What not to do when writing a fantasy gaming fiction?

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by Lazriser, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Lazriser

    Lazriser Well-Known Member

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    This will be my first time writing this genre/theme? I honestly don't know what not to do.

    My primary objective is to first write the background stories of my side villains, because my main characters are (anti?) villains waging war against the players. Guild versus guilds; a guild wars. It's a story where it shows the conflict between reality and gaming, the blurred line between good and bad, and the decision to side with the players or natives of the virtual world. Yes, they are trapped in the game, because it would make decisions carry more weight including the progression of their characters goal. There are no overpowering characters, since steamrolling everything would lessen the gravity of the situation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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  2. sekach

    sekach Outer Disciple

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    Don't write one-dimensional characters, who can only express 1-2 emotions.
     
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  3. sojyoscah

    sojyoscah Well-Known Member

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    Dont create op mc but pussy please
     
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  4. The Hamster Overlord

    The Hamster Overlord Mad scientist/Revered wizard/Alleged antichrist

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  5. Agecaf

    Agecaf Grand Archmathemagician

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    If there's a system, everyone that has access to it should more or less be able to use it or exploit it in the same way. If the MC has a secret unique class, so too can the rival/main antagonist/best friend/random bystander. If you have a system, make sure that different characters use it differently to showcase what can be done within the system! It's ok to have overpowered antagonists, they can still have exploitable weaknesses (same for the MC).

    The cool thing about grey and grey morality systems is that yesterday's enemies could be tomorrow's allies in the fight against a greater evil, or greater good. That makes factions more interesting. They reach follow their interest, sometimes they clash, sometimes they must come together to stand a chance.
     
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  6. NoLoliNoLife

    NoLoliNoLife Well-Known Member

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    try checking out Log Horizon. It is a good anime that is about a group of gamers that get trapped in their gaming world. As for what not to do...don't make it just a fantasy with gaming elements. Cuz any isekai or fantasy can do that. Do something else to make it different. But that is just my opinion. Last, but most important, HAVE FUN WRITING :)
     
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  7. bromnath

    bromnath Well-Known Member

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    In my mind the main difference between fantasy and scifi is that Fantasy is a story primarily driven by the characters in which setting is secondary, whereas sci-fi has setting first and characters second (therefore Star Wars if Fantasy but Star Trek is sci fi). So when you're writing fantasy you can feel free-er to ignore details about the setting or just not have answers to them without things really getting all that bad (see Harry Potter) but introducing or creating new dissonant setting elements out of nowhere can still be dangerous.

    Tips therefore focus on maintaining a story with characters as the focus:
    • Make sure your protagonists push the story along, events can be kicked off by setting/side plots and you can spend time describing what the antagnonist does, but the essence of your story should be about how your protagonists act actively (if your villian is doing most of the acting then they're your protagonist for that part, do it too much and you end up confusing the reader)
    • Make sure you have a timeline of how events in your story are unfolding in story time. Ask yourself, do these timings make sense. Most plot holes are due to timing mismangement. I'm pretty sure that's what messed up Game of Thrones, too much happened in the first 2 years in one plotline but other slow plotlines were developing over the course of 4-6 years and he couldn't figure out how to fill in the rest of the time in the first.
    • Make sure you have an idea of what major characters are doing in your timeline at all times, it can be something simple as 6 months training with the elves, but when you have your motivations listed out and your timeline listed then you can double check if your plans for what the characters are doing make sense and if the charactization is correct. EX)it might not make sense for your character who has really urgent motivations(like a kidnapped tribe) to spend 2 years doing nothing or waiting, it might be a hint to alter the characterization the next time they show up (like make them really frustrated from futile searching). HunterxHunter actually does this pretty well, characters disappear for entire arcs, but you can tell that they grew off-screen due to both the envents that were happening in the story and the events in their own lives.
    • Weave setting details into the story. Infodumps aren't necessary because setting is secondary, but tempting as a good way of establishing non-generic less important setting information without havign to spend alot of time on it through show don't tell. Instead try to pepper those details into the narrative. If you're doing first person, make use of flashbacks or the like to have your chracter just remember the situation. Other techniques used are disguisign the dumps in segments as lectures/chracter rants, or prefacing entire sections of story with snippets and anecdotes with relevant iinformation for that story arc through a bard song or an out of narrative quote (the latter is used frequently in the Ivalice FF games (tactics and FF12).
     
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  8. FranckOA

    FranckOA Killer Klown From Outer Space

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    Don't forget about the concept of ability synergy between characters class, it's an important part of the game design of MMORPG (made to boost team play) and many gaming novels forget about it, making their MC/big bad guy some kind of OP loner rolling over everything easily as a solo player.

    And also avoid giving too much screen time to gyagyagya bad guys or obnoxious evil villains (CN style young masters, JP evil nobles or religious villains or KR rich assholes), they get boring really quickly.
     
  9. reagents 11

    reagents 11 disaster personified

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    Don't make a 4th dimension breaking joke. At least the characters shouldn't unless you want to make it full comedy.
     
