Category: Games (FH)
I've been looking through the comments on the last post with the intention of replying to them, but I've realised that I'll end up saying the same thing multiple times, so I'm writing this instead to respond to them all at once.
I don't think that I made it clear anywhere that I've already planned the whole plot; I know what happens at the end of the third chapter and how you get to that point, what the 'conflict' in the story is, who all the characters are, etc. As such, I'm certainly not looking for plot suggestions.
You play as an elderly scientist, as I mentioned, who is responsible for 'inventing' the whole concept of capturing and training monsters by discovering, while working as an archaeologist, the technology of an ancient race and adapting it. He was a trainer at first, but never really much of one; he worked on making the machines to clone monsters rather than focusing on ever battling. He's retired now, and when he retired, he gave away all his monsters to people who might want them, since he had no need for them any more as he'd retired as a trainer too. Or maybe he'd just 'dissipated' them, since monsters are merely illusions with no minds or souls and as such are entirely expendable. Maybe they even dissipate by themselves over time?
When the game begins, he's been occupying himself for years with a project as a hobby, which is attempting to make artificial monsters...
Monsters are formed of miasma, and 'miasma' is this left-over residue that comes into being when a deity forms a world using magic. Miasma works in the same sort of way that the Dreamrealm does; it's shaped by thoughts, and this causes monsters to appear out of nowhere when thinking minds have violent or fearful thoughts. Or something.
Certain species of monsters form though because the miasma tends to assemble itself into repeating patterns. If you think of the miasma as normally being a cloud of particles (it isn't that, but it can be thought of as that for the sake of explaining it), in its natural state it's invisible, but when the particles form into a pattern, like DNA, a specific monster type forms. (Magic plays heavily in this, of course, since it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.)
You don't really capture monsters at all; instead you just record their patterns, their 'DNA', sort of like a code, and when you have this code, you can input it into a machine which then causes the miamsma - which is everywhere that air is - to form into that pattern, creating a 'clone' of that monster species.
Synthetic monsters, then, are basically just codes that have been written from scratch rather than acquired from nature. These 'codes' are incredibly complex and require a lot of expertise to create, however, which is why it's never really been done before. It's sort of the equivalent of authoring a genome.
The ancient race that originally caught and trained monsters before they were wiped out may have been able to make their own monsters, or at least they may have been able to alter existing codes with special artefacts. The NPCs that appear at the start of the game to give you a starter or an 'evolution stone' are archaeologists (they've come to you because they want your help as a legendary archaeologist), and they've dug up these 'evolution stones' which the ancients designed and used. They'd work on a synthetic monster just because of how malleable the miasma is... or something. I suppose it doesn't have to make perfect sense.
Oh, and there's no 'rival' character as such, though the two archaeologists who appear at the start are plot characters and they may want to battle at some point. I don't think that I'll give them Starter monsters though; they'll just use normal monsters that are commonly found in the wild.
I think I've decided now to use a synthetic starter, and I've already added it to the game.
It's the only monster that the scientist starts with, and nobody gives it to you (you can give it a nickname when naming your character instead, before the game begins).
You're given one of three evolution 'stones' (or ancient relics or whatever), each of which will make it evolve once, and then later on that evolved form would evolve once again.
There's no reason you'd HAVE to evolve the starter, but in its basic form, it would be weak and wouldn't learn many moves at all.
As for the name, I may go with Miasmon after all...
I've been wondering how many people are familiar with the word 'miasma' at all, or whether they know how to pronounce it... I think that at least one commenter misread it as something like 'maze-ma', or something... I pronounce it as 'my-AZ-muh', and I think it has an intriguing, mystical sound about it.
The 'miasma theory of disease' is an outdated idea which tried to explain that disease was spread by 'bad air', and that things like perfumes would ward off disease because they stopped things from smelling bad.
Miasma in my universe is an unpleasant remnant of the creation process (a sort of 'waste product' or 'pollution', in a sense) which is found everywhere in the air and which is fairly 'bad' or 'evil' or whatever, since it causes monsters to appear, in the same way that the miasma theory said that diseases came from bad air. I thought it was an appropriate word to use, especially considering its obscure sound.
I think that due to that, the word 'Miasmon' has a darker feel to it than words like 'Pokemon' or 'Digimon'...
I do want to use the '-mon' suffix though to explicitly label the game as part of the monster catching genre, and since I am basically copying Pokemon in many fairly obvious ways.
So I will probably start calling it 'Miasmon' from now on, then...
Hopefully I've covered everything here that people were commenting about, but if there are other things I've not explained very well, I'd be willing to do so!