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Old 03-16-2010, 10:52 AM   #1
prof1515
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Creating Game History

I had a small survey I wanted to get some more feedback on.

Is your game RP enforced, encouraged or not at all concerned with RP?

When you created your game's, did you use a real world model? If so, which one(s)?

Did you write out the history as a progression of little events or just focus on what you thought were important ones?

Did you write the history with the aim of creating the setting or work backward from the setting to explain it?

Did you design the history specifically for the game's theme and plots taking place or as a natural progression of events and let that affect what the game's theme would be?

How much did you incorporate different viewpoints into your history? If so, which ones? Political? Social? Economic? Religious? How did those viewpoints look at the past events of the world?

Last edited by prof1515 : 03-16-2010 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:04 PM   #2
KaVir
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Re: Creating Game History

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When you created your game's, did you use a real world model? If so, which one(s)?
It's a fictional setting, but I deliberately tied in a mixture of different real-world mythology (primarily Greek and Norse, but there are others too) to imply links with prehistory earth.

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Did you write out the history as a progression of little events or just focus on what you thought were important ones?
I didn't write it up in advance (other than some basic notes), but instead created it a bit at a time as new content was added. Each new quest added a little history, and I tried to connect them together when possible. There's no "complete history" that people can read, but as they explore the content they gradually learn more about the world.

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Did you write the history with the aim of creating the setting or work backward from the setting to explain it?
The latter - if anything, the history is more of an accidental by-product of needing flavour text for quests.

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Did you design the history specifically for the game's theme and plots taking place or as a natural progression of events and let that affect what the game's theme would be?
The latter - the history has taken shape as a direct result of new content being added.

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How much did you incorporate different viewpoints into your history? If so, which ones? Political? Social? Economic? Religious? How did those viewpoints look at the past events of the world?
The history is primarily based on religions, due to the theme of the mud.

Note that my mud is explicitly non-RP, so the history isn't as fleshed out as one would expect from an RP-focused mud, nor was there an urgent need to create the history in advance. But IMO all muds can benefit from an internally consistent theme and some background flavour.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Re: Creating Game History

Ah, thanks, Kavir. I should have asked what sort of a game it was. My intent was RP-enforced games alone but I'm interested in hearing any reply though.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: Creating Game History

New Worlds Ateraan.

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Is your game RP enforced, encouraged or not at all concerned with RP?
RP Enforced

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When you created your game's, did you use a real world model? If so, which one(s)?
Fantasy and other world, but with real world geography. (Originally based loosely on Eastern Europe).

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Did you write out the history as a progression of little events or just focus on what you thought were important ones?
Major events for the most part.

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Did you write the history with the aim of creating the setting or work backward from the setting to explain it?
Wrote the history first creating the setting.

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Did you design the history specifically for the game's theme and plots taking place or as a natural progression of events and let that affect what the game's theme would be?
The game is based on a book where historical events are described and took place, so in effect the progression led to a key point in history and the game is based around that key point.

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How much did you incorporate different viewpoints into your history? If so, which ones? Political? Social? Economic? Religious? How did those viewpoints look at the past events of the world?
To some extant, social, religious, and political.

I hope this helps as the game is based mostly on the book and the slant is toward the "good guys" the historical and political viewpoint is mostly swayed to that which would be called the "good" side.
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:20 AM   #5
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Re: Creating Game History

Ironclaw Online

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Is your game RP enforced, encouraged or not at all concerned with RP?
Enforced.

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When you created your game's, did you use a real world model? If so, which one(s)?
It's based on the Ironclaw tabletop RPG, released by Sanguine Productions. Since the players aren't all going to know that source material, we used the canon information but based it on real world history.
The game takes place in a city that is themed after Renaissance Italy. The technology, items, etc. is all based on that setting.
The other three major houses are based on the French, Scottish, and Germans.

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Did you write out the history as a progression of little events or just focus on what you thought were important ones?
We have the history from the tabletop RPG, so the timeline is developed already. We then add history as appropriate for plots and stories, making sure it fits into the timeline, as well as fitting into the "flavor" of the setting.

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Did you write the history with the aim of creating the setting or work backward from the setting to explain it?
Both.
The setting and general timeline was established for us before we started. But there is still a *lot* of history for us to fill in.
What we do is figure out what will lead to the most roleplay opportunities in the game (i.e. what will create the most gameplay) - then we look at the history that will help "set up" that. We do research on real-world history to find something similar, and to help anchor the game in the renaissance period. Usually the research on the history then gives inspiration for the setting, so we might adjust our plans.

