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This is the introduction to a game I am writing for. It''s only version 6 and no doubt there will be changes between now and Game Start. But I''d be grateful for any criticism at this stage. You really need the star chart to see it properly but as an ''umble writer I''m not sure how to post it. Times are BGS - Before Game Start - I''ll re-do them once I''ve done the history of the main planet. ONYXCOM On 19th Slanne 367BGS the planet Tsualian in the Palente system of the Maldreth Cluster launched its first orbital craft. The Democratic Union of Nations – the government of the world’s two continents and the Western archipelago – ordered a day of public celebration. Mankind had achieved space flight. A bright new future beckoned. Funded by the powerful industrial corporations, development of space capability proceeded rapidly. Within ten years man had set foot on Postrinne, the nearest of the planet’s three moons. Four years after that the first orbital space station, capable of carrying twenty astronauts at any one time, was established. Apart from conducting experiments in a weightless environment and preparing for the construction of the space dock from which inter-planetary missions would be launched, the station also had a dedicated astronomic unit to increase man’s understanding of the universe. One of the unit’s priority tasks was to observe ‘the Anomaly.’ ‘The Anomaly’ had only been discovered some twelve years earlier when the latest radio-telescopes had noticed an irregular phenomenon 12.7 AU from Greephan – the system’s outer planet. Despite its distance from the planet, the ‘Anomaly’ seemed to be in a stationary position in respect of it. Unfortunately the space station’s observations were of little help. While it was noted that the phenomenon was only some 100 metres in radius and emitted few radio waves, no more useful information could be discerned. A definitive investigation would have to await close observation. Then, in 326BGS Sigmarr Matrin perfected the plasma drive. This trebled the speed of existing craft and, by use of planetary gravity, made the whole of the solar system accessible for exploration and development. The Age of Expansion had begun. The new age coincided with an upsurge in religious belief. Orbital telescopes peered into the outer reaches of the universe. Light reaching the delicate lenses from far away in time and space showed the origin of matter. One picture, that now hangs in millions of homes across the Onyxcom Empire, seemed to show a man’s hand, fingers splayed outward as if thrusting life into the void. The image sparked a host of debates and several riots. When the dust settled – and cynics said that that was all the photograph showed, a fortuitously shaped dust cloud – the Church of the First God, worshipers of Dorichal, reigned supreme. Prophecy had been fulfilled. The Church became the official planetary religion. Dissenters, particularly believers in Bylestra, were sidelined. From all this religious turmoil the cult of Divine Unity stood aloof. As a minor faith on the remote archipelago of Corralis it could be safely ignored. At this time Onyxcom was a small, private, computer games company that had secured the contract to provide entertainment systems for astronauts. As man explored the planets, began developing remote space stations and started to mine the asteroids, the company grew. Within a decade no spacecraft flew without the Onyxcom Life Support Module at its heart. This rapid expansion was owed, said some, to shrewd investment; others more quietly talked of corruption. But when, following the disastrous stock market crash of 309, Space Metals Inc went under, Onyxcom was there to pick up its asteroid mining division. The company, never having issued any shares to the public, was battered by the economic crisis, but survived to become a major industrial power. From now on its position was virtually unassailable. The stock market crash also had consequences for the planetary government. The effects were so severe that for the first time in generations starvation and disease stalked the world. Only a concerted effort by the industrial giants averted anarchy. This led to a move away from democracy. In 305 the Council of Nine – drawn from the nine largest companies in the system - formally took over the reins of power. From the start the Chief Executive Officer of Onyxcom was a member. The Council ruled the Palente system from 305 to 277. It oversaw the development of the mining stations. It initiated the terraforming of Tolras – the largest moon of Cyndas. Under its guidance, research stations were established on the ice planet Varras. Limitless hydrogen power became available to all in a safe and sustainable form. Mankind prospered under the Council. Until the Age of Expansion gave way to the First