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My Story Musings - Progression, Thoughts and such.


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I've been mulling over whether I should do this or not for several months, but I thought I'd throw caution to the wind and do it!  What's the worst thing that could happen, right? 

Pre-Thoughts.

Anyway, I think it's very important that Vintage Story has a form of story, or story mode if you will.  A mode separate from regular survival as to keep it untouched and still an available option for those not interested in the story.  I believe having one would help to set VS even further apart from Minecraft and establish it as it's own identity.  Though adding in all the neat suggestions and other things is cool, I fear that it might continue to take precedent over the completion of the actual game itself.  Of course that could just be me, but hear me out.  I think it would be good to finish the story/game, to have a more complete base and vision.  That way the adds to the game would flesh out the experience, instead of being a never ending flow of new things being added just for the sake of it being cool.  This is how I view Minecraft.  Lots of neat things, but not much reason to actually use them except for simple survival or for making something that looks or functions in a interesting manner.  Story is non-existent as well.  By that I mean, if you were to make someone play Minecraft without telling them anything, they probably would never know about the "End" or the "Ender Dragon", unless they just so happened to run up on a stronghold.  But even then, I wouldn't really call that a story.  Not that is has to have one, but I digress.

Progression.

I like the idea of progression being something that you unlock through player actions, or "Flags" as they are more normally called.  My thoughts on progression would be tied to the players journal, and upon unlocking certain "Flags" by doing certain things, that would unlock a journal entry.  These entries would also function as "Flags" for story progression.  Unlocking several journal entries or even just one, would move the story forward.  Some entries would not push the story forward, but would flavor the players journal to help give a bit of character.  Some of those optional "Flags" could be dying for the first time, growing and harvesting a lot of crops, cutting down a lot of trees, and so on.

Story, Etc.

Most of this section will be my own ideas, so conflict with pre-established lore is to be expected, but creativity doesn't come from coloring within the lines!  Upon selecting "Story Mode" and setting up your customization options, you'll be met with another screen before the world generation.  This will be the "player's" first journal entry, and it'll say something along the lines as the following.

"I have wandered this land for a while now, and stumbled across this empty journal.  Two options laid before me.  Use it for kindling, or write in it to hopeful keep my sanity.  But what to write?  I suppose all that I remember before this day would suffice.

It has been exactly one week before finding this journal.  I remember waking to the songs of birds.  A gentle breeze also helping to stir me from my slumber.  Upon opening my eyes, I was greeted by a brilliant blue sky.  As I sat up in my groggy state, my whole body popped and creaked in soreness.  I remember looking at my hands and arms an being shocked.  They were as white as freshly driven snow.  Surely I hadn't always looked like this...  Or had I?  To tell the truth, I have no idea who I am.  Or what I am.  Where I came from, nor where I ended up for that matter.  I tried to remember the past, and things about myself, but to no avail.  I could kind of make them out, but it was almost as if my memories were behind a smudged lens.  Clearly something there, but too obscured to see properly.  I stood and looked about.  Surprisingly, I had been sleeping, exposed out in the middle of the wilderness.  How no beast had come by and ravaged me is anyone's guess.  I remember checking my person, and finding a tiny bit of food.  At the time, I thought it would be more than enough to sustain me.  Surely civilization wouldn't be too hard to find, right?  No one likes to be wrong, I'm no exception.  But being wrong in this situation...  Well, it made my blood run cold.  I'd spent so long wandering.  Rationing my food, hiding from wolves, sleeping in eerily dark caves or up in trees.  This journal is the only remnant of civilization I've found on my search.

It is clear to me now that if I am to survive this strange place, I'll have to civilize this land myself.  Make my own tools, my own home.  Gather and hunt my own food.  A daunting task to be sure.  But baby steps.  Can't do any of that without the proper tools.  Now where to start...?"

Under this bit of wording would be a "World Generation" button, or something of the like.  Then the game would go on like normal, but with a few differences.  Obviously actions you take will unlock other entries.  For instance, the first "Flag" entries would be unlocked by doing the follow. 

