Search Unity

  1. Unity 6 Preview is now available. To find out what's new, have a look at our Unity 6 Preview blog post.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Unity is excited to announce that we will be collaborating with TheXPlace for a summer game jam from June 13 - June 19. Learn more.
    Dismiss Notice

Official Dialogue and Narrative

Discussion in 'Open Projects' started by Proudrunner, Sep 30, 2020.

?

Tool of choice?

  1. Google Spreadsheet

    31 vote(s)
    53.4%
  2. Google Docs

    15 vote(s)
    25.9%
  3. Twine

    7 vote(s)
    12.1%
  4. LegendKeeper

    3 vote(s)
    5.2%
  5. Other (reply in thread)

    2 vote(s)
    3.4%
  1. Proudrunner

    Proudrunner

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Posts:
    1
    Hi!

    I'd like to get started with the first Dialogue drafts for the story.

    I'm also thinking of possible solutions to making this easier to collaborate on if more people want to have input or do it concurrently. Here are some options I can think of:

    - Google Spreadsheet - seems to be quite a common solution to dialogue, albeit a little clunky. Built-in version control and seems quite easy to translate into the game, but it could get pretty convoluted (although maybe not for a game of this scale)
    - Google Docs - slightly less organized when comapred to the Spreadsheet, but the concept remains the same.
    - Twine - pretty good for branching dialogues and writing out the flow of the story in general; however, difficult to collaborate on as there is no concurrent editing and so the story would need to be exported and re-imported as a file by different people (but we could let Git handle this). Also uses a form of markdown, but it's pretty simple.
    - LegendKeeper - currently in beta but it's free if I generate invite links for people (please note this will require an email invite). This tool is more intended for World Building but it offers some nice structuring options such as sub-pages and quite a few formatting tools. It might be useful for dialogue too and has collaborative editing similar to the Google suite.

    Please let me know if anyone has any other suggestions for tools! I think partially this choice might depend on whether we want to have branching dialogue in the game or not (i.e. multiple dialogue options that might lead to different responses). Would love to hear what everyone thinks :)
     
    cirocontinisio likes this.
  2. cirocontinisio

    cirocontinisio

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    884
    Thanks for kicking off the discussion about narrative, Proudrunner.

    In my proposal, dialogues are generally linear and not branching, mostly since I wanted to keep it simple. However, I'm totally open to pumping up the narrative - as long as its reflected in the gameplay in a meaningful way. But I'm sure you already know that!
     
    gabagpereira and JohanAcosta like this.
  3. michaelgrilo

    michaelgrilo

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Posts:
    21
    All the dialogue values are going to need to be in a database and/or JSON file eventually anyhow, right? Seems like Google Sheets would be the easiest stepping stone towards that.
     
    samuelmiller likes this.
  4. michaelgrilo

    michaelgrilo

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Posts:
    21
    As far as the narrative, let's break down the story beats that have already been established.

    Right now we have a classic tale of an explorer discovering an indigenous culture and community, initially being in opposition to their old and foreign ways, then learning to harmonize his "advanced" mentality with their naturalistic culture.

    We also have an imminent catastrophe that has upset the balance of the native Islander culture. The Pig Chef clashing with the Forest Eye visualizes this direct conflict.

    The Pig Chef uses the social tools of force and subterfuge in order to gain access to the ancient knowledge of the Islander culture, only to discover that he has to meaningfully embrace their culture in order to achieve his goal of obtaining the recipe.

    Now armed with an appreciation for the ways of the Forest Eye, Pig Chef starts his quest of procuring each ingredient by hunting critters on The Island.

    As the Eye King guides the Pig Chef towards finding ingredients for the recipe, the Chef has a series of increasing challenging encounters with island critters that result in the Pig Chef obtaining the rare Phoenix chick.

    The ritual is successful, catastrophe is averted, and the Pig Chef leaves the Island having made allies of the Forest Eye and their King.

    =======================================================================

    A few questions immediately come to mind based on these story beats.

    Do the Forest Eye consider the Pig Chef as the reason for this imminent catastrophe? It could deepen their motivation for conflict with the Chef. This narrative point will directly affect how the Forest Eye interact and speak to the Pig Chef.

    Does the Pig Chef first try to fight the Eye King in a futile attempt to use force to obtain his goal? After his failed attempts to fight the Eye King, the Pig Chef could then be forced to use diplomacy in order to progress.

    Once the Pig Chef and the Forest Eye are on the same page, the rest of the tension in the game is seemingly a race against the clock to help the Forest Eye with their ritual before catastrophe strikes. How is this imminent catastrophe visualized?

    Is the character of the Bard Hare a mystical kind of creature who teaches the Pig Chef the value of appreciating Islander culture?

    Is the Bard from the Forest Eye tribe, or does the Bard represent another humanoid species on The Island that knows of the Forest Eye culture, but observes it from outside of their community?

    Is the Phoenix chick the most important critter that the Pig Chef obtains? Presumably obtaining this baby critter should be his final struggle on the map, unless the ritual itself will also have some gameplay conflict?

    Was there perhaps a mama Phoenix guarding her offspring? Or perhaps if we want to avoid a full blown adult Phoenix, something else was guarding the Phoenix chick?

    If we really wanted to dial up the tension, a twist could be that the Bard Hare wants the Phoenix chick for itself, so the final battle could be between the Pig Chef and the Bard Hare.

    The third act of the story might be missing a main source of antagonism, other than the imminent catastrophe, which might be hard to visualize to the player without punishing them with something like timed trials to collect critters.

