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Game Story

Used as a presentation for my college work, describing the story of a video game and it's characters

Ryan Satterley

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Game Story

Story Telling in Games
Story & Game Concepts
Set in a wild west styled time period referred to as the "western age" on the legendary island of "Avalon". Your character is known as "The Westerner", you act as a gun for hire and wandering adventurer which allows you to accept and decline 'opportunities' depending on your chosen morals and who you ally yourself with. Game play starts in a dream, this acts like a tutorial for the player to familiarize themselves with the controls and it gives them the chance to customize their character by choosing their; sex, appearance, skills and class. Dreams and visions like this link the westerner to a secondary character known as "Athan" (or "Giselle" depending on what sex you chose to play as) whom lived 1500 years previously in the "viking age". The visions are playable and will happen during different key points in the westerner's story, slowly leaking more of the viking age story until they ultimately become one and end with you choosing how the game ends. These visions will also teach the Westerner special skills, some are game related so are essential to progress; and some are not essential so are up to the player whether they want to play them and learn the extra abilities and parts of story.
The Westerner
Known as just "The westerner" this is your main character who is visually customizable to degree in their gender, clothing, weapons, hair and accessories. You have the choice to select their skills and class depending on your play style but you can train skills out of your class if you prefer. The reason I chose to call them "The Westerner" is because it gives you less of a set identity just like "Fable" where you're just called "the hero of Oakvale". Also my research into western movies came up with a Clint Eastwood character simply called "the man with no name" so my name choice fits into the accepted western style in popular media. In real life cowboys only existed for about twenty years so I'm trying to steer clear of a rancher style and focus more on bounty hunters, outlaws, and civil war soldiers to produce the character and the world around them. I also aim to design different clothing designs based on classes, like extra pockets, belts etc for the Wanderer class. My character, like fable and GTA 5 Online, wont speak, because again that installs an identity which might not match your own, but so it doesn't seem weird, you will make noises like coughs to gain attention and noises when climbing, jumping or when hurt.
Athan and Giselle are the mysterious Viking age couple that the westerner sees in their visions, like in the game "Assassins Creed", they act as a means to tell the westerner what the world has forgotten. They do this by showing them their lives, depending on what sex you play as determines whose perspective you view from and gives you slightly different origins for how the two meet. The visions teach The Westerner special skills and more detailed knowledge about the great Demon and the ancient hero which first defeated it. After defeating the Demon and attempting to trap it, the Demon, seeing it's chance, possessing one of them, again depending what sex you play as. Unwilling to kill them, one traps the other away By using a magic amulet in a hope to find a way of separating them from the Demon's spirit.
The Creation Legend
Half term work
Finalize and refine current character art.
Start on Demon and weaponry art.
Design a map of "Avalon" (a name and idea I stole from Arthurian legend) to show regions and to explain how a viking styled character and a western one could live in the same place.
Produce further research and more detailed then present it in my sketchbook.
Athan and Giselle
The visions show Athan's or Giselle's lives at different points, as they similarly quest for answers to the past. Near the end of the game the visions show you that you are are really the same person, cursed with immortality you slowly forget the lives which you live with time (an idea similar to the film 'Hancock'). You're the immortal Hero of the land's ancient creation legend, one that defeated a great Demon and freed the world (an idea inspired by the game "Fable"). The Demon's immortality proves hard to sever as each time you have defeated it's physical form its soul carries on. And now you are needed to defend the world from it once more, you must recollect what you've forgotten, before it rises to reclaim the land you freed. Whether you freed the land to rule yourself or to stop it's suffering isn't known so you are morally blank to chose your path in the game. The choices you make in each age changes small aspects of each; So if you choose to save a town in the viking age it will still be there in the western age, but if you chose to help pillage it, you will only find ruins.
Used to explain the game's "bad guy" it's designed to be a 50,000 year old creation legend all about a hero that freed the world from a great demon, and how they swore to protect it for eternity. Later in the worlds history the hero became worshiped as a god and creator, and the old legend was forgotten. Inspired by real life creation legends in their grandeur and fantasy, I'm just using it as further background info for my character designs, so it doesn't need to be perfect or hugely detailed. I've written a "fragment" because... well, i don't know, i just did...
Using a blend of historical and contemporary research i looked at old movies, games, old legends, reincarnation, history facts etc. Such as: Red dead, Fable, assassins creed, Skyrim, The good the bad and the ugly, Django unchained, Hinduism, Buddhism, Arthurian legend. A more detailed example of research will be included in my sketchbook.
Both character names were chosen from a list of old Swedish names; Athan being short for Athanasius which originally stems from greek and means "immortal", and Giselle has roots in ancient germanic and means "hostage" or "pledge". The names were chosen because of the character's original roles in the story; Athan started out to be just a reincarnation, so he was in a sense immortal but then i chose to make it literal. Giselle's original role was to be possessed by the Demon and to get trapped by Athan so she was in a sense a hostage, but because of the immortality and the ability to choose your gender this had to change. Finding accurate examples of viking clothing, I'm going to design them both to be fairly simply dressed with natural materials like fur as accents. Choosing to leave Giselle unarmored gives her a more nimble rouge feel which is the opposite to Athan's thick armor which shows him more as a tank, having this difference shows the range of style and a different experience during game play
