I've been posting so many different ideas on in the forums of late that it's hard for people to keep track of the game's focus, so I'm going to summarize:
Premise: Survive and thrive in a fantastical future where you can change the destiny of the human race.
Synopsis: Play across generations as a citizen infected with mysterious, developing powers that can shape the future. Start on a recovering, ravaged Earth, expand to the Moon and Mars, then discover secrets that lead to interstellar travel and galactic exploration-- all from an RPG-like perspective. Command starships, evolve colonies, or grow rich expanding networks made up of legal or illegal enterprises. Follow the story, confronting a cadre of constantly evolving immortals like yourself, or play your own way in a sandbox mode.
- RPG-like: Gameplay focus is on character interaction, combat, stealth and trade. There is skill building, items and a far reaching grand story.
- Immortality: Somehow, you never seem to die. You can't be killed by combat or accidents. Only your immortal enemies can send you on to the next lifetime.
- Generations: Success in one generation allows you to build up the next.
- Reactive Cosmos: The world around you changes and grows and can be affected by your actions, or the action of NPC immortals just like you. You cannot quickload the world, so every decision counts.
- Destiny: Dramatic changes sweep the world every so many generations, drastically altering the course of human events. You must try to build yourself up enough to stand against the tide, or even use it to your advantage!
Survive: You begin life in a sleeper coffin, a citizen of the libertarian-socialist Community, a high-tech utopian society that has survived the near annihilation of the human race. Choose to make your way in the massive arcologies and space stations of civilization, the treasure and danger filled wastelands, or the depths of space.
At first, you only have 3 concerns: Health, Energy and Morale, all of which slowly decline. Health is replenished by food, which also fortifies stats and resistances. Energy is replenished by rest, which also increases skills and aids in completing inventions. Morale is replenished by winning missions, gaining friends and improving one's life, and allows you to excel in integrating with mind-machine interfaces.
Health controls resistance to normal death. When your health drops below zero, depending on your luck, several situations spawn-- but all allow you to keep playing.
Acts like fatigue and limits physical activity. Energy amount drops with age, but can be enhanced with implants and nanotechnology.
Controls social reactions and the ability to interface with machines, a vital skill in a high tech world. .
You thrive by gaining status, money, allies and building up your personality.
Gives rise to better job opportunities and access to characters who can change the world.
Most equipment, items and hired help cost money by the hour or day, but allow missions to be completed which build status. The trick is to balance money going out and money coming in.
Protect you in combat, help you build yourself up, rescue you when you're in trouble. Allies have unique personalities and goals and will act independently with or without you.
Who you are is what you can do. Personality impacts your ability to take some risks or capitalize on certain challenges, adding a whole new dimension to character interaction and leveling. You can grow from an unsure cadet to a confidence inspiring captain, or young thug to brutal strongman, winning things like personal auras and special interaction techniques.
Ancient alien gods are fighting a war using human beings as pawns. Some have picked you as an avatar. Do you engage in the struggle against characters like you who have your powers and abilities to resist death, or do you try to shape the future your own way, in freeform gameplay?
You start the game viewing motes doting the Earth. Each is a destiny point, a life waiting to be born. When you begin a life, you immediately begin to accrue Lifeforce. Lifeforce is banked across lifetimes and allows you to access more and more powers.
Powers allow you to perform near-miracles, such as travel back in time, or see into the future. But each use of power drains Lifeforce, and the greater the use, the more visible across time and space you are to enemy avatars. Only enemy avatars have the power to send you onto your next life.
When you die, you can choose to instantly convert all Lifeforce of the last lifetime to reincarnating instantly as you were, or you can choose to become a member of your bloodline. Your bloodline includes family you've managed to gain, or clones and cyborgs if the technology exists.
Twelve other NPC avatars share the world with you. None know who the others are, unless they use their powers. Each has a unique focus and will try to change the world in their own way. Some can be allied with, others must be opposed.
Each lifetime, avatars may be born into new bodies. Avatars can only be known by special hints during interacting with their characters. You may know that an avatar is an enemy who ravaged worlds the last lifetime, but in this, he may be masquerading as a pillar of a community protected by the law.
Shape The Future
With or without you, the world changes and grows. Businesses and entire worlds go through boom and bust. Factions rise and fall in power. Empires change governments, laws or culture, sometimes even breaking apart in peaceful or violent revolutions.
The game is played out in eras, each of a limited length. This gives you a limited number of lifetimes to accomplish your goal. At the end of every era, a dramatic event drastically alters the playing area. The end of an era may usher in a wild new frontier, an invading alien race, or a great war or catastrophe that must be survived.
You can choose to pursue the story and discover how to stop these cycles of destruction. Or you can decide to play freeform, building up your own personal empire to weather and even beat back the coming storms.
Feasibility: The game will depend on a number of techniques, including procedural development and focusing a wide variety of events through character interaction.
Prefab levels will be mixed and matched and populated with random interaction nodes and customizing artwork. The Torque Shader Engine should allow for custom environments such as canned cities and continuous random planetary maps. Cities will be procedurally generated from block parts.
Trade, reputation, crime and stealth will all be system driven, meaning that you will have stat resources that are affected by challenges throughout the level. Sneaking, for instance, might involve keeping a low heat signature in space and sound signature on foot. This allows emphasis to be on numerical customization of environments, rather that art heavy asset customization.
Equipment and HUD minigames will spice up and fill out a great deal of gameplay. Activities such as scanning, item repair, engineering challenges and medbay challenges will be done through puzzle or action games depending on the equipment you buy.
Still in process, but should become firm once I get a sense of how much help I can expect to get by partnering with local universities to offer work experience for credit.
Whew! That's it for now!