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Hero of Time


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#1 Craig Davidson

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:30 AM

Recently I picked up a copy of Hyper (an Australian Video Game Magazine) and read the letter of the month for that particular issue. In it, it told of a young man, Luke Kepreotis, who passed away recently due to a serious tumor on his spinal cord. He was also a devout gamer, loving the works of Mario and Zelda. Sadly prior to his untimely death he was unable to play Skyward Sword, and his brothers Mark and Andrew, are left with his legacy to live on.

The whole story of how this young man managed to survive so long, and live a full life, has inspired me to try and develop a game in his memory. I was thinking of something inspired by the video games he played, with the main gameplay being like Classic Legend of Zelda. I was thinking about a story about a dying young man, and the two brothers who explore their world searching for a cure to his situation. If anyone else would like to provide ideas, feel free to do so. The ultimate goal is to have a full game to sell, and all proceeds would go towards charity, to help better honor Luke's memory, and to aid what means the Kepreotis brothers need to better their lives.
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#2 IceMetalPunk

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:44 AM

I couldn't help but smile while reading this. I think it's wonderful that not only are you willing to put the effort into honoring someone's memory, but that you're also willing to put any proceeds from it towards a good cause. If I weren't at risk of waking my roommate, I'd applaud you right now. I just looked up Luke on Google and found a profile from an old account of his, the link to which was right below one to his obituary. In the profile "friends" section, it said "I don't have any friends". It's so disheartening to see that, and raising awareness as well as helping his family cope is an admirable thing to do.

Of course, in order to make any money for that cause, the game has to be something that people are willing to pay for. So I'll get back on track and help out with some design ideas in the Game Ideas & Design forum :P .

One of the main considerations for a game like this is that you have to balance the emotion with the joy. People don't want to play a game that keeps them sad or upset; on the other hand, if there's not enough profundity in the game, it may seem like you're dishonoring Luke's memory. A good way to maintain the balance is by alternating the story between the present situation (i.e. "I'm looking for the dragon", or "I need 600 coins to pay for the ship to the island", or whatever) and the cause (Luke, or whatever his symbolic character will be named). Try to make it about a 60-40 split; 60% in-the-moment-so-it's-not-too-sad, 40% this-is-the-real-reason-we're-doing-this.

To give it a real sense of video-gameness (not a word, I know, but now it is :P ), you could make it so that the only cure is an experimental drug produced by a secret government facility. It's not approved for use yet, so it's heavily guarded, and you need to sneak in, steal the cure, and get out without getting caught. You'd meet people along the way--chemists, conspiracy theorists, government agents--who want to help you to help your brother, and they each have their own special uses (i.e. the chemists can make smoke bombs, explosives, etc. for you; the conspiracy nuts can hack into security feeds and supply you with a real-time minimap, or simply unlock doors for you remotely; the government agents could distract other government agents and/or destroy evidence for you; etc.). In fact, it might be a nice touch if some of them at first try to capture you, but once they hear about your brother they're touched and decide to help you instead. Don't overuse that, though; you don't want it to become cliched.

I look forward to seeing this completed someday, and if you ever need any help (with ideas, music, programming, logos--anything, you name it), don't hesitate to contact me.

Good luck :thumbsup: !

-IMP
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#3 mAnIk800

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:06 AM

This is incredible, what an awesome idea. Id also like to help in anyway i can so if you would like help with gfx pm.
Awesome post Craig, really wonderful to see someone with such a beautiful idea
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#4 Yal

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:16 AM

Rats, my browser crashed so I'll have to retype. Glad I didn't have time to write so much.

It's a great idea, Kudos!

Conspiracy theorists and goverment facilities in a Zelda game? IMP, did you real the OP? :P



Anyway, idea suggestions...


- Ambience. I'm thinking big beatiful forest sceneries with few colors, but that goes along well. Like, use four colors of warmish yellowgreen for the forest, and use the dark color for trunks and lots of shadows. This would look the best in a platform perspective, but you could also do it in Zelda perspective but devote the upper half of the screen for ambience only, aka just background for the upper half of the screen, and then place the playable area on the lower half of the screen. If done correctly (aka the transition between background and playable area is smooth) it'll look really, really good, and it'll also make your game look unique. (Indoors areas like dungeons and tree huts could cope without background sometimes, though, but large halls need a large-hall background so that they'll look epic)
- The game should begin with hope and colorful areas, but get gradually darker and bluer as hope for Luke's survival vains. You should have some really emotional scene near the end about "We gotta keep exploring... for his sake" as Luke falls into coma.
- I'm thinking something about the other brothers playing the videogame (seen in cutscenes) and telling their brother Luke about how it is (because he's too sick to play it himself). The videogame should have two kokiri characters that are look-alikes to the two brothers and become their avatars in-game.
The ending should sort of end with Luke waking up in the forest area the game begins with, but more colorful and warmer than it was when the brothers played the game. And then the screen'd fade to black and display the words "The end...?". If you have the OoT style party after beating the final boss, perhaps Luke would wake up in the forest as the party goes on? Or perhaps he'd wake up after the party, and the brother avatar characters would approach him just before the screen fades out.


