Poll

Which of these entries is the best game pitch?

1. Return From Death - Future Vision!
2 (18.2%)
2. Vox Populi
3 (27.3%)
3. Acts
3 (27.3%)
4. Return of the Makkk
2 (18.2%)
5. Walk away and tell no one
1 (9.1%)
6. ReTad of the Jedi
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: 03 May 2020, 09:18

Author Topic: Game Pitch Competition - Round 10: "The Pitch Is Back!" - Voting!  (Read 1414 times)

No one guessed mine yet :).

Snarky

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Hmm... did Snarky deliberately throw us off the scent - is Acts by Snarky?!
 

cat

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There doesn't seem to be a ton of interest in it, or maybe the forums are just going through doldrums

I read the entries but I didn't find them interesting or I couldn't imagine what gameplay would be like. I only liked ReTad of the Jedi but forgot to vote.

Snarky

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Hmm... did Snarky deliberately throw us off the scent - is Acts by Snarky?!

Did I? I was worried that it was too obvious, since it was the only entry I didn't express skepticism or real confusion about in my feedback, just posed questions beyond the scope of the pitch itself. (Which could arguably be considered a sneaky way to suggest more detail than the word-limit can accommodate.)
You are correct.

I read the entries but I didn't find them interesting or I couldn't imagine what gameplay would be like. I only liked ReTad of the Jedi but forgot to vote.

 :~(
But hey, that means someone preferred each one of the entries!  ;-D
« Last Edit: 06 May 2020, 17:10 by Snarky »

So we have:

Return from Death - ????
Vox Populi - ????
Acts - Snarky
Return of the Makk - Captain D
Walk Away and Tell No One - ????
ReTad of the Jedi - ????

Unknown authors:

Crimson Wizard
Reiter
Durq
TheManInBoots



@Snarky - I guess it was this comment "will require very different story choices from anything I would find interesting" that made me think at first it was someone else, then looking at it from another angle I thought "Aha!"
 

Snarky

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Well, I know some of the answers, and think I can work out the rest by process of elimination. So, for example, I'm fairly sure Vox Populi is by Reiter. Congrats!
(That was also the one I voted for.)

Is it time to share the complete list?

@Snarky - I guess it was this comment "will require very different story choices from anything I would find interesting" that made me think at first it was someone else, then looking at it from another angle I thought "Aha!"

Haha, yeah. I've long been fascinated by what actually happened at the founding of Christianity — that point, some time after the death of Jesus, when his followers started to believe that he had been raised from the dead. Interestingly, the earliest account of this, in 1 Corinthians 15:4–7, differs notably from the version in the Gospels, and in the Gospel of Mark (thought to be the oldest and the source for Luke and Matthew) that part seems to have been added later. So there's a lot of room for speculation — if you don't take the Gospels as gospel.

In any case, Jesus' death was clearly a huge crisis of faith for his followers. And if you do accept the basic Gospel narrative that the disciples fled and went into hiding when Jesus was arrested, and that they were betrayed (or at least suspected they had been betrayed) by one of their own, you also have the setup for a really tense, Reservoir Dogs-style thriller drama.

At the same time, I've also been toying with the idea of a sort of Rashomon-like game, with a playable narrative told retrospectively by different unreliable narrators, creating a story made up of many different conflicting versions, full of holes and inconsistencies, and leaving it to the player what to believe in the end. That seemed like it would go well with this setting and theme. A lot of the gameplay would be in choosing what attitude to take to the different other disciples: who to trust, who to ally with and so on, as well as in picking up clues in the playable flashbacks, and perhaps interrogate other witnesses. At the end, you may denounce someone as the traitor (presenting the evidence you've gathered), or be denounced yourself if you've alienated too many other people.

The title, "Acts," has at least a triple meaning. As for "the stranger" that appears, it was meant to hint at the resurrection appearance of Jesus. I added it mainly to fit the contest topic, and I'm not sure I would actually want to include it. (If so, only second-hand.)

Done and voted! It was not easy to choose. I like all of these ideas.

Now, I mean to leave more detailed feed-back on all entries, when the voting is over. To be on the safe side. There is quite a lot to talk of!

Please do!

Snarky

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OK, since there isn't any more activity in this thead, let's have the list of the authors for each entry:

TheManInBoots:   Return From Death - Future Vision!
Reiter:   Vox Populi
Snarky:   Acts
CaptainD:   Return of the Makkk
Crimson Wizard:   Walk away and tell no one
Durq:   ReTad of the Jedi

Superb work everyone! Lots of creativity on display here, and congratulations to Snarky for doing such a good job moderating the competition! I would have loved to take part/weigh in on the voting but some unexpected things kept me away. I would definitely take part in another if it were to materialise, it seems like wonderful fun!

I delayed my vote to see which pitches would stuck with me. Then I forgot, sorry  :=

I think I would have chosen Snarky's.

Quote
So there's a lot of room for speculation — if you don't take the Gospels as gospel.

The period is poorly documented. This speculation is the starting point of many books / comics :
- Da Vinci Code.
- Le Triangle secret: I just read the first comic but learnt that
Spoiler: ShowHide
Jesus had a brother.

- le Décalogue : it's about Islam. The last episode - which is the first one chronologically - takes place just after Mahomet's death. They discover
Spoiler: ShowHide
a new surah.

- The Third Testament.
...

In many of these books, they like to switch between past and present to show the impact of a discovery that "will challenge everything we believe in".

