*** *** *** Pirate Dawn, The "Flagship Game" of the Pirate Dawn Universe *** *** ***
This is not a playable board game, it is a design document for a computer game. This is what I think of as "Pirate Dawn II", it is the same 2005 version of the game that I have shown here before. Also included are 2 "lore files" from the current "Pirate Dawn III", the Master Ship and Master Colony files which together are about 50 pages of a lot of critical story associated with the most recent version of Pirate Dawn. Like I said in the introductory post of this dev journal, "the game writes the story and then the story designs the game". Pirate Dawn III is what happened to Pirate Dawn II after 8 more games were added after Mission. Pirate Dawn III is a very different game in a lot of its details, the most recent story has made many old "it's an arcade game anyway" compromises unnecessary and the newest version is both a much better and "more realistic" game than any of the previous versions. Pirate Dawn III also adds a whole new layer, and dimension, to the story. The long standing original story of Pirate Dawn that the entire universe was originally derived from, as seen in the "version II" of the design document provided here, is now not in reality what is actually going on. But I don't change that original story directly as that was the root of everything. I leave the original story as it is and alter its meaning by writing more around it that re-defines it without changing it. In the newest evolution of the story the "piracy crises" is what the media has the people of Earth believing is going on. It is now actually a civil war between the colonies. This is not only a vast improvement of the story, it was actually inspired as a part of improving the game.
The current version of Pirate Dawn is, in a general sense, the same game as the decade-old "Pirate Dawn II" design document I have provided here. It is very different in its details. Two of the biggest differences are that the "new" story was conceived to explain the player corporation/cartel HQs being located at the colonies because it never really made any sense for them to be located out on moons and asteroids in the solar system. Actually being a civil war between the colonies has made it easy to finally create a realistic story that matches how the game actually plays where in the past there had always been a lot of "oh well, it's an arcade game anyway" fudges. The game works and plays much better as a result as well, and the way the people live makes a lot more sense now. For example players would always have wanted to be based at the colonies for gameplay reasons, and it makes sense that is where most people would live, and now most players are based out of the colonies. Another big difference in this version is how freight is handled. I had been using the system everyone knows and is familiar with just because that is what everyone expects from past "space trading games", but with Pirate Dawn III I have done what I have always wanted to with this. Freight now works based on a "consignment" system just like freight in the real world operates. Unlike other space trading games you do not "buy and sell" cargo in Pirate Dawn. You move freight based on consignment. You never own it, you are just transporting it. Different classes of freight (Hazmat, Refrigerated, etc), and different service levels, pay different rates. This is simply how freight works in the real world so if you understand that then you understand how it works in the current version of Pirate Dawn.
Attached to this post...
2005 "Pirate Dawn II" design document. The existing story elements of Pirate Dawn II are almost unchanged in Pirate Dawn III, but much is added that redefines this original story of the PDU from which everything else originally sprang. The general gameplay is the same, but there is another decade worth of refinement of the details in Pirate Dawn III that makes it a much better game in a lot of different ways.
Introduction Timeline: Normally a PDU game comes with the timeline from the end of the previous game to the beginning of the current one. I am leaving Territories out of this so this is the second half of this timeline segment, beginning from the end of the Territories aftermath timeline entries. This is mostly about the colonization process and the formation of the Confederation of Colonies.
0X Colony File (Pirate Dawn) - Core information regarding the early Confederation of Colonies. None of these lore files are in a first draft state like Armageddon Chess, they are actually a pretty long way from being truly finished. They are largely "complete" in their content, almost everything is there, but nowhere near finished. There are even a lot of notes, which always begin with "***" to easily cycle through them, which I have left in them.
0X Master Ship Chart (Pirate Dawn) - All pre-colonial ships built prior to the establishment of the CoC Navy. The 0X and 1X "Master Ship Chart" files provided here cover absolutely every manned human space craft that has ever exists from 2017 through 2190. If it isn't listed in either of these files, then it never existed within the PDU up to that point. (NOTE: I might add an early Mars mission by China in the 2030's and that would be the only "ship" missing from either of these files, if it winds up existing).