    Also, uh... is he cooking the critters to make these ingredients?
    • "he leaves the island with his newfound recipe, and a few critters as ingredients"
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  5. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    In the Level Design thread, I had asked how the player would know why the Pig Chef was going to that island, and @michaelgrilo brought up a good point about the story being in media res, and that makes sense. Is it too much for the Pig Chef to have thought bubbles to explain instead of a cut scene?

    To address the first story beat question, is it too cliche for the Forest Eye to have a "prophecy" and that's why they think Pig Chef is the cause of the catastrophe? This could build into some thread where the Forest Eye believe the Pig Chef to be some kind of evil entity/deity, which could tie into @luisquid's idea from the Combat thread about Pig Chef utilizing mud as a disguise, perhaps to trick the Eye King into giving up the recipe.
     
    luisquid likes this.
  6. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    ArtofRemo and Zold2012 like this.
  7. dkaloger

    dkaloger

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2019
    Posts:
    39
    just a question ,how complex do you need the dialogue system to be if we had speed ,color and other effects applied to the whole sentence instead of individual words would that be ok ?
     
  8. itsLevi0sa

    itsLevi0sa

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2019
    Posts:
    128
    Interesting train of thought @michaelgrilo thank you for sharing your process. Drawing on your reflections, I am adding mine from a level design’s perspective (of course everyone jumping in should keep in mind this is just a discussion, we are not taking decisions ourselves and some things are early to be concerned about/we might not get answers just yet):

    - There is this imminent catastrophe that the natives fear of. So far the kind of catastrophe they are expecting is abstract/not defined and all we know is that a specific ritual can save them. Should we delve into that more?

    How is this prejudice affecting their lives? Should we care about what form would that catastrophe take? Could this upcoming danger become visualized (and justified) on the map somehow keeping our protagonist alert that something is indeed happening/coming?

    An example: fear of a potential volcano eruption (there’s no volcano in the story though, don’t take this seriously, it’s just one common synapse when linking the words tropical island+natives+imminent danger, might as well be a tsunami, or draught, or storm, or any physical catastrophe, or it could even be a supernatural-divine one)

    - We also have an indigenous culture and community. It would be nice to discuss what kind of habits/life they might be living and how this gets depicted on the environment! What kind of homes did they build? Since they live in fear, have they made themselves a more protective structure - if there even is any structure?

    I guess that since they are superstitious, believe in higher powers and their king lives in a Temple, having for example some altars scattered around the map would make sense.

    - I also like how you point out that it seems like our protagonist is acting as having an “advanced” mentality (loved the quotes). Getting some NierAutomata vibes.

    - Nice how you stressed the tools of force and subterfuge mentioned by Unity in the story as social, as these seem to describe 2 different kind of gameplay options regarding the player’s preferences. (1. a more aggressive approach, 2. a more peaceful or stealth approach), with obvious consequences to the level design.

    - How is the transition between defeating the Forest Eyes and actually coming to terms with them in order to obtain the recipe happen? After he is agreed to help them, how are the Forrest Eyes interacting with him then? Will the previous gameplay (aggressive/more peaceful-stealthy) have any effect on this?

    - Kudos for mentioning the Bard, as he is one of our first encounters and it would be good to have some more info in order to make a proper welcome for the character in our starting beach setup.

    PS: I think the Phoenix is the Pig’s companion and not a critter that he finds later in a game. You can see it depicted in the character’s concept art and is also mentioned in the Beach tutorial level as Phoenix tutorial where you learn to burn some canes with it (since it’s a Phoenix I guess it can make fire).

    @shuttle127 thanks for the reference link! And for addressing the Combat thread.
    Cheers.
     
    konsnos and ArtofRemo like this.
  9. jrz813

    jrz813

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2020
    Posts:
    4
    Hey everyone I'm really new to this but very motivated and excited to help. Jumping straight to the storyline here's an idea based on a lot of info the rest of you contributed already. Let me know if any of it will work. And if not that's fine as well.

    • Pig lands on the island by accident after the sail fails and the ship drifts inland. He has no control of the ship and it wrecks.
    • Eye King's name is rEye King and they foresaw a pig arriving to finally destroy the last rye bread they have. The reason being that they originally learned how to make the bread from a pig chef in the past who left when the Eye King (Who later renamed himself rEye king) became obsessed with the power of making the bread. When the king died he takes the secret with him and told no one because of his greed. In his reign, he left ancient stories written on the walls of the temple about how a mighty pig stole the power of the rEye king and left one last bread for the people to remember him by.
    • Pig lands on the beach meets the Bard (I feel there should be an adverse on the beach to first practice skills on, maybe crabs?) then goes into the forest. Eye king already saw him land and sends first minions (forest eyes).
    • Critters start bad but later become common folk of the village.
    • Heading to the temple the King catches you and now forces you to make a deal. You must recreate the bread to give the power back to the people he stole it from or perish.
    • Pig agrees because he became friends with a critter in town and wants to help. Everyone is hungry due to living off leaves.
    • Searches area to find the ingredients but needs hints from a few critters in the village.
    I'll stop there in case it's too much. But I feel the ingredient can be pretty easy to determine from there. The only reason I chose rye bread is cause I thought of rye and eye rhymes. :D
     
    ArtofRemo likes this.
  10. jstothard

    jstothard

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2019
    Posts:
    1
    I'm very much up to helping in this area. I'm going to get up to speed with the project and other peoples ideas before I suggest anything but please count me in! :)
     
    itsLevi0sa and michaelgrilo like this.
  11. samuelmiller

    samuelmiller

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Posts:
    8
    I am here to help with dialogue where I can. It seems like some things, like Bard Hare's poem, may be dependent on level design. I also am not 100% clear on the intended gameplay so not sure how Chef Pig will overcome things. Is the idea of "force" directly fighting, or more challenge based? Does the character have a skill that is cooking adjacent (i.e. knife throwing, fire making, medicine making) or are most of the challenges cooking-based?

