Adrian Edit : Plot is great! Narrative is great! But what we're doing here isn't driven by plot and it isn't something we can really mold this type of game around. A lot of these ideas are great and some of them will be used in the theoretical "final" story, but as of right now they're just fun concept ideas. As such I'm locking this thread until the day it is needed again. Thanks to everyone who responded in the comments!
As I've stated many times, the current "plot" in the prototype is filler and is not intended to be final. Most of the scenarios don't make sense, the writing is poor, and there is a lot of repeat-content. In the next major version of the game the plot and progression will be vastly different and anything that happens now in the story will not matter.
While I'm still developing the plot and changing details of it every day, I have a basic outline that I'm working with. I was hesitant to make it public lest people rip it apart before it's done, but you guys have been so great over the last few months that I think it might be fun to post what I have so far.
Please note that I will be constantly changing things and I will always have the final say, but feel free to make comments or suggestions on anything you want. :)
The Story So Far
- Many years since the events of MM10, the world appears to be peaceful once again. Dr. Wily goes into retirement it seems and is not seen for many, many years. Most assume he has died or is otherwise incapable of harming humanity any further and the future looks bright for planet earth.
- Dr. Light and Dr. Cossack decide to create a new prototype AI for future generations of robots. They want to create robots that will think and make their own decisions without blindly following orders. This prototype project will be the base for which all future robots will be built, and the world over is both excited and terrified about Light Labs' new endeavor.
- The two decide to program this AI with all the knowledge and data on past robots, abilities, locals, and history to ensure it is well equipped to make informed decisions and handle ethical dilemmas. Detailed attack patterns, battle weaknesses, and even data on minor enemies is documented and programmed into the prototype. New generations need to be prepared for whatever evil may come, so learning from the past is essential.
- Much research is carried out by both doctors, and eventually the two begin create the prototype's code starting with the test environments for their experiments. The test environments should mimic real-world locations that the robot might have to navigate and are thus modeled after past stages. Having these fully fleshed out environments will allow the doctors to create a sort of virtual reality to experiment with different battle strategies and encounters.
- Fully functioning copies of all existing robots are created in the prototype database and their basic battle logic is programmed in as well. Special weapons have also been converted to digital format, compressed, and added to the prototype. Environments are given special properties and basic mission data is created for training exercises. The time for testing the robots born of this new AI is close at hand.
- With most of the footwork has been laid for the environment, the doctors decide to start testing out the battle capabilities and realism of their prototype. The two build a way to digitally integrate real-world robots into the program and use existing, patented technology for connect humans to machines to hook themselves into the program for greater immersion. Specially made bed with tubes and wires and straps to keep them safely in position are created.
- Using an already proven and tested robot against the new prototype copies will also allow them to record the results more accurately and first hand, so they choose to use one of their own in the first test. Mega Man is the first to volunteer for the project and Dr. Light jacks him into the prototype Battle Network style. Dr. Light connects himself into one of the three available human integration beds and then he and Mega Man go through a series of training exercises to test the AI of the prototype.
- Our heroes make countless adjustments over the next several months as they perfect the battle routines of their copies. Meanwhile Dr. Cossack keeps the media at bay and publicises their findings to the best of his abilities without giving too much away. The project appears to be going very well though no images or first-hand video are shown.
- Dr. Wily watches from an undisclosed location with Bass in the background. He decides to keep a close eye on the project.
- With the project in full swing and the new AIs are functioning exceptionally well without operators or command from humans. The doctors decide to publish a live demonstration to the public soon, with Mega Man and Dr. Light taking on a series of missions to show the battle prowess of the new copies thus far. The doctors realize that the work is incomplete and the robots will be relatively weak, but it's an incredible first step in a future of autonomous robots able to make better decisions without human interference.
- Proto Man is made aware of the project over the radio waves, and decides to keep a close eye from afar as well.
- The night before the demonstration NAZA detects strange temporal and spatial anomalies occurring close to earth, but they disappear before a good reading can be made. They decide to look into it but not alarm the public until there's more data.
- Dr. Wily notices this same occurrence in space and decides to leave with Bass, headed towards an undisclosed location.
- The day of the event Dr. Light and Mega Man prepare to be integrated. Dr. Cossack is close by and will be operating the prototype from the real world while Dr. Light and Mega Man go through a selection of eight missions for the audience to observe. The world is watching and the two heroes jack into the Prototype.
- Dr. Wily appears in the crowd, disguised in a fedora and trench coat to prevent suspicion. Bass enters separately with a brown, tattered cloak, ala Battle Network (again). The two watch quietly from the back of the conference room.