So we start with the setting, work backwards to the history, then work forwards from the history to change the setting. This helps us avoid a game with history that feels like an obvious setup for the game mechanics, and instead feels like something that might have actually happened. (Usually because it has a real-world equivalent event that we based it on.)

For example, most of the religious stories of saints and events are real world historical events or stories with the names changed.

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Did you design the history specifically for the game's theme and plots taking place or as a natural progression of events and let that affect what the game's theme would be?
I'm not sure I understand.
The history (like "This is how this race arrived, and how they gained power") mostly happened long before the game started and PCs started having an effect. So the history was designed to help "set up" opportunities for stories. There are events in the history of the various houses that can help give you inspiration for how to play your character, and to help make the different houses feel different.

We have certain themes and plots in the game (such as "the rise of the middle class" or "racism") - we are very careful when creating history to not contradict those themes, but we don't specifically create the history around the themes.
For example, there is slavery in the game (the extreme end of "nobles vs commoners") - so when we put in the history we made sure that none of the major players had any issues with slavery or sought to abolish it. That included the church - instead of the holy books saying "everyone is equal" the holy books say "Everyone has a role to play, and are put here for a reason" - that allows the players to support or stand against slavery as appropriate, without the history giving a clear way to solve the conflict that is intended to be ongoing.

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How much did you incorporate different viewpoints into your history?
Constantly.
Everything but the most clear-cut event has multiple viewpoints OR is unverifiable.
We occasionally have conflicting historical information. We regularly have historical information that is obviously written from a biased viewpoint. We occasionally have two versions of the historical information from different biased viewpoints.

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If so, which ones? Political? Social? Economic? Religious?
All of those.

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How did those viewpoints look at the past events of the world?
Mostly, players don't seem to pay much attention to things that don't affect their character directly. They don't care if the king is having an affair, if the princess is bored, or if the prince is going to marry to forge an alliance or not. They do care if Bob, who they are having an argument with, goes to jail or not. If Mary can give them a new cloak before the ball, or if they can win a fight with Tim and strut around being arrogant about it.

So the viewpoints and history that we put in is all focussed on giving the players something to do. It might be information about a battle between two houses, so the players can use it as fodder for future arguments, use previous victories to taunt opponents, or talk about mending the problems of the past. Or we might make it more immediate - a document talking about that specific battle may mention a lost treasure that was being fought over and lost by both sides. So that information can be used to create a new struggle for the treasure, which could even involve other groups that weren't mentioned in the history.

But for the most part our history is built around establishing the groups of the game. Why does the sailors guild have so much power? How can they get around with being barely-concealed criminals, and why doesn't the king just send the police force to stop them? Why do the Rinaldi nobles accept the other four houses squatting in their city? What is the basis of the religion? Does it preach tolerance or fire and brimstone? - all of that is history, but more importantly, it helps the players decide how they will behave in the current game. It helps the constables decide if they will arrest the sailors guild leaders. It helps the Rinaldi decide if they'll scream at rival nobles to leave the city. And it'll clue the players into the response they can expect if they do try those things. So the history adds consistency to the currently-happening roleplaying.

Cheers!
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:15 AM   #6
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Re: Creating Game History

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I had a small survey I wanted to get some more feedback on.

Is your game RP enforced, encouraged or not at all concerned with RP?
Atonement RPI is Roleplaying-Enforced.

Quote:
When you created your game's, did you use a real world model? If so, which one(s)?
It is set in an original, fictionally-envisioned real world timeline. The action (up to this point) has not taken place anywhere recognizable, because the players are on a large space vehicle. The design of the vehicle itself is not inspired by any particular pop-culture design, but we do go out of our way to make subtle (and sometimes, blatant) references to fiction, philosophical writings and pop-culture as a means to envoke a parallel response in the players - sort of an easter egg meant to make the players think about the mysteries around them.

Quote:
Did you write out the history as a progression of little events or just focus on what you thought were important ones?
We wrote a detailed staff historical timeline that spans well over 1,500 years, and sometimes use special "timeline events" to let the players get chances to play a day as a one-time character in the past or future, at the point of some event that is both historically significant - as well as significant to the ongoing mysteries in the main timeline in which PCs play. We include many historical variables in this timeline, so that the players' actions in the "timeline events" actually have an affect on the main timeline and history as a whole.

