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Messages - Rococo Modem Basilisk

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1
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: August 10, 2017, 10:37:09 pm »
A farce about a green journalist sent into a war zone to cover a revolution, embedded with a seasoned mercenary who is basically calm and unflappable (to an absurd degree). Over time, it is revealed that the revolutionary force is run by an incompetent and unimaginative jobsworth, interpreting (as literally as possible) the ravings of a complete madman. The jobsworth doesn't realize the madman is mad, and it's unclear whether or not the madman knows that he is leading a revolution. The mercenary has no opinion of this situation. The journalist barely makes it out alive -- you see, the revolutionary vanguard bombed themselves because of some offhand remark the lunatic leader made months before, and the journalist and merc were in the vicinity eavesdropping while it happened -- and his story was rejected (and he was fired) because "none of this could have possibly happened".

2
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: August 10, 2017, 04:04:59 pm »
Elon Musk's first martian colonization ship contains two Raelians amid the rest of its ~100 crew. These Raelians end up hooking up with each other, but are also slightly more charismatic than average. The harsh martian conditions kill many of the first batch before the second batch arrives, and by the time that happens, the nascent martian culture has taken on a distinctly Raelian tinge. Over time, mars becomes a Raelian theocracy, albeit one with very little political power, but a rare mineral is found in great quantity in martian mines which causes mars to quickly become more powerful than earth (and indeed the political center of the solar system's colonized bodies, in part because martian spaceports and docking stations in martian orbit form an important travel hub between lagrange stations around earth and settlements on jovian moons).

3
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: August 10, 2017, 12:27:13 am »
After being passed up for sous-chef, a line cook (in a drunken stupor) accidentally stumbles through a portal to the middle ages, where, trapped, he survives by finding an inn to make food at in exchange for room and board. (Luckily, this is a port town, so travelers come through at a high enough rate to make working at an inn sustainable.) However, because his knowledge of cooking comes from the future (at this point, of course, recipes are rare and inefficient, the importance of time is unclear, and  dishes that benefit from an understanding of chemistry not easily found by trial and error in a dirty kitchen are basically nonexistent), he is able to create dishes unlike any previously seen. While he is limited by the absence of certain technologies (precise clocks, electric stoves, teflon, refrigeration, blow torches) and resources (salt and spices are rare, ice is seasonal), his knowledge puts him in a unique position. Being a port town, travelers from foreign lands occasionally come through, and his introduction of modern styles of cooking changes demand for various resources in a way that he -- essentially not speaking the language, and disoriented from tobacco withdrawl and low-level persistent diseases to which he has no immunity -- is totally unaware of: the introduction of one line cook from the future changes history by putting new pressures on trade routes, causing wars.
There's an amine that's somewhat like this, without the bits with wars. It's called Restaurant to another world, and it's about a restaurant manned by a modern Japanese chef, and the doors to this restaurant open into various places in a fantasy type world at various places and times, causing him to have a clientele of orcs lizardmen, wizards, and the like, who just lose their shot at the taste of modern spaghetti and meatballs. I highly recommend it.
I've seen it. I came up with this because I was thinking about this & the standard iisekai formula (along with precursors to iisekai like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court).

4
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: August 06, 2017, 07:32:53 pm »
After being passed up for sous-chef, a line cook (in a drunken stupor) accidentally stumbles through a portal to the middle ages, where, trapped, he survives by finding an inn to make food at in exchange for room and board. (Luckily, this is a port town, so travelers come through at a high enough rate to make working at an inn sustainable.) However, because his knowledge of cooking comes from the future (at this point, of course, recipes are rare and inefficient, the importance of time is unclear, and  dishes that benefit from an understanding of chemistry not easily found by trial and error in a dirty kitchen are basically nonexistent), he is able to create dishes unlike any previously seen. While he is limited by the absence of certain technologies (precise clocks, electric stoves, teflon, refrigeration, blow torches) and resources (salt and spices are rare, ice is seasonal), his knowledge puts him in a unique position. Being a port town, travelers from foreign lands occasionally come through, and his introduction of modern styles of cooking changes demand for various resources in a way that he -- essentially not speaking the language, and disoriented from tobacco withdrawl and low-level persistent diseases to which he has no immunity -- is totally unaware of: the introduction of one line cook from the future changes history by putting new pressures on trade routes, causing wars.