1X Master Ship Chart (Manifest Destiny) - All ships of the 1st generation CoC Navy at the end of Pirate Dawn and the beginning of Manifest Destiny (2190). To actually show some space ships, since that is ultimately the focus of most games of the PDU, these last two files are the very primitive early sublight fleet of the CoC and the starting "Order of Battle" for the CoC in Manifest Destiny. There are seven generations of fleet technology in the Pirate Dawn Universe, 0X - 6X. These are the ship descriptions. I am not showing the "tactical level" design of the ships in this but the tactical design for the "base ship", and how it specifically functions, in the PDU is essentially a far more intricate version of the Star Fleet Battles design of ship meant to function in real time as a computer game. Rocinante is, by far, the most "realistic" and detailed design for a space ship within games ever seen by a long, long way (or, it would be once cool production stuff like fake blueprints existed for it).
1X Master Fleet Chart (Manifest Destiny) - Fleet composition of the 1st generation CoC Navy at the end of Pirate Dawn and the beginning of Manifest Destiny (2190). This is a very simple and primitive fleet. There are few variants and it is a very basic fleet composition. This is based fundamentally on the structure of the Cold War era US Navy and one thing the CoC learns in this war is that this fleet composition and doctrine are all wrong for defending the colonies in space. Working with a fleet that is badly designed for the job is part of the challenge for the player in Manifest Destiny. In Manifest Destiny you can ally with other stellar nations in the region and your allies will send "expeditionary fleets" to aid you in the war... and you can assign those ships to fill the tactical gaps and complete the CoC Navy. Your Vorkavian enemy's fleet can also be greatly enhanced if they can bring those same neighbors to their side. For example they don't have any type of carriers, but the nearby neighbor in this region that does is the one most aligned and disposed to easily join the Vorkavians and then they will have carriers which obviously makes a huge difference. In Manifest Destiny gaining an ally also fills a gap in the poor design of your primitive navy, for both the CoC and Vorkavian Corporate. They send you what amount to support ships for your fleet, but they still also just appear to be the design of their navy.
...this all amounts to about 300 pages so it is a lot of reading. The lore files are almost entirely story.
*** *** Primary Characters of Pirate Dawn *** ***
Because it is the beginning and foundation of the sci-fi story some of the most important characters to the overall story of the universe, and some of the most important "historical figures" of PDU history, are present in Pirate Dawn.
Alex "Zero Tolerance" Larson - The star of Queen's One Vision theme movie for Pirate Dawn and tied as the most important early historical figure of the PDU alongside of African Union Ambassador Alpha Ambassa of Territories who forms the African Union during the Hot War, and is also the driving force behind the formation of the Global Council in its aftermath. Alex Larson is the primary inspirational figure who ignites the spark that ultimately leads to unity among the colonies and a mostly unified drive to explore the galaxy. In the grand scheme of things Alex Larson doesn't actually do all that much, and only flies as an active bounty hunter during the earliest years of the crises, but still winds up being one of the most well-remembered figures in the history of the PDU due to the series of events that he is credited with touching off.
Kavik Kang - My own alter-ego character, a tradition within the Star Fleet Universe, Kavik Kang is the primary star of the beginning of the story of the PDU. His story mostly ends with Mission (game #6) although he does continue on throughout the story in three different ways from that point. Kang is introduced in Pirate Dawn and is later one of the three major characters of Mission. Kavik Kang's real story happens in Mission, he goes into a self exile to avoid arrest toward the end of the piracy crises and "things happen" from there. Of course, as you have already seen in the timeline, he is traveling in time... which hasn't actually begun yet. But that changes nothing, he is still already traveling in time even though he hasn't begun traveling in time yet... I hate time travel! But this does mean that he always has at least a cameo appearance in every game;-) Kavik Kang is the beginning of the story. Andrea "Suzi" Takahashi is the middle of the story, and Cindy "Fallen Angel" McAllen is the end of the story. Where have I heard that before?
