The Campaign Mode

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Bigjoe5
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The Campaign Mode

#1 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:14 am

I've been reading around a bit, and it seems that nobody has really started to create the story for FO's campaign mode. So, I figured I'd give it a try, if for no reason other than to practice my creative writing.

To start of with, I'm making certain assumptions for the purposes of writing the campaign. First of all, I'm assuming that the races that are currently in the "Highly Developed" category of this thread will be included in the game. For the future, I may assume that some type of Human race will be included.

I am also assuming that research will be artificially slowed for the campaign mode. Justification: I find that it destroys the continuity of a campaign if I have extremely high levels of technology at the end of one campaign mission and get shoved back to beginning-game tech for the next one, which is supposed to directly succeed it in the timeline. Now, it's a given that there will be galactic disasters that reduce the tech level significantly, but I expect the campaign to provide far more gameplay than any single standard game on a huge galaxy would. Therefore, a sufficient number of tech-restarting galactic disasters to last for the whole campaign mode would simply be ridiculous. Note that tech will not carry over to the next mission, but it will probably approximate the players advances, and will be realistically further ahead if there is a significant time gap.

Furthermore, I may be assuming that certain features that have been generally agreed upon, but not necessarily confirmed will be included. Campaigns will have multiple difficulty levels, and if a player ignores the goal of the campaign and destroys everything (an EXCEEDINGLY time-consuming process), the game will act as if they just completed the mission normally for the purposes of setting up the next mission.

I'd like to see the first campaign as an optional tutorial, where the player can be taught the basics of FO (the player can obviously turn the tutorial off if they want). The ideal race for this is one that doesn't seek to destroy everyone, but to simply test their theories that they have cultivated for so long: the Chato'matou'Gormoshk.

1st Mission: The Chato'matou'Gormoshk begin their exploration of the galaxy. The player learns the basics of resources, production, ship design, exploration and colonization. The player encounters a space monster (or many on higher difficulty levels) and is forced to subdue it. Then, the player must build a space monster breeding ground on a moon (or other suitable breeding ground if moons do not exist) to complete the mission, being taught about space monsters, strategic resources, and lunar bodies.

2nd mission: The Chato'matou'Gormoshk encounter the Gyisache. The population of the Chato'matou'Gormoshk is rapidly outpacing food production and the Gyisache have two techs in particular that will solve the problem. The first can be obtained through diplomacy. The second, they refuse to part with and must be taken through espionage to fully solve the problem. The player learns about starvation, diplomacy, espionage, and the possible consequences of espionage when the Gyisache declare war on you for spying. The Chato'matou'Gormoshk must defeat the Gyisache using their conventional fleet and their space monster technology. The player learns the usefulness of space monster technology and gains experience fighting an enemy empire. The Gyisache will offer a valuable star system in exchange for peace once you trounce their fleets thoroughly enough. The player should accept to complete the mission.

3rd mission: The Chato'matou'Gormoshk encounter the Eaxaw, who immediately declare war and begin attacking. Currently, you cannot penetrate their planetary shields with your weaponry. Fight off the Eaxaw hordes, research the necessary weapon tech, and completely annihilate one of their planets. The Eaxaw will offer a vast sum of resources in exchange for peace. The player should accept to complete the mission.

4th mission: The Experimenters attempt to introduce an extremely hostile species to this part of the galaxy. It is, in fact, one of the player species, redesigned by the Experimenters to be highly aggressive. The Experimenters will escort many colony ships, which will create colonies with unnaturally high production. The Experimenters will continue to escort in colony ships until near the end of the mission. The player must ally with the Gyisache and the Eaxaw to destroy the hostile species and complete the mission. Note that the Experimenters will only fire on ships that attack the colony ships. The player learns about precursor incursions and gains experience with making alliances to defeat a common foe.

5th mission: The Eaxaw were able to grab the most land in the battle against the hostile species, and now feel that they are powerful enough to defeat both the Chato'matou'Gormoshk and the Gyisache. The player must ally with the Gyisache to defeat the Eaxaw. Before it's finished however, Eaxaw spies incite a rebellion on the Chato'matou'Gormoshk homeworld Thor'xanis. Seeing an opportunity to gain dominance, the Gyisache turn against the Chato'matou'Gormoshk and invade. The player must quell the rebellion and gain the upper hand against the Gyisache and the Eaxaw until they both make generous offers of peace. The player learns about the dirty side of diplomacy and the deadly consequences of allowing espionage in his empire.


So that's the first campaign that I've written. I believe the next one (or few) will take place in a different area of the galaxy with a different set of as-of-yet-undecided-upon races. Thoughts please?
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Re: The Campaign Mode

#2 Post by Myckel » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:10 am

Bigjoe5 wrote: 2nd mission: The Chato'matou'Gormoshk encounter the Gyisache. The population of the Chato'matou'Gormoshk is rapidly outpacing food production and the Gyisache have two techs in particular that will solve the problem. The first can be obtained through diplomacy. The second, they refuse to part with and must be taken through espionage to fully solve the problem. The player learns about starvation, diplomacy, espionage, and the possible consequences of espionage when the Gyisache declare war on you for spying. The Chato'matou'Gormoshk must defeat the Gyisache using their conventional fleet and their space monster technology. The player learns the usefulness of space monster technology and gains experience fighting an enemy empire. The Gyisache will offer a valuable star system in exchange for peace once you trounce their fleets thoroughly enough. The player should accept to complete the mission.
For an initial write-up it looks great!

One comment about the above part. I think you could make the mission/campaign less linear to offer both ways to get the techs instead of forcing the player into the use of one per tech. You could make the second attempt to use the same method more difficult to push the player into the other direction, but still keep the other option to walk the same path.

