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Author Topic: How did Mother 4 first get started?  (Read 586 times)

McKnight

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How did Mother 4 first get started?
« on: September 18, 2019, 06:17:50 pm »
If anyone knows, where might the person who initiated the Mother 4 project have gone to get things started on that? Was there more than one place he went to?

Asking, because I’ve got a general idea for my own game, but what I need the most right now is some general details for each part of the game. I do have a premise planned out, and a few ideas for more specific events here and there, but still not on par with Earthbound itself. For the most part, I have nothing planned for in between each two plot coupons in the game, and I can still barely wrap my head around how Itoi and his team managed to pull off such a complex but still cohesive story for Earthbound, including stuff that doesn’t even have anything directly to do with the invading aliens.

Where could I go to seek help planning the game’s story out, before I start assigning people to work on the actual game itself?

Jorpho

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Re: How did Mother 4 first get started?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 08:38:26 pm »
Reckon you might be better off asking at https://www.reddit.com/r/mother4/ .

I can still barely wrap my head around how Itoi and his team managed to pull off such a complex but still cohesive story for Earthbound, including stuff that doesn’t even have anything directly to do with the invading aliens.
We're talking about the Mother 4 that was supposed to have come out five years ago, right?  If you're looking for people who managed to pull something like that off, it would seem you should not be looking there.

I might also submit that Earthbound's story isn't particularly complex at all, linear as it is.

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Where could I go to seek help planning the game’s story out, before I start assigning people to work on the actual game itself?
I expect that most people who might help you plan the story out are already busy on their own projects.  If you want to make something happen, you'd better plan on taking care of it yourself. (Didn't this get covered in http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=28241 ?)
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McKnight

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Re: How did Mother 4 first get started?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2019, 06:13:37 am »
I might also submit that Earthbound's story isn't particularly complex at all, linear as it is.

You don't think it is?  With several different things going on at any given point in the game?

Like, the second chapter revolves mainly around a cult and its abduction of Paula, but also involves Apple Kid and the Runaway Five, the third is mostly about the zombie plague in Threed, but leads someone into your party all the way from Winters before leading your party out of town to fight the source, fourth has you going back and forth between Dusty Dunes Desert and Fourside to take care of all kinds of different things, things become less formulaic afterwards, and said next arc has you make a side-trip back to Fourside to get someone's autograph for someone else, in no relation to an artifact that you're supposed to be looking for (and Ness and his party obviously wouldn't even know yet that it's for one of the game's main plot coupons), and so on.  Where you aforementionedly go originally from Threed to fight Master Belch is also where you eventually go again to travel to the past to fight Giygas.

That doesn't sound intricate to you?

Jorpho

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Re: How did Mother 4 first get started?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2019, 08:47:35 am »
No, that seems like a linear succession of events and a couple of memorable NPCs.  In what way would you suggest that it is any more complex than, say, FFVII, or Super Mario RPG?  Or even the first Final Fantasy?

I am of course by no means saying that Earthbound is a bad game, and that its story is not creative and engaging,  but I would not say it is a staggering entangled web of complexity that could only be formulated with superhuman levels of cognition, either.
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McKnight

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Re: How did Mother 4 first get started?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2019, 09:15:41 am »
Maybe you're thinking of a different kind of complexity, but I would consider something like Paper Mario (at least the first game) to be simple, with each chapter being mostly self-contained and not really foreshadowing stuff for later chapters.

Here, how do they think all this extra stuff up to involve in the plot, and have it all foreshadow later events in the game, when the main mission is to visit eight sacred spots and defeat the being behind an alien invasion?  It could have just as easily been as simple as "Go here, fight your way through this dungeon, defeat the guardian, absorb the melody, rinse and repeat," amounting to little more than Super Mario Bros. 3.

Jorpho

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Re: How did Mother 4 first get started?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2019, 11:00:27 pm »
Here, how do they think all this extra stuff up to involve in the plot, and have it all foreshadow later events in the game, when the main mission is to visit eight sacred spots and defeat the being behind an alien invasion?  It could have just as easily been as simple as "Go here, fight your way through this dungeon, defeat the guardian, absorb the melody, rinse and repeat," amounting to little more than Super Mario Bros. 3.
But it is.  It's as simple as go here, fight your way through this dungeon, go talk to this guy you saw before, go talk to this other guy, go talk to that other guy, fight through this other dungeon, defeat the guardian, etc.  There's no branching, or alternate routes through the game, or optional sidequests.  There's not even that much foreshadowing to speak of.  It's Super Mario Bros. 3 with extra steps.

Consider the Mani Mani statue – sure, you spend some time fighting one person after another as it changes hands, but then it gets busted up and you never find out exactly where it came from or what it was supposed to do.

(I suppose technically you don't have to do everything in the same order every time you play the game – but none of the dialog changes if you visit the shrines out of order, and if you skip one, then you'll be underlevelled for the next dungeon, and probably be overlevelled when you go back to whatever you skipped.)

It seems easy enough to think it up – here's this guy who won't let you through unless you give him something valuable, autographs are valuable, performers give autographs, where would you find a performer, we had that theater earlier in the game, let's put someone in the theater.  Boom.
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chillyfeez

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Re: How did Mother 4 first get started?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2019, 08:38:28 pm »
I think a better way of describing Earthbound - instead of "complex" - would be "detailed." There's a large cast of compelling NPCs, a meandering (though doubtless linear) story, a smorgasbord of usable items which - while many are copies of one another - underscores the originality of the varying locations, and a definite affinity for Chekhov's gun. It's quirky and well thought out and very detailed, but not particularly complex.
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