Also, you should try to work the sickness into the game plot somehow and make parallells between the decay of the world and the decay of Luke, so that when the brothers work to save the (fictional video game) world, it's a symbol for them working to save Luke. The end would be about that even though Luke couldn't be saved, he goes on as part of the world they saved for him.



Concrete... you could have the world revolve about the world tree Yggdrasìl, and name it something like the "Spine of the world". Forests shrouded in mist are full of ambience, so putting the game in the treetops of a really really big tree should give you a good excuse to add in lots of woods. You could also have big islands held up by the tree branches, letting you place a volcano or lake or something there to get areas with a different theme.
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#5 IceMetalPunk

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:20 PM

Conspiracy theorists and goverment facilities in a Zelda game? IMP, did you real the OP? :P

I did. I've also never played any Zelda games (I know; try not to faint :P ). I was just assuming that that was just an indication that the game should be an adventure-platformer.

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#6 Craig Davidson

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:05 AM

I was also thinking of adding to the Zelda-style gameplay, an element of reconstructing the decaying world, as Luke's life is intertwined with that of the game world. You could have to the two brothers rebuilding sections of the world, and of the towns and cities that populate it, much like Dark Cloud, or Dark Chronicle. Also what I was thinking is that mid-way into the game, we could have one brother enter a futuristic world, (much because Luke liked games like Mass Effect) and the other remain in the fantasy realm (because he likes classic RPGs), much like in Chrono Trigger.

Another idea was that the cutscenes set in the real world, would be just a black screen, with speech quotes, much like in Harvest Moon or Final Fantasy or any of the other Japanese RPGs. The Music could set the mood, overlaying with the reading of the text boxes. What do any of you think of that?

Edited by Craig Davidson, 27 April 2012 - 03:17 AM.

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#7 Craig Davidson

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:44 AM

I was also thinking that since Luke's family came from Greek descent, the two brothers could fight against enemies inspired by Greek mythology, original in a refined way. And since Luke went to Japan once, we could add a little Japanese air to the game, with designs and lands based on both Japan and Greece.
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#8 chance

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:24 AM

I don't know anything about this fellow's life, or his demise. But to me, a game about a dying young man, or about death in general, isn't a good way to honor his memory. Why not learn about his accomplishments in life, or his favorite things, and make an upbeat game about those?

I mean, you wouldn't honor Steve Jobs' memory by making a game where a guy struggles against a pancreas tumor -- you'd make it about his innovation and technology.
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#9 Craig Davidson

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:30 PM

Another idea. As the spine of the world falls to the great corruption, as the character inspired by Luke lies dying, the two brothers try in vain to repair the damage by rebuilding the world. But after Luke loses the battle against his disease, all hope seems lost. But then, the brothers remember the good times and memories that they had with Luke, and the world is restored, with the memory of Luke manifesting itself in one final appearance.
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#10 Adequate

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:20 AM

I don't know anything about this fellow's life, or his demise. But to me, a game about a dying young man, or about death in general, isn't a good way to honor his memory. Why not learn about his accomplishments in life, or his favorite things, and make an upbeat game about those?

I mean, you wouldn't honor Steve Jobs' memory by making a game where a guy struggles against a pancreas tumor -- you'd make it about his innovation and technology.

Agreed.

Also, "the spine of the world"? Seriously.

Look, Luke went through a struggle his whole life, so this game (IMO) ought to be about the vestiges of happiness found amongst large struggles, while at the same time incorporating underlying themes such as family, friendship, identity (read: Luke's identity) and so on and so forth.

Don't get me wrong, the world design you guys have here is amazing, but it needs a story that tells a story in a way that respects Luke's life just as much as a funeral does. The "spine of the world" doesn't really do too much justice to that.
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#11 Craig Davidson

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:51 AM


I don't know anything about this fellow's life, or his demise. But to me, a game about a dying young man, or about death in general, isn't a good way to honor his memory. Why not learn about his accomplishments in life, or his favorite things, and make an upbeat game about those?

