Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

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dbltnk
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Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

Postby dbltnk » 11 May 2016, 23:13

This discussion was already started in another thread but I want to focus on it specifically here. Here's a lore problem that I've been failing at explaining years ago and have since ignored: How do we explain the existence of "custome worlds" (many game worlds, each is different, each ends after a time, players exist in between then) with the in-game lore?

There are many possible explanations and I like none of them:
- The world broke into shards (Ultima Online).
- It's all just a dream / virtual reality / a simulation.
- Some troubles with the space-time-continuum.
- You are a chosen of of (the) god(s).

Bleh. All crap. So yeah: Anyone got some fresh ideas? One restriction: I hate the whole "chosen one" bullshit where everybody playing a game is special. Not in this one. You're one of millions of humans. Distinguish yourself by your deeds, not by some bullshit about who created you.
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Sommersang
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Re: Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

Postby Sommersang » 12 May 2016, 01:54

Hi,

i'm working on my fan-lore at the moment, which will have an answer to some parts of the question, but certainly not all of it. I would split the issue up into smaller parts:

1) Why does the world "repeat" after the end of the game-world?

I tend to dislike all explanations that make it so that nothing that happens has any lasting effect on the lore (even though I see the gameplay-reaosns for this arrangement). As such I dislike groundhog-day-loops/all just a dream-explanations.

My chosen answer: There is an vested interest in repeating the process over and over. In my fanlore this reason is the "harvesting" of the valley, which requires a workforce with the motivation to acquire and craft "substance" but at the same time risks the rise of massive mutations and warriors who are strong enough to overpower the current ruling class.

The ruling class now applies an solution that uses "expendable" prisoners as a workforce, which is routinely wiped out before it can become to strong/abberant. Then the process gets started over for the next few weeks of resource farming.

2) Why does "the player" persist between worlds?

Thats a question that will be answered mor fully with the next fan-lore-update, but at the core is, that the player is _not_ the human character that he currently controls but a different entity. To give a short summary:

When someone who has achieved immortality through the ritual of binding gets killed he normaly ressurects. But some part of him stays behind in the water of the valley, some echo, some presence. This "lingering presence" accumulates with time, when new essence gets added to the water (everytime a new person binds itself for the first time). And the player character is one of these "presences" in the valley that persists even through the cleansing.

As the characcter is bound to an oasis at the gamestart its essence was fused with the presence of the player. This fusion gives them some knowledge (layout of the valley, Jailors, Lore whatever) that the player has accumulated. But it also robs the poor sap from part of their original personality, so that it may think of himself as "Playername", which is not the name of the human who has undergone the ritual but the name of the amalgamation of essence that is the player.

I prefer this explanation, because it defines the player not as his "current character" but as "the sum of all of his characters over the course of the game". And I think it is not "to special" like a chosen because all the name-recognition/skills/knowledge that is special about the player-character is that which his former hosts have achieved. (so the very first character you create has no special status at all. The second profits from his bond to the first etc.)

3) Why does the world change between iterations?

Here I would call on "functional magic". It is established, that substance alters and transmutates everything it comes into contact with. So it doesn't seem to farfecthed that the landscape of the valley undergoes some radical changes in very short order.

Alternatively (in the fan-lore-version) the powers that ripped the valley into the earth in the first place may be stil active and constantly (re-)shaping the valley. Maybe there really is some curse of the gods on the land that calls down meteors as fiery wrath that reforms the landscape followed by massive episodes of grwoth when the substance enhances seeds that flow into the valley etc.

4) Why are there multiple iterations of the world in existence at the same time?

And: Why can the player change between them and carry knowledge with him?

This is not really answered by my lore yet, but could be tweaked to work by invocation of scale. Maybe the valley is very big and has multiple "arms". These separate canyons are sealed of by the jailors with realls big walls to divide the population and make them manageable to handle. Every "valley" is then one of these separate canyons. Some of them may even not be in use at any given time because they undergo one of the rapid changes describes above. That could help with explaining the "changes" between iterations, as the valles didn't change overnight but the newly opened "arm" is another one than the one that ended the day before.

