Hypothetical concept: Memory Lost

Ikajo

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Oct 31, 2013
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(If I'm posting this in the wrong forum, please tell me. I tried getting answer in the advice forum before and didn't get an answer. I'm new to this forum.)

First of all, I'm not a Game designer, not even close. The thing is, I love telling stories and an interactive media for storytelling is interesting. As I'm not very familiar with game development it's a lot of things I don't know, so things like game mechanics or main game play is impossible for me. This is more of a game narrative concept than a game concept.
Secondly, English is not my native language so any grammar out of place or anything like it is because of that. So please overlook such error, I don't know I do them.
Lastly, what I really want to know is: If this game really existed would you be interested in playing it? Why/Why not?

Name of the game: Memory Lost
Aimed platform: PC/Mac, DS3D
Basic game play: Kind of a point and click
Basic concept: Mystery game.
Basic Narrative: A young man is in an accident at a ski-resort, losing his memory as an result. Trying to fit the pieces of his life together becomes his task. At the same time his filthy rich family is trying to use his memory loss to make him break up with his male lover and instead marry the fiancée of their choice. The young man not remembering his relationship tries to find clues about whose lying and whose telling the truth. While regaining his memory a bigger plot comes in to place. The accident at the ski-resort was intentional, someone tried to take his life. If he doesn't find out who, he might lose his life this time.
First cut-scene: Kind of music like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjEMS4ydLhQ
It's a white background, snowflakes are gently falling, the camera moves slowly closer to the ground. Outlined beneath a layer of is the shape of a person, not clearly visible, laying on his side. Small puffs of steam comes out of his mouth. The camera moves closer to his face all the time. As his face comes closer the scene is slowly fading to white at the same time as sirens are heard at distance. Coming closer are a voice calling out a not really heard name, the voice is insistingly calling as the scene fades from white to black. As the scene goes black, as an echo the name is clearly heard once.
The first game scenes is when the player awakes at the hospital as the young man.

I don't have a name for the character yet, or any thoughts about his looks. If you have any opinions or ideas, feel free to tell me.
 

Smooth Operator

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Oct 5, 2010
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Well we do it's just that... it's not very exciting.
Amnesia in one form or another comes with damn near every game, either as design or simply by the fact that as the player you need to figure out what the game world is about.
And the great payoff in your example would be some real life family drama, I could only be less interested if it was Kardashians drama.

I don't doubt this would find appeal in the desperate housewife circle but I don't think Escapist has much of that demographic.
 

Ikajo

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Well, I can't say I have thought the whole plot through from start to finish. I can't do that...I need to work with the piece to make it happen. What kind of real life family drama do you think of? Any example? Like, what?
 

II2

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You might consider just writing the story, rather than trying to make it into a game, if it's what you want to do and that's where your skills are.

Problem being, it's not an interesting pitch, as a game. A point and click adventure around functional or explicit amnesia is a pretty tired formula. A murder mystery and romance plot - while very familiar - could be interesting to explore, but unless you've given a lot specific thought as to WHY expressing it through an adventure game improves the idea, it's perhaps best left to other media.

If you're interested in interactive media but have no ideas on game design, my best suggestion would be a visual novel. You can get your multimedia fix without actually having to figure out systems beyond multiple choice branching story arcs.

Beyond that, you might want to get your stuff down before making the pitch. Kinda putting the cart before the horse, in a world where individuals and teams are building prototypes before they know what to do with them.
 

TehCookie

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That sounds just as boring as Gone Home to me but other people may like it. I'm not into soap drama.
 

Ikajo

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As I said earlier, I'm not really familiar with game mechanics and such. Though I studied a five week course at a university this summer I know that doesn't give very much. On the other hand, I know that well written stories are shortage in games.
What I want to try to do is let the player experience the story through the game play. A visual novel wouldn't be the same. I'm not good enough to actually explain the game play but I do know I want to try to tell stories through an interactive media like games. This would of be easier if I had some to work with. Depending on what kind of story I'm creating I think differently and this is a story I created to be experienced through the gaming experience. I can of course give more details about the story as I've thought so far but as English is not my primary language it's difficult. And I don't know how to describe different kinds of game play so point and klick is just kind of what I thought. If I could the describe the idea in person it would be great but that's impossible so...
 