Age of the Stars. During the frantic activity of planetary development calls to investigate ‘the Anomaly’ had gone unheeded. The phenomenon was felt to be of minor academic interest only. But in 278 Onyxcom – more, it subsequently emerged, to keep its President’s sixteen year old, astronomy obsessed, son quiet than for any other reason – diverted a supply ship from Greephan to investigate. The vessel reported its approach to the site. Then silence. Intercepted messages were at a level of encryption to defy the most powerful computers. Inquiries from the academic community were met with bland statements that said nothing. When the ship returned to the system it was sent immediately to an Onyxcom station. Hard-faced security guards were on hand to meet it. A number of the ship’s crew were reported to have died in an alcoholic escapade. Stern warnings were issued about over-indulgence. A public inquiry was promised but never materialized. Months passed. Onyxcom secured total control of Greephan and declared it, and its immediate space, company property. An orbiting satellite belonging to NanoTek was accidentally destroyed. Onyxcom apologized and paid handsome compensation. A request to replace it was refused. Greephan was an Onyxcom fief now. Then, on 5th Mbort 277 Onyxcom announced a press conference. Lambir Keyn, the company’s legendary CEO – an elder of the Church of the First God – presided with Patriarch Nelquist at his side. Also present were three other Council members and Star Admiral Rabov. Their news was stunning. Mankind had reached the nearest solar system. But more, there was another civilization out there. ‘The Anomaly’ was now explained. It was a wormhole in space, connecting the Palente system with that of their neighbour, Sarpeth. Even more astounding, it was not a natural object. Onyxcom scientists, supported by Space Defence engineers, had determined that it was an artificial construct. This was shown by analysis of three other such wormholes in the Sarpeth system that formed a hub of transit points within one AU of the exit point from Palente. They all had exactly the same dimensions and structure. Who had placed them there and why was a matter of conjecture. But man was not alone. The Space Defence force had acted. Aided by Onyxcom it had deployed several of the new sentry guns at the Greephan entry point. They would be reinforced by a space station that was even now, courtesy of Onyxcom, on its way to the site. A detachment of warships would be permanently stationed there. In the silence that followed this announcement Patriarch Nelquist rose. He offered a prayer to the First God, Holy Dorichal, for calm and measured reflection in the days to come. He also blessed the Space Defence forces and Onyxcom for the benefits they had brought mankind. “The stars are open to our exploration,” he said. “Let us proceed to take advantage of the First God’s benevolence, trusting always in His supernal guidance to lead us through the times ahead. That He has led our beloved brethryn to realize one of our most cherished dreams shows that He is with us and them. Let no man question His divine will on pain of anathema.” “The Stars are Ours” shouted the headlines; well, not quite. Onyxcom controlled the Palente wormhole. Before the end of 277 the Council of Nine was quietly disbanded. In its place arose the Protectorate. Lambir Keyn was the first Protector. In its early days the Protectorate was content to explore the wormhole system. Wormholes led to most of the stars in the Meldreth Cluster and access to the Winnelan Cluster was also practicable. However for some reason the Rosbarge Cluster was unattainable. Within fourteen years the first colony ship was launched from its space dock. Capable of carrying 8,500 passengers and crew and accompanied by remotely controlled, heavily laden, cargo barges these ships opened up new solar systems for man to settle. But Lambir Keyn refused to allow widespread development. The stars would be seeded in an orderly fashion; in a way that Onyxcom could control. Around Defner in the Winnelan Cluster a Tsualian type planet was found, it had a similar atmosphere; although the gravity was a bit heavier as the planet was larger. More importantly it had water and the stirrings of life. The plants were mainly ferns and in the seas were rudimentary fish but, once the bacteria had yielded up their secrets and protections been developed, it could be settled with little effort. It was named Newholme. By 258 colony ships were regularly discharging their passengers at the space dock. Agriculture flourished with slightly modified crops yielding three fold in the rich soils. Within five years the capital city – Navarth – was a thriving hub of over 50,000 souls, with a university and Space Navy barracks. Other solar systems were not as easily settled. Life bearing planets were