    @michaelgrilo
    Is the character of the Bard Hare a mystical kind of creature who teaches the Pig Chef the value of appreciating Islander culture?

    I think it makes sense for Bard Hare to be like Pig Chef, a wandering outsider. Bard Hare has been there longer and maybe Bard Hare does not have a way off the island.

    Is the Bard from the Forest Eye tribe, or does the Bard represent another humanoid species on The Island that knows of the Forest Eye culture, but observes it from outside of their community?

    Bard Hare strikes me as similar to the Dennis Hopper character in Apocalypse Now: happy to be there for the art and explain it to the explorer, but not directly involved in the primary conflict.

     
  12. Zold2012

    Zold2012

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    67
    i'd primarily like to focus on level design or maybe combat design/gameplay encounters. That said it seems a lot of people in the level design thread are asking questions about what's going to happen when, and really these questions also affect the type of gameplay encounters that will be had.

    In an ideal world we'd match the story to a rough gameplay prototype, but we've already been given a story outline/characters so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it feels this needs to be fleshed out some first in order to give the other disciplines some guidelines.

    These are really a collection of ideas I’ve been putting together for my own benefit after reading a bunch of the threads. If I repeat something that's already been said or ignore something or misunderstand something that's been said elsewhere im sowwy.

    Comments on current narrative ideas i’ve seen:

    The biggest issue I have so far, Forest Eyes being referred to as an ‘indigenous culture’ We need to steer as far away from this becoming a, ‘foreigners are saviors’ thing or a ‘the natives are savage fools’ thing as we can. If they are in fact going to be an established culture on the island and not lawless troublemakers I would argue your primary combat ability should be completely ineffective on them. I saw notes in other places about combat rendering them ‘unconscious’ as opposed to killing them or destroying them, I would still say that is still too much. At most, offensive player abilities need to be treated like a small nuisance or inconvenience.
    Here are some of my suggestions for this: The Gorons in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess don't trust Link when he first approaches death mountain. They try to roll into him and knock him down. To get past this, Link must sumo-grab and toss them.

    There was talk in the combat thread about possibly having a stealth mechanic,
    A stealth system would be pretty big investment to implement, but if it were to be implemented this is where it might be highlighted. Instead of fighting the Forest Eyes you have to sneak past them somehow. Maybe they need to be distracted, moved from one path to open another.

    Issue 2: Why the heck do we care about fixing the forest?
    It is unclear how we get from “We want a tasty recipe” to “We want to save this forest” Pig shows up, “oh the island is in danger” maybe the pig is a good guy, maybe he wants to help, but if that's the case then his goal should be helping people in disasters, not getting a recipe. What if he travels to many places to get many different recipes and this is just one of them? That would fit in line with this being a vertical slice gameplay segment and would open up some characterization about the pig. He wants to cook stuff, but he needs a recipe for it before he can make it. Guards don't trust him? Gotta get some food they like. Need more health? Cook up some extra healthy food ala breath of the wild. What if the “imminent catastrophe” is just a feast without a main course?
    To that end, why does the Bard Hare want to help you? He’s the bard, what's a feast without a bard? Its his job to keep the party going, and he needs you to cook the main course. The King Eye may be the one pitching a fit about the feast not being ready but the Bard is the one making sure everything is in its place. I realize a cooking/crafting system is a bit of a tangent from “generic hacknslash” but it provides for interesting gameplay and it thematically fits so, idk.

    Issue 3: Its unclear when you get the Torch Chick. I would argue it would work best if the Torch Chick is with you from the beginning. That said it would be in line with Zelda tradition for you to ‘discover’ the chick somewhere in the level, but it would also require us to figure out a backstory and world design for it that fit in with everything else when we could just, not do that. We also have people suggesting a torch tutorial early on, which would need to be altered if we picked it up later.
    The concept art features a knife and a rod, which seem fitting for combat, but the torch chick could also be used as a fireball type attack. Also if there were to be a cooking element it would seem natural to feature the chick as the core of that system.

    Again, my interest right now is figuring out what type of gameplay is going to occur so that work on gameplay systems/level design can start happening. I've got other questions about the camera rotation/targetting lockon/dash ability but those probably are best for a different thread.
     
    ShinAeon, shuttle127 and itsLevi0sa like this.
  13. michaelgrilo

    michaelgrilo

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Posts:
    21
    It could be the opposite of "foreigners are saviors". With the way it's been pitched, the foreigner might even be blamed for the whole imminent catastrophe, thus creating tension between Pig Chef and the Forest Eye.

    That's why when I summarized the story as far as I understood it, "advanced" was in quotations. At first, Pig Eye merely wants to use this culture for his own benefit of cooking an amazing recipe. The real story is him having to come to understand each culture he interacts with in order to get the recipe and/or ingredient from each map.

    Pig Chef has to help the Forest Eye and their King with their goals, which end up furthering his own goal. Half-way through the game they turn from enemy to ally.

