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Tim Schafer

Writing Update #3: Let's brainstorm Locations together!

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Hmm... what would Peter Molydeux?

How about a building constructed by an alien race where the windows show the place 200 years in the future when looked through from one side and 200 years in the past when looked through from the other side.

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The Adventure Game Wasteland (They're all coming back now so you COULD call it the Ice Level...)

Inside a Quantum Computer

As a Hamster in Maniac Mansion

Timetravel but reflecting each adventure-game generation - Infocom-text, C64-pixellated 8-bit color, Nintendo, Amiga, PC, etc. and the future iterations too)

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A mexican level with guitarra music, tequila, fiesta and a cameo from manny calavera.

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Inspired by the awesome power nap I just took and my half-sleeping/half-waking observations about dream behavior and our brains' willingness to accept anything a dream does:

3. Delusionalia

The basic layout and architecture of this world remains constant, but it is ever shifting between two different states at skin level.

In other words, where there is a building, there is always a building, but what that building IS is changing. Where there is an NPC, there is always an NPC, but who that NPC IS is always changing.

But the changing that occurs isn't across the board. The world doesn't change from State 1 to State 2 all at once. Everything in the world---the buildings, the NPCs, the animals, etc---is operating on a differently-timed change loop, so it is obvious that there are two different states in play, but you never get the complete picture of either one. The change is too staggered.

The two states that it's shifting between are a sort of "truth" state and a "delusion" state. The fact that the shift between truth and delusion is staggered allows you to play with funny contrasts and in-jokes that arise in the ways the states mismatch.

Maybe in one state an NPC is a king, but in the opposing state he is just a fat guy sitting on a toilet. Maybe in one state, there is a telephone, but in the other state there is just a banana. Maybe in one state, an NPC is a fearsome knight riding a horse, but in the opposite state he is a circus clown riding a unicycle; but then since he and his vehicle are on different change loops, sometimes there is a clown riding a fancy horse or a fearsome knight riding a unicycle.

The best part is that nobody in this world is conscious of the fact that anything is changing or that there is anything weird about any of the mismatches. No matter what weirdness results, in their eyes it has always been like that and everything's fine. If you try to suggest to them otherwise, they either don't understand you or else they think you're really dumb.

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Well, one thing I always thought would be awesome is a sort of broken matrix level. Tutorial stages for platformers are often set in this computerised world where everything is a fake version of what you'll meet in the game, sometimes the walls will have numbers and letters flowing down them matrix style. Of course, you never do much in this setting because it's just a tutorial, but I always found it cooler than the settings in the actual game. Judging from the description of DFA though, I doubt this would fit.

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* Inside an Escher print

* A casino run by dogs

* A museum where cyrogenically frozen people are used as mannequins

* A ship in a bottle

* The inside of a genie's lamp

* The waiting room outside Valhalla

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Time travel. I love time travel, and I've never found an adventure game with interesting time travel. The actual place you're time traveling through doesn't matter, as long as you are always locked in the same location and changing one thing in one time period changes things on forth. It could even be a fictitious setting, as long as it's not a fictitious setting completely removed from reality, and each time period actually feels like a different time period.

Haven't you played Day of the Tentacle? It's pretty much what you're describing.

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I love time travel too though. It's great oh man.

- Could have a futuristic setting where there's a species melting pot but also basically the colosseum thing and citizens get taken off the street to be put in deathmatches. Or a death sport. deathball.

I'm really tired.

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Time travel. I love time travel, and I've never found an adventure game with interesting time travel. The actual place you're time traveling through doesn't matter, as long as you are always locked in the same location and changing one thing in one time period changes things on forth. It could even be a fictitious setting, as long as it's not a fictitious setting completely removed from reality, and each time period actually feels like a different time period.

Haven't you played Day of the Tentacle? It's pretty much what you're describing.

Exactly what I was thinking. But DOTT had a lot of good themes (time travel, historic people, future, aliens/tentacles, mad professor, shrink ray, IRS, retro gaming), so it's hard to think of original stuff not touched by DOTT (or other previous adventures).

Every time I saw a MC Escher room/world suggested I could only think of Laverne saying: "Am I upstairs?" :)

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Ice world.

Ice cream world.

Inside a different game's debug room.

In your own kidney.

A space-wizarding school.

The waiting line in a supermarket.

A music sheet.

A boardgame-based secret society.

A ninja's living room.

A different country (where absolutely no-one speaks your language).

The mind of a drug addict.

A society of lice on a dog.

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Here are some normal ideas:

-Bermuda Triangle

-An underwater dome city

Here are some odd ideas:

-an ancient city (now almost in ruins) built on a very high altitude by aliens or unknown species

-a place where past and future co-exists

-a yellow submarine (well it's no pink!)

-island area inside a huge whale

-a town inside a spinning cone

Here are some psycho ideas:

-a place in the bottom of a shoe

-on a rainbow (islands?)

-crystal, mirror that you can go through world

-islands or town built on a brain

Hope that helps a little!

