Basic plot rewrite outline

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Post by Talaroc » 10 Mar 2005, 04:40

I mentioned I've been talking to her about the game systems, did I not? She's not going to give us something that makes us fundamentally recreate the game. The most there's even the possibility of needing to do is re-tooling a couple of systems, and it's not like we don't constantly do that anyway.

I'm not going to tell her to stop working. She's a good writer, and versed in Japanese culture (as the style is based around that influence), and you may find you really like what she comes up with.
Quality>convenience.
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Post by WakkaCraft » 10 Mar 2005, 05:09

I'd agree that we should be open at the very least to more ideas for the backstory.
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Post by mandrake » 10 Mar 2005, 14:47

It's pretty good, mandrake. It does seem a bit too prose-ish to be a bardic sonnet, perhaps we should write it more as a story that is being told by an elder to children, than as a song...
Actually, that intro (i sing to you...) is a direct line from how the Greeks would begin their sonnets. I was doing this in the style of the Ancient Greek Bardic poems as well as the Gaelic bardic poems. These were more similiar to how our prose works, but set up into stanza form. (like Beuwolf, The Oddysey, The Illiad, The Metamorphisis, etc)
Anyhow, It seems to be coming along well. I liked the vivid descriptions and the instances given. Maybe you can work more instances into the poem, and introduce more of the pantheon that we wll meet in the game, both Veshin and Oiri.
That's a good idea. I might actually split this up into several peices, each detailing a mythology for building the world around.
Lastly, in the second to last paragraph, you said "Less the gods destroyed...", I'm pretty sure you meant "Lest the gods destroyed..." anyhow, just a bit of nitpicking, in case you didn't catch it yourself
Thanks, actually I didn't notice it.
You assume far too much. I've been discussing the whole project (everything from sotryline to systems to graphics) with her for a while now. She neither has nor knows the ins and outs of IRC, nor has the spare time to constantly check up on the forum and wiki.
If she can't meet with us, how would she know what we wanted?
I sent her the story so far (though not the most recent updates, since they just happened) before she started working on it. The point is variety and options; I mean, as it stands now, the title of this thread is highly misleading. What's been going on hasn't been a full story rewrite, but just tweaking of the same story. Different perspectives on the same general idea, as brought in by wholly different storylines to look over, combine, tweak, and what have you, can bring in new ideas and ways of thinking about the game that we haven't tried yet. Thus far, everything's been from the single perspective.
Originally I was going to rewrite everything, but I realized that would be wrong for several reasons. The first one being that it's not a bad story. It's not terribly cliche, and alot of the game revolves around it and the ideas inside of it. Alot of work has already been made for this story.

So what happened here was better than a complete rewrite. It was a clarification, and a lot of the ambiguities were removed. Alot of the smaller details had been made more interesting. Just because a story is good or well-written doesn't mean we should use it here. Or change everything just to match the story. The authors here had worked hard on their creation, and I think a complete rewrite would be insulting to them.
Last edited by mandrake on 10 Mar 2005, 15:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Kyokai » 10 Mar 2005, 15:32

mandrake wrote:And right now you are insuating that what we have here isn't quality. That what she is writing is infinately better. I really doubt that. I'm versed in Japanese culture as well. I have a friend of mine that moved to Japan that I hear from daily (he teaches English as a tutor). In fact, it seems to me that her skills as a writer are poor. She can't take a basic outline like this and write something interesting for it- she has to rewrite it. That is a sign of a poor writer. A good writer should be able to take a given plot and write something excellently around it.
It think you have a point, Mandrake, but let's try not to be too terribly harsh on Talaroc, as he probably comes across a bit different than he really means to (you know how language barriers and such go). The real problem with a new story is that we just got through working out the various kinks and bugs in this one. A new story will come with a new set of bugs. It's something inevitable.
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Post by mandrake » 10 Mar 2005, 15:40

You are right. I'll go back and edit out some of the nasty things I had said. But you are correct. A new plot will have changes to be made. This is a comitee based project, and not a dictatorship. As such, it needs to be worked like that.
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Post by Bjørn » 10 Mar 2005, 17:52

Well I liked your sonnet a lot, Mandrake. Still, I don't want to draw any conclusion about the alternative by Talaroc's friend before I've read that carefully as well. Surely we can just look forward to read what she'll come up with, and decide what to do afterwards.
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Post by mandrake » 10 Mar 2005, 18:20

I'll agree to wait and see before I make a comment on it. But, if she is unwilling (or does not have the time) to participate here, would she also be unwilling to make changes that we suggest? But, I'll back off from the topic for now.

