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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:11 pm 
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This is the place to chat about historical or pseudo-historical topics. News about a real archaeological find, discussion of ancient life, or stories about gladiators or the world of Arena Rex should wind up here. Even debates about how accurate we are (or aren't) to a given period are welcome.

Have fun with it!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:55 am 
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Noxius
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Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story by the BBC is a good place to get some of the flavor of the times. It was available for streaming on Netflix.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Noxius
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Quote:
Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story by the BBC is a good place to get some of the flavor of the times. It was available for streaming on Netflix.


thanks for the tip, will watch it.
BBC docu's are always good :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:16 am 
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Noxius

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Will we start to see some lore released for the Arena Rex universe released prior to the release of the game. For me the story of the universe the game exists in is just as important as game play or model quality. Like a stool with three legs if any one leg is short the whole thing doesn't work. We've seen the beautiful models, we've seen game mechanics, will we start to see some background?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:01 am 
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Noxius
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Dark Angel 13 wrote:
Will we start to see some lore released for the Arena Rex universe released prior to the release of the game. For me the story of the universe the game exists in is just as important as game play or model quality. Like a stool with three legs if any one leg is short the whole thing doesn't work. We've seen the beautiful models, we've seen game mechanics, will we start to see some background?


Definitely agree with this, I can't wait for fluff. Stories of the gladiators exploits and of the intrigue and politics of each arena and ludus. The state of the world and what kind of wars and empires exist would be really cool to know.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:12 am 
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Noxius
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I'm not sure how apt the RRG guys are at writing (well we know Walker can do puns =P) Chances are they'd really need to bring in freelance writers, so it's important to find the right people, and work just as hard creating a consistent, quality world, as it is picking the right sculpters and producing quality miniatures. And it's not just RRG who need to do their resarch, but the writers too.

Just because we often call it fluff, doesn't mean it's any less complicated and time consuming to produce, so I'm happy to let RRG take their time with it. They've said they want to focus on establishing a great game atm, which makes sense. At the moment the game looks like it'll be great, and while it feels a bit like a boardgame translated to the tabletop, that's in many ways a good thing, because that chess-like simplicity makes it really easy to get people playing. But without background text and narrative elements, it will struggle to establish itself as a core skirmish game.

Honestly, one of the best methods is to encourage people to post stories on the forum, and recruit talent from within the community. Wyrd have done a pretty good job at that, and it's always nice when you can get feedback on your own story from one of the game's writers.

As for how RRG should handle the fluff, I would like it to be more world-driven, than character or story driven. Create the world, and convey it by placing different characters in different contexts. I want stories, and I want to know the characters better, but I don't want it to be a continuous narrative. Malifaux is great, but it's main story is rather weak and disjointed, because it has to escalate, it has provide characters with tougher challenges, without being allowed to kill them off, and the result feels like a comic rather than an engaging journey (which is hard to do when the characters start out as badass). So you can have a ton of stories detailing Hermes' rise in the arena, even have contradicting stories to create the effect of him being mythologised, but that's mostly in his past, yet provides depth for who he is now. You can still do story progression, but it would be world progression, like a new emperor, or a war breaking out, and we see how that effects the characters (who have limited control over their own fate) rather than the world revolving around them and making them out to be more than what they are (though perhaps they have more influence on some things than they know).

I could probably ran all day on this, but I'll stop there. I might try and write up a short story or two.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:10 am 
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Noxius
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Some good points from above.

I think the inherent problem with writing a character-driven gladiator story that focuses on highlighting all factions or ludi with equal weight is that the death-rate for gladiators is quite high. While its safe to assume that the current roster of AR gladiators are the best of the best, having beaten other foes along their path to fame, when you start pitting them together, eventually some must die.

Unlike the state of today's sport, there would be very few chances of a long-running rivalry between individuals.

If we assume that each ludus has many more fighters within its ranks, a narrative can be established whereby the collateral damage in the narrative is predominantly placed on non-playable characters, with our beloved miniatures only suffering flesh wounds and muscle strains.

I am sure there are plenty of good amateur writers out there. If RRG offered some free minis or other swag and put out a writing contest, they may be surprised at the quality of work they get without having to pay. Even if it was for some background writing to flesh out their official 1st editoon rule book, it would be a great way to engage the player base. Once AR takes off and they become millionaires living on their gold-played jets, then they can hire writers for subsequent editions.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:45 am 
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Noxius
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The mortality rate for gladiators wasn't actually that high though, something like 90% of bouts ended with both gladiators alive. This was because the proprietor of the games had to repay a ludus for any lost gladiators. So while invariably most gladiators would taste defeat often, they would get a thumbs up and have their lives spared unless the proprietor was looking to garner favour with the crowd. Because of all this I think there would definitely be possibility for rivalries between the major players.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:14 am 
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Noxius
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I was watching a doc not long ago on youtube (bit naughty I guess...) but that detailed how the gladiators themselves weren't often killed, simply because they were such valuable assets. I mean, its like making a movie with 2 huge starts in them, and at the end killing one, so no one can ever pay to see them again!

Equally covered was the fact that the tournaments would go on for weeks, with literally thousands of animals, all exotic in its own way, being slaughtered and cut down in combat. The more famous fighters only having a match at the end of this, as they only fought about 6 times in their career to ensure they were fresh and healed, ready to put on a show.

*Tries to find a link*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItcakhIXwDc

This explains it much better ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Noxius

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I agree that solid fluff is difficult and takes time. Often a system's life or death depends on how intriguing the "fluff" is or isn't. Stories need to be compelling, yet open enough for players to imagine their place in the universe. That fine line between ambiguity and specificity means that it is paramount to bring on competent and compelling authors.

Below is a link via youtube to the BBC "Story of a Gladiator" which outlines some factual aspects of what we know about a real gladiator's life. Obviously other inspiration can be drawn from movies and television shows which, to be honest, probably fostered my inherent interest in this game on kickstarter. Another avenue of inspiration, for me, was playing Spartacus Legends this summer on Xbox live. The game is free to download and play. It is a grind, but several hours of fun can be had in the spirit of gladiatorial entertainment.

Needless to say, I'm stoked about Arena Rex and still think that it looks very promising for a backdrop of a skirmish game. I'm excited to have a skirmish game that doesn't take an entire evening to get a couple of games in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0fRqc_pChY


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