Introductory Email Thread - Setting and Story

Introductory Email Thread - Setting and Story

Postby Bob » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:50 am

Part 1: Reiji


Sorry for not properly introducing myself.
I am Reiji, I'm a personal friend of Bob and worked with him on his
previous Source title (which is where this White is from).

I am a concept artist, and personally I'm open to all sorts of
creative inputs especially design-oriented ones.
Since I'm more focused on visual design aspect of the game, I'd like
to say my take on the current design from visual stand point.

When the story for this mod was developed, the settings were to take
place in a world inhabited by humanoid (humans) but not necessary our
'Earth'. The technological level of this world would be several
decades (even centuries) beyond ours, where they're pretty comfortable
with interplanetary travel, but haven't quite developed
faster-than-light (FTL for simplicity's sake) technology.

The setting takes place where this civilization is about to come up
with their very first FTL drive, and for a good reason.
People of White live in a world on a verge of apocalypse. Their sun is
next in line for a chain of super-nova which is consuming their
quadrant of the galaxy. Their conventional propulsion system wouldn't
be fast enough to get them far enough away (both in term of fuel and

When these people came to this realization, they banded togather and
dedicated their entire effort into developing a way to get the heck
out of their dying world. They cut every piece of their luxury; art,
music, literature, fashion, and focused every piece of man power they
could fathom into industrial and scientific R&D under the strict
oversight totalitarian government.

After decades of developement, the fruit of their effort come to bear,
and they got a design for their very first FTL drive.
That's where the game starts.
Scattered across the major industrial settlements of the world of
White, these people manufactured 7(or the number can be any...) colony
ships but only 3 FTL drives are ready to go. Ships were manufactured
in orbit, engines were manufactured in a high-tech lab somewhere on
the ground.

All hell break loose as nations, once united under the common goal,
break all ties and go on a full-out war to secure themselves a
functioning engine(and for smaller/poorer nations without their own
ship...the ship itself). We, the players, are the members of one of
these warring nations fighting for the survival of their species, and
a ticket for a seat of exodus.

Damn that got long, but anyways that's pretty much the summary of what
we had regarding the setting for White.
Visual aspect of the world of white would be, heavily industrial and
highly technical, but without any visual decorations. Imagine a
cold-war era communist nations like Soviet or North Korea. Their labor
camps and factories would be exactly that; bland, tasteless concrete
buildings. However, their industrial and military machines would show
traces of heavy use but generally well-kept and somewhat clean.

I'll add some more stuff in when I got time,

Part 2: Reiji
Continuing where I left off...(forgive my hectic grammar)

Weapons and Technology of the world of White

Larger nations in the world of white focused most of their human,
industrial, and financial resources into developing the FTL and FTL
frames(colony ships). Their primary concerns were to get enough ships
rolled out with functioning engine, get as many people onboard and

Smaller nations with less technology/economical prowess had no choice
but to take back seat in the developement; they wouldn't have the
facility to develope more sophisticated section of the design, and
most of their elite scientists would be bought-out by richer nations
promising first-class seat on the GTFO mobile.

So...the weaker, smaller nations had to consider alternative
solutions. If things hit the fan, they must pull a hi-jack on the
colony ship and force them to give a seat onboard the convoy.

For this reason, the guys with technological advantage in infantry
level weaponry would be the underdogs. Small arms are inexpensive to
develope compared to gigantic space ships. Same goes for training
blackop soldiers.

In general, due to the unbalanced focus in technological developement,
things like weapon-systems and personal level computer systems would
be way behind compared to something like transportation and logistics
(which are needed for colonization of their new haven...if they ever
find one).
I'd expect UI of the computer system they'd use to resemble something
we've used 5~10 years ago...even black and white.
The weapon system would be something a bit more advanced than what
we've got, but not exactly super-futuristic. They'd still use
projectile weapon; maybe even caseless or infantry scale sabot rounds
& electrical trigger systems. However, I'd highly object to use of
something like the science fiction laser blasters, light sabers,
phasers and other wierdness.

Any advanced weapon system should make technical sense, like
high-output lasers must not be ultra compact when the projectile
weapons are still being used. On the other hand, weapons that are
relatively simple to manufacture, but are not widely used in our world
due to humanitarian reasons would see the light of day.

Chemical weapons, biological weapons, even radiation bombs/projectiles
would be used withou limits.

The balancing factor to the above weapons are, since they assessed
that if they come across hostile enviroment, they must have ample
protection in order to colonize their new terra. Spaceborne activities
under dense space debris would also require highly durable suite. Amor
systems would've gotten enough attention as well as power assist and
various anti-chemical/biological/nuclear systems.

Unmanned Vehicles and AI systems.
The Soviet/PPC logic applies here. These people have enough raw
man-power but never enough resources. If they've got a choice between
expendable personnels and expensive machinary, they'd always use the
human resource to get the job done. Due to this sort of thinking, use
of unmanned or AI controlled systems would be kept to a minimum.
However, something like power-assist and exoskeletal systems would be
heavily utilized.