Cindy "Fallen Angel" McAllen - This character was originally created as a measuring stick for my own Kavik Kang character. Cindy always has to have a bigger and better story than Kavik Kang. This long ago stopped becoming an issue when Cindy ran away from Kang with the creation of her feature story in the final chronological game of the timeline, Fallen Angel Rising. Cindy is introduced in this game and she is the biggest star character of the next game, Manifest Destiny, and the entire overall story really. Cindy is, far and away, the stand-out top ace of the piracy crises... in fact she is downright "supernatural" good;-)
Nafi "Ranger" Ambassa - The "great hero" of Pirate Dawn and Manifest Destiny. He is the stereotypical action star hero who was born to save the world and never stops trying to do it. He's Arnold, Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Buck Rogers all rolled into one. He is also the great grandson of Alpha Ambassa and the second of three "great achievers" of this family from Senegal who exist throughout the first half of the PDU. The Ambassa family is only a part of the fulfillment of the promise of Armageddon Chess that "the best of James Brown is yet to come"!
President Jose Mauricio Gomez-Villaverde - President of the Confederation of Colonies granted the rare status of Fully Empowered President at the beginning of his second term in office. President Villaverde supported the popular movement inspired by Alex Larson which ultimately led to a drive toward warp driven starships and galactic exploration. In the short term, however, this "mandate of the people" transformed the piracy crises into an institutionalized civil war with both sides of the conflict equally supported by Earth.
Marvin "The Prophet" Cayce - Founder of Ara colony and author of an eerily accurate book of prophecies. This is one of the most visible ways that I am taking advantage of the PDU knowing its own future. I hope for this "book" found in Pirate Dawn to be at least 60 pages long when it is finished, comprised entirely of "prophecies" that at best make cryptic sense, or in some cases no sense at all, until what they are related too happens. Then they are obvious. These have been accumulating for some time now and there are about 12 pages of them right now. The MMO Pirate Dawn does not use very many music videos, one of the few movies of Pirate Dawn features The Prophet. His name is Marvin so that he matches the "Listening to Marvin all night long" lyric of Spandau Ballet's "True", the trailer movie for Fallen Angel Rising. Cindy McAllen is a full-blown "true believer" devotee and very close friend of Marvin Cayce and she is a very politically powerful and beloved figure on Ara. Other than Marvin, Cindy is probably the most politically powerful person on Ara during the piracy crises but even on Ara only a handful of people know that she is actively involved with the government of Ara.
Only the first 03:38 of this song is used for Marvin's movie, and it might start about 15 seconds late as well since the beginning is so faint. These lyrics were already used as descriptions for two of the chess pieces in the Time of the Titans chess set and all of the things mentioned in the first 3.5 minutes of this song are relevant to the overall story of the PDU in some way... because this is one of half-a-dozen or so songs that the entire overall story is ultimately based on, so it always just naturally matches everything everywhere. Just like One Vision, Mission, Hemispheres and Natural Science.
Grand Admiral Nathan J. "Half-Life" Wolinsky - Founding father of the CoC Navy. Grand Admiral Wolinsky was deeply concerned by the impression that the CoC was leaving on neighboring, and increasingly visiting, alien species and was the leader of a movement within the EDF to convince the Global Council to begin the construction of a large defense fleet capable of at least defending the colonies. This movement had actually begun before the piracy crises began but intensified greatly once these military officers saw the civilian population regularly attacking any and all alien ships they encountered. Admiral Wolinsky is the most involved in the story of Pirate Dawn of these last three characters who are really more prominent in the timeline that leads into Pirate Dawn than they are in the game itself.
William "Half-Dead" Janis - The primary star of the timeline leading into Pirate Dawn, Colonel Janis is later considered to be the founding father of military naval aviators in space and the Military Patrol Craft strike wings of the CoC Navy. He is a close, career-long associate of Grand Admiral Wolinsky. He is also essentially a step-uncle to Cindy McAllen and his wife is the closest thing that Cindy ever had to a mother. He is a minor character in Pirate Dawn and a major character in Manifest Destiny. In the military. before the piracy crises. he had been famous as "Stinger" but he uses the call sign "Half-Dead" to conceal his identity as a piracy crises pilot from all but those who know him personally. Anyone who knew him personally would recognize him by the call sign "Half-Dead". Colonel Janis remained exceptionally healthy and youthful until a very old age and was approaching 80 while still serving as a flying wing commander at the end of the First Intergalactic War.
