Description for my new story below. I currently have it in Everything Else, but I was wondering if it might fit better in a different category.
Long ago, a spontaneous mutation occurred in every living animal, giving incredible powers formally known to humans as magic, and dismissed. Every last one of them gained powers, at once, with one purpose: to destroy humans.
The bears and the wolves led the assault, followed by many others, becoming the Wild Ones. War broke out, even between animals, as pets rose to defend their owners, calling themselves the Last Loyals. But in the end, the Wild Ones won.
Now, animals continue to live without humans, claiming cities as their own, with new skills to master. The bears gained claws that could rip through almost everything, and a hide that can turn to stone. Wolves have special glowing coats, and super-bowls. Cats can teleport, dogs can control emotions. There are even animals such as birds and rats that seem to be hiding a new power of theirs that they have yet to share.
Choose your animal, and discover a world where animals rule, in the Animal Kingdom.
Also looking for feedback, and wondering if anybody has ideas for animals/mutations, or can think of another fairly dominant species that might lead the Wild Ones, other than wolves or bears. I was thinking big cats, but I'm not sure if those are as widespread.
Just using magic to kill the people would be lame. The most interesting part of this would be psychic bears tearing the fuck out of entire schools of children in a better version of Psychonauts. The "Oh, man just died and the animals aren't all genocidal war criminals" path is weak.
What's the focus of your game? Is it more concerned with story or plot? Are there any literary devices that you'd use? Is there a specific genre (mystery etc.) and(or) it's conventions that you're playing with? Answering these questions would make a clearer picture of your story for yourself and others. Having answered them, you could decide in what tense you'll write in etc. etc. and get around to fleshing out the finer details.
Insects like ants would dominate everything everywhere.
Although it's not a primary focus, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials pulls off a civilisation of bears with their own culture and traditions - and incorporates their aims of self-preservation into the grand scheme of things (a multiverse-wide conflict between witches, dragonfly-riding midgets, the papacy, so on and so forth). It manages it all by telling a more personal and introspective recount from the perspective of a pre-adolescent girl swept up by the events (deals with themes like the loss of innocence etc.). I'd recommend this trilogy to anyone (it's a shame there's not much recognition for how well-written it is), but to the OP especially as it seems to fall into his/her interests and it would probably provide some insight into how to deal with large-scale, muddied premises.
Anyways, I would only allow a select few species of animals that gain sentience.
Oh yeah... I think the main reason he hates Lewis is 'cos of the whole atheist deal he has going on and his observations on how Lewis isn't a real Christian (dunno, but it's something like that). About the themes in HDM and Narnia, he argues that the loss of innocence isn't something to regret (AKA, growing up and being an adult) while Narnia sort of laments the departure from childhood (Pullman explicitly said that was his big criticism on Narnia). I don't really know what he has against Tolkien, but nevertheless I found his story a very good read.
I think this article sums up everything nicely.
An age range of 11-13 if the kid is really precocious, lol.
Yeah, because it's so easy to take out bears with rock hides charging towards you.
Don't listen to this hater, CrazyCat, she just complains a lot. People don't care about science. Bojack Horseman just says "Bah, furries are real!" and that's that, and that's a great show. We don't need to know whether Shel Turtlestein is warm or cold blooded, just write.
Thanks. Usually when I write, though, I try to use a mix of both. Like using natural magic, but with an explainable source, like a magic tree that gives people magic abilities like a sort of god/diety.
Don't get me wrong, you definitely need internal consistency, and rules to all your magic and that so it's not just like "Oh, and now I can do this with magic!", but needing to sync things up with the external, real world isn't necessary. Anyway, you're welcome.
For language and communication, I tried to split the animals into groups. The bigger predators can communicate with each other, insects with each other, you get the idea. If I'm honest, I haven't explored too much with this world, I just wanted to get the idea out there to help me flesh it out more. If people found problems, it would be easier to fix them beforehand. On communication, then, that's what I was thinking the glowing wolves were for. It was hard to think of traits that define wolves that I could exaggerate through mutation, if you could think of one I would like to hear it, but I came up with glowing markings for easier communication. The colors change, and they get new markings as the grow, just like they would natural, non-glowing markings. I assumed bioluminescence would be easier to explain than telepathy. Which doesn't explain the bear, now that I think about it.... Yikes, I guess I did need feedback, haha.
Also, that was supposed to say super-howls, if you hadn't already guessed. When I think of wolves, I think of howling. I was thinking either a super-sonic howl, or something along those lines.
Well I was thinking they could control when it glows, maybe like flashing signals, but yeah, that's a good point.
I agree this would be Fantasy.
Although I have to say that the description doesn't fill me with much enthusiasm. Animals conquering the world and taking over from humans? What, so the animals all have superpowers? Are all the humans dead following the war? Or is it some kind of dystopian future where humans have been enslaved by humans (which would make some sense, but the imagery is really weird - it'd be like Planet of the Apes except that all animals are in charge...insects, birds, pigs, whatever).
