Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 24 Aug 2020, 00:46

Hello, early this year i decided to start my own flare mod. My main idea is to make it resemble Diablo 1/2 as much as possible, so i changed lots of game mechanics for that. The base is already in place, a similar stat system, different weapon classes with att times, range, etc...; i also added some unused content and lots of my own created content, more use of elemental damage/resistances, some ideas like summoning pets... and a heavier focus on brutal combat and loot variety (and blood, lots of blood).

One major change compared to Flare is going to be the character growth, the skill tree will be empty at the start and the player needs to search for masters that will unlock them after joining their profession. The guilds will be shown along the game, each will present different playstyles, unique skills and late game equipment. I will start marking as spoiler from now on for people who want to discover things themselves.

**SPOILER**
There are 3 basic proffessions that will specialize into others as the acts advance:

Soldier, basic melee warrior skills:
-Knight, oriented to defense
--Paladin, Healing and resistances
--Dark Knight, Leeching and debuffs

-Mercenary, Attk oriented, better loot drops, an all rounder
--Duelist, high dodge and mobility enhacing skills, some support magic skills

Archer, basic ranged skills
-Shooter, pure damage oriented, get the crossbows unique weapons
--Master Shooter, get the heavy crossbows and other ranged unique weapons

-Hunter, stealth/dodge, magic
--Ranger, animal summons and support spells (like slow)
--Assassin, high evasion and movility, short range weapons like throwing daggers and short swords (hybrid melee/ranged)

Magician, a mage apprentice
-Enchanter, pure damage oriented
--Elementalist, more destructive spells

-Warlock, attack and support spells
--Necromancer, summons undeads, poisons, leeching and debuffs
--Druid, summons monsters, turn into monters (melee/magic hybrid)
(Necromancer and druid are pet based builds, they will depend a lot on their summons)
**End of spoiler**


Now on to the story, I dont know if it will be too wordy for the average Diablo player, i will adjust text quantity once i can get feedback after i realease a "first act". It will have dark humour(or my attemps), adult themes and bad language (not a child friendly mod); Im a Terry pratchet and horror movies fan so it will show in here.

**SPOILER**
The main drive is, you are some common peasant dude/gal living in a religious state, who gets caugth in the middle of someone summoning an elder god, you are magically branded as a sacrifice but survive and became a "living anchor". You have no access to eldrich powers but are marked as a to be killed heretic and need to flee. The many gods from this world are not happy, the status quo has broken and they start to rally their believers, champions and avatars (human or monsters alike) to overpower the other gods and the invading elder god who is on its way to enter this dimension.
There will be two main antagonist for the whole game, the corrupt priest trying to summon the elder god and the old noble who searchs for inmortality and financed him. The details of the story will be told little by little, you wont know about the gods war or the elder god until later in the game. At first you only know you have a strange mark on your body, that monsters are attacking the civiliced lands for no reason and you have a revenge to take on those two bastards. And little by little learn all of those trues while pursuing them.

**End of spoiler**

I have already planned the first two arcs; the first in wich you are branded and the second where you are declared a heretic. But besides that i only have minor ideas for the next ones. I only think of them as places that i dont really know how to piece together, my ideas for now:

-Deep forest, crossing it while running away, finding some old minor stone god who is in need of being killed, crossing the seas to...
-A desert kingdom full of monster insects, later mummies and egiptian inspired monsters. With a hot but treacherous cleopatra-alike who will ask for help but ultimately turn out to be a scorpion king and tries to kill you. You scape and travel river down to...
-a jungle level with an aztec like god, the ranger guild ask for your help to stop the human sacrificies, they will guide you out of the jungle when done to...
-stranded on a pirate island after your ship sunks?
-a capital overun by undeads, the old nobleman has become a vampire here.(big story point)
-a snowland with vikings being invaded by orcs, later demons
-a volcanic/hellish land (entry is on viking lands?)
-the capital of the church state, the church has gone mad and is killing all non-clergy with fanatics, you help a resistance. Final clue to find the corrupt priest.
-City risen from the sea, full of eldritch spawns, corrupt priest is here, you try to stop him.
-Rift betwen worlds and final enemy

This are some samples of the progress i have already made, i have slowed down due to being summer, since i prefer to be at the beach instead of a computer screen.
https://opengameart.org/content/charging-minotaur
https://opengameart.org/content/models- ... -flare-mod
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Act1.jpg
Flare new npcs.jpg
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby ffaf » 24 Aug 2020, 03:10

First of all, let me say that I am delighted to see a new Flare mod; It is a game that I have played multiple times. Flare (along with Wesnoth) not only is a brilliant showcase of what FOSS games can be, but also displays a consistent artstyle throughout the game, which is extremely remarkable given how many people have contributed in their free-time + the timespan it took to develop such a mammoth game.