"You are the Westerner, a mysterious drifter with an unknown past, you've forgotten everything. Plagued by vivid dreams of death and destruction, you start your quest to answer the questions in the western styled expanse of the south and end it in the frozen wastes of the north.
In your adventures you will meet bandits and outlaws, friends and foes, heroes and villains. Who you align yourself with is up to you, protector or pillager, you will rise to face an ancient evil that threatens to swallow the world."
The Demon & The Hero
Taking inspiration from Fable's "Jack of Blades" character, the Demon now only exists in a weaker spirit form which possesses people to physically affect the world. To be able to be made whole again the Demon needs to reap souls to build power, so i should look at depictions of the grim reaper to instill a reaper feel.
In the story, the Demon once ruled over the raw early world, No one knows what it really looks like because an appearance would give the player an impression of character, so the Demon isn't shown properly which makes it seem mysterious and all powerful. So the Demon is only shown as the previously possessed being, in the viking age it is a barbarian warlord and in the western age it's either Athan or Giselle. So when designing the Demon i only need to design the warlord character and a modified version of Athan and Giselle. Being an immortal entity the Demon cannot truly be 'killed' but in the story it can be trapped by an ancient amulet, So i also need to design an amulet which looks old and somewhat supernatural. I've chosen the amulet to be made from the Hero's weapon, as that is what killed the Demon originally, and the bones of the Demon's original body which has the ability to house the Demon's soul.
The Demon
"...Pulling together all their courage, determination and hope, the blade was thrust with divine and focused fury...
...Its blood, infusing the blade with the raw magic of our early world, reminded our hero what the Demon was, such a being can not be physically destroyed...
.... Our hero swore to us that day that they will protect our world from the demon for eternity...
... by mixing their blood with the demon's, making their spirit and bloodline immortal..."
By Ryan Satterley
Write up for game case
The game is about an immortal character during two time periods, the main one in the Western age and a secondary one in the viking age.
The game is a RPG in a 'sandbox' type fictional island. The island has different regions to explain the contrasting styles of Vikings and Cowboys, a frozen north and a dry frontier to the south.
The player has the ability to customize their western aged character in their appearance, skills and class. However skills from outside a class can be learned when leveling related skills, such as using a pistol to hit further targets allows you to learn a sniper type skill.
The classes I've come up with for the Westerner are: Gambler, Wanderer, Crack shot, and Savage. Each class only gives the player a boost in certain areas and determines their original appearance, but other areas can be trained and changed in game when the player feels like it.
The game uses a true RPG styled choice feature. The player has the ability to choose their motivations, morals, allies and enemies. The choices they make influences the world around them and the character they become, so each play through is unique.
The player also has the ability to choose and customize their weaponry, including a Tomahawk which is a skill learned from your memories of the viking age.
Special abilities are learned from the player's previous life by reliving memories, some of which are optional. Some special abilities that I've come up with are: Focus, Resilience, Godlike, Possession, One hit and Trigger happy.
The game uses a "luck" system which acts like a shield. Bullets that are fired at the player miss, depleting the luck shield until they're unlucky enough to be hit and damaged. Each hit the player takes is felt by the character and effects their movement and capabilities; a leg hit slows you and gives you a limp, an arm shot reduces accuracy and rate of fire, a chest shot effects everything and two shots will kill, and a head shot is obvious.
Because the westerner is meant to be immortal, time doesn't effect them like everyone else and each time the player dies, time turns back to a safe point. This will be done seamlessly so the player isn't removed from game play and so the player isn't plonked in front of a loading screen which can be fairly annoying when dying multiple times.
Game Features
The Gambler class gives you a boost in luck and slightly better accuracy. Pay offs from jobs are also more fluctuated some being slightly better and others worse than projected.

The Wander class leaves health and luck to an average but increases your capacity for ammo and loot. You also have a more steady pay from jobs, the pay being closer to what is originally projected.

The Crack shot class ups the range, damage and speed of shooting but the reliance on skill reduces your luck thus making you more likely to be hit, but when skilled enough you can take a group out before they find you. Your decreased luck doesn't effect you pay from honest jobs but does decrease pay from dishonest jobs and looting.

Finally the Savage class, based on early views of native americans, it increases health and weapon damage, also the speed and strength of melee attacks. Being the light agile class, you have less ammo capacity but are faster and more quiet for it. This affords you a boost in stealth and your experience of anatomy allows fast, brutal and more importantly 'silent' kills.
Character Classes
The Hero
As the hero isn't shown in the game so a visual design isn't a priority, but so i can further structure my ideas of the main character I might produce some character art if I have time. The story of the hero is unknown to where they came from but they arose to kill the Demon that terrorized the land and became immortal as a result. So they should look powerful and grand as a hero of legend is expected to be. Also as an immortal some scars of the past will persist from the many lifetimes lived.
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