Nasuverse You made a Fulldive Game! (FRO setting)


KING (In Land of Blind)
Staff member
(Heads up, I've edited the OP based on feedback from lask particularly; it's not a big change, but a small one).

Games I'm thinking about
FullDive Pokemon is guaranteed, if only so that I can have a scene where Ilya is having a literal Trainer Duel with another Player at some point. Well, I'm still debating whether the Player will play as the Trainer, standing on the sidelines shouting commands at their pokemon, or as the pokemon themselves; I feel like the first will be the "default" setting of the official game, but the second one will be a popular subculture or mod scene?

Likewise, Kirito's Waterpark Tycoon or whatever is going to get at least a cameo.

Naturally, there will be an Armored Core expy. In that one, I'm thinking it uses the default Cardinal System solely to build the "pilot avatar" that sits in the cockpit of the giant battle robot that's a chair floating inside a dome of monitors like recent Gundam series.

Because of Sinon, a somewhat-realistic shooter game is going to get involved; maybe an expy of the Rainbow Six franchise? I'm kind of tempted to have that one be something like, "it was kind of shitty and boring, but once Dead Apostle Hunt Mode got modded in after the SAO incident, it was amazingly super-awesome; Delta Force vs. Super Vampires, that kind of game."

On the other hand, just taking Mount and Blade and giving them rifle technology could be a really solid setting as well, where the gameworld is carved up into Guild Fiefdoms in an Alt Hist that still has a Feudal System or something like that. I would probably have a setting like, there were NPC factions, but after those all got gobbled up by Players, the game devs were like, "yeah okay we're going EVE Online now".
the above is a very awsome SAO/pokemon crossover in which a pokemon games is the death game

while obviously the post SAO pokemon fulldive in your story will not be a death game you might consider incorporating elements of the above (players have weapons and fight as melee or support alongside their pokemon, pokemon have very advanced AI and are linked to players minds, starter pokemon is based on personality test)
daniel_gudman said:
cockpit of the giant battle robot that's a chair floating inside a dome of monitors like recent Gundam series.
Not all that recent. Even the mook suits had that in Char's Counterattack, circa 1988 or so.
Well, the easiest way I've thought of to explain why Cardinal wouldn't allow magic/magical things is that Cardinal has a inherent basic physics system, and when you attempt to add content that breaks its rules, you have to explain why it works that way. In other words, Cardinal would have been designed to make a realistic world, and if you want to change how something works, you have to create a plausible reason for magic/spells to happen based on its self-adapting physics. You would have to have a cause for the effect to happen. This basically means that any magecraft could happen, but only by using absolutely awkward means of going about it. It is much simpler to just program a lighter in, than program in a way to ignite something without a visible cause. In addition, you have to make sure that what special things you have access to don't interact with everything else in very odd ways, throwing everything else off, and potentially adding bugs/crashing the program through incompatible physics resolutions.

That my thoughts on how you could forbid people using magic in the game. Problem being is that Cardinal as described in your fiction, and the original source doesn't quite fit the theme of how that would work, with its game-like feeling. Just throwing it out there if you still want to have no magic in other games.


Fic till you drop
I always thought it'd be cool to see a story set in a world where there's just an endless ocean and people live in cities of connected boats. There could be sea monsters if you want and maybe missions to the ocean floor or underwater mountains for more boat construction supplies? And players who accumulate enough wealth can pool it and buy a boat, and there could be trading guilds who would group their boats as a little outpost city run by players. Also, there'd be pirates. I'm not sure what they'd do about giant storms tho. Maybe even have the ultimate quest be finding the lost city of Atlantis!

I just like imagining what it would look like, strings of lights marking walkways between groups of boats all glittering off the dark water that stretches to the horizon in every direction.


Fic till you drop
It could also be interesting to have one set underground with lore that hinted at humanity escaping from an apocalypse of some sort into underground tunnels. But now monsters mutated from the original event or aliens who took over the Earth or something are popping up in the tunnels above one of the settlements. It's not super original, but I think Fulldive technology has the potential for a great horror game, since you hear all the small creaks like in normal horror stories but you also have fine control of your vision, whipping it around to try to catch sight of the things lurking at the edges of your vision.