Currently, player-characters themselves suffer from amnesia, and so are privvy to a much more sparse timeline on the website. For story-telling's sake, we have a section for short stories on the site that acts much like the "timeline events" in that the stories all show glimpses of the past or future that are relevant to the ongoing storyline of the actual game. Some of these stories are player-written contest winners, and so have affected our canon's historical variables at key points.

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Did you write the history with the aim of creating the setting or work backward from the setting to explain it?
We started out with the setting/s in which we wanted the players to take part in, and then wrote the extensive history around that desired setting. As we wrote more, our specificity had an equally profound affect on the shape and scope of the setting itself.

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Did you design the history specifically for the game's theme and plots taking place or as a natural progression of events and let that affect what the game's theme would be?
We designed the history specifically to suit the theme and storyline. We play around a lot with the theme of repeating cycles in history, so there is much parallel in both the short and long-term in the way of how events play out. We are of the opinion that this is very similar to real-world history as well, but causing/breaking cycles of history becomes a major theme in the game.

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How much did you incorporate different viewpoints into your history? If so, which ones? Political? Social? Economic? Religious? How did those viewpoints look at the past events of the world?
There are definitely many opposing viewpoints that we have included in the game, without coming right out and suggesting that the characters should support one side or another if they desire to be the "good guys". You see themes of capitalism versus communism, democracy versus fascism, religion versus cultism, Destiny versus Free Choice, etc, etc. One of the major themes of the game is to play on what is good and what is evil, with the ultimate point being that the line between good/evil is entirely blurred and moral ambiguity becomes the norm in a pure, harsh survival scenario.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:37 PM   #7
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Re: Creating Game History

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Is your game RP enforced, encouraged or not at all concerned with RP?
Primordiax is RP enforced.

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When you created your game's, did you use a real world model? If so, which one(s)?
No, but I used real world ecology to determine the weather patterns, the currents, and the layout of the biomes. The map, however, is completely unique. I just applied real world science to an alien topography.

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Did you write out the history as a progression of little events or just focus on what you thought were important ones?
I did both. I started off with the big events. Then I broke them down to small details that I felt would be listed by the historians of the world and then took out what I didn't think would survive through time. Those tidbits are added into the game itself for players to discover.

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Did you write the history with the aim of creating the setting or work backward from the setting to explain it?
We did both at the same time. We had an idea of core mechanics and themes that we wanted to incorporate based on a world that we had already discussed. Since the world is also an extension of an already existing game, we had to deal with both issues at the same time. The history simply evolved since we had a current setting and a past setting, and we needed to get from point A to point B.

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Did you design the history specifically for the game's theme and plots taking place or as a natural progression of events and let that affect what the game's theme would be?
The history was more of a natural progression even though we had a point A to start with and ended with a point B. Effective storytelling comes when writers let things evolve as they should. Some of point B changed as things developed from point A.

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How much did you incorporate different viewpoints into your history? If so, which ones? Political? Social? Economic? Religious? How did those viewpoints look at the past events of the world?
We have a multitude of race and cultures that all view the world in different ways. Add that to the various political, socio-economic issues, and religious meanderings and you get a pretty big mix of viewpoints. I also tried to incorporate some real world historical movements but with a bit of a fantastical twist.

Right now, players are able to look at historical movements and decide what to do in a world that has recently had its population almost completely destroyed. They have a lot of freedom to decide how they want things to be currently, and the players can look at history to help determine how they want to shape the world.

-----

Developing Primordiax was very different from developing Threshold RPG, but I was not key in creating the world. I simply helped flesh it out a lot more. With Threshold, players ended up determining most of the history with very few documents to guide them. Almost everything was discovered or occurred in character. This presented some problems for the playerbase, but they were still able to perform remarkably well. Threshold was not based on a real world model either, though its religion system was heavily inspired by Greek mythology. Threshold's history was very sparse, but with 13 years of player history now, it's become a very complicated world both in politics and religion.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:18 PM   #8
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Re: Creating Game History

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I had a small survey I wanted to get some more feedback on.
Is your game RP enforced, encouraged or not at all concerned with RP?
Admittedly, I find the categories confusing and there never seems to be a consensus on what they mean. Anyway, I always say that Lusternia is RP encouraged, which I take to mean that we encourage players to RP and discourage them with small punishments if the go OOC in public venues (city channels, for example). We do not, however, force people to RP in certain ways (i.e., you are evil so you must abide by these RP guidelines).