After reading "Acts", I wondered if the game would involve anything supernatural and if the prophet Yeshua would come back (the stranger?)
« Last Edit: 20 May 2020, 00:44 by Creamy »
 

Snarky

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- Le Triangle secret: I just read the first comic but learnt that
Spoiler: ShowHide
Jesus had a brother.


Thanks Creamy!
According to the Bible, Jesus had at least four brothers (James, Judas, Joseph and Simon) and several unnamed sisters. Most churches try to explain this away because they're fully committed to Mary's magically pristine vagina, but the references are quite straightforward and the rationalizations far-fetched ("maybe they were all adopted!"; "maybe 'brother' actually means 'cousin'!"), and scholars tend to dismiss such religiously-motivated obfuscations.

After reading "Acts", I wondered if the game would involve anything supernatural and if the prophet Yeshua would come back (the stranger?)

In my head, there wouldn't be anything unambiguously supernatural in the game, but miracles and supernatural events could be portrayed as the subjective experiences of the disciples. I'm influenced by this article, which argues that if we read the Bible into its original context, it's plausible that the episode where Jesus and some of the disciples walked on water "actually happened" in some sense, as an ecstatic religious trance.

A decade ago I attended the Passion Play in Oberammergau (an immense production which is only held once every ten years, to celebrate how the town was spared a 1633 plague: it was supposed to be held again this summer but is being postponed to 2022), and it had a really interesting interpretation of the resurrection: Mary Magdalene and the other women go to the grave and find it open. They enter the cave (off-stage) and disappear for a while. Then Mary comes back out with a beatific look, carrying a lamp or torch, and proclaims the resurrection. She speaks to the disciples, and one by one she lights their torches, and they share the light further, lighting more and more torches until the stage is full of them. And then Jesus emerges from the grave. (Check out the video here for some snippets.) It's ambiguous enough that each viewer can choose to take it literally or as a symbolic representation of faith.

“Mary's Magically Pristine Vagina” is going to be the name of my new band.

On 'Vox Populi'.

I had the closing days of republican Rome in mind. The Emerald City is a city-state, governed by wizards, but now endlessly torn in political intrigue and on the brink of civil war. The more powerful you are, the greater the danger from your rivals becomes. I am rather fond of the idea of a man with no great ambitions to power being forever pushed into its arms (along with the increasing peril), where every attempt to get off of the wheel of fortune just heaves him up higher.
As for 'Emerald City Confidential', I did not know of it. I shall have to play it some day. Why, their idea was better than mine!

On 'Acts'.

I did vote for this pitch, for I liked it the most. There is a lot of possibility in it. Indeed, it reminds me rather of the film 'Risen'. Not to mention, old Jerusalem would be a most fascinating setting.

However, as you noted yourself, it is a game irrevocably attached to the Greatest Story. It is a very brave proposition, for that creates a vast amounts of obligations to consider. It must be done with no small deal of tact, care and finesse. Particularly if the idea is to distance itself from the Christian faith. As I would undoubtedly be in the 'devout' section of potential buyers, I would say that such a thing can be done, and done very well indeed, but it is most difficult. Frankly, if it were to be reduced to a tired old 'Ha! Loony hippie!' story, albeit with an intriguing sect mystery plot, then it would be quite a waste. Those were some terrifying days and nights, and all manner of hopes and despairs and regrets weighed upon the disciples left behind. Indeed, the very nature of Judas Iskarot and his part in the death and ressurection is fascinating, and the relation between him and the faithful disciples. Many things can be found there, hideous and beautiful, and tracking him down in the narrow streets of old Jerusalem and through the haze of despair is a very exciting idea.

In brief, there is a magnificent and rewarding story to find here, and so much can be done beyond the scope of traditional gospel, with liberties taken. However, that makes obligations. To pointlessly profane or dismiss it would be disappointing, cheap and a heart-breaking waste.
That is, however, a reservation I would have towards all such games. 'Acts' rather looks like a much better sport than that, and a much more promising project. Most excellent!

Snarky

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I think I slightly misunderstood the pitch for Vox Populi, but I like your idea. An unambitious person who "has greatness thrust upon him" is a nice storyline.

I've seen a trailer for Risen, and thought it looked pretty fun. Something like a detective mystery take on the crucifixion/resurrection. "Someone has stolen the body!" Not much of a mystery for the audience, is it? (laugh)
But yes, the potential similarity did occur to me.

I think there's room for a lot of different takes on the subject, from something like Risen or Ben Hur to The Last Temptation of Christ to Life of Brian. While I'm not a believer, and that would no doubt be reflected in the design and story choices I'd make, I wouldn't aim to make a game that's gratuitously offensive or provocative to Christians. To be interesting to me, it — this entirely hypothetical game that I will never make — would have to strive for historical accuracy and plausibility. That requires, at any rate, acknowledging that at some point after Jesus was crucified, the disciples had some sort of religious experience that convinced them that he had been resurrected, and that was compelling enough for some of them to devote years (and possibly the rest) of their life to proclaiming this belief.

As for Judas, that whole bit has always intrigued me (as it has innumerable writers). Personally I'm skeptical of the narrative of Judas' betrayal, with the shared supper and return at the head of a posse later in the night. There wasn't really a need for a traitor among Jesus' followers to arrange for his arrest, and I suspect (though this is pure speculation) that Judas was simply an apostle who left the movement either shortly before or shortly after Jesus' death, which was seen as a betrayal by the others, and that he became a scapegoat for the arrest and execution itself. If there is any historicity to the others fleeing when Jesus was arrested, or Peter's denial of Christ, they probably felt a great deal of shame and guilt, which assigning a particular betrayer would help to relieve. In a game I might at least present this as a possibility.