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Sodaholic
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I don't want the map names thread to get derailed so I'm making this thread.


Obviously, it'd be hard to agree on a story, so I'd hope that this idea is agreeable.

AGM, which stands for Advanced Genetic Manufacturing, is a corporation that holds strong influence in the health care industry. They create genetic treatments for diseases and grow new organs. The military contracts them to secretly create biological weapons, but the unfinished experiment breaks out and the city that the AGM labs resides in turned into monsters. The military contained the problem by using quantum weaponry to absolutely destroy the matter of the monsters. Unfortunately, they were merely teleported to an alternate dimension, where they grew and evolved to the point of creating teleportation technology to get back to Earth, and did so.


I know it sucks, but at least it's generic enough to fit, I suppose. We're going to have to decide on a story at some point, though, we can't keep coming up with ideas that nobody agrees on and nothing gets implemented.

Old Post 11-15-12 00:45 #
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wesleyjohnson
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Most people just ignore the story and start playing. General apathy.

Might hang together better if AGM was working on teleporters for the military and some of their early experiments had unexpected side-effects. Could even throw in there that they also had some genetics experiments (another division) and may have used a few of their previous test subjects from the genetics experiments as teleport test subjects. We don't know because most of the records would be in the areas overrun by the monsters.
Perhaps AGM also had a cloning experiment that got overrun, because
the monsters seem to be identical copies.

Hard to reconcile with the Hell theme and the mobs of identical monsters
unless an invading army of creatures from another place is included.
Either that or they are cloning them someplace.

A general mystery of what AGM was up to works well, because then the player can explore the game, hoping to find out during game play.
A tight story line is more disappointing because the levels are not going to agree with it and there is little chance of fixing that.

The story line needs to be really vague and leave it as a mystery what AGM was up to that got out of control.

Old Post 11-15-12 01:24 #
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Sodaholic
I feel justified yet disgusted with myself at the same time


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wesleyjohnson said:
The story line needs to be really vague and leave it as a mystery what AGM was up to that got out of control.

Agreed. I think that the other dimension should be vaguely alluded to as being hellish, not quite Hell itself, but some kind of alien dimension. Again, it should be vague. Hades, "the other dimension", "the alien dimension" etc. They should be considered mutants/aliens/both, demon-like, but not exactly demons.

Old Post 11-15-12 01:29 #
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fraggle
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I don't think we should underestimate the value of a story to the project - recently I've come to feel that Freedoom's main weakness is its lack of artistic direction and consistency. I think defining a story could go a long way towards improving that. I'd also encourage people to come up with stories that are distinct and different to the original Doom story. Stuff about teleportation experiments seems like a bit too much of a ripoff for my tastes.

Vagueness can be debated, but it can't be completely vague. Based on the story we need to be able to define a general structure for how the game(s) progress - for Freedoom 1 that's what the 4 episodes are each about, for Freedoom 2 there should similarly be several segments that the game progresses through. From that outline we can then come up with level titles and write the intermission screen text.

Best not to rush into doing that all at once, though - we should debate the overall theme first and decide on that before progressing further. Sodaholic's proposed story is a start, but I feel like it could probably be stronger.

In some sense the game is defined by the monsters - what they are and where they come from. In Doom, that was hell; in the Doom movie it was genetic experiments and the books I believe it was aliens. All of these therefore seem a bit cliched to me and it would be nice if we could come up with something more original. Science fiction has plenty of concepts that could be used - time travel, parallel dimensions, the monsters could even be imagination made real. Don't be bound by the constraints of Doom's story.

Old Post 11-15-12 01:34 #
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Catoptromancy
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In-game txt should nicely flow and just long enough to fit on the screen during intermissions. UDOOM and DOOM2 stories need to go together.
Each episode needs a specific story that is differing but goes with previous episode. Each episode's story should attempt to reasonably describe the theme of the maps.

Quick summary for each episode template for consideration.