I can imagine some kind of fantasy world where humans simply don't exist, or maybe they drove themselves to extinction, where the animals survived and gained powers of their own to control the new world. What if you want to play as a slug or a sloth? Or a flea? If the smaller animals mutated and grew gigantic then that would be a world that would be quite fantastic and slightly terrifying (giant bees, giant spiders, etc.)
I don't know, maybe I'm just looking too much into this. I'm just trying to imagine how animals would create their own civilisation, make their own cities (which would certainly be different from human cities), research, build, use tools, communicate with each other...I mean, sure they have superpowers, but there should still be some common ground.
I would argue that I'm actually older, but it's not by much, and I'd just be digging myself a deeper hole, so...yeah.
I was trying to plan the idea that the rest of the humans went into hiding, maybe even planning a counter-attack, but I'm not sure where they would hide that didn't have animals.
The birds, and possibly insects, mutated first, but because it didn't affect their appearance, nobody really noticed. From there it sort of spread like a disease might, affecting most mammals, certain birds, and insects like ants, bees, etc.
There are a few plots I'm considering for the story, the first being exploring the new world, and trying to figure out what caused the mutation. Another is simply trying to survive with a new intelligence that you didn't have before- this I'm thinking with the birds. You have the option to play as a raven. The birds are secretive, so you would get a different side to the story that might not be told otherwise. Because the birds find objects and run "shops" to trade with other animals(for different things, food, etc), you would get to meet a variety of new animals too.
Edit: Forgot to add, you can also choose to play as a dog, either trying to find the humans, or defending homes from the animals taking the cities. I would give you the choice of becoming a wild dog, but that would pretty much be a wolf. Unless you wanted the dog powers, or just like dogs more than wolves, but I can't imagine that's what might earn the story bad ratings, just because,"I wanted to play this animal with this different storyline"...
There would also be conflicts between the former Wild Ones, and the Last Loyals. The birds stayed nuetral in the war for the most part. They were smarter, and decided to plan how they might run the new world, I guess.
So are you saying animals with powers might work in a fantasy world, or are you saying no powers at all?
Thanks for the advice! I'll really take the time to think about it. I just want to write a good story. I'd much rather be known for a good story that I put lots of time into than a bad one that I rushed through because I thought my idea was better than others' opinions.
Yeah, I'm just a teen who likes cats. They tend to be stereotyped a lot, I understand. But I also like dogs(and wolves), reading, drawing, and obviously writing. I'm also procrastinating homework by writing, so I should really do that now....
I should note that cats and bears are seen more as background characters unless you choose to play as one, as the bears go back to being solitary(the bear you choose to play as questions what made him do the thing he did, the driving force felt "unnatural", and he goes on to explore the subject, whilst trying to avoid making 'friends'(the choice to make friends will appear less often than in other stories). And the cats really don't give a crap about anybody else because they're, well, they're cats. They really just wander the street, possibly helping stock shops with items humans left behind, or simply figuring out how it works. I can't think of a plot, so I'm putting the idea of cats aside for now, but I do plan on having another animal that is seen in the cities more(birds, dogs, possibly rats, though any plot I would make for rats might be too similar to birds) become friends with a sassy cat that constantly complains about everything(or at least has the option to). A cat character would have to be a tad narcissistic, and possibly pessimistic, not?
Sleep on it, figure out a plot, brainstorm and plan in whatever way you prefer. Hopefully the ideas here help out, but you really should have a better vision of what you want before working on the mechanics of everything in your story. Good luck!
First off, either make Magic Science or don't. The witches and alchemists of old didn't think what they were doing was "magic" they thought they were using the exploits of gods and physics to influence the world around them. If Magic is part of how your world works, it's science, and should be treated like science, even if humanity doesn't believe in it anymore. I mean, it can be something that is "dismissed" as magic, but experimenting with energies and forces to learn how the world works and giving it a practical application us pretty much exactly what science is, and magic irl would almost certainly have been treated as a branch of science before it was dismissed. There should be no notion of "oh, we used to call it "Magic" but it wasn't real, so now in our fairy stories we just call it "Magic"." I mean, sure, it doesn't have to come with a super-fleshed-out magic physics textbook, but at the same time, it should be addressed with terminology that makes it feel real and believed in.
I'll read the rest when I have time but that first statement already has me triggered
Magic is supernatural, science is natural. Also, no one cares, you twat, using anything besides "Magic" or perhaps "Psychic powers" will just make him or her seem like a pretentious cunt.
Please refrain from insulting others. I may not know who you are, but I really don't care, its rude, and hurtful. Some may take it harder than others. It's better to be safe than a bully. Thank you.
I know Sent well enough to insult him. Also fuck you, don't try tell me what to do, I was just starting to think you were worth helping.
I may not be worth helping, but I can sure as hell help others. I was merely giving you advice. You don't have to listen, but any consequences are yours to deal with.
