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Thread: ULTRASPOILERS: How was TCP to have unfolded?

  1. #101
    Questions, questions, questions, Iíve got them and I want you to answer them.

    1) In the beginning I thought that the name Cassandra meant that the project was working for the secret masters (Apollo) who gave them the ability to find the truth but made sure that no one would believe them. I got all of this from my own ideas on how I would achieve secrecy after world domination and the mythology surrounding Cassandra.

    You have said that at least part of this is right, the working for the secret masters of the world bit. I was wondering if the other part was too, the masters being the Apollo who both gave the ability to find truth and the inability to share it to Cassandra, or if that was just an unplanned yet appropriate aspect of the chosen name.

    2) When I get filthy rich (notice the definiteness of the statement intended to hide a personal insecurity about my own future) I plan on offering you huge sums of money to continue and eventually finish the project. A novelization and TV series might also be considered.

    Is there any way to get you to start up with the project again without the large sums of money?

    3) Could you just, eh, sit down and write out absolutely everything about the story of the mod?

    4) Was there a way to not only stop Emily from killing herself but also give her the ability to enjoy her life?

    I donít mean return her to normal, nor do I mean make her into one of those happy little crazy people who seem like they have the pleasure center of their brain under a constant electrocution.

    I just mean give her the ability to feel joy and sorrow like everyone else, thus giving the potential for a rewarding life and worthwhile happiness.

    5) What questions should we ask you to give us the most rewarding answers?

    6) Tell me more about this secondary plot thread involving the realization of her own fictionalness and defeating the game itself to gain freedom from her controlled existence that existentialists would have a field day with.

    Which reminds me:

    7) Have you ever read Sophieís World?

    and as result of logging in:

    8) Am I the only one who wishes that when you try to log in they would give you the rules?

    I mean spaces or not, length of password, case sensitive or not, so on so forth.

    I had to try five different combinations before I found the right one and if it had taken six I'd have had to wait 15 minutes to try again.

    I try to use the same Login/password combination everywhere to aviod this kind of thing, but limitations at various places make many different anyway.
    Last edited by chris the cynic; 25th Feb 2005 at 10:54.

  2. #102
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    Not quoting stuff, but to each question...

    1) Yes, correct. We were cheerily cavilier with our classical allusions. If you got to the first mission - which was riffing off all the Moon Landing conspiracies, the line between the Apollo Missions and the Apollo Modifications was drawn pretty heavy handedly. Apollo, as the masculine principle, was one of my shorthands for authoritarian control. The whole moon landings was read as a metaphor for man's rationality conquering feminine irrationality (Whatever Diana related Moon God stuff). Of course, since the Moon Missions were faked, the conquering of the irrational was faked.

    (In Cassandra's world, only the Russians landed on the moon, since both Capitalism and Communism systems were organised by the Hidden Masters.)

    Er... all of that's outside the bounds of the question, but just more information.

    2) No, not really. Everyone's moved onto other projects, and returning to Cassandra would feel a little like creative necrophilia. Lots of new ideas to play with rather than the old ones. In fact, if *i* was suddenly given a large amount of money to make a development team, Cassandra would no longer be my first choice for something to make.

    Onwards!

    (Also: None of us are the same person who made Cassandra. As I think I may have said upthread, Cassandra was a direct response to me having a particularly horrific break up with a girlfriend. Other people had break-up poems or songs to write. I tried to channel the emotions into the game, with Charlotte as my clear avatar of insecurity (Which I didn't really entirely understand until having done it for a few months. Most of Charlotte's speeches to her Exs are just gender switched me). The basic theme of Cassandra's staff - expressed by Anna: "First rate at their jobs, distinctly third rate as human beings" - was what bothered me. That's pretty much how I considered myself, and most of my friends and lovers. Cassandra was processing all that. And since I don't feel that way anymore, I feel it'll come across insincere if I kept the same timbre. If we *did* pick it up, it'd have to change to fit our new instincts and loves)

    3) Heh. Not without crying a lot. As I said, further into the project, things are increasingly foggy. There was lots of space for improvisations. The second and third missions weren't even completely tied down. I was considering the second being something in Gibraltar, but that would have been entirely up for debate.

