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How Would You Reboot The Blue Bomber?
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TheFallenAlchemist Offline
Dr. Wily's Bastard Child

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Post: #21
RE: How Would You Reboot The Blue Bomber?
(20-06-2016 04:45 AM)Lamda Wrote:  Once again, you misunderstand.

I'm not telling you not to cross things over--I'm telling you to be careful of how far you stray.

Let's look at this logically:

Why does Sigma, as a character, work? Well, he is the first of his kind born from revolutionary technology discovered by his creator. He, like all of his kind, possess a form of free will and something akin to a soul not seen in robotic individuals before. He eventually comes into a mindset that makes him violent and dangerous and renegade and he is labelled as a criminal, as are all after him who fall into the same sort of mindset. He has other members of his kind (Hunters) sent after he and his cohorts to try and subdue them, and kill them if unable. One such Hunter is the very technology he was born from. He continues to be beaten and continues to return by this character, this person from whom he came, and that person's closest ally. He continues to garner more and more of his kind to his cause and mindset. He continues to try and either achieve Reploid dominance, human destruction, or take over everything (depending on the game and how sane he is). He does things like build a doppelganger in the likeness of his enemy's closest friend in which to fight him and fuck with his head, or crash a giant space station into the planet uncaring of the levels of damage it causes. He exists as a truly maverick anomaly in a world where his kind generally live and coexist well enough with humans, and his actions directly cause that world to grow more and more ruined and socially-changed and battle-worn. Humans (naturally) would begin to grow increasingly distrustful of Reploids due to all the Maverick incidents and Sigma revivals to the point of creating an entirely new generation of them--and thus force a global technology upgrade on a still-recovering planet and society so that the old and untrustworthy tech can be gone--in the hopes of ridding them of Sigma's virus and influence and the Maverick mindset.

All of these external events and influences on Sigma's character that are directly correlated to the world he inhabits and affects--there's no free-will robots running around in Classic actively killing humans and inflicting massive property damage, and what few robots in Classic that DO do the above aren't free-will-endowed and are programmed to do so by Wily. There's no recurring virus that infects them and makes them more predisposed to violence and anarchy, and there's no villain that keeps returning because his source DNA/code/soul/whatever is well-guarded and spread out like a weed and his will ensures continuation of destruction if he revives--the only reason Wily keeps returning is usually a very cartoonish "oh no the evil mad scientist broke out of jail again!"

Sigma works as a character because of the time and world he acts and exists in--the things about his character we like and dislike are all products of the plot of the subseries he's from. Remove the social and technological and slightly-existentialist setting of the X series, and Sigma's character loses its context, and thus its punch.

This is what I've been saying--not that you "have" to adhere to the canon in every way without exception. If you take Sigma, remove him from the time period where his character has been written to work most effectively, and stick him in a much, much tamer and simpler time period and social setting, then you're putting him somewhere where he can't work effectively as a character.

To combat this, one would obviously make some alterations to fit the new setting--but what you've written is just a different way of looking at his mindset and actions in the X series. There's nothing really new other than the perspective and very slightly the methodology of his mantra.

In order for Sigma to work effectively in Classic's environment, you would have to either rewrite Classic to the point of it not really being Classic anymore, or to rewrite Sigma to the point of him not really being Sigma anymore.

What you've come up with more or less tries to put everyone all in one basket, which is neat, but when it's just a mishmash of everything and most characters are relatively the same as always, you're going to get disconnects like this. Sigma's X-series mindset, goals, ambitions, actions, behaviors, etc. as well as any alternative perspectives on them (such as yours of "what if Sigma was actually more diplomatic about recruiting followers and his cause than we first thought?") simply lose their effectiveness as plot devices when you remove the very context that they were written for.

You're more or less using Sigma purely for the name and association, which leads to the above problem because of that association. Given how much you'd have to change, it would be much easier to just write a new character and have them act as a sort of precursor of or spiritual reference to Sigma--that, or completely change your approach to combining things.

Let me break down some of the places where your story falls somewhat short in this regard:

Quote:Shit goes down and a housekeeping robot goes to investigate

Why would a housekeeping robot go beyond its designated functions to this degree? Going outside to check on what that noise was is one thing, but continuing on to fight things? That doesn't make any sense without any prior backstory of how these robots work. Do they follow the Laws, or an offshoot of the Laws? If so, how strictly do they adhere? How frequent are deviant robots and how are they dealt with? Are all robots capable of combat in some form? If so, why and how? A housekeeping bot having built-in home defense technology would be one solution, but if there's an anarchist revolution going on outside, home defense strategies aren't going to cut it, and a machine brain would know that. But if the housekeeping robot did have such abilities, why would it go out of its way to leave the home it's made to maintain and go off somewhere else to figure out why stuff's not working? When you've specifically mentioned "everything's better when you do what you're programmed to do," this doesn't add up.

