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Game Story (needs criticism)

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Ok, this is a lengthy read, but i think it is worth it. I will not take credit for the story,as it was written by my story writer Andrew, and I will not address what game this story is for as to maintain a level of secrecy. But, Our game is oriented around the gaming communities response and suggestions, so we dont make a game WE want you to play but a game that YUO want to play. So here it is ... Year of Story: 2108 ------------------------------------------------------------------- you awake You slowly come around in a cryogenic case. Looking over you is your commanding officer: Sergeant Major Kennedy of the Marines, Sergeant Valance and Sergeant David’s. Sergeant Major Kennedy of the marines first greats you with a sarcastic sentence; Followed by Technical Sergeant Valance reassuring you everything is fine and welcomes you back to earth. You are a little dazed and confused, and can’t move at first when the cryogen is opened. Sergeant Major David’s tells you where you are and what you are to be doing. A Scientist with a drill inserts a pack into your backpack which then enables you to move as well as give you the HUD. Here then Sergeant Major Kennedy tells the scientist to show you the ropes on your new body and get you outside to the training ground. The scientist (with his own personality) tells you how to use your body suit by looking around, strafing etc, how the life bar operates, special energy packs available for the suit and a demonstration on each etc. he then escorts you to the training grounds where an officer is waiting for you. This is a large building with a 3D holographic training ground. The gun you are given is a laser equipped gun that can send a signal to where it hits on the hologram showing a bullet mark or effect on for example an enemy soldier. You are constantly being monitored by cameras placed around the building, but at the same time the 3 officers are watching you through a mirrored window. Once you complete the multiple tasks in the training, the system is turned off and they tell you to go to the exit where they meet you. They then escort you outside and you then see the size of the barracks (HUGE) with soldiers training, and marching around. you are taken to a landing pad where a carrier ship is waiting for you. you and Kennedy take the ship out to the sky where your ship (and 13 others land on a cruiser which is flying high above from he ground. The ship takes off into space and the intro is set. As you are debriefed on the ship, you are also informed for the purpose of all this. You are told that aliens found the planet in a plea for help, in exchange for some of their technology. This gave us the cruisers and some of their weapons. Their home planet is under attack from an even more superior race - The Aboleth. This race from what is known excels in telekinetic abilities in the forms of creating a false sensor input, mind link and mass domination. Their bodies are of a tall structure but relatively slender. Their race differs from their age, where an Aboleth evolves into the next stage of being by cocooning itself for a period of time before extending it to the next level. Each level has a telekinetic ability but the more elder the Aboleth the more it prowess’s in its telekinetic abilities. The reason the Aboleth’s are attacking the Alkeths is little known, some say it is for the planet, others because they are war mongers, but some say the Terrant’s want to adapt the Alketh’s ability to open dimension doors and cloak. The Aboleth's ships are not very technologically advanced, attacking and defense it is second to non. But for speed it lacks heavily in all areas. At the end of the debriefing 1 of the Arcane councilors is introduced by Kennedy and thanks you joining them in battle. He then shows you a demonstration of their weapons. The first ship to reach the Arcane planet took 6 days to get there and when it does, the planet is lit up like a ball of fire. There is no time to wait for the other ships as the ships from the Aboleth's are docked on the other side of the planet and out of detection. This gives the fleet the opportunity to send out its troops while more ships from earth make their way to the planet. You are on the first ship to reach the planet. Part II You descend upon the planet. Your first objective is to secure a stronghold on the surface of the planet as a base of operations. After taking some enemy fire from a nearby city that is under Terrant control, you crash-land in the outskirts of civilization. It’s a relatively safe landing, but the sensors pick up a large contingent of Terrant warriors who are quickly approaching your position. The next couple of minutes are spent rounding up a squad with which you can combat the coming warriors as the Alketh counselor radios for back-up. The number of enemies that arrive at first is underwhelming (this basically serves as an introduction to the basic enemies you’ll be facing throughout the game and their abilities). However, the fight quickly escalates as more Terrant arrive, some on/in vehicles. Just as it seems like too much to handle, the Alketh reinforcements arrive. With the first battle over, a number of options open up- which city should we attempt to reclaim first? There’s a meeting in witch an Alketh general (the one who arrived with the reinforcements) tells you the situation in each of the surrounding cities. This is where an open mission structure can begin – the player is given control of the next decision; mainly, which city he/she wants to regain control of and establish as a base camp for the operation to retake the planet. The player chooses which city to attack from an overhead map (which can also offer a recap of the situation in each of the cities). Part III (Main character speaking) When I stare into the ocean, I feel a certain sense of calm. The tide rolls in and out, taking its time, no whip of its master behind it. The sound it makes is almost hushing, like a mother telling her child that everything is going to be alright. Each drop is insignificant, but together it makes a whole- an entire ocean, filled with insignificant drops. I am number 62288. I am insignificant. My gun fires to the trumpet of a politician who neither knows my name nor wishes to hear it. I don’t want to fight for them, but then what is it that I’m fighting for? Am I fighting for number 1 (a war hero, and the leader of the earth forces), the leader, the hero of them all? Am I fighting for myself? Am I fighting for strength, for justice, for peace? What about those I kill? They’re just like me. They’re just following orders. They have lives- families, friends; and I can end it all with the pull of a trigger What are any of us fighting for? We’re supposed to have unwavering devotion to the one we serve. “All hail the President! The dictator! The Chancellor!” We’re supposed to die in his name. We’re all supposed to die without question, following orders, mere drops in the ocean of space. Now, on with the story idea. There are two major stories running throughout the game. One is the main plot, which centers on the conflict with the Terrant. The other focuses on the main character’s inner struggle and his rise to a Master-Chief-like status. As you can see from the selection above, he feels insignificant, and is looking for a reason to fight. In the beginning, the battles should be