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Background Story for Rulebook - Comments please

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KiltedNinja
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Hi folks,

I've started writing a detailed background and history for my game - it is my intention to make this into a graphic novel, to explain the theme and reason for the game. (And also to provide scenarios to play, and named characters for players to perhaps invest in.)

I think it is important to include a short synopsis of the story in the rule book, so I have created a couple of paragraphs. I have made these paragraphs very simplistic to get as much of the point across as I could in a short space... the actual real story goes on for pages and pages (and pages and pages...).

Could you please spare a moment to read this and offer any comments? I'm just interested to know if this is enough, if it's too much, if you (as a player) need more.. just any thoughts you have really.

(Incidentally, I wasn't sure exactly where to post this thread.. I hope this is the right place.)

Thanks in advance!

---

The Threshold

On Earth, in the early years of 21st Century, an adventurous scientist named Elaine Reeves discovered a portal to another realm while searching for the secret to limitless energy. Soon after crossing the threshold into this realm to investigate its mysteries, she found portals within that led to other worlds. It wasn't long before human colonies spread throughout the galaxy, encountering strange new worlds and other sentient species.

It was soon discovered that the Threshold produced a free and powerful source of energy that enabled mankind, and the various alien races, to enhance and increase their technological and scientific understanding - however, the energy spawns rarely and unpredictably. The various controlling factions in the galactic community have fallen into conflict with each other in their desire to obtain this energy, known as Troskelium.

It is your task to lead your squad of Soldier-Miners into the Threshold to mine the particles of Troskelium, to fight against the opposing factions, and to return safe to your headquarters.

let-off studios
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Feedback

I think this is a worthwhile setup. I imagine this would be the text on the first page of a large-format rulebook, with the rules beginning on the next page.

It seems to be too much detail and not enough substance for stating the "objective" of the game. Condensing this flavor text and adding gameplay details would be useful for text appearing at the start of the rules.

To see all this in a graphic-novel format would be very interesting, indeed. :)

Mosker
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Overview or background?

You have me thinking of the Fantastic Four's negative zone, which is intriguing, and a good sign.

This is trying to be both background story and broad game overview: decide what you want, replacing general text with details.

Your great opportunity here is to help establish the tone, complement the gameplay and the art. Is this Rockets and Rayguns 1930's art? Is there a darker message (colonization and exploitation of Africa and the the Americas, or simply corporate plundering and savagery as in the Alien movies)?

How crunchy is the game? How brutal?

Let the other features guide you...

KiltedNinja
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Cheers!

let-off studios wrote:
It seems to be too much detail and not enough substance for stating the "objective" of the game.

Mosker wrote:
This is trying to be both background story and broad game overview: decide what you want, replacing general text with details.

Thanks for the comments folks :)

So I should clarify that this blurb isn't really meant to be the full objective for the game, this is really just to give the player a little bit of flavour at the start of the rule-book - and to let the player know that there's more to the world than the game itself (and if they're interested, they can enjoy the full story too).

I definitely intend to expand the gameplay objectives with a proper explanation of what the point of the game is.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Very good start

I would drop the whole final "It is your task" part and instead end the teaser with some kind of tagline. Objectives and such can be on the first page of real rules.

OBJECTIVE
Already achieved! You've paid for the game, and I've gotten my royalties. If you are interested in what your objective is, see the next section entitled WINNING THE GAME.

Corsaire
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Start with a bang

I find that back story has to have a hook to get folks reading. Often we'll pass around a manual in my game group, and I can tell what games have good story by how slowly it moves. But some players will only ever skim the first line or two for a feel; sorta the backstory elevator pitch.

Blow my mind with the portals and energy in the first sentence; then I should be wondering how it came to be and thinking about what chaos might ensue.

KiltedNinja
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Thanks

FrankM wrote:
I would drop the whole final "It is your task" part and instead end the teaser with some kind of tagline. Objectives and such can be on the first page of real rules.

OBJECTIVE
Already achieved! You've paid for the game, and I've gotten my royalties. If you are interested in what your objective is, see the next section entitled WINNING THE GAME.

:D I like it - yeah I agree - I'll drop the small section at the end with the intention of writing that out fully.

Corsaire wrote:
Blow my mind with the portals and energy in the first sentence; then I should be wondering how it came to be and thinking about what chaos might ensue.

Aye you could possibly be right.. I've had the story in my head for a while in a very linear fashion - trying to get the world history nailed you know? Just made sense to me to start at the very beginning - although I can see exactly what you're saying.

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