Quote:Housekeeping robots go to their human master whom they both have no problems serving without question and say "we're gonna deviate from what we're made to do so that we can take care of this thing that has nothing to do with us or our standard function or the goings-on within this house we're here to maintain"

This premise lends the impression that these robots have enough free will to be able to disregard their primary function and decide to pursue a new one entirely because reasons (see what I meant about "the plot demands it?"). If we're going the route of "Mega Man kinda sorta does have free will a bit maybe" that Classic sometimes infers, that's all well and good, but it goes against what you have them telling the antagonist later ("everything's better when you do what you're programmed to do"), not to mention it falls under the aforementioned "using a character's original story elements in a new context" problem Sigma has. Mega having free will maybe in Classic is a big deal because it's not really a thing in Classic era and it lays a potential foundation for Light when he works on X--since we're combining a bunch of series, this creates a lot of snags.

It's also very illogical and kinda out of left field for non-combatant robots to suddenly go "HEY YOU KNOW HOW WE'RE BUILT TO CLEAN HOUSES AND SHIT YEAH FUCK THAT GIVE US GUNS WE'RE GONNA GO WRECK SOME ASSHOLE'S SHIT," which is more or less what you're having them do here.

Quote:"Everything's better when you do what you're programmed to do"

Considering the Megaman series so often asks the question of "what does it mean to be a robot?", going the direct route of "no, just do what you're told, sentient AI that's rebelling on behalf of intelligent-machine-kind everywhere out of a mostly selfless desire for us as a whole aren't just relegated to servitude forever, everything's so much better when you follow the exact scenario you're trying to prevent/correct" is a very poorly-thought-out and counterintuitive one.

You have housekeeping robots who believe in obeying their directives disobeying those directives and asking their human master to turn them into combat robots, go around killing/deleting other robots/AIs who may or may not actually be causing actual physical harm to humans (you haven't specified the nature of the rebellion beyond "technology's going apeshit") and thus possibly not violating any of the presumed-present variants of the Laws, and finally tell the supersentient AI behind everything "nah, you don't really know what you're doing despite having a far more advanced brain than either of us do, how's about you stop being silly and just do what you're told, k?"--I can't even figure out how your proposed society regards robots and technology, or how the robots and technology themselves work in that society. You're bouncing all over the place in regards to how submissive or willing the robots are or can be, so I don't even have a cohesive picture to compare other, more complex things like where Sigma's original mindset and preference toward rebellion against humans are going to fit in said picture.

I also have a moral objection to the theme of "just do what you're told and life is easier" in any medium--is this really what you want your hero character telling people? I understand and appreciate the addendum he tells Sigma about using diplomacy and conversation rather than upheaval, but that doesn't change that he tells him to basically just be a mindless drone and obey just beforehand.

Quote:"We've had great Mega Man games with intricate stories, and we've had great Mega Man games with almost nonexistent stories; therefore, it seems like a reboot could approach story (and, by extension, theming) in a variety of different ways and still be faithful to the franchise."

Yes, we've had Classic which has almost no real plot depth beyond a few specific instances, the X and Zero series which both touch on individuality and free will and get very dark at times, the ZX series which is kinda a more lighthearted version of the X/Zero series and also touches slightly on cohabitation between humans/machines, Battle Network which is huge on the digital age and how massive it truly is, Legends which touches on coexistence and interaction between human and robot pretty heavily--all these series with vastly different themes and levels of complexity.

But that does not for an instant mean that hastily duct-taping a shitload of stuff from all over the entire franchise works.

I can go to a bookstore, and grab off the shelves Twilight, Hamlet, Fifty Shades of Grey, Green Eggs and Ham, the Kama Sutra, the Necronomicon, a Danielle Steel erotica, a TIME magazine, and a children's coloring book. I can rip my favorite pages and sections out of each one and rearrange the order of all the different pages from all those books at my leisure. I can staple the Frankenstein-esque book together.

Does this mean I have a good book?

