papers aflame with their mind and roll dice without touching them, etc. So they get into a little trouble trying to get the attention of these people. With power comes temptation, and many people who discover their new psionic abilities tend to abuse them. This is only a very short time into the story. Later on the crew meets up with someone who posesses a power similar to Dave's. This power instead is the ability to manipulate earth. The spirit, and weilder of the power refer to themself as Izar. Izar tells of the moon coming closer to the earth and its connection to the realization of psychic abilities that are awakened in the minds of men. He also informs the group that the moon is actually coming closer to the earth at a steady pace and will make an impact if it isn't stopped.

The plan is to stall the moon and get it to crash on the other side of the earth when they run out of time. That's only the plan for the moment since it's the best they can do. Dave dislikes the idea and goes for an 'all or nothing' approach. After all, wrestlers are taught to never stall. So seeing as the two have conflicting plans, they begin to conflict in combat as well. Since Dave is unable to masterfully use Polaris, he and team of two others flee.

Important things to note are that the main character is always at half power since the other half of his power lies secretly with his twin sister (not a dumb twin plot twist), who holds the angel Polaris while Dave holds Adara. Also, the ending isn't going to be a happy one. The main character realizes that he was wrong after all and everything that he has worked toward has caused the moon to crash and Izar must go with his old plan to help minimize the damage that Dave has done. His friends turn against him and the moon makes an impact on the other side of the earth (or so it seems). In the end, somebody's going home alone. But wait. The moon hangs just above the atmosphere on the other side of the earth. It's above clouds and mountains and it is revealed that the moon has been acting as a middle-way for the demons/fallen angels mentioned in the summary/prelude. They attempt to jump ship and some load onto the moon and others leave off to come to earth. They plan to lead humanity astray and plan a second war in heaven. This is where the story's entire meaning comes into play. When speaking to a fallen angel, Dave is informed that humanity is weak and easily tempted. Psi is an ability that gives humans the ability to experience creation on their own and many have chosen to abuse the gift. But Dave tells the fallen angel this: psi isn't an evil or dark power. It just allows you to make your desires a reality. Itt doesn't make you do anything. It just puts the power in your hands. Therefore just as Cain slew Abel, the choice is yours and it's up to you to master over it and choose what you will. The fall angel turns his back and leaves his entire army on the moon. Seeing as the goal of the righteous angels is to change the hearts of the fallen ones, this is supposed to be a significant moment in the game.

So yes the story takes the form of an allegory.

The reason I've opted to tell you the beginning and end of the story is so that you get a feel for it. I'm not getting ahead of myself. I know the pace at which a writer writes. Seeing all of these themes combines, how do you think a story like this would evolve?

There's a lot of writing but it's all stuff I've worked on for years.

Polaris

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SomeBitTripFan

22. Posted:

@Polaris: I'm sure you've worked this out, but what you're going to need to do is get Dave/Carlos to undergo struggles that result in his ending revelation. He'll have to be tempted by his own psi and learn that he has control over himself, regardless of temptation. You mention Cain and Abel, maybe at some point there is a murder trial, but the defendant claims he didn't intend to kill anyone. It could be determined that the defendant had malice toward the person he killed. Whether he intended to murder the person or not, he still had reason to and acted upon it. Going back to Dave/Carlos, I'm not sure if you're familiar with it, but The Hero's Journey is a great concept to use to outline his development. If you've already come that far, which you seem to have done, examine your symbols and themes as such:

Symbols:
The Moon: Evil, Chaos, Fear, Temptation, Futility of Efforts
Polaris: What does Polaris symbolize?

Themes:
Temptation: What events can occur which involve temptation?
Destruction of Idealism: What events involve the destruction of idealism? The moon falling, seemingly frail human spirit

Ultimately, the only person who can realize what Polaris should be, you. Just keep expanding what you have so far and see where you can connect symbols and themes. If there is a theme I'd recommend you explore though, it's the need for a degree of self delusion. Dave/Carlos needs to realize that, even in a world full of evil, but dwelling on it will only lead to insanity. I'd love to see that theme explored, but if you don't want to or can't, don't.

