Tuesday, April 4, 2017

WIP Story Beats

Crane shot from the outside of a orphanage in a dreary city, through a window, where a neat line of orphans march by, with a teacher walking to the side, using a ruler to correct out-of-sync limbs. Pete slips out of a closet and pulls a girl, who is reading a book in the back of the line, back into the closet. “Mavis, I know how to get out of here!" Pete whispers. “You’ll just get caught again!” “Not this time, I’ve found a way to the roof. Come and see!” Play through escape, following Pete and learning controls. VO for Mavis trying to get Pete to reconsider? Moment where Pete leans over edge of roof, pauses and takes a big breath of the fresh air, and says "I'm never gonna be held down again!" Leap down into city streets. Follow brother to trainyard while orphanage authorities yell after in the background.  ---Mavis clumsily attracts guards when trying to follow him
-+Pete successfully escapes and Mavis decides to follow
><Mavis just wants to avoid getting in trouble, Pete wants to escape

Catalyst: Authorities pursue the two into the trainyard, Pete and Mavis are separated, Mavis surrounded. Pete gets authorities to chase him and is helped onto a moving train by Dusty Mitts, who grins after Mavis before disappearing. A nearby bum whistles and tells Mavis that was "the westbound" to Big Rock Candy Mountain, the heaven and hell for hobos who have passed to the other side. Mavis asks how to catch it again, and the bum scratches his chin and says if anyone knows it would be Full Timer Tom, who is somewhere in the trainyard. The bum gives up his unused bindle for Mavis's journey (maybe not magic at first, becomes imbued with travel?).
+-Pete saves Mavis but is carried away
><Mavis wants to keep Pete safe, Pete’s reckless nobility

Debate: Mavis finds Full Timer Tom, who introduces the search for hobo nickels but tests her resolve to go after her brother by giving her a glimpse of the dangers of hobo magic
+-Mavis is challenged by the mechanic, introduced to hobo magic
><Mavis wants to find her brother, world proves to be a dangerous and unexpected place

Break into two: Mavis jumps onto a moving boxcar for the first time and into the world of hobo magic. First step away from the familiar but dreary world---the boxcar is filled with colorful characters, using their fingers to light campfires in the air, using a magic spoon to fill their empty pots with stew, and foot-stomping hobo music. ---Train goes by orphanage, evening, seeing kids climbing into beds/Have to go back to orphanage to find something for Full-timer Tom---needs her book?
-+Mavis makes a choice and the wonders of Hobo life are opened to her
><Mavis decides to be independent, world is vast and mysterious

B Story: Mavis intercepted as she leaves the train by Looky Homer, who arrives with a letter from Pete. He tells about the wonders of the underworld and total freedom! Mavis is pleased but notices Looky Homer is forlorn. He tells her that he lost a pigeon to Whiskeyblood Kate's dogs and they're not on speaking terms. Mavis promises to speak to her for him. Run into Kate, who is apprehending a "buzzard" running away with a stolen pot of mulligan, and she immediately takes a liking to Mavis after they catch the man. Start to see trail of Johnny Appleseed!
+-Meet interesting characters but understand their challenges
><Mavis dead set on finding brother, but curiosity and compassion threaten to sideline quest

Fun and games: this is where the meat of the gameplay is. Hunting down hobo legends and taking out minions and puzzles between towns. Whiskeyblood Kate becomes helper-enforcer and Looky Homer becomes tip and information-giver.
-+Mavis starts to understand the Hobo world and her potential as a hobo sorceress
><Mavis intent on her search, world is interesting and distracting

Midpoint: Finally find Johnny Appleseed, but then Ralston Yeggs' rats steal coins and bindle? In trying to get them back, his power becomes evidence that you don't belong here, not powerful enough to complete this task. He only agrees to return the coins if you can get the Westbound to stop for you.
+-Very close to achieving what she set out to do, and then loses everything
><Ralston’s selfishness, Mavis’s hope and fear

Bad guys close in: Letter from brother now hinting at Pete's sense of disorientation or being lost in the underworld (he's saying he's happy but something messed up)? Attempts to board the Westbound are deflected again and again, Dusty Mitts taunts. Looky Homer and Whiskeyblood Kate at odds and their messages to each other are frustrating and sidelining Mavis's quest. Repair of breach with Kate and Homer means you get the shoe bindle and can finally retrieve the nickels and catch Dusty Mitts. You have to ride a "bad road" in pursuit of Dusty Mitts.
+-Mavis starts to lose confidence in her chances of success
><Mavis fearful and desperate, Kate and Homer's irrelevant quarrel, Dusty Mitt’s confidence in success

All is Lost: Encounter with Dusty Mitts, lose hobo nickels (Dusty breaks his promise? But then surprised when Mavis snaps one of his chains with her bindle). Now stuck in the Underworld, but Dusty, with a gleam in his eye, promises to bring Mavis to her brother.
+-Almost impossible for Mavis to succeed now
><Dusty envious of Mavis’ power, starts to scheme. Mavis like a feral cat backed into the corner

Dark night of the soul: Trapped by Knithead Nora
+-Mavis dropped off and trapped in world of Nora
><Knithead Nora’s attempts to help only hinder, Mavis wants to escape and find brother

Break into three: Find brother trapped in a space inside Nora's web, living his own sort of limbo. Gifts from Johnny, Homer, and Kate break the spell?
-+Pete is forlorn and lost in his fantasy, Mavis breaks him free
><Mavis’s desire to save Pete, Pete not sure if he wants to be saved

Finale: encounter Dusty Mitts again, deal with the devil to escape with brother---give up bindle for freedom. Dusty can't break his own chains and goes into a rage---loses containment. How to build up toward it?
-+Test of resolve/ability, trade of bindle for brother
><Dusty selfishly wants power of bindle, Mavis reluctant to give up power (Pete convinces her using same words she used to convince him?)

Final Image: Pete and Mavis riding the rails, finally free but with a sense of purpose. Mavis finishes carving a new bindle stick with hobo symbols.

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