• Donation Drive: We're looking to pull in enough donations to cover the server expenses for August and September ($140). Rest assured that the website will remain paid regardless of whether we meet our goal, but things will be financially tight for us until about mid September. Any donations that come in, in the interim, will really help ease things for us. See donation information for further details as well as information about our donation process. Thank you!

Pre-Apocalypse is an underutilized Genre

Spiraliite

Member
SO much has already been done in post-apocalypse and it's a little played out by now. I think there are many pre-apocalypse types of media where due to the heroic actions of the few, it's averted, horray. (ie Deep Impact). But what about the idea that it's inevitable and unavoidable and imminent?

Many media do play in this sandbox, but don't bear the title. I think the third Terminator movie is a good example of pre-apocalypse. I also think Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask could qualify. Although Link saves the day after all, 95% of the game takes place exploring the effects, ideas, and reactions of imminent and unavoidable mass death. Any other ideas of films/books/games that also fit in this genre?

I think a trap is to delve into the obvious fatalistic or "enjoy the here and now while you can" moralism. I think there's probably a tasty story to be explored here with something more nuanced. Perhaps a story of "We can save a few, so who deserves to live?" would be a crunchy topic with many philosophical perspectives. The most intelligent? the most productive or skilled? those capable of child-bearing? That would probably be a grim story, but I think a more comic approach of "We had a clerical error and a shipful of the least eligible people made it off planet" could be hilarious as the survivors come to grips with the fact they are now the best hope for humanity's survival. Does anyone else find this idea worth exploring?
 

Kaos

Member
I hated how underused this trope was, to the point I've committed to writing a long series of novels where this happens. It renders a zone of the planet uninhabitable even to most demi-god like entities and serves as a warning to practically anyone on the planet what the hubris of a single person can do.

It's a world changing event, and seeing how people survived it and try to re-build their lives is a major theme, but it's not the main focus of the story.
 

Spiraliite

Member
I hated how underused this trope was, to the point I've committed to writing a long series of novels where this happens. It renders a zone of the planet uninhabitable even to most demi-god like entities and serves as a warning to practically anyone on the planet what the hubris of a single person can do.

It's a world changing event, and seeing how people survived it and try to re-build their lives is a major theme, but it's not the main focus of the story.
That kind of event sounds pretty cool! Were you thinking of more hard science style, with holes in the ozone, or soft science/fiction style?
 

Vasara Glyndark

New Member
Pre-apocalypse is just a slice-of-life game that if it gets to the natural ending is an apocalypse.

Any slice-of-life game is a pre-apocalypse game.
 

Kaos

Member
That kind of event sounds pretty cool! Were you thinking of more hard science style, with holes in the ozone, or soft science/fiction style?
I know I'm like half a year late but this site entirely slipped my mind, sorry.

It's mostly magical. I'll get a little into it.

There's a war where magic isn't exactly scarce, but it's in the hands of a small percentage point of the population and often so weak and limited it has little effect in combat. It's mostly there to support things and cause some minor changes in the environment.
It starts off as regional civil wars over who gets to replace a dead king who had way, way too many children, largely confined to smaller estates of ~1-2,000 people, that begin to develop major players and regional sections of a massive plains area that usually sees major storms and tornadoes, like a souped up mid-western America.

So many of the deaths are just so pointless and fought over petty reasons while the greater powers conspiring in the background get up to the most evil acts they can for the pursuit of power and magic. They gain it at great speed and cost to try and be the one in charge. Magic these people learn is mostly from pulling mana from the earth, as it's the easiest way for the non-gifted to source their arcane might, and it causes huge imbalances in the environment.
A lot of them misuse it very badly, and all the negativity and magical corruption going on in the region just starts to cause a ton of damage, like shaking or kicking an already malfunctioning appliance.

Too many people healing takes out energy aligned with growth and healing; too much transforming of the environment to create earthen mounds or re-direct rivers disturbs the natural flow. While all of that is getting pulled out of the soil, all that goes back in is death.

The people in the war go at it so hard, and in such great numbers, they doom the environment to fail in that entire region, which becomes the source of most of the rest of the continent's problems. It's a central plains area, not well contained by the geography of the continent, that gives good access to most of the other coastal kingdoms. There's a long period of them struggling to fight the horrible manifestations of the planet that just creep out of this dead zone, and anyone who goes in comes out wrong, insane, infertile, forgetting their journey, and usually are followed by something. When they learn to leave it alone, everything's mostly okay.

So, while it's mostly magical, there's a lot of science going on under all the magic that shows some sort of order to it all and actually lets them study it, because many forms of magic in the region just don't work. Anything involving manipulation of light or divining any knowledge fails, and organic records - books - often decay very badly, very quickly, but hard disks made of plastic, vinyl, and so on are okay, as they're too over-processed and inorganic to degrade. Bringing in clay and stone tablets to engrave works, but how far are you going to carry it across an open nothing with sparse ruins?

By the point they can actually measure it correctly, they do have to use technology to do it, since it seems to attract less problems in scouting it out.

They can measure that the air in the region is entirely self contained, as if in a stasis field. They know that the earth is rejecting moisture and constantly evaporating it but don't know why, the oxygen content is very low with carbon dioxide being incredibly high from all the fires and lack of living plants, and that there are large numbers of toxic compounds in soils where people tried to pollute the earth to starve out their enemies.
 
Top