KING (In Land of Blind)
Staff member
The biggest problem, I think, is that the ocean surface without any coast in sight is actually pretty monotonous. I think you'd need to set it around a huge tropical island archepeligo just so you could have enough environments. That mixed with "floating cities" on a whole mix spectrum from pristine atolls to big rusty ships would give you plenty of variety.

That or set it 100 meters deep on the continental shelf and make the Players all Merpeople.

Underground World
Sounds too much like Gurren Legann IMHO.

Maybe make it obvious that the setting is post-apocolyptic, set in the tunnel warrens of an asteroid base. Or a whole cluster of them in like Jupiter's L4/L5 points or in the Belt.

Or go with that shounin setting of "aliens invaded and 95% of humans died, a year later survivors started awakening their psychic powers", that kind of scenario.


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Arma would be a pretty great full dive game, I think. Experiencing Arma physics first hand would definitely be... memorable.
Star Citizen would be amazing, but let's face it, it still wouldn't be released.


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For floating cities I was picturing giant tangles of driftwood that have turned into their own ecology which people have colonized, myself.


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I've kind of got another question, pertaining to the whole "who dips their toe in the FullDive pool next" question)... how much does anyone know about what caused the SAO incident?

Argus has utterly crashed out of existence, and Kayaba's own personal stock should be in the sewer because he's [The SAO Guy], but he hasn't gone on TV and given a big supervillain speech with maniacal cackles or anything, so he's presumably been cleared of deliberate wrongdoing, turned over all the (official) documentation for SAO/Cardinal/the NervGear, and retired to his mountain cabin after an "emotional breakdown". There he can chill in private with a ton of gutted-and-networked Playstation 6s serving as a supercomputer (and heating system), his location legally redacted to protect against death threats from distraught relatives. Unlike canon-Kayaba, he presumably intends to survive Log-Out and guide the players to revealing magecraft - so just up-and-disappearing in the middle of the investigation would be counterproductive.

So what does everyone else know about the SAO incident? Kayaba's professing horror and ignorance, and his coworkers should be clueless because of hypnotism - except Koujiro Rinko, who's worked out that something's fucky and is playing out a techno-thriller tragic romance movie trying to track Kayaba down - so as far as investigators can tell, the actual designers of the game either aren't at deliberate fault or are all part of an incredibly disciplined and bizarre conspiracy.

Which means that someone outside the design team managed to a) prevent players from logging out within the game, and b) prevent manual logout by modifying the NervGear schematics to turn its battery into a manual-logout-triggered bomb, getting it past QA in the process. Which is, holy shit, going to stump them. How would you even start investigating that? Try to track down groups capable of hacking into the Argus servers and modifying fundamental and highly-secret files of both game code and manufacture blueprints? It can't be terrorist action, because no-one claiming responsibility, so is it industrial espionage gone wrong? Some kind of horrifically unlikely bug that slipped through all the checks? The Chinese PLA's cyberwarfare units going extreme black hat?, you can bet the third possibility is what sees funding poured onto Kikuoka Seijirou's cybersecurity unit.

(actually, is the whole "battery microwaves your brain" claim even true, in this setting, or is that a line of bullshit Kayaba fed the players to conceal the effects of a fatal geass hidden in the terms and conditions?)


Alright, so to put forward my own game concept...

Sports simulators are an obvious choice. Extreme sports are the best choice, because they remove the issues of venue, equipment and injury - skiing, skateboarding, skydiving, surfboarding, waterskiing, demolition derby, etc. Hell, I'd expect a paintballing game as an alternative to "real" shooting games, promoted to parents as less psychologically dangerous. Wrestling/UFC could work too, especially since you're removing the need for constant conditioning or recuperation. Expect a MUGEN-style mashup of dozens of bland Olympic-rules fighting sport games into a faux-Street Fighter, before they just get around to that for real. 

