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Twerp
Myrmidon [Posts: 70]
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  • [October 27, 2013, 07:13:46 PM]
Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« on: October 27, 2013, 07:13:46 PM »
ok, here goes.

Making a game (RPGmaker, lame, I know, but whatever) that explores death.  Why we fear it, why we strive for it, our thoughts on the matter, why we mourn, and so on.

Issue is, I need a little help.

Party consists of 4 characters - a hero(silent protag), a good influence, a bad influence, and a neutral influence.  Kinda like the Laharl/Etna/Flonne trifecta.  I may cut the Neutral Influence just to keep with that mentality.

What I need for help, is someone with a sense of morbidity - I need ideas of why people would want to die.

The world, as it stands now, is full of immortals.  According to the game's lore, someone actually created an elixir of immortality, and in his infinite wisdom, added it to the water supply.  As such, people are incapable of dying.  Some characters will be upwards of 500 years old because of this.  Some will want to die.  Your character (and his entourage), will be "blessed" with the curse of mortality.  They can die, but they will be the only ones in the world capable of killing.

Later into the game, a group of "Heroes" sets forth to kill you.  Both teams, of course, will be on the side of good, but you will always be seen as powerful villians - after all, you're KILLING people...something that hasn't been done in centuries.

From a gameplay mechanic, each person the player kills will earn him Karma (which will affect available events and endings), and an equippable "Soul" which will allow for a class change.  Each suggestion put in needs 3 things:

Who am I killing?
Why do they want to die?
What is the theme of the class I attain?

The main 3 are Warrior, Cleric and Wizard, respectively.  Theif is the neutral, and might be cut, so each soul will grant different classes to whomever it's attached to.  Eastern + Warrior, for example, will make a Samurai, but Eastern + Cleric makes Geisha.

Here's what I've got sofar.

Nomad, Lonliness, Drifter classes
Pirate/Monk/Sorcerer

Old Man, Old Age, Eastern classes
Samurai/Geisha/Ninja

Cook, Boredom (wants to cook the only thing he hasn't - human.  wants to die to autocannibalize), food service classes
Butcher, Waitress, Chef

Partier, alcohol poisoning, party classes
Frat Boy/Illusionist

Clown, Sadness, entertainer classes
Strongman/Fortune Teller/Fire Breather/Knife Thrower

Anyone reading all those over will notice that some are legitmate reasons to want to die, whereas others are ridiculous.  Clearly, netting all the classes blindly will lead the player towards a bad ending.

I've got the game half-plotted, I just need the coup-de-gras.  8-10 viable and decent classes to have the party parade around as...killing innocent bystanders in a world where death has been forgotten.

(please, feel free to call me a sick fuck for even thinking of this game - I already think of it as myself).

If anyone's interested, I can post my script for the first few minutes of gameplay to get a feel for the world that they might be contributing an idea or two towards.
Dome [Posts: 4890]
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  • [October 27, 2013, 07:28:37 PM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2013, 07:28:37 PM »
This is not something that should be in spam...
Just saying

P.s: I like the idea :-)

"Be wise today so you don't cry tomorrow"
Twerp
Myrmidon [Posts: 70]
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  • [October 28, 2013, 04:38:37 PM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 04:38:37 PM »
I glanced over other forums, and I didn't see anything else appropriate.  I suppose I misread General as being "for mods not of the FFT nature".

I tend to overthink what I don't underthink.

also; thanks, I'm fond of the idea myself (hence making the game), and I'm looking forward to being able to start in on it once I get my class options decided.
METEORologist-in-training
Reks [Posts: 682]
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  • [October 30, 2013, 05:55:20 AM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 05:55:20 AM »
I love a concept like this. It's HARDLY a sick thing to think about: death IS natural, after all.

I look forward to what you do!

P.S.: My fiance, in his generous nature, bought me the same program sometime back. So if you want a little bit of help done i'll see what I can do.
Twerp
Myrmidon [Posts: 70]
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  • [October 30, 2013, 03:05:56 PM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 03:05:56 PM »
I'm just thinking the "sick fuck" thing because of Chef-Autocannibalism up there.

I've got most of the game done in my head, but I'm honestly stuck at this point.  This and the whole finding resources I want to use thing...
Durbs [Posts: 617]
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  • [November 25, 2013, 08:03:59 PM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2013, 08:03:59 PM »
If you're still ever prowling around, Myrmidon, I must say I like this idea a lot. It's certainly very unique, and I'm like a kid in a candy store when there's plenty of room to capitalize on the story.

I have a bunch to say about this, but I'll start with general archetypes as to why someone might want to die or kill. You have several of them, but I'll list them anyways and maybe something I say will speak out. Also note that there are a lot of grounds for overlap.

