Posts Tagged ‘interactive fiction’

Aspect of God

October 8, 2009

I have detailed notes about this story and even started several times to implement it, but I think I’ll just write it out as it is in my head today…

Aspect of God is a story of good and evil, but not quite the way most people would define it. In fact, I would prefer it remain largely undefined what exactly is behind the good and evil elements, but be very clear that good and evil exists. I have an assortment of ideas about evil and this story probably doesn’t represent them very well.

The story begins when an “Aspect of God” hears the “call”. (God is whatever the reader chooses it to be – I make no declaration that it be any particular God or even that it is a God, but possibly a “force” or some element of the universe)

A “call” to an Aspect is likely some counter-balancing energy force in the universe that asks one element (a good one) to address an imbalance (from an evil element pushing too hard somewhere).

The Aspect is drawn to Earth in the early part of the 20th century, probably 1920 or 1930 or so. This is before women have gained any measure of independance and when family farms and small towns were very common. The “call” is coming from just such a place. A small town of a few hundred or thousand people, with many family farms in the surrounding area.

One particular farm is the home of a woman in her late twenties, some would say “her prime”. Also in residence is her father, roughly twenty years older. A third “person”, a ghost, is also in the home. The ghost is the deceased mother and wife. One of the primary imbalances of the town and surrounding area is within this house and directly related to the deteriorating symbiotic relationship between the father, the daughter, and the ghostly mother.

Here’s where things get tricky. I needed two other imbalances, by my creative fires were stalled. I had considered to have the other two imbalances be of differing times and settings, but couldn’t make up my mind.

Regardless, there is also an evil Aspect in our story. It is intent on moving the imbalance to its most negative conclusion and is well on its way to accomplishing its goal. In fact, the good Aspect has a very serious challenge in getting all three imbalances back in order.

Neither Aspect can “see” the other, but each can use living things to “effect” the physical world. They do this by using a living being’s own emotions and memories. Living beings cannot sense in any way, the presence of either Aspect. They may understand being “pushed”, but I think this would make the story too complex. I would leave it that each Aspect can influence people and animals tapping memories and reminding their targets at optimal times. So having the daughter remember her mother in a happy memory, in an actual moment of grief, may help her come out of it more quickly. Making her remember something bad about her mother in that same moment, may deepen her grief.

The only imbalance I was capable of detailing was of the father, daughter, ghostly mother. The basic premise is that the father is deeply depressed at having lost his wife. He sees his daughter in many ways as a surrogate since she is the splitting image of her mother. The daughter also feels compelled to fall into the role as surrogate wife and housekeeper. The imbalance is that both the father and daughter are near either suicide or an incestuous relationship or both and the evil Aspect is pushing them in this direction. The good Aspect must learn about all of the memories of the father, the daughter, and the ghostly mother (who is really just a recording of memories) and bring the father and daughter out of their depression, thereby releasing the mother to “move into a state of balance”.

There should be two more imbalances working at the same time, making it a sort of juggling act of three puzzles to solve.

I like the idea that the PC cannot directly do anything with the setting, making everything scenery (and simplifying the combinatorial explosion issue). However, the explosion of possibilities comes from managing the memories, emotions, and states of each NPC.

There is also the issue of implementing a believable evil Aspect NPC AI character.

Anyway, this is one of my oldest ideas going back ten years.

Feel free to comment.