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Avoiding clichés in a custom story???
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LeahTh Offline
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Post: #1
Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

I'm currently working on my own custom story titled "Amnesia: Ma Vie". It takes place in the past in France. You, as the main character, wake up in an unknown (or at least, that's what you think) castle. Your undying curiosity gets the best of you and you go deeper, exploring. What you find makes you wish you didn't.

I ask that question because I had to back-pedal the story a lot to avoid making it like Justine. (And I mean a lot. I had to rewrite all the basics of the story and everything). Is there any other little clichés I should watch out for?

Currently, I have no poofers written in.

Current Stories-
Amnesia: Ma Vie - beginning with coding, collecting VAs
Amnesia: Mon Cœur - yet to begin development
11-13-2014 12:16 AM
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FlawlessHappiness Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

Hmm...
You have to know that even clichés can be good, if they're pulled off right!

Waking up in an unknown castle CAN work out, if your story fits perfectly with it.
Yet, of course, that's how Amnesia started, and that gives a negative effect.


Almost anything has been used before. There won't be a time where you think: "Wow! This is something that has never been done before...", because it has!

Create YOUR story! Create the story you think makes the most sense.
Don't try to avoid clichés if by doing so makes the story unrealistic.


Poofers are ok too ^_^
So are jumpscares.

As long as you keep it fair to the player, fair to the story, fair to the climax and suspense, and fair to you!
Nothing should hold you back!

You are the creator.



Now your question was: What should I watch out for?
My answer would be: "Pay attention, Daniel. It's important that you keep going straight and make sure not to stray."
Meaning, don't change the story in an unrealistic way, to avoid a hole that might seem like an obstacle.
Maybe that hole is just the path continuing to your success


^_^

Good luck!

Also, welcome to the forum!

Being happy is the first step to success.
(This post was last modified: 11-13-2014 12:32 AM by FlawlessHappiness.)
11-13-2014 12:31 AM
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LeahTh Offline
Junior Member

Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2014
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Post: #3
RE: Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

(11-13-2014 12:31 AM)FlawlessHappiness Wrote:  Hmm...
You have to know that even clichés can be good, if they're pulled off right!

Waking up in an unknown castle CAN work out, if your story fits perfectly with it.
Yet, of course, that's how Amnesia started, and that gives a negative effect.


Almost anything has been used before. There won't be a time where you think: "Wow! This is something that has never been done before...", because it has!

Create YOUR story! Create the story you think makes the most sense.
Don't try to avoid clichés if by doing so makes the story unrealistic.


Poofers are ok too ^_^
So are jumpscares.

As long as you keep it fair to the player, fair to the story, fair to the climax and suspense, and fair to you!
Nothing should hold you back!

You are the creator.



Now your question was: What should I watch out for?
My answer would be: "Pay attention, Daniel. It's important that you keep going straight and make sure not to stray."
Meaning, don't change the story in an unrealistic way, to avoid a hole that might seem like an obstacle.
Maybe that hole is just the path continuing to your success


^_^

Good luck!

Also, welcome to the forum!

Thank you! That really was helpful! The thing about the unknown castle is actually a spoiler to the story, so that's the only reason I didn't explain that more. But, that does work out in the end.

Current Stories-
Amnesia: Ma Vie - beginning with coding, collecting VAs
Amnesia: Mon Cœur - yet to begin development
11-13-2014 12:38 AM
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Romulator Offline
G'day mate! :3

Posts: 3,503
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Post: #4
RE: Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

While waking up could be cliche, the reason behind waking up, like a 10-15 second cutscene beforehand would not be cliche to me. Most stories start with that fade in scenario, which is okay, however just "waking up in a random dungeon" - why are you in this dungeon? What's its significance to you?

Avoid backtracking to the point of ridiculousness in finding an item to press on. Not exactly cliche, but it happens and is quite annoying.

Avoid the 'same' scare scenario. Make use of particles in the engine to create scares in your story which are well thought out, rather than just the "monster spawns after picking up key" scenario.

There are more, but I can't jump onto it right away, I'm not the greatest CS player. Tongue

While not cliche related exactly, I would also look at this thread:
https://www.frictionalgames.com/forum/thread-24918.html

Good luck on your CS! If you need help, I'm sure we can assist in some way!