1. Imprisonment / Torture. If someone knows they are imprisoned / eternally tortured in such a way that they will never escape, death might be something welcome. Alternatively, they could want their jailers / torturers dead.
2. Loneliness.
3. Perceived weakness. As part of a weakness in themselves they resent (or what you represent to them) they might want to kill you.
4. Death of a loved one. This would obviously not be in the initial group of people you'd encounter, but could definitely be a piece of the puzzle later in the game. Imagine that someone the protagonist killed was quietly loved by someone from behind the scenes, or a retrospectively repenting family member. They might want revenge on you or to be killed.
5. Lack of a future. This ties in to disability but is painted in a different light.
6. Disability. If someone is incapable of living out their lives normally, they might ask themselves why they should live.
7. Outcast / Banishment. Tied to loneliness, but painted in a different sort of light. Society has shunned the character, and they will be alone forever.
8. Intense emotional trauma. What happens when someone is raped, for instance, and cannot cope with being the mother to such a person? Trying to avoid as much political thunder as I can here, but it's a thought to consider.
9. Honor. Imagine someone from before the time the legend who was mortal, and specifically has been looking for a way to die in battle. Perhaps in their religion in order to reach an equivalent to heaven they must die honorably.
10. Justice or Revenge. If someone had a score to settle, felt wronged, or actually was legitimately wronged, they might want that someone dead.
11. 'Baby Hitler' scenario of murder. What if you know someone will grow into a madman and will bring suffering into the lives of many?
12. Evil. Tying into justice and revenge, if someone was legitimately perpetrating evil, it might be in everyone's interest to see them dead.

Quote
Your character (and his entourage), will be "blessed" with the curse of mortality.  They can die, but they will be the only ones in the world capable of killing.

This is a potentially very rich plotline staring you in the face. How did this happen? Are there hidden gods that decided humanity should not be as it is, creating the protagonists as their instrument? Did some archvillian believe this? Is someone doing this a scare tactic to obtain power, withholding what he knows can destroy you so he can do so at the right time? There's a lot of ways you could go with this.

Another thing to consider is how the protagonist feels about each influence and kill. Honestly, I feel like this story would benefit greatly from direct dialogue pertaining to this. If you don't want to do that, you could still reflect on how the character feels in subtle ways in the environment around them, but this would be trickier.

EDIT: Something else I should say... be careful not to go too overboard on the morbid in the game. It is clearly supposed to be dark, but be careful to put in a good comedic relief now and again. Basically, don't desensitize your audience; it'll ruin a lot of the effect of a game like this. When you have only dark moments, there's no contrast. When you have a lot of moments of good, it puts the darker moments into perspective. A good example of this is one you should know: Disgaea.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 08:32:28 PM by Durbs »
"Evanescence... what a sad word..." -Agrias Oaks

Nico Halation
Ryqoshay [Posts: 596]
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  • [November 26, 2013, 05:55:18 AM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 05:55:18 AM »
I have several effectively immortal characters in my story, as well as many extremely long-lived individuals. At some point one with memory issues asks another with eidetic memory, "Which hurts more, forgetting everything you held dear or remembering everything you lost?" Now in my narrative, this question may seem natural since immortality is not the norm. However, I believe it would work for you world as well; those who were once mortal. The individuals who remember those who died before the immortality epidemic and individuals who wish they could remember what they've lost.

This brings me to a question; does this elixer only affect humans? If yes, then many may mourn the loss of pets or other non-human companions. If no, how have other species been affected? What about plants, fungi and microbes? For simplicity's sake, I would personally limit it to humans, but it's your story, so do as you will.

I must admit this idea has me more than a little intrigued.

Hurry down the chimney tonight.
Twerp
Myrmidon [Posts: 70]
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  • [December 02, 2013, 05:57:23 PM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2013, 05:57:23 PM »
Oh, I'm still here - just sporadically.  Nomadicism has its downfalls, namely, inconsistant Internet access.

@ Durbs - Love the ideas.  I completely overlooked things like a disability or your "baby hitler" concept.  A secondary idea I was having for this included the concept of "there's only so many souls in the Universe, so people are being born that lack souls".  An approximation of people being born as Nobodys (a~la Kingdom Hearts), gradually creating an epidemic of serial torturers, mini-Hitlers, and generally horrible people.

(as for why it's a limited number, think about it: when the world population was 2 million, there was the potential for some souls to spend a few milennia out of the loop before being reincarnated...now, there's no such leisure)

As for "why", my alpha plotline basically has the hero stumbling across (but not recognizing) Death, learning about the horrors of immortality, and getting the "gift" handed to him.  The whole concept's pre-alpha right now, and I'm fleshing out a few storyline arcs - namely his mother's terminal illness (which is gradually revealed to the player), and the whole "you're the bad guy" mentality causing a group of heroes rushing forth to slay you.  I've even got the final scenes written out in my head - 2 possible endings completely fleshed out, and 2 more as a "maybe" in the wings.

