My thoughts on Amnesia Custom Stories.
I know, there is a lot of text, but every bit of it is usefull. take it into concideration...
Since amnesia was released, i have seen some good, and some bad stories over the period of time ive spent on this forum, including the stories IN the custom stories. Mainly people see Amnesia as a scary game, and so do i, but lets take a step back and review.
Why do people wanna make stories? Whats the kicker to making a Custom Story? Well, the thought of pure creation is what drives mankind forward, and to have such a functional engine, such functional content and such possibilities is mindblowing, it was to me. you can also include the amount of things you can do with scripts as well, its amazing. what ive seen over this... half a year (while having a functional/compatible computer) on this forum, are some really good, and ''clean'' stories, but.. i have also seen bad. What ive seen so far is that people focus on scares when it comes to their Custom Story; Random naked person spawns out of nowhere in a clauset you recently opened (no gay jokes intended), monster spawns right behind you on the loot of a key, ive seen the lot, and its mildly dissapointing.
What some people do is to exclude the realism in their stories. Think realistically... do people really pop out of nowhere, with no trace of them ever getting to where they showed up? Can a real person just.. ''appear'' somewhere? No.. there were no such things in the original story, so i would suggest taking their example. Now that ive gotten most of the less minor complications of story creation out of the way, i want to point out the most.. important. A good story.
Oh... my... fucking... god i have lost COUNT on how many ''You wake up in an unknown dungeon place thing with no memory of how you got there but SOMEHOW you know SOMETHING is after you and you absolutely HAVE to get out of there.
'' stories that are out there. It mildly pisses me off to be honest. Even though their custom story has a story, they still only focus on trying to implement the fearfactor right away, and at the end of the Custom Story, you NEVER, i repeat, you NEVER figure out exactly HOW the fuck you really got to where you got to. Fine, i get it ''omg noob lol the character had amnesia he had no way of knowing where he is eueueeeueeee'', i get it, i really do, but for fucks sake, atleast TRY to take FG's Amnesia: The Dark Descent's example on how they made their story!
5 main points to include in a GOOD Custom story
Have a GOOD, OLD FASHIONED, CREATIVE, STORY, NOT a... ''pewdiepie map'', to state an example...
Have a REASON for being where you are/where you wake up/wherever... If not right away, PLEASE explain throughout the story how you got there and why youre there.
Daniel didnt just wake up in an unknown castle without having an intro to the story, and himself.. ''dont forget, some things must be forgotten
... i must stop him
! FOCUS... My name is... i am.. Daniel
introduction introduction introduction. PLEASE. from those few words Daniel said, we got a clear understanding that this persons name was Daniel, though we were excited and very curious about the story and the situation he was in.
Have SOME backstory... and atleast TRY to implement some good old fashioned litterature (yeah, litterature, that long, well writen bunch of text which the lot of you couldnt really care about in school)
I cant think of worse than people who trash, and completely obliterate HOURS, DAYS, MONTHS of work from a creative user, who actually make a very decent custom story; so, ill add this as well.. IF you make a lets-play (fine with me), then PLEASE... pay attention to the story, PLEASE for fucks sake! the hardest part of a custom story is to make a good, decent story, and let alone, build on it. decent customs take time, time well spent if the creator is really pumped on the project; they would take everything in concideration (i do atleast)
(AND THEY WOULD ESSPECIALY MAKE SURE EACH PUZZLE CAN BE SOLVED...).. so please take their examples.. and dont go off making ''ZOMFG PEWDIEPIEMAP PART 34 STEPHANO NEEDS GLASSES'' stories..
Have the setting right... please... people dont usually wake up in dungeon prisons when they go to work...
also try to include good mapping, with good details and (you dont need to, but it gives it a nice touch) CUSTOM MODELS.
Please... oh dear mother of god and mercy PLEASE. Like i mentioned before... add realism. Mappers like myself couldnt love detail any higher than we do. Please try to create a story in the setting and map. If you have a body in a bed, try to ''explain'' how he got there through the environment, a story on why he got there and so on. This is the total kicker to a good story, because if someone were to play it unserious one time, and play it seriously another time, then they would discover new things every time.
