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Author Topic: TW-ligt plot  (Read 34942 times)
Frank
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2005, 09:35:43 am »

I'll be frank.  The plot is very weak.  It is consistent with Timewarp's general "design by consensus and by consensus we mean a sufficiently long dissensus that everyone becomes comfortable with."  There seems to have been no effort to find a theme that drives the main plot and gives the game a heart, let alone giving the side quests some resonance.  There is neither the creativity nor the coherence of the original plot.

Although I think for the most part you're getting a lot of mean-spirited nay-saying comments, the fact that they're mean-spirited does not mean that they're wrong.  Writing stories is fun and relatively easy compared to generating the art assets and code necessary to pull the game together.  I should know, I've worked as a writer on a handful of commercial titles.

The reason you haven't gotten more negative feedback is that you've been mooting it only in your enclosed environment.  People here, despite being obnoxious and close-minded, know a lot about SC2 and are sensitive to its themes and qualities.  You should take what they say seriously, although you shouldn't be discouraged from pursuing your project.

But really, you've got to be prepared to ditch every bit of story except for stuff for which you've already created art assets or special code bases.  The companies I've worked for (pretty big names) ditch whole plots all the time.  I rewrote a AAA RTS game's plot from scratch when the engine was already in alpha stage (10 months before the title shipped).  All that was kept were characters for whom we had art assets.

Anyway, I'd consider some serious revision.
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Culture20
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2005, 09:52:20 am »

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-Drop the Dating Sim. PLEASE.
Many great games of the past included silly/meaningless subgames.
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-Drop the 'Zelnick gets framed' part. Reads like someone played too much Final Fantasy.
This can be done quite well (assuming it's part of the intro and not the game).  The Captain (please don't call him Zelnick; too 3DO'ish) and Talana are going to retire to Unzervalt, but then the Captain gets arrested.  As UAF pointed out, this can either be false or true (Although if true, it's more likely that he'd get arrested after the Mark I blew up for using it to create the Empire of "Foo"). After a brief incarceration, Corridor Nine's new Chief, Prof. Farnsworth schedules the Captain's release under one condition: instead of retiring, he is to decypher some data plates found on Unzervalt.  This would be the start of the game (the Captain must adventure, although against his will) The dating game might be required because Talana has doubts about whether the Captain is innocent.

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-Anything that makes you do linear actions (like the 'framed Zelnick' part) ought to be removed, as it goes against the 'openness' of the game. This is Star Control where you can go anywhere, not *frumple*[Edited for Chrispy - C20] scripted Final Fantasy that makes you play on rails because of a 'plot'.
I agree, although I also think that this plot beats the pants off of SC3's pseudo-linear farce of a game.  It could be better, but the community could also spend another couple years arguing about it...

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Kzer-Za- Identical in attitudes as in SC 1.

Kohr-Ah- Allied with the green Ur-quan, this new Hierarchy is stable. Both Ur-quans agree, all NAFS races must be cleansed (as the Kzer-Za already enslaved them but that didn't work).
A merger of the two Doctrines?  Enslave those who are genetically predisposed to submit (Spathi, Mycon, Druuge, Sireen, new races already enslaved); Cleanse those who are predisposed to resist...

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Oh, and you find a message from a Precursor. Though the translation wasn't perfect as it was so old, the Precursor referred to its race as *Bob*.

Makes you wonder what his toys are...
Could be the only info Farnsworth has gotten from the Data plate before he recuits the Captain.  The Captain finds out that it's a list of where *Bob* left his toys, and many of them are detailed (the Appendages of Dawn complete with spare parts, the Wimbli's Eating Utensil, the Big Dud, the Singing Hoops, and more).  Farnsworth then forces the Captain beyond the original deal (because he has an affinity for Precursor computer tech).
« Last Edit: May 07, 2005, 09:58:59 am by Culture20 » Logged
Deus Siddis
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2005, 11:08:11 am »

"I'll be frank."

You already are. hehehe.


"Although I think for the most part you're getting a lot of mean-spirited nay-saying comments"

Actually, I think I was the only one who was blasting away. You can't blame anyone else for just giving their opinions.


