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Old CS ideas I’ve lost interest in – anyone want to use them?
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ThatCrazyShaman Offline

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Old CS ideas I’ve lost interest in – anyone want to use them?

I recently started working on a solo modding project [as well as an indie project], after which I have a few other things planned to keep me busy, and I feel that I’ve lost interest in these old ideas, honestly, and probably will never get around to doing much with them myself. Since a couple of them were quite well-liked by the people who I talked about them with at length during the course of planning them, it seems a shame to just let them go to waste.

So, I decided to post them here and see if anyone else wants to have a go at them. You can change anything you want, whatever. I really don’t care xD.
If you decide you’d like to work with one of my ideas, you can always ask me for help with the writing aspect, since a few of these ideas were planned out in a fair amount of detail, or were based on short stories I worked on a while back. I’m afraid I can’t be of much assistance otherwise, though, as I’m a hobbyist [and novice] modder at best, and I’m rather indisposed most of the time [not to mention I’m only online one day a week].

Alternatively, you can ask me to help you come up with story ideas, but I’m warning you right now, I’m not always terribly inspired. My muse is a bit fickle, and a lot of my inspiration just gets hurled at me unexpectedly from out of left field. Literally, what inspires me is completely random – for instance, the disease in the story below, Oasis, was inspired by The Wanted’s Chasing the Sun. Don’t ask.

A Little Foreword to Help Explain the Pervasive Themes Present in My Work
Spoiler below!
Just because I like to ramble and thought people might need an explanation of why things are what they are.

One thing you will notice – I write a lot about human cruelty. This is not a reflection of who I am as a person [well, maybe ever so slightly – I enjoy playing Bully just a little too much and had some lousy influences growing up xD], but rather my thoughts on human nature as a whole. I generally offset this with something else, though; usually some soft, sentimental sort of notion here or there, as I’m geared towards being compassionate and that’s what comes naturally to me when I write. While that doesn’t necessarily do the horror aspect any favors, it is part of two heavily-represented dichotomies in my writing; the hot and aggressive versus the cool and placid, and light versus dark [and the grey area in between].

On that note, there is a noticeable theme of neutrality. If you ever talk to me about the nature of the universe and its driving forces, I will blather on incessantly about neutrality and the need for balanced opposing forces to create it [i.e. evil exists as a means to create good and vice versa – it’s a bit reminiscent of a certain line from Goethe’s Faust; “Part of that force which would do ever evil, and does ever good”]. This is something I don’t even realize I’m writing about half the time, really; I’m a neutral person, and my personality is a balance of opposing traits, so I suppose it makes sense that I write about it so frequently. Since this is a theme that Frictional seems to have a particular liking for, it does help my writings fit into the Amnesia universe easily. Smile

And now onto the ideas themselves:

Inspired by 120 Days in Sodom… but with more interesting characters, and less gore
Spoiler below!
This is another lengthy one. This was actually one of the most well-liked of my ideas, which surprised me, considering.
This was what I’d written for the CS description:

When Julie's husband informed her that they would be moving to a secluded property he had inherited from his parents, she wasn't terribly thrilled, but, nonetheless, dared not voice her displeasure. In the blink of an eye, she was whisked away to a house that hadn't been inhabited since the mid-1950's, with no one to talk to but her controlling husband and a small group of his closest friends. In the midst of unpacking and beginning renovations, Julie begins to uncover the mysterious history of the house; missing persons, cult-ties, and unexplained happenings. When she goes to her husband looking for reassurance, she gets a horrific surprise. Now caught up in the middle of her husband's sick idea of a game, she must find her way to safety and unravel the men's plan as her perceived reality falls apart around her.

As it says above, this was inspired by Marquis de Sade's 120 Days in Sodom, although it's extremely toned-down in comparison xD. It is revealed that the primary antagonist [Julie’s husband] not only abuses her, but subjects her to the physical and sexual abuse of his friends, as well, and she stays with him because this is punctuated by him actually acting like a half-decent person [essentially the Amnesia version of Law and Order: SVU lol]. So, bearing that in mind, let’s move on to the synopsis.

The story picks up right after Julie and her husband have moved in, bringing along the aforementioned friends of his. He leaves her to do a majority of the unpacking while they retire to the library to browse through the former owner’s collection of old books.

