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JimKurth
Monkey-Butler


Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 53
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:14 am    Post subject: The complete Time Switch story [quote]

This is a detailed explanation of the Time Switch story (it spoils ya). It's not completely thorough to each event but it gives a good idea of how the story progresses... opinions and comments asked:

On planet Tinari (similar to Earth) in 1352, a comet from far reaches of space passes closely by, radiating parts of the atmosphere. Long term poisoning leads to death at early ages. To fight this poisoning, humans have cut fundings on every non-essential government department, including space exploration, immigration, and armament and they have geared towards building city-size structures underwater for humans to live. It is now 1409 and the people are installing smaller city-sized domes for the smaller cities and the remaining of the population. Kaire, a shy 23 year old college student attends Kyrus University in the Kyrus Dome with Natalie, a friend that Kaire has a crush on. The game starts now.

The government has been doing research on the surface for the past few weeks and now the media has tapped into it and discovered the comet that poisoned the planet 57 years ago is coming back on a head-on collision course. Kaire receives a note from his grandfather Avery, who was the astronomer who discovered the comet before it came in 1352. Kaire and Natalie visit his laboratory on the surface but Avery is nowhere to be found. Instead, they learn of the tragedy that awaits if nothing is done. They also find an incomplete time machine that Avery has built with instructions to deliver manuals of science and plans to develop a weapon to destroy this comet. Accepting the mission they travel backwards in time without measuring how far they've gone back.

They end up around 400 years before in 997 when a ruling Empire captures their manuals and plans and decides to invade and take over the world with their newly acquired knowledge. Escaping from the empire, Kaire and Natalie with with a resistance member, Richtor whose kingdom was taken over by the empire. Learning that the empire ruler's servant, Cyril, has the talent of magic, the team must elude the invading empire as they make their way around the world to get back to their machine. Once they do, they must go back in time further to learn magic which was only written in history as a myth. They go back to around 400 AD and the time machine gets stolen by villagers who have magic in their blood. The world changes instantly and now there is a floating world and an epic war between humans and mystics. Kaire and the rest of the team must get to the floating world and that is where they acquire the magic ability from standing in between the 3 magic statues that keep the floating world alive and above the world. The team pushes 1 of the statues over the edge, breaking the magic protection, sending the world to crumble below. But the fallen statue falls into a river, creating a huge magical dragon beast. The humans and mystics join forces to destroy the magical beast, forming an alliance. After that, magic was considered a dangerous talent causing destruction to people, so it was banned and written as legends in manuscripts. Without any way home, the team learns of a magic tower erected where the used time machine exists. The team snatches the time machine in there and transports back to around 400 AD again. This time, they change machines after they see themselves arrive for the first time. When they do this, they suddenly wake up and have no clue what happened. They changed their own past and all of their memories of the events that were unfolded were never performed. A time switch has occurred. Not knowing what happened but with the gift of magic they return to 997 to face the Empire and it's new ruler, Cyril, before they take over the entire world. They retrieve the plans and destroy the empire in the process. With all their materials, they spread the plans out to each country to build certain parts for a weapon that will destroy the comet once and for all. They take their magic stone that allowed them to travel to the past and they place it in the spot where it was found 400 years later. Kaire and Natalie use the time machine to return to their time. They arrive in 1350 and warn younger Avery about the comet and to study it and build a time machine. He understands and begins his research. The weapon is created, shot into space and destroys the comet that would've poisoned the world. Kaire and Natalie wake up and it seems like a normal day at Kyrus University on the surface for both of them. The end.

The game will move linear-style but the story will be developed around the idea that everything has been done. The heroes do save the day and events will tie with others to give explanation of why this and that (unlike Back To The Future where the past can be changed to change the course of the future).
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js71
Wandering DJ


Joined: 22 Nov 2002
Posts: 815

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject: [quote]

Hmm...
In my opinion, it's very derivative. Not necessarily a bad story, but it's extremely obvious what the majority of it was based on.

Quote:
a comet from far reaches of space passes closely by, radiating parts of the atmosphere

This is actually not too similar, but it did remind me slightly of Lavos from Chrono Trigger.

Quote:
They go back to around 400 AD and the time machine gets stolen by villagers who have magic in their blood. The world changes instantly and now there is a floating world and an epic war between humans and mystics.