relentless- the Terrant have basically taken over the planet, and an invading force would not stand idly by when they see people trying to stop them. The beginning (starting after the story selection I posted at the beginning of the topic) won’t have too much in the way of plot, but should offer more of a feel of relentless battle as you struggle to take back the planet. The player should begin to develop feelings of insignificance along with the main character. The speaking part I wrote above takes place at a break in the fighting. I like the idea of having a place that the main character and the player can rest from the overwhelming battle and recollect his thoughts, so I chose a beach. The main character (I’ll just call him 62288 like I did above) has an inner dialog with himself where he questions the reason he’s fighting. He begins to see the people he’s fighting as fellow pawns, each with their own story to tell and family to miss them. This is where the story kicks into high gear, as 62288 begins to climb in rank as a fighter. He sees worse and worse things happening, and questions even more his involvement in this war, all the while asking, “Why am I fighting?” He begins to piece together how the war between the Alketh and the Terrant began, but it’s still not clear. There’s a piece of the puzzle missing. Although a hard concept to pull off, I believe it would help the atmosphere immensely if we began to give the player a sense of remorse whenever he killed a Terrant. It’s not about making the player hesitate about killing the enemy, but more about giving the enemy a sense of likeability and human traits that make them feel deeper than normal NPC’s. I think Seth “Fingers” Flynn Barkan (a video game poet) put the feeling best when he wrote: “while killing sentries atop/ the oil derrick,/ I wonder if these men possess/ the capacity to love; if they have dreams/ or anything other than this./ I shoot one in the face,/ appearing silently from behind a corner/ silently, just a whisper/ of the sea, buddy, just a whisper of the sea.” It’s the sense that when you kill an NPC, you loose a creature whose hopes and dreams become “a whisper of the sea”. As you get further into the game, in addition to a sense of attachment to the Terrant, you begin to notice that the higher Terrant evolutions (remember that the Terrant evolve by cocooning themselves, much in the same way [forgive my childish reference] a pokemon would evolve. I also think it would be cool to have places on the Terrant ships and possibly a main place in the mother ship that the Terrant have set aside to cocoon themselves in peace, but more on that later) look similar to what the Alketh normally look like. Before he can question the similarity further, however, he is sent into battle as part of number 1’s (a most celebrated war hero and the commander of the earth troops [name subject to change]) squad. What he sees while with number 1, however, rocks his world. They sneak onto a Terrant cruiser and begin to destroy it from the inside out. While they team escapes the exploding cruiser, 62288 looks through a window into the central area of the ship and realizes that it’s a civilian transport vessel. After they leave the cruiser, 62288 confronts number 1, who reveals he knew that it was a civilian transport the whole time. 62288 never gets a chance to rebuke number 1, however, because as soon as they land, they are overtaken by angry Terrant soldiers. Number 1 sacrifices countless members of his own squad before he, himself, dies a coward. 62288 barely escapes with his life, the will to fight taken from him. He once again goes to the beach to think and rest. As he watches the waves roll in and out (of course, an Alketh beach looks different than an Earth beach), he considers his next move. Why fight anymore? Who was there to fight for? Number 1 was a coward, and self-gain seemed an insufficient reason, so why fight? 62288, worn from battle and death, climbs a nearby cliff and throws himself into the ocean, to be swallowed by the calming waves and the foaming tide. 62288 suddenly awakens and begins to belch seawater onto the ground beside him (if we still want to keep his face hidden, the camera can stay behind his head as he takes his helmet off). He looks at his surroundings. He is on a deserted beach, surrounded by a hillside. After regaining his breath, 62288 stands and walks to the top of the hill. There he sees a level plain, completely covered in dead Alketh and Terrant carcasses. In the epicenter of the clearing (the hill circles around the entire clearing) is a building ravaged by war. 62288 descends into the wasteland and heads towards the building. An inside view reveals a laboratory-type environment. Broken beakers and glass shards litter the ground and the lights keep flickering on and off. In the next room, glass pods designed for life-support line the walls. 62288 examines the pods and sees the various evolutions of the Terrant soldier. In the final tube, something resembling an Alketh floats, but 62288 notices some awkward differences – its coloring is askew and its proportions seem different from that of a normal Alketh. 62288 doesn’t linger on it long, however, for his body is weak and in need of sustenance. He drags himself into the next room and begins opening doors, closets, and cabinets in search of food, but he finds none. Not long after he begins his search, his body collapses from exhaustion, knocking a computer terminal and various other pieces of lab equipment onto the floor next to him. The computer turns on within his range of vision and begins scrolling through the logs of an Alketh scientist, most of which are translated into English. The computer stops on one log in particular, which reads: “They’ve come to take it away, my life’s work is forfeit all because they demanded it be. Damn the High Council! They plan to put it into mass production, but they are fools. The Alketh are a greedy people, and I am sad to be one of them. I started this project with an air of intellectual intrigue, but it soon became much more. I spent years isolating the specifics of the Alketh cellular structure, finding those genes that proved useful in the development of specific Alketh functions – sight, strength, mental capacity – the possibilities were limitless. Though impossible to combine these genes at once (the results were unstable), I found it possible to develop the genes in a specimen through a gradual process of metamorphosis. In each transformation, the essential, or Terrant, genes are grown exponentially until they achieve a level of greatness characteristic of a perfect specimen of the Alketh race. The Council plans to use these Terrant genes, MY Terrant genes, to create a group of subservient and ideal specimens to bolster their military power and serve as their slaves so that a true-born Alketh might never have to do menial labor again." “What they don’t understand, however, is that as the Terrant evolve, their bodies find less use for strength and more use for mental capacity. They will grow smarter than the Alketh, so much so that their revolt is inevitable. Their power comes not from their ability to punch through walls, but to reason the walls from existence and manipulate the laws of physics. I can only begin to imagine what powers a Terrant soldier would develop at its highest state of evolution. Fools! These Alketh fools!” But 62288 couldn’t read any longer. His vision was fading and his consciousness left him.