    Some of the most interesting protagonists don't take action for the right reasons, and over time they learn to value the "right" reasons.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
  14. Zold2012

    Zold2012

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    67
    I'm mostly just pointing out something I'd like to be mindful of in regard to the Forest Eyes. It definitely makes sense for there to be some conflict between the two, but it also seems really easy to slip into something troublesome if we only allow the player to interact with the Forest Eyes via combat.

    As for the player motivation thing. From a narrative standpoint, I understand the Pig doing something adjacent to his main goal, that seems like a pretty human thing to do. But the player is going to wonder whats going on.

    We tell them,
    "oh you want a recipe? this recipe is great!"
    cool can I go get it?
    "do this other thing real quick that might not be related"

    the whole game is only going to be a small section of gameplay, i'd guess less than 1hr, the player motivation needs to be very straightforward. then again, maybe the real recipe was the friends we made along the way! or something
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  15. Stoubord

    Stoubord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Posts:
    1
    This reminds me of islander Cargo Cults. If another pig previously brought rye bread to the island, the rye king may have gathered his people to create shrines just like the cargo cults did when people on airplanes provided them with material goods that they could not recreate on their own. The shrines cargo cults built did not create more goods as they thought, but they created them nonetheless in a sort of prayer that they would receive more goods. In that sense, the return of a pig chef could be seen by the forest eyes as some sort of messianic return. Their motivation would be to get the pig chef to restore inventory, and in return they will help the pig chef procure the special ingredients he is seeking. This would be the first act.

    The second act: Will the Eye King allow the pig chef to return back home? Let's say that the ingredients that the pig chef is procuring are to create a recipe with medicinal properties. He has to return home to save a family member using this recipe he found in an older recipe book (written by the previous pig chef). However, not knowing how to make rye bread himself, the Eye King intends on keeping the Pig Chef on the island to make bread forever so that his people may remain well fed. Eye King takes the ingredients that were promised to our hero in the first act as leverage to keep him on the island. Pig Chef gains the trust of some other Forest Eyes helping to teach them how to make the bread themselves so that they don't have to rely on the Eye King to distribute the bread that feeds them (breaking the control of the king).

    3rd act: Outraged that the king is losing control over others. He is beset on destroying the forest that contains this special ingredient that the Pig Chef is seeking as well as the homes of those he used to control. Pig Chef must then make choices on how to get these items that will be destroyed by a time-limit while also protecting the forest eyes that began to trust the Pig Chef. He has to work together with them so that their independence is maintained once he leaves back home knowing that this island will still hold these special ingredients for the next hero that needs them.

    To address criticisms: the goal is not to make one group seem superior to another. It can instead show how certain ideals can either be productive or destructive. How thinking errors about how to produce wealth (bread) can move a society backwards towards starvation or forwards to bountiful production. The islanders can learn how to harness the special ingredients using the Pig Chef recipe in order to put themselves on a level playing field with their pig counterparts by exporting it to other sick pig children etc. Together through voluntary cooperation both societies become richer in the end. A happy ending.

    The idea could also introduce some opportunities for well written jokes by illustrating some goofy ideas on how to fix problems.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  16. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    Based on some of the concept art and the characterization, I'd say the Phoenix Chick is with the Pig Chef from the start. It could've been gifted to him by someone important in his life, and has been with him on all his adventures to date. The player can wait until later on in the game to find out via some dialogue between the Pig Chef and the Bard Hare, or some other NPC, or it can be left unexplained, which would be fine for what I'm about to suggest.

    I envision an intro to the Phoenix Chick tutorial to go something like this:
    1. Once the camera pans to view the island as a whole, a bunch of flying creatures (bats, birds, a mixture, whatever) appear and fly out to sea, kinda like bats leaving a dark cave, since it is night after all.
    2. The Pig Chef is startled, but the Phoenix Chick isn't. In fact, Phoenix Chick may puff out its small little chest in a manner that says, "Follow me, I've got this."
    3. The Pig Chef, noticing the Phoenix Chick's confidence, breathes a small sigh, whether of relief/anticipation/anxiety, then looks at the chick and says something to the effect of "Well, you've never led me astray before, let's go exploring."
    4. The Phoenix Chick, although it probably doesn't talk (i.e. its characterization is all physical due to its exaggerated mannerisms), gives a big smile and points a wing forward, as if to say "Let's go this way!" and off they go.
    Some variation of this interaction could be something the two go back and forth on with every new decision they make moving forward. If there ever becomes a point where the player is lost or doesn't know what to do, the chick could dis/agree with a movement or decision by getting angry or pulling the other way. Could even use the chick as the reason the chef decides to help the locals, as the chick could jump out of the lantern and nudge the chef to do something. The main reason for something like this would be for the player to feel the value of the Phoenix Chick and not think it's simply a light or a flamethrower, although both of those things are obviously in play as well. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
    wavefront, michaelgrilo and Zold2012 like this.
  17. frankitox16

    frankitox16

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Posts:
    2
    I agree that using Google spreadsheets will be more suitable for this kind of project, since it eases the collaborative part and data can easily be exported to a format we can load in-game.
    Also, this can help build a translation table that allows anyone to easily translate the game to their desired language
     
  18. Zold2012

    Zold2012

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    67
    having the chick be able to walk around near the player during gameplay would be interesting. Similar to Elizabeth from bioshock? Could be used to signpost the intended path, make note of interactive items. Might be too much ai work tho, just a thought.
     
    michaelgrilo likes this.
  19. Zold2012

    Zold2012

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    67
    on the spreadsheets vs docs debate. I really see them as different tools for different purposes. For writing dialog that's going to go directly into the game, spreadsheets make sense. definitely useful for translations. For writing an outline or draft of the script through, docs feels more accessible as its an actual word processor
     
    michaelgrilo and Stoubord like this.
  20. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    If Elizabeth is the inspiration, then this game will have to have either a prequel/sequel where the chick is the star! Totally up for it, but one step at a time.