On the Sonnet:
I like it a bit as well. But it's still rough around the edges and needs some work. And, also, it's unfinished in the end. But I do like what Kyokai had suggested about bringing in more detail. I think I plan on reworking this, making into a longer piece with many sub-pieces.

The idea would be to have something like the Red Book of Kells, the Oddysey or Beuwolf or the Kalevalla. A long, epic poem detailing the world up until this point. Something that would enhance immersion into the game world, by creating a sort of faux artifact from an old bard.
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Post by Talaroc » 10 Mar 2005, 21:55

Mandrake: First off, I'm not even going to comment on the baseless accusations you made (which are still visible, as Kyokai quoted them). I'll just say, calm down. We're working on a video game. It's not something to lose your head over.
Originally I was going to rewrite everything, but I realized that would be wrong for several reasons. The first one being that it's not a bad story. It's not terribly cliche, and alot of the game revolves around it and the ideas inside of it. Alot of work has already been made for this story.

So what happened here was better than a complete rewrite. It was a clarification, and a lot of the ambiguities were removed. Alot of the smaller details had been made more interesting. Just because a story is good or well-written doesn't mean we should use it here. Or change everything just to match the story. The authors here had worked hard on their creation, and I think a complete rewrite would be insulting to them.
I disagree. See, the things is, yes, a lot of thought and work has been put in thus far. However, we are still in the heavy planning stages of this game. This is, therefore, the time when we need to be most open to large-scale changes. And, once again, I'm not even proposing such, nor will what my friend comes up with seek to necessitate it.
The real problem with a new story is that we just got through working out the various kinks and bugs in this one. A new story will come with a new set of bugs. It's something inevitable.
Yes, it is. But as it's only been a few days to get you to the point of near-satisfaction with the writing of the current story, I don't see how that poses a giant problem. It's like me learning the eccentricities of a new style of graphics, which I had to do after creating my first character sprites, then realizing that they didn't fit with the style. Again, we are in heavy planning stages, so things need to be open to shifting. That is what was meant by "quality>convenience." It's a general rule, not a slam on the current storyline.
This is a comitee based project, and not a dictatorship. As such, it needs to be worked like that.
Ok, this is just confusing. Are you saying I'm acting like a dictator? I'm a friggin' spriter, that likes contributing elsewhere. I'm not in charge of this stuff. And yes, this is a committee thing; since multiple people have voiced support for at least taking the ideas of the alternate storyline into consideration, I don't think there's a problem.

Anyway, since we've already more or less argued this into the ground, I'll leave it lie there. My comments on the sonnet are more line-by-line grammar stuff than anything else, so I'll repost it with my comments in bold. Overall, though, it did work out pretty nicely in that format.


I sing to you of the time before the world,
I sing to you before the fall of the gods
I wonder about using the "I sing" bit. Yes, it's authentic, but it carries the potential to confuse people who don't know what it comes from.
When the gods had existed in the endless void of space itself
And the void existed in the darkness of time
The gods had known only loneliness and the shadow of each other
To relieve them of this pale that was becoming their existence
They set out to create a world to watch
Where people could live out lives
And entertain the gods in their void of the heavens

From the clouds they picked out of the chaos land and water
Clouds? Aren't they in space?
They plucked two stars from the sky
And created the first man and woman

They created Mana then
An explination of what mana is might be good? Gamers usually just think of it in terms of MP
So that the world would run without their need
"Without their need" is a little awkward
Like a giant clock they could sit and watch
As the humans below filled the earth
Creating cities and towns

