Escaping Medieval Fantasy: One Tip for Superheroes

in Advice

So you’ve just picked up RPG Maker MV in our latest Spring Sale (or you’ve had it for a while. I’m just saying this to plug the Spring Sale: 3 days left everyone!)

As you are getting started on the outline for your game, you realize: Man I’ve seen this before. This is just another Medieval Fantasy game.

Not that there is anything wrong with medieval fantasy if that is what you want to create, but it feels like 99% of RPG Maker games fit in that genre. And sometimes we want to do something different. That stands out.

I think I’ve seen this before…

So in our new Escaping Medieval Fantasy series, I’m going to discuss one tip for writing different genres. First up Super Heroes!

The Super Hero genre is really big right now in popular culture. With big Marvel and DC movies coming out every year, awesome video games like “Marvel’s Spider-Man” for PS4, tv shows, and more. Of course you would want to jump in on that, especially if you are, like me, a huge fan of the genre from when you were a kid.

So let’s go with one big tip for Super Hero stories that heavily differentiates them from Medieval Fantasy: The Dual Identity.

Super Hero / Civilian

Super Hero characters, unlike medieval fantasy characters are generally two different people: The Hero, and their civilian cover. You have to consider who they are from both directions. Not only why they want to save the world, but also who they are outside of being that hero. The best super hero stories, in my opinion, mix together the drama of being a super hero, with the drama and needs of just surviving as a human being.

How does your hero make money? How does your hero explain having to leave every time a disaster happens? How does your hero deal with any adult responsibilities when they are also trying to balance jumping rooftop to rooftop stopping crimes? How do the two bleed into each other.

Going back to Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PS4, this is a game story that understands it intimately. One of the things they said they learned when investigating how to write the story the rule that: Whenever Spider-Man wins, Peter has to lose, and whenever Peter wins, Spider-Man has to lose. This dichotomy creates an incredible amount of drama for the character. What does he sacrifice as a person to win as a hero?

So, always keep in mind the dual identity of any Super Hero you write. If you make it too much about just the Super Hero, you are missing out on a lot of the genre!

So what genre do you want to see talked about in this series? What genre do you gravitate towards when you try to Escape Medieval Fantasy? Tell us in the comments below.


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