Julie wanders about the house, slowly introducing various bits of information about her life and the people she is sharing the house with. As she explores, she begins witnessing some odd things; I honestly can’t remember what all of them were off the top of my head, but I do remember an idea I had that I didn’t think was feasible to try working into the project, although it was my favorite part of the story – a scene in the ballroom in which she witnesses a group of dead people dancing [the waltz, as I recall lol] while a nearby violin plays itself. Yeah, not entirely feasible xD.

She is understandably freaked out and would like her husband to reassure her, but he’s still locked away in the library. He tells her through the door just to go to bed and they can chat about everything once he’s done with his research. She does just that, and during the night has quite a bizarre dream, in which she is traversing a strange landscape [I picture it as having sort of a Nuclear Winter thing going on] and encounters the former owner, who explains to her precisely what is going on. Her husband’s family made a pact long ago with a strange entity that grants people eternal life in exchange for the lives of their immediate family members, essentially erasing the existence of tiers of a given bloodline until it’s completely wiped out, save for the people he grants immortality to. When the time came for the former owner to uphold this pact, he refused and so was kept prisoner in this place until such a time that he could influence the next available descendant of his [which happens to be Julie’s husband] to take the pact in his place. Then she wakes up.

Julie is obviously concerned at this point, and goes to see what her husband is doing. When she knocks on the library door, he invites her inside, and, to her horror, she finds that they’re no longer human [the idea behind this goes back to something I write about occasionally, which involves people’s appearances changing to mirror what they are on the inside – in this case, monsters. Sort of reminiscent of that Twilight Zone episode with the masks]. He explains to her that she is going to be the key to him gaining immortality, which she isn’t about to agree to. He decides to make it into a game of sorts; she can try to escape, while they actively hunt her across the property [The Most Dangerous Game, anyone? xD].

This leads to a game of cat and mouse, during which you get a better idea of who each antagonist is and how they have interacted with her in the past.
A couple of them I never got too heavily into detail about in my liner notes, but there are a few I did characterize fully:

Julie’s Husband

He is a rather charismatic individual, and tends to act as though he’s being kind, while he’s not. He seems to think that treating Julie so terribly is doing her some kind of favor.

The Husband’s Best Friend

There is a backstory with how Julie actually dated this guy in the past, before starting a relationship with her husband [who was also his friend back then, as well]. This left him feeling rather bitter, but since he still had a thing for her, he started acting as her husband’s right-hand man, enabling all of his horrible propensities, and often taking out his bitterness on her by getting her into trouble for no reason at all [which was actually an idea that would be hinted at in an early scene I had planned].

The Old Man

I felt the story would benefit from having a cantankerous old guy in it, for some reason. Basically, he’s just a terrible person – as well as an incredibly violent one – who happens to be old. No slam on elderly people intended c:

The Voyeur

My favorite of the characters xD. The Voyeur was to be represented by the Penumbra Rock Worm [because in the story he was portrayed as a rather slow-moving, portly fellow]. He never actually takes part in any of what is going on – as his name suggests, he just observes. He isn’t a direct threat to Julie at all; conversely, he’s friendly towards her, even during the latter half of the story when she’s in imminent danger. She stumbles across his abode [which I imagine would be the ballroom, given his size] when she is looking for a hiding place, and finds she is relatively safe there… for a little while, anyway. He speaks to her, expressing his sympathy for her situation, but at the same time informing her that there’s nothing he can do to help her [if he even wanted to].

The Cheerful Rapist

Because that’s pretty much all he is. If there was a rapist version of Fred Rogers from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, this guy would be it.

… And there were others, but I never came up with much about them.

So, Julie spends a majority of the rest of the story running around trying to figure out how to get out of the mansion [due to the fact that her husband hid the key somewhere incredibly remote that she doesn’t know about at first – it’s literally in the last place she goes to], being chased by different antagonists in different areas. She finally discovers a passage to a basement area that she was unaware of, where she finds the imprisoned family members of her husband’s friends, whom plead with her to free them. The player has the option of either freeing them or just grabbing the key and leaving once her pursuers catch up to her, but her decision affects the ending.

There were two endings, one in which she frees the prisoners and then escapes herself, and one in which she chooses to leave the prisoners, makes it all the way to the mansion’s main entrance and then gets caught by her husband and drug back inside [with the implication being that he kills her moments later].

Oasis [working title – couldn’t think of anything else lol]
A secret government facility, aliens, mind control and torture – what more could you ask for?
Spoiler below!
This idea is rather complex. I doubt it would be remotely feasible to recreate it in a form that was perfectly true to the original concept, so feel free to hack it to pieces. I don’t mind.