- The first mission is completed and then suddenly the two are attacked by a robot that was not programmed into the simulation. Mega Man attempts to dispose of the small alien-looking program, but the robot escapes before there is a chance. Dr. Cossack is unable to figure out where the robot came from and the system stops responding to his input. Dr. Light and Mega Man attempt to jack out of it and return to the real world but a powerful interference prevents them.
- Dr. Wily and Bass appear to have expected something like this and begin to move toward the stage.
- Proto Man is made aware of the drama and quickly takes action, rushing toward the city on his Proto Shield.
- At this point it is made clear to Dr. Cossack that the prototype is no longer under his control and he begins to lose contact with Dr. Light inside the program. They try to analyse the data and find the source of the interference but are ultimately unable. Right before the monitors go out and Dr. Light's communication with the outside world is severed, a set of giant, glowing, comet-like objects reveal themselves from the sky and begin orbiting the earth. Each with unique markings on their surfaces and differently coloured trails of light flowing behind.
- Dr. Light's body remains in a kind of suspended animation on stage and Cossack rushes over in an attempt to unhook him. Mega Man remains connected, eyes glowing with debug data streaming over them like screens.
- A sudden, bright flash of light is followed by a powerful wave over the planet, and robots all over the world begin to enter a state of paralysis, falling to the ground before quickly entering a non-responsive, offline state.
- Bass falls to the ground and Wily is left frozen in his tracks, unsure of what just happened or what to do next. Proto Man can be seen in the background collapsing just shy of the conference area and unable to get close enough to help. Humans are helpless and begin entering a frenzied panic as every electronic device on the planet is buffeted by comet waves and shuts down until all that remains online are the prototype computers.
- Suddenly all the prototype monitors and screens show a mysterious figure, alien in nature though more intimidating than the last. Primary green and almost feminine, the entity identifies itself as "Slur" and tells of its master casting judgement upon the humans of the earth.
- The master has seen our past, our present, and even our future and can see that we will never learn from our mistakes, repeating them ad nauseum and passing them onto future generations until they eventually spread outward into space and corrupt the delicate balance of the universe. Slur explains that the end of this race is forthcoming, and that the planet needs to be purified of the evil energy we have amassed.
- Without hesitation Slur teleports into the real world in front of a terrified audience and locks eyes with Wily, much to his terror. In an almost psychic-like display of power Slur raises Wily off his feet and pulls toward the stage. Dr. Wily is forced into one of the integration beds and connected to the computer. Cossack, attempting to make an escape, is stopped dead in his tracks and picked up in the same manner as Wily. Cossack is looked over briefly before being forced into the last remaining bed and connected against his will to the computer.
- The lifeless bodies of Bass and Proto Man are raised from the ground and brought toward the stage, being connected to the computer in the same manner as Mega Man. The two robots eyes light up and their data is transported into the prototype. Wily and Cossack struggle, but are powerless in the face of Slur and quickly lose consciousness.
- Slur remains on-stage and watches as the rest of the population scrambles to get away. Several shots are fired at Slur by law enforcement and vigilante civilians, but they are all deflected without effort and ultimately ineffective. A second robot teleports down from one of the comets, smaller than Slur and with a different colour scheme though similar in appearance otherwise. This is the same robot that attacked Mega Man and Light moments before. The robot makes its way over to the control panel on the prototype and begins interfacing with the device.
- Slur looks to the sky and pauses, then says "yes master" as the screen fades...
Prototype Devroom : Plot Discussion Posted by Adrian Marceau on July 27th, 2013 at 4:30pm Viewed 2009 Times
Wow, shock twist. That's quite the different story I was thinking about from the usual: "Go Wily #s, attack Mega Man!" Working with virtual versions of the characters sounds like a good, easy explanation for bringing back all the robot masters as their fates after the games is very unclear as Inafune or Capcom has never revealed anyting about that. Speaking of aliens from the MM universe, were you planning on using every character from every game including from Japanese only games or only from games brought to the west.
Posted on July 28th, 2013 at 5:30pmEdited on 2013/07/28 at 5:43pm
Posted 2013/07/28 at 5:30pmEdited 2013/07/28 at 5:43pm
Thanks, I too think working with digitized versions of the characters is the best way to explain the gameplay (the Miyamoto method of storytelling) and I'm glad you picked up on that.
I can have the players fight each other temporarily, but only until they realize that they're all on the same side (or are they?) and work together in the end, trading robots and helping each other progress through the story.
It also explains all the robot data modifications, multiple copies of robots, fusion stages, and especially the "downloading data" phrase thrown around in game. It even makes the whole Core Match thing more believable - Bubble Man learning Laser Trident in real life is unrealistic, but as a virtual program working within the confines of data compression algorithms and database type categories it's more plausible.
