Let's talk story/lore


#1

For me, an equally important point to game mechanics is lore/story. I need to be immersed in a world that draws me into it, makes me WANT to play and WANT to be there. It doesn’t take much - Civilization has perhaps one of the most compelling environments ever, yet it’s simply a strategy game that tells you to “Conquer the world!” Another great game is King of Dragon Pass (if you haven’t played it, go to GOG.com and download it NOW! I got it last year and it is easily one of the BEST games I’ve ever played). It gives you a lose lore set in an expansive fictional universe - you are one of several clans who ran away from the evil Pharaoh to the valley of Dragon Pass and are charged to lead that clan into developing a tribe by allying with other clans and then eventually forming a kingdom out of all the tribes/clans in the pass. The Lore then forms a structure around basic quests, trading, and exploration, all while allowing you to take your tribe/clan in the direction you prefer. Although you can sense the Lore is much deeper (it’s based off of a table top role playing series, ala D&D), it is only just enough to make you immersed in the world. That’s what I’m hoping for at minimum. As someone who LOVES stories, I wouldn’t mind something more elaborate, but I think something beyond that could hinder the sandbox nature, “do anything you want” style of game.

TL;DR: What sort of lore/story do you want in the world of Stonehearth?

On a related note, what sort of world/story do you plan on creating with mods?

Future topic that we’ll discuss later: possible religions and magic!


Dynamic Story Suggestion
#2

Tom said during the livestream that he’s more interested in players creating their own lore / stories rather than something being forced on them by the game. I imagine there’ll still be some innate lore in the structure they provide, but that was the same with Minecraft.


#3

The lore I think of now compared to what it will be will in not doubt change. I prefer the world only having enough lore to tell me about other races and not much about the world. A sort of 'blank slate" if you will.

What I want is to tell a story of a large city housing many races coinciding with each other and how it came to be. Winning through Diplomacy but quick to arms when needed. Welcoming all inside it’s gates.

As for mods, I almost never use them out side of quality of life ones, but I would love to add my own race to the world through modding. As seen here.


#4

I would prefer something a lot more in depth than Minecraft. And Tom also said that their first employee was a writer. You make it sound like their lore will be slim to nonexistent. I got the impression from the livestream that their lore will influence the world but be nothing so overbearing that it ruins individual experience and imagination, which is what I want.


#5

You noted Dungeons and Dragons as one of their inspirations for this game and that is how they came up with the idea of modules within the world. If modules exist off the bat, and they will since it has been confirmed, there will be lore built into the original game. Will it be expansive and rich? Maybe not. Will it captivate you like Civ or King of Dragon Pass? Maybe not. But will modders and content creators bring those aspects to the game? Yes. Yes they will. That is why they are here, it is an integral part of this game.

TL;DR: Lore in original game? Likely. Deep, rick and tantalizing lore from modders? Yes, a thousand times yes.


#6

@CharlesCastr actually, your note makes it sound like it’s RIGHT up my alley. I’m not looking for the next Elder Scrolls (anyone who’s a fanboy of that game, like me, knows that the lore of the Elder Scrolls rivals that of any of the greatest fantasy authors, if not in polish than in substance), but seeing as I don’t plan on modding anything (I have the artistic skills of a limbless, blind, deaf, and brainless mouse) I want something to at least INITIALLY keep me super interested.

As for modders… I mean… hell, pepe’s article shows people are ALREADY modding this game… .wtf is up with that?! hahaha :slight_smile:


#7

@CharlesCastr Exactly my thoughts on it, I think the key thing about this, and most games like this, is that they provide you with the tools to create your own stories and your own experiences. Yes there will have to be a certain extent of lore in the game, in terms of races, classes, etc. The stuff that has to be named.

As for story, I’m not sure if it needs one, or at least, not a linearly driven one. Missions and quests for things, yer I can see that working, but something that has an end goal in site, narratively speaking, I’m not completely sold. Does a game like this need a story in that sense?


#8

@DAWGaMims I completely agree with you with @Pepe 's creations, they are amazing! But when I’m talking about modding in this particular sense I’m talking about the modders that will be creating specific lore content within modules. I know it’s something that appeals to me, but so does the Qubicle aspect of it. At this point in the development of the game we’re going to see an incredible amount of work done within Qubicle by people such as @Pepe but when we can get our hands on the game itself, or a little earlier then that, that’s when I feel like you’ll see the module mods coming out.

