Friday, December 28, 2012

Prototype - Part III - My Dear Sister

Screenshot of Dana Mercer, from the Prototype Wiki.
This is the third in my Game Story Reboot series regarding Prototype (2009).

Here's Part I -  Missed Opportunities, and Part II - King Of The Gods.  Remember the goal - to take the framework of the story in Prototype and make it actually worth experiencing.

Dana Mercer, in the original Prototype, is a major missed opportunity.  She is the first sympathetic person Zeus comes across.  She says that she and Alex hadn’t spoken in five years when he turned up a few months previous to the events of the game and asked her to start looking into GenTek.  She provides some leads for Zeus to follow up on. She’s then kidnapped by Elizabeth Greene and rescued by Zeus, but remains unconscious and out of the picture for the rest of the game.


We’re going to keep only  one thing: Alex and she hadn’t spoken in five years. From there on, what we have is new.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jason's Bookshelf - The 19th Century Year By Year

If you want to do your own year-by-year trek through the 19th century, Wikipedia has a good timeline, but the real delight is in seeing how people saw the 19th century just immediately after it ended. So here's A History of the 19th Century, Year By Year by Edwin Emerson, et. seq. It's free on Google Books.

#WoDHistorical - 1801-1850

On my twitter feed, I've been doing a #WoDHistorical hashtag that gives one campaign idea for every year in the nineteenth century. You can follow me there if you're interested. So this will be the first of two blogposts where I collect and summarize these campaign hooks.  Enjoy the first fifty.

And remember, these are 140-character ideas. If they involve marginalized people or sensitive subjects, please treat them with way more research, involvement and respect than 140 characters can convey, right? Right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Prototype - Part II - King of the Gods

Promotional image of Alex Mercer
So it's been over a year since I started looking at my Prototype story reboot. Whoops!  These posts do take a while to put together. Hope you haven't forgotten what I said earlier.

In our re-imagining of Prototype, we have to begin with the progenitor, Alex Mercer.  Mercer, who released the virus, is the template for Zeus, the viral being that the player controls throughout the game and the cause of the crisis in New York City.

The Prototype Wiki, and several reviews, attempted to convince me that Alex was the antagonist of the game, and Zeus the protagonist. This is a mind-blowingly good idea - it would have made a great game.  But it just isn’t true in Prototype as-it-is.  Alex's plans are not still in motion. Alex's actions do not have any particular consequences during the game other than the spreading of the plague, which is more a biological inevitability than part of something Alex wanted.  To make Alex Mercer an antagonist, he has to have a goal that’s still achievable even in the event of a viral outbreak, otherwise he's simply not a threat, nor even really relevant to what Zeus is trying to do.

Let's remake Alex.