    And yes, it'd be a fair amount of AI, but I'd argue Unity has a lot of good tools in that department and this could be a good way to showcase them.

    On a slight tangent, this project so far scares me to see how easily things can get more complex than the original vision intended, and quickly! Glad it's not me trying to reign it all in.

    ... although I wouldn't be against it if given the opportunity, heh.
     
    Stoubord and Zold2012 like this.
  21. cirocontinisio

    cirocontinisio

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    884
    One spin on it is that the ingredients are just herbs he finds close to where the critters live.

    Scares me too! :D
    Jokes aside, I love the discussion going on in this thread. Whatever you come up with, remember we eventually need to support all this narrative with appropriate cutscenes, animations, SFX, and also unique locations... so think lean :D

    Totally. In fact one of our main ideas is to keep the combat in the game to a minimum. Think PEGI/ESRB!! :D
    In the original idea, the combat between the chef and the Forest Eyes happens at the beginning because of a misunderstanding (he needs to get to the temple, and they are protecting their sacred territory) and is never deadly. People and critters just faint, and when you re-enter the area they are good again. In fact both the pig and the Forest Eyes have blunt weapons, not blades (the pig has a knife but it's just used to forage).

    At least that's how I imagine it.

    By the way, the Unity Localisation package (which for now is in Preview but we might use later) supports Google Sheets, and as people said here too sheets are a standard for localisation, so it seems like the most logical tool for the actual dialogue entries.
     
  22. Zold2012

    Zold2012

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    67
    To reiterate my concerns, why are we assuming the pig’s society is any more advanced than the forest eyes? and why is it necessary for him to trespass on a sacred place? You can replace “forest eye” with “indian” and “pig” with “conquistador” and get the story of thanksgiving, which is a watered-down lie designed to obscure the colonization of the Americas. This is actually even more relevant as the concept art for the main character included a character in conquistador armor.

    It's honestly not hard to fix though, the temple doen’t have to be “sacred” it could just be “you need x before they let you pass” or “you have to go around the long way around the temple”

    It doesn’t really matter if the violence is deadly or not, the fact that we require the player to use violence to achieve the goal means we agree that it's valid to use violence to subvert a culture’s traditions.
     
    cirocontinisio likes this.
  23. cirocontinisio

    cirocontinisio

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    884
    Just to clarify, from the original idea: there's no intention to invade or conquer, the protagonist is just after a cooking recipe. Maybe he doesn't even know anything about the temple. The island dwellers initially push back because [you can add the reason: they are scared? they think he's coming to steal something?], but then they end up talking and when he says what he's looking for, they walk the chef to the temple. Here he meets the King Eye and agrees to help... eventually realising that the recipe and the ritual are the same thing. So he leaves with some new knowledge, having helped the locals with their problem.

    Piggybacking on this question of yours: I think it would be funny if the pig arrives to the island to get the recipe (his selfish goal), ends up helping the locals perform the ritual, and gets rewarded - by chance - by discovering the very "magic" recipe that he was looking for.
    It's a positive message in a way: he helps, and gets rewarded for it.

    On the combat, totally open to ideas like minimising its effectiveness or turning it into some other more funny action.
     
  24. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    Sounds like my "the one who comes in the night" idea is in play here.

    Maybe a quick cooking-challenge QTE?
     
    Zelgadis87 likes this.
  25. michaelgrilo

    michaelgrilo

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Posts:
    21
    Zzzs over their head to make it even more obvious that they aren't really hurt?

    I think the idea was that the sacredness of the temple is tied to the concept of the ritual.
     
    itsLevi0sa likes this.
  26. roxioxx

    roxioxx

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Posts:
    9
    If I may interject, it appears that the combat system is being used as a way of creating an obstacle for Mr. Dr. Prof. Pig Chef. Perhaps maybe we introduce new characters who have the same goal as the Pig Chef--hunting for that illusive ingredient that will make the perfect dish--and the challenge there is to somehow win against them. On the Miro board, it would be this part:
    LookingForIngredients.jpg
    I've roughly indicated where a rival character can pose an obstacle. That way, the obstacles are there without having to rely too much on combat. It also makes the game a bit more... unique? Or maybe it's creating conflict/obstacles based on the story.

    I've created this lengthy post on this forum about a potential rival character (named Blake) here. The gist of it is: he is better looking than you, gets more chicks than you, and seems to radiate charisma and charm, and he happens to be looking for an ingredient on this island. Then, either through a race or a cooking challenge (maybe in the feels of Iron Chef). In the end, you win, but the eastern Nebraskan murder pepper (name TBD) is not what you were looking for. Your rival concedes defeat. At this point, you can choose to give the ingredient to him or not. If you do, you get your ingredient. If you don't, well, you do. You are the better pig.

    Here's a blender model I made quickly. I think it may fit the animal character's theme, but I'm waiting for the toon shader before I can make a more accurate render for this game. blake_sheet2.jpg

    ca-02.jpg

    Anyways, these are my ideas. What are y'all's thoughts?

    ~Rox
     
  27. Jirushi

    Jirushi

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2020
    Posts:
    33
    What about forest eyes admitting defeat and retreating. There could even be an after-battle dialogue where the misunderstanding with them and the main character is cleared up.