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#3 Post by Tortanick » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:27 am

Bigjoe5 wrote:I am also assuming that research will be artificially slowed for the campaign mode. Justification: I find that it destroys the continuity of a campaign if I have extremely high levels of technology at the end of one campaign mission and get shoved back to beginning-game tech for the next one, which is supposed to directly succeed it in the timeline.
Sounds good to me, but make it too slow and research in the campaign would basically be pointless, one idea I had would be to "zoom in" on the tech tree, in a campaign you may have a large tech tree but all the techs are off a similar sounding level techobabble wise.
e.g Instead of a dozen different types of energy weapon, you might have a dozen different types of laser for example. That's a lot of work but then its not such a big deal if campaign techs are just flavourless stats for a while.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Now, it's a given that there will be galactic disasters that reduce the tech level significantly, but I expect the campaign to provide far more gameplay than any single standard game on a huge galaxy would. Therefore, a sufficient number of tech-restarting galactic disasters to last for the whole campaign mode would simply be ridiculous.
I'd disagree, it depends on just how much time is between the campaigns, I'd have thought that either campaigns are at the same time in different parts of the galaxy or about a couple of centuries between each campaign would be a soft minimum simply because events important enough to be playable arn't that frequent. On that sort of time-scale we can have plenty of tech restarting disasters. Plus they don't have to be something huge, even losing a war badly could make one empire's tech go down.
Bigjoe5 wrote:I'd like to see the first campaign as an optional tutorial, where the player can be taught the basics of FO (the player can obviously turn the tutorial off if they want).
I don't think the "first" campaign has to be a tutorial, we can just choose any point in the timeline and say "hmmm, an espionage tutorial will fit nicely here", I'd also try to make the tutorials have little effect on the galaxy in the long run.
For example we might find a point on the Timeline where one empire pretty much ruled the galaxy but its now on the verge of collapse, think end of the Roman empire for example. We could set the combat tutorial here with the player commanding one of many roving bands of pirates.
Bigjoe5 wrote:The player learns about starvation, diplomacy, espionage, and the possible consequences of espionage when the Gyisache declare war on you for spying
The Gyisache only attack when they have an overwhelming advantage, and are known to simply abandon contested systems. I'm not sure if they'd attack over espionage.
Bigjoe5 wrote:The Eaxaw will offer a vast sum of resources in exchange for peace. The player should accept to complete the mission.
I'd have thought the Eaxaw are a bit too fanatical to surrender.
Bigjoe5 wrote:The player must ally with the Gyisache and the Eaxaw to destroy the hostile species and complete the mission. Note that the Experimenters will only fire on ships that attack the colony ships.
And now they're making alliances, it would probably work better if the Eaxaw are the hostile race introduced by the experimenters.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Seeing an opportunity to gain dominance, the Gyisache turn against the Chato'matou'Gormoshk and invade.
Again, Gyisache only attack with an overwhelming advantage.
Bigjoe5 wrote: I believe the next one (or few) will take place in a different area of the galaxy with a different set of as-of-yet-undecided-upon races.
Sounds good to me.
Bigjoe5 wrote: Thoughts please?
A very good first try :) I think however sensible it seemed to start with the three highly developed races their personalities were a bit too limiting for what you were trying to do, it might work better with, say, the Egassem instead of the Gyiasche, and the Stonecarvers could take the Eaxaw's role freeing them to be the 4th invading race.

Also you've started designing from the bottom up, the first thing you did was writing missions. Perhaps a top down approach might be better? First come up with a very rough listing each species and what should happen to them, (no more detail than something like AEIOU eventually find UOIEA then vanish), then write out a timeline from start to finish, with very minimal details, then pick parts of the time-line that look interesting and write detailed missions on them. A time-line version of your five missions might be:

SD: 0-100
  • Chato'matou'Gormoshk, Gyiasche, Eaxaw achieve spacefight.
  • Early skirmishes between the three races
  • Expermentors introduce Race4
  • War between Race4 and everyone else, Race4 wiped out.
  • War between the three races, Chato'matou'Gormoshk emerge strongest, the other two remain viable empires
The most important thing in the time-line is the start and end of each period and what part of the galaxy is affected, providing we know how it begins and ends, and where it takes place, anyone writing the details can be creative, if they don't change the location, beginning or end* it will fit nicely with the rest of the timeline.
*Or derail any characters.

hmmm, a galaxy map might be useful too.

BTW I'd be happy to collaborate with you on this, I could use some practice for my creative writing too :)

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#4 Post by Bigjoe5 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:46 am