The peaceful rolling hills with sheep on it
"With sheep on it" is awkward and is singular when "hills" is plural.
And the life of the farmers tending to the herd
"Life" is again singular and should be plural
Attracted each god
With some gods claiming favorites above the rest
You might start this as a new sentance--"Some gods claimed"
Exalting some when others toiled

The favorite of the Goddess Arimara fell ill from a sickness that crawled from the sea
And Arimara broke the rule they had set
Some introduction of this rule earlier would help to clarify. Not much would be needed, just a mention
She intervened and healed her chosen one, nursed her back to health

Other gods watched with envy.
I don't know that envy is the best word, but I don't know offhand what it could be replaced with

Soon a war broke out amongst the Gods
Bit of a jump there--from individual envy to war. Some sort of transition is needed
Each trying to exalt their favorites into mighty heroes
Into Gods on earth

The Gods split into two parties then
"Parties" doesn't really suggest a warring faction. "Factions?"
Tearing apart the heavens in their anger
One group was known as The Veshin, or those who change
The other was known as the Oiri, or those who watch
Don't use the same sentance twice--perhaps something like, "The others became the Oiri, those who watch."

The Veshin taught their followers dark arts of science
"Dark acts of science" should either be elaborated upon or have the "acts of" dropped
Rising these men above the stature of normal men
Creating wars and turmoil

The Oiri, wise beyond their years
Set out to find the Spirits of Mana
For consultation on what to do
In fear that their world would be destroyed by the greed of the Veshin

Over seas and stars they traveled until finally
Each glowing pillar responded in the voice of a Mana spirit
Glowing pillar? I'm not at present familiar with anything like that...are you using it metaphorically?
And each gave them advice
?Seek out nine Sages
wise men who will watch over us
I was under the impression that the sages were watching over the humans, not the spirits. You might also drop "nine," since already in the NPCs page we're deviating from that number vor variety
and protect the world from those who the Veshin control
bring them to us
and we will give them the power and authority to do this?

Thus the Oiri brought forth nine of the most worthy men and women
Again, nine
Took them to each pillar of light were the Mana spirits dwelled
Wait...the palaces are pillars of light? I'm a bit confused here
And made sages out of the mere mortals
Were they sages before? The spirits told the gods to seek sages
Created to protect the world from the pain and misery
That the Veshin were causing

Wars then followed
For forty years the earth bled
And the seas screamed with those being drowned inside of them
This can be tightened--"And the seas screamed with the cries of the drowned"
The war machines of the Veshin
Haunting the air with their smog and steel
The rising glow of the Mana from the sages
Burning across the world
As the two forces clashed and struggled
"As" can be dropped

And even in the void of heaven
Where the gods dwelled
War was being waged
Pushing the heavens they called home
Into the nothingness that dwelled beyond the darkness

So a truce was called
Less the gods destroyed all that had been created
As Kyokai said, "lest." Also, "destroyed" should be "destroy"
They had not forgotten the days before war
The centuries of peace
And watching the people climb up from tribes to civilization

They sent themselves to the Mana World
Sealing their powers into the nothingness beyond the void
The arts of science and magic being lost into the annals of time
"Being lost" should be "were lost"
The Mana spirits, recognizing the wisdom in this decision
Then banished the gods from ever again learning the art of Mana
Bit of a non-ending, but then I believe you did comment on that already
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Post by mandrake » 11 Mar 2005, 00:05

It's like me learning the eccentricities of a new style of graphics, which I had to do after creating my first character sprites, then realizing that they didn't fit with the style. Again, we are in heavy planning stages, so things need to be open to shifting. That is what was meant by "quality>convenience." It's a general rule, not a slam on the current storyline.
That's not even close to being the same thing. Speaking as someone who has done a lot of pixel art in the past. I think this story does fit in with the style of game. And it will even more once I expand things (as I am planning on doing).