1. Crafting knives and cutting reeds to craft a inventory basket would unlock the "Knife" journal entry. 

2. Crafting an axe, cutting down a tree, crafting logs, creating a firepit and lighting it would unlock the "Axe" entry. 

3. Then crafting a spear, hunting a creature and cooking it's meat on said firepit would unlock the "Spear" entry. 

Or something like that.  The other change is the monster grace timer.  Monsters and temporal storms won't start happening until certain journal "Flags" are met.  I'd write more on the story I have in mind, but for now this should be fine in getting my idea across.  That and my brain is a little fried from typing all that out.  Nor do I know if anyone is interested in this.  But if there is, or if I feel inspired, I'll probably drop some more "mock" journal entries and story ideas at another time.

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True, but I was goin' to expound a bit on what I think could work as a narrative later...  Er, now.

It's obvious that the main underlying thing of Vintage Story is time and space.  Or the distortion of it.  Though the player's "Character" doesn't know about this at first, the main goal of the "Story Mode" would be to restore time and space.

So how is time and space messed up?  Basically I look at as a explanation of player death.  When you die in VS, you come back, but at the game's starting point.  The only way to change that is to get a temporal gear.  Though I know this doesn't cover everything, My idea is that all creatures that existed in this land before it's time and space became distorted, don't truly die.  Upon death, they "reset" or "restart", just like the player does.  What about traders?  Simple, traders didn't originate from this place, but came after to scavenge resources and make a profit.

So I guess now is the time to talk about what this land use to be.  My idea of the land VS takes place in, use to have a large town of inventors in it.(Name of town pending.)   Think kinda steampunk-esque in design, having things like steam engines, and such.  One relatively well known inventor, name pending as it'll be important, in the town was struck with a realization that most do later in life.  There just isn't enough time in a day to get everything you'd like to get done, done.  So he spent day and night working on something to help with that, and created the Temporal Gear.  The device had two main purposes in mind, to slow down time to get things done, and rewind time to cut out mistakes.  However, after creating it, he became reluctant to use it.  Eventually realizing that it shouldn't be used, as the effects of such a device could be catastrophic.  Thus he destroyed the only working gear, and threw his plans away.  But a well known inventor like him is bound to attract the jealous types, and he had a big one.  Another inventor, who I will refer to as "Rival" as I don't have a name for them as well, always felt like they lived in his shadow.  Rival would often keep a close eye on anything the inventor did, to see if he could make it faster, gaining the credit.  But often times this would fail.  Sadly, this was the only time it didn't.  The Temporal Gear spread throughout the town almost instantly.  Being used as the device was intended, as well as in the creation of teleporters, that had been constructed throughout the town and the land.  But just as the inventor suspected, the gears were too unwieldy.  With so many gears shifting time and space, so close to one another, it was only a matter of time.  That town turned the land into the place that VS takes place in now.  The Temporal Gears pushed the land itself far into the future, creating the ruins of the buildings and fortresses you see.  And putting all living creatures in the land in the distorted state they are now.

What happened to the people?  The people's bodies became just as distorted, creating two types of beings.  Those that didn't use the gears as much, had their bodies stretched.  Making them tall and lanky, with skin as pale as a corpse.(The players.  As well as another character that will be introduced later.  Though it should be obvious who that is.)  Those that used the gears extensively, had their bodies greatly deformed.  Looking almost monstrous and even more corpse like, with hunched posture and what appears to be rust and other metal protrusions all over their bodies.(Drifters)  While the former beings barely remembered the past, the latter have it fresh in their minds.  Often times they'd collapse in a fit of tears mourning who they once were, there ability to create, the land were they once lived.  They hide from the sun, living in caves and only venturing out at night, so the light doesn't remind them of the bizarre creatures they have become.  They attack humans and the other beings mostly out of spite or jealously, but some of it seems to be confusion.  Though they cannot talk very well, mostly ushering out grunts, moans and garbled words, some of it can be understood.  Upon attacking their victims, some have been heard excusing them with the words "You did this."  Most have lost their ability of invention, but not all.

