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  1. #1
    skipped leg day Shamdeo's Avatar
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    Default KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    I submit a hypothetical: say the "Xehanort Saga" has ended, and the Kingdom Hearts series begins totally anew; starting from scratch, if you will. The platform for this game has yet to be determined. Let's also say you've been put on the team as a director, writer, artist, level designer, or whatever you wish to build the new Kingdom Hearts game from the ground up. How would you take an already established concept like this series and start it again? What would you carry along into the new series or leave behind? What I'd like to do is start a series of discussions about what Kingdom Hearts Insider members would do if they had a chance to collaborate as if they were a development team making an entirely new "Kingdom Hearts" title. There are people here of many different talents that can write, draw, or just plain conceptualize things for a good videogame. We're interested in what you'd do!

    What I'm going to do is break down the discussion into seven major points with a recap discussion at the end, with about a week or so in between which will give you guys some time to let your ideas stew and share them here. At the end of each week we need to come to a consensus for what we'd like to do for the game in each topic. However if there is still sharp disagreement, that's fine as well. We'll simply state why there was a division in opinons and state why. I think it's interesting in analyzing things like this! What I will do is give you a series of prompts to consider for each theme. During the discussion I will be asking you all questions about what you have come up with to further prod your ideas by giving you more hypotheticals and so on and hopefully that may trigger some deeper discussion about the mechanics of the game.

    This week's theme is:
    Story, Narrative, and Themes Design
    Characters and Character Design
    Art Direction and Interface Design
    World and Level Design
    Gameplay and Battle System Design
    Character Growth Development and Encounter Design
    Tertiary Gameplay Design (Mini-Games)
    Analyzing the Total Experience


    So here's the deal, we know everyone has ideas they'd like to pitch at different levels. You can take your time and write an entire essay if you wish, but if you feel like leaving a paragraph or two of your own ideas or sentiments, by all means! Also, those of you that are inclined towards art may feel free to drop concept sketches off when we get into the topics that require it. If you feel like starting now go ahead, but I'd just wait until the weeks where we discuss those topics so that we don't derail the current week's topic that much.

    But how should you answer the prompts? Well, what I suggest is first by directly answering the prompt itself and then expanding into your own ideas. I will write a short example:

    Q: What themes do you feel this new Kingdom Hearts game should explore that we haven't seen in the series before? (ex: good triumps over evil, the bonds of friendship)
    A: I feel like a new Kingdom Hearts title should further explore the feeling of longing for a home they cannot return to. (And here I begin to elaborate.) I would expand this idea by writing a story where the character has been separated from his/hers/its hometown/place of birth/etc and thrust reluctantly into new responsibility. I would illustrate this by having the character unable to return to his home world because it is destroyed or he/she/it was banished or so on. I would use dialogue and emotions such as loneliness, displacement, and xenophobia to show that the characters are like fish out of water away from their worlds. I would counterbalance this story and evolve it over the course of the narrative by having the main character or cast understand that they have come into great responsibility and that there are worlds beyond their own that are relying on them. I would show this by having the character(s) form bonds with other they do not know through certain events over the course of the game.

    So yeah, kinda like that. The prompts in the next week will maybe be less text-heavy and will allow you to submit your own sketches or artwork. You don't have to answer all the prompts in a week to contribute. What matters is that we get some ideas bouncing around. Also, if an idea for a prompt strikes me over the course of the week I will update the OP so that you guys can respond to it. I'm also open to suggestions for prompts you guys would like to see responded to and explored.

    Well, let's take a crack at it!

    Story, Narrative, and Themes Design:
    + What kind of a story do you want to tell? Do you prefer games that are cliche but written well at the expense of depth or games that are more convoluted and require more reading between the lines at the expense of confusion? If you want both, please elaborate.
    + What themes do you feel this new Kingdom Hearts game should explore that we haven't seen in the series before? (ex: good triumps over evil, the bonds of friendship)
    + How can the concepts established in the original Kingdom Hearts series work with your ideas? If not, why?
    + How balanced is the game's narrative? The Kingdom Hearts series traditionally has had it's narrative gravitated towards the bookends, but would you opt for a more balanced way of story-telling or do you think it is effective as is? Also, tell us how you would create a balanced (or imbalanced) narrative by expanding on how the story evolves over the course of the game.
    + At what point does the main theme of the game become apparent? Is your theme something that is present without, or does it surface over the course of the story? Good versus evil is a good example of the former and a love story is a good example of the latter.
    + How do you think people will generally respond to the themes you've created for your story? Do you want to make people laugh or cry? Do you want them to be intrigued or entertained?
    + How would you handle contrasting events and themes? If your story is about the bonds of friendship, how would you illustrate the feeling of seperation and how prevalent should it be?
    + Do you set up your story for a sequel(s)? How do you establish things in your original game's story that carry into the next story and help bridge them effectively?
    + Do you want to tell a story from one character's perspective or several? If it's one character, how would you let the player get into the character's head? Is the player character someone who is very reliable that the player can replace with their own persona or does the character have a defined personality that we eventually come to understand?



    Looking forward to discussing these responses!

  2. #2
    sans 911 Luap's Avatar
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    Default re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    Hm? I like this thread.
    Will definitely come up with a story idea later.
    I'm to lazy to do it right now, so, I'll just lurk to see what others will say.