"There seems to have been no effort to find a theme that drives the main plot and gives the game a heart, let alone giving the side quests some resonance.  There is neither the creativity nor the coherence of the original plot."

I'm afraid I have to agree. I can tell you from experience, that a project absolutely must have a clear focus. That means planning from square one, and a system that can build off the initial planning.


"Writing stories is fun and relatively easy compared to generating the art assets and code necessary to pull the game together."

So true.


"The reason you haven't gotten more negative feedback is that you've been mooting it only in your enclosed environment.  People here, despite being obnoxious and close-minded, know a lot about SC2 and are sensitive to its themes and qualities."

Yea, we're intelligent ass holes. Wahoo!


"But really, you've got to be prepared to ditch every bit of story except for stuff for which you've already created art assets or special code bases."

I have to agree, again. What I'd also do, is pick out a small group of talented story writers who know this universe inside and out. Let these elite writers pull everything together and weave a kick ass story, possibly with the help of some of the original developers. Make sure they cover EVERY major plot mystery that SC2 left behind, though not everything must be solved completely. Lets face it, fans don't want to see new races, they want you to build on the old ones. Any new races, could be the old ones that were mentioned, but never seen (like taalo). You don't want to become SC3, or worse, a dead project. Plot writing is the easiest task, as Frank said, but if you don't put 100% into it, you might not get 100% in the art and programming departments.

One last thing, biting critizism is bad when you've worked hard on a prototype, but getting it when you've finished your project is a lot worse. So stay loose, it is not too late to change.
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Frank
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2005, 08:27:23 pm »

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Make sure they cover EVERY major plot mystery that SC2 left behind, though not everything must be solved completely.


Unless the qualifier here ("though not everything . . . ") is very strong, I have to say I disagree strongly for two reasons. First, you're not making an expansion, you're making a sequel, which requires some trailblazing.  Second, when a sequel (or expansion) addresses every mystery of the original source material, it makes the universe seemed closed and small.  If you want to see this effect depressingly in action, read Hyperion by Dan Simmons and then its sequel.  The first makes you feel like you're in a huge, mysterious, coherent universe.  The second makes you feel like you're in a small ball of well-knotted threads.
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Frank
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2005, 08:29:49 pm »

I'll also add a qualifier of my own, which is that while this forum has its large share of close-minded and obnoxious people, that share is smaller than it is on most forums and those people are better than their counterparts elsewhere.  But forums are, by their nature, full of territorial gits who think they know their small area of expertise better than anyone else.
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Deus Siddis
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2005, 10:04:44 pm »

Let me clarify. I don't want every mystery solved, but you need to have those loose ends in a sequel someway or another. A few might be solved, while others might only grow more mysterious. The point is, you don't want to just pave over them and then write a bunch of new crap that people don't really care about. I know because that's what SC3 did, and everyone hates it. Also, nothing that I've seen or read since SC2, has alien sentients as creative and interesting/funny, as those of the first two games. I guess maybe I've just been reacting to how much TWL seems like SC3.


"But forums are, by their nature, full of territorial gits who think they know their small area of expertise better than anyone else."

I know that I know less about starcontrol than many people here. I just felt this plot had incredibly less understanding of the SC universe than even I do.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2005, 12:33:20 am »

If you would like to see major changes in this plot, and expect to see them made by sitting around and complaining, good luck. If you feel like being constructive, I suggest you ignore this plot entirely and go contribute to the "Public Plot Initiative" on the Timewarp forums.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2005, 12:43:25 am by Halleck » Logged


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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2005, 12:56:24 am »

Dude, that's the exact opposite of what we were talking about. You don't want to have more people like me, giving little ideas here and there. You need to have one or a few talented people writing the whole thing. This coop structure really sucks in this sort of application. It can quickly turn into a jumble of poorly thought out, and poorly connected plot elements.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2005, 06:12:29 am »

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This coop structure really sucks in this sort of application. It can quickly turn into a jumble of poorly thought out, and poorly connected plot elements.


