Story, Powerup, and Worlds Ideas...

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Story, Powerup, and Worlds Ideas...

Postby datahead » 06 Jun 2014 21:35

At this link I have posted a document containing ideas for the story, power ups, and worlds for Secret Maryo Chronicles.
The formatting still didn't come across perfectly even after editing.
Feel free to discuss major or minor edits - post your suggestions here.
This document is only one possible storyline for Secret Maryo.

Fluxey - if you come around some time, I'd like your feedback, too.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Yl0 ... Tu0Ek8/pub

===========================================================================
Edit: Luiji pointed out there had already been some discussion on the story. I think I've dug up some of the most relevant entries:
1. A wiki entry citing the "official" story - http://www.secretmaryo.org/wiki/index.php?title=Story
--I think this storyline needs more development if it were used. It says in the history it was edited by Mr. Vertigo and Fluxey.
2. A posting by Luiji giving an industrial revolution story - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4117&p=26002&hilit=story#p26002
3. An entry that mentions GNUSHI-lings and the idea of Maryo losing his memory - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=805&hilit=story&start=20

The wiki entry marked as official emphasizes the "Secret" aspect of Secret Maryo, having Maryo uncover secrets of his past after his memory is wiped out. The storyline I posted emphasizes "Chronicles", linking it to the concept of libraries, based on discussions in the bookshelf graphics discussion.
A good solution to differing ideas is often to combine them into a "merged" idea set that uses strong points from each, though this usually takes some time. We'd first have to decide what we like and dislike about all the possibilities. The original story line doesn't even name the villain, so there are a lot of possibilities for merging.

We can and should take into account what Fluxey suggested, but since he hasn't been around for a while, we're pretty much free to go in any direction as a group.
Last edited by datahead on 07 Jun 2014 22:34, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Story, Powerup, and Worlds Ideas...

Postby Quintus » 07 Jun 2014 22:06

Very nice read... You hit my nerve with this library-based storyline. Some thoughts on it:

Powerups. FluXy and others often have expressed being uncontent with the SMB-related stuff. Most often Fruits were suggested as alternatives, but if we go the library route, I do link this book idea. The "normal" books could hover a bit over the floor so they can be recognized as such...

Currencies: You talk so much about currency, but then just remain with the 100-gold-gives-a-life thing. We could have shops where you can buy things (powerups/books?). As for having different currencies per world, I think this would make things overly complicated. And poses questions such as what should happen with your money from an earlier world...

Chronicles: Yes, starting a world with a story text is a good idea. Ideally in form of a book :-)

Children/Mother topic: Hm. I’m not sure if Maryo should actually be assigned some age, the game probably lives for part from the fact Maryo has no definite age. On the other hand, making him a child will yield a story of initiation, which is an interesting topic on its own. But the Maryo graphics would need to be revised. I’m also not really sure how this theme fits the overall SMC atmosphere... DarkAceZ pointed out in IRC he has some concerns as well, probably he can repeat it here?

Multiplayer: Somewhere in this forums I already gave a statement on multiplayer some time ago. Given the architecture of SMC with its many global variables and the game state being centered on the player, introducing multiplayer effectively means rewriting SMC completely, at least if you don’t want to take that Zelda-Wind-Waker approach where the second player is merely a helper object not influencing camera and related things.

Gnushi: I would like to hear more on that. The forums somewhere suggested him to be some kind of dog, but there is currently nothing more concrete.

Document formatting: Just use LaTeX, it does the formatting for you :P

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Re: Story, Powerup, and Worlds Ideas...

Postby datahead » 07 Jun 2014 22:55

Quintus wrote:Currencies: You talk so much about currency, but then just remain with the 100-gold-gives-a-life thing. We could have shops where you can buy things (powerups/books?). As for having different currencies per world, I think this would make things overly complicated. And poses questions such as what should happen with your money from an earlier world...

Honestly, I just couldn't see waffles lying around in ancient ruins or ancient libraries. They would rot or be eaten by insects realistically. I was looking for some sort of compromise in the ideas. I really like the idea of ancient coins with ancient symbols -- your own avatar shows how intriguing an ancient coin can be. I think people would figure out what the different tokens do, as long as they're not mixed excessively within one level.

Yes, it occurred to me that currencies usually seems to imply stores. I think this is a great idea. I was just thinking that it would be nice to have an item system and that it would be great to have something like Super Mario Bros 3 Toad Houses. Buying items in a store would be different than the Mario series and would make SMC more unique.

datahead wrote:Children/Mother topic: Hm. I’m not sure if Maryo should actually be assigned some age, the game probably lives for part from the fact Maryo has no definite age. On the other hand, making him a child will yield a story of initiation, which is an interesting topic on its own. But the Maryo graphics would need to be revised. I’m also not really sure how this theme fits the overall SMC atmosphere

I think a lot of people assume he's a child. We don't have to assign an exact age, either. I'm not overly set on having him be a child, but it does identify with young children if they are a target audience and fits with life lessons. We could always make him an adult and give him facial hair --- a goatee :P (joking)

datahead wrote:Given the architecture of SMC with its many global variables and the game state being centered on the player, introducing multiplayer effectively means rewriting SMC completely

Then this brings up 2 points. We'd want to slowly identify and correct these pieces of the architecture as time goes on since bad architecture is never good (what if we try to add AI players later?) We could also set networking as a long term goal -- this is something that would make SMC popular. Even with a good architecture, networking will still be difficult to implement because of the nature of network programming.
I just wanted to account for it in the story plan document, but we could leave it out of the official story for now.

datahead wrote:Gnushi: I would like to hear more on that.