Tortanick wrote: Sounds good to me, but make it too slow and research in the campaign would basically be pointless, one idea I had would be to "zoom in" on the tech tree, in a campaign you may have a large tech tree but all the techs are off a similar sounding level techobabble wise.
e.g Instead of a dozen different types of energy weapon, you might have a dozen different types of laser for example. That's a lot of work but then its not such a big deal if campaign techs are just flavourless stats for a while.
I think it's wise to limit the research of new theories and applications unless they directly tie in with the story. Refinements should be the player's research focus most of the time.
Tortanick wrote: I'd disagree, it depends on just how much time is between the campaigns, I'd have thought that either campaigns are at the same time in different parts of the galaxy or about a couple of centuries between each campaign would be a soft minimum simply because events important enough to be playable arn't that frequent. On that sort of time-scale we can have plenty of tech restarting disasters. Plus they don't have to be something huge, even losing a war badly could make one empire's tech go down.
I think the real issue is how many campaigns are we going to actually have. Even if we estimate 2 races per EP and 2 campaigns per race, that's still only 36 campaigns. Granted, even missions of the same campaign might be very far apart, but you have to consider the frequency of massive tech-restarting disasters with relation to the frequency of other interesting events. Obviously many interesting events are going to occur between two tech-restarting disasters, and therefore we should have several campaigns between any two given massive disasters.
Tortanick wrote: I don't think the "first" campaign has to be a tutorial, we can just choose any point in the timeline and say "hmmm, an espionage tutorial will fit nicely here", I'd also try to make the tutorials have little effect on the galaxy in the long run.
For example we might find a point on the Timeline where one empire pretty much ruled the galaxy but its now on the verge of collapse, think end of the Roman empire for example. We could set the combat tutorial here with the player commanding one of many roving bands of pirates.
But the thing is, we want to teach the player about all aspects of the game from the get go. The player shouldn't have to wait until the random campaign in the middle that we chose to be an espionage tutorial to learn about espionage. (Granted since this is open source with a text editor, people can play the campaigns in any order they want, but we should plan for the eventuality that the player will actually do the campaigns in order like he's meant to.) Furthermore, I think the very personality and motives of the Chato'matou'Gormoshk make them ideal for a starting/tutorial race.
Tortanick wrote:The Gyisache only attack when they have an overwhelming advantage, and are known to simply abandon contested systems. I'm not sure if they'd attack over espionage.
Let's say that the Gyisache do in fact have a fairly large advantage over the Chato'matou'Gormoshk, but the player's space monster technology/greater skill turns the tide.
Tortanick wrote: I'd have thought the Eaxaw are a bit too fanatical to surrender.
They're obsessed, certainly, and you could even say fanatical, but they're not crazy. Nor are they stupid. If we have a race that's constantly at war with everyone, we'd have tough time coming up with an excuse to keep them alive for very long.
Tortanick wrote: And now they're making alliances, it would probably work better if the Eaxaw are the hostile race introduced by the experimenters.
As I said, the Eaxaw aren't stupid. They've made this alliance so that they can take more land from under they're enemy's noses and then attack again when they've gained enough power.
Tortanick wrote:Again, Gyisache only attack with an overwhelming advantage.
And having a full-scale rebellion on your homeworld and a completely genocidal race attacking you doesn't put you at a great enough disadvantage for the Gyisache to attack you?
Tortanick wrote: A very good first try :) I think however sensible it seemed to start with the three highly developed races their personalities were a bit too limiting for what you were trying to do, it might work better with, say, the Egassem instead of the Gyiasche, and the Stonecarvers could take the Eaxaw's role freeing them to be the 4th invading race.
I see what you mean, but I don't want to run the risk of including too many races that won't be in the game.
Tortanick wrote:Also you've started designing from the bottom up, the first thing you did was writing missions.
A top down approach would generally be better for a project like this, but for this campaign, I had a specific purpose: creating a potential tutorial for new players, which must necessarily include certain specific elements. And again, I don' want to run the risk of including too many races that might not be in, though I suppose we'll have to cross that bridge sooner or later (sooner, most likely).
Tortanick wrote:SD: 0-100
  • Chato'matou'Gormoshk, Gyiasche, Eaxaw achieve spacefight.
  • Early skirmishes between the three races
  • Expermentors introduce Race4
  • War between Race4 and everyone else, Race4 wiped out.
  • War between the three races, Chato'matou'Gormoshk emerge strongest, the other two remain viable empires
The most important thing in the time-line is the start and end of each period and what part of the galaxy is affected, providing we know how it begins and ends, and where it takes place, anyone writing the details can be creative, if they don't change the location, beginning or end* it will fit nicely with the rest of the timeline.
*Or derail any characters.
But you left out the most vital part: The fact that the player race is the Chato'matou'Gormoshk. In general, the type of campaign should reflect the player race. This also establishes the character of the campaigns and is helpful in determining what the player should focus on to win the campaign.
Tortanick wrote:hmmm, a galaxy map might be useful too.
The nice thing about this is that we can simply hand-place the stars to make whatever kind of scenario we want. :) I'm thinking a great big multi-armed galaxy so we can have different conflicts develop simultaneously in different arms until everything finally reaches the center. A few connecting starlanes between arms that can only be seen at higher tech levels would be a good way to shake things up later on, or better yet, the Builders can come along and build some starlanes.
Tortanick wrote:BTW I'd be happy to collaborate with you on this, I could use some practice for my creative writing too :)
Sounds fine to me. I'm considering a kind of middle-outwards approach to this right now, i.e. determine the basic nature and types of campaigns we want to have, assign them to specific races (for example the Eaxaw need to have a mission where the entire galaxy is trying to eliminate them and they need to escape to the far reaches of the galaxy with a few colony ships), then fleshing out the details of the individual missions while assembling the campaigns into a continuous story. Think that would be effective?
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Re: The Campaign Mode

#5 Post by eleazar » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:09 am

To preface, i should say that i don't know much about what kind of campaign mode aquitaine and the others had in mind. I don't recall running across any old discussions on the topic. But maybe it doesn't matter since they are gone anyway.

My comments are mostly based on my experience with Wesnoth (which was quite successful in getting quality campaigns created), and common-sense extrapolations.
Bigjoe5 wrote:I've been reading around a bit, and it seems that nobody has really started to create the story for FO's campaign mode.
First, i think it's dangerous to think in terms of FO having one story. If the campaign-making features are useable, and FO is fun to play in campaign mode, you can be certain that multiple people will make campaigns... and not all of them will be part of the same story.

Bigjoe5 wrote:I am also assuming that research will be artificially slowed for the campaign mode. Justification: I find that it destroys the continuity of a campaign if I have extremely high levels of technology at the end of one campaign mission and get shoved back to beginning-game tech for the next one...
You should assume that the campaign writer can start out the various empires in a scenario with whatever techs he wants. Such a feature would be relatively easy and too useful to omit.