    Actually I thought that was the original plan but I might have misunderstood or filled the gaps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  28. neoshaman

    neoshaman

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    6,493
    As an islander in which similar thing happen in history, I'm going to respectfully disagree. You come to take something against the will and warning, that is textbook invasion, like those people who comes and magically discover property of plants we have used for generation, make profit on it and claim discovery, even the most sympathic one end up creating a rush toward gold inadvertently that end up marginalizing people in their own land, and people roll their eyes when we claim ownership of our own stuff because we didn't exploit it (hear destroy nature for profit). And back then Christopher Columbus and other conquistador didn't come to invade and conquer, they were looking for a road to India and gold, see how that panned out, they were always welcome with plenty gift, the hostility start later when they misbehave, like cutting hands, stealing territory and attempt enslaving. The trope looks cute when you don't know better, but survivor are still salty about it, I mean look were it got us.

    ;)
     
    Zold2012 and cirocontinisio like this.
  29. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    We still haven't decided how and when the first encounter with the Forest Eyes comes about. Has Bard Hare told chef about them? Does chef stumble upon them on his own? I think this idea needs to be fleshed out with the Level Design people as well.

    Does @Stoubord 's interpretation/expansion of @jrz813 's idea alleviate this concern? If so, it kinda takes us away from the Bard Hare-as-secret-villain idea and puts the majority of the conflict back on the islanders and the chef. This could be an opportunity to also pull in @roxioxx 's new NPC idea as another source of conflict, what do you think?
     
  30. farhangulkhan29

    farhangulkhan29

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2020
    Posts:
    5
    I have not used legend keeper but looks interesting, don't see why we don't have more votes on it. It seems to support both collaboration and JSON export.
     
  31. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    For some reason I've been getting this vibe that Bard Hare, if we go the secret villain route, is actually outwardly very forgetful (i.e. can't remember the exact lines to his songs/poems), but inwardly is using that as a ruse to keep the pig chef off guard. He could also claim to want to tag along with the chef to not only guide him through the island, but to recount his heroic tales a la the bard from The Witcher. Maybe he could even create his own version of "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" titled "Throw a Morsel to Your Chef." There's no legal issues there, right?
     
  32. cirocontinisio

    cirocontinisio

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    884
    @neoshaman I see. It was never the intention to create such a connection, as you can imagine. Do you have suggestions on how to improve the plot? Personally I'm happy to change even fundamental details, if it makes it better.
    You'll notice that I already made a few tweaks and removed the conflict with the locals, since I can see how that can be problematic.
     
  33. Zold2012

    Zold2012

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    67
    At first I didn't know what to think of your bun character, but you've made a good argument about replacing the conflict with the Forest Eyes with conflict with a rival. Blake could be merged with the current Bard Hare, he could talk in rhyme and know more about the island culture than you do because he's already been there searching for the same recipe/ingredients you are. Giving you 'hints' cause he's so cocky and sure of himself. There has already been the idea of the Bard Hare eventually revealing himself as a rival floating around, but he could just as easily start off as a rival.

    This segues to the player's initial conflict with the Eyes. If Bard Blake has already come in and taken a special ingredient, the Eyes would be extra wary about a traveller wanting to visit and learn about local cuisine. You'd have to work to prove you weren't going to be as disrespectful as Blake was, and possibly down the line even help Blake apologise for his earlier actions.
    We can illustrate the need to learn and accept a culture's traditions without having the player commit the initial problematic actions. Think Zuko from A:TLAB eventually coming to terms with the fire nation's imperialism.

    The goal recipe could be a dish used in a special ceremony. The ceremony could be annually used to stave off a disaster, or maybe something just culturally important like honoring the Eye's ancestors, or both. The dish would require a rare, difficult to obtain ingredient that Blake has stolen. His goal could be to make the dish for himself, but he would be unsuccessful because he did not have all the knowledge necessary to properly prepare the dish, resulting in the loss of the ingredient as well. The Pig Chef would have to retrieve the ingredient again, and then prepare the dish alongside the Eyes. He then discovers that the dish is even more delicious than the recipe that he had tried from the traveler because it was made with the knowledge and special ingredient from this island. He leaves with the recipe but doesn't take the special ingredient that makes the dish sacred as it's not his to take, in addition to being very difficult to obtain.
     
  34. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    Do we have this shared document set up yet? I have an idea for the Bard Hare's introduction, and it is a short song. I also have part of the hook for the "Throw a Morsel to Your Chef" ballad (aka ridiculous parody) I mentioned earlier. Should I just copy-paste them here?
     
  35. Zold2012

    Zold2012

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    67
    as for the ritual/catastrophe, Forest Eyes are tree people... things right? So okay, when they die they bury the bodies under this big special tree so they're all together in the afterlife or something. And the ceremony/temple is there as a yearly offering to keep the tree healthy and remember their ancestors. They make a soup with a special rare medicinal herb or something, they offer some of it to the tree and share the rest with the village.
    But the ceremony has been interrupted this year. So the tree and all its roots are slowly dying, decaying leaves falling, providing a visual indication of the catastrophe. After the ritual is completed however the tree bursts back to life! happy day.
    upload_2020-10-6_11-25-42.gif
     
    ArtofRemo likes this.
  36. neoshaman

    neoshaman

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    6,493
    Imho trying to patch the trope would be too complex, you will have to convey the nuance to the player, which mean more work, a lot of people seems to go for complexifying the plot with micro events, I feel like it shouldn't be the focus of a six month project, especially games. Why? Because I was friend with people from supinfocom, and their last year project had less complex story, no gameplay, and it still took them the full year to realize, add the uncertainty of developing a game on top (even if it's not really ambitious, ie it's using a known template with no surprise).