    4) No, I don't think so. Redeeming a tragic character removes the point of a tragic character. She was always a metaphor for old-skool videogame heroines who were characterless pawns of men with no personality bar. Imagine *being* Lara Croft. That's Emily. The Old Agent.

    Like everything, however, we could have changed our mind.

    5) Well, I think we're well into the theoretical realm already. I've leaked out most of my favourite stuff already. Ironically, the most concrete stuff - the stuff for the first mission - would mean nothing to you lot, as you hadn't had the context where it happens.

    6) Well into the theoretical realm now, though I figured that if we ever reached the point where it started to really matter, we'd have the technical know-how to make it work. Not all of them as sophisticated as the final e-mail pay off thing I was hoping we'd do - I do like the idea of a game, once completed, coming back to you. In Memoriam did some similar stuff, apparently, with "people" mailing you up to a week after it completed to congratulate you. I loved the idea of doing the same, but across months and years. It'd be like recieving a mail from an old friend - which is exactly what I hoped the characters would be by the end.

    There's one working example of the sort of puzzle which can only be solved through meta-game actvity. The secret weapon vault - you'd notice a string off passwords to its side. All the old ones. When you returned from the mission, it'd have yesterday's code on. Of course, yesterday was when the mission was, so you could re-load and enter it then, so gaining access to a whole load of impossible weapons.

    (Puzzle credit: Was Tim's idea)

    I was vaguely thinking of similar puzzles that were *essential* (Example off the top of my head: Have to go into a room to get a password, but going into the room starts a death-trap. Reload, use the password to continue), and then Charlotte (or her friends) trying to work out in the game how she managed to gain the knowledge ("How the fuck did you know that Charlotte? That was a quantum-locked door and you just tapped it out" "I dunno. I just... did"). This would link with the Demiurgic frontier stuff of meeting Narcissus, with perhaps the opportunity to change something in the frontier so when you went back to a previous save game to continue with the next episode, you could come across this message in a bottle from a self who no longer exists.

    Once you've created a seed of doubt in the nature of reality, it plays out relatively easily - conversations with people about "What's over that brick wall." "A carpark" "Ever seen it? No - really?". This would have dovetailed with the "real world" plot, with the defeating of the hidden masters leaving an epilogue for a possible escape into reality.

    Note: This wasn't actually a Necessary part of the plot. It was something which only the more attentive player would find. If you just liked running around shooting stuff, Charlotte remains an unknowing slave forever. There might have been some meta-commentary there too.

    7) Yes. I liked it a lot. I also like lots of Philip K Dick style stuff. I tend to think Nature of Reality plots are videogame's natural narrative focus, which is why we've seen so many of them.

    8) Yes, definitely. Damn them all.

    KG

  3. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by Brem_X_Jones
    Er... all of that's outside the bounds of the question, but just more information.
    More information is good.

    2) No, not really. Everyone's moved onto other projects, and returning to Cassandra would feel a little like creative necrophilia. Lots of new ideas to play with rather than the old ones.
    I fail to see how using old ideas would prevent the incorporation of new ideas. Sometimes what an idea needs to reach itís potential is to be creatively fitted into a place, story, or form that is not what it would seem natural in.

    If you have new ideas why couldnít you simply fold them into Cassandra? In effect you would be updating it rather than regressing yourself.

    (Iím not trying to convince you, Iíve given up, instead I am simply asking.)

    In fact, if *i* was suddenly given a large amount of money to make a development team, Cassandra would no longer be my first choice for something to make.
    What I meant was that you would be given large sums of money if and only if you worked on Cassandra, you could do other projects as well, but Cassandra would be required. Further if I thought that you were slacking on Cassandra (because I know itís not your first choice), Iíd hit you over the head with a rock.

    But Iíll probably never get filthy rich so you donít have to worry about that.