@Geoffers747 If you take a look at Minecraft it took quite a while for it to have an end game goal, the Ender Dragon, and even then, it’s still not all that popular. Once you kill it, it’s gone. Carry on with MC life and build shit. Same thing will happen with this game in my opinion.


#9

@Geoffers747 Again, you guys are basically touching on exactly what I’m talking about. Make the environment and the world a place full of wonder, where everything has a story, whether it’s a story we create through playing (maybe in my game “Volmont Forest” is a place of wicked evil where endless goblins and possessed wolves hunt my villagers down, providing years of torment and anguish until an alliance between the Hopper clan (bunnies) and my people send in a party to vanquish the evil goblin king, but in YOUR game, “Volmost Forest” is an enchanted world full of magical entities, on the other side of which is an enchanted tribe of priests who bless your people with magical powers.) or it’s a story that they design (a quest to slay a Titan, or a general discription of a faction, etc.).

I want the world to be more interesting to explore than just a collection of voxels heeped together with random items and an occasional boss fight. In short, I don’t want this to be Diablo III (feel the burn Blizzard, FEEL IT! :@ ).


#10

@DAWGaMims Man I think Blizzard’s stocks just plummetted … They ain’t ever gonna recover!!

I think that is the beauty of these games, I mean look at Dwarf Fortress, and Gnomoria, there is no story really - you just go around creating legendary sausages and just experience the world in all it’s splendour!

I think the things you’ve said about are already in, just in terms of how in the kickstarter video they talk about monsters etc being randomly generated/ placed.

@CharlesCastr I haven’t actually killed the Ender Dragon in Minecraft, it’s just not what the game’s about for me. I Feel like they just added it in to provide some sort of bookend - I dno. It just feels a bit redundant personally.


#11

In the beginning there was a von Neumann cube.

It should have been impossible but static electricity generated a partial reactivation code as the cube was ejected from a maintenance vessel’s garbage chute. The ship’s brain did an exemplary job otherwise. The cube was on a spiraling course towards the local sun. ETA 132 years. There was no rush.

Space, however, did a less stellar job of being properly empty. After a mere 65 years, a small fraction of a comet picked up the cube like a car’s windscreen picks up a bug. Alas the comet was mostly ice so the nano-filters could extract very little of value. Only enough to build another 37 cubes which now amounted to the size of a very small insect.

The story could have ended here if the reason for the comet’s fraction hadn’t been a collision in a local asteroid belt. As orbits do, it led back to to where it started - in astronomical terms, that is, because it was some 150 million kilometers off when it hit an entirely different rock at 27000 km/h.
If the technology hadn’t gone out of style 120 years ago, the designers would have been ecstatic about knowing that 2 cubes survived basically unharmed

Being good little von Neumann cubes they went to work.Energy levels were low this far from the sun but that’s only an issue if you have a perception of time. The cubes only knew about building.
The asteroid was more of a minor planetary body and one third of it now consisted of tiny cubes when it happened. Had the initial cube been fully activated, the safety protocols would have shut down the one cube that had succumbed to 527 years of unfiltered radiation. It started to build random items. Which built more random items, consuming asteroid, dormant cubes, or each other.
Eventually one variety was able to aggregate into clusters, becoming much more efficient at consuming and reproducing, even developing specialised clusters.

That’s when the automated survey probe’s report of an oddly cube-shaped asteroid was logged in the university’s astronomic database. No one was interested in asteroids except for a computer sciences student looking for a way to impress a certain astronomy student.
The probe gleefully followed up on the request for further data and established an orbit around N91827. With a communications relay in place, things got more interesting. Although the protocols were long lost, modern computer capacity made it easy to brute force them, giving control of what amounted to a highly moddable planetoid to one student.
One student who registered a claim on the “useless piece of rock” and did the obvious. He turned it into a computer game, giving the players access to “actors” on tiny areas on the planetoid’s surface. With nothing to compare against, a tiny area can be as big as a world - and everything was made of von Neumann cubes who could be combined, consumed, and rebuilt infinitely.

The game became known as Stonehearth.

There’s your lore. =P


#12

To me Lore often equates to a Wall of Text that most players ignore.