5
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: July 19, 2017, 03:21:40 pm »
A zoo experiments with teaching various types of pack animals (apes, wolves) how to use touch screen devices with a simple communication app in order to do a variation on the prisoner's dilemma. However, a bug causes the app not to distinguish between species. As a side effect, a group of adolescent chimps conspire with wolves to overthrow the dominant chimps in their enclosure, causing a cascade of deals that lead eventually to the zoo being demolished as various animal social structures undergo violent transition.

6
Bring and Brag / Enki makes a game
« on: July 04, 2017, 02:18:16 pm »
I'm working on a VN based on a pitches I posted to the Original Story Ideas thread years ago1.

The elevator pitch is:
Quote
Groundhog day in a universe where all conspiracy theories are true
A more accurate description is:
Quote
Our protagonist dies unexpectedly and finds herself manifesting as a voice in the head of her previous self from the beginning of that day. Each time she dies, she is sent back to the beginning of the day, and must negotiate with her past self in order to find clues to prevent her own murder. However, the town in which she lives is full of shady dangerous dealings just below the surface -- ranging from organized crime and government conspiracies to UFO cultists and supernatural events -- any one of which could be involved in her death, and many of which will kill her even earlier. Each time she dies in a new way, and many times when she relives events with new context, she gains new clues that open up new options for behavior.

In other words, the mechanics of the game are like a first person version of Groundhog Day: you have a very limited time period you repeat, and by learning about the circumstances of the world new possibilities open up for different things you can do during the day, all of which can feed together. Content-wise, it's a bit like The X Files, where the town is full of mostly independent horror/thriller tropes.

Being a VN, the game is mostly dialogue and still images with the occasional menu. (This is a good fit, since having more flexible mechanics would distract from the important part of the game, which is the slowly mutating story tree.)

I've got about two hours of content thus far2. Right now, all of the art and music3 is also mine, though when I've finished the story I expect to commission new art (particularly sprites and splash screens), because my drawing skills have really gone downhill.




1 The original pitches are:
Quote
Ghosts, formed from the juxtaposition of traumatic deaths and strong dying wishes, live outside the bounds of time but have limited effects on the physical world unless they possess someone. However, possession is difficult, and works best when the ghost is possessing someone similar to themselves (and when the person they are possessing is not lucid). Under these circumstances, a ghost possesses the body of himself in the past while asleep in order to solve the mystery of who murdered him and in the course of his investigations, sets up the series of circumstances that led to his murder.
and
Quote
After our protagonist dies on the table during surgery for ten minutes, he spends the rest of his life literally haunted by the ghost of the person he used to be which becomes irritating as both he and his ghost develop independently and their personalities begin to diverge.

2 A recording of the first twenty minutes is here. I have the source on github, and will be keeping it relatively up to date. It's written with ren'py, a domain-specific language for writing VNs.

3 For many years I've been writing music under the name "Infocalypse". Most of it recently is in the style of horror movie sound track music. I went through and mined previous albums for possible BGM for the game. I have something like forty-six albums worth of material.

7
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: June 25, 2017, 08:18:46 pm »
In a world where only postmenopausal childless women are allowed to be in positions of political power, scandals surround black market adoption fencing rings. A young lady journalist attempts to investigate but this is made difficult by the fact that corruption in this world is largely related to sexual favors between lesbians who prefer older women, and she must ally herself with an older would-be whistleblower with a dark past whose motivations are unclear but who is sixty-five and therefore more attractive.