    My solution would be:

    - to keep the scenario super lean, dancing around the trope isn't helping with that, therefore making the hero an islander removed all the complexity of the legacy of the trope.

    - organize the story around clear goal and clear role for the player, we are currently fighting ludonarrative dissonance, that's bad smell for a gameplay story, we should realign the two. Any addition should make sure we provide clear goal and clear role.

    _ For example currently we are making an action adventure, that template imply fighting enemy, yet we struggle to justify the role and goal of the character (chef looking for a recipe) with fighting.
    _ Some people have suggested crafting, crafting is useful as a progression mechanics as it create a ladder to climb on (the loop being crafting stuff to allow crafting more advence stuff, see minecraft) and cooking is a type aof crafting, crafting imply collecting, collecting imply exploring. Therefore crafting support a progression that align with the player's role and goal.
    _The missing ingredient to make a story is now the stake, ie why the player / character is embarking in this quest, that would give the emotional throughline, that's missing in the original story too. A way to solve ths is to ask what can be accomplish with the main character ability (cooking), what problem it can solve, for example it can be used to do medcine, to please another person, to heal, to bond with a great meal, or any of that at the same time.
    _We still need a functional oposition, I'm positing that dangerous wildlife is enough of an opposition to mark area as safe/unsafe, also wildlife is also recipe so that's check out, they are both goal and opposition, you have to defeat wildlife to get some recipe.
    _A rivalry between village is safer too, it could end up be the story throughline, solving the rivalry by bonding around a great meal, only if we found a clear way to convey that (for example the meal will also heal the chief which cause the village to make peace).
    _What if the other village was cursed by an evil spirit and food was teh way to lift teh curse (see the purple smurf), or simpler, the reason the hero venture out s because he is looking for the recipe to heal his village.

    An example would be sonic, especially sonic 3, the character is an islander, meet a rival, team up against a bigger oppressor in the end, it's all done without text and voice and is crystal clear what teh player need to do.
     
  37. MattMirrorfish

    MattMirrorfish

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Posts:
    40
    Interesting conversation and I agree it would be desirable to avoid (inadvertent) colonial overtones.

    What if the pig is trying to cook the recipe to prove he can cook to the lady pig he wants to win the affections of? Maybe she originally comes from the village he's visiting and this is a childhood dish with happy memories.

    It's a love story and he has to do good deeds in order to convince the other villagers to share the secret of the recipe, like defeating the monsters terrorizing the village.

    Just having fun with some ideas :)
     
  38. cirocontinisio

    cirocontinisio

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    884
    Those are all great inputs, @neoshaman. And I agree, there's now an abundance of details in the thread which is starting to feel like the scope is skyrocketing :D

    Totally agree.

    I think one of the factors of misunderstanding was also the clothing of the Eyes, which seemed to suggest a more primitive societal form. As I said, that was never the intention so keeping that in mind, I thought we should update the concepts to reflect that. I made a quick test:

    2 - New Eye.png

    So we could just have the "Eyes" as the townsfolk, and diversify the individuals with clothing variations and small details, like a cap, a detail, or whatnot. In this scenario, we could build a small town (very very simple) and have them walk around.

    The chef in this could simply be a cook working in town, with a big passion for wild ingredients and a tendency to go on one too many adventures in the forest to find them.

    I'll leave it here, and let others elaborate too.
     
    ArtofRemo and itsLevi0sa like this.
  39. invadererik

    invadererik

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Posts:
    148
    Gonna throw my cliche in here:

    There is a multi island cooking contest, so Chef Pig is going to learn a dish from each master of each island so that he is prepared for the final cooking contest. Each island presents a challenge to:
    A) convince the master to show the pig the recipe ( each master can have their own story / needs for the chef to help)
    B) gather all the ingredients required ( facing the dangers of the critters )
    C) cook it correctly ( mini game with grade )

    At the end the player must be able to cook all the dishes from the islands and compete against other Chefs.

    Simple overarching story, but each master and recipe could have intricate stories and unique puzzle / exploration / adventure to gather the ingredients.

    To top it off there maybe is a secret ingredient in each island that forms the recipe for a final challenge in the final cook off.
     
  40. vak1793

    vak1793

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Posts:
    3
    I think that the chef being part of the village would help keep the story simpler and the motivation would also be more aligned with the story.

    I agree with this, we should probably have the gameplay focus more on cooking instead of combat. Or we could have combat be sort of encounter based (but without fighting, maybe cooking based?), like this:



    I don't know if it will fit with the overall theme / feel of the game, but separating it into an encounter with a critter keeps the gameplay from becoming too action based.

    Edit:
    It's my first time using this forum so I don't know how to quote with the username sorry @neoshaman
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
    cirocontinisio likes this.
  41. vak1793

    vak1793

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
    Posts:
    3
    Also looking through this thread I couldn't find anything about what the ingredients for the final recipe / ritual will actually be. Has the actual recipe been decided? Maybe we could alter the storyline based on what kind of dish it is.
     
    canchen_unity likes this.
  42. michaelgrilo

    michaelgrilo

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Posts:
    21
    It sounds like we need to decide if this game features physical combat or not. Action adventure as a genre, and the concept art, implies physical violence, even if it's a sanitized version.

    @cirocontinisio, should we create a poll to see where people are at in terms of featuring violence in any form or if they prefer using non-violent gameplay?