This was actually the very first mod idea I ever had, going back nearly three years. It’s sort of Penumbra-ish, but it was a decent practice idea lol. It was also the first idea I ever toyed around with involving supporting human NPCs with a physical presence that aren’t dead or completely immobile when you encounter them lol [which adds a level of difficulty to making this, obviously… but it didn’t deter me at all].

The story follows a presently unnamed protagonist, whom works for a system of secret government facilities located all over the world in incredibly remote areas [and they’re so well-hidden that you need to know precisely where they are to ever stand a chance of finding them, as they’re virtually undetectable by satellite – unless, of course, someone knew what to look for]. They don’t use any methods of modern communication, due to the sensitive nature of whatever they’re working on [I had sort of an Area 51 idea going on there], so they have messengers who travel from facility to facility with information – the protagonist is one of those messengers. He had just returned to his home base, buried in the sands of the Sahara Desert, after a trip to another facility which had failed to make contact in a timely fashion [which is actually the prequel to this story lol – it was one of my early shorts], just to find that, in his absence, many of the employees have disappeared without a trace.

He is unaware of what has happened until he comes across a fellow named Atticus, whom has taken up refuge in an abandoned hangar and declines to help him in favor of hiding from his boss [I never actually named him – I’ll call him Bob, for the hell of it], who’s behind the goings-on. Bob is the head honcho over at another facility, which is said to be staffed by nearly zombie-like employees whom are intensely loyal to their leader, with the exception of a few people such as Atticus, who’s terrified of him. It becomes apparent over time that the boss has been getting into some strange stuff – namely reading up on occult practices involving a deity linked to insanity [whom was, in part, inspired by the Dahomey god of smallpox and mental illness, Shakpana – except almost his polar opposite]. As it turns out, he learned it was possible to make a pact with this deity, and convince her to give the summoner power over other people, which essentially causes weak-willed people to become intensely focused on doing whatever their leader wants, losing their personal identities in the process. People like Atticus, though, who are of stronger character, are spared this fate, though, and – unfortunately for him in particular – this sometimes leads to… issues.

The protagonist goes off on his own, eventually coming across some records left by the desert facility’s chief commander, stating that Bob [who isn’t terribly well-liked by anybody from outside of his own facility, including the chief commander], has a long history of being horrifically cruel to those in his employ. It’s about this time that Bob figures out where the protagonist is, and, not knowing quite what to do with him, starts trying to break down the door, threatening him soundly. In order to save himself, the protagonist does the douchiest thing possible and tells him where Atticus is, at which point Bob decides to go tend to him instead, ordering our “hero” to stay put until he returns. Of course he doesn’t, though.

When he finds Atticus afterwards in a fairly battered state, he gets the full backstory about how Atticus has been putting up with the brunt of Bob’s abuse for years, due to the fact that Bob has the hots for his wife, Athina. He is clearly worried for her safety, so he asks the protagonist to go looking for her while he recuperates.

This is when you have the first encounter with a monster [well, aside from Bob Tongue] – I had something particular in mind for this, which I repurposed for some of my writing, so you’ll have to figure something out yourself. Right around that area where he encounters the creature, he starts finding strange symbols painted on the wall in what appears to be blood [which, as you’ll see, was intended to be a bit of a reference to The Serpent and the Rainbow]. He finds Athina, who turns out to be a Creole practitioner of Vodou, hiding out in an office area nearby, where she has set up a makeshift altar in an attempt to ward off whatever’s lurking about.

I’m a bit fuzzy on what was to happen next; I recall the three of them reuniting and trying to figure out what was going on while being antagonized by Bob frequently. The entire backstory of what happened unfolds after this – apparently in order to summon the aforementioned deity that caused this, you have to offer a sacrifice to her, which was made when Bob forced Athina to abort the child she was carrying by Atticus [I remember there being some blurb I jotted down somewhere describing how Bob’s facility had this policy in place due to the fact that employees couldn’t take pregnancy leave – also, there’s the fact that he’s a bastard], at which point employees of the desert facility, and Bob himself, began to change. The only people unaffected were members of Bob’s team, most of who ended up dead.

The only other survivor they come across was to be Bob’s right-hand man, who had a bad reputation due to his tendency towards ratting people out for the smallest possible offences. If memory serves me correctly, Atticus had a strong dislike for him since it was this guy who got him into trouble all the time, which, of course, led to a lot of misery on his part [somewhere I wrote down a vague description of some of the awful, awful things that happened to him, but I’m not sure where]. As it turns out, though, this guy was treated just as miserably and was just doing what he had to. I had planned to do a setup in which he asks them to put him out of his misery, and the player has to decide whether to actually do it or convince him to come along with them.