    None of us are the same person who made Cassandra.
    I do not see this as a problem. Iíve been writing a novel for the longest time, Iím not the same person I was when I started, not remotely. Iím still going, or at least trying to. It isnít always easy to go on when you are no longer the one who wrote what came before, but I feel I have an obligation to both my fans and my characters to finish. Myself as well.

    (Once again, not trying to convince you, I think thatís a lost cause, just saying.)

    No, I don't think so. Redeeming a tragic character removes the point of a tragic character.
    What I was thinking wasnít so much redemption as Ö well I donít know. She still wouldnít fit in in human society, she still wouldnít even come close to normal, but she would have a chance for what I think people deserve, sorrow and joy.

    I have just totally failed to explain what I meant, but I think it still would be a tragedy. We both just spoke about how people change over time, how they no longer are what they were. The old Emily isnít changed; sheís dead. That is tragic, allowing something that occupies the same body and shares the same memories to have a potentially rewarding life will not make the death of Emily, in all ways save pulse, any less tragic.

    At least not in my way of looking at it.

    She was always a metaphor for old-skool videogame heroines who were characterless pawns of men with no personality bar. Imagine *being* Lara Croft. That's Emily. The Old Agent.
    In my mind that would be a reason to allow redemption, in the hidden thread you were going to have an attempt to break free of the game world itself.

    Why not break Lara free of her stagnant emotionless existence?

    Maybe I have to happy a view of the world. It often seems like my name was badly chosen.

    6)
    All of the stuff you said in response to six sounds great.

    Once you've created a seed of doubt in the nature of reality, it plays out relatively easily - conversations with people about "What's over that brick wall." "A carpark" "Ever seen it? No - really?".
    Have you ever had one of those times when you ask that question in real life? When you start to wonder if what you canít see is really there and if it is actually appropriate to take it all on blind faith?

    No?

    Ok, so youíre normal.

    Everyone stop looking at me that way.

    Note: This wasn't actually a Necessary part of the plot. It was something which only the more attentive player would find. If you just liked running around shooting stuff, Charlotte remains an unknowing slave forever. There might have been some meta-commentary there too.
    Isnít that the best kind of addition?

    7) Yes. I liked it a lot. I also like lots of Philip K Dick style stuff. I tend to think Nature of Reality plots are videogame's natural narrative focus, which is why we've seen so many of them.
    If you hadnít read it I was going to suggest that you do so, I liked it too.

  4. #104
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Australia
    I seriously think that this should be continued by a professional team (that is, a game development team that does nothing but game development, rather than as an aside like most of the Cassandra Project members were). Even if they junked the work done up until now and just started fresh with the same concept/plot.

    Apart from anything else, I liked the Apollo Modifications. A lot better than the mods in Deus Ex. And it sounds like a stronger script than most FPS (or games like Deus Ex, which some would argue aren't true FPS) games get these days.

    I'd love to see what a crew like Raven or Gearbox could do with this concept using the Source engine. Or the Doom 3 engine. Heck, they could develop it into a much longer game - going for the same kind of length seen in Deus Ex would have allowed more character and plot development, which would have been good - and integrate things seen in other recent games. Like the developers sending emails to players from "the Hidden Masters" or your second brain.

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark King
    I seriously think that this should be continued by a professional team (that is, a game development team that does nothing but game development, rather than as an aside like most of the Cassandra Project members were). Even if they junked the work done up until now and just started fresh with the same concept/plot.
    What I want, I always want the impossible, is for it to be done by a professional team that is the one that made it. Just magically make it so that their job is game development and they want to work on it again.

    As I said, I always want the impossible.

    I just looked at the project page again and saw something the Narcissus Entity said. This was after I wrote the line above. As a result of the line above I feel it is a moral imperative to share what I read.

    The Narcissus Entity said
    Be reasonable. Demand the Impossible.
    I demand that the Cassandra project be completed.

  6. #106
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Crystal House
    Quote Originally Posted by Brem_X_Jones
    Cassandra would no longer be my first choice for something to make.
    What would be your first choice then? (EDIT: And I don't mean that in a bitchy way, either.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brem_X_Jones
    She was always a metaphor for old-skool videogame heroines who were characterless pawns of men with no personality bar. Imagine *being* Lara Croft. That's Emily. The Old Agent.
    The tragedy of Emily is that she knows there is something else, unlike Croft who is, was and e'er will be pure, mercurial design with no narrative, no spark, no soul...
    Last edited by O'Shuva; 2nd Mar 2005 at 14:19.

