Storytelling – You Are Not A Special Flower

Jul
22

Storytelling – You Are Not A Special Flower

All your life you’ve been told that you are special. That you can do anything. Be anything. Achieve the impossible. You’ve been coddled, spoon-fed, told that you deserve a first-place medal for just existing, and that the world owes you everything

In our world, you are nothing. You are insignificant. A squirming, shriveled worm inching along, bared to the world, and it’s open season as far as the eagles and robins and other flighty fowl are concerned. An ant beneath the boot heel of fate.

Alone, you will die. But together…well, that’s how legends are formed. Zeus with his fellow gods, taking down the Titans. Jason with his Argonauts. Captain Malcom and the Serenity crew. The crew of the Battlestar Galactica.

In the Saga of Lucimia MMORPG, storyline falls under the Immersion pillar of our game development. It’s an important part of bringing you into the world that we have created, of immersing you in the lore. And one of the first lessons you learn as you get started…is that you are not the lone hero out to save the world all by your lonesome. If you try to go out there and do so, you’ll quickly find yourself splatted, bloodied, and bruised back at the tavern.

I was inspired to write this post after I listened to Theory Forge’s storyline vodcast, where they discussed how one of the major reasons storyline is so bland in the modern MMORPG, is because it only ever revolves around you, the lone wolf, and how you and you alone are the Big Damn Hero who can save the world. From there, it goes on to talk about how community-based games and those types of mechanics generate a heightened sense of adventure.

 

Where we come from, you are not a special flower, darling. You are one of many, a legion of ants scurrying across the face of the planet, completely unaware of the Big Picture. And the only way to rise above, to become more than just another scurrying ant, is to form alliances with others who have a like-minded mentality, and head out into the world to overcome the challenges that await.

I talked about this in greater detail in The Meaning of Group-Based Gameplay during the earliest days of the website, and also in the video at the end of this post from last nght’s “Tuesdays With Tim” vodcast, but it comes back to simply this: nothing noteworthy or epic ever happens as a result of one person’s efforts. Instead, it is always the result of a team of people working together to achieve a common goal.

While Bill Gates is no doubt a brilliant man, his Microsoft empire was not built as a result of only his efforts. It was instead a vast team of highly talented people working together to achieve the ideas and concepts that he put forward. The same can be said of Apple and Steve Jobs, or Virgin and Richard Branson.

While a leader may stand apart, their objectives can still only be achieved by a team of people working together with them to achieve a common goal. Hell, the same can be said of this game. It might be my idea and I might be guiding the development process, but the progression we’ve made to-date would have been impossible by just me working alone. I had to assemble a team to make the project happen.

You can’t kill a dragon on your own. You won’t overthrow an army from the efforts of a single individual. You don’t run an empire by yourself.

The primary guideline for any and all storylines for our game rely on one core tenant: nothing can be completed alone. Every quest, every storyline, is mean to be challenging enough that it requires a group effort to see to its end. Which means you, pretty little flower, have to get over yourself…and start making friends and allies if you want to achieve anything.

Prepare your petals. You’re in our world now.

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