A form of sports simulation that bears specific mention... hunting games. As it stands, hunting games are mostly just first-person shooters wrapped up in survivalist trappings, but in FullDive it can take on new life. Different creatures, climates, technology levels... The AIs represent different animal behaviour patterns, which adapt to player actions and the dynamic climate, taken from (and in turn, funding) actual studies of wildlife behaviour - the bigger games probably have a branding partnership with wildlife reserves or preservation groups, both for that purpose and for the PR (look see we're supporting animals so it's not gross). Stalking a tiger through the jungle with nothing but a combat knife, or riding in the back of a jeep and taking down impala with a rifle, or enjoying the Dinosaur Hunt DLC and going after a stegosaurus with a shotgun. There's speculation about a Poacher Hunt Pack that introduces human enemies, but the next update currently on the horizon is a Wildlife Park Expansion where animals you capture instead of killing can be sent to live in a reserve you design and maintain for online visitors.

Those are both fairly generic ideas, though.

To push specific ideas for MMOs...

Well, to spring off hunting games into bankable IP, I'll suggest Grimm Outlook. The game world is a vast, vaguely-European forest, dotted with towns, worn-down castles, mountain church-communities and so on. These [Grimm Outlooks] remain stable, but the forest around them is a dark and shifting place, complete with monsters, lairs, and dynamic-dramatic weather/terrain governed by the much-hyped, much-licensed [Sturm Und Drang] specialist AI director. The theme here is fairy tales - the players are [Grimm Reapers], a guild of fairy-hunters who track down and destroy fairy-tale inspired monsters created by the Fair Folk. 

The game focuses on the hunt rather than combat itself, and so steals a lot of mechanics from the hunting games described above - tracking, stalking, camouflage, identifying spore and marks and habitats, adapting to weather, survival in the wilderness, and so on. Players have a [Lorebook] that they fill up by encountering and conquering threats, and can trade information to other players by expending valuable [Ink Vials]. An example quest might involve coming across a small village community and have to work out which of them is the [Big Bad Wolf] by comparing their alibis or performing a stakeout on an in-game full moon - or filtering through your gathered lore to work out the signs or tracks to look for - then taking it down.

The game presents a system-efficiency measure as a major selling gameplay point - everything outside the immediate area of a [Grimm Outlook] is a series of procedurally-generated instances in the [Fairy Forest]. A complex series of tags (and clever use of Sturm Und Drang) governs a largely seamless random transition from one instance to another, but this journey is randomized, with no guarantee that walking down in the same direction will take you to the same place. Your [Lorebook] records maps of an area while you're in it, but there's no minimap, and areas are discarded and replaced on a fairly regular basis. Instead, you need to use [Breadcrumbs] to mark your way back to the stable trail, or establish a [Campsite] to anchor an area so you can return and re-explore it.

While the early game is dominated by straightforward questing - encounter plot hook, pursue it into the [Dark Forest], fill out Lorebook, get crafting materials, level up skills - a "plot" kicks off once you form a [Band] of Reapers, and the game develops a [Fairy Godparent] based on your favoured enemies etc. This is effectively an AI Director "nemesis" that tries to produce a "story" for you to follow through the instances of the [Fairy Forest], with [Grimm Groves] serving as persistent dungeons (albeit not necessarily a literal dungeon crawl) that advance their group's story. The developers recently announced they'll be moving outside of Eurofae tropes, with slight tweaks to overall visual design to retain a coherent style rather than a sudden leap from Ogres to Oni.

The other idea would be Dead Drop, a game where you play as a spy belonging to one of a number of espionage agencies, performing missions, running interference, sabotaging and assassinating key targets, providing false information, and so on, in a somewhat fictionalized version of your own local country. VR Hitman, but with a focus on group play - solo is still doable, but an AI Support Team doesn't have as good stats, and some people claim the random number generator is biased against them - and a strong social aspect. Can your [Deception] rank + Facial Recognition Cues + fabricated [Alibi Bonus] beat the AI's Lie Detection Rating?