So, what of the future?  How will this all play out?  How will time and space be restored?  Well, you just have to wait and find out.  Why?  Well suspense never hurt anything.  That and I'm spent. Ha!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright.  So, after playing the game as normal and unlocking more journal entries, you'll eventually hit the flag that spawns Drifters.  On that day, or night rather, slay one and you'll get a journal entry along these lines.

"Night fell like it always did, but as I was turning in for the day, a new unnerving sound came from the dark.  It wasn't the howl of a wolf, as it was too short and low.  Nor the discontented grunt of a goat, or squeal of a startled boar.  It was like a deep rasping moan, more akin to someone suffering from foul cold or similar sickness.  Curiosity got the better of me, and out into the night I went, in search of the source.

It didn't take long before I found what I was looking for.  In the distance, I spied what looked like a person, doubled over in pain, shambling about in the night.  Believing that they had been attacked and in need of medical attention, I called out to them, beckoning them over to me.  The being heard me, stopped for a bit, then turned around and starting shuffling it's way over.  As it slowly, but surely got close, a strange sense of dread washed over me with each step it took.  Panicked, I started asking the person questions, like what was wrong?  Were they attacked, and by what?  Why they were out so late, with wolves so heavily on the prowl?  But the being only answered with groans, which got louder as it approached.  Soon, I was fully able to see what this 'person' was.  It had the shape of a human, but with a hunched over posture and somewhat featureless face, which sat directly on it's shoulders.  Long, gangly arms drooped down, nearly touching the ground, which ended in sharp claws.  It's short, stumpy legs didn't do much for the creature's speed, but did give it a unsettling gait.  It's skin was mottled shades of black and grey, with what looked like splotches of rust all over it's body.  A foul stench, similar to wet rusted metal, wafted from it as it came ever closer.  I warned the creature to stop it's advance, but on it marched, eventually lifting an arm and swiping at me.  It was slow enough to dodge, but the creature didn't relent, swiping several times after.  It was clear now that this being couldn't be reasoned with, and I had no choice but to defend myself.

It wasn't much of a fight, to be honest, but the creature was surprisingly durable, taking several hits before going down.  Near the end of it's life, it tried to flee, but I knew I couldn't let something that dangerous get away.  With one final moan, the creature fell to it's knees, dead.  Staring at it, as I caught my breath, I felt somewhat bad for the creature.  The way it had passed gave it a sorrowful look.  I had to shake this notion from my head.  After all, I wouldn't have had to defend myself if it hadn't attacked me so insistently first.  More unworldly groans snapped be back into reality.  This creature was not the only one of it's kind, and the sound of our fight had attracted others.  Their groans, distant but closing in on all sides...

It was certainly a night to remember."

After slaying several more, (lets say 50?) you get this journal entry.

"These creatures I once pitied, are really starting to wear me thin.  With every one I slay, plenty are more than willing to take it's place the next night, like some sort of proverbial hydra.  It also doesn't help that they seem to be darn near everywhere!  They litter the fields at night, with their incessant moaning.  I've even had them fall out of trees as I've walked by, sending my heartrate sky-high.  And they've also found ways to get inside my settlement!  Nothings worse to trying to get away from them, only to find one shambling around in the place you think is safe!  Not only that, but they also possess the uncanny ability to climb ladders too!

I have no idea what these beings are, but if I didn't know any better, I'd swear these creatures had it out for me!  It's almost of if they're hunting me..  But whatever did I do to them?  What is it that I do that drives them to be so aggressive?  I suppose it doesn't matter, but I have taken to culling the things.  It might not thin their numbers, but it does help with my frustrations!  Just take the hint and leave me alone already!"

Sleeping the next night will cause an event to happen.  In the morning, you notice on the map a wagon similar to a traders, but much bigger, about several hundred blocks away from where you slept.  Inside you'll find a NPC that looks like you, tall with pale skin.  They're covered with patched rags of different browns, which drapes over their body, leaving their hands and sandaled feet exposed.  A hood obscures their face, with only their mouth being visible.  This man, known as the Tattered Man, doesn't remember much about themselves nor the land, much like you.  Who is he really?  How did he get there?  What significance does he hold?  You'll just have to wait and find out!  Till next time!

