I'm curious as to how to convey setting information through multiplayer gameplay. The reason I ask is that one of my three larger-budget concepts (not yet uploaded) is a multiplayer science-fiction shooter RPG. (Also a vehicle sim, with a "skirmish" RTS mode. There's a lot here.) There won't be a campaign, when it starts it will only have five maps, but it still needs to get the setting across and more importantly communicate the character of each faction.
While the text descriptions and database will have plenty of information, I wholly expect most players to ignore both entirely, so this is unreliable and I need to rely on things other than text. (And ignore the idiots that judge the factions entirely on their appearance.) Part of this I know how to do through gameplay and statistics. For example, simini place a lot of importance on themselves and their safety and care nothing for other species. This is communicated by simini units and abilities having the best defensive power and restorative abilities, but simini being able to capture civilians and use them as slave labour and cannon fodder without their normally great defensive power or restorative abilities. Their bahaar servants, on the other hand, were created to exterminate the enemies of the simini, and place high value on personal power and improvisation. They are a very strongly offensive faction, with great natural power and mobility, with higher than normal low-level power and great offence and flexibility early in skirmishes, (they work best with "zerg rush" strategies) yet their gear is primitive and improvised, they progress slowly with low level caps and have lacklustre power later on in skirmishes.
What I'm looking for is more suggestions on how to convey these things through means other than text. Not just mechanics, but also aesthetics.
Edited by Jeremy Williams, 17 August 2013 - 06:48 PM.