  7. #107
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: The North, UK
    I'd love to see what a crew like Raven or Gearbox could do with this concept using the Source engine
    Arghh. I cant possibly imagine two worse candidates to entrust Cassandra to.

  8. #108
    Although nobody would really share your particular vision, who would be better?

    Also, who were the portraits in the Personnel section of the website modeled after?

  9. #109
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Cumbria, England
    Quote Originally Posted by sergeantgiggles
    Although nobody would really share your particular vision, who would be better?

    Also, who were the portraits in the Personnel section of the website modeled after?
    Any one that wouldn't fill Cassandra with collasping floorboards and hidden snipers.

  10. #110
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: New York, New York
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Was Already Taken
    Any one that wouldn't fill Cassandra with collasping floorboards and hidden snipers.
    i guess you answered both his questions, then.

  11. #111
    Sweet Jeebus. I only stopped by here for a sentimental look back through the TCP archives and I find THIS?

    My god. So many questions answered..

    In a way, knowing what was planned makes me even sadder that it's not going to happen. I love the Manchurian Candidate Crazy Children idea; I've always loved plotlines where someone butchers their way through guard after guard to get to the evil bossman, demands to know where the kidnapped children are, and is told "Um....my guards WERE the children."
    You just don't get gut-punches like that these days.

    Heh; thinking about it, the kids had knives because they didn't have any gun-holding animations, right?

    Ah well. Once again, thanks for making this mod, and thanks for taking the time to type all this stuff out for the die-hard fans.

    /returns to lurking

  12. #112
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: Denmark
    I just finished your demo. I know there will be nothing more. It makes me sad.

    Kieron, seriously man, tell me what you're gonna do next / working on now. Your ideas are amazing, pretty much exactly what I want mine to be (but it always fails - I blame my age ). Presumably you know the Thief 3 editing tools are out now? Any plans with those?
    Jonas Wśver
    The Nameless Mod
    Logic Artists

    Current project: Clandestine - 90's spy thriller with asymmetric co-op

  13. #113
    New Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Can you elaborate on the first mission?

  14. #114
    I have been approached by someone who wishes to continue the mod, apparently my enthusiasm in this thread made me the best they could manage since none of you guys who actually worked on it want to touch it again.

    If this person were somehow able to organize a team to try to continue your legacy would they have your blessing?

    -

    Iím not keeping the person anonymous to be enigmatic, Iím just not sure he/she/it wants you guys to know of the plan before they are sure if they want to try.

    (I wish English had a common singular pronoun.)

  15. #115
    New Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Hey chris, I'm not sure if this helps you, but if you are trying to contact the team you should probably email them. (Thats what I did to get in touch with their modeller and skinner... I got permission to use their stuff on a seperate project)

  16. #116
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    Quote Originally Posted by chris the cynic
    If this person were somehow able to organize a team to try to continue your legacy would they have your blessing?
    Hi Chris. Sorry for the delay in responding here, but things have been odd recently.

    In short... well, I'd be happy with anyone taking almost anything from Cassandra and doing with it, I'm not sure I'd suggest anyone actively trying to carry on with it. I'd rather they create their own thing, with the tone the liked from Cassandra, and then do that.

    (Which is what I did when working on the Cassandra world. It's nothing if not a cocktail of its influences)

    In other words, I'd rather see someone do something like what Circle of Stone and Shadow did to Thief rather than straight carrying on. Part of the point of Cass was that we were doing our own thing. For someone to really carry on from what we were doing, it would have to be *their own* thing.

    Does that make sense?

    KG

  17. #117
    Perfect sense.

  18. #118
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    Splendid. I'd be interested to see what you do. Gaming needs more people doing stuff they believe in.