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Original post by Emn1ty
where an Aboleth evolves into the next stage of being by cocooning itself for a period of time before extending it to the next level.


Evolves? I think you mean to refer to metamorphosis.

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Well, no. We dont want to imply that it is becoming something different than what it was, but merely improving on itself, therefore evolving to a higher being.

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I'd avoid giving the main character too much poetic contemplation, it's very overdone and hard to swallow. You're not going to find Yeats or Frost firing las-cannons on alien planets, that's a job for grunts and war-commanders. You should try tweaking the player character's dialogue to be more direct and less metaphorical. Something as basic as "watching the waves always calms me down."

It's one thing to marvel at superheros in comic books and intellectual masterminds spilling pages of speech on how they'll destroy the protagonist and how this has all been fruitless, just to get killed in the end anyway. It's another thing entirely to allow too many above-average traits to the player's character...making them the survivable fighter, the world-saver, the underdog, with a poetic bent to their speech and an obviously high intellect. real people need faults somewhere. Immersion is connected with believability to a degree, so I'm not knocking your whole concept, just work on making more of a real guy and less of a hackneyed movie hero. People WILL be assuming the role, after all.

And I'd agree on watching your high rate of Halo parallels. There's a difference between using proven effective game mechanics, and just giving an old car a new set of paint.

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Original post by Morkai1
I'd avoid giving the main character too much poetic contemplation, it's very overdone and hard to swallow. You're not going to find Yeats or Frost firing las-cannons on alien planets, that's a job for grunts and war-commanders. You should try tweaking the player character's dialogue to be more direct and less metaphorical. Something as basic as "watching the waves always calms me down."