8
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: June 17, 2017, 12:14:57 am »
First contact with a sentient alien race is actually with fully-memetic entities (who have long sense outgrown tight coupling with their hosts & now expect to hop freely between hosts); because hosts on their home planet are physically much different from humans, this first contact manifests as a series of dancing plagues (because the ambassadors are trying to figure out how to control their new alien bodies). Eventually, they realize that we haven't fully uncoupled from our host bodies yet and find that they need to merge with human personalities in order to learn to communicate -- which, for them, is a little like moving from a city into the woods and living with a pack of wolves, because our human personalities are collectives of wild memeplexes instead of single dominant ideas.

9
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: June 13, 2017, 09:53:35 pm »
An otaku is transported to a generic fantasy world, only to slowly discover that everyone else in the fantasy world is also an otaku who has been transported. Turns out they screwed up and failed to populate it, and so they're moving otaku over in the hope that maybe they'll mate.

10
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:12:56 am »
After a series of large-scale scandals that cross party lines, a controversial new set of laws is put in place: the "veil of ignorance" mandates, under which all politicians must be of the "political class" -- infants separated from their parents at birth, chosen by lottery, and put into a separate schooling system, living the rest of their lives separate from the non-political class and having their interactions limited to state-level legal operations like voting and signing laws. The idea is that if politicians have all their needs met, they have no reason to collude with other politicians, and if they aren't allowed to interact with non-politicians then they cannot collude with them either. At the end of their terms, the politicians are euthenized so that the possibility of quid pro quo is limited to a relatively short time period. Of course, the system backfires, because politicians will compete with each other for the hell of it, their laws becoming stranger and stranger as they reflect an increasingly alien logic.

11
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: June 09, 2017, 01:08:04 pm »
People's names are living creatures -- memetic parasites that feed on recognition. This is why isolation can be fatal: the name, panicked and starving, eats holes in the brain of its host. The names have been getting smarter, and now they begin to scheme to maximize the sustenance they can get from their hosts.

12
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: June 09, 2017, 02:53:23 am »
After the trucking industry transfers mostly to self-driving trucks, the NSA develops tech to make arbitrary trucks follow particular people -- a service they sell to other Three Letter Agencies for "counterterrorism". A contractor discovers this & prepares to blow the whistle but is discovered, and they decide to test the system out on him.

13
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: June 06, 2017, 08:46:28 pm »
In a dystopian near future, the most popular TV show is a hyper-violent version of The Bachelor where 100 women are encouraged to murder each other in order to get a date with a millionaire.

14
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: June 04, 2017, 02:54:45 pm »
A variation of the sin eater profession appears, whose purpose is to launder hell money by gambling with it. In other words, these sin eaters are given hell money and after gambling with it among themselves for some length of time their holdings are bought and burned as sacrifice. The idea is that if the hell money is bought using dirty money (from organized crime, or stolen) the sin will wipe off on the gamblers. However, since the function of hell money is to gain the aid of dead ancestors, some of that favor also rubs off on them. These sin eaters are forbidden from gambling with the general public, and a street urchin inducted into their ranks discovers why first-hand when he places a bet in a yakuza-owned casino: he has gained the favor of some very ruthless ghosts who will make sure he wins (and keeps his winnings) at any cost.

15
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: May 28, 2017, 01:13:14 pm »
A parallel universe that had a very different history develops rat-holes to our world -- great doors that are only visible on one side -- in order to escape extreme political wars. Unfortunately, because of the way that patterns of erosion on the earth differs between these two worlds, most of these doors are deep underground, useless and forgotten. Two doors are found in the basements of nearby buildings, unbeknownst to each other -- one emits refugees who have escaped from a prison for heretics into the basement of a private home owned by a group of college students, and the other open up between a church basement (where their youth group sessions are held) and a secondary command center for the organization running that heretic prison. The youth group is manipulated into helping hunt down the refugees.

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