Write your own stories using this template.
TEMPLATE:
code:
Theme: Military base on earth with various projects. Doom E1, Soldier undergoing experimental treatments for super strength and speed starts experiencing lifelike hallucinations. (Berserk packs, spheres) E2, Player finds advanced scientific research facility. E2M8, Player finds science experiment that projects consciousness. Player under heavy influence of drugs spawns a crapload of monsters from imagination. E3, Crapload of monsters that player created as well as hellish landscape of his creation. E3M8 end text shows player figures out he is affected. E4, Player goes to find cure. Doom2 E1, Player cured, kills everything created. E2, Monsters dont stop showing up. Player investigates. E3, Player finds out where the source of monsters is. Another similar science project was recreating the monsters. E4, Player shuts down monster spawner. Secret levels, drugs affect player into nightmare scenes. Waking up terrible places.


I have about 2-3 more stories ill post.

Old Post 11-15-12 01:56 #
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hex11
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wesleyjohnson said:
Most people just ignore the story and start playing. General apathy.



Well it doesn't help that many game stories are boring, and full of pointless details. That's when players start hitting Enter key or mouse button to just get on with the damn quest and bring back 7 troll heads or whatever. :-)

And that's why the DOOM story was great: it was epic, but simple because it built on a theme everyone is familiar with. It didn't try to use fancy SF concepts or terminology, beyond the simplest stuff (teleportation, without getting into details as to the HOW it works).

Also, this AGM thing is a problem. It seems everyone is trying to think of stuff to fit that acronym, but that's backwards, because it wouldn't take much effort at all to replace it with another set of letters.

Old Post 11-15-12 06:49 #
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Gez
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wesleyjohnson said:
Most people just ignore the story and start playing. General apathy.


I think some people don't understand what "story" means in the context of such threads.

It doesn't have to be a novella with a complex cast of characters and a deep foray into the frailty of human condition.

It just needs to be something that determines a coherent, consistent theme around which the game world is built.

Players do not ignore the story. Ask anybody who has ever played Doom what it's about. Chances are you'll get something like "it's about a space marine who shoots demons and zombies". Okay, see that? It's a story. The story being "space marine battles demons and zombies". It is a story.

I'm also pretty sure that most players will also remember that the demons were there because of some teleportation tech experiment or something. More story!

Sure, not the kind of stories that Jane Austen would write, but it's the kind of story we're talking about here. The story only needs to answer three questions:
  • Who is the player?
  • What are the monsters?
  • Why are we fighting?


Doom's answers are "space marine", "demons and possessed zombies", "the forces of hell are invading threaten all of humanity".

Heretic's answers are "lone elf survivor", "evil wizard's minions", and "revenge".

Strife's answers are "mercenary", "mind-controlled servants of alien monstrosities", "to free the human race from cruel alien overlords".

Hacx's answers are "a hacker and martial artist", "robots and mutants controlled by a mad AI", "to free what's left of the human race from the mad AI's robots and mutants".

Chex Quest's answers are "some sort of soldier in a waffle armor (wtf?)", "sentient phlegm from another dimension (ew)", "promoting snot-free breakfast cereals".

See? It can be a perfectly stupid story, full of trite clichés or of general nonsense. The story won't be evaluated on its literary value. It just needs to be there to set a theme and direction to the game. Games that don't need a story need to be perfectly abstract; like solitaire, chess, or Tetris. Doom isn't as abstract as these games, so it needs a story.

Old Post 11-15-12 07:10 #
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Death Egg
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hex11 said:
So maybe: AGM = Aegean Genetic Machina

And the monsters are re-creations of mythological creatures, originally for the purpose of amusement ,and without any destructive traits. But this hubris angered the gods (who apparently do exist after all), and they twisted these benign creations into their true viscious forms. Then they sent plague after plague, and a series of natural disasters upon humanity, which will continue indefinitely until such time that one man can pass the "Test of the Gods" and redeem humanity in their eyes.



I was particularly fond of this story concept from the other topic, and not just because it ties in with the names I came up with. It's simple enough, but still fairly memorable and would set a good precedent for potential future additions. (Particularly monster designs)

Old Post 11-15-12 08:16 #
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fraggle
Filled with the code of Doom


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Gez said:


I think some people don't understand what "story" means in the context of such threads.