VoidOfOne

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You know, this game sounds perfect as a point-and-click adventure. And, it sound intriguing to me. If it were me, I would keep it completely on the perspective on the main character the entire story, and not ever shift it to any NPC. It does need some touching up, such as how the character begins to regain his memories.

Personally, I'm not all that interested in it, but I do think there is an audience for this type of game, which sounds like a mystery to solve. Keep on trying, and just because it's a formula done already, doesn't mean it's not worth doing.
 

Seracen

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Sounds sort of like a Japanese "adventure game" to me. That's not a bad thing, as there are plenty of those that are worthwhile, just that the concept is familiar territory.

At any rate, I think the story is fine enough for your purposes, so long as your characterizations are well done. It's been said already, but gameplay will also be crucial.

As for the plot itself, I would NOT be interested. It's not a gripe against the concept, it just doesn't appeal to me.
 

Mylinkay Asdara

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Nov 28, 2010
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Ikajo said:
(If I'm posting this in the wrong forum, please tell me. I tried getting answer in the advice forum before and didn't get an answer. I'm new to this forum.)

First of all, I'm not a Game designer, not even close. The thing is, I love telling stories and an interactive media for storytelling is interesting. As I'm not very familiar with game development it's a lot of things I don't know, so things like game mechanics or main game play is impossible for me. This is more of a game narrative concept than a game concept.
Secondly, English is not my native language so any grammar out of place or anything like it is because of that. So please overlook such error, I don't know I do them.
Lastly, what I really want to know is: If this game really existed would you be interested in playing it? Why/Why not?

Name of the game: Memory Lost
Aimed platform: PC/Mac, DS3D
Basic game play: Kind of a point and click
Basic concept: Mystery game.
Basic Narrative: A young man is in an accident at a ski-resort, losing his memory as an result. Trying to fit the pieces of his life together becomes his task. At the same time his filthy rich family is trying to use his memory loss to make him break up with his male lover and instead marry the fiancée of their choice. The young man not remembering his relationship tries to find clues about whose lying and whose telling the truth. While regaining his memory a bigger plot comes in to place. The accident at the ski-resort was intentional, someone tried to take his life. If he doesn't find out who, he might lose his life this time.
First cut-scene: Kind of music like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjEMS4ydLhQ
It's a white background, snowflakes are gently falling, the camera moves slowly closer to the ground. Outlined beneath a layer of is the shape of a person, not clearly visible, laying on his side. Small puffs of steam comes out of his mouth. The camera moves closer to his face all the time. As his face comes closer the scene is slowly fading to white at the same time as sirens are heard at distance. Coming closer are a voice calling out a not really heard name, the voice is insistingly calling as the scene fades from white to black. As the scene goes black, as an echo the name is clearly heard once.
The first game scenes is when the player awakes at the hospital as the young man.

I don't have a name for the character yet, or any thoughts about his looks. If you have any opinions or ideas, feel free to tell me.
As a mainstream game I don't think this has any real potential - mostly because it lacks in this description a gameplay mechanic, settings, reward system, and other game-y components.

[Edited- did some closer reading] Is it mostly based in narrative / text-reading? How do we move between the points of the story / discover / explore? You say point and click. Like... finding clues in a picture or being shown a room and having to touch everything for pop up information?

So much more than a plot is required for a game to be interesting. I wouldn't probably play this unless it was some free / FB type game to kill time, personally. My tastes run more toward RPGs and in general I'm not much of a mystery fan though, so I'm not exactly the target demographic here.