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Backstage at an alien award ceremony honoring excellence in a bizzare art form that could potentially be described as an extremely intricate puppet show

In a house of shifting rooms, possible arranged like that puzzle where there's a 4 by 4 grid of numbered tiles with one missing and you have to get the tiles in the right order

Abord the RubikStation, a combination research space station and 3-D puzzle built by a fallen galactic civilization. Fallen, probably because they wasted resources building space stations in the form of puzzles, because, honestly, who would do that?

At a pitch meeting for a new Reality TV series

At A highly political meeting of the Council of Dragons

In an Infocom style text adventure

The international snail racing championships

The laboratory of an alchemist who has gone missing, possibly due to foul play, possibly due to one of their own potions backfiring

Accidentally mixed up in a diamond heist (see, a different kind of ice level)

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Time travel. I love time travel, and I've never found an adventure game with interesting time travel. The actual place you're time traveling through doesn't matter, as long as you are always locked in the same location and changing one thing in one time period changes things on forth. It could even be a fictitious setting, as long as it's not a fictitious setting completely removed from reality, and each time period actually feels like a different time period.

Haven't you played Day of the Tentacle? It's pretty much what you're describing.

Also Chrono Trigger. More of a RPG though.

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1. Inside the center of a star

2. Inside a black hole

3. In one of those caves where salt and fresh water meet and when you poke your head above the salt water it LOOKS like air, but really it's fresh water and if you take your SCUBA gear off you'll drown

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This is obviously dependent on the tone of the thing, but every time I see pictures pop up online of creepy-ass abandoned theme parks that are broken down and overgrown I think "this would be an amazing setting in a game."

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Ok. not sure if any of these have been done before. Also not sure if any have been said because I didn't read any just in case they altered my thinking.

- A world that would exist as WW2 propaganda painting. So if Rosie the Riveter was actually a photograph not a painting and the kind of super-patriotic people that would live in that world.

- Kind of cliche maybe, but a world that creates the things you watch on TV. So nothing is prerecorded and transmitted, everything is a stage. What kind of technology would need to be created to make a DVR work? What do these people and creatures do when they're off the clock?

- A world made of "sandcastles" in the way that you can build things but they don't exist for more than 48 hours before they break down in to parts or elements. How would these people live when they can't make bridges, cars, houses, libraries, etc.?

- A world of two different species that are different densities so live at two different levels above the ground. Or one on the ground and one floating above. Maybe like a jellyfish species in the air. The ones below (humans?) are upset at the ones above who build cities and things that block their sunlight and rain so their crops fail. Since they can't use solar energy or dams this causes the ones below to burn fuel to power things which is causing the ones above to be upset about the pollution in the air. Maybe that is killing of some kind of floating crop that they cultivate. Refusing to work together they keep making each other's lives worse. Maybe a long running feud like the Hatfield and McCoys is going on now where they're trying to one up each other for a past wrong.

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- Tim Schafer's notebook, running through the free-writing.

- A Rock and Roll concert audience. Just imagine the room so crowded with people you can't stand, moving around by walking on the heads of the people in the audience.

- The "sky" as projected in a planetarium.

- An extremely isolated workaholic society on the holiest day of the week: Casual Friday.

- A world where all inanimate objects are able to talk. They especially like to talk when they are trapped in small, dark places, such as a pocket...

- A world where a single day is repeated over and over. First, the residents go through the day, then at midnight, they go through the same day reversed until they hit the previous midnight (similar to Braid's rewind function), then start the same day anew, etc.

- An anime/sci-fi convention.

- A pet cemetery.

- A computer's desktop, walking in the wallpaper background and interacting with the various icons on the screen.

- An ocean of jello, from a ship that sunk carrying a huge load of powdered jello.

- The world of goldfish that get flushed down the toilet.

- An ice cream factory (aka ice level).

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Wow, way too much to read through it all, so sorry if some of that has been said before...

- Inside a time bubble from which scientists observe places in the past without being seen from outside.

- Inside a nuclear power plant that is about to have a nuclear meltdown.

- Within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, surrounded by rubber ducks.

- Where all the bees went (not according to Doctor Who!).

- On a boat on one of the methane lakes of Titan (with Brian Cox!).

- A ride on a space whale.

- Generally, a place that moves! Maybe even towards its destruction or towards danger. E.g. a leave falling to the ground and you're on it. I also liked the suggestions about being on a giant robot.

- A world where everything has already happened, so no matter what you tell people they're like "Boooring! Been there, done that, seen it all before!".

- A place where everything suddenly changes from the regular drawing style to an 8bit platformer level.

- the bottom of the Mariana Trench, likely near one of the UFO that is trying to tap the Earth's core

Only if you meet James Cameron down there!

-A reverse Renaissance fair in medieval times, where they roleplay out an incredibly exaggerated version of modern times.

Heh, that's been done in Simon the Sorcerer and The Book of Unwritten Tales. :-)

-A city made from lashed-together house boats

Hmm, like Amargánth in the Never Ending Story. :-D

I liked the themes about boring places like the unemployment office or somewhere where you have to wait in the queue.