It's one thing to marvel at superheros in comic books and intellectual masterminds spilling pages of speech on how they'll destroy the protagonist and how this has all been fruitless, just to get killed in the end anyway. It's another thing entirely to allow too many above-average traits to the player's character...making them the survivable fighter, the world-saver, the underdog, with a poetic bent to their speech and an obviously high intellect. real people need faults somewhere. Immersion is connected with believability to a degree, so I'm not knocking your whole concept, just work on making more of a real guy and less of a hackneyed movie hero. People WILL be assuming the role, after all.

And I'd agree on watching your high rate of Halo parallels. There's a difference between using proven effective game mechanics, and just giving an old car a new set of paint.



I dont think this is his actual dialogue, just a small poetic thought from him, his basic position in this mess of battle and destruction. He will have faults, a few as a matter of fact.


And in reply to the HAlo'ish statement. That is true, but we are not capturing the halo story, but the basic feeling you get when you played it. We want a Halo-esqueness to our game, and the story is quite different, i happen to know where it is going, but it is not typed up in full form yet by our writer, so i need to wait. He has about 13 pages written that are not typed up yet.

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Well, no. We dont want to imply that it is becoming something different than what it was, but merely improving on itself, therefore evolving to a higher being.


Irrelevant. Metamorphosis is the correct biological term. A single organism can no more evolve than a single bee can swarm.

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Regarding his dialogue, why doesn't he know why he's fighting? Are there no threats to the values he has at home, or doesn't he have values at home?
If an alien race would conquer his homelands and enslave them (whether this is the reality, or a spin by the higher ups) this would be central to his motivation - unless he's a "lifer", someone that's in the military for the sake of the ordered life that the military gives.

The dialogue as it stands sounds very cliché with the "we're supposed to die without questioning" bit. Make him real, give him ties to reality - cause if he has no idea he has none.

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Original post by furby100
Irrelevant. Metamorphosis is the correct biological term. A single organism can no more evolve than a single bee can swarm.


True, but a single organism can adapt. You do hard labour, you develop bigger muscles. You could say it's something like that. Maybe they don't sleep, so they have to cocoon themselves to develop.

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You slowly come around in a cryogenic case. Looking over you is your commanding officer: Sergeant Major Kennedy of the Marines, Sergeant Valance and Sergeant David’s.

Has military terminology changed at all in the last 103 years? Why are the Marines still around? Even if they are, why aren't they in the water where they belong?
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Sergeant Major Kennedy of the marines first greats you with a sarcastic sentence;

Tired cliché.
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Followed by Technical Sergeant Valance reassuring you everything is fine and welcomes you back to earth.

Where was I before?
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You are a little dazed and confused, and can’t move at first when the cryogen is opened. Sergeant Major David’s tells you where you are and what you are to be doing.

Davids was just a Sergeant earlier on. Do you mean Sergeant Major Kennedy?
Quote:

A Scientist with a drill inserts a pack into your backpack which then enables you to move as well as give you the HUD. Here then Sergeant Major Kennedy tells the scientist to show you the ropes on your new body and get you outside to the training ground.

The scientist (with his own personality)

Well of course. Whose else would he use?
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tells you how to use your body suit by looking around, strafing etc, how the life bar operates, special energy packs available for the suit and a demonstration on each etc.

He then escorts you to the training grounds where an officer is waiting for you. This is a large building with a 3D holographic training ground. The gun you are given is a laser equipped gun that can send a signal to where it hits on the hologram showing a bullet mark or effect on for example an enemy soldier. You are constantly being monitored by cameras placed around the building, but at the same time the 3 officers are watching you through a mirrored window.

Once you complete the multiple tasks in the training, the system is turned off and they tell you to go to the exit where they meet you.

What was that all for? Unreal 2 at least has the realistic excuse that I'm testing the training exercise for the raw recruits.
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They then escort you outside and you then see the size of the barracks (HUGE) with soldiers training, and marching around. you are taken to a landing pad where a carrier ship is waiting for you. you and Kennedy take the ship out to the sky where your ship (and 13 others land on a cruiser which is flying high above from he ground. The ship takes off into space and the intro is set.

As you are debriefed on the ship, you are also informed for the purpose of all this. You are told that aliens found the planet in a plea for help, in exchange for some of their technology. This gave us the cruisers and some of their weapons.

The planet? Do you mean Earth?
Quote:

Their home planet is under attack from an even more superior race - The Aboleth.

Aboleth.
Quote:

This race from what is known excels in telekinetic abilities in the forms of creating a false sensor input, mind link and mass domination. Their bodies are of a tall structure but relatively slender. Their race differs from their age, where an Aboleth evolves into the next stage of being by cocooning itself for a period of time before extending it to the next level. Each level has a telekinetic ability but the more elder the Aboleth the more it prowess’s in its telekinetic abilities.