It doesn't have to be a novella with a complex cast of characters and a deep foray into the frailty of human condition.

It just needs to be something that determines a coherent, consistent theme around which the game world is built.

Hit the nail on the head here. As I see it, the story itself is less important than the fact that there is a story. Adding a story will give help to give a creative direction and structure to Freedoom that it's badly in need of.

Old Post 11-15-12 12:58 #
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Catoptromancy
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The story only need to to be descriptive enough to explain why someone is fighting and what they are fighting. Needs to fit on text screen between episodes.

I prefer a more science based theme but it would be a bit harder to explain the hellish maps with science. A time travel theme would be cool too. Those monsters are from the a past before dinosaurs even, explaining the hellscape as a young earth.

Old Post 11-15-12 13:05 #
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fraggle
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Catoptromancy said:
I prefer a more science based theme but it would be a bit harder to explain the hellish maps with science. A time travel theme would be cool too. Those monsters are from the a past before dinosaurs even, explaining the hellscape as a young earth.
I'd also prefer something science based rather than something based on religious mythology (even if the "science" perhaps challenges the player's suspension of disbelief a bit).

Other ideas I've had for the origins of the monsters are:
  • Creatures from a parallel universe where the Earth is closer to the sun - ie. a hotter, less hospitable planet - with an unpleasant disposition to match their planet's atmosphere, and more technologically advanced than humans are.

  • Creatures from the human imagination made real - there are different ways this could be done. For example, experiments that amplified "latent psychic powers" of the human brain that used people from insane asylums as test subjects (and thus brought their terrors to life).

    Another could be eg. a military general who takes control of an experimental device to amplify human thought, and uses it to attempt to take over the world - the monsters are a mixture of "zombie" people who have become enslaved to his will, and grotesque creatures conjured up from his imagination.

Old Post 11-15-12 13:57 #
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wesleyjohnson
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Sure, there is the explicit story (comes in a little booklet), and the
inherent story discovered as the levels are played (even if you did
not read the little booklet), and each level map has its own story line (we hope, at least the good ones do).

I prefer the science based story line too, as heretic/blasphemer does
the mystic story.
I think it is inevitably going to resemble the Doom2 story, mainly because of the characters and effects like teleporters.
We can change the locations, but we already got a whole bunch of levels that defy changing locations much. How much are people willing to modify their levels to match a new story line ??

My Map09 was specifically designed around being a mine on Mars (or a Martian moon).
My Map13 was designed to fit the story of the marine returning to an earth city.

Old Post 11-18-12 00:51 #
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Catoptromancy
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There is some leeway in the main story so level does not need to perfectly match.

The story will be based around the levels and will try to reasonably describe the place the player is in and why the player is there. There is no reason to change maps to fit a story. Swapping entire maps into different slots could and should be done. Hellish maps stay together and such.

Old Post 11-18-12 01:00 #
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Sodaholic
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Honestly, I really think somebody needs to put their foot down and just decide on something finalized, regardless of the outcome, kinda like how the "Zandronum" name came about. A project leader, like Fraggle, is probably the best person to decide the 'definitive' Freedoom story.

Old Post 11-18-12 08:58 #
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purist
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How about the monsters being the dominant species coming from a distant future Earth who are invading the past because the Sun in their time is dying?

E1/E2 could be set in a similar time as Doom

E3 could be set in the distant future where the volatile Sun has made the Earth a scortched, hostile, Hellish place.

Or perhaps there could be a twist that takes the player further still into the future where it's discovered life on Earth has somehow continued.

Old Post 11-18-12 09:06 #
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Catoptromancy
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Time travel one sounds awesome. The Freedoom infinity sign looks quite awesome as a logo and fits perfectly with time travel. Far distant Earth looking like a hellscape is entirely plausible. The randomness of the Doom2 maps can be perfectly explained as player travels through time periods.

