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Default Create your own unique Universe/gameworld/setting

April 24th, 2010, 21:26
With respect to gaming, I've read a lot of complaints, many express the same general theme… Lack of creativity/originality. As an example and just to pick on fantasy western RPGs, they're too Tolkeinesque.

So why not come up with something unique? Has everything interesting been covered - is unoriginality the only frontier? I've never really given it much thought but just to get the ball rolling here's my suggestion:

How about a RPG or Action-adventure/Stealth game with a 1984 inspired setting… Perhaps the protagonist can be a spy for Big brother(maybe in a postmodern twist - a NWO) or an agent for an underground group working against said entity. Or if the spy/agent angle is too cliched then the protagonist can be an individual who is "awakened" and works for/against the NWO/Big Brother?

What kind of game setting/universe would you like to see explored?(Do share, it will most likely be 1000x better than my on the fly suggestion. ><)
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April 25th, 2010, 11:50
Interesting, as the setting is generally the least of my complaints.

I'd rather have a good traditional setting, than something new just for the sake of being new.

However, if there's one setting that has not been done right AT ALL - it would be the Cyberpunk setting.

I so long for a good free-roaming Shadowrun environment - sort of like a serious CRPG version of GTA, with Deus Ex/System Shock as main inspirations for the mission approaches.
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April 25th, 2010, 13:42
Some IMO underused, or almost-completely-unused settings:

* Arabian nights. Prince of Persia is almost the only major computer game to use this. (I've run a PnP campaign in this type of setting.)
* China and Japan, kung-fu style. There have been a few efforts (Jade Empire), but it has yet to be done really well. (I'm running a PnP campaign in this setting.)
* India.
* Almost anything from antiquity. Greece and Rome have been done just a little bit, but not much, and not well at all; Parthia, the Seleucid empire, Egypt from the Pharaos to the Ptolemies, the Caucasian states, Bactria…
* Almost anything from pre-Columbian Meso- or South America. The Aztecs and Incas have way-cool mythoi!
* Atlantis.
* A pseudo-medieval archipelago world, with seafaring a major gameplay element. Something like Earthsea, from Ursula K. LeGuin's books, maybe.
* Dark ages. (Go Age of Decadence!)

I could go on, but you get my drift. I may yet play another cRPG, but it won't be one set in yet another generic pseudo-medieval elves-and-dwarves-and-fireballs-oh-my kind of world… unless it really does something original with it, à la The Witcher.
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April 25th, 2010, 15:21
- Sci-fi
- Eastern
- Arabian (i.e the desert people in Gothic 3)
- Tech vs Magic (i.e Arcanum, which is more than just steampunk)

I'd probably stick with either a sci-fi setting or an eastern setting if I had to pick one.

Also, Alpha Protocol is set in a modern setting - never even played an RPG in such a setting before, so that should be interesting.
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April 25th, 2010, 17:09
I know I'm going to be marked as an heretic now, but I hated the setting of Arcanum and Jade Empire, which is a shame since the game-mechanics where great.

Since I lack originality, I'm just going to refer to an existing one instead: Fading Suns (minus some elements)
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April 25th, 2010, 18:47
I'd like to see some kind of Fallout setting, but with magic rather with technology as the cause of the "Fallout", and with typical fantasy creatures in it (Elves, Dwarves etc. …)

Apart from that I'm currently thinking about somthing that has heavily to do with ghosts/spirits. Friendly, helpful ones. Which live in harmony with "normal" beings. Side to side with them, so to say.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 25th, 2010, 19:07
I think the reason most games go with either "LotR" or "SW/ST" is because of marketing. They don't think anything else will sell. Thus, everything involves lofty elves who are cannibalistic and eat people, dwarves who try to flood the world with magma on a routine basis, and halflings that are "lucky" and taste good BBQ'd.

