OFFICIALISATION: The Storyline

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CommanderSpleen
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OFFICIALISATION: The Storyline

Post by CommanderSpleen » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:24 am

I just spent a couple of hours compiling as much information as I could find about the storyline from the other threads in this forum. For the amount of discussion that's gone on, we really haven't covered much. Though what he have covered is intriguing to say the least.

Overall story:

o Set prior to Keen 4. We're told that the council previously 'owed him one'. This trilogy shall explain why.

o The council has been captured. [By whom? Not Mortimer, since up until AAMB, Keen was of the belief he was dead.] They threaten to destroy Gnosticus IV [laser, bomb?] unless the council activates the oracle for some evil purpose.

o Somehow [this detail not important right now] Keen is contacted. By the council/oracle? Or an intentional part of the antagonist's plan?

o A forcefield or timefield* surrounds the city, so Keen can't access it directly. He must land in the Shadowlands (somewhere East of the area used in Keen 4) and find a way to shut down or pass through the force field.
*Robo Blue wrote:In my idea, it's not a force field, it's a time field. Anything that enters it is completely stopped, with the exception of light.
Without time, there can be no motion.
Only the oracle has that power, and only the council members can deactivate it.
o Inclusion of Princess Lindsay in the plot somehow?

Episode 1

o Early progress is blocked by a river village, whose slug inhabitants demand the retrieval of a stolen artifact hidden in another location. [Who stole it, what and where is it?] Gotta be more to the story than just this, though.

o Objectives involve activation of some kind of ancient technology. Statues were suggested. Steering well clear of the typical 'collect four items' mentality.

o Possible game finale finds Keen entering a mine shaft, which collapses behind him, preventing his return. The only option is to forge ahead.
Robo Blue wrote:How about this:
Episode 1: turbulence
after crashlanding, keen wanders around the area, slowly gaining information from whatever we replace the yorp statues with. He learns about the past, the war, and he discovers that if he activates 4 statues, the council members will take note and deactivate the time field. He deactivates the statues, and the field is gone. However, he still has to get past the network of guard stations surrounding the city, and with the BWBMR out of commission...
Episode 2

o Set in a massive underground cave/mine network.
Yowza wrote:BUT not necessarily all for mining. These tunnels could connect to mining tunnels, but there could also be underground temples in here (with the statues inside).
o Find a way to deactivate the time field, or signal the council that it's safe for them to do so? Or just enter the city via a back door tunnel, under the water.
KeenRush wrote:This idea just came to my mind, but there could be some high-tech stuff on that place, it could be something base under the ground. With lot's of tunnels and so on, there could be some ancient mines, water, oil, diamond and some escape-ways from the city. :)
Episode 3

(o) Floating city reminiscent of Miragia and Coruscant.
KeenRush wrote:Keen get's in to the city. He must get on the top buildings of it, but the problem is that they are some kilometers higher. He must use lifts, jump from in great heights, and fight his way from hovering building to other, smash some enemies and grab some candy. :)
Yowza wrote:Maybe we could have a few underwater levels aswell.. Not with Keen swimming, I mean with tube-like structures that go underwater..
Miscellany
KeenRush wrote:Ofcourse destroying the planet wouldn't affect to immortal Ancients, they would just be blasted around in the space after that..

Hmmm, I think that this city could be very important to the galaxy (because of the wise Ancients and Oracle), like that galaxy's capital. That's why I suggested the name Capitoll. :)
KeenRush wrote:Hmmm, my point of view: The city is the brain of the planet. It is only socialized place, place of wisdom and so on, place of Ancients and Orace, but maybe some others' too. The other planet, there are now cities or other stuff that would have the laws of galaxy, the city is the only place in the whole planet where are those.
The other places are wilds. There can be bunch of creatures that think they own the planet, they may have some own buildings and so on.. :)"
Scizor CT brilliantly wrote:Let's say that on Gnosticus IV, a combination of odd tectonic forces and gravitational pull have made possible the existence of an element that is capable of quite a bit more than your average rock. Through a bit of research, the Gnosticines discovered that it could be used to A. Make stuff float, and B. Fiddle with time. The first discovery of this element was when the Lifewater Oasis first appeared: A mineral spring bubbling up from the depths of the planet, which may or may not have anything to do with the Ancients being immortal, but that's beside the point. Mining operations later found more of it, although under incredible pressure and uncomfortably close to large pockets of magma. Unfortuately, a few foolhardy miners blasted through to some magma, which resulted in the entire operation being shut down. The Chasm of Chills and Cave of Descendants can be seen as the remnants of the earlier mining. Later operations were further east, preferably as far from the Shadowlands as possible. What was finally mined of the material was transported to the city and mostly used to make it float, thus defending it from most of the monsters on the planet. The rest of the material was kept in storage in the city until needed. Unfortunately, the *whatever we're calling the invaders* found the combination of the rock and the power of the Oracle to be a potent force. Although they can't directly use the Oracle, they can siphon off its power to create the time field. Now, Keen needs to venture back into the old caverns to find some of the element himself, as it's the only feasible way of getting through the time field.