The evolution/metamorphosis issue aside, what is this like? Does an Aboleth look different when it leaves its cocoon? It is recognisably of the same species? It if were a kind of 'forced evolution', then we'd expect the result of cocooning to be different for each Aboleth, depending upon what challenges it faces before it cocoons.
Quote:

The reason the Aboleth’s are attacking the Alkeths is little known, some say it is for the planet, others because they are war mongers, but some say the Terrant’s want to adapt the Alketh’s ability to open dimension doors and cloak.

Terrant? What are "dimension doors"?
Quote:

The Aboleth's ships are not very technologically advanced, attacking and defense it is second to non. But for speed it lacks heavily in all areas.

Do you mean they are very technologically advanced? If they aren't advanced, how come their attack and defense is superior to everything.
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At the end of the debriefing 1 of the Arcane councilors is introduced by Kennedy and thanks you joining them in battle. He then shows you a demonstration of their weapons.

The first ship to reach the Arcane planet took 6 days to get there and when it does, the planet is lit up like a ball of fire.

Arcane councilor? Arcane planet? Are these Alkeths, or some other allied race of aliens?
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There is no time to wait for the other ships as the ships from the Aboleth's are docked on the other side of the planet and out of detection.

Then how do you know they're there?
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This gives the fleet the opportunity to send out its troops while more ships from earth make their way to the planet. You are on the first ship to reach the planet.

Part II

You descend upon the planet. Your first objective is to secure a stronghold on the surface of the planet as a base of operations. After taking some enemy fire from a nearby city that is under Terrant control, you crash-land in the outskirts of civilization. It’s a relatively safe landing, but the sensors pick up a large contingent of Terrant warriors who are quickly approaching your position.

The next couple of minutes are spent rounding up a squad with which you can combat the coming warriors as the Alketh counselor radios for back-up.

So the Arcane councillor is Alketh? Are Arcane and Alketh the same thing? Or is Arcane a faction within the Alketh race?
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...

This is where an open mission structure can begin – the player is given control of the next decision; mainly, which city he/she wants to regain control of and establish as a base camp for the operation to retake the planet. The player chooses which city to attack from an overhead map (which can also offer a recap of the situation in each of the cities).

Okay, that at least might be different from what I've seen before, if the mission structure remains open.
Quote:

Part III

(Main character speaking)
When I stare into the ocean, I feel a certain sense of calm. ... “All hail the President! The dictator! The Chancellor!” We’re supposed to die in his name. We’re all supposed to die without question, following orders, mere drops in the ocean of space.

I much prefer the silent protagonist. What if the player doesn't agree with the sentiments you're telling him he's feeling? You'll push him away from the game.
Quote:

Now, on with the story idea. There are two major stories running throughout the game. One is the main plot, which centers on the conflict with the Terrant.

What happened to the Aboleth?
Quote:

The other focuses on the main character’s inner struggle and his rise to a Master-Chief-like status. As you can see from the selection above, he feels insignificant, and is looking for a reason to fight. In the beginning, the battles should be relentless- the Terrant have basically taken over the planet, and an invading force would not stand idly by when they see people trying to stop them. The beginning (starting after the story selection I posted at the beginning of the topic) won’t have too much in the way of plot, but should offer more of a feel of relentless battle as you struggle to take back the planet. The player should begin to develop feelings of insignificance along with the main character.

The speaking part I wrote above takes place at a break in the fighting. I like the idea of having a place that the main character and the player can rest from the overwhelming battle and recollect his thoughts, so I chose a beach. The main character (I’ll just call him 62288 like I did above) has an inner dialog with himself where he questions the reason he’s fighting. He begins to see the people he’s fighting as fellow pawns, each with their own story to tell and family to miss them. This is where the story kicks into high gear, as 62288 begins to climb in rank as a fighter. He sees worse and worse things happening, and questions even more his involvement in this war, all the while asking, “Why am I fighting?” He begins to piece together how the war between the Alketh and the Terrant began, but it’s still not clear. There’s a piece of the puzzle missing.