Dont make people appear out of nowhere, even though it scares the living shit out of you. (You can though, if your story contains amnesia... which nearly 99% of these stories do. Just make the damn thing dissapear afterwards, dont just leave it there.)
Last, but not least, build up your scares... have a story in the scares, have some sort of story behind the scares, have a reason for the scares.. You're more successfull in creating tense parts of your gameplay by adding a story behind your scares.
Examples of this:
BAD: (Theres a graveyard, and a body was burried with something you needed. You break his grave and take it, and a ghost spawns (oo original))
GOOD: (You enter the graveyard, but as you enter, you read a note saying: ''Ankou, the grave reaper is watching this ancient cemetary. You have been warned..''
You walk towards the grave you need, and you see him, faintly in the background, but ever so briefly. You approach the grave with a hammer, and you hear screams, howls and cries around you, and it abruptly stops. You're forced to look up, seeing his shadow coming out of the thick fog, slowly; his footsteps are vacantly heard. You need to take what you need and get out of there as quickly as possible. As you break the grave and pick up what you need, he starts approacing faster, and faster, and faster, though he may only reach out to you inside the graveyard. And you have to run..)
That might clear things up how strongly story can affect someones reaction. Before the good example, the character might have picked up some notes along the story about how ankou has been known to roam these lands, watching over the graves, and how he particularly roams a specific cemetary. You later on figure out this is the cemetary you need to enter to get what you need.
You can probably imagine how tense it will feel for the player to enter this unknown area, with no idea what this thing is, or what it looks like.
This is why story is ESSENTIAL to scares... absolutely ESSENTIAL. You might think it will be less scary, but it wont! it will multiply the feeling TENFOLD. The sheer uncomfortable feeling of the situation will make the player incredibly tense and terrified, and if sounds are played abruptly he will most likely press ''esc'' and calm down. Imagine this tensiveness, and remember back to your first time playing amnesia. The intense fear of the game was based on story, buildup, setting, realism, atmosphere and, of course, built up scares. Remember how amnesia made you feel the first time you played it, and try to make your stories just as great, for fucks sake; this community needs it... it deserves it!
Now, there are exceptions of all of this. If you want to make trollmaps, or any unserious maps at all (danarogan is an example of someone who has done this very well) then JENS, OR ANY OTHER FORUM ADMINISTRATOR, should make a SERIOUS and UNSERIOUS section in the custom story development and showcase folders!!!! PLEASE!! this will allow us serious custom story creators to have some inspirational sources and an inspirational community, and the unserious can have their community (though its very unlikely people can, or will continue making trollmaps, but for the sake of people looking for a decent story to play, they'll atleast have a space where they can safely pick a well made story to play.(if youve followed most, or atleast some of the things ive written about in this post, then your story should be decent enough for people to play, even though it might be your first ^^))
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME
..please dont let this go unnoticed...
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN:
''i am rather sick of seeing b class custom stories all the time! some well people simply don't know how to do them right... others just freaking make pewdiepie maps that fill this forum and moddb constantly with their tribute maps, made in 2 hours with no actual interest... i mean, i am all favor to any kind of cs... make instead of a horror CS, a fantasy for example! a drama! a comedy! hell make it unserious (like my own cs dark room) but for the fuck sake give love to it! work on the damn mod! and don't just freaking rush some pathetic map just to upload it to pewdiepie...
''...Realism is that what is needed to custom stories.
'' So far, I have played maybe 10-15 campaigns and whenever I had played one that seemed fishy upon reading the description, I would find myself catching un-matching environments, clipping errors, no/very little story, same predictable "scares" that frankly, do not scare me... Like naked guys, monsters on key pick-up, the such. Much so, I would quit the campaign half-way through because I lost interest. This accounts for about 3-4... Too many in my opinion.
I love to see great stories with time and detail spent on it, which is why I do the same for mine. I get down to the thousandth of a decimal if needed to stop a clipping issue or match a primitive. You can see this in any of my stories. It's not hard to be specific, you just need to have the devotion of your story to provide it. And sadly... I am not seeing enough devotion. Perhaps watch the link Khyrpa has posted. I watched and it is indeed what is needed greatly...
Khyrpa added a very nice explanatory video. i suggest you check it out after reading this!