...

The more I've thought about it, the more it seems like that idea fits into the Shadowlands though. Out by the Lifewater Oasis are Sand Yego and Miragia. Why? Perhaps Sand Yego was once the stockhold for the mined ore before being shipped elsewhere. It seems like Miragia is an abandoned test site for the ore, really. Some really funky stuff occurs there with no real reason why, and the scenery there is found no where else in the Shadowlands. Perhaps the Wetsuit was once used to explore the Oasis? At any rate, I'd be willing to wager that Miragia would be a good basis for the city graphics of Ep. 3. Still, other locations like the Perilous Pit (looks as much like a mineshaft as anything I've seen) and the Isle of Tar (deep with huge tar pits. Sound like a failed shaft to you?) just seem logical.
I continue to be astounded at how much depth we can find in the story surrounding Gnosticus IV.

NOW...

I think the overall story is sufficiently established for now. The details need a bit of attention, though. For starters let's answer some of the questions I've put in [square brackets].

It's a waste of time debating which engines to use for each episode, so I'm making an executive decision to use Keen 1-3 in their original order. We start with Keen 1 in the Shadowlands.

We need to know the objectives for each episode, and tie them in with the main plot. We have a beginning and some semblence of content for each, but the endings need work.

Once that's out of the way, I believe it should be practical to design Episode 1's progression. The only concrete idea we have so far is a slug village and some unnamed item needed to pass it. What's beyond this village? Where is the item located?

We don't need to focus yet on the appearance of the levels, but we do need some general themes as to their terrain and purpose, where the key item(s) will live, a basic idea as to the flow of the map, and so on.

I don't mean to sound too dictatorial, but somebody's gotta make some decisions about this project. The less time spent thinking about the trivial ones, the better.

*passes baton*

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Post by levellass » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:34 am

Oooh! Oooh! Can I be second in command? Or vice president? (First lady?) I'm good at organizing stuff!

Here's my two cents:


Overall story:

The Zibbles; a notorious race of interplanetary pirates, have captured the council. They've decided that they're tired of pirating, and want to settle down and rule a planet or two. They've decided on Gnosticus, but only one thing stands in their way; Princess Lindsey has escaped their clutches, and without her as barganing power, the Zibbles will be unable to hold the planet for very long. However, they *do* have the oracle, with which they can locate Lindsey with a single question, then set out after her in their unrivaled pirate fleet. Lindsey however has fled the galaxy and alerted Commander Keen from her porta fax. Not even Keen must know her location, in order for her yo remain safe.

Somehow, the Zibble have surrounded their strongholds with a stasis field, as wel as freezing their enemies in time with it. (And some things like landslides, this is how things float; with no time to fall in, they don't fall; thus, expect to see a lot of frozen stuff.) Their 'time guns' wipe out all attempts to attack them from air or land.

Keen must free the planet, the council and the oracle and stop the Zibble menace! Lindsey may have left him some assistance also; sadly, Keen is immediately blasted down when a time blast hits and freezes his engine.


Episode 1:

Keen has no choice but to head to a city to get repairs, but is stopped by a local village of slugs; the time field around the city is warping the shadowlands, even at great distance, and their village is in danger of earthquakes crushing it. They demand Keen activate the Great Circle, an ancient energy weapon left by a race of pure energy beings when they bought the slugs to colonize Gnosticus. It consists of a number of stone monuments that must be activated in elemental ways (Earth, fire, wind and water.) which will, when active, stabilize the slug village.

Keen succeeds, but the unstable ground around the last monument (Earth monument, buried deep underground.) trap him in a mine!


Episode 2:

Keen now has three objectives; firstly to enter the city; secondly to deactivate the time field, but mainly, to escape the winding maze of tunnels he's in. Fortunately the time shield's functioning is revealled to him in a series of ancient documents from the chasm of chills; it is powered by specially modified lumps of rock with a strange power, naturally occurring on Gnosticus, it can be used as a power sourse and levitator. (Insert Scizor's stuff here) The generators are buried deep in the mines, where they were thought to be safe, but Keen's right on top of them. Sadly, the mines are part mine, part temple and part natural cave network; and getting through them won't be easy.

Keen succeeds, riots ensue!


