Author Topic: Premise Ideas  (Read 789 times)

Premise Ideas
« on: 08 Apr 2018, 21:02 »
Do any of these premise ideas sound interesting for a point-and-click adventure game? I'm trying to figure out what I want to dedicate my time to. Feel free to list and discuss your own premise ideas too.

1. An abused boy seeks solace in a videogame but soon has trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality and must regain sanity before hurting his mother.

2. Dirty Treasure. After finding clues from his deceased antique-collecting grandfather, a germaphobic boy struggles through one filthy location after another to find the grandfather’s most valuable possession before his deranged grandmother finds it and uses it for nefarious purposes.

3. A calico kitten gets abandoned in the woods and must survive and find a new place to live. (I imagine an "on the road" type of story in which the kitten hears about a loving family that takes in kittens, but she has to journey through the wilderness to get there. She starts out vulnerable to predators and Mother Nature. Along the way, she slowly "powers up" by finding animal friends who help her.)

4. A boy finds a cursed camera and must figure out how to break the curse before everyone he has photographed dies. (I think I thought of this independently, but I have a feeling it's been done before.)

5. Boy Unplugged. A videogame-obsessed city boy, forced to spend the weekend unplugged with his grandparents, must expose a crooked neighbor’s scheme so his grandparents don’t lose their farm.
« Last Edit: 08 Apr 2018, 23:04 by Durq »

Crimson Wizard

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Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #1 on: 08 Apr 2018, 21:23 »
1. An abused boy seeks solace in a videogame but soon has trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality and must regain sanity before hurting his mother.

This sounds good, and may become an interesting game if done right.

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Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #2 on: 08 Apr 2018, 21:29 »
The first scenario sounds the most interesting to me too, although (and I'm sure you've already thought of this) it is a subject that needs sensitive handling to be effective (unless you are actually going for all-out out shock value of course).

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Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #3 on: 08 Apr 2018, 21:45 »
Sure. They're all fine, potentially. But premises are a dime a dozen, and the much more important question is what actually happens in the game. OK: kitten lost in the woods... and?

However, unlike the other commenters, I think the first one is the least interesting: it feels like an idea that has been done to death, and if I came across a game with that description I would almost certainly skip it.

Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #4 on: 08 Apr 2018, 22:47 »
Thanks for the replies. When I came up with the first premise, I think I had Fran Bow and Pan's Labyrinth whirling around in my head.

Sure. They're all fine, potentially. But premises are a dime a dozen, and the much more important question is what actually happens in the game. OK: kitten lost in the woods... and?

However, unlike the other commenters, I think the first one is the least interesting: it feels like an idea that has been done to death, and if I came across a game with that description I would almost certainly skip it.

What games (or movies, shows, books) came to mind when you read the first premise?

I agree that premises are a dime a dozen. As for the kitten premise, I imagine an "on the road" type of story in which the kitten hears about a loving family that takes in kittens, but she has to journey through the wilderness to get there. She starts out vulnerable to predators and Mother Nature. Along the way, she slowly "powers up" by finding animal friends who help her.

None of the premises is going to win an award for originality, but it's all about execution, right?

Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #5 on: 08 Apr 2018, 22:58 »
1. I'm with Snarky on this, and I don't really like those kind of games.

2.hmm sounds like it could be a bit annoying? A character who refuses to do most commands because of germs.

3. not really enough to go on, but doesn't entice me.

4. I can't see how that would play, but it certainly adds drama. Very dark.

5. Could be fun, although im not sure how a boy away from his games is the focus of the story and title.

EDIT:  Okay the cat one sounds more interesting now you've expanded on it.

For the first premise, Alice madness returns or the insane bits in metal gear solid 2.

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Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #6 on: 09 Apr 2018, 00:16 »
Quote
the much more important question is what actually happens in the game.
Exactly. I'd rather build a game around a puzzle or the end of a story. Coming up with an introduction is easier when you know where you're going.
« Last Edit: 09 Apr 2018, 00:35 by Creamy »
 

Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #7 on: 09 Apr 2018, 06:29 »
4. A boy finds a cursed camera and must figure out how to break the curse before everyone he has photographed dies. (I think I thought of this independently, but I have a feeling it's been done before.)

This could be a good game!

_

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Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #8 on: 09 Apr 2018, 07:22 »
What games (or movies, shows, books) came to mind when you read the first premise?