scarce. Yet on planets, moons and even the larger asteroids where ice was found, man made a home. A settlement was also made in Protanis – a solar system fifty seven light years away. It was reached by the first natural wormhole to be discovered. When a new wormhole was detected in the environs of the Sarpeth system it initially attracted little interest. Then a routine scouting mission made two startling discoveries. First, the wormhole was guarded by what came to be known as a Star Fortress and second it was much bigger, and differently composed, than the other conduits man had encountered. The Star Fortress was protected by a force field. After much agonizing the decision was taken to breach the field by heavy bombardment. Thirteen days’ intensive attack penetrated the shield. Elite troops entered the fortress. They found it empty. On some walls, and by some apertures, there were inscriptions. Computer analysis revealed their meaning. If provided with the right fuel the Fortress would control the wormhole. A garrison of Star Marines and a bevy of technicians moved in the next day, the force field was re-established and Mark II sentinel guns deployed. On 17th Astran 253 Lambir Keyn died. At the time of his death there was empire-wide mourning. Protanis was re-named Lambir Keyn in his honour. But within months of his passing the empire he had ruled with an iron hand began to crumble. Onyxcom’s President, Markus Ferlin, succeeded the CEO as Protector. He had inherited his controlling shares and had little experience of management. Corporations that had hitherto bowed down to Onyxcom now flexed their muscles. In particular NanoTek – a company that specialized in nano-technology and its commercial applications - began to quietly take power in Newholme. At around this time another Tsualian type planet, capable of bearing life, was found around Majhoon. Eager colonists from Newholme hastily took up residence. 253 saw a recurrence of religious and political strife. The Church of the First God had also fallen prey to weak leadership. Sects that had been repressed began to emerge once more. Political movements also re-asserted themselves. Lambir Keyn had been an ardent populationist, aiming to halve Tsualian’s 4 billion inhabitants within a century. This policy, along with others, was now questioned. The Con-Rath – Tsualian’s Assembly of Nobles – even dared to reject an Onyxcom decree. In this heady atmosphere it was only a matter of time before the fringe groups formed an alliance. Their goal; dispersion. 251 later became known as the Year of the Dispersion Riots. Chanting their slogan, “If you don’t want us, let us go” dispersionists made almost every city street on Tsualian a battlefield. The mighty Onyxcom headquarters was invaded and set on fire. Initially riot police, and then the army, adopted brutal tactics. Rioters were shot or beaten senseless. Homes of suspected riot leaders were demolished; their inhabitants imprisoned often never to be seen again. Yet the unrest continued. After only two and a half years in power Markus Ferlin first abdicated, then killed himself. Onyxcom’s CEO, Jantiss Ravenstrake, became the new Protector. Jantiss Ravenstrake was a very different leader. Troops were ordered back to barracks. Peaceful demonstration was allowed. Negotiations were begun with dispersionist leaders. For Jantiss had seen something that others had not. The initial colony ships were becoming worn out from their round trips to the occupied systems. A new design of vessels was coming into service. She decreed that the twelve old ships would be made available to dispersionists for a price. Between 249 and 203 a number of groups of religious and political dissenters or academic institutions bought the ships and headed off into space. Onyxcom heaved a sigh of relief and promptly forgot about them. Asserting firm rule over the Onyxcom Empire took Jantiss some time. But by 247 it was ostensibly back on an even keel. The other corporations were once more subservient, the Church of the First God had put its house in order and the riots of four years earlier were a fading memory. The Con-Rath had settled back to its usual torpor; although it may not have been a coincidence that several of its leading reformers had been killed in a series of duels. The law now was that anyone who could buy a colony ship could do so and go where they wanted. Three such ships were under construction. In addition it seemed that inter-stellar travel would soon become a reality without wormholes. A series of papers from universities across the empire had set out convincingly the theory of the gyro-drive. It needed very pure alloys that would be super-strong but also super-dense. The search to develop such alloys was now on. The secrets of ships that could reach the stars lay not in quantum physics but in metallurgy. It was in 203 that