Episode 3:

Keen has deactivated the stasis shield, and the enslaved inhabitants of gnosticus attack their former masters! It's an all out war, and Keen is in the middle of it! The Zibbles however have fortified themselves in the city of Capitoll; a floating metropilos miles above the planet's surface, and location of the Oracle. The galaxy's inhabitants flock to this city for advice on running galactic affairs, without access to the oracle, the whole galaxy could collapse into chaos! The entire planet is ruled from here, and most of the galaxy also.

Keen must make it to the city top where the Zibble ships are docked and put an end tot heir regin once and for all!
Last edited by levellass on Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by lemur_821 » Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:33 am

I don't especially like "time field" and "time guns". What about using the word stasis instead? Time just isn't rolling trippingly off my tongue. It's nice that the pirates' use of freezing as a weapon would also explain how some things can float.

What if these pirates (or whatever), like LA says, froze the Gnosticenes' city rather than blocking it off. Keen *could* land there, but there would be no point if everything is frozen. His intended touchdown point matters little since his engine was clipped by a [stasis | freeze | time] ray. Left for dead by the aggressors he fell to the surface but parachuted free from the crash.

I think the idea of the slugs requiring him to save their village is a nice touch. It fits in with the usual shoot-yourself-off-half-cocked and hoping things work out Commander Keen mentality. Arriving on Mars and getting all your stuff stolen, going to Gnosticus IV only to find the High Council missing and so on. This could be the most of episode one (plus "yorp statues" telling him what has happened to fill in the story. These could be escaped Gnosticenes). He saves them by doing three things and returns to the amazingly sturdy BWBM (whose engine has now "thawed out" from its time freeze). Just as he reaches it, the whole area collapses! Sending him to the next episode.

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The road goes ever on and on...

Post by CommanderSpleen » Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:15 am

This is great. I've just been talking to KeenRush, Xky and Ceilick on MSN and we've come up with a lot of nice stuff. I've uploaded the logs, linked below.

Xky, KeenRush, Ceilick, Spleen
Ceilick, Spleen

Overall story:
levellass wrote:The Zibbles; a notorious race of interplanetary pirates, have captured the council. They've decided that they're tired of pirating, and want to settle down and rule a planet or two.
As I said in the first conversation, I really like the concept, and especially the way you word the second sentence. However, we were unanimously against using the name Zibble. Let's make it official:

(o) a notorious race of interplanetary pirates, have captured the council. They've decided that they're tired of pirating, and want to settle down and rule a planet or two.
(?) Princess Lindsay escapes city before it's locked down by the field, and alerts Billy to the situation.
Xky wrote:The Council is trapped inside, held hostage while the ex-pirates renovate the cities for their own personal use... once they get the beacon signal(s) from Keen, they can combine their powers to disrupt the field long enough to let Keen in. From there, he's gotta do the final showdown bit.
lemur wrote:I don't especially like "time field" and "time guns". What about using the word stasis instead? Time just isn't rolling trippingly off my tongue.
Chrono, perhaps? :P *coughclichecough*

They're all basically the same thing anyway, no? If the concept's identical, the name doesn't matter for now. Same with the pirates.
lemur wrote:What if these pirates (or whatever), like LA says, froze the Gnosticenes' city rather than blocking it off.
That would mean Episode 2 would need rethinking. If the council is 'frozen', they can't be contacted, and it doesn't make sense there'd be a system of devices underground to deactivate an unforeseen device setup by an aggressor.

To me, the forcefield plot element makes more sense--it's more strategically viable to have the oracle, its operators and the city controlled rather than entirely disabled.