I just got it from that wiki entry I linked. If anyone else finds more forum posts, go ahead and link them on this thread.

datahead wrote:DarkAceZ pointed out in IRC he has some concerns as well, probably he can repeat it here?

I just figured this is a good place for this discussion, since anyone who has left the site and comes back won't know to look anywhere else. I'm also hoping Fluxey eventually can give feedback given that storyline is a very major decision for art and gameplay.
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Re: Story, Powerup, and Worlds Ideas...

Postby Quintus » 07 Jun 2014 23:13

datahead wrote:your own avatar shows how intriguing an ancient coin can be.


YES!!11!! I want my avatar in SMC!!11!!1! :star: :star: :lshroom:
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Re: Story, Powerup, and Worlds Ideas...

Postby datahead » 07 Jun 2014 23:51

Quintus wrote:YES!!11!! I want my avatar in SMC!!11!!1!

I was just saying ancient coins are interesting for ancient ruins (I was thinking they'd have ancient symbols like the ones DarkAceZ drew).

I'll wait to see what DarkAceZ, Luiji, and hopefully mrvertigo think about the story as a whole.
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Re: Story, Powerup, and Worlds Ideas...

Postby -DarkAceZ- » 14 Jun 2014 05:38

Even though we already met, so to speak, I'd like to say welcome and thanks for coming to help out on SMC! (We certainly need it...)

As Quintus noted, I'm not too fond of the backstory. I believe defining things like his age/mother/friends is unneeded. The Mario franchise is a great concept because it leaves so much to speculation. I'm all for doing the same thing to this game... Children usually have wild imaginations. Though, as a child, I didn't ever really care about the storyline of any of the videogames I played; I just liked playing them. :P

datahead wrote:If you read the manual for Super Mario Bros, it actually goes so far as to explain the origins of game mechanics such as invisible blocks and the origins of goombas. Invisible blocks are mushroom people who were made invisible by Bowser's wand and who will give items to help Mario if he finds them. Goombas were originally mushroom people, but they were deformed by the cruel and evil Bowser.

I'm a huge fan of the Mario franchise, and I've owned many games, yet I never knew about this... Now I'm going to feel bad stomping on Goombas! :|

Books being a collectible item sounds great, but I'm not sure if replacing powerups with books will get the right message across, mainly because it would seem a lot more like Maryo learns magic and spells from these books, and I'd bet some parents wouldn't like that reference in a game their child is playing.
I like the library-themed concept, the Librarian and the ancient race. But I guess the question here is: are we still going to have obvious references to the Mario franchise or are we trying to steer away from that, now?

As for the ending, I can say I certainly didn't see it coming. I don't have any story ideas in place of it (why the librarian did what he did), but honestly, I like the idea of keeping the librarian evil. :drugged: I like my villains to be evil and psycho!

datahead wrote:
Quintus wrote:Currencies: You talk so much about currency, but then just remain with the 100-gold-gives-a-life thing. We could have shops where you can buy things (powerups/books?). As for having different currencies per world, I think this would make things overly complicated. And poses questions such as what should happen with your money from an earlier world...

Honestly, I just couldn't see waffles lying around in ancient ruins or ancient libraries. They would rot or be eaten by insects realistically. I was looking for some sort of compromise in the ideas. I really like the idea of ancient coins with ancient symbols -- your own avatar shows how intriguing an ancient coin can be. I think people would figure out what the different tokens do, as long as they're not mixed excessively within one level.

I think FluXy suggested waffles in the first place because it appeals to children. These could be specifically for collecting lives and points. Maybe the ancient coins could be for redeeming powerups/items...
Could we maybe have a one certain/specified powerup sold in each world (Normal Mushroom in the first world, Fire Flower in the Desert world, Ice Mushroom in the Snow world etc. (star in the Star world?? :drugged: ))? We might want to place a bit outrageous prices, though, to counter the player entering a level where it's easy to collect these coins and overstock on them. Or something.

datahead wrote:They would rot or be eaten by insects realistically.

I noticed the word "realistically" in there, and I'm not sure that that word describes SMC too much... :P

I really like the idea of books as a collectible item, just not as a powerup.
Maybe they could unlock special/extra levels/areas, sort of like the Star Coins in the Mario platformer games?
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Re: Story, Powerup, and Worlds Ideas...

Postby datahead » 16 Jun 2014 06:12

-DarkAceZ- wrote:The Mario franchise is a great concept because it leaves so much to speculation.