  10. Underload

    Underload <I need someone to scratch my back!>

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    Too many characters and a shallow world will hurt you like none other.
     
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  11. bromnath

    bromnath Well-Known Member

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    More specific genre based tips:
    • Don't make a game that has no real reason to be played. Grinding hasn't been fun for years, it's not going to be fun later on, there has to be some reason why people are playing it besides you saying so. MMO's especially flop all the time and you need a compelling reason why people are so gung-ho about it.
    • Don't act like guilds are countries/ major organizations unless you give them real financial and political power, guilds usualyl are just giant chat rooms and modern mmo's are starting to demphasize guilds by letting you be in multiple chat groups, And if guilds do how power, how?/How does it make sense that the govt etc allowed them to get that way? Also guilds are never unified, they're full of cliques. For a trapped setting, don't automatically from the start make the guilds all powerful and the people super loyal, they weren't that way in game most likely.
    • Don't make things hinge off of lucky drops unless you want to make it a central theme that everyone gets lucky drops and it's just a matter of makign the best of em (early diablo style)
    • Remember that games impose limits, usually you can't 1v20 because you're really good, and if you could check to see if you just created a fake game that is so shitty that no one would want to play it b/c one guy can 1v20 your entire team.
    • There are no long term secrets in MMO's, don't try to pull the "no one would have spread this info because they can make money keeping it a secret" card.
    • Games are made by developers and meant to be played, developers won't spend tons of time writing things that will never be used. If they think it'll be unpopular but secretly good then they'd rather spend more time focusing on the popular or spend more time writting better descriptions to show off how the good stuff works. Hidden super builds using unpopular strats don't just happen, and no community is gonna be like "oh ___ seems/is weak so we're all going to ignore it until MC comes around and realizes it's OP", There's always gonna be people who obstanantly do something, even it's jsut to be hipster.
    • Don't wash entire swaths of the population/playerbase into being mindless/souless/heartless drones/idiots. People have their reasons for doing things.
     
  12. Delusion

    Delusion Dark lord

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    Depends on where you are writing.
    In Webnovel, all you need is R-18 smut to rise up the rankings :blobjoy:
     
  13. Jojo775

    Jojo775 Honorary Algae Knight

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    Don't write aribitrary stats, those numbers mean nothing to us and it can get quite annoying when characters constantly recieve updates.
    IMO best system is E to S, it's most realistic.
    Don't write black and white characters who serve nothing but as stepping stones for the MC.
    Don't write harem, most of us are sick of it and it's just bad writing since you're basically saying you don't know how to write good romance so you'll just throw pretty girls at the MC coz he is powerful.
    Magic is about mystery before power, don't go the Chinese route with exponentially more powerful magics.
    Really imagine the characters or base them on movies at least, not on tropes.
     
  14. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    You never played a MMORPG, or work in the gaming industry. Else you would know how these games are constructed and how they evolve with patches. E to S? Cool. Then the level cap is increased from x to x+5 and then the creator does what? It is just impractical. The most "realistic" option are low triple diggits.

    Also, exponential power increases happen as players approach the endgame, especially if there have been instances of max level increases in the past. A good example would be Tera Online, where you really feel the upgrade from 58, to 60 to 65, or BDO, where a level 60 utterly buttfucks 10 level 58s. Exponential doesn't mean it is 10^x, it might also just be 1.3^x (and that is pretty realistic for most games, the only exception i know being ragnarok online where it was almost linear). In most games you can watch elite players screw over multiple non elitists in a 1 vs x. On the lower scale you would have games like RO, and on the higher end black dessert, where it was possible to 1 vs guild in the initial release (due to the way level scaling worked and atk vs defense was calculated). There is a reason the former was played for a long time even after patches stopped...

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA. Good joke. This is a game novel. What magic does is perfectly well known and there are no secrets remaining. In cases like these, with the hardest possible magic system, what magic does is actually irrelevant. What it does not do though... THAT is interesting...

    Avoid:
    - Mysteriously unknown stuff. It is a game, and it is no longer new. Major secrets do not exist.
    - Random ass exceptions. It is a system, and a system is either broken (= everyone abuses it), or it is balanced (nothing to abuse). It is also mostly fair, because it is a PvP game (Kirito and Shin, fuck off).
    -Singular op players. A game won't have such an insane grind that only few players reach BiS state. In the endgame entire guilds will be armed with BiS and know how to use it (Fuck off The New Gate).
    -One man army the second. This time because a raid boss is a raid boss because a single player of the intended level cannot beat it alone. Its very mechanics force multiple players. A party is REQUIRED. (Again, fuck Kirito) Even in games which were designed without the trinity in mind it ways to get it working were always searched for.
     
  15. Jojo775

    Jojo775 Honorary Algae Knight

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    Take a chill pill dude. I have played MMORPGs, I'm just saying in novels it's better to go with power classes in letters than arbitrary numbers. True there is no mystery to magic in a game, I gave more of advice for normal fantasy since game fantasy is so washed out and almost always below the level in quality.
     
