What is this Alternate Existence?

In short, Alternate Existence is my project to make a platform for online roleplaying which makes use of the full potential that games have. Almost any game is capable of supporting roleplaying, communities and servers dedicated to it spring up everywhere but I have never found a game that truly supported the rp people were engaging in. Roleplay is usually something that we try to apply to a game, personally, I was part of a roleplaying community for Starbound for two years which had an entire new set of rules external to starbound itself which included rolls which needed to be processed outside of the game.

Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun, but over time, the constant disconnections between what the game allowed and the logic within the rp world has driven me to hold an unquenchable desire to make something better. I know there have been game like Neverwinter knights on the other hand, games which have the goal of mimmicing a tabletop roleplay experiance, but i think the potential of this medium extends to be far superior to traditional tabletop role-playing, and I intend to prove it.

This project is massively ambitious, but its also extremely scale-able. It will start as a simple text based roleplaying platform with integrated systems to support any kind of rp that someone might wish with a lot of player customizablility including the ability to make your own areas that people can travel between and a mostly hidden rolling and stats system that will help with player conflict. Over time I will be adding more and more to this and ill never stop improving it. I have a massive amount of plans for this game and ill admit that i am a bit protective of my ideas so its going to need to be a little bit of a mysterious journey as I add them to the game. I also invite people to make suggestions for it in the forums.

While the game is being made, ill maintain this website for people to roleplay on. The great part is that with Discourse you dont have to keep refreshing the page to see the next post, which i think is a massive improvement for roleplaying in itself.

Why are you doing this?

Take a seat my friend, sit and listen to the story of this great undertaking. Inspired by games like dwarf fortress and Undertale, great works of art built from the vision of dedicated people who have produced amazing things that show the true potential of what we can do with games. Their works are examples of what can be achieved by one person persueing a vision simply out of their own desire to create.

I am one person from New Zealand who is fully trained in all aspects of producing game art and since being inspired to pursue the creation of this idea I've been teaching myself programming as well. Now, I'm not going to tell you im the best programmer in the world and make empty promises about how quickly this will get made, I have a job that I need to stay afloat, I work six days a week, its going to be a while for this game to develop. What I can promise, however, is my dedication. after much self reflection I've chosen this as my raison d'etre I dedicate my life to making this.

Over my life, I have always been searching for a purpose. That is what got me in to roleplaying to begin with, seeking escape from reality and playing characters who find purpose through roleplay. Finally, I have found something worth living for, and that's this project.

General design philosophy

Something that is critical to having a good roleplay is having good roleplayers. This is very difficult to police on the internet, the previous place that i used to rp at used a lengthy application process to allow people in and they were constantly rejecting trolls from entering the rp and ruining it for everyone. So i plan to keep this as a rather exclusive thing for a while, however it is ridiculous to assume that ill be able to police this myself. I will be trusting you, the community to invite people that you think are worthy of taking part. Anyone taking part already has the ability to invite others and people will have the opportunity to rp on the forums to prove themselves capable. I will let the quality of the roleplay be decided by those that take part in it. I know in this age of mass market appeal that it is unusual to make this exclusive, though I think it is important to maintain quality.

The in-game world will be designed with a focus on allowing many kinds of rp to be possible and to interact, while also trying to balance that with the need to keep different genre seperate. An example of how i plan to allow this, is to have different themes be separated by distance and circumstance. There may be a science fiction themed city separated from a fantasy style location by great distance, deserts and dangerous phenomena. Allowing characters to evolve and explore with what I intend to be some difficulty. It will definitely be a difficult balancing act.

I want the full game to be accessible to anyone who the community accepts. I wont be touting this as a free to play game and then carving up the content to sell later. So it wont be free, I want to eventually be able to focus completely on making this great, and that means ill need some way of paying for the servers, hires and food while I do so. Patrion will be how people gain access. All I demand is one dollar a month to be able to take part, and invite a donation of however much anyone feels that this game is worth to them. I sincerely hope that this will eventually be enough to keep this project afloat.

As for policing, I believe in in-character consequences for in character actions. Meaning, you can do any horrible things you want to eachother. However this means that three are out of character consiquences for out of character problems. So if you end up ruining rp by say, acting in a completely out of character way, then you will likely be banned. Note what you get up to will not be tracked by me, but it will be tracked by those that witness it. I expect all of you to try to keep this place in line with what you want. Though that does not mean quelling other peoples ability to do bad things. The roleplay wont be very interesting without conflict now will it?

What is the lore?

The lore is something that is rather malleable, something that will be shaped overtime by events within the world while also not being completely blank either. The lore mirrors the reality of this game. It is a world that was created by an unnamed god which characters are pulled to from other worlds via warps in time and space. Any character can be brought into this world from any other, bringing a portion of its history and lore into itself. The land warps to accommodate its hosts, bringing a place important to that person with it.

This will be in the form of a custom area that others can visit and that you will have the ability to shape into anything you wish. Characters brought here will probably quickly realise that things are not as they seem, and the exploration of their situation will likely lead to endless amounts of content which invites one to indulge in this new world. That being said, I do worry about people indulging too much and forgetting to do the things people need to stay alive in the real world. I can see the potential of this being too much for some people to resist. All I can do in that regard is ask you to please try not to completely lose yourself. Your characters do still rely on their creator.

I suspect that over time, the players themselves will form this into a rich world with lore that would require a massive dedication to the world to follow. But right now, baby steps.