Alright, so, basically, this isn't really a work of fiction, but I'm posting it here because I think it's the best place to archive my concept for this game. First and foremost, I want to say that I do not even know the basics of coding yet, but I want to learn. If I can teach myself how to write and how to make music, I have no doubt that I can learn how to code in a matter of months. Because of these things aforementioned, I cannot in good conscience ask anyone to throw money at me for this. Although, if you think this concept is good, or awesome and are at least interested in seeing the beginning of it maybe possibly happening, I will not object to funding (because I'm broke as it is and this is going to be a huge undertaking).
What I have so far:
- A concept already sort of developed in my 4th book (which is in-development as well), here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/10727079/chapters/23770773
- A theme song (sans the Dark Souls 2 sample, obviously), which will also be the opening track on my 10th album: https://soundcloud.com/meryl-s-kavanagh/embraced-intro
- And, of course, the storyline and feature concepts talked about below.
As mentioned originally, I want this to feel like a spiritual successor to Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, but obviously I can't make it look like a direct sequel, or anything directly related to it (because White Wolf likes to sue). But WW can't stop anyone from making vampire themed games, as the concept of vampires is public domain.
The first thing that would happen, upon starting a new game, is that you'd be immediately thrust into the character creator. As we all know, VtM:B didn't exactly have a robust character creation system. It had the character sheet (which I plan on developing), but as far as your character looked? You're basically just a dead white person with predefined features. You'd define how your character looks, how much they'd look like a vampire, and this would be reflected correctly depending on the skin color you choose, i.e., if you're black, going full vampire wouldn't make you look like a white person (Looking at you Blizzard). I'm also toying with the idea of allowing transgender characters, or, the designation of genitals. Although, I feel like I'd have to limit this to a point in order to avoid transphobic caricatures (but then again, I'm not sure that can be totally avoided, because bad people will find ways to be bad).
Once character creation is complete and you've chosen which baseline of skills you'd like across a board of diverse customization, there would be no cutscene. No movie introduction. You'd immediately just be in the shoes of your character (3rd person or 1st, I think it'd be a choice that you can switch between) in a convenience store/gas station in the middle of a cold winter's night buying maybe a snack and a drink. The lights are flickering overhead and there's a radio playing on the front desk where the clerk kind of just gazes dead into the emptiness of space. You're also human at this point and your character doesn't look exactly the way you defined them...yet.
The radio on the desk is playing some conspiracy theory station that talks about vampires and werewolves and a secret society that controls everything humans do and how nobody listens when the radio speaker talks about it to average folk.
You can wander around the store itself and choose what you want (even though, you'll soon come to find it doesn't matter), and this will be kind of a small introduction to how some of the game mechanics work. You'll pick things up, and you'll take cash out of your wallet and pay the clerk, kind of just like in any other modern game where you're buying things. But this isn't really all that important. It's more about setting the stage. Maybe you'll decide to not even buy anything, maybe you'll shove a candy bar into your pocket and leave the store.
Whatever you do, you'll eventually be hit with the suggestion/quest to get into your car and head home. This is where the 3rd/1st person driving mechanic will be shown to you, kind of in a GTA sort of way, and you'll have a marker on your "compass" showing you which direction to go. And as you drive through the notably icy and cold night, you'll come around a bend. A bend, at which point you'll notice an 18 wheeler coming the opposite direction.
It jack-knifes right as its passing you and crashes directly on top of your car.
Now! Before I continue, I am absolutely sure people would find a way to avoid this if they know about it, but the ultimate goal of the beginning of the game is to die. You have to die. I want to make a game that's about freedom in a supernatural sandbox with some side and major goals that kind of direct what you do, but I think this will be one of the only points in the game where you will absolutely be steered toward death. Otherwise the game cannot continue as the game it is.
So, if you're privy to the way in which your character dies, maybe you decide something like, "heh, fuck that. I know that truck is going to kill me, I'm turning around and going the other direction!"
Okay, so you do. You turn your car around before you even head down the road and you go the opposite direction. But instead of a truck, you come across a very old bridge heavily weighed down by snow—and then it collapses under you. Again, your car is trashed and your character's ability to be alive is very questionable.
But, let's say you know about that, also. Let's say the player decides to just hang out in the parking lot. They're not driving anywhere.
Alright, so eventually a band of robbers drive into the station and guess what, they don't want any witnesses.
Basically, no matter what you do in this beginning sequence, the intent is to die. And if I make this game, I will do everything in my power to make sure that happens. Although I am absolutely sure, somebody, somewhere will find a way to not die and break the game.
