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Default Dead State - Design Update: Lore

May 11th, 2011, 04:13
Here's a partial snip from the latest Dead State design update, which discusses lore:
Since our last post, some have you been demanding more writing about the game world. This seemed like a good time to explain the mechanics behind our “lore” system in the game. What I mean by “lore” is the data you can find in the game that reveals fragments of the zombie outbreak pulled from emails, message boards, browser caches, and text that can be found on phones, hard drives, and other pieces of scavenged technology. These are news transcripts, personal stories, leaked memos, and scraps of info that gradually reveal the bigger picture of how the zombie problem spread and what was done to combat it. These range from self-contained data fragments to 10-part sets. Each perspective gives a better understanding of how the world fell apart, as it would have been recorded by individuals or organizations. It’s a collection of observations and interpretations - if you’re looking for some grand conspiracy to be revealed, you’re going to be disappointed.

Every time you find a new data object and bring it back, it will be uploaded to a working computer in the shelter. From the computer, you’ll have a chance to select fragments and decrypt them to make them readable. Currently, the data decryption process involves receiving a partially recovered password and using the leftover letters to guess the password. Here’s an example of an easy one:

GR_ _ T (A,E)
More information.

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May 11th, 2011, 04:13
sounds nice

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May 11th, 2011, 10:17
This is how you do lore in open world games if you ask me… notes and characters you find throughout the world that give you little pieces of information, rather than a big story-dump cinematic or narration.
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May 11th, 2011, 10:31
Well, haven't we seen this a lot of times before? It all begin with some experiments gone wrong and finally we managed to create zombies and now they are taking over?

This is just me guessing…. but I mean how innovative could a story get? what other reason could there be for zombies taking over? perhaps they are aliens from another planet? or they are coming from an open tunnel to the underworld? Really hard to be innovative about this sort of thing.
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May 11th, 2011, 10:39
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
This is how you do lore in open world games if you ask me… notes and characters you find throughout the world that give you little pieces of information, rather than a big story-dump cinematic or narration.
This is definitely the way to go in open world games. Everything else is just stupid, I mean one of THE reasons (at least for me) to even start playing open world games is exploring (especially when the story and gameplay is meh, like Morrowind/Oblivion for example).
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May 11th, 2011, 10:47
Yes, I much prefer a story that I can follow at my own pace - and this even goes for less open games. I'm just not very good at being directed and I dislike being taken out of the game, to have yet another cutscene spell something out for me.

It's one of the reasons I so love System Shock, because you could pretty much approach it as you wanted to - and much of the space station was open at an early stage.

In this way, I found it much better than the sequel and Bioshock - because they tended to telegraph story-chronology in a much more rigid fashion.

Non-linear storytelling can work fantastically well, actually - but it DOES demand more of the player. So, if the game is boring - the player won't feel particularly inquisitive.

Unfortunately, most games tell their stories linearly - and they "get away" with subpar gameplay due to the story aspect being so dominant. I guess most people are ok with that. To me, I'd just as soon watch a movie for that experience.
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May 11th, 2011, 17:16
Yeah, but . . . When's it gonna be done? I wanna plaaaay.
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May 11th, 2011, 20:15
Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
Yeah, but . . . When's it gonna be done? I wanna plaaaay.
In the words of blizzard it will be done when they damn well want it to.

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May 12th, 2011, 04:53
It sounds like anice mechanic but as I understand you're not some government agent or something so the cryptanalysis part seems a little odd.
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