the first distortion in a wormhole was noted. At the time it was passed off as just a minor dysfunction. Then two months later the Defner conduit expanded by a full ten metres and almost as quickly contracted by seventeen. This raised serious concerns. If the wormholes were becoming unstable all current inter-stellar activity would end. An urgent investigation was launched. Top scientists were pushed aboard a scheduled liner and dispatched to Defner. On the same flight was Myron Rayne the CEO of NanoTek and his family on their way to preside at the Inter-Empire Games being held in Newholme. Soon after Onyxcom was flooded by a series of urgent messages. The artificial wormholes were rapidly becoming unstable. Only the link between Sarpeth and Lambir Keyn remained secure. Jantiss acted quickly. Civilian flights were halted. Military ships were dispatched to Sarpeth. With them went Omnis Carr, Onyxcom’s head of security. He was to maintain control of the Sarpeth system, and through it, Lambir Keyn, at all costs. A week later the artificial wormholes were decayed past use. Signals, many calling frantically for aid beyond Onyxcom’s capability, were received. Then, in an instant, all those wormholes vanished in a brilliant flare of purple light. Mankind was now a prisoner of its solar systems. Numerous theories have been put forward for the collapse of the artificial wormholes. Some argue that as in any artificial construct, there is a limit to the time it will function properly. Others, pointing to the fact that the Defnar conduit, the most heavily trafficked, showed signs of instability first, say that the engines of the colony ships must have had an adverse affect. The religious said it was a sign of the Creator’s displeasure at the wickedness of man, while the fantasists suggested that the alien makers had simply switched them off. The arguments still rage in academic circles. But whatever the cause, and we may never know the truth of that, in 203 the First Age of the Stars was over. The end of interstellar travel was a catastrophe for most of the inhabited systems. Those with planets capable of large scale agriculture were relatively unaffected. Other systems were not so lucky. Some smaller colonies were abandoned. Their populations, and, more importantly, their hydroponic equipment, were pulled back to larger stations where, with strict rationing, there was hope of survival. Some elected to go it alone. In the Fauberlan system there was no choice. By an unfortunate coincidence at the time of the collapse there were no spacecraft present. The Re-union, when it occurred, would uncover grim tales of hardship and death. The full details of the tragedy on station Fauberlan 3b would never be made public. Jantiss Ravenstrake recognized the peril. Colony ships, empty of passengers but crammed full of food and the equipment for agri-domes – and towing similarly laden barges – were dispatched within months. It would take them fifteen years to reach Sarpeth, eighteen to Fauberlan and twenty-one to Getrane. But it was all that could be done. The collapse occurred before the age of instantaneous communications. Research in this area had not been seen as important. Messages could be transmitted through wormholes. Now there was no way to keep in touch. Each solar system had become independent. The once mighty Onyxcom empire was shattered. It could not be restored until practical inter-stellar travel became a reality. In both the Palente and Defnar systems research into the metallurgy necessary to this end was intensified. But each system had different goals. Onyxcom worked to restore its empire; on Newholme, NanoTek aimed at carving out its own. It had not taken Myron Rayne long to seize control of the Defnar system. NanoTek had already been quietly building up strength there. It had two research facilities and a factory complex near Navarth. The Bishop, the police chief and five members of the Planetary Board were NanoTek’s. The two Space Navy captains were not difficult to persuade. The system governor, an Onyxcom Holder, was a powerful man. But he was also a realist with a family to consider. He bowed to the inevitable. Within three month’s of Rayne’s arrival he was nominated to the system governorship, ‘while the emergency lasts.’ The first step in establishing the NanoTek empire had been made. Like Jantiss, Myron realized the dangers for other systems. The three colony ships at his disposal were sent to Comral or Vizanby with precious foods. With them went NanoTek enforcers. When star travel resumed, NanoTek intended to control at least four systems. The fourth was Majhoon. There almost everyone was a NanoTek employee and an adherent of Bylestra. The home planet was swiftly re-named Tynas Brae in honour of the Companion of the Goddess. What neither Jantiss nor Myron could have foreseen was the time it would take to develop a practical inter-stellar drive. Both sides were evenly matched. For while Onyxcom could draw on wider resources, NanoTek, by its nature the leader in nanotechnology, also had the scientific cream of the former Empire that had been sent to investigate the wormhole problem. But it took a hundred years before each side had acquired instantaneous communications – Onyxcom with the tansible, NanoTek with its space communicator. Star travel was still some fifty years in the future. Then, in 47, a momentous event. In the Getrane system a NanoTek star ship encountered an Onyxcom astroexplorer. News was flashed to each capital. Initially there was widespread rejoicing. The Second Age of the Stars had dawned. “The Isolation” as it came to be called, was over. But once the initial euphoria faded away some hard questions began to be asked. One of the principal topics of debate in every system was “Will NanoTek acknowledge Onyxcom’s rule?” At first there were mutual exchanges of ideas. Onyxcom forcefully pointed out that it had paid for all the benefits NanoTek enjoyed on Newholme, it had financed the colony ships, it had provided the Space Navy protection. It was only right that NanoTek should now accept that the Re-union had restored the position to as it was during the First Age of the Stars. NanoTek vigorously resisted this point of view. When the wormholes collapsed it had been left on its own. Onyxcom may have supplied the Sarpeth, Getrane, Fauberlan and Lambis Keyn systems, but it had abandoned the others. It was NanoTek that had provided food for Comral, Defner and Vizanby, NanoTek that had developed its own inter-stellar flight and communications, NanoTek that had ensured man’s survival and progress in its systems. Onyxcom could not expect to simply walk back in and take over. Talks dragged on. In the years of isolation there had been a drastic widening in company ideals. NanoTek had become an ethically based corporation. It had set up stakeholder councils, published regular indicators by which its success or failure could be judged and implemented a programme of social improvements. In a gesture of solidarity, it cancelled debts incurred by Tynas Brae. When the full extent of this was realised on Onyxcom there was outrage. A company was responsible to no one but its shareholders. Debtors must pay their debts or there would be no stability in financial markets. The Con-Rath – of its own volition – passed a law forbidding any Tsualian company from following the NanoTek example. The redeeming of the “NanoTek folly” became a priority. A main difficulty facing the two governments was that of one company’s property in the other’s space. The star ship NanoTek had sent to Getrane was to check up on its bases in the system, one of which was Getrane station 4, an asteroid mining complex. It had been built by NanoTek and had been an experimental site for a new kind of mining system. The company wanted its station back and the results of the experiments. But in the 156 years of “the Isolation”, the station had changed allegiance. It had been supplied by Onyxcom and was now theirs. NanoTek’s demands were contemptuously dismissed. The situation was made more complex by the NanoTek research station on the ice moon Stanier. By reason of the station, that moon, circling the fifth planet in the Getrane system, was NanoTek property. It was largely self-sufficient and had managed not only to feed itself during “the Isolation” but also two other NanoTek bases. The Director of the station had been a NanoTek Holder. He was fiercely loyal to the company and resisted all attempts to join Onyxcom. His descendants showed the same vigour. When the NanoTek starship arrived at the station it was greeted with jubilation. Matters were not helped when, in 44, a NanoTek destroyer was permanently assigned to Stanier. The Re-union also revealed a religious crisis. Unknown to Onyxcom authorities, adherents of Bylestra had been encouraged by the priestesses to emigrate to Newholme. During “the Isolation” the followers of the Goddess overtook those of the Church of the First God. The NanoTek directors, few of whom were of a religious mind, accepted the situation. Despite his vehement protests, the Bishop of Newholme was removed from the planetary Board. The High Priestess and Mother was installed in his place. Newholme, and so the NanoTek Empire, accepted as orthodox the doctrines of Bylestra and the Maidens. Once again disciples of Divine Unity stood aloof; although by now they had shrines on every known inhabited world. This combination of political, economic and religious differences could perhaps have been contained. On Tsualian the Patriarch had been stopped from preaching a holy war. In both capitals accords had been drawn up that, with a bit of tough negotiating, could have achieved peace. Even by 42, more daring merchants