  16. Yukkuri Oniisan

    Yukkuri Oniisan 『Procrastinator Archwizard Translator and Writer』

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    Create all the jobs and their skills first. Don't create skills out of thin air.

    In case you are confused or too lazy on how to do that, just 'borrow' a famous MMORPG and change the clothing.

    For example,

    Axeswinger . Role: Physical Vanguard. High VIT and STR.
    ACTIVE SKILLS:
    Heavy Strike . LvL 1. Type: Weaponskill. 60TP. Instant cast. CD:2.5s Delivers an attack with a potency of 160.
    Skull Splitter 4 Weaponskill 60 Instant 2.5s Delivers an attack with a potency of 110 (Start Combo)
    Battlelust 6 Ability Instant 90s Guarantees that all attacks are critical and direct hits.
    Overswing 10 Weaponskill 120 Instant 2.5s Delivers an attack with a potency of 130 to all enemies in a cone before you.
    Axe Throw15 Weaponskill 120 Instant 2.5s Delivers a ranged attack with a potency of 140.
    Mangle 18 Weaponskill 60 Instant 2.5s Delivers an attack with a potency of 120. (Combo Chain)
    Blood Surge 26 Ability Instant 120s Increases maximum HP by 20% and restores the amount increased.
    Butcher Slash 30 Weaponskill 60 Instant 2.5s Delivers an attack with a potency of 130. (Combo Chain)
    Axe Storm 38 Weaponskill 60 Instant 2.5s Delivers an attack with a potency of 140. (Combo Chain)
    Duel! 42 Ability Instant 180s Draws target towards caster, and binds both.
    Revenge Slash 46 Ability Instant 120s Reduces damage taken by 30% and delivers an attack with a potency of 55 every time you suffer physical damage.
    Killstorm 50 Weaponskill 60 Instant 2.5s Delivers an attack with a potency of 200. (Combo Finisher)

    As you can see, I changed the names and the skill descriptions a bit. Also, try to guess what's game is this before you click the hyperlink.

    Don't make the character suddenly use a Skill that he pulled out from his ass (you better have an explanation for that).
     
  17. Gandire Alea

    Gandire Alea [Wicked Awesome Translator]

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    That’s pretty much what the author of “The King’s Avatar” did~
    I was shocked to discover battle mage is actually a game character
     
  18. yserieh

    yserieh Well-Known Member

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    If you write about mental or physical conditions- research them. Especially diseases or poisons that are based on real life stuff. Fantasy can be made up, but it should still have some grounding. People like to give villains TRAUMA in their childhood without even spending like 10 minutes on google on how this stuff impacts behavior. Childhood abuse can wildly rewire a person if they don't get treatment or develop coping skills. Or it can feed how they develop unhealthy coping habits and maladaptive behaviors.

    I was reading a (almost) potentially good webcomic on Webtoons, but the female lead is so unlikable despite the outstanding art and potential story. Maybe by a younger, (and smaller, thus more targeted) ignorant audience would like her edgey emo rage lord. She's a warrior who was a slave, but is so explosive and impulsive, the story will be about how her RAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGEEEE and her TRAUMAAAAAAHHHH is the only thing that matters, as she incapable empathy or strategic thought, and how she will emotionally, psychologically, and physically abuse the other characters with her LONELY RAGEEEEEEE as her recklessness will somehow let her be leader of the group, leading them to their doom with her stupidity and lack of impulse control. And somehow, we're suppose to believe that this massive douche will have a love interest cause tsunderes are in.

    Excuse me, I mean, poorly written tsunderes are in who actively abusive towards their love interest cause "lol plot". They only struck/hit and was verbally cruel to their love interest because of poor impulse control and past trauma... a wonderful excuse for abuse because a lot of people serious issues were able to live healthy lives or cope to the point their not impulsive nitwits. It's what weak writers use as a crutch to justify abusive behaviors rather then using tension in normal conversations and a character's struggle to engage people in a manner despite past trauma.

    Do people even understand how trauma bonding works? Like I enjoyed Broken Wing Angel (it's my fetish), but I am also familiar with Batter Spouse Syndrome, how love bombing works, trauma bonding, etc can cement or break relationships. I find it fascinating and enjoy exploring unhealthy relationships in novels because it is safe and it can also be used as a good warning sign to readers to be aware of people with poisonous hearts and tongues.

    If you want to write a malignant narcissism as a villain- realize they can love and value their family. And be perfectly happy slitting a stranger's throat. Big difference between that and psychopath. Embrace the evil, don't justify with TRAUMA AND RAGE. Big difference between justifying and giving content on why you have psychopath or a Yandere. It's why Broken Angel was so good. They never tried to really paint the twins as "misunderstood monsters", just they had issues and capitalized they were wired different to get what they wanted.
     
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  19. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    Yep... characters can be egocentric villains which destroy entire clans and still give a damn about their own. They might also purge their own family but be perfectly fine with their sibling(s). A friend of mine once had to hold lecture in class, about the holocaust. In it he presented a picture of the leader of the concentration camp in Auschwitz, being all smiles with his family and friends while he knew he was literally assisting in killing hundreds of thousands.
     
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