Byt saying quality>convenience you are insuating that the current is only is to be used only because of convenience, and is lacking of quality.

also, as I do appreciate the grammatical problems you have raised, please remember to check to make sure you are giving proper advice. For example:
"With sheep on it" is awkward and is singular when "hills" is plural.
Sheep, in english, is the plural of sheep.

and this-
As Kyokai said, "lest." Also, "destroyed" should be "destroy"
Either is grammatically correct, although destroyed is slightly more so than destroy.
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Post by Talaroc » 11 Mar 2005, 00:23

That's not even close to being the same thing. Speaking as someone who has done a lot of pixel art in the past. I think this story does fit in with the style of game.
Um...you entirely missed the point of what I said, there. I'm not saying it doesn't fit with the style. I'm saying that the experience of reworking things to achieve the best possible end result is the same.
Byt saying quality>convenience you are insuating that the current is only is to be used only because of convenience, and is lacking of quality.
Actually, no I'm not, that's just what you're reading into it. I will reiterate. Quality>convenience is a general rule that applies across the board. In terms of this particular aspect of the game, it means that the argument "but we just got done working the kinks out of this story as it is" is not a valid reason for refusing to take into consideration the ideas of another storyline, nor is "but we might have to retool a couple of the game systems to a degree." If I thought that this storyline was only being used because of convenience, why would I bother to give feedback on it?
Sheep, in english, is the plural of sheep.
The issue with that sentance is not the word "sheep;" it's the word "it," which is singular, but references "hills," which is plural.
Either is grammatically correct, although destroyed is slightly more so than destroy.
Um, no, "destroy" is really a whole lot more correct in that sentance.

What Kyokai said earlier isn't really correct; I'm not working through any language barrier. I live in the US and am a native speaker of English. Given the sheer number of essays I've written, and the amount of online debate I participate in, I'm fairly confident in my grammar skills, so I'm rather certain that I didn't give you any grammatical advice that wasn't accurate.
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Post by Kyokai » 11 Mar 2005, 02:10

Talaroc wrote:What Kyokai said earlier isn't really correct; I'm not working through any language barrier. I live in the US and am a native speaker of English.
I said that to keep everyone from thinking you're insulting them on purpose, but since you persist with those comments, I suppose you deserve whatever anyone says to you. I think it's quite obvious that you are being rude, and that you mean to be. Please stop.

As for mandrake, you are looking for things to charge Talaroc with, and arguing with him over such pointless things only shows your own triviality.

If either of you continue to make such charged statements, I'll see to it that this thread is closed and that Rotonen makes the descision without input from the team. Stop bickering like children.

Of course we're going to read any story presented to us.
Of course we're going to work its elements into the present version rather than scrap the whole thing we've been working on.


Is this not how we have done all things in this project? :roll:

Let's be civil, and try to discuss more relevant things, like what sort of present day world will exist, the mythos and government behind each kingdom, important characters, and so on. ok?
:D
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Post by Talaroc » 11 Mar 2005, 05:13

I think it's quite obvious that you are being rude, and that you mean to be.
Not really, but then, getting across the specific tone I inted through text has never been my strong suit. 'S why I'm not a writer. :wink:

In any case, I'll let the issue lie. I wanted to comment on the language issue, because I don't want people working off of incorrect assumptions about me, even if it makes my life easier. If I deserve to be smacked, I deserve to be smacked, and I'm not too proud to admit that I do from time to time.
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Post by mandrake » 11 Mar 2005, 05:45

Um...you entirely missed the point of what I said, there. I'm not saying it doesn't fit with the style. I'm saying that the experience of reworking things to achieve the best possible end result is the same.
Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying. Allthough I do disagree with this statement, I'll let it rest.
Actually, no I'm not, that's just what you're reading into it. I will reiterate. Quality>convenience is a general rule that applies across the board. In terms of this particular aspect of the game, it means that the argument "but we just got done working the kinks out of this story as it is" is not a valid reason for refusing to take into consideration the ideas of another storyline, nor is "but we might have to retool a couple of the game systems to a degree." If I thought that this storyline was only being used because of convenience, why would I bother to give feedback on it?
Now, see expanding on it like this clarifies your meaning. But, it still doesn't meant we won't have to retool what she is writing.