I mean, you wouldn't honor Steve Jobs' memory by making a game where a guy struggles against a pancreas tumor -- you'd make it about his innovation and technology.

Agreed.

Also, "the spine of the world"? Seriously.

Look, Luke went through a struggle his whole life, so this game (IMO) ought to be about the vestiges of happiness found amongst large struggles, while at the same time incorporating underlying themes such as family, friendship, identity (read: Luke's identity) and so on and so forth.

Don't get me wrong, the world design you guys have here is amazing, but it needs a story that tells a story in a way that respects Luke's life just as much as a funeral does. The "spine of the world" doesn't really do too much justice to that.

I've just come up with an interesting idea for the story based on what you said. Luke's survival is interlinked to the world around him, yet he and his world are under threat by a mysterious situation where Luke's identity and memory of all those around him start to disappear, much like the tumor on his spine in real life. And that causes parts of the world to disappear. So his two brothers go out into the world, exploring and rebuilding as they go along, and struggling to fight for the happy times they experienced, as seen through the dreams they have during the cutscenes. I wonder if that will work?
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#12 M_Kepreotis

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:11 AM

I'm glad that Luke's story has inspired you and I appreciate the gesture you have put forward. I also think that the support is comforting and the ideas suggested so far are promising.I would however, being Luke's brother and the one who wrote the article, appreciate it if you would run ideas and suggestions (if they include Luke and his life being part of the game) by me before anything is created. Thanks again for the support and appreciation of a fellow gamer.
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#13 Craig Davidson

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:15 AM

I'm glad that Luke's story has inspired you and I appreciate the gesture you have put forward. I also think that the support is comforting and the ideas suggested so far are promising.I would however, being Luke's brother and the one who wrote the article, appreciate it if you would run ideas and suggestions (if they include Luke and his life being part of the game) by me before anything is created. Thanks again for the support and appreciation of a fellow gamer.

Good. I'm glad we've got your support. With your input, we'll be able to make a game that would honor your brother's memory, and do you proud. Keep up the good work, and I hope you'll keep in contact.

Edited by Craig Davidson, 29 April 2012 - 12:19 AM.

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#14 =(:5/7A!I:)=

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:37 AM

Craig Davidson,
This is a very interesting concept. I'm sure it will capture people's imaginations if they play the game.
Personally, I would never propose to make a game about someone I don't know. That, however, does not make it wrong.

Your proposal has some purpose besides a certain level of publicity.
Games certainly have theraputic qualities and are also a popular form of media (though not as seamless as some others).
Games help people and organizations spread ideas and awareness.

M_Kepreotis,

I would have said roughly the same thing: it's reasonable to rely on the consent of relatives. I would like to offer my opinion, if that is okay with you. My opinion is that people feel comforted with memories of ones close to themselves. I think that such memories are usually the good qualities of the person, with very clear images- nothing really fuzzy or uncertain.

Of course, a game is a work of fiction in many ways. It's a sensitive issue; the idea of blurring the lines between reality and fiction. So, this is just to show that I feel I understand some of the issues a person could possibly have with a project of this nature. Certain feelings must be preserved. However, I feel that people sacrifice certain elements of their true selves in order to progress in society, to have an impact or an influence on others. I believe that we accomplish great tasks by putting ourselves forward and putting in some amount of hard work. When we make split decisions, or put in monumental efforts to achieve things, what happens to our personality? It could be argued that personality is something which isn't entirely clear, which is why we can also define ourselves by our accomplishments and efforts.

This leads me onto saying: you will have memories of him that others will not appreciate or cherish- memories very personal to you. With a game, the public will see a completely different reality for the purpose of getting a message across possibly in a fascinating and surreal way. To make the game very unusual and/or esoterical is perhaps one way of immortalising your brother.

Edited by =(:5/7A!I:)=, 29 April 2012 - 04:39 AM.


#15 chance

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:19 AM

Good. I'm glad we've got your support. With your input, we'll be able to make a game that would honor your brother's memory..

So maybe it's time to actually start designing the game. Are you still planning this (below)?


So his two brothers go out into the world, exploring and rebuilding as they go along, and struggling to fight for the happy times they experienced...

Not sure what that means (bold part). The idea of re-building a world sounds interesting... but you need to give us more detail about the actual gameplay.
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#16 Craig Davidson

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:02 AM

Here is a storyline I conjured up for use in the project. I hope the community likes it. It's a complex and interesting storyline, based upon going out into the world, beyond the current limitations of the level. Enjoy!