Initially, you chose one of a handful of agencies to belong to, which were run by motiveless AI who worked in collusion to produce a believable conflict in which no-one ever achieved actual victory - a 1984-esque shadow war for the entertainment of the agents involved. The issue being that the AI developed "emergent motives" for their respective agencies that justified their actions in-game, resulting in unplanned-for splinter-groups and mergers and takeovers and so on whenever an "out of character" action was called for. This turned out to add a lot of layers of fun, and it's not like the [Agency] AIs are developing actual personalities and ideals, right? So the devs ran with it, and now the tutorial mission assigns you to an Agency appropriate to your chosen tactics, moral choices and stated political affiliation, until you're advanced enough to defect.

A particularly interesting part of this game is its ARG aspect - namely, by linking Dead Drop in with your social media and smart-tech GPS, you receive non-regular instructions to perform some action in the virtual space - go to your local shopping centre and add a particular VR tag to the Dead Drop app, or send a message to a particular number at a certain time, or find a car with a certain numberplate and photograph it for the app, or form a flashmob and tweet about it under a numbered DeadDrop hashtag - that are rewarded with in-game benefits you'd normally need to drop cash for. The idea being that you're helping to fight the secret fight even in the "real world". This aspect of the game is locked for ages 18+ for obvious reasons.

(yes, this is just SPOOKS from Halting State – where players are being used to perform seemingly innocent espionage legwork – with an AI twist)


KING (In Land of Blind)
Staff member
Revlid said:
I've kind of got another question, pertaining to the whole "who dips their toe in the FullDive pool next" question)... how much does anyone know about what caused the SAO incident?


So what does everyone else know about the SAO incident? Kayaba's professing horror and ignorance, and his coworkers should be clueless because of hypnotism - except Koujiro Rinko, who's worked out that something's fucky and is playing out a techno-thriller tragic romance movie trying to track Kayaba down - so as far as investigators can tell, the actual designers of the game either aren't at deliberate fault or are all part of an incredibly disciplined and bizarre conspiracy.
Kayaba is actively confusing the issue as much as he can, so cutting through all the bullshit he's prepared is going to be a possible plot thread.

That Rinko thing is pretty cool, maybe I'll do an interlude chapter from her viewpoint with that premise.

Revlid said:
A form of sports simulation that bears specific mention... hunting games.
Now you must play... the most dangerous game.

The problem with a Fairy Tale game is that, this being the Nasuverse, Fairies and Gnomes and Werewolves are all Real Things, so that's exactly the kind of game that would keep finding itself getting subverted by Cardinal into particular themes that the devs might not be interested in.

happerry said:
For floating cities I was picturing giant tangles of driftwood that have turned into their own ecology which people have colonized, myself.
I read a book with that setting, although it was really more Christian Fiction Space!, rather than Science Fiction.


Well-Known Member
daniel_gudman said:
Anyway, The problem with a Fairy Tale game is that, this being the Nasuverse, Fairies and Gnomes and Werewolves are all Real Things, so that's exactly the kind of game that would keep finding itself getting subverted by Cardinal into particular themes that the devs might not be interested in.
Hum. The issue I'm finding with that is... I mean, what form does that take?

The most plausible answer, for me, is that Cardinal trolls developers by introducing bug upon bug into any inaccurate simulation of supernatural phenomena (or perhaps any simulation at all, up until Kayaba makes the Magecraft Patch public), so it's far more cost-effective to work with tried-and-tested "mundane" subject matter and materials. That's something people would absolutely pick up on as being weird, but which isn't obvious deliberate interference, won't strike the public as a reason to perpetuate the FullDive panic, and does the basic job of limiting supernatural phenomena.

If it's something like "Cardinal says Werewolves don't work like that, they work like this", then that's going to raise red flags. If your AI is clearly and deliberately making changes you don't want in order to serve an agenda you don't understand, you're probably not going to let it take charge of your client-base, especially since no-one's really sure what caused the industry-maiming SAO Incident and "rampant AI Director" is a scary place to start.