The rule, as always, should be "Show don't tell". Your character's speech is telling the player what he should be thinking about his allies and enemies, instead of the game showing him. And if the game shows him, there's no need for his soliloquising. One way to get away with the speech would be for another marine to give it. But it shouldn't be in one chunck like that.
Quote:

Although a hard concept to pull off, I believe it would help the atmosphere immensely if we began to give the player a sense of remorse whenever he killed a Terrant. It’s not about making the player hesitate about killing the enemy, but more about giving the enemy a sense of likeability and human traits that make them feel deeper than normal NPC’s. I think Seth “Fingers” Flynn Barkan (a video game poet) put the feeling best when he wrote: “while killing sentries atop/ the oil derrick,/ I wonder if these men possess/ the capacity to love; if they have dreams/ or anything other than this./ I shoot one in the face,/ appearing silently from behind a corner/ silently, just a whisper/ of the sea, buddy, just a whisper of the sea.” It’s the sense that when you kill an NPC, you loose a creature whose hopes and dreams become “a whisper of the sea”.

The easiest way to do this would be to give the player the opportunity to listen in on Terrant/Aboleth guards when they chat amongst themselves. Of course, if the character hasn't taken the time to become familiar with their language, he'd miss that part of the game. This gives you (1) a more 'natural' feel to the gameplay, because the player isn't forced into doing things he considers out of character, and (2) replay value, if the player doesn't mind playing differently next time.
Quote:

As you get further into the game, in addition to a sense of attachment to the Terrant, you begin to notice that the higher Terrant evolutions (remember that the Terrant evolve by cocooning themselves, much in the same way [forgive my childish reference] a pokemon would evolve. I also think it would be cool to have places on the Terrant ships and possibly a main place in the mother ship that the Terrant have set aside to cocoon themselves in peace, but more on that later) look similar to what the Alketh normally look like.

An interesting idea. Of course, this puts paid to the notion of 'evolution', if the transformations always follow the same path.
Quote:

They sneak onto a Terrant cruiser and begin to destroy it from the inside out. While they team escapes the exploding cruiser, 62288 looks through a window into the central area of the ship and realizes that it’s a civilian transport vessel. After they leave the cruiser, 62288 confronts number 1, who reveals he knew that it was a civilian transport the whole time. 62288 never gets a chance to rebuke number 1, however, because as soon as they land, they are overtaken by angry Terrant soldiers. Number 1 sacrifices countless members of his own squad before he, himself, dies a coward. 62288 barely escapes with his life, the will to fight taken from him. He once again goes to the beach to think and rest. As he watches the waves roll in and out (of course, an Alketh beach looks different than an Earth beach), he considers his next move. Why fight anymore? Who was there to fight for? Number 1 was a coward, and self-gain seemed an insufficient reason, so why fight? 62288, worn from battle and death, climbs a nearby cliff and throws himself into the ocean, to be swallowed by the calming waves and the foaming tide.

I don't think I'd do that.
Quote:

62288 suddenly awakens and begins to belch seawater onto the ground beside him (if we still want to keep his face hidden, the camera can stay behind his head as he takes his helmet off). He looks at his surroundings. He is on a deserted beach, surrounded by a hillside. After regaining his breath, 62288 stands and walks to the top of the hill.

There he sees a level plain, completely covered in dead Alketh and Terrant carcasses. In the epicenter of the clearing (the hill circles around the entire clearing) is a building ravaged by war. 62288 descends into the wasteland and heads towards the building. An inside view reveals a laboratory-type environment. Broken beakers and glass shards litter the ground and the lights keep flickering on and off. In the next room, glass pods designed for life-support line the walls. 62288 examines the pods and sees the various evolutions of the Terrant soldier. In the final tube, something resembling an Alketh floats, but 62288 notices some awkward differences – its coloring is askew and its proportions seem different from that of a normal Alketh.

62288 doesn’t linger on it long, however, for his body is weak and in need of sustenance. He drags himself into the next room and begins opening doors, closets, and cabinets in search of food, but he finds none. Not long after he begins his search, his body collapses from exhaustion, knocking a computer terminal and various other pieces of lab equipment onto the floor next to him. The computer turns on within his range of vision and begins scrolling through the logs of an Alketh scientist, most of which are translated into English. The computer stops on one log in particular, which reads:

“They’ve come to take it away, my life’s work is forfeit all because they demanded it be. Damn the High Council! They plan to put it into mass production, but they are fools. The Alketh are a greedy people, and I am sad to be one of them. I started this project with an air of intellectual intrigue, but it soon became much more. I spent years isolating the specifics of the Alketh cellular structure, finding those genes that proved useful in the development of specific Alketh functions – sight, strength, mental capacity – the possibilities were limitless. Though impossible to combine these genes at once (the results were unstable), I found it possible to develop the genes in a specimen through a gradual process of metamorphosis. In each transformation, the essential, or Terrant, genes are grown exponentially until they achieve a level of greatness characteristic of a perfect specimen of the Alketh race. The Council plans to use these Terrant genes, MY Terrant genes, to create a group of subservient and ideal specimens to bolster their military power and serve as their slaves so that a true-born Alketh might never have to do menial labor again."