  3. #3
    Organization Member metrifyx's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    Shamedo. This is amazing. Amazing. I'm excited to hear what everyone has to say. Expect a very long essay from me by tomorrow morning.

    I'm incredibly excited for the following three weeks, specifically. <3

  4. #4
    need some more candy cane Silverslide's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    So basically, you want us to reboot KH, or build on what Nomu already has?

  5. #5
    Silver Member Hamster Lord's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    how about some kind of parallel world that the characters get trapped in where xehanort still exists!

    @_@ you know nomura would do some shit like that

  6. #6
    Organization Member Key to Truth's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    I am a programmer, I could create the game from scratch with the help of people. In fact I was creating a KH 3D game myself but ended up losing hope because I lack a lot of knowledge in lots of subjects such as story-writers, animators, modelers, etc.

    If you guys want me to collaborate somehow just tell me, lol.

    EDIT: I think I got the whole point of the thread wrong, hahahaha.

  7. #7
    Dream Eater Xsora5X's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    Why not create another universe of worlds parallel to the original kingdom hearts? but not exactly the same... completely different story characters and places but keep the same enemies and add to them. new weapons, summons, forms, and have kingdom hearts connected to all of it. i have thought about making my own kingdom hearts spinoffs that wouldnt be called kingdom hearts, but have connections to it.

  8. #8
    skipped leg day Shamdeo's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverslide View Post
    So basically, you want us to reboot KH, or build on what Nomu already has?
    Starting from scratch, yes.

  9. #9
    need some more candy cane Silverslide's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    Good shit. I'm gonna give a go at it.

  10. #10
    Proud Demyx/Kairi Shipper Organization_42's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamdeo View Post
    Starting from scratch, yes.
    But could we base our ideas off of the same characters, considering that KH is Sora's story? I'm not trying to limit anyone's creativity here, I'd just prefer to base my own ideas off of that.

    Either way, this is such a cool idea, and you can definitely expect me to contribute once I get my thoughts in order!

  11. #11
    Nobody Sodhipop's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    First of all, I'd just like to say that I have been a frequent reader of KHI for years, but this thread was just too great not to finally join. Glad to finally be a part of the community.

    + What kind of a story do you want to tell? Do you prefer games that are cliche but written well at the expense of depth or games that are more convoluted and require more reading between the lines at the expense of confusion? If you want both, please elaborate.
    + What themes do you feel this new Kingdom Hearts game should explore that we haven't seen in the series before? (ex: good triumps over evil, the bonds of friendship)


    I definitely prefer a game with a lot of depth in a story, over a cliche idea that has been done time and time again. I like art that goes out on a limb to try something fresh and original.

    I don't remember where I first read this, but someone somewhere had the idea of making the Kingdom Hearts series a bit more darker in tone. I'd love this. Obviously KH could never get too dark and gritty, because after-all Disney is involved, but giving the game some more emotional depth and mature themes would be a major plus.

    The idea of what human nature is, that everyone has the potential to do evil if put in the right set of circumstances, themes like that. Admittedly, I haven't played many KH games since KH2 (too many to keep up with!), but from what I know, most of the themes of "darkness" in KH are quite literal. There is darkness in someone's heart, literally, it's a shadow coming out to get them. I'd like it if that theme was a bit more metaphorical in nature. Obviously we need creatures like the heartless or nobodies to serves as enemies, otherwise there would be no game, but also the theme of "darkness" in one's heart as a more metaphorical/philosophical theme (without getting too preachy or complicated).

    Also, the themes of loyalty and empathy. How far should someone go to save a friend before it becomes a lost cause? The theme of loss and moving on. Sora is a very pure soul, he never wants to give up until he saves the day and his friends. Maybe in this new game, something should happen that forces Sora to make a choice, maybe he loses something or someone, and can do nothing about it.

  12. #12
    Organization Member NotaHero21's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    Count me in, I live for this kinda stuff, and I may already have some plot ideas..

  13. #13
    skipped leg day Shamdeo's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Organization_42 View Post
    But could we base our ideas off of the same characters, considering that KH is Sora's story? I'm not trying to limit anyone's creativity here, I'd just prefer to base my own ideas off of that.

    Either way, this is such a cool idea, and you can definitely expect me to contribute once I get my thoughts in order!
    Well we're going to create a new protagonist (not because it's not Sora's story, but for our own creative purposes). However if you like what was done in the original series by having it be "the protagonist's story" then that's something to consider.

  14. #14
    Unversed StVen's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    This is nice. I will tag along Gameplay and Battle system design. I have lots of ideas in mind really. :) But story-wise I don't think I'm good at making one >.< I will be just reading along and if something comes to my mind I'll be posting it. :D

  15. #15
    The Delicious Epif's Avatar
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    Default Re: KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #1: Story, Narrative and Themes

    I'm currently working with another member of these forums on an RP that I feel could be seen as a reboot of KH (similar to the point or other of this thread). What I mean to say is that I think I'll have a bunch to say. [If the other member is reading this right now and is asking his- or herself "What the hell, Epif?" then I have yet to contact them about this. UGHAFAH. UGHAFAH IS WHAT I SAY.]

    Right now, I'm exhausted to all Hel, so I'll get back to this with a properly working brain. I'm really excited to participate in this!

 

 
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