EBF5: Writing Notes

I got a ton of responses to my last blog about EBF5′s writing, so here’s a summary of what I’ve heard:

• A reasonable amount of Flanderization/character quirks is good
• Character personalities shouldn’t change much (they won’t)
• People like the writing silly, but a few serious moments are good
• Hint at relationships forming, but not too much
• More backstory and motivations for each character
• More world building and lore – characters should figure it out, not already know it all
• Some internal conflicts between the characters, but also give reasons for each pair to get along
• People like the sound of multiple endings, so I’ll give that a go (to a minor extent)
• People like the in-battle dialogue/reactions, are sad that it eventually runs out (will do more)
• Don’t forget about things established in previous games (the universe is almost the same)
• Try to tie in some continuity with previous games (alternate universes, yo?)

Your concerns have been noted.

59 thoughts on “EBF5: Writing Notes

    1. Danexing

      it will most likely be finished around june/july based on the percentage and when it started, but this is not an official release date or anything

  1. :shades: :lightning:

    I didn’t think it would go unmentioned even without me, but it seemed to happened.
    The whole “make enemies into allies” thing is realy great :stars: , and I don’t feel you should let it go. However I can’t see how you can redo it. :wut:

  2. vhunter

    Alternate universe thing is hard but good idea to implement. It would explain why are heroes lvl 1again, why they don’t know each other, why such location as Greenwood Village is so much different from last game etc. I hope you’ll do it somehow, because complete story restart would feel sad for some fans (such as me for example)

  3. Satyr

    I’ve honestly been waiting for this game back when it was like 9% complete! Hearing you talk about it always makes me happy. I love your games, and I love your new ideas about it :love:

  4. DeadlyPhantom

    That is a perfect summary to all that has been said :stars:
    have high hopes for EBF5 story
    but my next question after story is what next :?:
    is it item balancing or puting item in chest or is story the last thing :?:

  5. Kade

    Personally, I would actually love more character development. I get that the humor and silliness of the game are a big and good aspect of the games, but since this is by far the biggest game yet, I would love to see more development between the characters. That’s just an important thing for me, I love getting into the characters relationships and story, and I would love to see relationships between them blossom that isn’t just jokes with each other. I absolutely love your games, and I trust you completely to do an amazing job with it, just thought I would put in my thoughts. With great wishes and much love – Kade PS : if you’re putting in multiple endings, please don’t have any bad or sad endings :(

  6. Dr. Grey

    I’m pretty sad that we’re losing all of the history from the last four games… I feel like the team was building some nice camaraderie by EBF4, Matt and Natz had been fighting together for years. :(. But at the same time, I see why you’re doing the reset. I mean, how could you top literally fighting God and the Devil at the same time?

  7. Spinner

    I’ll be honest, I don’t think an alternate universe retelling is that great of a way to go. We’ve all seen or heard stories to this effect, and whenever alternate universe characters come into the mix they effectively become new characters entirely.

    You know, now that I think about it, one possible solution (though a bit cliched) is memory loss. If something happens between game 4 and game 5 (likely something to do with the main conflict in game 5, which may be a sinister force that erased the memories of everybody on the planet for some reason), then you could still have your cake and eat it too. Every character would be separated and would join together eventually despite the fact that they lost their memory. You could tell a story where all the characters behave with one another as if they are meeting each other for the first time, but still retain their prior established personalities and remain the same exact characters as they were in the past. You could even have their relationships play out a bit differently than they did before (especially if you cause them to meet each other in a different order than they did in the past games, where Matt met Natalie, then they both met Lance, then they all met Anna), and this could tie into the alternate endings where they are given the option to go back to their old memories and lose the new ones or keep the new ones they have formed instead. This would create a bittersweet choice at the end for the player, and could take place slightly before the final climax so it can still influence the character’s storys to some extent. You don’t even have to reveal to the player that their memories are even lost in the first place; just place subtle hints here and there that would be difficult to see the first time through but easy to spot when you are looking for them.

