Storyline development for our games is a somewhat detailed process and one that does not, as my first set of design notes indicated, happen in isolation.
This brings me to an issue of nomenclature. Within the storyline development process we use terms that may or may not be parallel to the ones you are used to. Cycle is one such word that you will have seen in game in the sense we use it in development but is not necessarily the way it is used popularly.
Roughly speaking storyline can be organized in several different ways including:
A small group of tightly related releases that tell a singular story. Cycles may be part of a larger overall storyline called a "Saga"
A large group of story-lines over time that tell the story of defined event. I.e. The Coming of the Devourer, The Fall of Darkovia, etc....
Sagas may or may not be defined of smaller Cycles.
A group of stories concerned with a theme or an area that may not be as tightly woven as a Saga or a Cycle.
An arc covers the history of a specific area or subject and as such may have many very loosely connected things going on.
The Devourer Saga is both a Saga and an Arc; in that it tells the story of the first several years of the game more or less entirely.
Other arcs include the Darkovian arc and the Nightmare Arc, which tells the story of the nightmare realm.
Roughly speaking cycle, saga, and arc can be used somewhat interchangeably and this explains only my own use of the terms during development.
Sagas and Arcs compose larger sections of the game storyline as a whole.
Nothing however happens in a vacuum it very often may be the case that something we learn in one saga or arc directly ties in to events that are revealed in another saga or arc.
That is as it should be as the player is the same individual in each case and many times individual NPCs play large parts in many different cycles.
The sense of building a consistent and singular backstory and overall fleshed out storyline is very critical to the work we are trying to do now. We very much want to give depth to our characters.
We certainly have breadth already.
Another term you may have encountered recently that is worth repeating is the term Mastercraft, and refering to items as Mastercrafted.
Mastercraft replaces the eariler and some what nebulous category of "Uber". Mastercraft and items that are mastercrafted are can be expected to be some of the best items relative to their level. They have extra power, longevity, versatility, or abilities relative to other items at their level; and as such cost commensurately more.
Mastercrafted item may occur as standalone items or in sets. When they occur in sets, the completion of an entire mastercrafted set will generally bestow some additional bonus/power above and beyond the individual pieces. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
A final set of words that are sometimes used in development are "canon". "deutrocannon" and "deutrocannonical". This is important related to what represents what is official in the world of Lore. Canon is the body of works that are considered the official "history" of Lore. Lores Canon is because of the many timelines and other events involved somewhat fluid. Much like the canon of Doctor Who by way of comparison. Deutrocannon is part of the overall canon, and it is official, but it has less weight or importance than other things that have been officially published by AE either in game or in some other capacity.
There are numerous bodies of fiction related to Lore that I have written for instance, role-playing scenarios and sessions, as well as background on the World of Caelestia and many other things that while at least semi-official, if for no other reason than because I assume them to be true when I am writing new material that is published in more official venues. This material, for example the official fictions in the Legends and Lore section of the AE Forums, makes up the deuterocannon and they are considered deuterocanonical.
At least until they either appear in game or are otherwise published by AE in some capacity, that is. And ideally eventually all of them will so appear.
< Message edited by Falerin -- 2/9/2010 16:22:18 >