As to slowing down research, i'm not so sure that's a good idea. It's certainly not if the campaign is supposed to be a tutorial. Don't kill the playability of a campaign for realism.

Bigjoe5 wrote:I'd like to see the first campaign as an optional tutorial
Tutorials are good to have, and hard to do well.
But there's no reason that there should be only one place to start (without editing FO) the campaign. With so many species you can have a single overarching story with different sub-stories.

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#6 Post by Tortanick » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:11 pm

BigJoe5 wrote: Obviously many interesting events are going to occur between two tech-restarting disasters, and therefore we should have several campaigns between any two given massive disasters.
No argument there.
BigJoe5 wrote:But the thing is, we want to teach the player about all aspects of the game from the get go. The player shouldn't have to wait until the random campaign in the middle that we chose to be an espionage tutorial to learn about espionage.
I see no need to have a "correct" order to play campaigns, given the huge timescale or distance between campaigns it should be easy to pick up anywhere.
BigJoe5 wrote:They're obsessed, certainly, and you could even say fanatical, but they're not crazy. Nor are they stupid.
to me they always came across as a little crazy, also I look at it from a different way, rather than coming up with excuses to keep them alive, if there attitude means that they can be expected to meet an early extinction, then they should meet an early extinction.
BigJoe5 wrote:Again, Gyisache only attack with an overwhelming advantage.
And having a full-scale rebellion on your homeworld and a completely genocidal race attacking you doesn't put you at a great enough disadvantage for the Gyisache to attack you?[/quote]
Not when they've got other races to worry about.
Tortanick wrote:I see what you mean, but I don't want to run the risk of including too many races that won't be in the game.
We have three races marked highly developed, I'd say take the risk now rather than choose a badly fitting race.

BigJoe5 wrote:But you left out the most vital part: The fact that the player race is the Chato'matou'Gormoshk. In general, the type of campaign should reflect the player race. This also establishes the character of the campaigns and is helpful in determining what the player should focus on to win the campaign.
Exactly how much detail that should go on the timelines is something we'll only know after we've tried it, but for a first try I'd go with very minimal details, what happened and maybe a few sentences on why. Then once we've got the timeline the actual level designers, who might or might not be us, have a free rein to see what looks like an interesting event and write the campaign for it, that free rein includes who you play as. Who knows we might have the same event from two points of view.

While I agree that the type and charachter of campaign should reflect the player's race I think its the level designer's responsibility not the timelines, what the player focuses on is a given due to racial advantages, disadvantages and ethos.
BigJoe5 wrote:The nice thing about this is that we can simply hand-place the stars to make whatever kind of scenario we want. :)
I was thinking more just a jpeg map we could scribble territories on, that would help us know who's where. How do you start off seeing the entire map so you can take a screenshot?
BigJoe5 wrote:I'm thinking a great big multi-armed galaxy so we can have different conflicts develop simultaneously in different arms until everything finally reaches the center.
Funny I was thinking of a regular "cluster" galaxy, so early on you get different conflicts because no one's traveled far but later on we're not limited to groups based on the arms. The Gyiasche might belong to one "group" on their north border and another on their south.

BigJoe5 wrote:Sounds fine to me. I'm considering a kind of middle-outwards approach to this right now, i.e. determine the basic nature and types of campaigns we want to have, assign them to specific races (for example the Eaxaw need to have a mission where the entire galaxy is trying to eliminate them and they need to escape to the far reaches of the galaxy with a few colony ships), then fleshing out the details of the individual missions while assembling the campaigns into a continuous story. Think that would be effective?
I think if we write the campaigns without some kind of "master plan" then we're likely to end up on one of two opposite extremes:
Either we have mutually exclusive campaigns where one shows a species going extinct while another clearly set later shows them alive and well or we'll have campaigns too separate to form a cohesive story.

The bare minimum I think we need is to know who's near who so we don't end up with people fighting a war when they shouldn't even be able to reach each-other and a rough time-line for at least the first Act that also defines how should look at the end.

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#7 Post by Bigjoe5 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:39 pm

eleazar wrote: First, i think it's dangerous to think in terms of FO having one story. If the campaign-making features are useable, and FO is fun to play in campaign mode, you can be certain that multiple people will make campaigns... and not all of them will be part of the same story.
Many people will be making techs, but I think its safe to assume they'll all be part of the same tech tree.

eleazar wrote:You should assume that the campaign writer can start out the various empires in a scenario with whatever techs he wants. Such a feature would be relatively easy and too useful to omit.
Of course he will. And presumably that campaign would be made to fit into the appropriate time frame for said tech level. It seems like you're thinking of this as more of a "scenario" mode, where each scenario that the player can choose from needn't necessarily tie in with the others. I would prefer if each of these scenarios could tie together into a single story rather than simply being many disjointed missions.
eleazar wrote:As to slowing down research, i'm not so sure that's a good idea. It's certainly not if the campaign is supposed to be a tutorial. Don't kill the playability of a campaign for realism.
It should be relatively easy to make the player understand the fact that research actually goes faster in the normal game than in the campaign. This isn't for the sake of realism, it's for the sake of verisimilitude. The player should be immersed in the story of the campaign mode, which is impossible when the tech level keeps bouncing around.