    KG

  19. #119
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    It is a shame when a great idea dies, what is left I think can still be salvaged by the community. Not the maps or the actual characters but the spirit, as (the great) KG said, I think it would be better.
    I am not sure how this can be done, with the Deus Ex SDK severely limiting your every action.

    Reading what was planned for the story really makes me sad and the definite loss of something so great. Tragic. I must admit I was somewhat disappointed with the conversations of some of the characters, they were rather too degrading I thought, I never knew real life was so explicit.

    The quality of the ideas were out of this world. Good luck on future projects!

  20. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by Brem_X_Jones
    Splendid. I'd be interested to see what you do. Gaming needs more people doing stuff they believe in.

    KG
    Be reasonable. Demand the Impossible.

    Thatís what it says on your site, if that is reasonable than I think Iím one of the most reasonable people youíll meet, my plans are all so far beyond the realm of possibility that I seriously doubt any part of them will become real, ever. Still, if I ever do make anything Iíll be sure to let you know.

    -

    The fact that I know nothing of gaming probably won't help either.

  21. #121
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    KG have you ever had a thought to help TNM as a writter?
    Your styles are probably discordant, just an idea.

  22. #122
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    Chris the Cynic: Perhaps worth noting that there's all manner of impossibles in our world. You can be clever and pick them. Some things are just considered impossible because they've never been done.

    Ozzzzzy!:
    "I never knew real life was so explicit. "

    Soldiers are terrible people. As are drug-fuelled lunatics. And me.

    (And I was aiming at a fairly sordid feel for most of Cass, in terms of the characters. It was very much where my head was at the time)

    Regarding on writing on TNM, you're right - I'm not sure that I'll fit in (Well, I *could* fit in, but for something which I'm doing for shits and giggles, I don't have a terrible urge to deliberately alter my writing to fit in). Equally, while I have nothing but love for the TNM crowd, since I wasn't particularly part of the whole founding thing, I'd feel awkward. And my style of Writing, at least for DX, you need to get a little hands on and dirty with the design side, which is entirely something else.

    And - y'know - I haven't really got time to take on some free videogames writing at the moment, so it's all hypothetical anyway.

    KG

  23. #123
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    No problem man!
    I can look out for your writing in other places, I'm currently waiting to play Theif 3 so I can enjoy the article you made for the Cradle level, I was reading it for a bit thinking "I might as well" as I'm not going to get a chance to play Theif for a while but as I started getting further in to your article the more I felt I was missing something great, well done from me for that article (if it means anything), we need to "celebrate" those gaming masterpieces more.

    I only hope I discover how you write like that, did you study English or Media in some form before you became a writer?

  24. #124
    Member
    Registered: Aug 1999
    Location: Bath, England.
    A-Level English Lit was the last formal training I had before becoming a journalist. My degree was in the sciences*.

    For me, you learn to write by reading and thinking then writing. As much of all three as you can physically manage.

    KG

    *Biology, to be precice.

  25. #125
    Quote Originally Posted by Brem_X_Jones
    Regarding on writing on TNM, you're right - I'm not sure that I'll fit in (Well, I *could* fit in, but for something which I'm doing for shits and giggles, I don't have a terrible urge to deliberately alter my writing to fit in). Equally, while I have nothing but love for the TNM crowd, since I wasn't particularly part of the whole founding thing, I'd feel awkward. And my style of Writing, at least for DX, you need to get a little hands on and dirty with the design side, which is entirely something else.

    And - y'know - I haven't really got time to take on some free videogames writing at the moment, so it's all hypothetical anyway.

    KG
    If you would like to be involved, or like to be nice to the people who would like you to be involved, you could contact Jonas and become part of it as a character. You'd have to sort out what you'd say between the two of you, but I'm sure he'd love to have you tell about TCP or reality in general, or most anything else for that matter.

    You write your own lines and it doesn't take much time if you actually get around to doing it. A lot less work than being an actual writer.

    It would be great to see you in there.

    -

    If you can't find Jonas' email on your own I'll look it up for you.

    -

    -

    I forgot the most important bit about that. I'm pretty sure that if you are just writeing your own lines as a character you don't have to change your style, you can just write naturally.

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