Things are pretty much only supernatural when they aren't real. If Magic existed, it'd be considered just as natural. What I'm taking issue with here is that these forces that're happening are "Something you guys used to call Magic before you DISMISSED it like a bunch of dumb rationalists you shits!" Either call it magic or call it something else, but giving forces that be some other name just because people stopped believing in it or whatever is equally pretentious.
I'm not sure if I'm not understanding you, or you're not understanding me. I meant that people didn't believe in magic, thereby calling it nonsense and nonexistent, but now the animals have the thing that they were calling not real, because there wasn't any obvious signs of it existing before. They called it magic because they thought it didn't exist. They changed their viewpoints before most of them died, I'm guessing. Did that help clarify some things?
So basically, we're playing as sociopathic genocidal maniacs who exterminated us, the actual and presumably human reader, and as these genocidal maniacs we try to do something or other. I'm not sure what we're doing, but whatever. I'd say Fantasy might suit, seeing as it is a fantasy world, really. Few questions:
Clearly species like bears and wolves, while powerful regional powers, wouldn't control the world. However, it'd be interesting to see how species like rats, a global threat, deal with it. Seeing as they rely on man's resources for a lot as scavengers but they're also fairly wild, it would've been interesting to see them dealing with the Man-Animal War. I've never seen the show Zoo, but I presume that's the gist of it. If Ants are getting powers, you've got a Fascist world empire right there, although given just how powerful they'd be, I'd recommend staying away from insects. I give you these tidbits this because you seem to have handled criticism well and thus, even though the idea's not my style, I most definitely encourage you to continue writing.
Already explained the typo
The mutation itself was magic
I don't quite understand the question
Most of them were, but some fled after realizing the situation was hopeless, and now live in packs/groups, trying to adjust to the wild.
I didn't really think about that. The birds were the first to mutate, and had a headstart in spreading the word to other birds.
Think Redwall. That's my best comparison. Redwall without the metal swords, shields, and stuff.
Missed the typo, don't think you've explained what the protagonist would necessarily do unless they all have their own plots, haven't read Redwall.
The "How does magic work?" really means like what's going on when it's used. With magic, there needs to be some sort of price, so magic's not just used everywhere and everytime. Possibilities include it's fueled by a maguffin as I'll say in the next paragraph, that magic drains the lifeforce of the user, is powered by something evil, or that it simply exhausts you and drains your energy. My personal suggestion would be that magic is fueled by calories, like any other action. If you want to do a lot of magic, you need to eat a lot. This would give an edge to the far cooler carnivore animals, so that basically to become more powerful you need to eat a lot of high-calory meat, so the crueler carniverous animals hold all the power in the world, rather than you have to explain why this isn't just ran by the boring but far more common farm animals or something.
If you wouldn't mind, I do have a few suggestions to replace the magic mutation idea. First and simply, and I am stealing this from Psychonauts, have a magical macguffin type resource that's highly psychic and triggered these creations. It's generic, but I think it's better than just magic mutation, plus it gives you an important resource to have that all animals would want, seeing as if there's no main society there's nothing they'd really all want. Plus, it still lets you still have the history of a cool Man-Beast War.
My second suggestion is a bit more off the wall, but it basically involves the unearthing or gifting of some 2001: Space Odyssy-type Monolith to Earth. If you're unfamiliar, basically it hyper-evolves ancient apes and gets them to use tools. When a modern day man goes into it, he evolves into this hyper-intelligent next stage of evolution floating fetus thing. It's weird, but whatever. Basically, my suggestion would be this device "works" on pretty much the entire planet. It's effects on animals evolve them into these psychic creatures you want to write about. However, with man, it just kind of "vanishes" them. It could be left as a mystery to unravel by loyal pets to find whether their masters were simply destroyed by an error or perhaps on purpose, or whether they simply evolved so much they ascended to a new plane of existence, or whatever. Finding the aliens motives would also be cool. But whatever, use what you want or nothing at all.
Magic is like energy. You can spend energy by using magic, and replenish magic by gaining energy, like sleeping, or yes, eating. As such, you get a certain amount of magic to "spend" each day, and you can increase it by a smaller amount by eating, or buying magic replenishing foods from the shops.
In the end, I decided to get rid of the whole mutation process, and instead, it is simp,y set in a fantasy world where animals have powers.
The plot is still a work in progress, I'm working on another story while I figure out how I want this storygame to be. Some of my answers might have changed three days from now. I'm just happy to be making progress, usually I get stuck and the story is sort of ditched, but not deleted, because I keep telling myself I'll finish it eventually. Thanks for the ideas!
Whilst I would disagree with the fantasy world idea entirely as it takes away most of the cool aspects of the idea like the human-beast war, the idea of animals inheriting a world and a kind of post-apocalyptic rebuilding setting, and instead replaces it with a far more generic Warrior Cats with more animals type scenario, it's your story.
Only a few generations later. Enough that the animals are acting normal(other than the advanced intelligence), but there are still some really old animals that still exist that started the war.