I know this is a much shorter post, but if I were to write out everything I have down now, I'll be here all day.  A luxury I don't currently have.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for another brain dump!  So where was I...

Upon talkin' to the Tattered Man, he won't speak at first.  But he'll eventually apologize for staring at you, admitting that you're the only person he's seen on his travels that looks like he does, and was stunned when you entered his wagon.  He'll also tell you how he was traveling in the night when some wolves startled the goats he had pulling his wagon, causing them to break free from their reigns, leaving him alone.  But the Tattered Man makes light of the situation by saying that he didn't have to worry about breakfast, what with all the wolf meat he got that night.  You can ask him several questions like: Who is he?  Where did he come from?  What is this place?  But he won't really have much in the way of answers, since just like you, he doesn't remember much either.  However, if you ask him about the creatures you've met in the night, he'll give you a little more info.

"Creatures in the night...?  You mean those hunched over humanoids?  Ah, yes.  I've dealt with them quite a bit.  I've taken to calling them Drifters, as they seem to just wander around aimlessly, with no particular goal.  Not very friendly either.  I've tried talking to them, but they aren't exactly one's for conversation.  Really, I'd avoid them all together, but I found something interesting on their... Person, I guess you could say?  It shone with a light blue hue, and looked like a gear, if I'm remembering correctly...  It had gotten broken in half during our scuffle, and when I went to pick it up, it disintegrated into dust.  I've been searching for another one ever since...  Say, if you come across one yourself, would you mind showing it to me?  I'd be more than grateful."

Once you get a gear, or if you already have one, return and give it to him.

"You found one?  Great!  Do you think I could borrow that from you?  Just for...  Say...  Three days?  Once I'm done, I'll give it back.  I promise."

Here you can determine whether or not you want to give it to him.  Saying no doesn't get rid of the offer, and you will get it back from him after three days.  If you do give it to him, and once three days are up, go back to the wagon to get it back.  When you talk to him, you can ask him why he wanted the gear. 

"...Hmm?  Oh!  Sorry.  Didn't hear you come in.  Why did I want it?  Well uh...  Just curious is all.  Here's your gear back, by the way.  Also...  Do you think you could get me more?  Like four more?  Why four?  Well, ya know...  They're gears and all.  Just want to see how they work together.  If they even work together at all.  But don't feel rushed or anything!  I'm sure they're pretty tough to find.  But if you could do that...  Well...  I'd be in your debt, that's for sure."

Once you find four more gears, return to the Tattered Man.

"You got all four?  Wonderful!  Thank you very much!  Huh?  Why do I want them so badly?  Well...  It's kinda hard to explain, but...  When I studied the one you gave me before...  It made me remember.  I'm sure that doesn't make any sense, but it's true!  All my thoughts of the past are there in my head, but they're all glossed over.  Like I can't make them out.  But when I looked at that gear, it started to clear things up.  So if one did a little, surely four will do much more!  I'll definitely keep you in the know.  Give me three more days to see if anything has come forth from it all."

Return in three days time, and you an ask him how his memory is.

"...Huh?  Oh.  My memory?  Uh...  Well...  Hmm...  I-it's still pretty foggy.  Hehe...  I-it doesn't matter right now.  Look, I need your help with something very important, okay?  I need you to get me something red.  A few things that are red.  How about...  Eight red meat.  That'll do.  Why?  We don't have time for this!...  Sorry, it's just...  I need you to get me eight red meat.  Can you do that?  But that's not all.  Here take these blueprint.  Where did I get this?  I drew it up last night...  Please, just, no more questions.  Take this blueprint and craft what's on it.  Put it in a safe place as well.  I'll be waiting."

The blueprint you've been handed is for a "Teleporter(R)".  So, what does this all mean?  Why does he need red meat?  Why does he want you to build a teleporter?  Why the sudden change in attitude?  And again, who is he?  You'll just have to wait till next time!  Till then!

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