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> [-Writing-] Creating good plot, anyone can do it!
Adamant
post Mar 19 2008, 09:16 AM
Post #1


The Expert Novice
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OK time for a serious attempt. Third times the charm.

Now I know some people struggle with plot, I used to. This tutorial is an attempt to help everyone come up with good storyline. I'm going to add more later, but this should do for now.



I
The good guys:


First thing we need is a hero.

Now many people will tell you a 17 year old male who fights with a sword is cliche, which i strongly agree with, it is like the most over used single thing in the world. Then again theres a good reason that it is so heavily over used. It appeals more than any other set up to your biggest audience (15-18 years of age, male). That doesnt mean your main character should be this person. In fact 90% of players dont care what you do with the main character as long as he is heroic, charismatic, and fights like a pimp.

My recomendations are as follows:
Is couragous and fights for what is right.
Is romantic.
Always does what he/she thinks is right, even if it means breaking the rules.
Can be kinda goofy, clumsy, akward.
Can take some damage, you dont want your main character to be dying often.
Has descent speed, you want to be using them often.
Keep him average in attributes, making him the best at something causes the player discomfort.
Has a set of very useful skills/spells, shoot for something the party doesnt want to be without.
Dont limit your character to one style of fighting.
Avoid the rarer weapons like bows, staves, claws, etc.


Should you have a love interest in your game?

Definately NOT required, but if you can pull it off then go for it. It adds some drama to the plot which is definately a good thing. If you cant pull it off (its really hard to show that they like eachother with just text) then avoid it at all costs. A cheesey romance is the last thing you want in your game.

Notes about the love interest (FEMALE):
Her personality is totally up for preference, you dont need to go with the standard innocent girl/healer bit. After a while, kissing healers loses its feel.
Usually the first girl you meet is the love interest. This is because the love interest is like the leading actress in a movie. She requires as much air time as possible.
Combat styles is once again up to preference, but some good ones are healer, spellcaster, thief.
Some of the more combat oriented styles ususally dont work, like a warrior, monk, archer. The reason is because she needs to complete the main character - a duo of them would kill anything basically. Still, like it or not at one point he has to save her, so if shes the badass knight and your the healer its not going to work.
Try to avoid making her too worthless, she may be damsel in distress, but if she cant fight or help the team shes just going to be a burden.

Notes about the love interest (MALE):
If your main character is a chick youll need to read this.
His personality should be charming, funny, etc. He can even be a bit goofy or akward.
Do not make him the badass quiet guy.
Good styles for him are soldier, thief.
Bad styles for him are mage, healer, archer, paladin, black knight.
Try to avoid making him too powerful, if hes better than the main character hes just going to be annoying.


What about the rest of the party?

Make sure that you get a nice set of party members and make sure you get them all/most of them early on. The longer you wait to add a member to the party, the less the player will like that member. Imagine what you would think of a character you get just before the boss fight. Also you dont have to party with people the first time you meet them, but its good to meet them early so you can get some personality brewing. Also you HAVE to weave them into the main plot somehow, nobody just ups and risks his/her life to travel with some random hero.
A good party is one that is completely rounded, one member's weakness can be protected by another member. All members need to be equally poweful, but all in seperate ways. The party as a whole has to be functional, so avoid adding all your fighters first and you mages last, or things like that. When your brought down to 1-3 characters in the party make sure they can help each other. If your down to two fighters and a thief make sure it only lasts for a little while.



II
Bad guys and storyline:


Do what is right!

Any good plot will have something good being threatened by something evil or destructive. The player needs to be fated into saving the world through a series of events that leads to the final battle against evil. Never start your hero off against the worst evil, in fact most of the worst enemies come in late in the game. The thing you have to try to do is give the main character reasons beyond "your the guy whos supposed to do it". Your character needs to have a reason to fight, revenge is a good choice, but there are many others.


To save the world...

This one has such strong mixed opinions about it that I'm afraid if I write anything under this I'll start some RpgMaker civil war. Heres goes nothing.

Should your quest be at the stake of all existance? Should the fate of everything rest in your hands? Its motivating enough, right? My vote is yes, it should. Some people say its cliche, I say its cliche because its what a good Rpg is all about. Some people say what are the odds and I say people dont tell legends of the guy who killed the kinda big bad guy, legends are build around the most incredable odds. The thing about good plot like this is that 90% of the time your main character seems to just kind of jump on in to saving the world. Then later he either thinks that nothing is wierd about saving the world or ends up complaining about it. Not good.