The issue with that sentance is not the word "sheep;" it's the word "it," which is singular, but references "hills," which is plural.
for future reference, please (for my sanity) mention the word you wish to be corrected. For example, you could have said:
"Supposed to be its instead of it"

This isn't supposed to sound mean (btw), just so when you go over stuff at any other point in time I can get what you are saying and correct it.
Um, no, "destroy" is really a whole lot more correct in that sentance
Being that it is in past tense (the sonnet)....

But that's neither here nor there. I said it was rough in some places, and I was going to do a complete rewrite anyway.

I'm going to post the next versions on the Wiki. Feel free to edit it for grammer, or put in better sentances were awkward ones exist.

As for mandrake, you are looking for things to charge Talaroc with, and arguing with him over such pointless things only shows your own triviality.
Actually, I wasn't trying to argue with him- I was just confused as to some of the critiques he made to the work. Maybe I should have worded things differently.

on a side note:
Of course we're going to read any story presented to us.
Of course we're going to work its elements into the present version rather than scrap the whole thing we've been working on.
Talaroc- make sure she knows this. That she understands that by submitting it to us, we have the right to change the story, to rewrite it and do whatever we deem fit with it. This is important writers (as you can tell by my argueing here) have fragile egos. She might not want this to happen to her writing. She might just want it to stay as is. She might want complete control over it.

This is what I meant by the writing is done by comitee. One person does not get sole ownership of the stories here, so by submitting it she also gives up any copyright she might have had to it (which happens whenever something is posted on a public forum anyway- it becomes public domain)
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Post by Kyokai » 11 Mar 2005, 08:58

~quibble~

The problem "The peaceful rolling hills with sheep on it ".
The correction meant here is: "The peaceful rolling hills with sheep on them."
To tell the truth, I'd use "upon" instead of "on" since it makes the syllable count the same for both clauses, improving the flow of the line for the reader.

~end quibble~

Back to real problems.

I mentioned machines and technology in the story I wrote, though these elements previously didn't exist in TMW. What sort of effect will they have on the present, or should we remove them completely? Maybe one or two cities still have some remnants of this technology, even if they don't understand how they were created or used at first.
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Post by mandrake » 11 Mar 2005, 13:59

I like that idea- like ruins of technology. Something they can't use, but set as background in some of the cities. Maybe some rumors that some of the Veshin are persuing of a war machine that still works.
The problem "The peaceful rolling hills with sheep on it ".
The correction meant here is: "The peaceful rolling hills with sheep on them."
To tell the truth, I'd use "upon" instead of "on" since it makes the syllable count the same for both clauses, improving the flow of the line for the reader.
Oh, ok. To tell you the truth I didn't really pay close attn to those critiques since I do plan on rewriting the whole piece anyway. I've got some ideas-
- Creating a series of epic poems, collected together in a *book* (not a real book- but maybe in the future if the game gets big enough create physical copies they can get), that was recently translated (in game present) by some scholars who discovered it in Gloriana. Thus the scholars have come to know it as "The Lost Book of Gloriana"

The idea is that several centuries had past since the events in the book had taken place, and most people don't know the nature of the Veshin. Or the Oiri.

-The book will also record (like how old monastaries used to record in their illustrated bibles) different holidays, feast times, celebrations and such. Also have Zodiac descriptions.
- I plan on adding this to the wiki. Feel free to edit any parts of it, anyone, for any reason.


EDIT:
Forgot to mention, I'm taking a cue from Tolkien here and devising a way that the people in the Mana World will use for writing their books of antiquity. Mostly, I'm thinking that it will use a simple format (three line stanzas, first line is 7 words, second is 10, third is 7, might come up with a reason for this at some point), as well as basic layout for the entire piece (ie: each work starts of with a specific starting stanza. Similiar to the Greek I sing to thee, but not as obscure maybe)
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