To answer your question, I would LIKE to have robots from all "official" games - even Japanese. That means eventually including the Challengers from the Future (Wonderswan) bosses in some way, but probably not until much later. The only real exception to this are the RockMan Strategy robot masters - I just really do not like their designs. "Fan" might be an option, but the others are too... sloppy. :|
EDIT: AND it can play into the X series very, very well without ever explicitly stating that it does. Even if this "prototype" project is destroyed and abandoned at the end of the game, who's to say Light and Wily do not continue the research themselves in secret? Light using his experience to build the AI for X and Wily to build the AI for Zero? I wonder what Cossack ended up doing with his life?
Posted on August 2nd, 2013 at 2:56pmEdited on 2013/08/02 at 3:10pm
Posted 2013/08/02 at 2:56pmEdited 2013/08/02 at 3:10pm
Quote: (the Miyamoto method of storytelling) @ Adrian Marceau Can I get a little explanation? Also, I just discovered about RM Strategy as well the other day, so yeah I was just asking as I haven't even seen the designs of those Masters yet.
Hey after completing your game, I think it should still have the word Prototype in the title as is fits very well with the story!
Posted on August 2nd, 2013 at 9:17pmEdited on 2013/08/02 at 11:21pm
Posted 2013/08/02 at 9:17pmEdited 2013/08/02 at 11:21pm
@MMX100 I'm sure he's said so in other interviews, but I found one with Polygon where he talks about his method of game design : Miyamoto On Putting Gameplay Before Branding. Basically, he builds the game's mechanics and actual gameplay first, and then comes up with a story to explain that story later.
I think it has worked well for Nintendo thus far, and it's the method I've adopted for this game. I knew I wanted three players before I knew why, and I knew I wanted them to be copyable and respawning before I knew I wanted them to be digital programs. :P
Also, I am totally keeping "Prototype" in the name. Another example of letter the story write itself, I thought "what kind of story would explain all my gameplay mechanics and let me keep Prototype in the name?" and this is what I came up with. It all worked out. ^_^
EDIT : This is what I'm planning as far as robot distribution in the game. The first sets of robots are obvious - MM1, MM2, and MM4 in their entirety. The second set is where things get shuffled up. I want to make sure that each player has an equal chance at type distribution so I'm pulling the first available robot of each type to fill in missing spots for phase 2. This of course means I need to prioritize a few MM7+ robots, but it's a necessary evil to get this made right...
Posted on August 3rd, 2013 at 3:37pmEdited on 2013/08/03 at 4:19pm
Posted 2013/08/03 at 3:37pmEdited 2013/08/03 at 4:19pm
I'm still working out the details, but "Duo" refers to a set of two robots (the Duo we know and his opposite), "Solo" refers to a single robot, and "Trio" refers to a set of three robots. All five of these robots are part of an interstellar group of judges that exist to maintain balance and order in the universe. How exactly their hierarchy works, why "our" Duo is working with them, and why they have decided to come to earth is still being finalized. Suffice to say, I want them to be a big part of the story and possibly even the driving force for the whole plot (Slur and Trill are just assistance/helper aliens, btw). But we'll see what were it goes...
The Battle Network-esque bots are going to be semi-original robots for the Prototype but will not appear until the very end. In fact, they might even be post-game. The same can be said for Cache - in typical RPG fashion there will be an obvious villain / final boss that you fight at the end of the game, but there will also a super secret and super hard post-game boss will be revealed when you've met certain conditions. Cache is that boss, and it's exact role in the story is yet to be revealed. :) That being said, Cosmo Man might be playing a bigger role in the game than I originally intended. And Planet Man. :o
Posted on August 3rd, 2013 at 11:22pmEdited on 2013/08/03 at 11:24pm
Posted 2013/08/03 at 11:22pmEdited 2013/08/03 at 11:24pm
I plan on including miscellaneous fan-made robot masters and popular semi-official ones like Quake Woman eventually, though they will be "random encounters" rather than being part of the core story mode. I can throw in a few more Battle Network ones like ThunderMan too if you can find a good robot master design for it. :P
@Spinstrike Go to the "full view" of any one of the forum categories (click the "General" sublink in the main menu, for example) and at the top-right side of the page there should be a button for "Create New Discussion". This will show in any forum that you have permission to post in (General and Bugs for most users). Hope that helps!
An idea I got for the story is that the Stardroids and Duo, Solo, and Trill could have a connection. Maybe the Stardroids wanted to use evil energy from evil Duo or 'Oud' to revive Sunstar but Duo(good) tried to stop them. If you include Super Adventure Rockman in the prototype, you could have a connection through all three groups.(Ra Moon, Stardroids, and Solo, Duo, and Trill) The possibilities are endless for the space robots!