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Polaris

23. Posted:

SomeBitTripFan wrote:

@Polaris: I'm sure you've worked this out, but what you're going to need to do is get Dave/Carlos to undergo struggles that result in his ending revelation. He'll have to be tempted by his own psi and learn that he has control over himself, regardless of temptation. You mention Cain and Abel, maybe at some point there is a murder trial, but the defendant claims he didn't intend to kill anyone. It could be determined that the defendant had malice toward the person he killed. Whether he intended to murder the person or not, he still had reason to and acted upon it. Going back to Dave/Carlos, I'm not sure if you're familiar with it, but The Hero's Journey is a great concept to use to outline his development. If you've already come that far, which you seem to have done, examine your symbols and themes as such:

Symbols:
The Moon: Evil, Chaos, Fear, Temptation, Futility of Efforts
Polaris: What does Polaris symbolize?

Themes:
Temptation: What events can occur which involve temptation?
Destruction of Idealism: What events involve the destruction of idealism? The moon falling, seemingly frail human spirit

Ultimately, the only person who can realize what Polaris should be, you. Just keep expanding what you have so far and see where you can connect symbols and themes. If there is a theme I'd recommend you explore though, it's the need for a degree of self delusion. Dave/Carlos needs to realize that, even in a world full of evil, but dwelling on it will only lead to insanity. I'd love to see that theme explored, but if you don't want to or can't, don't.

In terms of a revolation, the main character goes through a lot in the end. He feels that he is right and he is told he's wrong. When you fight for something that is right in your mind, and people fail to hear you out just once, it's frustrating. And Dave does kill. He can't cope with it and doesn't understand it. The thing is Polaris has another secondary power. People can't be killed by the power of a watcher because of the power's angelic origin. Those defeated and completely obliterated by the power can be made anew. Reborn. It comes into.play later.

Constantly in Polaris there is this idea of realization, which is the way that people advance in psionics. Seeing as Dave doesn't generally use psionics, he's never in the position to abuse it. Generally the main characters don't abuse psionics but there are several grey areas that need to be explored between right and wrong uses of PSI.

The main villain pretty much is extremely powerful and even though he and the main character are Watchers, they have different powers. In addition, though their goals are the same, they can't stand to let each other enact their own plans (though dave/carlos is in no position to oppose izar).

There are other themes as well. Dave, as mentioned before, has trouble with his father. The father's name is David, which explains why Dave prefers to be called Carlos. There is hostility between the two and they are distant. David things that by sending shoes to Carlos and money, he will gain his affection even though he works far away designing shoes. Carlos might walk around with a pair of nice shoes but it doesn't change their relationship. It's really rocky.

Is there anything you can say on that?

Polaris

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SomeBitTripFan

24. Posted:

I like it. I think you're worrying too much about pleasing your audience over upholding your original creative vision. It's all fine, just keep going from where you are.

Just Someloggery
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Polaris

25. Posted:

I could care less about the audience. It's my story. I just want to make sure that the story can be told in an interesting way. This story isn't pliable like many others. If someone doesn't like it, they can make their own. I'm only asking for feedback. To see if people have seen or heard of anything like this and if it's starting to make sense to them.

One thing I do have trouble with is the 'assembling of the party'. People don't just join someone's cause for no reason. In this setting, it wouldn't make sense for a 'take me with you' or a 'i understand, my talents would be useful' type of thing. It'd reaaly depend on the person that's joining but it just seems odd to me. Have you seen any believable ways for characters to join up as a team?