    Realistically, the best we can hope for is consensus seeking rather than having true consensus.

    How many contributors will leave the project if violence is used as gameplay?

    How many will leave the project if it does not feature physical combat?
     
    cirocontinisio likes this.
  43. ArtofRemo

    ArtofRemo

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Posts:
    13
    some great suggestions! I have yet to read them all in bits but so far Ive seen some people mention this idea which I think is strong: Pig Chef is somebody who has dedicated his life to finding (lost or forgotten) ancient recipes. Maybe he posseses an ancient book (or a journal) in which he finds clues on where to go which eventually leads him on this adventure. However, this leaves option for other future adventures to be held.

    "Kitchen Quest: Journey for the Golden Biscuit" (just naming something).

    Another strong suggestion would be that in our game world food provides more than nutrients: food is magic.
    Some foods do not only nourish but can give or increase powers. Much like the anime "Toriko" where the whole world is obsessed with finding the best recipes/ingredients.
     
    itsLevi0sa likes this.
  44. ArtofRemo

    ArtofRemo

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Posts:
    13
    Regarding physical combat: it would not make sense to have no physical combat in a game where the main focus would be to collect and cook recipes. 1. Hunting for animals requires combat 2. Without combat how would you protect the precious dishes you make ? I mean, we could skip combat mechanics but than the story/world/characters/gameplay should be centered around that.

    Do we want a game like "Animal Crossing" (no combat, focused on building/collecting) or "The Legend of Zelda" (adventure game focused around combat, cooking as a side mechanic) ?
     
    Neonage, itsLevi0sa and michaelgrilo like this.
  45. cirocontinisio

    cirocontinisio

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    884
    I'm reading all your suggestions, but it's going to be hard to merge them all together. Also, I need to be that person and simplify things a bit in terms of lore, potential cutscenes, etc. because some stories here sound like they will require a fair amount of work :D

    So, here's a new story/gameplay, and you tell me what you think!

    - The main setting is a small town and its surroundings. In terms of size, think Tarrey Town from BoTW. We can expand it if we get to it, but let's start small. The townsfolk are the Eyes as in the concept I posted above.
    - The Pig Chef is travelling to this town because of a cooking festival. The town hosts a legendary chef who is said to be very hard to impress: (name to be decided)

    2 - Fry King.png

    - The Pig's goal is to create a recipe that would impress the resident chef, and win the contest.
    - In order to do so, there's two things he has to do: interact with the townsfolk and gather information about local tastes and preferences, to better understand how to impress the chief. For this, there would be a bunch of townsfolk who have dialogues and sometimes requests (quests). By fulfilling these requests, you get more information, and you keep going like this until you get the right combination of ingredients.
    - You will be able to cook recipes through a very simple cooking UI, by combining different ingredients which will produce different recipes. These recipes in turn serve as items to give to the locals, and one of them is the one which can finally please the chef above, and serve as the winning condition of this small demo.
    - To find the ingredients, the chef has to leave town and venture into the forest to gather these berries, plants, spices, etc. This is where the adventure part takes place, and the chef has to face the dangerous wildlife (the critters) to get to the right ingredients.

    If we settle on the above, then we can go and have fun and play with dialogues, quests, recipes, and ingredients.
    Ideally we'd like to lock in this base story by the weekend, so we can start working on the implementation of some of these systems.

    Let me know if the above sounds good!
     
  46. erizzoalbuquerque

    erizzoalbuquerque

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Posts:
    50
    Seems simple enough and straightforward. Sounds good.
     
    cirocontinisio likes this.
  47. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    This story lends itself to the Bard Hare-as-rival (BHAR) narrative for sure. The challenge is to see who can make the best meal for Master Chef (yes Halo parody), and BHAR could always be one step ahead of Pig Chef, leaving misleading clues in the form of either song, poem, or riddle via note, until eventually BHAR is stuck and Pig Chef has to help him out so they both end up making the dish together in the end. We could do another Halo reference and have it be a red vs blue thing, although which side would Pig Chef be on?
     
  48. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    Since many like the proposed story (including me), my origin poem/song from Bard Hare will no longer fit, so I might as well post it here anyway for posterity:

    I am but a simple hare
    Stranded on this isle, unprepared
    Hoping the natives would aid me so
    I could return to my humble home

    But no, you see, they raged at me
    And cast me out alone
    Forced to forage, scrape, and scrap
    To build a "temporary" home

    If you've seen it, you would know
    That skills I lack in all but one
    My voice and words are all I have
    Until the dying of the sun

    Lo, gentle traveler, hear me out
    Please do not make me scream or shout
    'tis but a pittance that I ask
    To aid you on your noble task

    "How do you know what I must do?"
    Well, I see you are a chef
    "So, what is that to you, oh hare?"
    Please don't leave me starved, bereft

    If you grant me this one boon,
    I shall craft you your own tune
    As we set off throughout this land
    And help the natives understand

    That we do not wish to quarrel
    Nor do we wish to fight or fuss
    And if they help fulfill our quest
    It will benefit all of us
     
    ArtofRemo and itsLevi0sa like this.
  49. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    The hook I wrote for the "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" parody still holds though:

    Throw a morsel to your chef
    O island of spices!
    O island of spices!
    Throw a morsel to your chef
    O island of spices!
     
  50. shuttle127

    shuttle127

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Posts:
    183
    Before I go too far down the rabbit hole (pun intended), can we clarify the tone and feel of the game? I’d lean silly and fun, but maybe not as cheesy as my lyrics or Halo references. Unless people think those are fun too?