I've got a couple settings floating around, but I'll admit that they're closer to traditional fantasy than I'd like. One IS a traditional "Elf/Dwarf" fantasy world, actually, and the other has dwarves floating around, though most races are new creations.

Main difference in both is that instead of being long after some "golden age" where magic was vastly more powerful and made cool things like snapple and nerf balls, they both are technically set in their world's "golden age". No one race is in decline, etc… On the first, more traditional setting it's even set before the foundation of any major empires.

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April 25th, 2010, 19:29
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I'd like to see some kind of Fallout setting, but with magic rather with technology as the cause of the "Fallout", and with typical fantasy creatures in it (Elves, Dwarves etc. …)
Thats the Dark Sun Setting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Sun

There were even two Computer Games in the 90s:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/da…hattered-lands
http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/da…of-the-ravager

The first one was great, the second had to much Bugs IIRC.

The Germans are a cruel race. Their operas last for six hours and they have no word for "fluffy".

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April 25th, 2010, 21:10
I'm very tempted to slam a dozen plus screenshots in here, preferably with some sort of tie-in to Roy's speech in Blade Runner. But there are too many games I want to get back to playing, so the short version….

Deus Ex - a world starting down the cyberpunk path for sure.

In all the Final Fantasy games, I've never seen an elf. I don't think Tolkien ever said anything about chocobos, either.

X games from Egosoft - a completely unique space setting.

Crysis - again, a modern world just starting to dabble with cyberpunk.

City of Heroes. A unique superhero setting. Plus they throw in an ancient Rome style setting in one zone. And there's Croatoa where fir bolg, red caps, and tuatha de Dannan fight it out - which is all old Irish I think. Plus the Shadow Shard with its floating islands, red waterfalls, and unique Rularuu enemies.

And these are all games I've played in the last week!! MasterKromm, I think you need to get out less.
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April 25th, 2010, 23:32
Ah, Darksun. I need to get back to those. I haven't played either in years and years.

Really fun, even the bugged out Wake of the Ravager.

It was the night before Hogswatch…

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April 26th, 2010, 01:41
A mix of Lovecraft, Sherlock Holmes, Victorian Era, Steampunk with a more technological approach than used in usual CRPG.

A fantasy looking more at faerie approach, I'm thinking of Suldrum trilogy of J. Vance.

A fantasy where humans, dwarf, elf, hobbits, gnomes and orcs are mythical creatures. Town are full of many races that have evolved enough to live together more or less in peace. You make party of Trolls, Faeries and all sub classes, Golems, Kobolds, Shadows, Centaurs, Vampires, Naga, Little Dragon, Humanoid Gelly, Spirit, Lich and more.
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April 26th, 2010, 11:58
I am all for space , alien races , X-universe like or even galactic civs .

Also a meta-life universe ( there is one game that deals with living after death but i forgot it's name) where everything we know has a totally different meaning and use.
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April 26th, 2010, 13:12
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Some IMO underused, or almost-completely-unused settings:
* Almost anything from pre-Columbian Meso- or South America. The Aztecs and Incas have way-cool mythoi!
This would be a strong favourite of mine as well.

I'd quite like a modern game to use the Dark Sun or Planescape settings again as well, thoroughly underused without being too unusual.

I'd also like to see some of the other White Wolf settings explored, the werewolf one would certainly translate pretty well to a computer game. The Mage one might be a bit trickier, their powers were just too open ended.
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April 27th, 2010, 05:24
A mushroom RPG would be nice.
Exploring world by mycelium, influencing it via spores.
Character development would determine where you can "go", what and how you can influence things etc.
Struggles could be both against surface beings and subterranean ones, C&C´s.
And so on.
Would require a good writer to get player into the unusual mindset, alien morals, etc.
Making an RPG from this premise should be an interesting challenge.