“What they don’t understand, however, is that as the Terrant evolve, their bodies find less use for strength and more use for mental capacity. They will grow smarter than the Alketh, so much so that their revolt is inevitable. Their power comes not from their ability to punch through walls, but to reason the walls from existence and manipulate the laws of physics. I can only begin to imagine what powers a Terrant soldier would develop at its highest state of evolution. Fools! These Alketh fools!”

But 62288 couldn’t read any longer. His vision was fading and his consciousness left him.

Hmm. Artificially created servitor species evolves superior abilities and revolts.

Of course usually the servants are machines, so at least them being biological is a little different.

But we have seen this before:

1. Planet of the Apes.

2. H.P. Lovecraft's "Shoggoths" rebelled against their makers and destroyed their civilisation.

3. In the Bladerunner Universe this nearly happened.

4. In the Starcraft Universe, the Zorg destroyed their creators.

However, I think that an alternative explanation might be more interesting. I also think that the above exposition is not a satisfying end to the story. The player should discover the truth in little pieces whilst fighting his way through the lab.

A double-bluff could prove more exciting. Make the player think that the Terrant and Alketh species are related, but then reveal that the Terrant species evolves by taking on the traits of its enemy.

In this version of the story, you might end up having to fight humanoid Terrants.

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Original post by Emn1ty
Well, no. We dont want to imply that it is becoming something different than what it was, but merely improving on itself, therefore evolving to a higher being.

"Evolve" precisely implies that something is becoming something different than what it was.

"Evolve" does not imply the result is 'higher' than what it was, whatever 'higher' is considered to be.

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Okay, the Aboleth and Terrant are the same guys, sorry, forgot to change all the text.

Okay, the reason for all the excersises is because you were just in cryogenig sleep, and these new items are stuff recently developed with help from the Alketh, but with the same basic ballistics technology, considering that most of the Alketh tech has to be redeveloped from the attack flight from thier homeworld.

You were recently stationed on an outpost before you returned to earth, you volunteered for a new technolgy developed with the Alketh (your suite). You then travel to Mars, which has the top research and developement facilities there and you are unconsiously fitted into this armor. you are then transported to earth via cryostasis because the standard ships of the time are still fairly slow and take around 6 months to traverse between planets without jumping through artificial wormholes (hevent worked out the details about this yet).

Now, it states he doesnt know why he is fighting. This is because he basically feels like a puppet, and tool of war. He knows that there is corrupt rule in the Earth Government and the ALketh high Council, but he does not know the details. Every battle he fights shows him how ruthless the Terrant are to destroy the Alketh (they mostly attack the ALketh first instead of bothering with humans), and he begins to feel sorry for them becuase he knows they have thier own families to return too, and are dying for a cause they may not support. He realizes all he is is an instrument of death, and wonders why he is fighting. He feels that all he is doing is ending lives, and fighting for things he knows are lies. He does no know the truth, therefore he must keep fighting for a cause he knows is wrong.

I am sorry for some mistakes in the story also, cutting and pasting might have cut some words out.

And it is only a rough story, we are going to improve on it as we go, and i very much appreciate the suggestions given. I am goping to take into account the suggestion that the Terrant evolve to take on traits of thier enemies, thus humanoid Terrant. That could be an interesting plot twist.

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Okay, the reason for all the excersises is because you were just in cryogenig sleep, and these new items are stuff recently developed with help from the Alketh, but with the same basic ballistics technology, considering that most of the Alketh tech has to be redeveloped from the attack flight from thier homeworld.

Okay.
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You were recently stationed on an outpost before you returned to earth, you volunteered for a new technolgy developed with the Alketh (your suite). You then travel to Mars, which has the top research and developement facilities there and you are unconsiously fitted into this armor. you are then transported to earth via cryostasis because the standard ships of the time are still fairly slow and take around 6 months to traverse between planets without jumping through artificial wormholes (hevent worked out the details about this yet).

That actually seems really slow. Taking the shortest route from Earth to Mars in 6 months gives you an average speed of about 3 km/s. Accelerating at 1g, it would only take about 5 minutes to reach that speed. Accelerating for 25 minutes gets you there in 6 weeks. For 3 hours: 6 days. You probably wouldn't be put in 'cryosleep' for a six day journey, but for a six week journey you might be.

