Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What's so WILD about it? (Part 1)

I'd been ignoring WILD for a little while, looking at other projects that I've been working on, or should have been working on. It was only recently that I really thought that I should get back to the game, write a bit more about it.

I printed out all that I'd written so far and filed it in a neat and portable binder so I could read through it on my lunch hours at my stupid day job. As I mentioned briefly last post, strangely I felt that there was simultaneously both more and less than I thought I'd written for the game. Part of me was convinced I'd hardly even started, while other parts of me thought I'd written more. Ho well.

Anyway, this got me thinking about the game, and how little I've actually explained about it to the outside world. So here goes - without giving the game away (so to speak), here's a brief explanation of what has been dominating my gaming thoughts for the past year or so.

I guess it all started with Inception. I love that film. I came out of the first screening in a daze and I think I ended up seeing it a couple of times more, especially when the local cinema installed their Imax screen and Hans Zimmer's score literally made your trousers vibrate with bass tones... However, the more I watched the film and thought about it, the more I noticed didn't work. It doesn't make me like the film any less, it's just that the rules of the universe that Nolan has created for the film are not adhered to. On top of that, it didn't really explore the bizarreness of dreams - everyone's subconscious seemed to be rather mundane. Maybe this was a side effect of going into the minds of people who ran energy businesses...

Then came SuckerPunch. I hated that film. I came out of it thinking it was one of the most visually stunning movies I'd seen in a long time, but the plot, the rules, the storytelling all sucked big-time. But it kept nagging at me, and I saw it again, and again, and the more I looked into the film, the more I appreciated it and liked it. It's not a work of genius, it's not a revolutionary movie, but it showed a little more of what could be experienced inside the mind and the unconscious.

Much like Inception, the rules of the film were broken, and both films could be viewed as having one of the laziest storytelling get-out clauses ever... "And then I woke up, it was all a dream."

In my head, the perfect movie would be a mash up of the two. The real world would be one where the technology existed to allow dreamshare - it could be used for therapy, recreation, training and espionage. It wouldn't be common, the tech would be expensive, though some devices would canibalise the tech for dodgy underground uses, like the Squids in Strangedays.

The realms of the unconscious would depend upon the dreamer. The rules they mention in Inception wouldn't work, everything would rely on the dreamer whose dream you were going into. And the scope of these dreams would depend upon the imagination of that dreamer. Going into the dreams of an office clerk may be a little more mundane than a fantasy author, but the potential for ANYTHING would be there. The big difference between the dreams of the two examples would be if you tried to change anything while you were in there. Summoning a dragon in the office clerk's dream would probably result in him realising he was dreaming, and start to wake. Changes could be made, but they'd have to be researched, and done carefully with some subjects.

Then there's the randomness of dreams. You may think you're in control, and in some cases the dreamer is, but a lot of the time the dream can escalate and run away in its own weird and random direction.

So that was the basics of WILD. I know a couple of people who thought the name meant that the game was a pulp adventure game of safaris and stuff. WILD is an acronym - Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming.

So that was the concept. An RPG where you could experience anything, even the impossible.

I just needed a game system and a backstory.

More on those later...

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