OK my arm hurts almost as bad as my head. I'm going to add another section and more detail to these ones later. Sorry guys!

This post has been edited by Adamant: Mar 21 2008, 01:20 AM


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Anaxim
post Mar 19 2008, 01:19 PM
Post #2


Captain Paradox Extreme
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Type: Undisclosed
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral




Actually, while this tutorial is fine for simple games, you present a VERY textbook cliche game.
I'd like to add my share of comments:
-Please, work on your grammar. "Creating good plot" is within itself wrong grammar. "Creating a good plot" or "Creating good plots" are correct. That's beside the point as this article is written, at large, pretty well.
-Plots are not finished within the time frame of 30 minutes. A good plot, as I view it, needs days to work about all the details. Moreover, things like insane evil, like the dragon, are to be avoided like you would fire. An example of an amazing villain is Breath of Fire 4's Fou-lu - Previously ruler of a widespread empire, he was entombed and than had released himself and set out to claim his rightful place as ruler of an empire stolen. The thief of the empire, though, is a pretty good emperor, regardless, and thus the villain of the game is summarized as a generally discontent person with the only thing connecting him to Ryu, the protagonist, is a super-natural bond. In essence, my point is to avoid textbook cliches and sit down with each character for an interview to find out how much personality there is in them.
-Separate from the above is that you say villains should show greed, malevolence and other evils, while also maintaining a good side and ending with dignity. This is wrong in my view. Villains may be, like Half-Life 2' Dr. Breen, simply level-headed and smart enough to take care of their hides. Sephiroth, on the other hand, was a madman. The final villain in Rogue Galaxy is far beyond the one you see all the time. Kefka is crazier than Sephiroth. All of these never showed a whole and round personality with all human aspects within it. Breen was never into being evil, the title came with the job. Sephiroth is working out of the interests of an alien long dead, as part of a universal cycle. Kefka is just plain mad - no compassion, pity, guilt or dignity. As I see it, you failed to see the distinction between the bad guy, the villain and the antagonist.
-Your plot has a hole: What's-his-name trained with a spear, and than found out a sword can kill what's-his-name the dragon; Training in a sword, back then, especially to kill a dragon, takes years, a good master and little to no interruptions. This creates a hole as the main guy has no training in sword and by that time - no time, no master and definitely no peace and quiet to train. This is a by-product of 30 min into plot design, you make what you want to, not what should work.

Those are my points.
On the other hand: you did have a good selection of names, an attempt at remaining away from cliche and textbook, some impressive "scenes" and a solid vision. For that I commend good spirit and a good attempt.
Good work.


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I will only say a single thing about my acquisition of RPG Maker VX: "Yarr."
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Harmill
post Mar 19 2008, 05:59 PM
Post #3



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Actually, I'm not too sure how relevant this is to plot. There's almost no detail or explanation to help people. The majority of this is your own cliche story with barely any guidelines. You're not telling us anything about the villain except to use both 'evil' and good emotions. You vaguely mention that the protagonist needs an incentive to go 'questing' but instead of elaborating you give the incentive in your example plot and leave it at that.

Instead of writing your own plot and hope people learn off it, divide each section of a story into smaller categories (ie. Beginning, Middle, End) and write your ideas in there. Provide your plot as an example, but don't rely on your example to teach people. Your explanations should be enough that people will understand the concepts. The examples are there to show the reader how to apply the concepts they just learned.
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Adamant
post Mar 20 2008, 11:44 PM
Post #4


The Expert Novice
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Oh thanks guys I totally agree with your comments. See I had writted a descent guide at about 10 oclock but I clicked the big red x in the corner and for some reason everything I did was lost. Wierd huh. So I rewrote the whole thing an hour later and it came out really shoddy. Anyway that doesn't matter, I'm just gonna rewrite.

2nd Attempt, here goes nothing!

This post has been edited by Adamant: Mar 21 2008, 01:25 AM


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Anaxim
post Mar 21 2008, 08:50 AM
Post #5


Captain Paradox Extreme
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It's a bit hard to read... Spelling and grammar are off and out of context at times.
If you don't mind sending it to me as a text file so I can fix it up, I'll do it.
I can copy of here, but I need your permission regardless - your property, your choice.


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"Lightning is like a troll; You don't know what hit you till you smell it."

