Author Topic: Setting?  (Read 2827 times)

Offline tigersfan

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Setting?
« on: February 01, 2011, 07:14:11 PM »
So, you've mentioned abandoned office buildings, magic, crystals, caves, etc. So, this leads me to ask, what is the setting of the game? From the bits and pieces you've mentioned, I'm getting the impression of like a post-apocalyptic technological earth-like world that now has magic. Am I close?

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 07:34:54 PM »
So, you've mentioned abandoned office buildings, magic, crystals, caves, etc. So, this leads me to ask, what is the setting of the game? From the bits and pieces you've mentioned, I'm getting the impression of like a post-apocalyptic technological earth-like world that now has magic. Am I close?

Maybe in a magical abandoned crystalline cavernous office building? That would be awesome! ;D

Offline x4000

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2011, 09:31:46 PM »
I'm getting the impression of like a post-apocalyptic technological earth-like world that now has magic. Am I close?

Yep, that's pretty much it. :)

It's actually supposedly earth in a far-future post-ice-age world where a lot of the buildings from the modern world have been preserved by the snow and ice and are just now becoming accessible again.  The earth has great scars and clefts in it, leading down into huge deep caverns, and all recognizable landforms and landmarks are essentially gone. 

The exact year is unknown by any of the survivors, but it's far enough in the future that there are actually some very sci-fi future elements in parts of the world, too.  Most survivors have managed to stay alive thanks to the magic that surfaced between our time and theirs, and these tend to be alone or in exceedingly tiny groups due to the prevalence of roaming monsters that climbed out of the earth.  However, there are some groups that survived in larger numbers by using very advanced technology that looks somewhat alien.

In a lot of respects, the setting was inspired by the classic game Crystalis on the NES, which was always a favorite of mine as a kid.  And I think the setting for that game was at least partially inspired by NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, which is a more recent discovery and favorite of mine.

Really, there have been a ton of Japanese games which have a setting that can be summed up as "when magic and technology collide," and that's always been a favorite theme of mine since the 80s.  Then Final Fantasy VI included similar themes (and Chrono Trigger, really), and there was just no going back.  I was less enamored of VII than most, and didn't play it until three or four years after it was out (and actually never finished that one), but I think that a lot of my trouble with that was that it was more sci-fi and less fantasy.  I like sci-fi as well (my favorite books are almost all sci-fi, for instance -- and obviously AI War is), but my favorite thing about blending sci fi and fantasy is when the fantasy is more predominate.  And post-apocalyptic has always been my thing.

Anyway, there was so much that I loved in a lot of NES and SNES classics that had these settings and themes, but there haven't been any more recent games that really delivered on the same mix.  It tends to be straight fantasy or else a much heavier sci-fi element.  AVWW goes back to the stuff I most loved as a kid, and expands on it a bit.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2011, 09:42:56 PM »
I love magi-tech type settings too. FFXIII did a great job developing a such a setting, and made it deep and detailed (though that "paradise" was deconstructed some ,literally by the end)

Of course, they forgot to develop their characters and game play in the process.  ::)

Offline x4000

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2011, 09:46:13 PM »
I was less enthused with FFXIII.  I felt like that was more like FFVII, in being more technology-focused.  FFXII, on the other hand, had more of the fantasy focus but with some technology aspects.  FFX was perhaps even better in that regard.  It's all taste, of course!
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2011, 09:51:19 PM »
I was less enthused with FFXIII.  I felt like that was more like FFVII, in being more technology-focused.  FFXII, on the other hand, had more of the fantasy focus but with some technology aspects.  FFX was perhaps even better in that regard.  It's all taste, of course!

As much as I like rich settings, in my story focused RPGs, I care more about an understandable story with characters I care about that supports good game-play. If they don't have enough budget to do that and create a visually stunning settings, then I would rather you cut back on the setting some.

As such, I did not get FFXIII, and I have no intentions to. Too bad, it had so much potential...

