I have a very difficult problem on my hands. The story is for a game, so I do have to explain it in a very simple manner without tons of text. Otherwise people might get bored and ignore it.

Basically, the premise is this:

A person creates a program that is for all intents and purposes a universe in its own right. Every character in the game is actually an AI created by said programmer. This programmer is corrupt and has secretly controlled said world through war and other misdirections.

Now the problem with this is a large chunk of the story is not meant to be taken incredibly serious. It's meant to be funny and so the character's presence is generally written off as a fourth wall joke. In fact to make it even more confusing, the character is even supposed to be, in essence, the same person making the game (i.e. me).

So the problem is, how do I accurately convey without causing people to write it off as a fourth wall reference or get bored and not read the dialogue altogether (which would be horrible since without it the story probably wouldn't make sense in a lot of regards).

Some things I thought of were:

  1. have the screen pan out and literally show the desktop of the computer. Kinda hard to call that a fourth wall reference when you essentially show a "game" within a computer within a game within a computer. The only real issue with this is that having it pan out would be difficult, and it might look weird to some people, especially if the dialogue makes no sense.

  2. Make some reference to him being a "deity". I don't like this though as it could be symbolically taken the wrong way.

  3. Make a reference to some other work that is similar. This is in my eyes the worst possible thing I could do, so I'm not sure why I bring it up. Not that references are bad, but my story should be able to stand on its own two feet.

Just to make is especially clear, nothing in the game directly points towards this being the truth. There are very minor and subtle things pointing towards them being evil, but I honestly feel one would have to try very hard to even conceive this as being the truth. Granted, the plot makes perfect sense with this (and a few things are explained with this). I made sure to be very careful not to contradict myself.

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    $\begingroup$ Might be better to ask on Writing? $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Oct 24 '16 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I don't really think this is a worldbuilding issue; try it on writers as @JDĹ‚ugosz recommended or have a go at Gamedev.SE... Besides that, it seems that you are not yet doing actual playtests, so what you're doing would be called premature optimization in programming terms. Try to just make the game for now, get some demo running and test it with people - then you see if you actually need to convey it better or if it already works $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Oct 24 '16 at 5:18
  • $\begingroup$ You forgot to bring your Orb of Moons again, eh? Ultima 7 intro. I wouldn't call it a fourth wall joke; it's integral to the game that you're your own avatar. Literally. Immersion: 10/10 $\endgroup$ – Mazura Oct 24 '16 at 5:35
  • $\begingroup$ @dot_Sp0T You assume there isn't already something existing that is public. The issue here is that already existing dialogue is complete garbage, and not really worth mentioning. Technically, I didn't make the game (I'm just speaking for simplicity as I am fixing it up). The original developer said I could have a go at improving some of its parts, and this is the biggest "problem" we both agreed existed. The guy was 16 at the time, so be to honest, the dialogue wasn't really grammar-friendly or even logical have of the time. $\endgroup$ – user64742 Oct 24 '16 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ There isn't really a large number of complaints (most people don't even finish it so go figure why there isn't), but I would prefer to try and make it clearer now because at the moment, very little indicates this whatsoever. The only reason I know is because I'm friends with the developer and he explained it to me. $\endgroup$ – user64742 Oct 24 '16 at 5:44