eleazar wrote: Tutorials are good to have, and hard to do well.
But there's no reason that there should be only one place to start (without editing FO) the campaign. With so many species you can have a single overarching story with different sub-stories.
I believe there is a good reason. The reason is that it's a story, and like any story, it must be experienced in the proper order to get the full effect. An author could definitely write a book assuming that his readers will read the chapters in random order, but such a book would be fundamentally inferior to a book in which the author intends the reader to read in the proper order. A campaign mode that's designed to be played in random order will be better than one intended to be played in the proper order if the player actually does play it in random order. Either way, a campaign designed to be played in a specific order that is played in that specific order will be superior to a campaign designed to be played in random order, whether the player plays that one in random order or not.
Tortanick wrote:to me they always came across as a little crazy, also I look at it from a different way, rather than coming up with excuses to keep them alive, if there attitude means that they can be expected to meet an early extinction, then they should meet an early extinction.
That depends. If their attitude can be expected to create an interesting dynamic in the later campaigns, then yes, we should find an excuse to keep them alive. Gameplay > Racial Character, therefore the character of the races should be manipulated if it serves to effectively enhance gameplay. Picture this: Eaxaw with Nova Bomb technology!
Not when they've got other races to worry about.
Handy thing about being able to hand draw the map is that we can just say that the Eaxaw are in a much better position to attack the Chato'matou'Gormoshk than to attack the Gyisache. ;)
Tortanick wrote:We have three races marked highly developed, I'd say take the risk now rather than choose a badly fitting race.
I see your point, although for this campaign, I think these races fit nicely. After all, what better word than "cowardly" could be used to describe turning on your ally and trying to conquer him when the odds suddenly turn against him? If the Gyisache run from absolutely everything, they won't make a very interesting race. We need to have them take advantage of the disadvantages of other races and attack while their opponents are weakened.
Tortanick wrote:Exactly how much detail that should go on the timelines is something we'll only know after we've tried it, but for a first try I'd go with very minimal details, what happened and maybe a few sentences on why. Then once we've got the timeline the actual level designers, who might or might not be us, have a free rein to see what looks like an interesting event and write the campaign for it, that free rein includes who you play as. Who knows we might have the same event from two points of view.
IMO, any events that are included as campaigns should be fundamentally linked to the abilities or character of certain races, since that's what really makes the campaign interesting. For example, perhaps an Observer incursion occurs, completely maxing out their own espionage meters on all planets in the galaxy until the game suddenly ends and nobody knows why, and the only race that can even detect it, never mind do anything about it is the super spying race. Such an event would be fairly boring from the perspective of any other race, but when played from the point of view of the spying race, it would be far better than some generic campaign played by some generic race.

Now, I'm pretty much saying something you've already agreed with, but the implications of this is that the events themselves should be designed with particular races in mind, not just the way the missions are designed.
Tortanick wrote:Funny I was thinking of a regular "cluster" galaxy, so early on you get different conflicts because no one's traveled far but later on we're not limited to groups based on the arms. The Gyiasche might belong to one "group" on their north border and another on their south.
You're right that we don't want to be restricted to those groups in later campaigns, but in the earlier campaigns it's best to restrict expansion so that the player doesn't colonize planets that are very distinctively uncolonized in a different mission in a different part of the galaxy. Because that wouldn't make sense. Later in the game, we can have a Builder incursion to add connections between the various arms in the galaxy, and perhaps even add wormholes crossing the galaxy, but in the mean time, I think it's wise to limit expansion with an armed galaxy.
Tortanick wrote:Either we have mutually exclusive campaigns where one shows a species going extinct while another clearly set later shows them alive and well or we'll have campaigns too separate to form a cohesive story.
Those are the same extreme. Sure we'd have to do a bit of tweaking to make the story cohesive in the end, but the primary function of the campaign mode is to give the player a kind of gameplay that he wouldn't get in the standard mode, so to that end, we should focus on adding exciting gameplay elements first while forming a rough story, then tweak things so that the story becomes more polished. Given the option, I'd rather sacrifice the some story elements in favour of unique gameplay elements than vice versa.
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Re: The Campaign Mode

#8 Post by Tortanick » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:26 am

Bigjoe5 wrote: The reason is that it's a story, and like any story, it must be experienced in the proper order to get the full effect.
Individual campaigns will be played in the correct order, but when one campaign is set so far away that no one's even heard of anyone from the previous campaign. Or so far in the future that no one really remembers anyone, the order you play them dosn't matter so much.
Bigjoe5 wrote:That depends. If their attitude can be expected to create an interesting dynamic in the later campaigns, then yes, we should find an excuse to keep them alive. Gameplay > Racial Character, therefore the character of the races should be manipulated if it serves to effectively enhance gameplay. Picture this: Eaxaw with Nova Bomb technology!
No, actually having a good plot adds to the enjoyment of games, and the key to any good plot is to have good characters. Making races break charachter for gameplay is the wrong way to think of things, with a bit of work you can have both. Also if you don't kill of races because they'd be useful in a later stage, you lose the dramatic tension from a story where races can die, and the ability to introduce new races without overcrowding the plot.

Besides the Eaxaw are hardly the only genocidal maniacs, we could always find another race that fills the same plot niche and introduce them at the right time* and get both gameplay and racial character