Polaris

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SomeBitTripFan

26. Posted:

What would make your characters feel the need to follow Dave/Carlos on his adventure? You mentioned one of the party members being a friend did you not. Would he follow just because Dave/Carlos is his friend? Would he have some reason to feel obligated to help? Has Dave/Carlos ever done anything that would make him want to help? As for the others, what could make them want to join? Would something about Dave/Carlos make them wan to help? Did he save one of them? Help them out of a difficult situation? You need to examine your characters' traits and from there figure out what would make them want to help. What do they value?

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WingedSnagret

27. Posted:

This sounds more like an interactive book (where you can read specific chapters for separate plot lines) then a game. :/

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SomeBitTripFan

28. Posted:

@WingedSnagret : He can't actually begin making the game, so gameplay isn't his focus. For now, he is working of developing the story, the game will come later. Refer to this quote:

Polaris wrote:

Aside from that, I don't want to focus on gameplay or game mechanics right now. That's because it's not possible to start working on those things. I'm focusing on storyboarding and character development right now. That's the important part to me along with the cultures and environments explored in the game. It's a story before a game. And currently it's nothing like a game right now. As I may have said previously, I've written over 100 pages on paper and typed over 100 on the computer.

Just Someloggery
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On the Back Burner: The Machine, Ascending Entity, Antumbra, Between Two Causes, Heaven's Point, Binary, A Pixel and a Dot, Base O-70, A Wakeful Purgatory
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Polaris

29. Posted:

WingedSnagret wrote:

This sounds more like an interactive book (where you can read specific chapters for separate plot lines) then a game. :/

WingedSnagret wrote:

This sounds more like an interactive book (where you can read specific chapters for separate plot lines) then a game. :/

Perhaps you lack the imagination to understand the scope of the game. Not to insult your intelligence, but It probably is difficult to imagine a game based solely off of written work...unless you're me:)

Dave/Carlos (I'm glad you're calling him this as well) and John are like comrades. John's life is boring without Dave and Dave just doesn't have much to go off of while alone. They're also best friends. So they decided while they're looking into psioncics (which seems to be more important than anything else in the world since it gives them the power to shape reality), the two go together as a team. Their search (or more like structured wandering) spikes abruptly when they stop by to visit Dave's younger sister (they're actually twins, but Dave is considered an older brother since he was born first). There's a girl there who calls herself Coco and she chas a very rare ability. She can use all forms of psionics at their maximum potential, where most can only do specific things with psi if they can use it at all.

[Good thing I copied all of that in case the browser crashed! It did a few sentences after all of the junk I just pasted! ]

This is the big break that the two have been looking for. Past experiences with psionics (psi for short if I havent already clarified) have ended poorly (whether it was finding a new ally, potential teacher or someone who studies the subject that might help, the person generally caused conflict with the main characters or got themself into trouble, etc). Now that they know someone who can use psi, they actually try to stick with her. The more one understands about psi or themself, the more they can learn. Dave, however, has his own ability that does not rely on psi. It does have its drawbacks.

Polaris is not exhausted in the same way that psi is. Someone may drain all of their mental energy and become unable to use psi for some time, but Polaris, however can be used until the negative side effects begin damaging the user. The more Polaris is used, the colder the user gets. They soon go numb from the body parts that are using Polaris and become unable to use the ability itself. Body parts even ice over before becoming completely paralyzed.

This unique power is also what draws the protagonist and antagonist together. They're similar, as mentioned above. That is the reason that the two become 'friends' at first. Their worldly beliefs and differences make them enemies not 'fate' or government or any other typical reason for the bad guy to just be evil.

The thing is, the 'bad guy' isn't evil. Just like an opposing belief or political party, they just don't like each other because they can't agree. They believe in two different things and therefore can't let the other accomplish what they plan on accomplishing or it'll stop them from doing what they wanted.

Seeing as the two have similar powers, one might think that there would be some sort of stalemate. Wrong. Dave isn't nearly as powerful as Izar even though Izar is weakened early on. After all of the conflict, the crew eventually arrives in a village. This village is a ragtag place full of refugees and exiled folks from the two warring ninja clans. There are others in the village too. These people just want to live in peace and have left their homes in order to achieve that peace.