    Just spitballing here, but I feel like something like this be one of the best ways for you to tell a new story with the same characters without having to retcon the past games.

  8. Mad Parrot

    Some 4th-wall-breaking, past-games references could be hilarious.

    Also agree on the Flanderization topic – you don’t want your characters to be quirkless, they could tend to be grey-ish and boring or highly unpredictable.

  9. sweetd

    When you said alternate universe, I immediately thought of alternate universe Matt attacking our party to steal our swords and loot.

  10. Po.Opbear

    >Try to tie in some continuity with previous games (alternate universes, yo?)

    Alt universe and convergence-shift-quarks-quantum-bla-alt-universe
    Memory ‘deletion’ and collecting memory fragments
    Temporary memory loss, for uber training purposes to uber merge (memories or timeline chars) for uber skills (or just plain lives aka global revives oO, would explain infinite tries errr lives in some games) to defeat x or go uber limit breaks? Sounds legit °_°
    Matt/Lance/Nats/Anna/Nolegs/someone else pissed of entity x which accidently memories
    Maybe they had to pay/bet with memories or their universe or something like that for something in exchange?
    The anime/manga/LN ‘Hitsugi no Chaika’ had a concept…: _Moderate Spoiler_: https://pastebin.com/1rjFrnk7

    Every basic idea I come up with sounds imo meh, at least without fleshing it out, imo alt universe sounds the worst but that might be just me.

    1. James

      I really like this idea. I would like the memories of the characters to be erased by the Big Bad (they only think they’re meeting for the first time). They gradually gain their memories back throughout the adventure and only get their memories back either near the end of the game or after defeating the final boss.

      Also I have an idea for a difficulty above Epic for those who want an impossible challenge. Lets call this “Fantasy Difficulty” for now, unless you have a better name. On Fantasy Difficulty, there would be a few rules:
      Damage and health of enemies, as well as special bonuses, are what they would be on epic mode. However, you cannot switch from epic mode to an easier difficulty.
      All enemy encounters in the main storyline scale to the party member with the highest level. (If it scaled to the party’s average level, than people could just level grind on 3 characters and leave the others dead.)
      Most important: if you get a game over, your save is deleted, meaning you must go through the whole game without dying. (Maybe you could make a special save file just for fantasy mode only that gets wiped when you get a game over).
      Also, no permanent stat foods would drop from enemies.

      1. WillOfTheTrees

        If you made it so that the save file deletes when you die then players would just bypass this by having a backup file or hitting refresh when they’re about to die

        Also level scaling could instead be an option at the start of the game, and as for the permanent stat items, players could choose not to consume those

        1. James

          There would be only one special “Fantasy File.” Once you die, that fantasy file (the only one for fantasy mode) would be wiped. I guess Matt could make it so that it gets wiped if you exit or refresh during a battle, somehow. The permanent stat foods provide a way to grind without changing level, which is why they would be removed here.

  11. MattP

    Yo Matt, I trust you not to SJW up the characters too much.

    Also have you ever thought about reskinning chests in certain areas, like more alien looking chests in the Rapture area, just an idea.

    Me and my son are both excited to play this btw.

  12. dan00b781

    Everything looks good so far.

    Just check to make sure that none of the endings require the player to perform a set of actions that are very specific and would require a lot of scrutiny to discover – basically, try not to create any ‘Guide Dang It!’ endings.

    1. Pizza

      I agree, having to refer to a guide would take a lot of fun out of it. I personally want a comedic: maybe fourth wall breaking ending you get in a silly way. If he does implement that it would be kinda hard to make an indirect hint though.

      All aboard the late development early hype train! :stars:

  13. Shraderc.inc

    if your going to have an AU put it in once, don’t make it a running joke, just have cat god show up at some point and say i hath besto- oop wait, wrong Matt and just disappear and people are like WTF?

  14. Drake

    Nothing really to add. If the story gets more depth it just might be good if there would be a way to fastly skip dialogues, not necessary on the 1st playtrough.

