Tone

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Tone

Postby GoodOldeTymes » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:11 am

Since this is the writing section, I think we should talk about the tone of the game. How is this game going to feel, and how is that going to be reflected in the writing?

I, myself, am an advocate for a dark, quirky comedy feel. The danger would be real, the stakes would be high, the universe would be bleak, and we can explain away the many inconsistencies this game will unavoidably have in a way that the players won't get hung up on. I rather liked Notch's idea of using duct tape of temporarily fixing everything, no matter how complicated the machine or the situation.

I have lots of ideas of the lore of the universe under this tone, but I don't want to jump the gun. What do you guys think it should be? I would also invite you not to reject other's ideas, but to insert your own neutrally or build upon others'.
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Re: Tone

Postby Aculem » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:07 am

I think we're on the same page, 'specially like the part about keeping a sedated comedic feel to accompany the darker tone of the game. I find it's easier to get engaged in an experience when you drop all the "take me seriously, I'm gritty and edgy" pretense out of a game. As scary as a game like Dead Space likes to package itself, it really loses its sense of foreboding once you work out the game's mechanics, there's nothing to laugh at to shrug off the tension, no underlying personality to lend itself to the mystique of the atmosphere.

That said, I think we should go more for 'terror' than for 'horror', which as a concept works much better when you take the familiar and make it slightly unfamiliar. The best way to do that is to keep as much soul and humanity in the tone as possible, that way any subtle changes to the atmosphere is sure to spook the player. When you realize the quiet yet soothing generator fans aren't running anymore; perhaps the mere familiar sound of a electronic door opening but you don't remember anyone else being on the ship. Not everything has to be dark steel and consumed by shadow to freak out a player.

I'm not entirely sure what everyone else's opinion is, but from what I've gathered, people really want to feel the 'awe' of the vastness of space, the 'isolation' of being so small in the midst of it all, and 'unnerved' at the feeling that you're not quite sure what is out there. Not a lot to go on, but it's a start.
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Re: Tone

Postby Andrew » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:26 am

I wouldn't want to come across as trying to hard to be funny though, considering that this will be an open-ended, open-world game, any deliberate humour would quickly grow tiresome. Any humour should come naturally from its gameplay..

As for the tone, the space genre is thematically nearly exactly the same as the Western genre, so you can take lots of cues from there.
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Re: Tone

Postby mrout » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:25 am

I think the game should, at least on some level, take itself seriously. I think humour is good in moderation, in a sort of "don't take me toooooo seriously" way, but we should make sure it doesn't get out of hand. This is pretty common in hacker/open source/free software culture in general, really. Just look at the last line of the apt(1) manual page: "This APT has Super Cow Powers." Just sitting there in a forum thread it looks a bit silly, but like arguably all comedy its humour comes from being unexpected. In the context of a manual page (almost invariably a dry and cryptic listing of program options, arguments and major bugs) it's completely unexpected and quite funny, IMO. Another example of open source humour would be http://gcc.gnu.org/libstdc++/ . A nice wee Monty Python reference. Hackers love Monty Python.

Does that make sense? Rather than the World of Warcraft style of humour (mostly parodies of modern American pop culture), I'd prefer if we were a bit more mature and serious, with the odd unexpected bit of humour to lighten things up a bit.
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Re: Tone

Postby GoodOldeTymes » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:08 pm

Andrew wrote:I wouldn't want to come across as trying to hard to be funny though, considering that this will be an open-ended, open-world game, any deliberate humour would quickly grow tiresome. Any humour should come naturally from its gameplay..


mrout wrote:I think the game should, at least on some level, take itself seriously. I think humour is good in moderation, in a sort of "don't take me toooooo seriously" way, but we should make sure it doesn't get out of hand.


Oh, yeah, I definitely agree. I feel like any deliberate humor should come solely from the writing (like the secret backstory, and if we have NPC's- their dialogue). I'm sure everything else will come organically. And I definitely agree that the game should take itself seriously, without pretending to be some kind of great work of art (Braaaaaaaaid! [a game I love, but is soooo pretentious]), as well as being funny without being outlandish (Deadpooooool! [A game with a sense of humor that makes me want to throw up. It's not so much the content, but their bang-over-the-head delivery).
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Re: Tone

Postby Aculem » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:19 pm

Of course, deliberate humor can be just as gawky as deliberate seriousness. I think there's a lot of immersive benefit to simply not taking a game too seriously as there is to not deliberately undermining it, really you just need to be conscientious of what kind of atmosphere the game is actually capable of providing and then being honest with that.
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Re: Tone

Postby mrout » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:46 am

I think we should just be relatively sensible, yeah. Deadpool is so cringeworthy and made-for-stupid-people that it's not even funny.
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Re: Tone

Postby Coolyo936 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:17 pm

Agreed. I think what we're all trying to say is, is that it needs to take itself seriously, but not as serious as a game like Dead Space. It should be somewhere (Taking itself serious wise) Between Dead Space and Minecraft. Minecraft had a great way of taking itself serious, but having your own little misadventures was all part of the humor. Since this is an open world game based on making your own adventures, humor should find it's way in anyway, But having the occasional NPC with funny dialogue sure won't hurt either.
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