But enough of my ramblings, let us get to the feedback to your story.

I like the story and I like the character-vs-the-world claustrophobic development. I see one issues though:
in most action-RPGs (like Flare) the story is relayed by NPCs, specifically friendly NPCs that you meet along the path or at a specific «nexus» you return to frequently (in «Empyrean Campaign» that locus is «Perdition Harbour»). I say NPCs quite liberally, in some games objects convey narrative elements as well (think of diary pages in survival horrors).
Now, in your synopsis you do not have any of those NPCs or objects. You need to think of a clear way to move the story forward. Example given: you say that the player at first is not aware of the elder god at first; then when and how does he become conscious of such being and of its role in the story (so that it has been summoned by priest Xyz, and that you were «the anchor», etc.?
Some ideas to break this impasse: monologues — I personally dislike them —, some sort of guardian spirit/friend, or dreams. Whatever solution you pick, the more clear and overt you are, the better.

The pacing of your scenes is good and apt for such a game. The only thing I would be worried about is reminding now and then where the story is going, remember that the player are concentrated on the action and not reading the «Karamazov’s Brothers»


I hope to hear more from this!
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 24 Aug 2020, 03:25

Yes, everything is centered around "hubs" cities with npcs for services and quests, with links to surrounding maps with monsters. There will be cutscenes after big events and between acts (scavenged from all over OGA), as for the story development, while not clear yet, i think you will get your "condition" explained by getting pieces of info as you come into contact with enemy avatars and champions. From some vague pieces at the start to crazy revelations later; i guess ill add some nighmares with tentacles here and there.
Thanks for the input, ill try to avoid monologues and move the story with the npcs.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Julius » 24 Aug 2020, 10:00

Nice start, although I wish there was a similar template for Godot to start off...

Did you look into rendering out some 0AD assets for background graphics?
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 24 Aug 2020, 15:10

I would like to, i got a few that made their way to OGA, but when searching for 0Ad source files i cant find any pic of what the models are; also whats their license? im fine up to CC-BY-SA. I guess i would need to download the game to see everything thats inside and what i can use? I would appreciate your imput
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Julius » 24 Aug 2020, 20:29

Yes they should be CC-by-SA.

If I remember correctly you need a Collada file format importer, which isn't great for Blender last time I checked.
Maybe search on their forums if they have a asset repository with the actual source files?
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Jastiv » 24 Aug 2020, 22:37

Need writing or just story outlining help? I can defiantly help you if you want, I have an easy time figuring out story/dialog, but when it comes to parsing a bunch of complex code libraries, I'm not such hot stuff. (hence my endless quest to upgrade my client, to the latest java.
Also, I've won nano wri mo and script frenzy several times in a row (like 10 11 years, I can't remember anymore. I even have a "published" novel, if you count a pdf on the internet published, it is actually a similar idea (although the setting is quite different (its set maybe about 10 years go when I wrote it.)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l9ij5792zlbdr ... 0.pdf?dl=0
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby ffaf » 25 Aug 2020, 00:32

Jastiv {l Wrote}: I even have a "published" novel, if you count a pdf on the internet published, it is actually a similar idea (although the setting is quite different (its set maybe about 10 years go when I wrote it.)


Do you have short stories too (I promise this will be my only OT post) :P
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 25 Aug 2020, 01:12

Thanks Jastiv, ill need help fleshing out the story. The nature of the game doesnt really allow for extense dialogues but i want to deliver it little by little as npcs give quests and the story acts as "glue" giving sense to the quest chains.

For example, once second act finish, the third one is about you running away by getting into a deep forest, a goblin friend will serve as your activity hub, helping you cross it. There are human soldiers hunting you, the mid bosses will be bounty hunters with some minor dialogue lines. And later you awaken some old minor stone god who tries to kill you (Act final boss). You arrive to some coast city after that (just a cutscene). This is simple enough; my problem is from here. Why should i go to the desert kingdom? (any other country is as good for scaping), how do i know the guys im following for revenge are there? where did i get that kind of clue while running tru a forest full of monters and bounty hunters? or maybe they are not there, but there is a powerful oracle there (how did i get this unknown info as well?)so i go just to get some clues about them(i like this one, im sticking to it). This i can more or less create on the go. But later once i arrive to the desert egiptian like country im kinda lost, Cleopatra-alike contacts you as soon as you arrive cause oracle told her so; she promises to let you see the oracle if you help her. Shes a backstabber sending you on wild goose chases like cleaning crocs, hippos and the like from the river farms, insects from tombs..., she leads you by the nose, she is sexy as hell and uses it against you. She will send you on harder and harder missions trying to have you killed. At some point you start suspecting her, because why? (pointless missions in remote places?). How do i chain her missions going up on difficulty? how is she able to motivate and pit you against sphinxs, chacal headed hunters and the like? what motive does she give to send you into piramids full of mummies? (one of the missions could be searching for a jewel inside a piramid).