A bit inspired by
http://www.extremescience.com/zoom/i…t-living-thing

What you think about most, is what you become.
Last edited by DeepO; April 27th, 2010 at 06:49.
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April 27th, 2010, 07:39
I have a sketch for a game set in ancient Babylon. That's another almost unused setting with incredibly cool mythos, which has the additional advantage of being just familiar enough to have something to latch onto. I might eventually end up using it in one of my PnP campaigns.

Oh, the story? I didn't get very far. The intro would be a brief animation of war as seen from the POV of an infant; you get a glimpse of rich surroundings, your mother, and then fire and sword destroying it all, with the last thing being your mother blessing you and hiding you from the attackers. Fade to black, flash-forward to you as a street urchin in Babylon for the Prologue. You'd have to deal with a variety of factions including a number of street gangs of kids your age, and would eventually end up choosing a path — stick with the gangs (thief), be pressed into service in the army (fighter), become the much-abused apprentice/slave of a sorcerer (magic), or join the temple of Ishtar or Marduk or whoever as a novice/slave (priest).

At the end of the Prologue you'd be snatched/bought/captured by a sorcerer looking for the secret of eternal life, who would use you as a test subject for a gruesome experiment, involving removing your viscera and putting them in a jar, plus much invocation of various ancient Sumerian gods and spirits. He thinks he failed, and dumps your lifeless body into the river behind his mountaintop fortress. But he didn't: you wake up at the bottom of the river, lost, alone, far from home, weak, miserable, missing your internal organs, and believed to be dead… but unable to die, always somehow recovering from even the most horrible wounds you might get. And then the actual game would start.

I never got far enough to figure out what *that* would be; the motivation for the sketch was to get around the death problem in games. Still, there'd be a quite a bit to work with already — figuring out who you were born as, what happened to your mother, getting back at the nasty dude who did all that stuff involving disemboweling (even if it left you immortal… but presumably your guts or whatever are still sitting on his shelf somewhere, which you might want to either recapture to keep safe or destroy to be able to die), and so on.

Yeah, cheerful. I know.
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April 27th, 2010, 11:39
Once I began a longer story, which was to become a mixture of a few Stonekeep elements, and south american jungle flair. With lots of new things to come.

I felt hindered by criticism too much (my far weakest point) and abandoned the project altogether.

Since then I don't publish my short stories etc. online anymore.


A very unique setting, which has unfortunately been also abandoned, is Manatopia
It is a little bit like the world of Arcanum … But it also has its differences …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 27th, 2010, 15:33
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
A mushroom RPG would be nice.
Would require a good writer to get player into the unusual mindset, alien morals, etc.
Jeff Vandermeer springs to mind, he's got something of a mushroom obsession.
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April 28th, 2010, 11:23
I read somewhere that Droopy McCool is also some kind of mushroom (Max Rebo Band).

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 28th, 2010, 21:33
To be honest, a big problem is that the mechanics and setting need to complement each other. Sci-fi/fantasy settings have been used a lot, so they're very familiar with the players and you can easily create mechanics that complement both the feel of the setting and that are familiar enough with the player while still givin' you space for originality and a personal touch.
If you, for example, wrote a game with a 1984-like setting, how would you tailor the mechanics to that setting? You can't certainly simply put classes, you can't certainly just focus the game on combat etc… so it's really complicated.
Though, original settings have already been done in the past and I had a couple ideas in mind for a while, I'll post on that later.
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April 30th, 2010, 04:49
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Once I began a longer story, which was to become a mixture of a few Stonekeep elements, and south american jungle flair. With lots of new things to come.

I felt hindered by criticism too much (my far weakest point) and abandoned the project altogether.

Since then I don't publish my short stories etc. online anymore.


A very unique setting, which has unfortunately been also abandoned, is Manatopia
It is a little bit like the world of Arcanum … But it also has its differences …
You should never let criticism hit you too hard. I'm rough on myself actually. The game I've mentioned I'm developing I've restarted from scratch three times. Basically, I'm Cleve without giving concrete release dates. Or having the ability to make artwork that doesn't suck.

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I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe
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