Also, it does raise the slightly goofy situation where a developer finds that they can rename [Werewolf] to [Shapeshifting Wolf Alien] and thereby eliminate all interference. Even if Cardinal's smart enough to see through that, they can just include background lore that's never presented to the players (which must exist to provide a baseline for autogenerated content), explaining that Grimm Outlook actually takes place in the far future, on a planet that was colonized and then abandoned, so that humans have forgotten their starborne origins, all technology has been totally and definitively lost, and all the "fairy tale" creatures are really aliens and mutants and nanomachines. Problem solved.

I mean, if Cardinal gets mad if a FullDive game presents its Fast Travel system as a Teleport Crystal... can they rename the item "Zeppelin Ticket" and have that explain how you teleport across the map? Will Cardinal still be mad, and demand they include the zeppelin model and accurate travel times because teleport isn't real? Or can they just let you use your map to Fast Travel, and note that it's an abstraction of a boring journey (like so much else in these games)?

Given that none of this stuff showed up in the beta (where there was fake and inaccurate magic all over), there must be a pre-release version of Cardinal without this tendency, archived somewhere, surely? Why can't they use that, instead? After all, people are going to be digging through the updates to see what made the beta fine and the final version non-logoutable, so did Kayaba just heavily doctor the previous versions? It's within his capabilities (which include both "plot magic" and "literal magecraft")... but actually, why?

He's only going to release the Magecraft Patch post-logout, right? So why does he care if there are inaccuracies in the meantime, given that non-FullDive fantasy games (and LARPing) are still a thing? Why not just let people do whatever they like with FullDive, and then post-Logout release the new super-special system-on-steroids he's been using to make the water so pretty, the anatomy so accurate, and the memory so absurdly efficient? It won't have his direct magical enhancement, but he'll need to have people using something that can at least approach that level of realism, if his Magecraft Patch is to be used to its full potential. He can just package the Magecraft Patch (plus Cardinal reality-policing) into the massive and free upgrade this version represents. Everyone adopts it, and those that don't get "infected" through migrating player-data or parent company contamination or whatever.

He could say that's what he was working on all this time, to expunge his shame - or, hell, if he's turning Sugou into his scapegoat, why not use him to do it? He's already giving the guy circuits and some bargain-basement training and sending him to dance on-stage as a shitty Reki antagonist. Why not hand him the Seed (Of Akasha), too? Kayaba wants to avoid the limelight, including awkward questions about just how/why he did all this from his basement in a log cabin and why it's fucking up Goblin Quest 14's fire spells. Sugou, on the other hand, would love the publicity, has the infrastructure and motive to directly justify this, and a full PR team to handle any oddities.

Hell, he could do it when the SAO players reach Floor 90-or-so, so Sugou's ready for his announcement just after they logout, or has already made it before any SAO players can pipe up about their experiences vis-a-vis both magic and improved graphical capability.


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Another thought... There's obviously a market for VR sex-games (have sex with anyone you like, as anyone you like, anywhere you like), but long-term I kind of see them linking up with dating websites for a "multiplayer" experience. Have a date at any venue, eat any food, wear any face, and hooking up at the end of the evening is danger-free (both in physical and medical terms). If you don't like it, just log out and you'll never see your anonymous partner again. That's kind of a revolution, and one that'll eventually change the way most societies look at sex – certainly, it screws most forms of prostitution (so to speak). It's also something that's going to face tremendous moral debate and regulation, because should it be illegal to have snuff-sex if no-one actually dies, etc?

This is probably outside of the scope of this story, to be honest, even if it is a Nasu-story. Certainly, it's not going to be useful for most tantric magecraft.

What's almost certainly not outside the scope is another vice – drugs. If FullDive involves directly messing with the brain's input, it can certainly simulate the effects of drugs – with no medical issues and only psychological addiction problems. Literal internet drugs – the logical next step from MMOs! Hell, I saw a trailer for a game called "Dreams" the other day, but FullDive could presumably simulate an actual dream-state, no? No need to actually construct a graphical dreamscape for you – just set the brain to REM and let it run into a lucid trip. Ripe territory for dreamquest magecraft. Also likely to undercut Johnny Black's market.