* Unless there is another reason, evolving on former colonies and reverse engineering the remaining tech would make a reasonable standard excuse for why new races are as advanced as the old ones.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Now, I'm pretty much saying something you've already agreed with, but the implications of this is that the events themselves should be designed with particular races in mind, not just the way the missions are designed.
Thats something I disagree with, a good level designer could make the vague events interesting leaving the timeline free to focus on the plot itself. Since I'm probably not going to convince you, could I perhaps convince you unofficially rather than officially write timeline events with a specific race/event in mind. then offically introduce them at the campaign design stage.
Bigjoe5 wrote:You're right that we don't want to be restricted to those groups in later campaigns, but in the earlier campaigns it's best to restrict expansion so that the player doesn't colonize planets that are very distinctively uncolonized in a different mission in a different part of the galaxy. Because that wouldn't make sense.
For that you don't need a spiral galaxy, just just three words "empires grow slowly". Besides you could limit colonisation by having earlier campaigns take place on smaller maps. Be careful not to overdo it though, that would detract from gameplay quite a bit.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Those are the same extreme. Sure we'd have to do a bit of tweaking to make the story cohesive in the end, but the primary function of the campaign mode is to give the player a kind of gameplay that he wouldn't get in the standard mode, so to that end, we should focus on adding exciting gameplay elements first while forming a rough story,
I think the purpose of a story mode is the story. Its a well known fact that lots of payers find a good story really enhances the fun, and its our best opportunity to make the races into something players think are more than a few pluses and minuses. For unique gameplay that just didn't fit into the main plotline we could always have non-canonical campaigns. Just because the official timeline says it never happened dosn't mean we can't code it up and give it to the players.

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#9 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:03 pm

Tortanick wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:Those are the same extreme. Sure we'd have to do a bit of tweaking to make the story cohesive in the end, but the primary function of the campaign mode is to give the player a kind of gameplay that he wouldn't get in the standard mode, so to that end, we should focus on adding exciting gameplay elements first while forming a rough story,
I think the purpose of a story mode is the story. Its a well known fact that lots of payers find a good story really enhances the fun, and its our best opportunity to make the races into something players think are more than a few pluses and minuses. For unique gameplay that just didn't fit into the main plotline we could always have non-canonical campaigns. Just because the official timeline says it never happened dosn't mean we can't code it up and give it to the players.
I agree with that, example would be Civ scenarios... some are historical.. or 'future historical' so they are sort of main storyline campaigns.

Others are clearly not historical, but are just fun "setups"

The way I see it the modes would be
Standard
Scenario
Mod
Campaign

Standard is the standard balanced game
Scenario is where the setup is different from standard, but the rules are the same
Mod is where the rules are different from standard (setup may or may not be the same)
Campaign is a set of Scenarios and/or mods that connect.

IDEALLY, in Campaign mode, the end of one mission would affect the start of the next mission. So if you played one campaign mission as an eaxaw and wiped out the rest of the galaxy (or failed that mission because the eaxaw wiped out the rest of the galaxy), then, in the next mission, the natives would be predominantly eaxaw ...(one's that survived the collapse of their empire)

As for transitions between the missions, you could do a few things
1. Large leap of time (in which time various events force society back to the new starting state)
2. Parallel time missions in distant space
3. Precursor incursion

I really like #3, if Every 'mission' in the campign mode ended with you 'losing' ie a Precursor incursion so massive as to be Irresistible... ["winning" would just be how many points you racked up over the course of the game]

The exception would be the Last Mission in the Campign which would be more like a standard game in which case it would allow you to develop to the point where the Precursor incursion would be resistable.

I do think that would be the good storyline

Mission #1= you do stuff/learn some things, the Precursors do some things, and eventually wipe you out.
You get a score for "completing" the mission.. not "winning" it
Mission #2= you do stuff/learn some things, the Precursors do some things, and eventually wipe you out.
You get a score for "completing" the mission.. not "winning" it

etc. till
Mission #N=you must become able to defeat the Precursors in this mission... you must "win" or "lose" [also story wise by now you should be ready to wreak some vengeance on these people that kept destroying your nice little civilizations]

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#10 Post by Tortanick » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:25 pm

Krikkitone wrote: IDEALLY, in Campaign mode, the end of one mission would affect the start of the next mission. So if you played one campaign mission as an eaxaw and wiped out the rest of the galaxy (or failed that mission because the eaxaw wiped out the rest of the galaxy), then, in the next mission, the natives would be predominantly eaxaw ...(one's that survived the collapse of their empire)

I really like #3, if Every 'mission' in the campign mode ended with you 'losing' ie a Precursor incursion so massive as to be Irresistible...
Unless your thinking that "Capmaign mode" is different to story mode those two would make any decent plot practically impossible: you can't have any form of continuity if you don't know who's going to win a major event in advance, or if the precursors wipe out everything the player accomplished.

The way to write a story mode, is to know in advance what happens, then ask the player to recreate it. If the first Eaxaw crusade was defeated by the Chato'matou'Gormoshk, then you play that event as the Chato'matou'Gormoshk, not the Eaxaw*

* I've got nothing against What-If misisons "The first Eaxaw crusade was a failure, take control and see if you can do better" but it should be clear when playing them that they never actually happened. And you don't have to always play as the victors, playing as the losers with objectives like "successfully evecuate before you're overrun" or "hold out for 100 turns" works too.

Also the precursors should avoid taking centre stage, their purpose is to provide interesting situations for the real main characters: the playable races.

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#11 Post by Krikkitone » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:56 pm

Well even in that case, of predetermined end points (of which Precursor Incursion would be one possible). There are a number of different "types" of that end point, and that should have some effect.

I'm thinking possibly of Homeworld's campaign, where your fleet and minerals were carried over from one game to the next. If during one of your missions, you uplifted a race, then that race should probably appear in the next mission with the stats that it had when it was uplifted. (even if as simple natives).

If you did wipe out a race, then they just don't appear in the next mission. (unless they are key)

This way the player actually has some feeling of contribution to the story, rather than just being an actor told to play a part someone else has written.

If nothing else, the player should at least be able to alter the Intro to the next part of the story mode (so that if you stopped the Eaxaw crusade just barely, it talks about centuries of rebuilding after a dark age from your fragile society collapsing, if you did really well it talks of your massive empire shattering due to overweening ambition and pride... and going into a centruies long dark age).