    Also, just what came to my mind is how NG+ would be. I always appreciate variety in item combinations rather than having some mandatory ones. Adding a customizable bonus to equipment which can be changed with ingredients is just one way how subideal or underperforming items can be made very interesting or highly valuable. This bonus can be a NG+ feature if it there is time or need for such a feature.

  15. Shay DeaD

    Man , whatever u do is great so i’am just waiting for the game like i CANT wait anymore so much that i’am redoing every other games like adventure story , EBF3 , EBF4 and Bullet heavens ! :scared: :scared: :scared: :shades:

  16. JustAnotherEBFLover

    one thing that I really loved about Akron and Godcat were that they actually talked to you, telling you that you won’t win, or that they will conquer the universe after killing you. That element really made the final bosses on a totally different level from normal bosses that don’t talk to you. The bosses in EBF5 should be like that too, so that the fights are much more fun and exciting.

    1. WillOfTheTrees

      I agree 100%, the conversations really added another level to Akron and Godcat that you just don’t get from other bosses. The only problem is if all bosses do this then the final ones won’t seem as special. Perhaps if the players talked back…

  17. RNGesus

    I wouldn’t mind relationships forming between the characters, as long as it is done gradually and as a result of actual character development (for example Matt behaving in an unusually mature manner in an intense or stressful situation, which could impress Natalie). Of course, most relationship development should not be romantic, for example you could have Matt and Lance start out indifferent or rivals with one another, but over time start seeing and treating each other as bros. You could have Anna starting out being jealous and insecure of Natalie’s appearance, but over time start seeing her as an older sister-like figure.

    In my opinion character development would go a long way to making EBF5 even more memorable, because that was one weakness that EBF3 and 4 suffered from; the characters barely changed at all throughout the game. An important part of character development would be not just their behavior/personality, but how the characters interact with and view each other.

    Looking forward to EBF5 quite a bit, I practically grew up on your earlier games! :ooo: :ooo:

    1. TyloThorn

      I agree. I love all the points and it is gonna be really amazing. Just the one thing there relationships are amazing but they need to be logical and not for some dumb reason, like you say as a result of character develepoment, yes indeed. You can’t rush it, nor force it, like you said: “most relationship development should not be romantic”. Because that is how it works, you get to know the people, and even though the first impression might not always be the best, the more you get to know them the more you will find that you actually like them (depending ofc, but im just assuming the main characters are nice people xP)

      So… Matt,
      guess perhaps it shouldn’t be all forced and decided at the beginning, because ideas come while you write. So i guess just see how the characters develope, and whether you feel the way they see each other, what they think/learned about each other and then if there could/should be more… and if so how much should be elaborated on it. I’m content with few hints, happy withclear relationships at the end (also romantic, it should be clear on my opinion, i don’t like being kept guessing), but it doesn’t have to be a huge main thing, just sidestory.
      However i’d be slightly disappointed if there was nearly nothing, cuz i agreed on what natz said at the end of EBF 4 :P
      But you can’t always make everything alright for everyone, I know that. So no pressure, whatever works best for you will make it the best game.

  18. Psycho

    Glad to hear those Matt. Don’t try to focus on building too much for characters and stuff if it’s a barrier for the core game itself. But I’d really like to see character development in that game.

    Also do you have anything in mind about DLC stuff? doesn’t neccesarily have to be free. Before making EBF6, making new maps, contents, enemies etc. for current game seems better so you can focus on spin off games (Adventure Story, Bullet Heaven etc.)

      1. Psycho

        that’s what I wanted exactly. EBF6 will happen some time. But if he wants to make a development for main EBF series, instead of making a new game, working on current game would make his job a lot easier.

  19. A Fan since the first game named David Cano

    Hello Matt! i been following your work since the release of EB2.
    Sorry for not writing in the previous thread, I hope you can read this.
    I understand that you must make changes to the game in order to make it more appropriate for new customers, but I think it is still important to respect the story that you have created and that has been there for almost 10 years, and that we also appreciate … of course . That’s why I recommend that the characters lose their memory, or something like that. Only to preserve the story. Outside of that, I’m sure you’ll do a wonderful job. Much appreciation and greetings from Mexico, see you later :ooo: :ooo: :ooo:

  20. RandomCommenter

    Hey Matt!
    Have you ever thought about giving this game a name without “5″ in it? Especially because this is a new story. The game could use a name like: “Epic Battle Fantasy: Some Cool Subtitle”. This way it feels like a fresh experience (for potential new players too).

