Intro/Disclaimer So, I’ve decided to start posting my crazed thoughts as I think about the Story of Trillek and it’s universe. Warning, these thoughts are crazed, have glaring grammatical issues. And aren’t structured well at all, I plan to post these often to the blog mostly just to get opinions and also having a way to reflect on my own thoughts.
Also this isn’t final so please do take note, just try and salvage what you can.
Shane Dalton-Project Lead
Trillek Storytelling 101: So, for those who saw the meeting you may remember a certain presentation I did, (side note: please go watch it now it starts at 9:30 and the meeting can be found here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzoA3MDxsUA watch before reading further) No doubt it was confusing, I know I was very much confused as well. However, to solve this thought dilemma we ask that you think of the Presentation as a metaphorical crossroads of sort, yes that analogy should work well here. One that represents a variety of story roads to go down, each with their own set of rules and boundaries. Philosophies and issues, some are to be mixed and match, some are to be demolished or split into parts and infused with other parts. Some are to be buried in the analogetic ( a word I just invented myself) metaphorical desert!
Now, this document is the result of much thinking and attempts of nailing down a solid design. More on that later. And we think we finally have figured out a good direction for a story-element, now we know our community well enough to know that the word “story” may set fears of a more structured game than 0x10c our main inspiration and well.. the reason we’re here today. Fear not! We’re taking the approach of if you don’t want to learn about the story, that’s ok. You don’t have to. If you do well assuming all goes to plan and we can handle this then you will be immersed in an epic universe making you feel like an ant egg in a large tropical forest.
Terrible analogies aside, our major inspiration for this was Dark Souls and it’s brilliant storytelling! Now, while we have nothing against art games by personal belief with Games is that they are at their most fun when you can quickly jump in shoot some aliens, trade some goods or any other small fun things. Or you can invest a large amount of time and work on huge projects! The story should not get in the way of this factor, games should be fun! Trillek should be fun! If this isn’t fun, then we’ll change. If you don’t find it fun and you’re in the minority. That why we have open source game tools and an open source.. source code so you can change it!
How’s it going to work?
So, I want the story to be presented silently and to be presented in a way that creating interesting story and connections can be done simply and requires little to no resources, now sadly Trillek won’t have any epic spectacles story wise. Well, discovery is a different story. But more on that later. These are to be presented through many methods, some of my current planned ones are Weapon and Item Descriptions, finding destroyed ships and harvesting lost data from them even pieces used to build a ship from will have some backstory as well as a pointer to where it was made and by who it was made. Other more larger methods are the radio, which well.. I don’t want to spoil that much however I can say that it will be used to get a great variety of different perspective points from different areas lore-wise and also to occasionally provoke the player with mystery…or scare the wits out of them.
Some story elements will have no text simply telling its story through visual methods. An example is coming across a destroyed ship, most of the crew is dead. However judging from the way the ship was ripped apart it seems to be simple bandits, this can be told through the weapon scatter patterns caused by Raider ships using the X-84 General Military Siege Laser often, this information is gathered from not only reading lore and also studying the weapons and seeing the raider’s ships in action but also common sense. However, looking upon the corpses it seems that they were brutally murdered, in fact checking the ship logs show there are too many corpses here.
Then you realize that this bloodshed was caused by a pack of deadly aliens, only knowing this from seeing others ripped apart the same way. You leave with a feeling of mystery with your own interpretation of how the event went down. Now I know the major question, how are we going to do this without having it feel static and canned. Simple, well not so simple really. The metagame.
Once again I am going to express the NOT FINAL disclaimer so please don’t get too excited/angry this is only an early idea.
Anyway, now to prevent these events becoming static and also to give some life to Trillek without the expense of resources and also making the “Emergent” part good and not an uncontrolled mess. It will be controlled by a… AI Simulator that works while you’re not there. Simply allowing ships, npcs, enemies or whatever to continue living and acting in their own Days of our Lives scenarios while you’re off. While the actual design specifics still need to be worked out, this will be essential to Trillek’s storytelling and design. Now, this meta game while at the start be a long crawl to create will have a huge payoff, we’re pretty much giving the AI the keys to their own life and not giving a damn. (Unless it breaks) This will be structured with Event Archetypes (basic event templates for AI’s to semi-follow while providing their own twist and simply mixing it in with other event archetypes) and also pure emergent AI working at it’s best. Not only that but it also boosts your immersion level by allowing you to watch an event/mutiny or even a dialogue sequence based off a previous experience that happened in the Meta-game. Now, the reason it isn’t quite detailed yet is that I’m not sure of the general consensus.. if the general consensus is good and it’s deemed possible then it will be thought through more.
This concept comes from not only the techincal hurdles that we would be facing
So, I hope this provides you a concrete look at Trillek’s story-gameplay. However, before this ends I want to stress one point. You can ignore this entirely, if you just want to mess around in a huge sandbox and not care about anything else. You can! You’ll always be able to that, this is just another part of the sandbox that is designed to add to the fun/experience. And remember, if it’s not fun we will change it!