Author Topic: PARACOSM - a very-early-in-development RMXP story-centric game  (Read 3657 times)

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tedlyanderson

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PARACOSM - a very-early-in-development RMXP story-centric game
« on: November 25, 2012, 12:11:56 AM »
So I only joined recently, mostly because of how impressed I was by To the Moon. I've been working on a video game idea for some time, and based on what Freebird was able to do with the RMXP engine, I decided to try using that program to make it. It's a pretty ambitious project, especially for a first game, but I'm going to do my damnedest to put it all together. Please let me know what you think!

Premise

Your daughter is gone.

Barbara should have been home from school hours ago. Nobody's seen her. She isn't with her friends, or at the library, or anywhere else.

In fact, she's nowhere on Earth.

Barbara has gone into Solafria--her imaginary world, which she's been building since she was four. She has entire countries in there, mountains made of glass, groves of talking birds, cities populated by porcelain dolls. Solafria is, for better or worse, a reflection of the world she lives in; its people are her thoughts, its dangers her fears. And now she's run away to the castle at its very center.

And now you have to find her.

Gameplay

Structurally, Paracosm is a very linear game; as Helen (Barbara's mother) you move through a series of encounters, each of which will have multiple outcomes. How you choose to complete these encounters will determine what kind of mother you are, what kind of relationship you have with your daughter, and ultimately affect what ending you get. (There will be at least eleven different endings, with multiple variations on each of those endings.)

Each encounter is unique. Some will be "dialogue challenges", in which the player tries to achieve a goal through conversation. Some may use standard turn-based RPG combat. There may be logic puzzles, stealth sequences, even encounters that require nothing more than patience. The intent is to give players a wide variety of challenges, while making it possible for even novice players to achieve whatever ending they want.

Player choice

The moral-choice system in Paracosm is based on games by Obsidian Entertainment--games like Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas, or even Planescape: Torment by the same team at their previous studio Black Isle. In these games, the player determines the character's alignment through their dialogue and actions, and this alignment thus affects the content they see.

I want to stress that player choice in Paracosm will be more complex and in-depth than your standard Good-versus-Evil alignment system. Every mother-and-daughter relationship is different; there is no "best" or "worst" mother, only many shades of gray. Similarly, while some of the endings may seem more loving or more cruel than others, none of them are meant to be the Good or Bad endings.

Additionally, there are other choices for the player that will subtly (or not-so-subtly) alter the dialogue and ending they receive. Was Barbara adopted? Is her father devoted, divorced, a deadbeat, or dead? Is there friction between the parents? Again, there are no Good or Bad answers to any of these questions, but the player's choices will affect what they see.

Presentation

Visually, the world of Solafria is meant to reflect a child's imagination: outlandish, certainly, but still reflecting elements of their everyday life. A child, no matter how creative, will still be limited by what they've seen, heard, or read about. The mundane and fantastic will rub shoulders; a normal-looking cottage will be inhabited by a walking, talking bear, or a family of life-sized dolls will live in a steampunk factory the size of a skyscraper. Most of the graphics can be built with the "standard" RMXP tilesets, though there will need to be several custom sprites.

Musically, I'm imagining a lot of repeating, orchestral or woodwind pieces, mostly minor key. If you know the works of Philip Glass, that's what I'm thinking. (Here's one sample, and here's another.)


Again, I know this is an extremely large and ambitious project. I am definitely looking for more team members, especially people who know how to code RGSS (that's RMXP's Ruby variant) or who've done scripting in RMXP before. Plus I definitely want feedback on this whole concept--come on, people, give me what you got!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 02:19:30 PM by tedlyanderson »

Thunderbird

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Re: PARACOSM - a very-early-in-development RMXP story-centric game
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 12:09:00 PM »
I think this story has some potential, hopefully you manage to get some splendid surreal graphics :3
Even if you are nothing more than a drop in a bucket...
Every drop leaves ripples.

Merlandese

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Re: PARACOSM - a very-early-in-development RMXP story-centric game
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 07:48:40 PM »
Good luck! XD

tedlyanderson

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Re: PARACOSM - a very-early-in-development RMXP story-centric game
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 10:08:13 PM »
Just thought of this: if anyone is interested in reading something I've written, take a look at this short story I posted to my blog last month. It's part of another project of mine--also in development--but it stands on its own. It has nothing to do with Paracosm, but if you want to get an idea of what kind of writer I am, this might be a place to start!

Liberatingpulse

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Re: PARACOSM - a very-early-in-development RMXP story-centric game
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 12:43:15 PM »
I really like this idea! It's something I could definitely get into. :) Are you looking for a sound designer/composer at all? I can make a wide variety of genres and sounds and I could work within pretty much any budget. Just PM me and we'll work something out. ;)
Recently released a dubstep EP. Check it out here > http://bit.ly/WgefwS < or stream it off my website. http://liberatingpulse.com/ Thanks! :D

tedlyanderson

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Re: PARACOSM - a very-early-in-development RMXP story-centric game
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 10:27:10 PM »
Thanks! Sorry for taking so long to respond; I had this set to notify me at my other email address. I could probably use a composer/sound designer, yeah! I'll take a look at your stuff and let you know. Also, in a week or two I'll have a pitch/design doc put together; I'll post that to this forum (as well as a couple other places) and see if that draws in any more interest.

Liberatingpulse

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Re: PARACOSM - a very-early-in-development RMXP story-centric game
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 07:37:49 PM »
'Tis fine. I actually just made an orchestral demo reel if you'd like to check that out. https://soundcloud.com/liberatingpulse/orchestral-demo-reel-1

I mostly post electronic music on my website, but you can listen there to get an idea of the other stuff I do. http://liberatingpulse.com/

Good luck with your project! :D
Recently released a dubstep EP. Check it out here > http://bit.ly/WgefwS < or stream it off my website. http://liberatingpulse.com/ Thanks! :D