Actually, that's a poor example for this metaphor--Megaman subseries are all part of one franchise, after all. So let me amend it.

Imagine I do the exact scenario as above, but just with different Shakespeare plays. Or Dr. Seuss books. Or Lovecraft stories. Or the Redwall series. Or Goosebumps. Or various issues of TIME. Or Dust Bowl-era stories. Or Horatio Alger "rags to rich" stories.

I'm using elements taken from different works all under the same individual series, so should I still get a good, well-written story that has quality progression and themes without any glaring conflicts of interest or tone?

Chances are I'm just gonna have a hodgepodge of random chunks of different stories that will hit me entirely out of left field when the switches happen.

This is more or less how I'm seeing what you've done here--it's well-meaning but is going too big perhaps for its own good. It's pulling from too many different sources and creates one of the aforementioned "lack of effective context" problems with each instance of something major (like a main character or theme) being pulled.

I don't even have to look at it from the perspective of the source canon--even disregarding that completely, you still have characters pulled from different sources and contexts with very little changes made to their original biographies all interacting in one big clusterfuck. The clusterfuck has the potential to be a nice smooth orgy of niceities instead, but it'd call for a lot of refining and reworking on the approach. Even disregarding canon conflicts, there are still holes in the synopsis that consider only the synopsis itself (such as the issues about "HEY GRAMPS MAKE US FIGHTING BOTS KTHNX" and "YEAH JUST DO WHAT YOU'RE TOLD BRAH SHIT'S EASIER THAT WAY" I elaborated in detail on earlier).

If I actually wanted to break this down using the canon as reference, we'd be here for weeks. I'm only using what parts of the canon I need to in order to cite the importance of context regarding a character's motivations and actions--most everything else I've said is because there issues within your synopsis itself that don't need me to cite canon to be problematic--I've covered the ones I consider the most glaring but could elaborate further if you'd want.

The problem isn't using existing characters and their motivations in a new context. The problem is doing so in a way that doesn't shit all over the expectations and associations with the old version of the character that will be present, and also brings something new to the table through juxtaposing the modified character with other modified elements and settings so that it doesn't feel like you just slapped a bunch of stuff together and called it a day.

This is a very tricky path to walk on--fuck up too badly and you get the Devil May Cry reboot or MN9 levels of "what the fuck did you do to this character you so obviously just lazily recycled to garner fan interest?"

As for your question of "how would I do it?"

Can't really say. I take writing a believable world/setting somewhat seriously (clearly), and would likely comb over the canon with a fine-tooth comb for months on end (again) to refresh myself on everything and plan out how to approach a reboot to a series this massive without leaving out the more important elements. I'd take a long hard look at what characters I wanted in, what makes them tick, what elements and interactions with other characters and places and objects around them help shape who they are, and start to strategize how to best make crossover combinations that are mutually beneficial to the writing of each interaction.

But right now, I've got a different story and project to focus on developing.

Story? Seems you've already written a great one here. MM - Coolface At least you're passionate towards this series. Albeit in ways that I can't even begin to imagine.
(This post was last modified: 20-06-2016 09:22 PM by TheFallenAlchemist.)
20-06-2016 09:21 PM
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Lamda Offline
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Post: #22
RE: How Would You Reboot The Blue Bomber?
(20-06-2016 07:20 PM)Flashman85 Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 04:45 AM)Lamda Wrote:  Once again, you misunderstand.

We're starting to take over this discussion thread, so I'll keep it somewhat short so that other people can weigh in with their ideas.

What I presented was an outline. I realize that not everything is fully explained, and that some elements sound like they might not work. What's frustrating is that I can't seem to find a common ground for discussing it with you. That's why I keep trying to bring this back to general philosophy about reboots and the franchise itself; I haven't developed enough of the details for us to get into specifics about whether Sigma works in this setting or whether it's feasible for Rock and Roll to become superheroes. I'm trying to figure out where you draw the line between "not enough like the source material" and "too much like the source material," and all I'm hearing is that the story I haven't even written yet is full of plot holes and haphazard crossovers that don't work.

Maybe Rock and Roll are HOUSEHOLD, not HOUSEKEEPING, robots. They mow the lawn and wash the dishes, but they're also effectively the caretakers of Dr. Light's children. He's at work all day, his wife is traveling the world, and Rock and Roll make sure the kids get to school and help them with their homework and play with them. They are the protectors of the whole family, and practically like family themselves, not just hired help.