Heroes of Time
A Game Idea dedicated to the Memory of Luke Kepreotis
Written by Craig Davidson

In the realm of Luck-haven, the stability of the world have been maintained by a large enchanted tree. Its roots stretch into the furthest reaches of time, and help keep the many towns and cities, and their respective life forms in peace and prosperity.

The game begins with two brothers living and working on a farm. For the beginning of the game, you can just talk to the people in the nearby village, or raise the crops and cattle of your estate. In fact this section of the game can be played indefinitely. However if you are willing, you could explore the outer regions. If you explore far enough, you will find an enchanted sword, and a magic staff.

Once the two brothers get their tools, they can further explore the other towns and cities, and fight the assorted beasts between them. As you go along, the brothers gain experience, and learn new skills. These can be learned from the many sages and warrior trainers that populate the civilised areas.

Of course this all can be played indefinitely, unless you decide to conjure up a spell of a particular type. If this happens, the two brothers will enter the future of this realm. You will explore this world and see it all in ruins. Wondering how this land got turned into such a mess, you'll constantly travel around the area, finding yourself around the Great Tree. There it has been brought to the point of death. It still lives within a perpetual limbo, but it is in serious need of help.

One of the brothers tries to set up a counter-spell to bring them back to the present. It works, but brings a beast from the dying days back to the present. One wants to kill it, but the other believes that it needs saving. The latter wins out in the conversation, and they decide to let it stay on their farm.

The two brothers wonder about how the world got in this mess in the future. So they decide to travel to the great tree to find out more about the situation, for the tree has knowledge beyond all reckoning, and is wisest of all life forms. When they arrive, they find a young boy, standing there waiting for the two. He says that he has also been called to the tree, and notices that there is a slight illness within. It seems like nothing now, but as time progresses, the illness will worsen and the world will be engulfed in darkness, like in the future.

The three decide to set out on their first adventure, to find the truth about this disease. The only people who know about how the tree lives, is the wise sciences of the city of Loc-yar. They arrive, but they end up in the midst of an attempted invasion of the kingdom. It seems that the Nihils, a warrior race that had been exploiting the growing weaknesses within the land's structure to gain a foothold on many of the kingdoms and territories around them.

Caught, the three adventurers are placed on trial by the Loc-yarians. They plead their innocence, but their pleas fall on blind eyes and deaf ears. That is until the young man that the two brothers met at the great tree, uses an unseen until now ability to show to everyone the future of what would happen if they do not stop, with not just the kingdom falling, but also the the world becoming dark and ruined.

The two brothers realise that this was the future they had visited some time ago, and question his involvement in current affairs. He tells them that he can only tell them that he is of a greater power, and that the future will reveal the truth. The two brothers are perplexed and curious by this, but they have bigger plans to achieve.

The three are given the power to lead the armies of the majority of the surviving kingdoms. The leaders of which had been kept under siege until their arrival within Loc-yar. The first step, in the form of a tutorial, is to cleanse the main territory of the kingdom of the Nihils. This section helps better the player for the rest of this segment of the game. After the kingdom is secured, the three, joined by the combined and unified armies of the region, continue to fight for land regions, each giving a strategic advantage, whether it be increased resources, or new abilities.

Also there will be some kingdoms that could aid the cause but refuse to join due to their self-reliant beliefs. It is up to the three main characters to persuade them to their cause, through the conquest of different regions.

As the game rolls on, the Nihils manage to take back regions as you battle. At the game's rate this could last forever. And as a player, you can continue to battle endlessly. But at the beginning of the section, you are told of a possibility to end the war with the Nihils by taking out the core of its empire, its capital region. Of course you could do that, just by building up your armies and concentrating of a singular strike. But then you would be missing out on the experience and leveling up that an extended game rewards with.

After the Nihils are finally defeated, you are explained by the Loc-yarians about how the tree lives. It is based upon the sentience of all life on a singular planet. Luck-haven had been lucky in that effect since peace and prosperity reigned all over. The Nihils only came as a result of weaknesses within the tree, in short, the disease.

Under the guidance of the Overseer, a high-ranking superior who had helped unify the kingdoms against the Nihil hordes, you are told of five great crystals, whose shards could be used together to heal the tree. Their locations having been lost to the sands of time, but through exploration, and clue-finding, they can be rediscovered.