I was planning on having a hidden "Morality" meter anyways.  Each person you kill will influence your morality either positively or negatively...if someone has a stupid reason to die (see: Autocannibalism), or completely selfish and unrealistic, your morality will decrease and, as such, you'll gravitate towards the bad endings.  If the player sits back and thinks about it, however, they can move towards a good ending.  Conversely, if they deny everyone, they'll also get the bad ending, because some people will deserve/need to be killed.

Also, I have NO intent on making the game too too dark.  my fave numbered FF game is 6 - which was dark and gloomy, but even in the World of Ruin there was time to sit back, laugh, have a few jokes, and the whole Gau's Dad scene was incredibly touching...even if it was sidequest.  I understand all too well about keeping the pressure on and how it ruins a storyline (didn't like 7, leaving it at that).

@ Ryqoshay - alpha stage has it as affecting everything.  I was pondering an early scene involving having a suffering animal needing to be put out of its misery - possibly witnessing a pack of wolves eating a deer alive, or something (can't die, so it'd have to suffer through the whole thing).  That, of course, leaves me to ponder the possibility of technical Necromancy - if you can't die, but your brain and organs have been removed, stripping you down to the bones, are you still alive?  is your heart still beating in someone's stomache?  are you still thinking, wondering as you exist as merely a brain splattered on a wall? if your heart has been ripped form your chest, can you still feel it?

May not have been your intent, but I'm definitely thinking about that stuff now - many thanks!  I'll have a much richer storyline for it, even if I limit it to just humans (which I may well do at this point).  I may well use that question as well - I saw my cousin go through the saddest time of her life when her dog died...I can only imagine if she'd seen it happen 12 more times - making it incredibly viable if it only affects humans.

Honestly, this concept has a lot of influences: On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony, the morality options are influenced by Katherine, the "bad guy" doing good has a touch of FFT in it, there's even a hint of Dexter in it...and a lot of it is just my warped way of thinking.

A lot of the base concept of it, honestly, came form Hitler.  He did horrible things, in our eyes, but in his own, he saw himself as "doing the right thing".  Essentially, I want the player to see that what they're doing is the right way, but feel persecuted and shunned for their ethics.  I want the player to sit back and wonder "does he deserve to die?"

Essentially, this game is an experiment for me.  I don't want to walk the player through a story - that's boring, and it's been done do death. It's every RPG around these days.  I don't want him to be patted on the back for every accomplishment, and told that he's doing the right thing.  I want this to be an experience.  I want the player to be sucked in, and experience the despair and horrors that I have planned.  I want them to be worried, disgusted, charmed, and elated about my trio and thier (mis)adventures.

And I want my hero to die a slow, agonizing death, and make the player cry.


because I'm an asshole.
Dome [Posts: 4890]
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  • [December 02, 2013, 06:10:53 PM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 06:10:53 PM »
Wow
Yes, you are xD

"Be wise today so you don't cry tomorrow"
Twerp
Myrmidon [Posts: 70]
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  • [December 02, 2013, 06:23:44 PM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 06:23:44 PM »
oh, you're damned straight I am.  You'd be surprised who my main character is going to kill.

Of course, the final boss is the only one not looking to die, or needing to die...hence his reaction - first true kill of self-preservation.

...and that's nothing, considering some of the other people I intend for the hero to kill...
Nico Halation
Ryqoshay [Posts: 596]
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  • [December 04, 2013, 05:28:51 AM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 05:28:51 AM »
You may also want to consider a death cult, of sorts. A group that worships a deity, real or imagined, that promises them a place in paradise if they die. Of course they are immortal, so they must seek out the player's party and be killed by them. Now, simply standing there to be slain wouldn't be any fun - for the deity - so they must not go down without a fight. If they manage to bring one of the player's party down with them, they are promised a better reward. It is also belived that groups such as the one controlled by the protagonist come along every so often - decade, century, whatever, they're immortal so they can wait - so if one kills the last of the party they will have to wait for the next group to come so they can die and claim their reward.

Hurry down the chimney tonight.
Twerp
Myrmidon [Posts: 70]
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  • [December 06, 2013, 10:36:23 PM]
Re: Mortis - a game about the unspeakable.
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2013, 10:36:23 PM »
I love the concept.  I could base it very easily off Nordic Mythology, after all - die in battle, and be sent to Valhalla - definitely a better live living forever there than living forever on Earth.  That way, they don't even have to try and kill the player, just "die valiantly in combat"

I was planning on keeping with the dark, grimness, but it seems to lend itself more towards a story than a game, I'm finding - this'll definitely lend me a more game-friendly environment...especially if they're, say, torturing people, etc. to have the current Death pay them a visit...
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