On the other hand - where you might find a game like this that is basically a narrative with some interactivity and possibly characters/scenes you interact with on an investigation type level - it might work as a lower-budget mystery / clue finding game or a text based short. People still play those. Dating-sim type games - especially some I've seen on Day9's show - gosh I forget the name, anyone remember, it was a hang-out show thing for Geek and Sundry - from Japan and maybe other places (I don't play them myself) seem to still run a largely text-based format with little to no major "gameplay" in the sense that major mainstream titles have.

Edit - also, for investigation purposes of your own, you might try looking through some "let's play" type videos and see if you can't find some games along these lines that you could use for examples or borrow mechanics from, if you're not able/interested in doing the playing yourself first-hand. There are tons and tons of Let's Plays out there, I'm sure at least a few are in this sub-genre somewhere, might take some digging.
 

Tuxedoman

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Apr 16, 2009
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There is a market for this kind of game, but I for one am not really into it. Again, have you considered making it a story rather than a game? The only Point-and-click adventure game I've played where the gameplay wasn't the worst part of the game was Walking Dead.
 

MysticSlayer

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My only real concern is that it will just devolve into a big rant on those opposed to gay marriage. Even the summary sounds like a not-so-subtle rant, so I don't even want to think what the whole story will turn out like. Maybe drawing false conclusions, but that's just what it sounds like. Then again, people enjoyed the story of Assassin's Creed 2, so maybe I'm just weird in not liking a story to go off on extended rants.

Otherwise, it sounds interesting. Amnesia might be one of the most common cliches in video game storytelling, but I still think it can be used to great effect, especially since so few games build their mechanics around amnesia so it just becomes a story element with little effect on gameplay. Not to mention, we don't have nearly enough good love stories and mysteries in gaming, and even more rare are strong gay characters. I think it has potential, and I'm sure some audiences will love it, but like I said, I'm a little worried it will just become an overlong rant.
 

Some_weirdGuy

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Nov 25, 2010
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Better yet, everyone EXCEPT the player has amnesia, and you have to decide who and what each of their stories are, and set them to work - the repercussions of this lead to all sorts of dramatic narrative, thrilling action, existential quandary, and comedy gold.

You have a list of scrambled titles, nouns, adjectives, etc, and a group of people all standing around wondering who they are and what they should get to work doing. You can find clues around the place which may hint to who is what, and you better hope you set the right person for the right task or trouble will ensue! it's like the sims meets guess who meets cluedo meets point and click adventure puzzle solving.

You could then indeed decide one of the amnesiac characters is your 'gay man who was nearly murdered and whose family is trying to marry him off to some lady', and the person standing next to him... well you decide he's a dog in disguise as a human, there to disarm the bomb.

But then where is the bomb... or WHO is the bomb!? oh the humanity!

It will be the next call of duty, sims, minecraft and GTA all in one, you'll be rolling in money!!


---

Seriously though, speaking as a game designer, I'd say if it's a story you're passionate about and want to make, then go and do it - but do it for you, you know like a hobby project. Maybe it would lend itself to a visual novel, since you have more a narrative focus and (it appears) zero/nearly no considerations for what would be the actual gameplay.

If you're thinking more than you'll make some sort of popular game from this to get published and make big bucks... then don't, cause quite honestly you won't.

At lest you haven't fallen into the trap of 'nooo, must keep my ideas secret because everyone is out to steal it!' ;P
(hint to people with their 'brilliant top secret game idea'... it doesn't work like that, ideas are cheap and no one will steal it, so if it ever comes up in conversation or you speak to some real game designer, don't make yourself look silly).

My personal suggestion though, write this out in text first. It seems you have this vague story idea, more of a premise than an actual story. Write it out, get it all planned - you may find that you lose motivation to continue, in which case it means you weren't really invested enough to make it into a game anyway.
If however you get the whole story written out in full detail and still feel keen to keep going, then you know that it might be worth pursuing.
 

rednose1

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I kinda like the idea so far. More details are obviously helpful, but as a first pitch idea, had me intrigued. Just don't do some stupid surprise twist towards the end.
 