I will attempt to template my version of it.
Templates are direct summaries for writing the intermission or endgame texts.

code:
Theme: Future inhabitants of Earth invade to escape the dying planet. Doom E1: Player is called to investigate appearance of monsters. E2: Player locates portal to future. E3: Player time travels to Earth in far future to kill the monsters before they can travel back. E4: Player returns home and kills off remaining monsters. Doom2 E1: Player at home but finds monsters have fully populated Earth. E2: Player locates new time travel portal but skips to various time periods. E3: Player figures out monsters opened various portals to live in different time periods, player looks for correct portal. E4: Player travels to far future to destroy machine and anything possible that will attempt to rebuild it.


/Instead of the caco as Freedoom logo in linux, it should be the infinity sign.

Last edited by Catoptromancy on 11-24-12 at 17:47

Old Post 11-19-12 01:50 #
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fraggle
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Wanting to move this forward, what do people think of the story ideas that have been posted so far?

Some of the stories are undeveloped. What themes do people like? What should be developed further?

Old Post 11-24-12 17:22 #
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Quasar
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fraggle said:
Wanting to move this forward, what do people think of the story ideas that have been posted so far?

Some of the stories are undeveloped. What themes do people like? What should be developed further?



I liked this one:


fraggle said:
Creatures from a parallel universe where the Earth is closer to the sun - ie. a hotter, less hospitable planet - with an unpleasant disposition to match their planet's atmosphere, and more technologically advanced than humans are.

Old Post 11-24-12 17:32 #
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Catoptromancy
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I like time travel. Monsters from the future trying to escape Earth. I think it sounds better parallel universe stuff.

Solar flares and few ice ages have ravaged the landscape.
Monsters from the future, explains monsters and high tech.
Earth in the future looks like a hellscape.
Infinity logo makes sense and gives a very reasonable meaning to it.
Different time periods explains different styles of maps.
Monsters are not just coming back to one place in the past, but various time periods. Player goes to various time periods to kill them.

Doom2 story shows Earth being swarmed by monsters. Even when they were all killed off in UDOOM E4. In Doom2 the monsters have traveled back father in time to fully populate Earth in the present.

Editing my template to add to Doom2 story.

Old Post 11-24-12 17:44 #
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Death Egg
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I'm also a fan of the backstory where they're from a parallel universe closer to the sun. Maybe during a test to break through to another universe, scientists accidentally warp an entire base there, which destroys part of a city or something in their universe. This enrages the other universes inhabitants, who declare war on our universe.

"Ultimate Freedoom" setting ideas
Episode 1: Human base somewhere in the mountains nearby where the other base was
Episode 2: The player is zapped to our base that had been warped to the parallel universe
Episode 3: Takes place on various settings on their version of Earth
Episode 4: The player is going through more of their version of Earth trying to get home

Something like that perhaps, no ideas right now for Freedoom's continuation of the story. I'd suggest making them feel separate, like you don't have to play one Freedoom IWAD to know the story that happens in the next. For example, have it so Freedoom "II"'s story doesn't reference "Ultimate" Freedoom's in any way.

EDIT: I also just realized that plot I came up with for the episodes sounds awfully like the actual Doom's story... I'd suggest doing something different than that. Maybe I can think of something better when I don't have a headache. :P

Old Post 11-25-12 08:10 #
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fraggle
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My idea for the parallel universe story was that each of the episodes takes place on a base constructed in a different parallel universe. The monsters have had the ability to travel between universes for some time, and have constructed an empire spanning universes. When they discover the Earth bases they consider them a threat and invade.

I'm not sure how Freedoom II would play out: it could be "more of the same", with the 32 levels split into mini-episodes. Or perhaps you're taking the fight back to them, infiltrating their bases. The other option is "Freedoom II: Transdimensional aliens on earth" but that option seems a bit too unoriginal.

Old Post 11-25-12 17:01 #
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Gez
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Both approaches can be combined, in that the parallel universes can be different eons. The hellish one where the Earth is closer to the Sun? Put it four billions years ahead, when the Sun starts to grow into a Red Giant that will eventually swallow the Earth. Alternatively, you could also go with "Great Old Ones" there during the Hadean eon.

Old Post 11-25-12 17:27 #
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