I don’t remember offhand how the ending was going to play out, but it involved them coming into contact with the deity who caused everything, and eventually getting out of there after she takes pity on them [since a couple of them are so emotionally traumatized – she has a soft spot for people like that lol]. I actually dabbled in writing something akin to a sequel that took place about twenty years later, when Atticus and Athina have had a pair of children that end up joining the cult devoted to that particular deity… I like irony, what can I say.

Crazy happiness-obsessed cult that mutilates people to force them to be happy, anyone?
Spoiler below!
This is another one that leans toward the idea of having supporting human NPCs, but it doesn’t necessarily need them to work. A majority of what’s written here could be portrayed as flashbacks or in notes and then built upon.

S M I L E S is based on a short story of mine that, even though I’ve never posted it online, has a reputation among the people who are aware of it, both online and off. I had wanted to write a story that would disturb almost anybody, and I questioned what one thing that most people had in common was. Then it occurred to me; periods of unhappiness. Not necessarily depression, but periods in their lives during which they’re really unhappy about something, or they just don’t feel quite right.

S M I L E S is about an individual whom has been in a funk for a bit, and doesn’t know what to do about it. A close friend of theirs comes by to visit one day, and the protagonist is caught off-guard by his unsettling appearance – he, for whatever reason, has lines painted on his face that, when he smiles, extend his mouth into a freakishly long grin. When questioned about it, he explains that he is going to a gathering of some friends, whom form an organization of people who were in a similar situation to the protagonist at one point; they were all once terribly unhappy, but now they’re not. This intrigues the protagonist, whom figures ‘what the hell, I’ll go check this out’, and goes with him to the get-together.

The “people” [I use that term loosely here, as they remind me of Body Snatchers, really] at the meeting seem like relatively average people, although it turns out they’re all completely psychotic.

The goal of them having meetings is to draw new people into their group who are having a tough time, so that they can help them. Their idea of helping them, though, is to attempt to force them to be happy through various methods, namely torture. If all else fails, they turn to mutilation as the answer to their problem, cutting or stitching their facial features appropriately so that they have a permanent smile.

I never got around to figuring out much of what would happen after the party itself [since the actual story ends with the final moments of the party], but there’s enough to the description of what they do to people that you could probably think of something fairly easily and build upon what’s there.

Left and Right [another working title]
Inspired by binge-watching Spitting Image – I kid you not. God, I love that show.
Spoiler below!
This is another idea that’s quite old – well over a year old. So I doubt I’ll be using it for much.

This story has sort of an odd political angle to it. It focuses primarily on the relationship between a husband and wife who are from opposing political parties [I never defined specifically which ones, since I never decided exactly what country this was going to take place in xD], that, while they bicker a lot about politics, manage to get past that and focus on their adoration for each other. The relationship dynamic was modeled off of a good friend I used to have who was conservative [I’m more liberal], and we used to make fun of each other’s ideals and favorite candidates, but we got along swimmingly nonetheless. Sadly, we ended up losing touch with each other in high school when we began running with different crowds.

The disease featured in this is actually from some of my writing; it was part of a series I worked on that attempted to recreate the concept of a zombie-creating disease in as many new forms as I could think of. This particular example is just one of four variations I managed to cook up lol.

ANYWAY… The story begins with the wife waking up alone and expressing her confusion at why her husband isn’t around. She finds a note from him, saying that he won’t be coming back, but it doesn’t explain where he’s gone to or why. She browses through his papers and finds some diaries he wrote discussing how he had visited this strange establishment on behalf of his boss [it was to be implied that the protagonist and her husband are campaign managers, or something of that nature], populated by rather sickly people who lived on the fringe of society, rarely leaving their commune or interacting with outsiders.
He later goes on to describe having come down with some illness his doctor couldn’t readily identify, which he blamed the people at the commune for infecting him with. He went there to ask them about it and found out something which he doesn’t go into detail about, but he writes that he will be leaving home soon to join them. His wife does some research and finds out where the commune is and goes there looking for him.

The commune almost seems to have been abandoned, except for the inordinate amount of lighting in the place, which is constantly blazing. She catches glimpses of something humanoid meandering about, but never directly manages to make contact with it. Occasionally, something will come near to where she is, either banging on the door antagonistically or otherwise threatening her in some manner.