This one pretty much jumped out at me. Floating world = Zeal from CT? War between humans and mystics = Um, well... war between humans and mystics from CT, actually. :p

Quote:
Kaire and the rest of the team must get to the floating world and that is where they acquire the magic ability from standing in between the 3 magic statues that keep the floating world alive and above the world. The team pushes 1 of the statues over the edge, breaking the magic protection, sending the world to crumble below.

Another obvious one, this one reeks of the nearly identical scene in Final Fantasy 6/3.

Even ignoring those similarities (and of course the obvious 'adventure through various time periods' concept apparently borrowed from CT), though, there are other issues-- there isn't really much of a main villain apart from the comet, and while I'm certainly not saying you should write in a cheesy, cookie-cutter 'fake villain' ala Zio, some sort of antagonist apart from a dormant future threat would help give the story some drive and the player a better reason to continue advancing the plot.

Speaking of motivation, the characters' motivations all seem a little far-fetched or flimsy, unless the character writing turns out to be really good. It just seems odd that everyone seems to accept such insane concepts and proposals without so much as a flinch.

For example:

Quote:
They also find an incomplete time machine that Avery has built with instructions to deliver manuals of science and plans to develop a weapon to destroy this comet. Accepting the mission they travel backwards in time without measuring how far they've gone back.


Quote:
But the fallen statue falls into a river, creating a huge magical dragon beast. The humans and mystics join forces to destroy the magical beast, forming an alliance.


Quote:
They arrive in 1350 and warn younger Avery about the comet and to study it and build a time machine. He understands and begins his research.


That last one, especially-- that just seems totally improbable that he would immediately 'understand' and start work on a time machine right out of the blue without any previous thought to it. One way to go about things is to ask yourself how you might react to any given situation in the script-- I'm not saying you should base the characters on yourself (in fact that's almost always a rather bad idea), but it might give you a push in the direction of more 'real'-feeling characters.

Overall it's not bad... it does have a fairly tightly-woven structure. The biggest issue, however, is that it's just too blatantly derivative. Even the logo on your project page looks almost exactly like Chrono Trigger's, concept-wise. The world map screenshot shows a lot of inspiration as well.

Just try branching out and crafting in original story elements-- Like I said, apart from the many 'references' and a few other issues, the story seems to flow well enough. It could become a good plot if you work on those areas and remove the obvious similarities.

...Unless it's a CT tribute game, in which case you should ignore this post entirely. ;)

~Josiah
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JimKurth
Monkey-Butler


Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 53
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: [quote]

thanks for the input. yeah, this story itself (i haven't done any changes to it) was written after CT came out and before FF7 made it's debut. There are tons of similarities between both FF6 and CT but I it's also what inspired me to write it. Of course the obvious things as u pointed out ("he understands and begins research") was a blanket statement and I've developed the script that follows a realistic behavior approach to everything. There are things like the floating world and the empire taken from both those games and I do indeed need to make it more unique and not so "almost like playing FF6 with CT's story".

Anyway, thanks for the critique and comments. I'll be doing what I can to the story without overloading it.
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js71
Wandering DJ


Joined: 22 Nov 2002
Posts: 815

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:56 pm    Post subject: [quote]

Well, there's certainly nothing wrong with inspiration-- Lots of it just seemed rather derivative to me, I dunno if some if it's less/more obvious to others. The blanket statement thing I can understand, though. I often do that kind of thing in a script if it's something I know I'll elaborate on later; I just thought you meant it in a more literal way.

~Josiah
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RedSlash
Mage


Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 331

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:41 am    Post subject: [quote]

Although the story descriptions contains stuff like time travel, floating worlds and magical beings.. I think these are common themes in alot of stories and I wouldn't exactly attribute it all to CT. However, I haven't played CT nor FF6 for a long time, so I don't exactly remember whether the resemblances are as close as Josiah says.

He is right about the world map screenshot, though. I would've pin pointed the CT resemblance on that one. Atleast your main character doesn't have flaming red spiky hair.

Quote:
It just seems odd that everyone seems to accept such insane concepts and proposals without so much as a flinch.