  21. Hadriake

    If you go on with the alternate universe idea, I’d love being able to fight the “original” team, with an older / more mature look (Matt with a three day beard, Lance with longer hair…). Instead of the “dark version”, for example. It could even give nice dialogues between the characters. That would be… epic (yea, I know the way out).

  22. Dewayne

    What about time travel? Maybe after you complete the additional content you get time warped back to the final boss and have to beat an alternate form of him.

  23. JustPlaying

    YES!!! I was actually scared that the game would lose its funny and unserious charm, but its in!!! This is going to be an EPIC game.

  24. weatherly23

    In regards to the continuity for previous games, maybe you could give the characters vague past-life memories. For example, while they meet each other for the “first time”, they all are vaguely familiar with one another. They also get minor cases of deja-vu when encountering certain things from the previous games, such as them instinctively knowing that Cosmic Monoliths are bad news, or seeing a random statue of Godcat sending a chill down their spines despite not knowing who she is in this reality.
    Stuff like that.
    Additionally, maybe for the first New Game+ you could add a ton more dialogue where they remember the first playthrough, and keep all the character development from that. Just as the player is retreading the game knowing everything, so too are the characters. That could be entertaining.

  25. ebf fan

    Is this game also going to be playable for free? (i understand that there is a premium part where you need to pay for to get extra weapons areas etc.) :wut:

  26. WillOfTheTrees

    If you’re gonna do the multiple endings thing then I think it’s a good idea to warn the player of this. So for example one of the characters might say something like “I have a feeling this decision is gonna have an impact on the ending of the game”. This will give the player a chance to make another save file just in case they’re not going to be happy with their original decision, or if they want to know what both outcomes are. There are not many things worse in games than making a wrong decision and knowing you can’t reverse it without restarting the entire game. Please don’t let this problem happen.

    Also what weatherly23 said a couple of messages up was a great idea. I think the gradual regaining of memories could make for an interesting storyline and if the players know that it’s your 2nd, 3rd or even 10th time playing the game then playing through the game multiple times will become a lot more rewarding and a lot more fun, rather than monotonous like it is in many games. The only game I can think of where the second play through is different is undertale and it got a lot of positive feedback for that reason. You could even add things like “come on, player. This is your 4th time playing through this game, you should know what you’re doing by now.” Or if you pick the same decision 3 times in a row a character could comment on this. Just some thoughts, it opens up many possibilities for breaking the fourth wall, which is one of the wonderful things about your games.

    I’ve read through just a couple of threads and I’m sick of reading lol I don’t know how you do it but thank you for listening to all of us.

    P.S. How do you pronounce Phyrnna? It must be Welsh cause I have no idea.

    1. Pizza

      I really agree with what you said. I’d like it to not be incredibly direct at first about it though, maybe just have a few world and text changes, but eventually ( after a couple more playthroughs) make it more obvious. This would also be a good time for comedy if the first run is gonna be serious. Have a nice day.

    1. Pizza

      I’m pretty sure there will be some character development since there will be (slight) relationships and conflict, and there would likely have to be since they supposedly meet eachother for the first time. So the answer is almost definitely yes. I hope it doesn’t get super deep though.

  27. goldenPiGames

    My favorite line’s were Lance’s. Like how he says “Wryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” when he uses Oblivion for the first time, or “I’ve seen enough hentai to know where this is going” when you battle the Beholder.

  28. Sawyer

    I think that multiple endings wouldn’t quite be fitting for this type of game because it is such a long game, playing it more than once takes a very long time, and i was hoping for a game that is longer than your past games. By the way i love your games and i have beaten all of them!!!

    Thanks for your consideration.


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