While searching the place, she learns that its inhabitants are infected with a very rare disease, supposedly caused by contact with something unearthly. They play host to a species of bacteria that needs almost constant exposure to light to survive. If they do not maintain the proper amount of light exposure, the bacteria will not be able to photosynthesize and begin to release toxins that cause severe necrosis of the flesh and internal organs, eventually killing the host unless the light is restored quickly enough that the damage can heal. Thus they rarely leave their commune, for fear of death; instead, everything is taken care of for them by an unknown benefactor [which, it’s later implied, is the “unearthly” thing that infected them].

Based on that information, she has a choice. She can either proceed with the lights still on and risk being found more easily by whatever’s there, or she can turn the lights off and potentially kill everyone in the place [working on the assumption that her husband’s infection isn’t so far along, and that he wouldn’t begin to die as quickly]. Of course, this will affect the ending.

After this, she is frequently hunted by the inhabitants of the commune, whom seemingly want to drive her out. She finally does manage to find her husband, who explains that he left because he didn’t want to burden her with such a life-altering issue, and decided it would be best for him to join those like him. This is where the different endings come in.

If she disables the lights, the already slightly-xenophobic inhabitants of the commune decide that they can’t trust her and tell her to leave. She can stay in contact with her husband, but they won’t allow her to come there anymore, for fear she’ll try to murder them again.

If she leaves the lights on, she’s given another choice. Either she can convince her husband to come home, or she can stay there with him and become one of them. Either of these choices leads to the good ending.

“Amnesia III” [working title: Ad Infinitum]
What does it sound like? A direct sequel to TDD, AMFP and Justine.
Spoiler below!
This was an idea I had out of the blue that I’d like to do something with, but don’t have the motivation. I’d prefer to stick to projects I can complete in relatively short periods of time so I don’t lose focus on them; this one is of titanic proportions compared to what I’m working on right now.
Bear with me here, because this is a somewhat complex concept and I have a rather tough time explaining it properly without digging out all of my liner notes, which are scattered everywhere right now xD.

This was inspired in part by The Divine Comedy and The Pilgrim’s Progress, with a little touch of Goethe’s Faust xD. Overall, it’s a really strange concept, even to me.

It follows all three of the Amnesia protagonists after they find themselves suddenly in a different plane of existence, separate from the mortal plane, but not an afterlife; the cosmic version of purgatory, if you will [based on a comic I made about such a place, roughly sixteen years ago lol] – depending on interpretation, they [excluding Oswald] could still actually be alive.
They are informed by an unseen entity known as Nischogunakhake [in the language of my people, “the day after tomorrow”] that he has brought them to this world specifically because of their involvement with artifacts [orb, star soapstone, “egg”], in an attempt to return balance to the universe by removing them from their own world [which, it is revealed, happens to all people who screw around with artifacts] to counteract the shift of power. This realm is timeless and, technically, deathless [you can die, but you just keep coming back and can never move on to the next life], and it’s rather unpleasant, so it’s not someplace you’d want to stay.

There is an upside, though – the gateway between their world and this world [which is exempt from the timeless thing] can only be opened once every century [hence why anyone involved from a given century is brought there together], and it takes a full day to close again. It is possible, if you are quick and cunning enough, to get back through the gateway and back to your own world, but it’s not easy; Nischo will do whatever he can to stop you, and there is the added stipulation of them having to work together in order to progress [they came there together, they have to leave together - in order to maintain balance, no one can receive special treatment; they are all on equal footing].
Thus they must work together towards the same goal, although they remain separated the entire time [ultimately, the actions of each allow the others to continue onwards]. Each of them travel through their own section of the world, in which they are forced to deal with various elements of their former lives which continue to haunt them, hindering their progress… And so on, and so forth. Because each of them exist in a different timeframe, so to speak [a sort of Corpse Party-esque concept], the day counts down for each of them individually, so they must reach the gateway before time runs out to trigger the next person’s turn to run the gauntlet.

… And there’s more, but I’m too tired to keep yapping on and on about this one [I doubt anyone read this one all the way up to this point, anyway xD]. One element I thought would be interesting for this is the implementation of multiple character-specific endings, since there’s a lot that could be done there [a bad ending for each and a good ending for each – which good ending you’d see would depend on what order you played the characters in].
And yeah, enough of that already.

Any takers?

...The only people worthy of consideration are the unusual ones. Common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed. - L. Frank Baum
07-12-2014 10:13 PM
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