American McGee's Alice, The Neverending Story, Sandman The Doll's House, (as you say) Pan's Labyrinth, chunks of Psychonauts (not exactly, but close enough), grimdark versions of Oz, Peter Pan, etc... "Fantasy world is (explicitly or ambiguously) escapist delusions of traumatized child" is a really common trope. As many of those examples show, it can certainly be done well, but it's not an idea that gets me excited based on a general description. As for the bit about being in danger of hurting somebody if the delusions aren't defeated, no specific example comes to mind, but it feels like a familiar horror premise.

Quote
I agree that premises are a dime a dozen. As for the kitten premise, I imagine an "on the road" type of story in which the kitten hears about a loving family that takes in kittens, but she has to journey through the wilderness to get there. She starts out vulnerable to predators and Mother Nature. Along the way, she slowly "powers up" by finding animal friends who help her.

Sounds promising: a classic, solid quest structure. The dangers she faces (and how these are overcome), the characters she meets (and how her relationships with them develop) and the character development she experiences (and whatever lessons/morals there is in that) are probably going to determine how interesting a story it ultimately is.

Quote
None of the premises is going to win an award for originality, but it's all about execution, right?

Exactly.

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Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #9 on: 09 Apr 2018, 12:47 »
1. I could definitely see this working as an adventure game. Since all of the adventure game mechanics and the kid talking to himself, will all be a part of his insanity, and probably creep everyone else out. I'm not so sure about the "regaining his sanity before hurting his mother" bit. It sounds like it would be much easier and more entertaining for the whole game to be about him slowly losing his sanity, until you accidentally hurt your mother and then snap out of it. You could slowly increase the game mechanics you have access to, to show the loss of sanity. And if you could get the player to kill the mother without realising it until it's too late, then you'll have a great game on your hands.

2. It would probably be annoying having the character constantly not want to do obvious things because of his germaphobia. Also, I wouldn't want to imagine the amount of detail you'd have to put into the backgrounds to make them all look filthy.

3. How exactly would the kitten "power up"? Point and Click adventure games don't tend to have that feature. Instead they'll just give you more inventory items to work with. I guess you could give more commands to use. But overall this sounds like it would be a very long and linear adventure. Which could be just what you're looking for.

4. Sounds like a perfect plot for an episode of The Twilight Zone. It just needs a twist ending.

5. I like the sound of this one, but does it have to be about the boy stopping his grandparents from losing the farm? I think I'd rather much more enjoy a "Coming of age" story, where it's about the boy learning to live unplugged, getting new friends, something bad happens, and he then leaves more mature. You know, rather than the kid movie tropes which usually involve a couple of bumbling bad guys that would gladly murder a child (have you ever noticed that in those types of films?).

Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #10 on: 09 Apr 2018, 19:48 »
I Googled "cursed camera movie" and easily found two movies that use a version of premise four: Dead Still and Polaroid. Nothing new under the sun...

And if you could get the player to kill the mother without realising it until it's too late
Morbid! Love it.

3. How exactly would the kitten "power up"?
I was thinking the kitten would assemble a team of animal friends along the way. Each animal would have a different ability. And, like you said, the kitten could gain more commands. She could learn how to pounce, scratch, sneak, sniff, etc.

5. I like the sound of this one, but does it have to be about the boy stopping his grandparents from losing the farm? I think I'd rather much more enjoy a "Coming of age" story, where it's about the boy learning to live unplugged, getting new friends, something bad happens, and he then leaves more mature. You know, rather than the kid movie tropes which usually involve a couple of bumbling bad guys that would gladly murder a child (have you ever noticed that in those types of films?).
Good call. The coming-of-age story sounds much better, maybe with a neighbor farm girl as a love interest.
« Last Edit: 09 Apr 2018, 21:53 by Durq »

Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #11 on: 12 Apr 2018, 13:03 »
Number 4, I can see it being like a small game, like not too long.
I really like reading over Snarky and others post their point of view.

A lot of things has been done before but it's what you do to  make it  original.

But yeah I really like the thought of number 4.

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Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #12 on: 22 Apr 2018, 22:42 »
Happy to see you're beginning your own game, Durq!
Have you made your choice about the story?
My first game : I Want Out!

Re: Premise Ideas
« Reply #13 on: 22 Apr 2018, 23:32 »
Happy to see you're beginning your own game, Durq!
Have you made your choice about the story?

I haven't decided yet. At the moment, I'm more focused on trying to get a recently completed children's book published.

Do you have any ideas for your next game yet?