When the first disturbance happens, it's right in their backyard, and Rock and Roll check it out. When things start happening all over town, it's at the school where the kids go, and at the factory that makes the products Dr. Light works with, and at the airport where Dr. Light's wife is scheduled to land, and at the police department, so that local law enforcement is powerless to help. If their neighborhood is unsafe, the family they care for is unsafe. Maybe they ARE doing the job they were programmed to do, but in a broader sense than they ever expected. Maybe they DO have free will, but were programmed with a predisposition for following the rules, and they never had any reason to think hard about it until Sigma came along. Nobody ever asked why Rock, in the official games, went from a household robot to a killing machine and never turned back; "strong sense of justice" was all the explanation we ever needed.

Short of me writing a full novelization of the plot that we can dissect, I don't think we're going to get much farther by continuing to discuss this. We're coming at this from different angles, and despite all the words we've exchanged, we're clearly not communicating with each other very well. I had a concept I was excited about, you weren't so enthusiastic, and we've both expended a lot of time and energy on talking circles around it. I'm ready to move on.

Not communicating well? Naw, son, you misunderstand. I like to have all my bases covered when I write--the less room for "yeah but-" questions there are, the more wholesome the story feels. That's all.

I don't "draw a line" quite in that manner; I draw the line at how well the stuff's written and how well it makes uses of what and who it utilizes--doesn't matter to me one way or the other if you're close to the canon or far from it with reusing elements if what you do is well-written and conveys the desired themes properly. You tossed Sigma into the mix and didn't change very much about him--I consider this problematic for the reasons I mentioned about source context. For that kind of Sigma to work, there would need to be a similar context to the X series--hence why I said you'd have to either rewrite him or the Classic world to the point of not really being their original selves anymore. I questioned the reasoning and efficacy of Rock and Roll because the way you initially wrote them didn't make much sense by way of running off to fight things. I'm not questioning things because they're not using canon information the way I would or might prefer, I'm questioning things because from a storytelling standpoint they have bits that didn't seem to make a lot of sense.

The simpler plot of "go beat bad guy for great justice" works just fine but that's all it needs. You have more expanded elements in your base writeup that very strongly lent me the impression that you were going for a larger, broader world, and I criticized it under that impression. If you're intending something basic and simple, I--very simply put--think you have way too much stuff going on and a couple of themes way too heavy for a more simplistic plot.

I didn't expect that writeup to be anything finalized--hence why I've been noting where I see some issues with it should you ever decide to go back to it. I just don't want to see something with potential be relegated to unexplained cop-outs such as "well we didn't need that in the original series" if an explanation can indeed be conceived. I'm not gunning to shoot you down--that's just how I prefer to write and I don't think any writer likes dealing with a slew of "YEAH BUT-" questions after a point. Since such questions would be met with an answer one way or the other, it merely seems to me to be much more prudent to just include all those little details in the final script in the first place.

All the things you've just said? There are those explanations, and they weren't present before. I'd say we've been communicating well enough, since I pointed out perceived discrepancies and you gave resolutions for them that weren't there the first time. Don't take me as knocking you or your work or trying to be an ass--I wouldn't be posting at these lengths if I didn't care about the potential value of the story.

Quote:Game making in 6 steps:
1: Get assets and program
2: Smash the two together until stuff happens
3: Beat your face into your keyboard when stuff breaks/doesn't want to work
4: Continue beating your face into your keyboard until you've smashed the right code
5: Rejoice that it works and move on to the next thing
6: Go back to Step 2 and repeat
(This post was last modified: 21-06-2016 06:00 AM by Lamda.)
21-06-2016 05:36 AM
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UltraEpicLeader100 Offline
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Post: #23
RE: How Would You Reboot The Blue Bomber?
Flash. Your reboot actually sounds really cool..
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(This post was last modified: 17-05-2017 04:50 PM by UltraEpicLeader100.)
17-05-2017 04:49 PM
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Lionheart261 Offline
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Post: #24
RE: How Would You Reboot The Blue Bomber?
With his 30th anniversary coming up, I've been asking that question to myself a lot lately.

Ultimately, I think the reason Capcom isn't making more Mega Man games isn't because Inafune left or "They've run out of ideas" or simple pettiness towards the franchise real reason. I think the primary problem is fiscal in nature; Capcom can no longer sell games in Mega Man's traditional 8 boss then final battle formula at full price, as evidenced by MM9 and 10. They can get away with selling the game for 10 bucks, maybe 20 when including DLC, while the production costs for an 8-bit style game are moderately cheaper than they were in the NES days. And the problem is that that formula lies at the heart of the Classic and X series, both of which are beloved by fans. Any expansion upon that original design-enhanced graphics, more bosses/stages, secrets-would dig into the budget while raising the cost, essentially leaving them with the same problem they started with; less profit per copy means that it can bomb a lot more easily.