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-Inside a computer (physical, not Tron)

-Tripping through time to see the different 7 Wonders of the World

-Czar ruled Russia if the Czars were bears

-An alternate Earth where all of the old myths are true (here there be dragons)

-A high school caught in a space time vortex (sorry, just re-watched My Science Project)

-A zombie level where you are a zombie trying to eat brains

-Factory invaded by aliens looking for cheese

-Would love to see DFA's take on Grimms' Fairy Tales

-World War II where America is the bad guy

-Space adventure to get different races into a peaceful confederation

-America if the south had won the Civil War

-World wide scavenger hunt requiring the solving of puzzles to unlock the clues to find the piece which is a clue to the next location

-Parody of Indiana Jones movies

-Pirates vs Ninjas on the moon

-Play as an alien invading Earth

-Fantastic Voyage (1966) type game

-Noir detective novel where the protagonist knows he is in a game, forgets that he is talking to the player, and has to constantly play it off to the other characters in the game who do not realize they are in a game

-Prison Break from Pluto (which is still a planet I don't care what the scientific community says)

-Children's Saturday morning show run by Satan

-The wacky adventures of a game designer

-A ghost investigator who learns that the spirit world is real

-Prohibition era low level gangster that cannot do anything right but still gets the girl

-A messenger for the gods of Olympus that gets caught in their petty squabbles

-Ancient Rome ruled by eagles

-American old west ghost town

-A small American town where everyone but the main character is frozen. The character must unfreeze certain people in order to figure out what is happening

-Character must defeat his evil goatee wearing twin that is a girl

-Get your kicks on Route 66 visiting all of the weird roadside attractions

-Washington DC while it is being built

-Modern Egypt if they kept building the way ancient Egypt did

-Australia where all the people are kangaroos and koalas

-Jumping through different video games (sport game to a platform jumper to a quiz show game to a blah blah blah)

-Mirror world where the controls are reversed (to go right the player has to push left) and is filled Disney like talking animals

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A world of only Russians.

In the mind of a dragon.

A world of plastic robots

On an adventure with Indiana Jones.

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[images removed by poster, cause they were so friggin' big.]

I was thinking maybe an Abandoned un-finished theme park like the one in China. Since your game is about 2 kids, a boy and a girl, coming of a age and they're constantly looking for each other even though they are in different worlds... Maybe the two kids fight, and they main character feels alone and isolated represented in this theme park. The Theme park represents his childhood, and it's slowly being deconstructed and falling to pieces (just like his childhood). And the once populated theme park is now abandoned, symbolizing his isolation in his journey to coming of age.

Just an idea.

EDIT: (Sorry for the big images)

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Impressionist or Pre-raphaelite world

castle ruins

catacombs

sketch world

world with no physics or completely different physics

dream world

underground kingdom near the core of a planet

That's all I've got for now

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A high school setting featuring Penguins and a teenage intellectual (Einstein, Aristotle, Socrates) who is outcast by his fellow students for a theory or idea they have formed that just might be true. This idea might even drastically affect the lives of all the penguin students. But being an outcast due to being considered a nerd and of course being the only human there, no penguin will give him the time of day.

Could even be a parody of global warming or something. Like teenage Al Gore discovers that the overall temperature of the school is rising and none of the penguins believe him (for the same reasons mentioned above) and you have to help him either prove it to them or discover the source of the rise in temperatures and end it before the entire school starts to melt.

Along the way, the kids (depending on their age) would either learn of what to expect when they get to that age and reject or embrace some of the ideas, or if they're already out of high school, they'll sort of re-live or identify with certain happenings between the penguins in the school. Or maybe even with the one human.

Hmmm....is that considered an Ice World?

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-A reverse Renaissance fair in medieval times, where they roleplay out an incredibly exaggerated version of modern times.

That's brilliant. But it seems like something that would naturally evolve in the future. Why wouldn't there be a "Faire" in the year 2400 that harkens back to today?

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We have seen a lot of what might be called "he" levels, so I will add a few more clearly related to "she" levels..

- Land of inappropriate prom dresses

- World of 2 Dimensional boyfriends

- World in which you age rapidly simply due to having to clean up other people's stuff

- Level in which no matter how hard you work you can't make more than 65 cents to every dollar the guy working next to you makes

- Land full of shops selling bags you can almost nearly not afford without going without food (the so-called To Die For Zone)

- A place where notions of beauty are connected to tallness, thinness and pointy-headedness; your goal is to eventually be mistaken for a javelin.

On a slightly more serious note: A world that uses the idea of the Nishu Language - an entirely female form of writing that developed in China because women were not supposed to be literate and therefore created their own form of communication, which sometimes took the form of embroidery - not as fast as email, but prettier. Came, I imagine, with a disclaimer - "You may not be the person for whom this handkerchief is intended."

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*Penthouse apartment on top of a parking deck

*Greenroom during a rock concert

*Cabin of a crashing airplane (umpteen examples from tv/movies, I know, but none from gamedom that I recall)

*Underwater looking up in a Monet lily pond

*Dugout of a baseball game

*House set in the median of a roaring highway

*Waterpark after unexpected, instantaneous freeze (aka ice level)

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