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Speaking of VR sex games Mu-sensei's Monster Girl Online

Actually one Full Dive Game I could see being incredibly popular would be Pokemon. Actually be the trainer.

Dueling games; be it children's card games, tops, monsters etc I can see working out well, you get to unleash massive effects as a spectacle
fitzgerald said:
Actually one Full Dive Game I could see being incredibly popular would be Pokemon. Actually be the trainer.
this doesnt update often, but is pretty much SAO as a Pokemon game where kayaba really like the pokemon game series and made it into his deathgame

if I did poorly in fighting games (because uncoordinated nerd) I might love playing something like this (hopefully though with the weapon system used in the fanfic removed, or at least using a gun type weapon)

edit: forgot I posted about this in this thread already


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While booking a tour of the Natural History Museum's spirit room, a thought struck me - one very much relevant to VR applications of magecraft, if not a videogame itself.

Currently, objects in FullDive games are created within the system. That is to say, they're modeled directly by game designers, or by the AI Director based on direction from (and resources created by) the game designers. We can already produce models for 3D printing purely from photos, so we can assume many objects are just directly "scanned" into the game - and given the sheer budget at play in building SAO's database for later licensing, I'm pretty sure Kayaba could have harvested whatever textures he damn well pleased.

It doesn't, however, include the object's history or conceptual strata. It's a purely cosmetic representation, to the point that even qualities like flammability or weight need to be manually added later, or extrapolated by Cardinal.

Assuming Kayaba rolls out his impossibly-good freeware FullDive optimization package post-Logout, as he did with the [Seed] in canon... Well, there's room for similar enhancements, no? Specifically, I'm thinking of a kind of "Spirit Photography" that would use Structural Analysis to let you translate an object's traits, both mundane and metaphysical, into the game's code. If you could do that, and pass on the "technology" to other people, they'd start using it pretty quickly. Take a photo of your room, upload it into your GamePool (where you make a FullDive) and now all your belongings are embodied in game code with a high degree of fidelity, right down to the smell or the noise they make.

More importantly, though, academics could use it to record vital specimens and artifacts, preserving them against loss and instantly "sharing" them for study around the world. Something like the British Museum's collection would become nothing more than a library of ancient books which have already been scanned and uploaded to an eReader - they could organize free Virtual Tours of their entire collection, with no regard for exhibition space or content limits.

More importantly, though, this is obviously supernatural. There's almost no way to technobabble through it like Kayaba's software optimization. Which means that initially, at least, it'd be kept on the down-low by the Survivors - while still being insanely useful for them, and quite possibly a bargaining chip. Imagine if you could experiment with different ways of distilling hydra venom without needing to exhaust your extremely limited supply of hydra fangs? Or examine a mummy kept in lockup? This would be a vital addition to the [Magus Training Wheels] that True FullDive offers - and also something that would let Shirou massively expand his database of swords just by literally logging into a database.
How about a crafting game that leans on the non magical prowess of Cardinal? Could have a small niche MMO which is basically a chatroom for cosplay people. It has not so good world rendering but super detailed items. The game company can hire a couple of old machinist/blacksmiths who lost limbs or their sight to teach some newbies. Fulldive beams the world directly into the brain right?

Virtual reality takes care of materials and equipment and is really safe. Company could also earn money by having a factory produce player's ingame items out of plastic for a fee.
I don't see how you could do it without a second technogeek magic user deciding he likes the cut of Kayaba's gib, but having SAO->Alfheim turn into FRO->Age of Gods RPG as a sort of history simulator would be AMAZING.

Play as a Jason and the Argonaut equivalent. Play through the Odyssey. Hercules and his twelve labors, with period-accurate magical beasts. Magecraft is super-charged, humans are superhuman. Its like Kayaba's SAO got an expansion pack.