Alternatively, you might be taking a long route (perhaps the shortest route is congested and the only the top brass are important enough for it). In that case, 6 months might be reasonable.
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Now, it states he doesnt know why he is fighting. This is because he basically feels like a puppet, and tool of war. He knows that there is corrupt rule in the Earth Government and the ALketh high Council, but he does not know the details. Every battle he fights shows him how ruthless the Terrant are to destroy the Alketh (they mostly attack the ALketh first instead of bothering with humans), and he begins to feel sorry for them becuase he knows they have thier own families to return too, and are dying for a cause they may not support. He realizes all he is is an instrument of death, and wonders why he is fighting. He feels that all he is doing is ending lives, and fighting for things he knows are lies. He does no know the truth, therefore he must keep fighting for a cause he knows is wrong.

This is all very well, but you should understand that you're talking about the player's character. This is what you want the player to think, but you can't just force him to think it by showing a cutscene of his character thinking it.

This is why the silent protagonist is better. Don't tell the player how he's feeling: instead give him due cause to feel the way you want him to. Give the player information not available to the average grunt. Allow him to overhear officers speaking about the truth of the war, see fleeting glimpses of Alketh science labs. Have him ordered to kill Terrants who surrendered, make him do a double-take when that what looks like an Alketh is running out of that bombed Terrant stronghold.

The general idea of a soldier growing weary of war and questioning the motives behind it is not a bad one. The potential problem is with how you choose to get this across to the player.

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We know this, but we have not made this into the gameplay story, it is just a storyline that sets up the mentality, setting and things that we want in our game. THis will not be a cutscene with him thinking this, but by this time we will have given the player this mentality, and then we can imply it to him with must less striaght forwardness, and thank you for the suggestion.

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Original post by furby100
Irrelevant. Metamorphosis is the correct biological term. A single organism can no more evolve than a single bee can swarm.


True, but a single organism can adapt. You do hard labour, you develop bigger muscles. You could say it's something like that. Maybe they don't sleep, so they have to cocoon themselves to develop.


I appear to have a crossed line. The business you describe with the coccoons is not called evolution. It's called metamorphosis. It is the agency by which the humble caterpillar becomes the butterfly.

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I appear to have a crossed line. The business you describe with the coccoons is not called evolution. It's called metamorphosis. It is the agency by which the humble caterpillar becomes the butterfly.

I think he's just been playing around with the evolution chambers in Starcraft too often.

Regarding the Marines - I don't see a problem with them still existing. The Marines have already developed quite a bit in the last forty years. They simple don't do many sea assaults these days. Once space travel comes around, the Marines would probably continue to be the primary fast-response force of the US (or whatever), as they are the lightest, most mobile units in the military. The Army will continue to draw down into smaller, faster units, but will probably remain a larger, stronger option left for big, ugly wars. Still, given the references to the *HUGE* barracks, why don't you just use the Army? Regardless of the real future, don't you think some variety would be nice for exactly the reasons pointed out (Freaking everyone uses the Marines, not least of all Halo, which you story sounds waaay too much like).

As far as ranks, I think Baum has a point. Invent something - there are bound to be more technical jobs and intelligence coordinators in the future, or at least guys who virtually command vehicles.

Lastly, why on earth are you, a measly E1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8 (Corporal through Master Sergeant) deciding where to set up base, where to attack, and run the war? Are there Generals, Colonels, etc? Or have you restructured the Marines and simply not informed the player?

Anyways, Nathan there had some very good comments. I really suggest you take them to heart (and probably work on Andrew's spelling).

>>I don't mean to say that the game couldn't be good, but it doesn't appear to be very innovative at first glance. Perhaps the gameplay is more intricate than shown.

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It is still just an idea, and i will take those ideas to heart. The Army, or mayb even a new division for space fights, could be used instead of the truthfully over used Marines.

It does sound fairly haloy, but it is different, i just dont have the rest of it yet. When he types it up i will get the rest posted. And runa spell check through his typed work.

Thank you for all the help.

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Thanks, and the reason i am taking this so well is because this is what our game is based around, feedback. We dont want to make you play a game we made, but to play a game you made.

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Original post by Emn1ty
Thanks, and the reason i am taking this so well is because this is what our game is based around, feedback. We dont want to make you play a game we made, but to play a game you made.


Good to know, I can't stand it when people ask for feedback and then jump on the backs of anyone who doesn't stroke their ego.

Good luck with your endeavour

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