Discord: Romulator#4942
[Image: 8f5d099c7b.png]
11-13-2014 12:40 AM
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LeahTh Offline
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Posts: 14
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Post: #5
RE: Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

(11-13-2014 12:40 AM)Romulator Wrote:  While waking up could be cliche, the reason behind waking up, like a 10-15 second cutscene beforehand would not be cliche to me. Most stories start with that fade in scenario, which is okay, however just "waking up in a random dungeon" - why are you in this dungeon? What's its significance to you?

Avoid backtracking to the point of ridiculousness in finding an item to press on. Not exactly cliche, but it happens and is quite annoying.

Avoid the 'same' scare scenario. Make use of particles in the engine to create scares in your story which are well thought out, rather than just the "monster spawns after picking up key" scenario.

There are more, but I can't jump onto it right away, I'm not the greatest CS player. Tongue

While not cliche related exactly, I would also look at this thread:
https://www.frictionalgames.com/forum/thread-24918.html

Good luck on your CS! If you need help, I'm sure we can assist in some way!

Thanks for the help! From what I've learned so far, my waking up in the castle is okay (it gets explained throughout the game why you're there and who you are).

Thanks for the tips and encouragement!

Current Stories-
Amnesia: Ma Vie - beginning with coding, collecting VAs
Amnesia: Mon Cœur - yet to begin development
11-13-2014 12:45 AM
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MrBehemoth Offline
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Posts: 409
Joined: Feb 2014
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Post: #6
RE: Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

Hi there. Here's my contribution: don't confuse tropes and clichés. Smile
A trope only becomes a cliché when it is overused, or used carelessly.

I'm assuming you're making a horror story. Horror relies on tropes to function. You need to signify to the player that there is something to be scared of. Waking up in a spooky old castle is one way to do that.

A good technique in horror is to use tropes to signify that something scary is going to happen and build up the tension but then release it, for example: there's a rumble of thunder; the wind picks up and blows out the candles; there is a sound in the darkness and you just know that there is something in the room with you; you light your lantern and glance around ... but there's nothing there...

All of those tropes could be called "clichés" but if you use them well then people won't see them as such. It will leave the player wondering what made the sound, feeling sure that it was something threatening because the tropes set it up that way... and because the scenario of there not actually being a slavering creature in front of you doesn't match up with what you expected, it will be slightly jarring, and therefore unnerving...

...and then keep building tension with no pay off in this way until you think the player almost can't take any more... and then slap a jumpscare on them.

Also, I highly recommend these two videos (and the Extra Credits channel in general):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSKtTBjS...vPCOr_Uydg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyiAR2BX...vPCOr_Uydg




(11-13-2014 12:31 AM)FlawlessHappiness Wrote:  My answer would be: "Pay attention, Daniel. It's important that you keep going straight and make sure not to stray."

Yes Flawless, but what's the reason for the darkness?

11-13-2014 04:46 AM
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FlawlessHappiness Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

(11-13-2014 04:46 AM)MrBehemoth Wrote:  
(11-13-2014 12:31 AM)FlawlessHappiness Wrote:  My answer would be: "Pay attention, Daniel. It's important that you keep going straight and make sure not to stray."
Yes Flawless, but what's the reason for the darkness?

There is a good reason for it. But you can light the lamp now, if you wish.

Being happy is the first step to success.
11-13-2014 07:30 AM
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The Lynx Offline
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Posts: 21
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Post: #8
RE: Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

I would like to help out as a Voice Actor if you still need one.

Wink

Apathy is death
11-13-2014 07:45 PM
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LeahTh Offline
Junior Member

Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2014
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Post: #9
RE: Avoiding clichés in a custom story???

(11-13-2014 07:45 PM)GLX Lynx Wrote:  I would like to help out as a Voice Actor if you still need one.

Wink

Sorry for the late reply! But, as of right now, I think I have enough! But I will certainly ask you if I need anymore!!

Current Stories-
Amnesia: Ma Vie - beginning with coding, collecting VAs
Amnesia: Mon Cœur - yet to begin development
11-18-2014 11:00 PM
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