See, to me its very hard to make quests past a certain point while trying to avoid the game being too lineal (different monster types based on quest help avoid that, like scorpions and antlions in the desert and mummies inside piramids, but asking to search 10 piramids is not fun at all). In the end she will allow you to see the oracle after being unable of indirectly getting rid of you, for that she will ask for 3 artifacts, each into one of the major piramids (a midboss into each), to open the path, but in reality she uses them to become Horus champion, a half-scorpion and the act final boss, you finally get your clues from the oracle and advance to the next act.

Can you give me ideas to fill quests and story between the initial and final point i exposed? everyone is welcome, ill also have a look at egiptian lore/legends once i tackle this act. Including some side npcs is also good, be it for sidequests or just pieces of lore/gossips (keeping it short), varity of objectives is also a keypoint.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby ffaf » 25 Aug 2020, 01:42

At some point you start suspecting her, because why? (pointless missions in remote places?).

Because you see her servants — or people dressed veri similarly to her servants — attacking you? Because you enter a cave and capture some desert-goblin and he talks? Becuase of a dream (you have lost your brother and he telepathically speaks to inner mind?)? Because you overhear a conversation when you get back from a succesfull mission (Cleo and a mandarin? A mandarin and a soldier?). Because you find a letter/parchment in the palace? Or maybe encrypted orders to her minions? Because in a very difficult dungeon you save your soul by doing the only thing she warned you not to do? Because a mage in a village detects spell on you? The venom that you were hit with looks suspiciously like (in colour) to her pet spider?

All in all I think it is just a question of brainstorming (easy) and getting a coherent storyline from world to world (more difficult).
From your words the game is already bigger than Empyrean Campaign (many times EC)!
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 26 Aug 2020, 00:04

I was thinking of more subtle ones, but i like the parchment with orders idea. Moving this mod ahead will be lots of work, but thankfully most of it is in the art side which i enjoy; just dont expect it done this year. Empyrean is pretty long time wise, but the lack of real story makes it look shorter than it is (it has hella lots of maps!) and gives an empty feeling. Ill be away from any computer for a while starting tomorrow, but ill check the forums with my cell phone often, keep the ideas coming guys!
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Jastiv » 26 Aug 2020, 04:23

I think the hero could find out something about the desert place before or during killing the minor stone god. The idea being that this is a place where our heretic will be accepted, where all are welcome. There isn't some initial idea of revenge, just maybe settle down, have a good life and a family. The heretic comes to the place, only to find out it is not like that at all, and in fact is pretty much enforced slavery for outsiders (that is people who weren't born in the country) Apparently times and the political regime have changed since the note about it (you know how easy it is to be misinformed about foreign countries even now, imagine without the internet, dated and potentially wrong information.) The Heretic is forced to work in the mines where the new slaves from outside the country eventually die, but of course its a monster in the mines. Our hero the heretic slays the monster at the beginning of the desert act, getting the attention of as you said, the cleopatra like character, who now has a reason to take an interest. (the oracle foretold of this monster slayer) While still doing the desert quests, our hero starts getting the first ideas of heroism and finds out about the sacrifices in the jungle (the cleopatra like character is using the parts for "spells, or health" Immediately, they decide that they must save these "sacrifices" on the premise of preventing what happened to me from happening to others (in a similar but somewhat different situation)
In the jungle act, we at first think the ranger guild is totally trying to help save people from being sacrificed, and is investigating what is going on. You take a job as a junior ranger, doing more tasks that make is seem like you are investigating, but really you are just pretending to investigate so that the rest of the populace doesn't realize what is going on and is amazed that the criminals get away with so much. Here, you find out the rangers guild is taking bribes to look the other way, and some senior members are actually involved in the sacrifices. You have to kill the head guy (who turned into a monster) and convince the lower ranked members that they should reveal to the populace what is really going on (you have to get three artifacts, the ring of courage, the scepter of courage, and the heart of courage (a necklace) or something like that, then you are able to break the spell the priest have put upon them, and get them to come clean. You find out during this time about the old noble man who is also paying people for the body parts (sort of like the cleopatra in the desert,)The rangers guild/priest are then disbanded. One of the former rangers offers to leave with you, you tell him how you want to go to the capital where the old nobleman lives, because as long as the money flows there is always the possibility of a resurgence somewhere else. The former ranger and you cross the sea, but then of course the nobleman can see you coming and the angry sea god owes him a favor so the angry sea god crashes your ship, killing your companion, but somehow you are spared and wash up on the pirate island.