So you begin your second great adventure, a quest to seek and secure the shards. Over the course of the journey, you will enter many randomly generated dungeons, go from land to land, cross oceans and even travel to the legendary cities of the sky (a la Laputa). The three characters will be able to level up their skills, or switch job classes, attack great beasts and monsters, and the giant bosses of many, or capture them for breeding or battling purposes within the many battle arenas on the planet, and build onto their experience and better the world around them, much like a game of Legend of Zelda.

However after gaining the five shards. You return to the Overseer, and he places them into a sceptre of solid iron. He uses it to gain control of the tree, and steals its power, sealing it with the metal rod. The Overseer then takes the sword, and the staff, and unleashes a great blast of energy that threatens the existence of Luck-haven itself. But the two brothers and the young man manage to escape to Luck-haven's sister world, Bliss-roven.

Within the ruins of this world, the two brothers discover that this world was once like Luck-haven, with its own tree of life. But now it is in great ruins. The tree itself reduced to nothing more than dust. They travel across the lifeless world, searching for answers in a similar fashion as the game Myst. Fragments of tablets, plus the ruins of civilization provide answers of such. Puzzles left behind by the world's inhabitants beckon, as each clue found leads to a definitive answer.

The truth is that Bliss-roven suffered the same fate as what will happen to Luck-haven. Before the beginning of time, there was a great evil that had gone from world to world, reducing each one to a dead state. But upon reaching Bliss-roven, the great disease was kept from escaping by its inhabitants, who unleashed a great mystical energy that engulfed the planet and suffocated the disease. All except for one particle which fell on the far side of the world of Luck-haven.

For thousands of years it remained dormant. Until a knight discovered it by accident while exploring a deep forest. He causes the rock that it was trapped within to break open, and he became intoxicated with power. He would ultimately become the Overseer, and the disease would take its time upon being exposed with the planet itself, to strike the tree. At full strength, the disease struck the tree and evil started to rise, in the form of the Nihils. They were descended from the earliest survivors of Bliss-roven, having come to colonise, but were driven down into the underground, where the dank and the dark reign supreme.

Then comes a new problem. The young man that they found by the tree, has started to weaken. He tells them that the tree and his life energies are connected, in a symbiotic relationship. Unless the tree is cured, he will die, as will the many millions living on Luck-haven.

However there is a cure. If the world is rebuilt from the ashes, the tree will regain its own energy, despite it still being inside the sceptre. All that the Overseer has is just a limited amount of the tree's true power. If each province of the world is reclaimed and rebuild from city to forest and forever onward, the tree will be able to expel the evil within, and overwhelm it to self-destruction.

But to accomplish this goal, the three need to return to Luck-haven. Using much of his energies, the young man teleports the three back to their world. In particular, their farm, lying in ruins and destruction. The young man of the tree lies down for a rest, and falls into a deep slumber, leaving the job of defeating the great evil to the two brothers. But they lost their weapons earlier to the Overseer. But they do have the assortment of creatures, plus some of the skills to battle onward.

They fight the new orders of monsters and beasts, until they find the ruins of an armoury. That is where the first brother forges a new sword, and begins to level up using it. The Forests of the Yheme is where the other brother discovers his skill with magic again, and carves a new staff with the dormant magic within him.

Together they continue on the fight, battling, and honing their skills once again, and travelling through dungeon and land, rebuilding their world as the evil starts to weaken. At times, some of the lands get invaded by evil forces. But the point of this section is to build up your skills and defeat said evil with stronger forces.

Ultimately there will be a final confrontation between the Overseer, now known as the Overlord, and the two brothers. Depending on how much goodness you have restored to the world, by this time, your power will be able to make this final battle easy or hard. But if you defeat the overlord, and shatter the sceptre, the crystal shards within will combine with the new goodness of the recovering tree, and the world is restored in a blast of white light.

At the end of the game, the two brothers arrive at the tree again, and wonder what ever happened to the young man who was tied spiritually to the tree. He arrives and explains that he was the avatar of the tree itself. He congratulates the two brothers for saving the world, and the heroic good of those that aided them for bettering the world.

But evil still remains in the world. Splinter groups of Nihils still live, and make havoc with the forces of good, and territories will still fall into the forces of evil. It will be up to them to maintain the status-quo, and so they jump to the challenge, as the guardians and defenders of time itself.

And so the game ends, but the adventure still continues, as you can continue playing the game, building cities, fighting in the arenas, as well as farming and building up your skills and wealth.