The player can exist in the multiple "arms" of the valley because he is an essence-echo that lives in the watrs of the valley itself and is not limited in its movement to one part of the valley. It can make experiences in one part that can then be used by someone connected to the same presence in a different part of the valley.

Hope it helps.

Sommer

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Re: Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

Postby ManuKuma » 12 May 2016, 12:17

Sommersang wrote:Hi,

Hope it helps.

Sommer


I really like your ideas - they flow along some lines of thought I had but never managed to summarize...
I always felt that there were ghosts lingering in the valley...

Let's see what Alex/dbltnk says - he probably already has some vague visions and wishes concerning this part of lore ...

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dbltnk
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Re: Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

Postby dbltnk » 12 May 2016, 16:43

I wrote this today in an attempt to refine the social reasons for societal unrest (weather, technological development) and added a bit of a refinement to "the suibstance" and why it alters people. Could be used to explain the "why people don't die" part, too.

History of the Valley and The Substance

Sedentary civilisation outside the valley (the city) is on the brink of gong from the Copper Age to the Bronze Age. Civilization in the valley mostly consists of Neolithic hunters/gatherers. Then: Meteorite showers start. The meteors bring unknown silver metals (iron / aluminium) and alien micro-organisms to the valley. City-dwellers start expeditions to harvest the metal, first small meteors and then later the deeper buried large ones. They improve their smelting techiques and gain a even bigger technoliogical advantage. Slowly the micro-organisms start manipulating the humans (Revenants), plants (dead trees) and animals (mobs, later). The micro-organisms are the source of the “magic” in the valley, including special abilities and ressurection/respawn. They manifest in “the substance” which can both be directly consumed to gain raw power or used with other materials (pigments) to achieve specific effects.

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TKs-Mengelito
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Re: Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

Postby TKs-Mengelito » 12 May 2016, 17:37

The meteors would have to be attracted to the vale somehow if you go down that road. Perhaps the imprisoning of the vale residents is to protect the rest of the world?
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Sommersang
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Re: Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

Postby Sommersang » 13 May 2016, 12:29

Hello everyone,

@dbltnk:

I would advise against the "alien micro-organism"-part. It doesn't really fit into the "style" of the game in my opinion. Das Tal has a "Fantasy"-Feel to it and I don't think it is necessary to create sciency explanations for everything. Maybe its even counterproductive as it takes focus away from the "mystery" of the setting.

Trying to explain this way why it does work just begets more questions to the workings and laws of the said microbe. I think it is a harder strain on the suspension of disbelief as the relatively simple notion "Hey. In this world, there exists a substance. It looks like this and has the magical propertys A, B and C. It's the source of all magic and weirdness here, and it follows internally consistent rules."

It also is utterly imposible to convey the existence of micro-organisms through ingame-means as the population of the valley has absolutely no idea what a micro-organism even is, what an alien would be etc.

I would rather prefer one of the two solutions below:

a) Just don't say why the substance works like it does. Present some different takes based on primitive religious superstition and let the player choose how he interprets the substance (if he accepts one of the explanations or comes up with his or her own theory)

b) Make it magic or a divine act.

At another note: When the meteors bring Iron and aluminium, they maybe should exist ingame (gameplay and story Integration).

Greetings,

Sommer

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dbltnk
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Re: Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

Postby dbltnk » 16 May 2016, 14:06

@Sommersang

Agreed, putting a "alien microbiobes modify human DNA" into the game descriptions would not fit. I don't intend to do that. But for myself I need a pseudo-scientific explanation for everything that the people in the game world would experience as unexplicable "magic". That's where things like alien microbiobes and raidation poisoning come into play. =D

In general we're running with your solution a) for gameplay. Some inhabitants of the valley might interpret this as magic, others as some form of divine intervention and other might take a more scientfic approach.

Alex

ManuKuma
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Re: Discussion Why Does This Damn Thing Repeat?

Postby ManuKuma » 08 Aug 2016, 22:51

The reversed storm might ease the repetition explanation: naturally the valley is deadly, only at certain times or after certain rituals a portion of it gets accessible for some time....


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