had begun an inter-Empire trade. But then came the clash over the rich iridium mines of the Oreste system. Although there had been wormholes to Oreste, the red star with its three planets had not been considered worth exploiting. During the First Age of the Stars iridium was not much sought after. In the Second Age it was vital. One of the alloys that made up the star drive and its containment was heavily based on iridium; which was in short supply in the other systems. Now both NanoTek and Onyxcom struggled to mine the system’s asteroid belt and in particular the mineral rich moon of Harbinest, the second planet. In 41 the Argent Mining Company, an Onyxcom corporation, set up a base and refinery on the moon. Two months later Nano-Minerals established a foothold on the other side. The only source of ice for life-support was at the moon’s north pole. Both sides needed it all. On 14th Astrin 41 security forces from both sides met. Fire was opened. Which side shot first was hotly disputed. But at the end of the brief engagement five Argent guards were dead and their land-cruiser destroyed. Nano-Minerals lost two operatives. Onyxcom dispatched two destroyers and a battalion of marines to the area. NanoTek sent one destroyer and three patrol craft. Its destroyer escorted a cargo vessel with ground forces, but more importantly three mark XI sentry guns. Before the Onyxcom forces could arrive NanoTek had deployed the guns and their operating systems. The Argent personnel were evicted from the moon. The company manager was taken back to Newholme to face a war crimes tribunal. The commander of the Onyxcom forces was not known for her diplomatic skills. A devotee of the Church of the First God, she resolved to teach the heretics a lesson they would not forget. Almost as soon as her destroyers arrived in the system she attacked. The result was disastrous. Both destroyers were obliterated, the marines captured and NanoTek, for the loss of one sentry gun and two patrol craft, left in control of the system. Onyxcom retaliated. Its forces ejected NanoTek from the Getrane and Fauberlan systems. After that the war faltered. Neither side had much of a navy. Even a frenetic building programme could not hope to create one for many years. In 40 neither side had more than one naval shipyard. By 34 the shipyards were in place, fleets were commissioned. Then, in 31, came the coup that ended the war. NanoTek seized control of Matnagifny. Matnagifny, although close to Palente, had had no connecting wormholes. When inter-stellar travel became practical Onyxcom had surveyed the system, but although there were planets and moons with ice, there was nothing special in it. Further development was left for a time when resources could be made available. Thus when the NanoTek forces arrived, they found only a single scientific station to bar their way. After sending a hasty message to Palente the station wisely surrendered. NanoTek ground troops secured an ice moon and established air/space missile batteries and agri-domes. Sentry guns were deployed. The seizing of Matnagifny led to the Peace of The Empires. It was not signed until 27 but the details shamed Onyxcom. Property seized from NanoTek was to be returned and reparations made for damage caused. Any followers of Bylestra were to be free to leave Onyxcom systems and make their way to Newholme. The sacred relics of the cult were to be conveyed, with full honour, to Navarth. NanoTek would give up its positions in Matnagifny in return for total control of Harbinest. Each side would limit their space navies to one cruiser, five destroyers and some patrol craft. Neither side would seek to explore space or establish new colonies for the next twenty-five years. There would be time for reflection. By 25 the terms of the Peace had been complied with. Once more commerce began between the two empires. The uneasy truce was adhered to, but both sides increased defence research. In addition there was intense industrial and political espionage. At some time one or the other side developed the gnat-cam – a remotely controllable video camera, capable of recording sight, sound and psychological perceptions - that was invisible to the human eye. Yet it was detected and copied. Different versions were put into production. Nothing seemed to be secret anymore. In year 2 the embargo on space exploration ended. There was a meeting at the highest level. Sigmarr Roganter the Onyxcom Protector and Myron Rayne V for NanoTek agreed a further two year extension. Both sides aimed to bring their fleets to the highest readiness. Intelligence sources for each Empire watched as warships were moved into strategic positions. Each knew that the other had secret shipyards. Each knew the other knew. Sigmarr and Myron were realists. In year 0 there might well be a new outbreak of hostilities. Each intended to win.

