As Camp Nanowrimo progresses and time goes by my word count is limited but my world has grown huge. Though it took a while as I got caught up on the technical aspects of the game and the mechanics. Luckily I found a fellow writer who also happened to be a gamer on the nano forums and she and I began debating ideas back and forth and helped me work through a lot of my questions and uncertainties.
One of the things I was caught up on was respawning. I originally wanted absolutely no respawning. If you died in the game that was it. Game OVER! However, she helped me see that while I, as a hardcore gamer, would simply take that to mean ‘get your head on straight and play smart, bia-bia,’ the casual gamer might be thrown off of playing it even if it is the first ever full immersion virtual game. However, I wanted the risk to be high to discourage impulsive actions and to make the tension of a high class battle mean something. If the character can just respawn then their death means nothing.
So we came up with the soul binding towers. (They will not be called that in the story but I’m not up to naming them at the moment. ^.^) You see, few and far between in the land of Ilasrian are the great towers (or orbs, or alters, or something but we shall refer to them as towers for now) that a player can bind their soul to. By bind I mean they save. If they fall in battle their body and all items/equipment they had at their save point are ‘absorbed’ back into Ilasrian and they are reborn at their save point. Sound simple enough, right?
‘But Kyo, that’s still respawning and takes away the thrill and danger of the fight!’
Wrong! Two points. One: A player can not save/bind their soul at the same tower twice in a row. If they bind at Tower 1 the next save HAS to be at a different tower. And they are, as I said, few and far between so their is risk of traveling to the next tower but they have to if they wish to save again. They can only return to Tower 1 after they have saved somewhere else. So they run the risk of saving at level 10, getting almost to Tower 2 and dying at level 24 before they reached the next tower. (Towers may or may not be closer/farther apart).
‘But I still don’t see the risk, Kyo!’
Give me a minute! Okay the big ‘oh shit’ factor? Respawns are not unlimited. You only get so many (2-5 dependent on race/class) So if you only have 3 rebirths and die three times? Your character is dead. Done. Gone Forever.
How’s that for the big risk?
Now I am still working on one aspect. When a person starts the game their brain is scanned and all their memories, knowledge, and essentially everything they are is scanned into their new character/avatar. While they play their character is only able to retain the knowledge and memories they had on that initial scan and what happens in the game. So all the breaks the players take where they leave the game world and spend time with their friends, have a nice hot shower, crack open a cold beer and watch the game? When they are in the game they won’t remember those moments. So say you play the game for a year. Your real self will remember the game and your real life. When you are in the game though you will only remember the game world. When you are in the game you have no knowledge that you ever left and that helps drive the nail in the coffin of ‘this might be a game but it’s my world now’. That, my friends, is going to cause some VERY interesting things to happen to our dear players throughout their adventure.
A few people have listened to me go back and forth about races and no, I still have not decided yet, but I do know their will be multiple races. How many? No clue! But at least three. What I am going to try and do differently though is intermingling the races. None of this (humans live here, elves live there, dwarfs over yonder, and all humans are alike, all elves are alike, ect) the races are going to be living together. Their might be isolated villages here and their but in Ilasrian the races live and work together.
The races are not all the same either. The nature/animal bound race of the forest will have different cultures, morals, and way of being then the nature/animal bound race of the mountains. Hell, even in the forest their might be several different cultures within a single race. Just like all us humans here on earth.
That leads me to the next decision I made. The big bad? The major quest? The evil that needs to be vanquished? Doesn’t exist! Not in this game! Oh there are quests and trust me there are plots and things going on but who is evil? Who is good? What is the right thing to do? What is the wrong path to choose? No one knows, especially the players. That, my friends, is something we are all going to have to learn along the way. And what we learn might just surprise us.
Have a good day and Happy Writing!