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Story Rewrite

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  • Story Rewrite

    I feel like a story rewrite would strengthen the game but I don’t think it has to come at the cost of player frustrations or developer misery.

    I’ll work on a pitch for how it could be changed (and allow future modifications) and try to write an example of how it could go. This is more of a rough draft though, future commenters are welcome to suggest edits or their own contributions.

    The basic mechanic is to keep the skeleton of the job areas but change the graphics and text. There’s room to play with it but a player doing the job now vs. after a hypothetical remodel would still have the same energy cost, equivalent gear requirements, and same rewards. The bosses need a little tweaking but I think it’s possible.

    TL;DR Keep the framework but condense the mafia story to 3 parts. Keep the the jobs/achievement/costs/benefits but move locations around, retire down, and make it possible to add new ones instead of being trapped into what we have. The game should stand out but it’s drowned out by the trash games marketing themselves as “Mafia XYZ”.
    Last edited by Borys; 08-21-2022, 06:07 PM.
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  • #2
    Story Structure:

    I went back and forth many times on how the story could be improved but kept getting limited by either copying the existing story or sounding too fan-fic-y. That’s when I realized we need to drop the “boss man POV” and treat them as actual characters. But who is the main character? She always was: Sara.

    Have some childhood connection and then we grow up to have Sara call for help back in the city. Have a little 3 area intro arc for characterization, world building and to set the stakes. Have the next 3 stages be the same intermediate amount of challenge and then have the rest be “boss of the week” episodic adventures.

    The super powers of the LTs have never been addressed - treat them like anime powers. Honestly, treat the whole thing like an anime series. Have bronze be season one then silver as season two then gold as the final season.

    This is a great place to try and stand out with a different kind of story and I think the monomyth would be a great way to do that, partly to have it actually go somewhere.

    Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is 17 steps and we have 18 job areas. If you have the last job area be seasonal and constantly changing then it would work.

    Area 1 - Call to Action
    Area 2 - Refusal of the Call
    Area 3 - Accepting Call and Supernatural Aid
    Area 4 - Crossing the Threshold
    Area 5 - Belly of the Whale
    Area 6 - The Road of Trials
    Area 7 - Meeting the Goddess
    Area 8 - Temptation
    Area 9 - Atonement with the Father
    Area 10 - Apotheosis
    Area 11 - The Ultimate Boon
    Area 12 - Refusal of Return
    Area 13 - Magic Flight
    Area 14 - Rescue from Without
    Area 15 - Crossing the Return Threshold
    Area 16 - Master of 2 Worlds
    Area 17 - Freedom to Live
    Area 18 - Variable/Seasonal/Return of old areas
    Last edited by Borys; 08-30-2022, 01:35 AM.
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    • #3
      Area 1-3: The Skulls

      So the original story takes 6 map areas to tell a meandering story about fighting the Skull gang, fighting with Victor, and then teaming up with them to fight Frank. Then it’s a bafflingly global serious of exploits that are mostly unconnected to each other and meant more as set pieces than narrative beats. Let’s start in the city and give the player a reason to leave.

      The Slums are a great place to start. The scaling is great and the setting is perfect. The next area should just be Warehouses (callback to empire buildings) draped over the framework of the Train tracks. Then the 3-act intro should end on the Westside which is draped over the framework of Midtown.

      The intro arc should be updated.

      1. Call to Action:

      2. Refusal of the Call:

      3. Accepting the Call and Supernatural Aid

      My pick is that the Shadow Faction are the bad guys and Sara has to unite the other four factions to fight them. The historical context could be the global war that Frank fought to come into power years ago which helped set the stage for current events.
      Last edited by Borys; 08-30-2022, 01:49 AM.
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      • #4
        Area 4-6:

        These areas are placed over the existing build of Meat Pack, Downtown and Westside. They’re nice intermediate difficulty transitional stages.

        4. Crossing the Threshold: This is when a character learns they are in over their head.

        5. Belly of the Whale: literally similar to Jonah

        6. The Road of Trials: This is usually 3 tests and at least one is failed.
        Last edited by Borys; 08-30-2022, 01:40 AM.
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        • #5
          Areas 7-11

          Honestly at this point just make all the areas the same - 17 jobs and 2 secret job areas.

          7. Meeting the Goddess: This is when we meet a mentor figure.

          8. Temptation: This is where we are tempted to give up

          9. Atonement with the Father: This should be a combination of coming to terms with our dad’s death and the role he played in the events leading to his death. This chapter is the emotional climax of the story.

          10. Apotheosis: Perspective shifts and we are able to put the larger picture into context.

          11. The Ultimate Boon: The physical climax of the story, we obtain the macguffin
          Last edited by Borys; 08-31-2022, 02:09 PM.
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          • #6
            Areas 12-17

            12. Refusal of Return: Why would you ever go home? The idea though is that the return is just as perilous as the journey out.

            13. Magic Flight: You have to escape alive.

            14. Rescue from Without: This is the perfect chapter in my opinion to do a sidekick level. It would be a nice homage to LOTR and the eagles. Your mentor should introduce you to someone who works with animals and can teach you to use more than just guns or blunt objects to achieve your goals.

            Then we do a little 3 act denouement to wrap up the main storyline.

            15. Crossing the Return Threshold: You come back to the city.

            16. Master of Two Worlds: This should be an operatic combination of “city” and “global adventure” elements/allies

            17. Freedom to Live: You win
            Last edited by Borys; 08-31-2022, 02:10 PM.
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            • #7
              18. This should be fun and more fun. If you make seasonal ones then they could be reused every year: Halloween, Christmas, etc. It should be time limited though to add a little urgency - in a perfect world there could be a new one every month or couple months.

              I think the appeal could be some new weapons/gear as the locations change and the changing bosses.

              Smarter minds than mine could figure out the logistics.
              Last edited by Borys; 08-26-2022, 12:34 AM.
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              • #8

                No one does the first 5 bosses after they level out of them. The names are great though.

                My pitch is for the first 3 job areas to end with Skull Soldier, Skull Elite and then Skull King. They’ll need to be scaled to what a smaller account can handle but they make more sense narratively.

                Basically it’s a great chance to renovate or even replace a bunch of the bosses. Finding narrative reasons for the tech lab bosses is important though as well as the legends type bosses.
                Last edited by Borys; 08-31-2022, 02:14 PM.
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                • #9
                  Challenge Jobs:

                  Definitely redo the challenge jobs. There are so many LTs now that it would be a shame to not have them in the dice/challenge jobs. Area 14 should have sidekicks in their challenge though.
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