One such refugee family has a son who they refused to teach the arts of ninjutsu. This has only led Yusuke to find out on his own. That's why Yusuke catches the group's attention. He's the only one who displays the use of ninjutsu openly (even though most of it is next to useless).

After asking and telling Yusuke about psi, they learn that ninjutsu can't be learned the same way as other types of psi, and that Yusuke could help them to reach their goal of preventing the moon from crashing into the earth. Naturally, not believing the tale of the moon coming closer to the earth, (he ignores it and believes the moon is just orbiting close) Yusuke tricks everyone into helping him for his own personal gain. Y'see, there's a mountain that has a particular jewel in it that he's supposed to retrieve when he 'becomes a man'. Instead of training to do so himself, Yusuke makes Dave use the powers of Polaris to help him not to burn up inside of the mountain's caverns.

In the aftermath, Yusuke can't really pull off a 'oops' and everyone finds out that he was using the group. is family makes him travel with the crew (he was learning with them anyway, and they were like 'arent you in debt to them aaaaa' and 'i've seen the moon grow closer each day :o we might be a hole in the earth' now that I think of it, something similar was done for morrigan in dragon age origins. But I have had all of this since before the game was in development >:) but I can draw similarities.)

Annnyway that sums it up for the initial 4 characters. There are others who are important but in Polaris, there isn't just one main party and main story. Abdel and Haru have their own individual 'backstory' (I hate that word because it seems as if it's the word for the filler content that suggests that the character is a certain way because of their unimportant past. These 'backstories' go back pretty early on even before the character's initial appearance).

Not everyone 'joins' the team. They just become comrades and allies and keep in touch. The point of view changes between protagonist, antagonist and a select few others. That way, there's no real 'main character' and story elements may be seen in one area but are made dramatic so that when they come into play for other characters, we see how it all unfolds. I hope that made sense :/

Additional factors that make the group an actual group is persuasiveness and peer pressure. They're so eager to get Coco's help. It's hard to find anyone with psi in the world so it's a benefit for both of them. 'We're going to xyz location' can't really be passed up when you share the ability to manipulate a phenomenon with someone. Of course you're going to see where everything goes when the most amazing thing in your life arrives as a group and is about to leave without you :)

Sorry about all the smilies. This is what makes me happy. It's like love, a little bit. Weird. Don't quote me on that :)

Not again! But yeah many characters have their own agendas and some are just selfish desires. I'm trying to make it...umm...not typical.

'I see how you fight for justice! Your brigade may need another sword to cut through evil at its side!'' - typical rpg joining party speech.

'We must stop the empire before they wage an even greater war that will throw the land into turmoil!' - typical reason for stopping a conflict.

See where I'm getting at? A lot of games have gone those places before. Only I can go the places that I'm exploring with this game and only Polaris can accomplish it this way. A selfish/arrogant hero and a journey that ends up doing the opposite of what it was meant to. He thought he knew what he was doing.

I think I'm losing my train of thought. Are you able to follow all of this? Most of it was related to how characters join the team and their reasoning. I mean they all are selfish in wanting to preserve their ow lives because the moon's gonna kill everyone. That's a good enough reason on its own. But that's not the initial reason that they became a 'crew'. I wanna say 'ya feel me?'...

Polaris

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SomeBitTripFan

30. Posted:

I understand where you're going with this, and like the direction. You definitely have a strong story from the sound of it. I'm not the biggest fan of how Yusuke joins, (a bit generic sounding and it seriously reminds me of Yuffie from FF7) but it's your call. Then again, it takes a lot to really flesh out characters for me, so he could be very different from Yuffie.