Brian Tams

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I mean, the idea has been done to death. In fact, I remember playing a couple of point and clicky adventures back in the day where amnesia was a focal point (can't remember their names at the moment).
Heck, a popular indie game has the word Amnesia right in its title. Sorry, bud. You're a little late to the party on this. The only really original idea here is the male lover bit, which you rarely (if ever) see in games.
 

II2

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wombat_of_war said:
dont listen to others about not making it or it being a tired concept. go for it if you want to make it.look at the walking dead.. how many gamers would of thought and said " another zombie game? just stop making it" when it brought something so different and wonderful to the niche
Thing is, it's not the subject itself, but the subject as intersects with the mechanics of the genre. Saying, "I'd like to make a point and click adventure around amnesia + a mystery" is like saying "I'd like to make a zombie shooter", instead of "I'd like to make an episodic, character and social group focused survival drama around zombies".

As the OP stated, that might not be total the scope of the project, but... realistically, what is the scope of a writer's output going to BE, if they have no experience in programming, graphics/animation, sound and game design? 'Go for it' isn't a useful statement without an ability to produce the required assets to build the thing. Alternately, the best idea would seem to be to lean on OP's strengths as a writer/storyteller and make a good property to pitch to potential collaborators. Ideally potential collaborators you can explain the project less nebulously to in your native tongue? Yes?

I'm don't mean to be negative; simply practical.
 

somonels

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Oct 12, 2010
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No interest, I would neither read such a book nor play such a game.
Figure out HOW you want to tell your stories and pursue those skills. A game is one of the most inefficient, but common, ways to present a story, you'd be better off with interpretive dance or performance art.
 

Thebazilly

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Some_weirdGuy said:
Better yet, everyone EXCEPT the player has amnesia, and you have to decide who and what each of their stories are, and set them to work - the repercussions of this lead to all sorts of dramatic narrative, thrilling action, existential quandary, and comedy gold.

You have a list of scrambled titles, nouns, adjectives, etc, and a group of people all standing around wondering who they are and what they should get to work doing. You can find clues around the place which may hint to who is what, and you better hope you set the right person for the right task or trouble will ensue! it's like the sims meets guess who meets cluedo meets point and click adventure puzzle solving.

You could then indeed decide one of the amnesiac characters is your 'gay man who was nearly murdered and whose family is trying to marry him off to some lady', and the person standing next to him... well you decide he's a dog in disguise as a human, there to disarm the bomb.

But then where is the bomb... or WHO is the bomb!? oh the humanity!
I would play this game. I would play the shit out of it.
 

Burgers2013

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Nov 3, 2013
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While amnesia is used a lot and rarely done well, there is still space to explore in it. Beware that people are wary of this as it is usually associated with lazy story telling. I would do a lot of research about what other game developers have done (good and bad) both in your genre and with the amnesia concept before you decided how to approach it. Perhaps you'll find that abandoning it is best, perhaps not.


**Slight Gone Home spoilers**
I loved Gone Home (although I wouldn't recommend paying $15 for it, under ten only). The way it introduced conflict was pretty awesome as far as I'm concerned. "Yay! You're home after running around Europe for a year. No one is there to greet you. What the hell? No seriously, where is everyone? Guys? Oh well, I guess I'll listen to some 90s rock." I'm a sucker for a good/different narrative, even with minimal game play mechanics. That said, I wouldn't be super excited about this premise. I've enjoyed some point-and-click adventures, but now I like the idea of moving freely in an environment to discover things myself. In point-and-click adventures, I feel like I'm staring at a picture book.

Maybe it would be good to ask yourself a couple questions:

1. Why does this story needs to be told as a game rather than a book/short story?

2. How is your game different from what's already out there? What would stand out about your game that would attract your target audience?

Okay, that's three questions. I stand by it.

I hope this was helpful.