For in the world of Luck-haven, the adventure never ends, even beyond the final credit roll...
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#17 Schyler

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:49 AM

Cool story. Nice story :P

Seems a bit long for a small game.
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#18 M_Kepreotis

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:38 AM

Sorry everyone, I have been preoccupied with other business and could not find the time to reply sooner.
My brother and I have been reading your amazing ideas, we are very happy that people want to make a game in Luke's memory and I would like to thank you all again.
In my spare time I have been writing my own concept for the game and I will post it very soon.
I look forward to hearing your feedback when I have finished.
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#19 M_Kepreotis

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:02 AM

I've roughly finished a draft of what I think the story and gameplay should be like in the game.
I apologise in advance for any errors as this is only a draft, also I wrote quite a large amount on character introductions as I want those to be done in great detail so that the player gains a good relationship with them.

Game Mechanics
-Chrono Trigger sprites
-Turn based gameplay from a similar view point as Final Fantasy
-Include Health, Mana and Super meters
-So far only a party of three at a time (later other characters may be negotiable)
-Possible class change system, perhaps only exclusive to Luke’s character
-Enemies do not scale to your level
-The game world is based on the real world in a medieval fantasy setting (names can be a mix of fantasy and reality)
-I would like to incorporate Lukeopolis in some way (the name of his city in Patapon and My life as King)
-Interactions with friends and family from his life as side quests are a must
-Inclusion of changing equipment and characters (possibly through a time skip scenario)
-Andrew will be a trainee knight, he will wear heavy armour and carry multiple weapons. His abilities will be based on level progression as well as training from the multiple master’s and weapon styles available in the game. E.g. Katana will be a quick draw slice.
-Mark will be the Beast Tamer, only a handful of his animals collected will play out as attack animations all others will be permanent stat boosts or take the form of weapons (e.g. a bear will yield increased attack and claw type weapons).
-Luke will be a rogue build and include a mix of melee and magic attacks (thanks to the fairy playing a role in combat). His abilities will revolve around light and healing magic, other than that he will have typical thief/rogue attacks such as steal and back stab.
-If a time skip is incorporated it will force the characters to be 5-6 years younger at the beginning of the game and by the end reach their current selves.
-Andrew will upgrade into the weapons master, he has learnt much from his travels and decided he cannot have just one master. He will walk around with a large wheel of weapons on his back. His attacks will remain however he will gain an ultimate ability that involves him creating an attack that includes all weapons styles learnt thus far (the attack will do more or less damage depending on what abilities have been gathered).
-Mark will become the beast master and possibly gain the ability to call in an animal mid battle as an extra party member. Marks ultimate will be an army of animals stampeding across screen (includes only animals gathered thus far), it will end with a small rodent slowly scurrying across screen while Mark looks embarrassed by the affair, once it reaches the enemy and bites the damage indicator will appear in a dramatic burst on screen.
-Luke will either gain the ability to change class at will or he will become the transcendent rogue, he will fuse with the fairy and gain permanent powers such as jump, healing, and dual wielding (swords instead of daggers.

The story begins with a dark and stormy night; between lightning strikes we see a hooded man’s movement in the trees. The man is pursuing a cart headed towards a nearby castle, as the cart approaches the castle the man dashes under the cart. The drawbridge lowers and the cart is waved in. Once the entrance clears, the stowaway makes his move into the treasure room. Once he finds what he is looking for he attempts to flee the scene. This endeavour proves problematic due to an overly paranoid guard, as the hero narrowly avoids detection his hood falls and the main character is revealed through a still image. He now attempts to escape the rest of the dungeon; all the while he narrates the adventure.
“I am a jack of all trades, some call me thief, others…hero, all I can say for certain is…I am Luke”. This Robin Hood type character finds a nearby cave to seek refuge until the guards stop looking.

The cave serves as a tutorial to the player and it explains the basics of the turn based RPG combat.
Once the player navigates their way through the cave, they will approach a suspicious looking Altar. The Altar is covered in a strange darkness; this reacts to Luke and manifests itself as his doppelganger. Once the darkness is dispelled it reforms and assimilates into the crystal ground of the altar. A glowing statue rises out of Luke’s cloak and proceeds to absorb the energy of the crystal. The statue bursts into a blinding light filling the room, once the hero regains his senses he sees a small glowing figure before him. The figure reveals herself to be a guardian of light, she keeps her introduction and explanation brief as she finds it difficult to maintain her current form. She explains that of the hero forms a pact with her and he defeats the darkness sealing her power, she will then repay the hero with answers and a glorious reward. Luke agrees and is transported out of the cave.