Jack "Arch Angel" McAllen - Cindy McAllen's father and William Janis's career-long wing man first aboard an aircraft carrier of the US Navy and later at EDF Lunar Base Alpha establishing the earliest military doctrine in space with Grand Admiral Wolinski and Colonel Janis. Arch Angel was widely considered to be the best combat pilot of his day. Colonel Janis could only rarely defeat his wing man in the simulators and Arch Angel was almost always unusually dominant in full scale real-flight exercises. Jack McAllen is not in any game. A recently retired Major McAllen dies in an exhibition stunt flying accident shortly before the piracy crises inspiring his famous, now 26-year-old, former teen idol poster girl daughter Cindy to disappear. The disappearance of the "Darling of Lunar Base Alpha" remains one of the most talked about mysteries of the day until it is finally confirmed during the middle of the piracy crises, nearly seven years later, that the once irresistibly adorable little 11-year-old girl who had captured the hearts of her generation was now the greatly feared and widely despised "Fallen Angel" of the hated Aviary cartel of Ara.
*** That's All, Folks! ***
This is the end of this public presentation of the Pirate Dawn Universe. I don't want to give away too much of the story. Armageddon Chess is the beginning of the entire story, and Pirate Dawn is the beginning of the sci-fi part of the story. That should be enough. I tried for twenty years to make it into your industry, but you've always insisted that a twenty-something graduate of the Devry School of Game Design is vastly more desirable than someone with my background. The Pirate Dawn Universe is the ultimate evolution and completion of about 70 years of continuous work by Avalon Hill, Amarillo Design Bureau, and then me. The end result is a functioning simulation of the combination of time and reality which, as it turns out, is indistinguishable from a functioning simulation of God. With all of its components taken to infinite capacity, Rube is practically indistinguishable from what we all know as "The Matrix". "Ultimate Infinity Rube/The Matrix" is also a "self-programming computer with omniscient communication"... maybe 100 years from now, anyway.
Rube is the final conclusion, the ultimate final result, of an entire primary branch of the modern game industry that begins with its very beginnings of Avalon Hill and runs through Task Force Games/Star Fleet Battles, to end with my 20 years of working on the Pirate Dawn Universe. At this point, this is as much (if not more) about this 70 years of accumulated knowledge, not to mention the end result of the fundamental basis of "The Matrix", being lost to history. If it is, it is entirely because the modern game industry refused to acknowledge it (or even look at it), it certainly won't be from a lack of me trying. If nobody in the modern game industry has any interest in Rube at all... then I suggest re-reading everything that I wrote the last time I was here as "Pirate Lord" when I "retired" from banging my head against your brick wall. Read everything I wrote the last time again, and this time around accept the fact that it was all true. I was right. If you have no interest in this, then everything I said the last time around must be 100% true.
I am out of ideas. Contacting game companies at random isn't going to work any better now than it did for twenty years last time around. So this is it. This blog, and the one on Gamasutra, are the only new ideas I have to try here. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear any suggestions anyone might have for actually making at least just Territories (and with it Rube). I could happily forget the entire universe at this point and just make Territories... and Cindy McAllen isn't even in Territories! With Territories you would also make Rube which, assuming the modern game industry actually does take simulation design seriously instead of just insisting that they do, will someday in the distant future be something very much like what you know as "The Matrix". So, if anyone is interested I am here. If nobody is interested in Rube then you will probably never hear from me again... and you really should stop pretending like you take this stuff seriously, because you clearly don't. My money is on it being at least another 200 years before Rube is re-discovered. After all, it took what must have been at least 50 or 60 of us about 70 years to arrive at it, and nobody is actually doing this type of thing anymore.
Pirate Dawn Citizen/Zeus Victory End Credits (and shockingly appropriate at this particular moment, as well)...
Marc "Kavik Kang" Michalik
Lost Art Studios
"I wish that I could live it all again!"