It does depend on how limited the 'story mode' is going to be. If all of the missions are very specific (ie Mission 1: build a shipyard.. build a ship, Mission 2: build a fleet..capture planet X) and must be completed in a limited amount of time (so that you can't do anything else) then I think it is too restricting, but that would work.

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#12 Post by Bigjoe5 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:11 pm

Tortanick wrote:Individual campaigns will be played in the correct order, but when one campaign is set so far away that no one's even heard of anyone from the previous campaign. Or so far in the future that no one really remembers anyone, the order you play them dosn't matter so much.
Such a significant time span between campaigns may only occur only once or twice or not at all, depending on how the story is made. It certainly will not occur regularly, probably only if there is a massive tech-restarting disaster or a long golden age (in which case nobody has forgotten anybody because they're right there the whole time). As for distance, I'm planning on having certain things that happen in one part of the galaxy perhaps instigate some events in a different part of the galaxy, i.e. perhaps the Eaxaw flee with a few colony ships to avoid destruction in one part of the galaxy, and then different set of races is stuck with a race of genocidal maniacs.
Tortanick wrote:No, actually having a good plot adds to the enjoyment of games, and the key to any good plot is to have good characters. Making races break charachter for gameplay is the wrong way to think of things, with a bit of work you can have both. Also if you don't kill of races because they'd be useful in a later stage, you lose the dramatic tension from a story where races can die, and the ability to introduce new races without overcrowding the plot.
Of course plot depends on the characters, but my point is that the plot is more important than the characters as and end goal and that we can tweak the personality of the characters to fit the plot rather than having to write the plot around an inflexible set of pre-determined characters.

And of course, you're quite right about races going extinct. I believe the Eaxaw need to have both their campaigns and become extinct in the first half of the campaign. I believe that the tech level at that point should be very high, and the Eaxaw should have nova bombs and bio-weaponry. The Eaxaw campaign involves gaining total control over the galaxy. The very next campaign however, occurs during the same period of time, and involves sneaking colony ships of all other races to the outskirts of the galaxy, unbeknownst to the crazed Eaxaw, followed by a reconquering of the galaxy by the other races and the elimination of the Eaxaw. This is one campaign that I believe should have significant amounts of time between the first and second missions, to account for some empire rebuilding and tech recovery. This can serve as one of the massive tech-dropping disasters as well.
Tortanick wrote:For that you don't need a spiral galaxy, just just three words "empires grow slowly". Besides you could limit colonisation by having earlier campaigns take place on smaller maps. Be careful not to overdo it though, that would detract from gameplay quite a bit.
Smaller maps aren't necessary. We can just not have starlanes after a certain point for the missions where we don't want the player exploring the whole galaxy. If the player feels put off by this difficulty, tough. He's not playing the campaign properly. Also, I'm considering the possibility of increasing the cost of colony ships for the campaign in order to limit unnecessary colonization.
Tortanick wrote:I think the purpose of a story mode is the story. Its a well known fact that lots of payers find a good story really enhances the fun, and its our best opportunity to make the races into something players think are more than a few pluses and minuses. For unique gameplay that just didn't fit into the main plotline we could always have non-canonical campaigns. Just because the official timeline says it never happened dosn't mean we can't code it up and give it to the players.
The story is important because it enhances the gameplay. The end goal is gameplay, and in the campaign mode, we will use a rich, enticing story to reach that goal. Since this is a video game story and not a book, this means not only making plot events that are interesting to read about, but that are interesting to play as well.

A good level designer could make the most boring plot point into a fairly interesting campaign, but how much better could he make it if that plot point was designed with uniquely fun gameplay in mind?
Krikkitone wrote:The way I see it the modes would be
Standard
Scenario
Mod
Campaign

Standard is the standard balanced game
Scenario is where the setup is different from standard, but the rules are the same
Mod is where the rules are different from standard (setup may or may not be the same)
Campaign is a set of Scenarios and/or mods that connect.
I think "Scenario" and "Mod" can be abstracted into a single scenario mode.
Krikkitone wrote:IDEALLY, in Campaign mode, the end of one mission would affect the start of the next mission. So if you played one campaign mission as an eaxaw and wiped out the rest of the galaxy (or failed that mission because the eaxaw wiped out the rest of the galaxy), then, in the next mission, the natives would be predominantly eaxaw ...(one's that survived the collapse of their empire)
It's a given that the end of one mission will relate to the beginning of the next mission, as it is a kind of story mode. I don't however, see any reason to adjust the beginning of a given mission from its default because of the exact way that the player played through that mission.
Krikkitone wrote: I'm thinking possibly of Homeworld's campaign, where your fleet and minerals were carried over from one game to the next. If during one of your missions, you uplifted a race, then that race should probably appear in the next mission with the stats that it had when it was uplifted. (even if as simple natives).

If you did wipe out a race, then they just don't appear in the next mission. (unless they are key)

This way the player actually has some feeling of contribution to the story, rather than just being an actor told to play a part someone else has written.