But the failings of FFXIII as a game is not the topic here, I was merely pointing out one example of what a rich magic and technology based environment could be like.

I look forward to seeing your spin on this concept.

Offline x4000

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 09:56:46 PM »
I just meant that the setting was less appealing to me.  I have FFXIII, but have only put in 6 or 8 hours into it, so I'm literally not even out of the tutorial section yet.  The combat is actually pretty slick, and about half the characters are really relatable and good.  But having the entire thing on rails doesn't feel like FF to me -- again, not that that's what we were discussing, as you said. ;)
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Offline tigersfan

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 04:11:16 AM »
My favorite setting for stories of late is kind of the "Modern Fantasy". For example, I don't know how many of you read at all, but "The Dresden Files" novels are fantastic, and a good example of the setting I'm referring to. Sort of the "if magic were actually here today" thing. Though the future tech/fantasy mix is a close second. My favorite table top game, Shadowrun, is exactly that.

Offline BobTheJanitor

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 01:38:40 PM »
I probably replayed Crystalis a dozen times when I was younger. In fact this reminder of it made me go grab a rom so I can play through it again. Terrible graphical glitches and horribly grindy leveling at times, but it's still an awesome game. I very much love the anachronistic fantasy/technology type setting, going all the way back to text adventure games like Zork. (How's that for old school?) It was meager in that case, but it was there. Fantasy style caves with monsters, glowing swords, and then a fully functioning flood control dam. And Final Fantasy has had that tradition since the beginning, the first game was mostly fantasy, but then suddenly you had a floating sky tower with robots in it. I've never seen any Nausicaa although I heard of it a long way back. Maybe I should check that out as well. My point being, this setting sounds great and I look forward to seeing where you take it.

Offline x4000

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 02:05:40 PM »
Yes, "urban fantasy" is something I really like, too.   I wasn't too into the Dresden books, but I read the first one.  And the theme and setting of Shadowrun really grabbed me, even if the gameplay didn't.

Never played Zork, but heard good things.  I think I rented Crystalis three times before I got up the money to actually buy it outright with funds from my paper route.  Amazing game.  And definitely good points on Final Fantasy, too. :)

NausicaƤ has a relatively new translation from this decade with Patrick Steward and other notables (Mark Hamil, etc) doing the voices.  A lot of those Studio Ghibli movies have gotten imported by Disney in this decade and with excellent voice actors.  I can recommend pretty much anything by that studio, heh. :)

Glad the setting sounds to be of such interest!
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Offline BobTheJanitor

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 07:23:36 PM »
I wasn't too into the Dresden books, but I read the first one. 
At the risk of horribly derailing the thread, Jim Butcher's writing does get a lot better as the series goes on. The first book or two, while fun, do exhibit some pretty amateur techniques. I've been listening to the audiobook versions during my daily commute and they're entertaining enough to keep me from road raging.

But yes, modern dark fantasy is a very different genre from post-apocalyptic techno-fantasy, so that's rather off track.

Offline x4000

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 07:39:43 PM »
That's actually good to know -- thanks!
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Offline tigersfan

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 10:55:17 PM »
I wasn't too into the Dresden books, but I read the first one. 
At the risk of horribly derailing the thread, Jim Butcher's writing does get a lot better as the series goes on. The first book or two, while fun, do exhibit some pretty amateur techniques. I've been listening to the audiobook versions during my daily commute and they're entertaining enough to keep me from road raging.

But yes, modern dark fantasy is a very different genre from post-apocalyptic techno-fantasy, so that's rather off track.

Agreed, I'm currently up-to-date in the series, and the most recent one, "Changes", was simply a fantastic novel.

Offline ShadowOTE

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Re: Setting?
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2011, 09:42:09 PM »
Yeah, they're pretty awesome. I need to reread them, but Butcher's writing has definitely improved - his first one or two were basically from when he was a student, and he's been writing full time since then, so as they say - practice makes perfect.

Hmm - actually, my violin teacher always said "Practice Makes Permanent"... we're going to ignore her on this one