Luke awakes in a strange village; he is surrounded by the inhabitants of the town who were worried for his safety. The village cheers from Luke’s recovery much to his surprise, they then proceed to question him repeatedly about his identity. Luke tells them of his journey to this point and asks them if they would know anything about the massing evil that can help his fairy companion. The villagers point Luke in the correct direction and give him access to standard goods and equipment. The villagers hire transport for the hero, which will be ready to depart tomorrow. Luke realises he has time to spend and decides to make use of the villagers hospitality by exploring the village. Luke soon realises he is being followed by a knight; he quickly assumes he is a palace guard from his previous theft. Luke confronts him in the hopes he can defeat him. The knight reveals himself to be travelling the world in-training to become a real knight. He is under no master and believes that he can learn much from travelling with Luke. The knight removes his helmet and reveals himself to be Andrew “Hero in Training”, Luke reluctantly accepts Andrew’s offer and they decide to travel together towards an unknown goal.

While travelling Andrew will gain multiple temporary masters and weapon styles, all of his masters will reappear and teach Andrew even more skills.
As they travel Luke and Andrew share brother-like moments that are reflective of real life. For example Andrew will have a sparring match with Luke in town, which ends in Andrew accidently ramming Luke into a wall (butt-first).
As another side note Andrew could have an insatiable addiction to a certain type of food that he keeps running into restaurants all over the world for, this will stay as a running gag throughout the game.

The heroes soon reach a small shrine where the monk inhabitants ask for the traveller’s assistance. They promise a hand-some reward for their help in banishing the darkness from the land. The monks tell the heroes of a mysterious labyrinth that exists under the shrine, this evil stretches far and wide, it causes famine and pestilence to all those in its reach. Their plight doesn’t fall on deaf ears as the heroes decide they will do anything to save the people of this land.

The heroes start what they assume to be a perilous journey into the labyrinth. The deeper they explore the less dangerous the journey seems and the heroes almost seem insulted by this supposed evil.
Once they reach the Labyrinth’s centre, the due is caught off guard by a surprise attack by a small figure draped in darkness. After eliminating the threat a scene plays where the darkness fades to reveal a small monkey. The heroes revive the monkey and due to mistaken association the monkey violently assaults the heroes, this is an exercise in futility as the heroes are more than a match for such a small creature. Andrew teases the creature and assumes its rage stems from constipation. The monkey is utterly confused and ends up calming down. The heroes decide to leave and much to their surprise the monkey follows them, Luke and Andrew reassure the monks that the evil will no longer plague them and the duo sleep at the shrine for the night.

The following day sees the situation worsened by the very evil the heroes had stopped. Luke and Andrew are perplexed and intrigued, they soon reach the conclusion to re-enter the labyrinth and search for clues. The dungeon has lost what little danger it previously held and once again the heroes reach the centre chamber. The heroes spot the monkey from the other day and see him trying to climb a suspicious looking wall. Andrew boosts the monkey up and allows him to enter through a small opening. A secret door opens and the duo stands dumbfounded that they didn't notice anything before. They proceed into the unknown and discover a great darkness hiding away in this passage; they make slow progression through this passage hoping to see some indication of progress soon. The heroes spot a sparkling light in the distance and quickly move towards it, the light is coming from a golden sceptre standing directly upright. As the reach out to the sceptre the darkness around them pulsates and encroaches on the sceptres location. This reveals the rest of the room as well as the true evil plaguing the shrine (a doppelganger of Andrew). Once the evil is dealt with the sceptre falls to the ground, the monkey rushes and picks it up. The monkey gestures for the heroes to aim it towards him; Andrew takes it off his hands and points it towards the monkey. The room is enveloped in light and a thunderous roar echoes in the room. As the light dissipates the body of a young man is revealed, his body is covered in red and gold clothing, he shares many traits with apes and even has some excess hair growing over his arms and legs. The heroes decide to help him back to the shrine where he can get some rest. While this is happening Luke’s fairy is absorbing the power from the defeated darkness.