But usually when you are told that you're the chosen one, you just accept it and go save the world!
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JimKurth
Monkey-Butler


Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 53
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:42 am    Post subject: [quote]

My characters will have so much personality that when 1 character says to another, "you will travel by foot for endless days in search of a magical flute that will cast a sleep spell on the fire-breathing dragon.", the other person will say, "A new adventure to build my experience and gain a lot of money from killing monsters that randomly appear out of nowhere...yay..." :D
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DeveloperX
202192397


Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 1624
Location: Decatur, IL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:06 am    Post subject: [quote]

JimKurth wrote:
My characters will have so much personality that when 1 character says to another, "you will travel by foot for endless days in search of a magical flute that will cast a sleep spell on the fire-breathing dragon.", the other person will say, "A new adventure to build my experience and gain a lot of money from killing monsters that randomly appear out of nowhere...yay..." :D


Kudos for that very hilarious quote. :D
And on that note, I'm going to sleep.
...mmmm sleeep.....
*yawn* *smacks head on desk* *shrugs* *posts this msg* *falls on floor* *sleepzzzzzzzzz*
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JimKurth
Monkey-Butler


Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 53
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:41 am    Post subject: [quote]

RedSlash wrote:
Although the story descriptions contains stuff like time travel, floating worlds and magical beings.. I think these are common themes in alot of stories and I wouldn't exactly attribute it all to CT. However, I haven't played CT nor FF6 for a long time, so I don't exactly remember whether the resemblances are as close as Josiah says.

He is right about the world map screenshot, though. I would've pin pointed the CT resemblance on that one. Atleast your main character doesn't have flaming red spiky hair.

Quote:
It just seems odd that everyone seems to accept such insane concepts and proposals without so much as a flinch.

But usually when you are told that you're the chosen one, you just accept it and go save the world!


Well, the game's plot was made after playing and loving CT and FF6 (still loving that game, except having to level up at the WOR to continue). And I don't know why or how but after giving away hype to this game on the internet and the story, about a year and a half later, Deep Impact and then Armageddon come out in theaters. At the time I thought, "they stole my idea!" but later realized, "most movies have a lifespan of 7 years before they are put on the big screen".

Anyway, I wanted to encircle the story (where there really are no "real changes" to the game, you play it and the world you play in is caused by the actions you perform). That way, time travel would be relevant and not a problem with consistency. Time paradox is something I want to avoid. Gosh, I'm starting to sound like the 'Doc. The only problem I see with this is the way the game starts. It starts off in a tragic environment which will later be changed. How is this possible? I have no clue yet. But that only leaves room for the sequel... just like Spaceballs 2: The search for more mon'ay. I'm still waiting in line at the theaters for that, and also, Kung Pow 2: Tongue of Fury.
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Nodtveidt
Demon Hunter


Joined: 11 Nov 2002
Posts: 786
Location: Camuy, PR

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: [quote]

Inspiration is good, but don't make it so blatantly obvious what you're being inspired from. For example: instead of three statues, make it six or seven. Also, instead of being on a floating island, make it deep within the ground. See? Inspired, but not derivation. (actually, if it were six in the sky, one might think you were inspired by Ys II [six statues of priests on the floating land of Ys, far above the ground], so seven works better.) By the way, why statues? Why not something else? Magical statues are so overused. :)
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JimKurth
Monkey-Butler


Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 53
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:44 am    Post subject: [quote]

Nodtveidt wrote:
Inspiration is good, but don't make it so blatantly obvious what you're being inspired from. For example: instead of three statues, make it six or seven. Also, instead of being on a floating island, make it deep within the ground. See? Inspired, but not derivation. (actually, if it were six in the sky, one might think you were inspired by Ys II [six statues of priests on the floating land of Ys, far above the ground], so seven works better.) By the way, why statues? Why not something else? Magical statues are so overused. :)


My original idea had used statues of gods just cuz in the past, sculptures were common everywhere. I had also thought about using different types of jewels cut in special shapes that are forged together (my idea was that sunlight comes in and reflects/bounces of multiple types of jewel edges throughout it, multiplying the energy it draws). That was back in high school days in 1997. I almost completely forgot that and needed ur post to remind me about it. Well, now that I think about it, I would like to make my story more original than using the same elements/things you see in any other RPG.

I think it's time to check out C# and XNA
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