Episode 1
(o) Objectives:
  • (o) Slugs and licks are in a prank war, and each have Keen carry out a gag against a village belonging to the other.
    Spleen wrote:The slugs needn't be at the beginning. There could be one of the other targets as an option to complete first before tackling the river village.
    (?) Collect two keys to access entry into mine.
    (?) Other Keen 6 style inventory puzzles?
    (!) Likely patch prerequisite: Doors on map patch checks against BWB items instead of keycards.
(1:13:22 PM) Brian: maybe princess lindsay should ask keen to save hte slugs who arent smart enough to save themselves
...
(1:14:18 PM) XkyRauh: We've already got the Inchworms-->Foot thing, why not have her ask Keen to give them "a Hand," and Keen somehow gets a big ol' stone hand? :P (lame)
LOLs all around
(1:55:45 PM) Brian: or, perhaps the pranks keen has to carry out explains why licks breathe fire and slugs poop everywhere
(1:56:16 PM) Brian: the slugs tell keen to put pepper or somthign in the licks food supply, while the licks tell keen to put laxatives in the slugs food supply
(1:56:31 PM) Brian: it'd explain why lick arent breathing fire and slugs are pooping in this episode
(1:57:02 PM) jimage.org :: Spleen: Rofl. That's wacky. Although if we want to keep official to the Shadowlands series that doesn't quite work.
(1:57:33 PM) Brian: yeah
(1:58:15 PM) jimage.org :: Spleen: It's an incredibly amusing idea though. I'd really love to use it if not for that detail.
(1:59:28 PM) Brian: or maybe somthing was already done to the licks and slugs that prevent them from doing those things
(2:00:24 PM) Brian: like, the licks need keen to get them somthing so they can breathe fire again
(2:01:26 PM) jimage.org :: Spleen: Or maybe the pranks could be to do the opposite of what you said before.
(2:03:07 PM) Brian: ah, like the slugs tell keen to give the licks some ice cream or somthing, and the licks tell keen to give the slugs...uh..somthign that keeps them from pooping
(2:03:18 PM) jimage.org :: Spleen: Exactly.
(2:03:45 PM) jimage.org :: Spleen: At least the ones in the affected villages.
(2:04:07 PM) jimage.org :: Spleen: But then you'd think Keen would use that trick again in Keen 4...
Episode 2
Objectives:
  • (o) 8 statues/shrines/machines need to be activated, so each council member knows Keen is there. [Why not just one that contacts them all at once?] Maybe a ninth just to annoy the janitor.
Episode 3
Objectives:
  • (o) Boss level centred on leader of pirate clan. Bigger level than Mangling Machine.
    • (?) Destroy oracle battery? (Personally I'm not too Keen on that idea).
NEXT
We have a fairly well-developed plot, almost enough to move onto the next phase. However, there's still more to work on before that.
  • (~) Do we agree on the interplanetary pirates theme?
    (~) There are holes in the plot that need to be patched up.
    (~) Other possibilities for the first episode's objectives? I'm inclined to keep the slug/lick concept, but I'm not sure about the idea of the doors in front of the mine...
    (~) Further ideas or criticisms in general?

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Post by levellass » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:31 pm

That would mean Episode 2 would need rethinking. If the council is 'frozen', they can't be contacted, and it doesn't make sense there'd be a system of devices underground to deactivate an unforeseen device setup by an aggressor.
Not necessarily; the pirates could partially freeze the city, enslaving the unfrozen inhabitants and using them to rebuild it, or, since the council members are immortal, why should they get frozen? The Shikadai threw one into a *lake* for goodness sakes!

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Re: The road goes ever on and on...

Post by lemur_821 » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:25 pm

CommanderSpleen wrote:
lemur wrote:What if these pirates (or whatever), like LA says, froze the Gnosticenes' city rather than blocking it off.
That would mean Episode 2 would need rethinking. If the council is 'frozen', they can't be contacted, and it doesn't make sense there'd be a system of devices underground to deactivate an unforeseen device setup by an aggressor.
Was the notion that Keen contacts them? I was thinking more along the lines that he had to free them himself. Either way is fine with me, but I'm confused as to why the council is waiting for Keen's signal to deactivate the force field. How do they even know he's coming?

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Post by levellass » Sun Dec 24, 2006 1:39 am

And why would they need to wait? Unless Keen was to do something like disable a weapons or communications system that would otherwise prevent them from doing anything.

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Post by levellass » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:47 am

So, what's the holdup? Can we get an updated storyline from somebody here?

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Post by CommanderSpleen » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:42 am

It looks like discussion in this forum isn't particularly effective. The best progress is made via live chat. Maybe an IRC channel is in order. MSN is good, but nobody seems willing to arrange a conversation about it in my absence, and I'm not up for the task at the moment.

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Post by grafix » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:11 pm

The problem with IRC is that it doesn't have history built in; functionality for viewing IRC logs would have to be implemented separately, which could be confusing.

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Post by levellass » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:51 am

I thought you could save IRC conversations as rich text format files?

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Post by grafix » Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:20 pm

That's what I was referring to when I said that viewing logs would be "implemented separately".

I think the best approach would probably be an IRC channel for which the logs were posted publicly and made searchable; if anything important were to be discussed, it could be found in the logs and written up in this forum. Starting a new IRC channel would not be difficult, and neither would logging it, so it could work quite well.

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Post by XkyRauh » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:08 am

Heck, if you had scripting abilities, you could even make it so the channel was open 24/7, and the logs were updated/posted hourly. :) That way, if someone happened to have an epiphany, they could dart in, post something stream-of-thought style, and it'd be added to the logs, no sweat.

Or, y'know, they could just post here... whatever works. *laugh*

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Post by grafix » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:03 pm

I didn't make it clear in my post, but that was exactly what I meant :) Logging manually would be much less effective, as it would require people to remember to record logs when they were chatting.

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Post by levellass » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:24 pm

I didn't understand any of that, but it sounded progressive. Huzzah!

So, lets get started!

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