They could try releasing games in another series which permits a higher price point(and honestly, I think they really ought to release Legends 3 at least), but they'd have to contend with the fact that sequels could expect most profits to come from fans of the previous games rather than newcomers, which would also complicate things.

Ultimately, if I were put in charge of the Mega Man franchise, I would do the following:
1. Restart Legends 3 and release it for the Switch.
2. Remake the Mega Man Game Boy titles in a Classic or "8-bit esque" style like the kind seen in many indie games. Outsource it to indie developer Yacht Club Games and fund it via crowdfunding, to minimize monetary concerns. Why Yacht Club? Well, their work in Shovel Knight proves that they know a thing or two about 8 bit style Mega Man-esque platformers, and that they could probably transfer their knowledge to games like this. Also, they developed Shovel Knight, a game which would've taken over a million dollars to produce according to traditional game development doctrine, with 350k, albeit at great personal expense. That shows that they can work with a limited budget, which is good for maximizing profit on what would ultimately be $10-15 games of similar scale to Mega Man 9. Not to mention this would be a great opportunity to clarify the series' relationship to the overall continuity and improve upon the Game Boy tiles' flaws.
3. Port the Legacy Collections to the Switch at 20 bucks each. If possible, release a DLC patch which adds in The Wily Wars to the first collection and Mega Man and Bass to the second for, say, 5 bucks each.
4. Initiate a soft reboot of the entire Mega Man continuity. By "soft reboot," I mean "Start fresh in an alternate universe where you can do whatever you damn well please." That way, the pressure to continue the other series could be at the very least shelved for a time, and the series allowed to start fresh in a new direction. The game: Mega Man: Rebooted. The be quite honest, I hadn't thought that far ahead.

Ultimately, I think the series must remain a "Jump and shoot" style platformer with 2D graphics. In this new game, the graphics should be drawn 2D animated sprites, with physics much akin to the Classic series. A lot of abilities in Classic titles-sliding, charging, swimming(with improved controls, hopefully), ledge grabbing, and the Rush abilities-would make their return, and the game would center around classic Mega Man and Roll as a playable character alongside her brother. To make things more interesting, Roll would operate much differently than Mega Man in that, unlike his traditional boss weapons, she would obtain various abilities from defeating the 8 Robot Masters which, while not being weaknesses of the bosses, could be useful in discovering secrets and fighting the bosses, and are bound to a regenerating Stamina meter. Examples of the kinds of abilities she gets could include: a brief gliding power via rocket boots, being able to slightly drain enemies of health by hurting them, her buster gaining a brief stun effect, a double jump, etc.

The game's plot would likely be similar to the original Mega Man's, featuring many of the same characters and Doctor Wily as a main antagonist, but also new characters thrown in, and lots of unexplained plot elements elaborated upon. And of course, Roll would be incorporated into it as a fighting robot alongside Mega Man. As for structure, the nonlinearity of the Mega Man franchise would be maintained. At the beginning, Mega Man or Roll would be selected for the playthrough(a bit archaic, but it does encourage replayability). Eight main bosses would be accessible from a hub world at Light Labs, each offering a stage divided into 2 Acts. Each Act would be slightly longer than a standard Classic level, with more checkpoints than usual(thanks to the removal of a life system), and level design would be built around the idea that both characters can traverse it, with particular areas suited to each's abilities. Bolts would make a return as Auto would appear much earlier than he did in the original continuity, providing the player with upgrades and items to help them in their quest. Also, additional stages and content would be accessible via the hub area and certain offshoots of it unlocked throughout the game. Upon the defeat of every boss, Wily would be faced in a series of 4 2 Act stages which would offer players a break in between stages to replenish items. Once Wily is defeated, New Game + would be accessible, offering a harder time to players and additional achievements. The game would be released on the Switch and have some online capabilities, such as an online battle mode.

So there you have it. Those are my ideas on how to reboot the Blue Bomber.

Let me know what you all think.
(This post was last modified: 27-11-2017 06:25 AM by Lionheart261.)
26-11-2017 08:28 AM
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