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Polaris

31. Posted:

I've played tactics and some of 11 but I don't really play final fantasy. He sort of wants to join anyway because he's finally allowed to use jutsu, get out of the village and experience the outside life. Away from tradition and all of that. He feels valuable to some extent. Now that the item he wanted is his, he doesn't have anything that he was looking forward to accomplishing. He cheated, and he got it easy. No going back to complete the test on your own now, Yusuke. All that's left is impressing his old man. He's been strictly raised and now that he can break away with no consequences, he hopes to return with a true sense that he has grown up a little. But he's still sort of urged to leave with everyone else.

I don't like the whole 'collection of the party' sections of games, wandering portions, or filler content. If you look at series such as pokemon, all they do is wander and random events happen. Eventually they make it to a gym and -collect each of the special items- which I want to also stay away from.

The goal isn't to collect anything or defeat the eight bosses of evil.

But to be honest I never really thought what they might be doing to stop the moon. I mean I have thought about it many times but it has stumped me. It's hard to find an original way to stop the moon. There's already a plan that the antagonists have and the protagonists want to formulate their own plan as well. Someone suggested to me that the protagonists search for people who can use psychokinesis and try to gather them to push the moon back into space.

That sounds more like what the antagonists would do.

I know much of what happens and I always envision it as a struggle between psionics and elements (the powers of the watchers...ie characters like carlos and izar) but it was always held back by a gap that I couldn't fill. What are the main characters even doing in the first place? The goal is to stop the moon. But how? How do they stop the moon? A very difficult question. Every time I ask myself, I can't think of a great and original idea without finding something that has either been done or isn't amazing. Poor models are games such as zelda and earthbound (though Iove them both.com they both rely on traveling to places and collecting things. I'm not a fan of either I want a smooth flowing plot that doesn't make traveling a necessity. Though they do travel to all of the regions on the fictional world's map (I made a map last year. I like it :) )

This is sad. Anything to say on this?

Polaris

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SomeBitTripFan

32. Posted:

@Polaris : The only thing I can think of is some type of journey/pilgrimage to somewhere to either destroy the assumed source of the problem, or somewhere that would provide some method of diverting the moon/moving the planet. A big alarm went off in my head reading your post. The falling moon could also be likened to Meteor from FFVII. I know you haven't played it, but you need to make sure that even though you're using a similar plot point, that you execute it differently. I'd avoid using a "planetary power" plot point as Dave/Carlos' plan to stop the Moon. I'd try to apply a science of magic to the world. If you've played Tales of the Abyss, that should give you an idea of what I mean. Applying a science, or at least an explanation of how it works would allow for greater creative bounds. Maybe Dave/Carlos thinks the moon is headed toward the planet because something changed about the nature of the planets core, attracting the moon. Izar would know the truth of the matter(?) and would be tying to decrease the destruction, maybe also by manipulating the core (for rotation). I don't know if this is the direction you want the story to head, but I'm just giving recommendations. If you need me to clarify more, I can try, just tell me.

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Polaris

33. Posted:

There is an element that deals with an odd force that the moon exerts. It's a red wave that prevents contact. In the same family of gigyas's incomprehensible attack. Say the moon is struck and a small chunk lands on earth. The object can't be touched directly but it provides a new problem.

The red wave that it emits is also seen at the end of the story.

Earlier I had a being tell everyone where to go and what to do, but that's boring. Adara (polaris' female half) an't guide Dave either. Their first guidance is seen with Izar but they aren't even with him long and they want to do opposite things.

It's quite frustrating.

Polaris

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MrMario02

34. Posted:

Here's and Idea for a Game: An ARPG Where every one is drawn on sheets of paper and the party is like in sonic heroes. You have to explore the land of some kid's drawings to defeat a Religious movement trying to erase Lord Skribble!

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Polaris

35. Posted:

MrMario02 wrote:

Here's and Idea for a Game: An ARPG Where every one is drawn on sheets of paper and the party is like in sonic heroes. You have to explore the land of some kid's drawings to defeat a Religious movement trying to erase Lord Skribble!

I was hoping that you might offer some suggestions for my game, rather than post your own.

Polaris