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When you created your game's, did you use a real world model? If so, which one(s)?
No.

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Did you write out the history as a progression of little events or just focus on what you thought were important ones?
The history and background was very important to me. I wrote the cosmogenesis of the world which was brief, and also included some brief histories on the divine which were called the Elder Wars and Vernal Wars. However, the main emphasis of the background revolved around the History of the Holy Celestine Empire, where I basically wrote a series of archived documents that told the story about the fall of an ancient empire and the release of a great evil that changed the landscape of the world. Before Lusternia was released, I posted the empire histories on an MSN group which generated a great deal of enthusiasm and I think was at least partially responsible for our huge success on opening.

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Did you write the history with the aim of creating the setting or work backward from the setting to explain it?
I honestly don't remember as that's a chicken or egg question. I knew Lusternia would be set on the ruins of a collapsed empire that was ravaged by a great evil but whether the setting came first or the idea for the history came first is a bit fuzzy for me.

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Did you design the history specifically for the game's theme and plots taking place or as a natural progression of events and let that affect what the game's theme would be?
Lusternia's history absolutely was specifically designed to be integrated into the games themes, and events even to this day (5 years after opening) often revolve around the history.

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How much did you incorporate different viewpoints into your history? If so, which ones? Political? Social? Economic? Religious? How did those viewpoints look at the past events of the world?
I can only point back to the History of the Holy Celestine Empire which has multiple viewpoints and commentary of political, social, economic and religious natures.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:48 AM   #9
Wade_Gustafson
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Re: Creating Game History

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Is your game RP enforced, encouraged or not at all concerned with RP?
Maiden Desmodus is a role-playing game. We expect our players to remain in character, and the game is designed from the ground up to make it easy to become immersed and remain IC.

We do have a NEWBIE channel for new players to discuss how-to and mechanics with seasoned players and staff, and an OOC command out-of-character communications. Both of these can be toggled off/on via preferences.


Quote:
When you created your game's, did you use a real world model? If so, which one(s)?
The fiction and backstory of Maiden Desmodus is not based on any “real world” model. As we say, “Imagine a more interesting world to inhabit…”

Quote:
Did you write out the history as a progression of little events or just focus on what you thought were important ones?
The history of the game, in how it relates to players “in the now”, is summed up in a few paragraphs during character creation. Beyond this we have assorted help files that relay various highlights of history.

The true story and history of Maiden Desmodus is expressed in-character, through the points of view of various NPCs. From a building point of view, when we began working on Maiden Desmodus every NPC that went into the game came with their own history and backstory, views and opinions. By speaking to these NPCs and following suggestive keywords to lead conversations, or by bringing up totally off the wall subjects, you can gain insight into their take on world history. While many larger events are likely to be viewed the same way by the NPCs of a given area, there are those who are misinformed, uneducated, and those from other cultures who see things in a totally different way.

We find that this approach to the “history of the game” is much more immersive and subjective. It lets you learn about history as you go, based on your exposure, and form your own opinions.

Quote:
Did you write the history with the aim of creating the setting or work backward from the setting to explain it?
Perhaps a bit of both. We began with an image of what we wanted our world to be like and a broad list of key events that led it to be that way. From that, we began building the game and with every new NPC born into our world more and more of the details got fleshed out as we created the history and backstory of that NPC. As time progressed, more and more holes got filled in until we were left with a “working” world based on entirely original fiction.

Quote:
Did you design the history specifically for the game's theme and plots taking place or as a natural progression of events and let that affect what the game's theme would be?
Everything about Maiden Desmodus was designed “for” Maiden Desmodus. We new what we wanted, and we worked to bring it all together. I believe that “focus” is a key element to successful world building.

Quote:
How much did you incorporate different viewpoints into your history? If so, which ones? Political? Social? Economic? Religious? How did those viewpoints look at the past events of the world?
Maiden Desmodus does this to the extreme. It is part of what makes the game world so enthralling and richly detailed. We go far beyond a generic “this culture thinks this way” and “that culture thinks that way”. Sure, there are general cultural views, but within that every NPC bases their views on their own experiences, much the way our players do.

Last edited by Wade_Gustafson : 03-20-2010 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Fixed a typo
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