Monday, November 17, 2008

Subvert That Trope!

I've been neglecting my gaming blog, lately. Think I could use some inspiration. I've got two game concepts I've got some substance on: One's a platformer RPG and the other's a customizable shmup.

So, got any videogame tropes you'd like to see subverted/averted/lampshaded/justified, etcetera? For the platformer RPG, coming up with justifications for various metroidvania skills has been fun and occasionally inspiring in worldbuilding terms.

9 comments:

King of Ferrets said...

Final Exam Boss. I'd like to see you find a way to subvert that. (It not being the final boss doesn't count.)

MWchase said...

I'm guessing segueing into a cutscene in which the player character starts pulling out weapons he/she/it never acquired in-game would be the wrong way to do it. (At least for the tone you want. In a sillier game, it could work.)

Perhaps finding novel uses for a few of the lower-powered items. Preferably in a way that has a different 'feel' than their normal use. Because, it seems to me, that with the kind of feel in the Platformer, that the player would know they were doing something.

Whereas, Pythagoras... maybe just force the player to be really good at the basics of flight and combat.

I'm really not sure...

I think seeing You Can't Thwart Stage One subverted would be deeply satisfying. Because, really, if there isn't an overarching megalomaniacal fiendish über-plan, then none of the villains should have proper plot armor. I suppose this is naturally taken care of by the fact that the character/situation that this supports doesn't exist in UP, but it bears repeating.

Bronze Dog said...

Subverting a Final Exam Boss for UP: Suppose I could avert it, at least. With all 5 characters in the same location, there'd be at least a few new ways to combine some of their abilities.

You Can't Thwart Stage One: Definitely think it'd be good to have a few successful instances of doing this.

Wikinite said...

Why don't you subvert both by having the Final boss fight at the beginning of the game. Do the game in a sort of Pulp Fiction style story line. The major events will all happen at or near the beginning, regardless of their natural chronolgoical order, with the focus on how all these large events tie together.

MWchase said...

There were a few storyline branches, weren't there? I can't really see that kind of thing working except as a really demented New Game Plus option with its own storyline, especially given that part of the idea of Final Exam Boss is that you've learned what everything does. Putting it at the beginning would make it, like... Entrance Exam Boss.

Of course, as my posts over there somewhat establish, I have no real problem with demented storytelling. Speaking of... I can't really see an in-story reason for such a powerful boss. I think that such a boss would be some kind of metaphor for a theme that BD sought to eliminate from UP.

I don't remember this being discussed... If the final boss isn't a vast, impersonal cosmic horror that threatens all of existence with the merest scattering of its toenail clippings, what should it be, in-story? (Mechanically, a bit stronger than previous bosses, and intended as a challenge for the leveled-up party...) A recurrent minor villain with a grudge against the party, personally?

Bronze Dog said...

One of the themes I'm trying to go for is smaller scale events than saving the world. The problem is that I can't think of much to draw from. Just about every game involves saving the world or defeating some princess-kidnapping person. I'll need to get around to that when I've got more free time.

King of Ferrets said...

If I remember correctly, one of your themes in the game would be stuff that happens because of the recently connected worlds, like racism, arms dealing to kill races vulnerable to certain damage, developing economoic ties, etc. Diplomacy, economic issues, civil rights, all that sort of stuff could provide for some more minor plotlines.

Stogoe said...

One way to subvert "Can't Thwart Stage One" without winning the game then and there is to have underlings continue their evil deeds after the boss is dead. It needn't even be the same evil plot, especially if you're going with small-scale evil plots.

This would also be a good place to subvert No Plans No Prototype No Backup.

Bronze Dog said...

Sounds good.

One thing that the player could have to contain is the spread of an analog of a small nuke. Can't put that genie back in the bottle.