After a few days of rest the beast man awakes and thanks the heroes for their kindness. He recounts the events that led him to the labyrinth and he tells the heroes more about the evil that corrupted the sceptre and turned him into a monkey. The man reveals himself to be Mark the Beast Tamer; he is at a loss however as when he was transformed all of his trained animals had dispersed around the globe. As thanks for their help Mark decides to travel with the heroes in an attempt to repay his debt. The heroes wonder if he even understands the concept of gratitude, but in the end reluctantly accept his offer.
While they travel Mark informs the heroes of the other areas of the world plagued by darkness, Mark tells them that he was searching for a way to save his village when he discovered the existence of the darkness and formulated a way to destroy it. Through his travels Mark made a list of all the rare weapons in the world, all of which are sealed and hunted by the darkness. The heroes decide to retire for the night at a nearby tourist town. Mark is overexcited and decides to party in the town’s main restaurant. Luke and Andrew convince Mark that the restaurant is holding animals against their will and forcing them to work or be served for dinner. Mark is enraged and enters a blind fury; Luke tells Mark that the only way to free the animals is to enter without being seen through a special “enchanted” wall. Mark looks at the wall in question and rams himself repeatedly into the wall head first until the head chef emerges and bans all three travellers from the restaurant for life (this actually happened).

The trio now travel and work toward their best lead, a small island resembling Kythera (actual place in Greece). They hear stories that the wind only blows towards the island and never lets any boats leave. The heroes believe this would be an ideal location for the darkness to reach. Once they arrive they notice some very bizarre occurrences; all the people speak in a foreign language, wild animals roam the streets and the island is plagued by the supernatural winds. The heroes discover that the winds originate in the small city of Hora, as the trio approaches they notice a large a foreboding castle tower over the entire city. The heroes are drawn to the castle believing they will find exactly what they are after inside. They explore the entire castle and find nothing, not even a trace that it was used before. The heroes think that nothing is wrong with the castle and proceed to descend the cliff-side castle. As they reach the entrance the heroes notice a previously sealed off cave opened by an unknown force. The heroes now enter the catacombs of Castro Hora (I may also add as a small side quest the trip to Kipriotanika, where the name Kepreotis originated).

From here the story will evolve and the heroes will be separated for 5-6 years, once the game returns they will all be older and have new stories to tell. In this time Luke has evolved and shows the first signs of a deteriorating condition in the form of a fusion with his fairy companion and the amount of energy it had been taking in from each battle.
The heroes will reunite and share some truly special moments with one another. The heroes will now venture to save the now decaying world. After all the darkness is defeated all of the heroes will collapse and the screen will fade to black. The true evil will reveal itself as a truly formidable foe, darkness unlike any other. This will push the heroes to their absolute limit as they will now have to journey far and wide to stop it to save mankind.
Everyone will party in happiness with Luke (once he wakes up after the final battle) and celebrate the start of a new age of peace and prosperity. Once everything is said and done a small epilogue will play out where Luke will attempt to leave his brothers in arms in the middle of the night. He is soon stopped (they knew he would try something and decided to wait further up on the road), Luke is saddened as he doesn’t want to say goodbye but is compelled to leave to find his own adventure. Mark reassures Luke that everything will be fine and that he should explore this new and peaceful world for all its worth. Andrew is reluctant to accept the fact their paths may never cross again.
Luke starts to cry and Mark tells both of them that sometimes in life there are just some special un-missable adventures that lie in wait for just the right person. Mark tells him that it is just something that has to be done, he cries throughout his speech and says something profound about looking to the stars for safety, knowing we will always be watching with him. Andrew smiles and tells Luke that even if we weren’t related by blood he felt like we were closer than brothers. He hugs both of them and says that we will all meet again when we are ready.
Luke smiles and summons his wings in a blinding light, he then slowly rises into the sky and fly’s away to find his own way and his own life. Andrew and Mark are left behind and decide to part ways as well. The next morning Mark calls for a large feline type beast and rides it off into the distance. Andrew decides to stay where he is and start a business of training young and aspiring knights to fly his banner into battle. Luke watches over the two as the part ways and then proceeds to a land of new hope and new adventure. He smiles and leaves knowing that the world is in good hands as long as they remain. The game ends with a statue of the three heroes and three of their items lodged into the ground at the foot of the statue (sword, daggers and staff).
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#20 Craig Davidson

Craig Davidson

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:39 AM

Very well done, Mark. If we can combine your story, with the gameplay aspects, such as Luke's enchantedness being related to the existance of the world around them, and incorporate the strategy and city building elements of my idea, it could quite possibly work. With your storytelling abilities, and my game design skills, we'll make a good game.

Also, I've figured out an idea towards how to combine real-time movement on a map, with the turn-based fighting you would like to do. We have a map with monsters walking around, and if you end up in contact with them, we enter a separate screen for battling in turn based conflicts. If we do something like Zelda II: The Adventures of Link, it would work.

Oh by the way, I told Hyper about our idea, and has published my article on it as Letter of the Month. At least we are equals in this project.

Edited by Craig Davidson, 31 May 2012 - 12:53 AM.

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