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BradSalvatore's avatar

What do you think about this story for a video game?

Asked by BradSalvatore (71 points ) March 4th, 2014

Hi all. I am a computer science student doing a higher year project. I have decided to do mine on storytelling and emotional attachment to video games (i am also minoring in psychology).

Basically I am going to make a game about empiricism vs religion.

It will be about the end of the world and god sending harvesters to cultivate the souls of the last humans. The best scientists in the world gather and reverse engineer this technology. The player character is a marine and one of the last best soldiers on earth.You go around harvesting god’s servants until eventually you are the last human left.

There will be a lot of twists and intrigue since your most trusted confidant will betray you and turn out to be a zealot. Eventually you will harvest Jesus’s earthly remains and become part god yourself. So the final showdown is between you and the abrahamic god. There will be a branching storyline where basically god offers to make you his right hand man and revive your dead girlfriend so you can live with her in heaven. Or you can kill god and take his place and rebuild humanity from scratch (which will be the prologue if you choose that path).

What do you guys think? Could this be a story that you would be interested in, that affects you and that you could get emotionally attached to? Thanks!

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9 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

It sounds like civilization 2 by Sid Meier’s… I loved that game.

Symbeline's avatar

I’d be right up that game’s ass, sounds awesome.

But one thing I learned about video games is, the gameplay has to be good. Stories are always secondary, no matter how much attention is paid to detail and how well crafted the story is.Take Remember Me for example. Great story. GREAT. But after beating the game, I am not going back to it. Game can be finished in 10 hours, and five of those hours is just watching cut scenes that ye cannee skip.

Just wanted to say. But the story here sounds cool and crazy, I’d be up for that. To be effective, stories in video games need you to feel a part of it. If this story ever belonged to a game, I’d like to see it interact with the gameplay, and not just be a background thing, as an excuse because the game needs a story. (most especially these days, where stories in games are becoming more important and not just a killing ground) And it sounds like it would mingle with everything, already there I can see how the player’s decisions might result in different endings once the game is beaten. And that’s awesome. Either become God yourself, or submit to His rule, albeit by impressing Him. Who knows what else.

Would I get emotionally attached to it? That depends on the characters in the game, and how well built they are. Characters are very important in games because you’re either playing as them, or going against them, at least in most cases. You’re directly involved. You have to be able to get into them and feel for them in order to give a shit, so I would conclude by saying that, as far as video games go, the story will only be as interesting as the characters who find themselves in it.

Your story kind of reminds me of God of War and Dante’s Inferno. And to a lesser degree, Castlevania Lords of Shadow lol.

ragingloli's avatar

I would replace the “god offers to revive your girlfriend” with something else, because that is just too cliché.
It should be instead some twisted argument in favour of god’s side, that you either fall for, or not.

ucme's avatar

Would be better if it included atheist minions fisting the pope on Good Friday.

Juels's avatar

My hubby would love it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Interesting concept, based on Revelations?

ragingloli's avatar

The protagonist also needs some more depth.
A shallow “Big fucking hero” who has no flaws is boring.
He should have an inner conflict throughout the events. For example, you could make him a Christian, who, because he finds himself fighting against the very thing he worships, is now torn between humanity and his religion.
The two paths on the road are now either realising that he worshipped evil all his life, or casting all doubts aside and fighting for his god, regardless of all the carnage.
The choice then would be up to the player, through gameplay elements.
Since one of them is harvesting defeated angels, the small choices that the player could make is either killing and harvesting the angels, or sparing them. Sparing them could make each angel give the protagonist some of its power, pushing him further and further on the side of god, while killing and harvesting the angels would put him deeper onto the side of humanity. (See the original Bioshock and the sparing/harvesting the Little Sisters mechanic).
Coming back to the final confrontation, you could make it a fierce argument/debate. Depending on how well the player does in this, the outcomes could be 1. you convince god that he is evil, causing him to end his own existence. 2. you fail to convince god, and have to kill him yourself, and 3. You are finally swayed by god and join his ranks. Depending on how many angels you spared, you would either become his right hand, or just another pawn in his game.
Likewise, your success at debating him would also depend on how many angels you harvested/how strong your allegiance to humanity is.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli I like that better.

BradSalvatore's avatar

Really great answers guys! Thanks a lot for the input. I am allowed to work with up to 3 other people but every friend I pitch it to seems to think religion (at least real ones) should be avoided with a 10 foot pole. But I want to emphasize choices in the game and the ability for believers to concede to god. I think your suggestions could definitely add more depth @ragingloli . Thanks :)

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