I'm aware of this, it takes a long time and it's not easy to write a plot this way. The ppi is worth a try though, and it gives some degree of satisfaction to a larger group of people, not just a few writers. That's all there is to it.

However, the ppi isn't the subject of discussion here, and I politely request if you would not continue on this particular subject.

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You need to have one or a few talented people writing the whole thing.


So true, but where are those magnificent, super-talented writers you're referring to ? I don't see them. Never seen them, actually. Indeed, many people claim that they're out there, but I don't really think they exist Wink

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I know that I know less about starcontrol than many people here.


Yet, of all people, you're the one who's using such harsh language, you're the one who's so fierce in protecting sc2. Perhaps you should leave that task to other people, who know better what they're talking about, and who are in better control of their emotions.

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much TWL seems like SC3


Yeah, timewarp has all the sc3 ships in it. Yeah who knows, maybe they'll use all of those for that new game they're making, since all the new ships suck dick. I think melee in timewarp is also, much, much worse than melee in the sc3 game, and it has nothing, absolutely nothing, new to offer compared to sc1,2,3. The rest of the engine isn't finished yet, do I hear someone whispering that they'll try to follow the gameplay of SC3 as close as possible? Oh no! And, the Kohr-Ah build ships for you to fight with ? Oh no !! And, are they going to make that same lame ending with an all-powerfull race again that suddenly pops out of nowhere ? Arg. What, does UAF's grannie need more wool for making puppets? Nooo!!!

And then I wake up from this nightmare, the sun is shining, the birds are singing. There's nothing to worry about; UAF and his comrades are capable enough to make something decent.

I'd like to add, if you want to see something very professional, there's really no alternative but to raise some funds and hire a group of writers, ditch a dozen of their plots cause they don't write what you like, and then use the 99-th rewrite to make your own game. What happened to the 100-th rewrite you ask? Someone put that one up your ... wherever.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2005, 06:29:55 am by GeomanNL » Logged
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2005, 06:58:17 am »

"However, the ppi isn't the subject of discussion here, and I politely request if you would not continue on this particular subject."

What do you mean by ppi? There are a million abreviations out there, so you'll have to be more specific. Let me note, that I wasn't saying the community was stupid, only that having too many cooks (even gourmet ones) in the kitchen is usually a bad thing when it comes to story writing.


"So true, but where are those magnificent, super-talented writers you're referring to ? I don't see them. Never seen them, actually. Indeed, many people claim that they're out there, but I don't really think they exist"

Weird, I guess starflight, starcontrol and starcraft were written by ghosts or something.


"Yet, of all people, you're the one who's using such harsh language, you're the one who's so fierce in protecting sc2."

Yea, I'm the only one.

"Yeah who knows, maybe they'll use all of those for that new game they're making, since all the new ships suck dick."

Oops, nevermind.


"Perhaps you should leave that task to other people, who know better what they're talking about, and who are in better control of their emotions."

I thought Death_999, Art, Pik and gang were doing a damn fine job. They weren't emotional (I wasn't really either, by the way). Let them write the plot then.


Side note, I came in moderatly late to this discussion and unloaded an admittedly over the top post. I had no idea it was going to become such a big thing at the time, or else I would not have written it. And I've seen some of the over the top posts many other people have made in the past, about things like babylon 5 toys, world politics, trolls, spam, etc. If I've complained about them, it's only been for fun. I have not yet become emotional on this forum. I just like to be honest (and I admit there is such a thing as too honest.)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2005, 06:59:08 am by Deus_Siddis » Logged
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2005, 07:15:04 am »

Deus_Siddis, don't be a dick. I never said anything as harsh as what you said, and I even said that my original reaction was probably *too* harsh. There's a lot of promising stuff in this plot, but it could definitely use fleshing out in certain areas, pruning in others, and in general feel more integrated with SC2. (No, a plot doesn't have to be integrated with SC2 to be good, but face it -- 90% of the total audience for anything presented as an SC game is going to be rabid SC2 fans, and for crazy coots like us the more obvious respect a new plot has for its SC2 origins the better.)