The only Lore I am interested in is the type that develops while i am playing. I don’t want to have to read about it before I start playing or I would buy a Book. I want to discover it small pieces at a time and then I also want it to be different every time I start a new game (or download a new Mod)


#13

@Ondaderthad perhaps I should elaborate and say that, when I talk of “Lore”, I also mean “environment”. By environment, I mean the feel of the game world. For example, what if goblins had some corruption that eeked out into the land, or if you were an evil character your destruction was noticeable? Or perhaps an enchanted weaponed oosed some sort of magical essence. There are other things, but part of it is avoiding the “wall of text” thing. If you’ve played a bethesda game, you can get a pictureo what I’m talking about. Such as stumbling upon a couple of skeletons in Fallout 3, one of them small and clutching a teddy bear. When did they die? Were the burnt away into nothing during the flash of the original bombing? Why couldn’t they get to safety?

Another example could be Zelda.Most of the world is expressed in visual design, or in how characters act. Think of the difference between the Goron and Gerudo in Zelda is almost entirely based on both appearance and music - what their area sounds like, what they look like, what they’re doing when the player finds them, how the player encounters them. Then you can add a few lines of text to elaborate, but I don’t think in a game like this anything substantial is required - in fact, you probably want to shy away from that. We as players want to make our own story. But we also want to encounter an interesting world.

I DO NOT want this game to be another minecraft where you endlessly wander, encountering the same shapes and sounds but in different biomes. I want interesting things with interesting stories, even if we have to make up most of those stories ourselves.


#14

I understand what you mean.
By looking at a recent post by Pepe I am confident that a lot of Lore will be supplied by eager modders.


#15

Sorry I had to point this out, it actually made me go make an account…

Anyway, I’m a crazy lore hound… I’ve worked on several Elder Scrolls wikis and I love a good story in a game.

That being said, I don’t think this game needs too much lore. Just a little to put things in context. Ultimately, like many in this thread have noted, this is your story. Why your people are settling, why your under attack by goblins, and why “Bob” died fighting those goblins should all be up to you.


#16

@XRumblingcdsX Wouldn’t you agree with the concept I have proposed, then? If you’ve worked on TES wikis, you know what I mean. A lot of the fun from TES comes in the form of discovery. No one here is advocating they create in-game lore books/an appendix full of information on every little thing. But creating a uniqueness within each item or encounter or faction or “module” that makes me pop, that makes you want to know more or want to do those quests etc., isn’t that important to?

Personally, I don’t want just a simple sandbox. What sets this game a part from other (like Timber and Stone) is the element of story, the idea of creating compelling quests that propell the player along, captivating them to both discover more and finish the story through. An overarching, “main-story line” is not the goal. A general “World history” isn’t what I’m asking for. But giving me a reason for doing things beyond simple “it’s to get resources” etc. is important.

Let’s use the concept of modules in the game. One module that could be randomly seeded would be a farm house that is bizarrely empty, maybe even burnt out. Sifting through the rubble you find a journal. This journal talks about strange noises at night. One morning they discover a half eaten carrot. You know that this could mean one thing: the rabbit clan is on the offensive. Carrots, after all, are like crack for rabbits. This clan must have ambushed the farmers for some reason. This leads you along a questline discovery who those rabbits are and why they did what they did. Or you could ignore it. It’s up to you. This is the sort of story telling I’m talking about. It doesn’t generally effect the rabbit clan (we know they’re supposed to be peaceful), it doesn’t effect the overall game or create an unnecessary narrative that changes how you’d build your city and manage your people. It’s a side story that keeps the experience original. And it’s a lot more compelling than simply wandering the vast wastes of voxelville, looking for another pack of goblins to slaughter or caravan to trade with.

Now imagine hundreds of these mods available at the beginning of the game, designed by the developer.

Now imagine hundreds of modders making similar modules and adding it to your game.

Do you see where I’m going here?

But my entire point is that I don’t want to wait for modders to develop these experiences. I want there to be an concertive effort, from the beginning, on behalf of the developer.


#17

Continuing the discussion from Anyone concerned if they don’t reach 400k?:

I don’t fear it’ll turn into another towns or Castle Story, but I’d love the randomly generated histories, biographies and item quality that are named etc. Something like this, combined with pretty much everything @DAWGaMims you’ve just said, for me, would be perfect.


Anyone concerned if they don't reach 400k?
#18

I haven’t laughed that hard in quite a while @Geoffers747, thank you!

Reminds me of Monty Python for some reason…

BAM! This!
Good ideas guys. Excellent.


#19

The opportunity to write stories about half-eaten carrots was pretty much what convinced me to work at Radiant. :wink:


#20

I am fairly certain that is what motivates most of my major life decisions!