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Great story, I really enjoyed reading that. I just hope the game doesn''t turn out to be a standard RTS with a capitalist faction (NanoTek) and a communist faction (Onyxcom). While the story''s good, a game based on it could turn out to be boring and generic if there isn''t something special about it. Perhaps have intervention at some point by the creators of the wormholes?

Actually, it was kind of narrow-minded of me to assume the game to be an RTS, but that''s what seemed most likely from the story. You could make an excellent RPG along the lines of Deus Ex, perhaps.

Game aside, that was a pleasure to read.

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Well written!
A bit slow to pick up, but I really wanted to finish it.

Maybe two small tips:
1) You use a lot of names. This is good for creating depth, but most of them have no meaning to the reader and that could ruin the buildup of the fantasy. Try using less unknown names, or emphasize and reiterate they''re meaning.
But you already mentioned that you needed a star map and that would definitely help
2) Consider the order of the facts you tell the reader. It was only once or twice but it seemed a paragraph better preceded the one it followed.

But these are just minor gripes, excellent work.

BTW How are you planning on making the player read all that? Just as text? Or with a movie?

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Thanks for the nice replies

The game will be an MMORPG.

www.star-fortress.com

It'll be a text read for the player. I may need to cut bits out to reduce it from 13 pages to about 10 though. But I'll do that nearer game start.



Edited by - crydee on January 6, 2002 4:11:17 AM

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I think it makes a very good game background/history.. but as an intro you might want some kind of typical, flashier more attractive looking intro. I have to say while it doesn''t use any new ideas.. it was a really good read, you should write a book

-repp

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Nice writing, Crydee. I enjoyed that. I just wanted to say that you should pay particular attention to
Jedyte''s comment about names. There were so many new names presented in such a brief space, that
it was difficult to keep track of everything.

I have another comment, which may seem out of place. This introduction is long. As a novel, it would
make a good read. But as a game introduction... I tend to feel that introductions should be fairly brief. A
player, even an enthusiastic fan of literature, is not likely to patiently read a long introduction before playing
the game. And if his enjoyment of the game depends in part on an awareness of the material covered in the
introduction, he may not fully appreciate the game.

I think that it might be good to consider revealing this story incrementally. Perhaps you could present a
much briefer introduction, expanding it throughout the game. I have never done this myself, and so I have
not fully considered the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach. But I cannot help thinking that
the typical player might be so eager to play your game that he might miss out on this story.

In any event, you clearly have some good writing ability. Good luck with this project.


Jonathon
quote:
"Mathematics are one of the fundamentaries of educationalizing our youths." -George W. Bush

"When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish." - Lao Tzu


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Jonathon

That''s a very interesting idea. I hadn''t thought of it like that. I suppose you could have an intro that did a short - 15 sec video - then some writing - then another short video - and so on.

I like it. Dunno if I can do it, but I like it

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Something else to consider. This reads much more like historical information that an introduction to a game. To me, intro should be more narrative, less ''text-book'' style writing. You could get around this by using some punchy ''movie trailer'' type writing to introduce general ideas about your storyline, and if you want to provide specific historical details you can use a timeline.

Giving a lot of historical background can be really helpful to a team creating a game, but a player doesn''t want to have to read a history text book to know what the story is, and more importantly, what the conflict is...

In my opinion, nobody will read anything this long. If it''s important enough for them to HAVE to know it, find a way to introduce it in gameplay.

And finally, a sci-fi writer friend of mine always says this and I agree whole-heartedly. In writing, it is always better to show people something then to tell them. Find creative ways to tell your story without enumerating a list of facts, and people will get caught up in it much quicker!

Hope that criticism helps.

R.

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