I will only say a single thing about my acquisition of RPG Maker VX: "Yarr."
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Antheia
post Mar 21 2008, 09:27 PM
Post #6



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I have to be frank about the hero/love interest business, to me it basically reads:
Hero - Gary Stu
Love interest - Mary Sue

...

yeah. The part that really got me, though, was male love interest. Guys, if you decide to make a female lead, and have a love interest, be very very careful laugh.gif What you might think works will not always work, and if a girl decides to play the game, she might look at the love interest dude and say, "wow, I can't stand this guy." Too many games try to make the romance too cute or awkward, and it's extremely boring. The player doesn't care if the two will get together in the end or not <-- that's the worst thing to happen when making a game that has romance. And a lot of the time, female characters, leads and love interests alike, act NOTHING like how a real girl would. In the Xenosaga series, why did Shion persist in loving Kevin and brushing off Allen? Well, I know why. She was a painfully realistic fictional female.

Oh, yeah. Give your characters, whether they be protagonists, antagonists, or supporting characters, flaws. Please. Quirks like being afraid of heights or afraid to talk to girls don't count-- unless the fear of girls leads to a sick fascination and secret obsession over anything remotely female.Then it's a definite flaw. xD Don't worry if someone won't like one of your characters because of a flaw-- there will be just as many people who will like him/her for it. And it makes it all more interesting. Besides, coming to terms with and/or correcting those flaws will lead to character development, something that most people want to see in a game.

And don't make any of the details pointless-- if you have a character that is a sworn defender of justice, then why is he of that stance? Village got burned down during childhood? Okay, then who burned it down, and why? Or did he possibly do something terrible in his youth (burned down his own village?!) and is desperately struggling along the path of redemption by pursuing virtue? Not to mention such characters tend to become self-righteous and hypocritical... probably hate fire... stuff like that is important to keep in mind.



tl;dr: With RPG Maker games, wouldn't it be more fun to play a game with very unconventional characters, versus having the traditional archetypes that you could find in any commercial game? mellow.gif
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Mr. Anonymous
post Apr 6 2008, 05:37 AM
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Well said, Antheia. Very well said. People need really pay attention to such details. Many times over I find characters very boring.

EDIT: I just realized this was a semi-necropost. My bad.

This post has been edited by MrAnonymous: Apr 6 2008, 05:38 AM
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nyzbadboy02
post Apr 13 2008, 07:08 AM
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One minor thing with the protagonist, and any character in general. They always need flaws. Sure, it's interesting to watch a saint destroy evil, but then one would look at him/her just as that: a saint. It's very hard to relate to, and in turn like, a character that is absolutely perfect. For instance, in my project, the hero seems to be just that, a freedom fighter with a perfect view of life and morality. As the game goes on, the player (hopefully) would realize that he is far from perfect, and leading to an eventual twist that really blurs the line between heroes and villains in his case. For anyone reading this, I'm saying the main character should be evil, but he or she should have flaws to bring him or her down to earth, make it real and relatable. Unless of course your hero is a god-like figure, in which case he probably doesn't have much business being the main character.
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nyzbadboy02
post Apr 13 2008, 07:08 AM
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One minor thing with the protagonist, and any character in general. They always need flaws. Sure, it's interesting to watch a saint destroy evil, but then one would look at him/her just as that: a saint. It's very hard to relate to, and in turn like, a character that is absolutely perfect. For instance, in my project, the hero seems to be just that, a freedom fighter with a perfect view of life and morality. As the game goes on, the player (hopefully) would realize that he is far from perfect, and leading to an eventual twist that really blurs the line between heroes and villains in his case. For anyone reading this, I'm saying the main character should be evil, but he or she should have flaws to bring him or her down to earth, make it real and relatable. Unless of course your hero is a god-like figure, in which case he probably doesn't have much business being the main character.
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OrangeStar
post Apr 29 2008, 07:55 PM
Post #10



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All of your comments are really great! I love how committed everyone is to good writing. The only thing I have to add is this: WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. Especially when it comes to relationship dynamics whether it be good vs. evil, love and hate, and what it means to grow up. No matter what your experince if you know it be true or fact you will not fail!

Don't forget your audience either! Some topics could be way over the head of your reader/player for someone too young, too old, or just plain doesn't understand the language and slang you may or may not be using.

I am not saying NOT to use your own style of speaking, or slang (invented or used), but try to find a unique way to clarify to your audience at least the gist of what is being said.

Keep up the good work everyone and keep writing!

v/r
Orange Star

This post has been edited by OrangeStar: Apr 29 2008, 07:57 PM
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kiruha
post Apr 30 2008, 03:58 AM
Post #11


In Soviet Russia, RPG Makes you!
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Dude, thanks for being a savior and writing this.

Yoiu get my respect, brother. laugh.gif


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