I don't mean to say that I want to participate in writing a plot -- I know I definitely do not have the time or energy to do such a task justice -- or even that it'd be a good idea to take this plot, unchanged, and tack on additions that address the specific concerns I brought up. But you wanted to know how the crazy SC2 fans on this board would react, so I gave you a sample of a reaction. Right now, in its current form, it doesn't *feel* integrated with SC2 that much, and it's that feel that I assume you want your sequel to have.

And at the same time I agree with Frank -- I never had a very strong idea of *how the game would actually work* while I was reading your plot, and at times it seemed like the game went into very deep detail about complex things the player would have to accomplish that would be very different from the sorts of tasks one had to complete in SC2, or that are currently possible in Timewarp.

Yeah, SC2 sometimes felt like a game where you could do anything, but the *total number of possible actions* in the game were pretty well-defined and pretty limited -- you could go from place to place in HyperSpace, you could run around on planets with your lander to pick up objects from the ground, and you could go through conversation trees with aliens. Pretty much everything else that *happened* in the game was negotiated through these mechanisms, and that made the game feel tight and well-constructed. Japanese RPGs like Final Fantasy et al are famous for  tossing in lots of random minigames, and frankly I think they suffer for it -- I don't like the idea of learning how to do something, like pilot a racing lander, that you would only have to do once, or a couple times -- but even then the Final Fantasy games had a lot of meat -- a lot of hack-'n-slash monster fighting, plus simple talk-to-dude-get-object-give-object-to-other-dude puzzles, repetitive tasks you performed that let you feel you had learned *how to play the game* with the minigames only there for spice. Right now it feels like the plot proposes lots and lots of spice without feeling like it has enough meat.

The dating sim in particular -- it's not that it's all *that* silly, but the way it's talked about it sounds like it would feel even more silly because it would intrude on normal gameplay. I'd prefer it if it were something like, throughout the course of the game, you have plenty of reasons to keep engaging Talana in *conversation*, and you can build up "relationship points" by things you say (or do by saying you're going to do them) in such conversations, than a very obvious dating-sim that *interrupts* the gameplay and feels tacked on and external. It just feels *wrong* to, say, be cruising along on the way to the New Arm to try to negotiate with the Mrii and have Fwiffo pop up and remind you it's your anniversary and give you the option to drop everything and go on a vacation. It makes the game feel choppy and disjointed, and in terms of plot it would make more *sense* for any gestures Zelnick (or whatever his name is) makes to Talana to take place while they're both working feverishly on saving the galaxy. (They're both military officers and professionals, after all; they should be able to sustain a romance without having to constantly take breaks from their main mission.)
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2005, 07:32:19 am »

I'm not being a dick, and I Never said you were harsh, or that you were agreeing with me. Relax, and read what I actually said.

Plus, I don't think you should have to apologize for giving your honest (and completely unlike mine) opinion.


Notice: Anything I say does not reflect on the reputations of anybody that I may agree with. I apologize for the rudeness I displayed earlier, it was a mistake and I had no idea it would be taken so badly.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2005, 07:44:08 am »

Thanks for apologizing- I'm sure you understand there is a difference between making angry posts in zanthius's thread and one about serious plot work. Now, let's move on.

By the way, PPI is an abbreviation for the Timewarp Public Plot Initiative.
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Deus Siddis
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2005, 08:17:44 am »

I haven't made angry posts in zanthius' thread either. Remember that when you read something, you have no idea if the guy who wrote it was angry or not. It's just text.

I was more joking with that first post. It didn't know it would be taken seriously.

I really cannot get angry about TWL even if I try, as Time Warp Lite is just a branch of Timewarp. Thus a Time Warp Extra Lite could be spawned off of Timewarp Lite just as easily and could have a plot that would be better liked by us over on the UQM board (some of us, I mean.)
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2005, 11:43:05 am »

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Seriously, there is nothing gay about final fantasy


http://home.comcast.net/~famitsu2/images/model_02.jpg

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and there IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING GAY!


I wasn't making any context to sexual orientation.
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