It's getting late so I'll add more notes tomorrow.

Part 3: Bob
Collecting my thoughts and notes together, I would like to try to expand on what Reiji has already forwarded to you all to try to loop in a couple of the game types and get you into the story a little deeper.

Areas are set up throughout the map that have some significance. When a player or group of players steps into the area they begin to capture it, assuming the enemy is not present as well. The goal is to hold on to all points, which are symbolic of control over an overall area, while the opposition loses theirs and is forced to regroup.

Push is an extension of this mode where the volumes are only able to be captured in a certain, linear order (Red: A B C D E | Blue E D C B A). This linear progression, as well as the linear are provided to the mapper for all creative license, embodied in their freedom to tie the captures and state changes to lights or other actions via kismet and even the point and minimum number of players required to capture a volume.

Tying this into the story - the conflict between the races comes down to a simple premise – the number of survivors is insignificant in comparison to the end result of achieving the exodus. The push game type is used to let the players battle it out in these high tech labs/factories and possibly through bases where they have to pick up a series of parts and or weaponry in order to accomplish the next objective, which is ultimately to secure another part that is necessary for their race's exodus. We would be tying the levels together, so when you accomplish a mission, its end result would dictate the direction you moved in and possibly how the next map would have its odds stacked.

An example of this would be if side A wins, the next map would be a step backwards for side B and side B would forfeit something, be that a portion of their lives or some emplaced weapons etc. The idea being that the game plays like a campaign without having to bother with flying the troops between the levels.

Three is an inspired game type that lets us step into the position of our underdogs trying to get ahold of some of the more obscure and valued parts that they need. You play one of the two sides, either attacking or defending, and need to keep the other side at bay long enough to achieve your goal – destroy the wall/defend a door way/Lower a ramp/Escape a city. The under dogs are the attackers more often, and are always fewer in number (I want to aim for no more than 5 players on the attacking team, but lock it so the ratio makes it unbalanced (6/4 or 7/3 optimally, but testing will confirm the ratios and servers can configure this).

BioMega is a new game type of reiji's where the team is set to accomplish some goal on one of the outlying planetary bodies that has been attacked by a nuclear or biological weapon. The extraction of the part is entirely necessary, and at great cost. The group is sent to the planet but a number of those who have landed are exposed to the active agent and are going to die. The team has to accomplish the mission, but a few of them are no longer caring and actually get it in their heads that they don't care if their race dies since they are already infected and have only minutes to live. The infected people have to infect the others. The infectious agent takes about 15-30 seconds to adapt to the new host and will skew their vision or some other interesting effects that we decide upon. The obstacle for the infectors is that if they attempt to infect a player that has already been infected they are going to both die.

Death run is a similar idea to that of Three, but with a different mechanic. Three is over at the explosion of the wall or accomplishment of the mission. Death run is a rat race/maze type game that hands the big guns to the opposing side and when they have gained entrance to the facility they are given the due right to slaughter them. I am leaning towards saying that the defenders do not respawn as fast, if at all, but this is reiji's baby so ill let him explain it better.

We took some other inspiration from warhammer 40k, in that everything is delivered to the players from orbit. Retro boosters, parachutes and anything else you can dream of is being used to deliver buildings, emplaced weapons and all other goodies to the troops. We should see some noticeable char marks and craters on the grounds of the maps so that this is clearly conveyed to the players. This mechanic also has a side effect of keeping the player in the action packed situations. Anything they need is only moments away.

I am sure that time will allow better description of it soon, but I would like to talk for a moment about the Tram which was the fulcrum of the White gameplay. The game concept itself stood balanced on the idea of logistics, which was a large change from the blast em up garbage that is going around these days. In order to understand white you need to understand the tram and in order to understand the tram you have to understand push. The gametype is all a balance of logistical support. Players always spawn at their home base and have to traverse forward to join the battle. The better they are doing the further from home they get and the more time it takes for them to move up to the front lines and support their fellow troops. The tram was brought into play in an effort to help ease the load on the players, by transporting them and their goods forward. Elements from sourceforts (building the depots and emplaced weaponry) as well as the ability to regain fallen lives by shipping them back to the space carriers (think marines never leave a man behind kind of shit or cloning) were brought together with a transport device, the tram, which would carry them to and from the battlefield.

The tram had many details that we don't need to bother worrying about now, but may be better described in the future.

White is a game that is incorporating a number of genre into one, including a RTS/TDS and RPG all into one.

But we are going to be taking one small step at a time with this project. As ambitious as it may seem, organization will keep its scope clean and orderly.

Ill let reiji fill in some of the holes I may have skipped over here.

P.S. I have removed Samuli from the CC list b/c of a Mailer issue. If anyone has a valid email address for him please loop him back in.
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Re: Introductory Email Thread - Setting and Story

Postby whitfield » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:58 pm

Bob bob. :)
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