I'm sure I will have more later, this is what I have been able to come up with so far.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 04 Sep 2020, 15:58

I like most of those ideas and will use them, but i dont want the tone to be so grim with every single person betraying you. So i will add some nice persons and gods here and there. With this i got enougth material for some time, now i just gotta start making more monsters/enemies/equipments and porting buildings from 0AD.

Just a recap of the new enemies i have planned for act1-2:
-Goblin shaman
-Goblin wolf/boar rider (and heavier armored Knigth versions)
-Wild boars
-Floating eyes, mini tentacles things, chick things (as the first cosmic horrors)
-Rats, slimes, bats
-Worm, larva thingy

Wolfs - done

Thats a whole lot of animating but with those i can populate those acts and reuse them later. There are just too few defaults enemies in Flare, you are just basically killing the same things all the time.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Julius » 04 Sep 2020, 23:57

Ah, you got the 0AD files to work for rendering out isometric images?
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 05 Sep 2020, 12:33

Not yet, but i picked up a good tutorial on youtube, the downside(not really) is that i will have to download and play the whole game and all mods so i can dig into the sources knowing what to search for, since there is no catalog or showcase for the models. But i know there is good stuff in there and 0AD got very good ratings, i migth even get hooked to it.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Julius » 06 Sep 2020, 17:05

Sure. If you manage to get stuff rendered nicely please share the .blend files and images. I have been thinking for a while that it might make for a cool unoffical Stargate game based on the OpenRA engine ;)
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 17 Sep 2020, 23:24

Quick update, included new enemies:
- Rat, black rat and plague rat
- Bat, ice bat, blood bat, fire bat
Things like new songs, enemy sounds and cutscenes...

I opened a post on OGA, but will keep this as my main one.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 20 Sep 2020, 13:33

Slimes!
Normal, ice, fire and metal.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 30 Oct 2020, 19:18

I wonder if anyone read this posts at all, but well, here i present to you a new whole cast of enemies:
- Goblin shamans and High shamans
- Boar and armored boar
- Goblin wolf rider, goblin boar rider and goblin boar knight
- Boar Goblin shaman and Boar Goblin High shaman
- Living guts (guts slime)
All of them animated and running on flare! Now i can go back to map making until i need a few minor horrors models for the act end.
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ingame.jpg
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby ffaf » 30 Oct 2020, 19:28

Danimal {l Wrote}:I wonder if anyone read this posts at all, but well, here i present to you a new whole cast of enemies: […]

I do, and every update is amazing, superexcited for this!
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 30 Oct 2020, 19:33

Thanks :) , its nice to see my work doesnt go to waste.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby dulsi » 30 Oct 2020, 20:33

I still haven't played much of Flare but I like that more content is being created as mods. Is it easy to mod. I looked at it at one point. I tried someone's mod and found it didn't work with latest.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 30 Oct 2020, 23:16

Its actually pretty hard to do anything on it, i spent a week getting the whole setup ready(poor or none documentation); and then its also rigid on some senses. Im only moving inside of what one can do without coding at all, its a pity since some aspects get tiresome, as in, i have to manually declare every single loot item instead of there existing a nifty random loot generator.
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Jastiv » 01 Nov 2020, 22:41

Wograld is easy to mod but has a terrible install process for end users.(aka windoze noobs, you main potential luser base) (although I shouldn't insult software users, after all they are your whole purpose in life and reason for existence.) Its predecessor, crossfire, was deemed "most forkable game" back in the day.(aka 2005 when people were still using CVS)
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Re: Heresy, Flare mod - Need help creating/organizing story

Postby Danimal » 02 Nov 2020, 22:46

Arent you shooting your own feet? As a dumb windows user myself i would be very put off if i had to fight agaisnt compiler/installers whatnots just for a game, you should work on getting an easy installer. That reason alone must be why many foss games barely get any players, do they really expect someone to download the sources, search for dependencies and then compile? (not mentioning errors).
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