We do know that the Mario brothers were Italian plumbers from Brooklyn, New York and that they eventually discovered the Mushroom Kingdom. Their full names are Mario Mario and Luigi Mario. They're obviously adults given that they have mustaches and worked as plumbers.

We can think about leaving some of the Maryo story unwritten, but I think we at least need to provide some info. It might make sense to try and replace some of this with the "official" story at http://www.secretmaryo.org/wiki/index.php?title=Story
His background was undecided in the official story. It proposed making it the goal of the game to discover Maryo's past.

The friends in my document were suggested just as a possible multiplayer explanation. We don't need to decide this until we make decisions on multiplayer, which can't be done yet with the current code architecture based on Quintus's analysis.

-DarkAceZ- wrote: think FluXy suggested waffles in the first place because it appeals to children.

I looked it up again. Crabmaster suggested them orginally. I would guess it was more of an attempt to make the game look different than Mario, akin to how we've been trying to find power up and enemy replacements.
As for appealing to children, I would suggest trying to appeal to both children and adults simultaneously. Waffles don't necessarily cause a problem with this goal; I'm just saying never to focus only on children.

Original Waffle Discussion - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3461&p=21182&hilit=waffles#p21182
Waffle Animation Discussion - viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3609&p=22297&hilit=waffles#p22297

I think we do need to reevaluate a few things with waffles though.
I was thinking we may need to revise the waffle graphics because they're still mistaken for coins. See: http://smc.quintilianus.eu/viewtopic.php?id=35
I was also thinking we need to revise the other power ups and seek out a unified food theme (including maple syrup). See: http://smc.quintilianus.eu/viewtopic.php?id=36

-DarkAceZ- wrote:These could be specifically for collecting lives and points. Maybe the ancient coins could be for redeeming powerups/items...

I was having trouble seeing rooms loaded with wafffles in the libraries and ancient ruins. It's probably impossible to avoid this, though, because sooner or later someone's going to get happy with the level editor and dump waffles in these levels, even if we have other currencies (ancient coins) that are functionally equivalent.

-DarkAceZ- wrote:I noticed the word "realistically" in there, and I'm not sure that that word describes SMC too much...

Having invisible mushroom people who give you powerups when you jump and find them in a Mario game isn't exactly realistic, but having a cohesive explanation makes it that much cooler. In the Mega Man games, energy power ups are explained as being left over parts from destroyed enemies.

Two possible explanations for waffles:
1) They are either magically enhanced or are a genetic variety that don't decompose. Insects don't like their taste.
2) In the world of SMC they grow naturally on the waffle vine. The insides of the plant have a juice that tastes just like maple syrup.

-DarkAceZ- wrote:Books being a collectible item sounds great, but I'm not sure if replacing powerups with books will get the right message across, mainly because it would seem a lot more like Maryo learns magic and spells from these books, and I'd bet some parents wouldn't like that reference in a game their child is playing.

Bowser and the Koopa Kids use magic wands - this is sorcery. The Zelda games make references to spells in some instances. You're right, though - some people will certainly object to any reference to spells, and books that let you shoot fire will make them think of this. I'm leaning more toward what Quintus said was discussed earlier - fruits for power ups. This is consistent with collecting waffles, and we really need to find something other than the current mushroom graphics -- they look like they're from a Mario game.
I think we should have the 3 book enemies in the libraries, though.

-DarkAceZ- wrote:I like the library-themed concept, the Librarian and the ancient race.

Hidden libraries as opposed to just hidden ghost houses is a good chance to deviate from Super Mario world. If we create traditional ghost levels, we really need to think up something different than ghost houses (though libraries could have a lot of ghosts).

-DarkAceZ- wrote:I like the idea of keeping the librarian evil.

It is more traditional for this type of game. Thus the question is how a librarian could amass the power of a monster army.
If the books had magical powers, this is easy, but if we do away with their magic, we need a different explanation. Another possibility is that the Ancient race had incredible computers (beyond what we are familiar with), and that the books provide the knowledge necessary to control them. The librarian manipulates the system, but he's a strong believer in old fashioned books. These books document the algorithms and mathematics behind the systems.

This would also allow us to have a Mecha world. I think we've already got one Mecha enemy. I was talking with Quintus, and the furbot in the IRC chatroom would make a great enemy as well.
One more possibility is genetic engineering of monsters, which fits in with the monster factory concept.

-DarkAceZ- wrote:I really like the idea of books as a collectible item, just not as a powerup.
Maybe they could unlock special/extra levels/areas, sort of like the Star Coins in the Mario platformer games?

I'm not familiar with the star coins -- I probably haven't kept up with some recent Mario games. It would be cool to have something like 5 hidden books in the game, though.

-DarkAceZ- wrote:Though, as a child, I didn't ever really care about the storyline of any of the videogames I played; I just liked playing them.

There will be a number of people who will not read any written story and mash buttons in order to skip through all text. They will, however, look at visual graphics and watch most animations (if we add that feature). This still requires some sort of story that the developers, artists, and level editors review together. Hopefully some players will read a story, though.

Now I just need to get Luiji's feedback and hopefully Mr. V's and simpletoon's...
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