Let's head back to the first death though (although the rest will work this way, too). Your character's cam shifts and focuses onto just their eyes and their brain is losing functionality. You are technically dead. You can't hear anything, you can't move. Hell, you can barely even see. But then a figure, a person comes out of the shadows and although you cannot hear them, you can almost read their lips. Something about a new lease on life.
And before you're passed out for good (dead), you swear this person is biting their wrist open and force-feeding you their blood.
Fade to black.
Next thing you know, you're awake again. Your character has no idea how or why, and they can barely remember what recently happened. But the only thing you can see are thin slats of light pouring out from above your head. Then you'll quickly come to find, upon working your way out of this little enclosure, that you were in-fact picked up by the police, presumed dead and pushed into storage at the morgue.
The next thing you'll notice is that you're completely naked. Now this is probably going to be controversial, but when you die and your body is being stored at a morgue, you aren't put in there with clothes on. I feel like, if I somehow figure out how to make this game capable of modding, this will also help to mitigate the overflow of nude body mods on Nexus (cause that's literally the only thing I see for a lot of games). And yes, if you're naked, your designated genitals will be exactly what you chose.
Your follow-up objective is to find clothing. Because leaving the morgue/police station in-the-nude is going to cause problems for you (which I would totally allow the player to attempt, regardless). But there's a room around the corner and this is where some more features are introduced to you. It's an office and the coroner is in there doing paperwork about you, the dead person, now turned bloodsucker, hence the name of the game "embraced."
You'll be given a choice to drink this person's blood (which is highly recommended, because this is how you gain power, or partly how you gain power, at least), and then you can either rob them of their clothing, or maybe wear a jacket from a closet. I'd put in different options for clothing your character. And if you have extremely noticeable vampire features, the game might suggest that you also cover your eyes, or even your face, entirely.
After that's all taken care of, it's time to sneak (introducing sneak mechanics), or blow your way out of the police station (possible combat mechanics). Or heck, maybe you just walk on out and ignore everyone. Either way they're going to be surprised and bewildered if they notice you're the dead person they just recently took downstairs.
Immediately upon exiting the police station, you'll be faced with a new choice. Follow the vampire who was waiting for you to their "headquarters" to learn about the rules of the "veil" (or some other such name referring to a type of masquerade), or head off into the town of Point Reyes Grove to take matters into your own hands, completely unaware of what you're capable of.
Buy an apartment, buy new clothes, find a way to consistently procure money (although, joining the vampire society will provide you with some of these things) and start your new life as a bloodsucker. But all is not easy, or as simple as it may seem.
There are werewolves, there are fae, there are demons and there are most definitely vampire hunters. Some of which don't take kindly to your existence. And then of course, there are cops, who don't take kindly to aggressive behavior around the spooky town (roughly probably about the size of a regular GTA or Elder Scrolls map). And if you follow the vampire to the den of vamps, you'll meet the person who resurrected you, you'll learn about how vampires are expected to act and you'll learn about the "main quest" that'll lead to the completion of the main game (so that you have at least something to work toward).
I'm not talking an apocalypse situation either, it's more simple than that. Somewhere in the higher ranks of vampire society, someone has infiltrated their ranks and their intent is to reveal the existence of vampires to the general public and blow open the veil, which poses great risk to the existence of vampires in general. One of your goals is to continually investigate and find the identity of this person, while people and other supernaturals try to stop you along the way.
You could totally just ignore this though, like in most other open world RPGs and just go wild stealing cars, drinking blood, crashing bars and punching people in the face. Whatever.
If I make this game I want it to be about immersion in a modern fantasy setting. I want people to be able to define what they feel is fun in this type of game. I want to give people options to craft their own story. But I also definitely want it to have the kind of infinite type of questing that Skyrim has.
I'm going to cut this off right here for now, because this is the basic idea. Although, I definitely will probably be adding more to this concept later.
Sure, it probably sounds like a lot of other games you've played, but how many Vampire the Masquerades are there out there? One? Two?
If any of this sounds interesting to you, and you do find yourself wanting to make sure I can at least afford things (maybe like, a new PC, which is highly integral to being able to do this), my paypal is https://paypal.me/merylsk
Will I have a Kickstarter at some point? Yes. If I can muster together concept art and a general video trailer and I've learned how to code sufficiently enough, and maybe even recruited a few people to help me, I will definitely be setting up a KS (but this is highly contingent on what I end up being able to do, because heavy proof of concept is required for Kickstarter).