If nothing else, the player should at least be able to alter the Intro to the next part of the story mode (so that if you stopped the Eaxaw crusade just barely, it talks about centuries of rebuilding after a dark age from your fragile society collapsing, if you did really well it talks of your massive empire shattering due to overweening ambition and pride... and going into a centruies long dark age).
I don't think that's really necessary because there simply shouldn't be that great a difference between doing well and barely winning if the player is playing the way he's meant to. If the player decides to ignore the objectives and do lots of research and colonization while holding the Eaxaw hordes at bay easily, then the campaign text shouldn't reflect that because he's not playing the campaign properly. Wiping out races should be significant plot points. The player should have a great deal of difficulty in completing the mission if he extinguishes a lot of races that he isn't supposed to. The campaigns should be designed around the assumptions that the player will play them the way that they are meant to be played: At an appropriate level of difficulty for his skill level, and focusing on completing the objectives that are given to him.
Krikkitone wrote:It does depend on how limited the 'story mode' is going to be. If all of the missions are very specific (ie Mission 1: build a shipyard.. build a ship, Mission 2: build a fleet..capture planet X) and must be completed in a limited amount of time (so that you can't do anything else) then I think it is too restricting, but that would work.
I should hope that the campaign missions won't be anywhere near that restrictive. The player should have specific goals to accomplish yes, but for the most part, he should be able to use whatever means necessary to achieve those goals, unless there is a specific reason for a player to get a specific tech a specific way that advances the story, for example.
Last edited by Bigjoe5 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Campaign Mode

#13 Post by Tortanick » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:03 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:Such a significant time span between campaigns may only occur only once or twice or not at all, depending on how the story is made. It certainly will not occur regularly, probably only if there is a massive tech-restarting disaster or a long golden age (in which case nobody has forgotten anybody because they're right there the whole time).
I'd say it probably happens between most campaigns, the exceptions are campaigns set at the same time but in vastly different areas. If they're in the same time and place then they're in the same campaign (and there's no reason you have to only play one race for an entire campaign)

Also it dosn't take a disaster or a golden age, you can skip just about anything providing you keep the start of the next phase recognisable from the end of the old phase. Phase X ends with a new empire on the rise, Phase Y starts with that same empire much larger and falling apart from corruption and generally being a really old empire.
Bigjoe5 wrote:As for distance, I'm planning on having certain things that happen in one part of the galaxy perhaps instigate some events in a different part of the galaxy, i.e. perhaps the Eaxaw flee with a few colony ships to avoid destruction in one part of the galaxy, and then different set of races is stuck with a race of genocidal maniacs.
That works, but it would probably require time too, moving across a galaxy and setting up a new civilisation isn't quick.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Of course plot depends on the characters, but my point is that the plot is more important than the characters as and end goal and that we can tweak the personality of the characters to fit the plot rather than having to write the plot around an inflexible set of pre-determined characters.
It dosn't work that way, if you want a good plot you have to have a a set of good pre-determined characters then you put them in an interesting situation and let them be themselves.
Bigjoe5 wrote:And of course, you're quite right about races going extinct. I believe the Eaxaw need to have both their campaigns and become extinct in the first half of the campaign.
So far so good.
Bigjoe5 wrote:I believe that the tech level at that point should be very high, and the Eaxaw should have nova bombs and bio-weaponry.
I don't think the tech level should get close to that until the very end. besides unless you can recover from nova bombs (and lets face it, you can't) giving that to the Eaxaw would destroy to much of the galaxy and cause problems with future campaigns. If your that fixated on giving the Eaxaw super-weapons just write a senario outside the actual timeline.
Bigjoe5 wrote:The Eaxaw campaign involves gaining total control over the galaxy. The very next campaign however, occurs during the same period of time, and involves sneaking colony ships of all other races to the outskirts of the galaxy,
There are two problems here, the first is probobly just in your wording "all other races", chances are the Eaxaw would manage to get all few extinctions in this.

The second is the fact that ignores any rational timescale. Conqureing the entire galaxy would take a long time: you need to grow your population large enough, build fleets, an economy to support them. The Eaxaw can't just rampage accross a galaxy in a single campaign.

The way I'd do it is create a few (say three) groups of races who start pretty close to eachother, each of the first three missions is set in one of these groups where the player starts from one planet and meets his neighbours. One of these missions is the Eaxaw's and the player simply kills his neighbours, once you get the upper hand a portion of your production goes into small fleets that go exploring. In the other two missions these small fleets function like Antarans from MOOII

After that the Eaxaw expand and try to kill the other two groups. Exactly what happens depends on the characters, maybe one group flees once they realise they're losing but the other group fights the Eaxaw to a standstill until the first group returns. Maybe the fighting goes on so long the economies can't cope and the races are still there in the next campaign.
Bigjoe5 wrote:A good level designer could make the most boring plot point into a fairly interesting campaign, but how much better could he make it if that plot point was designed with uniquely fun gameplay in mind?
Its not an either or thing, we can (eventually) have both a good story and every fun, unusual, mission someone thinks up so why compromise the story to make the unusual missions fit?
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Tortanick wrote:It does depend on how limited the 'story mode' is going to be. If all of the missions are very specific (ie Mission 1: build a shipyard.. build a ship, Mission 2: build a fleet..capture planet X) and must be completed in a limited amount of time (so that you can't do anything else) then I think it is too restricting, but that would work.
I should hope that the campaign missions won't be anywhere near that restrictive. The player should have specific goals to accomplish yes, but for the most part, he should be able to use whatever means necessary to achieve those goals, unless there is a specific reason for a player to get a specific tech a specific way that advances the story, for example.
[/quote]
I didn't say that ;)

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Re: The Campaign Mode

#14 Post by Bigjoe5 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:03 am

Tortanick wrote: I'd say it probably happens between most campaigns, the exceptions are campaigns set at the same time but in vastly different areas. If they're in the same time and place then they're in the same campaign (and there's no reason you have to only play one race for an entire campaign)
I don't think that having massive periods of time between each campaign would do much for the feeling of continuity of the campaign.
Also it dosn't take a disaster or a golden age, you can skip just about anything providing you keep the start of the next phase recognisable from the end of the old phase. Phase X ends with a new empire on the rise, Phase Y starts with that same empire much larger and falling apart from corruption and generally being a really old empire.
Yes, but the key thing is that the player doesn't miss anything interesting and is left saying "Aww man, why couldn't I play though that?"
It dosn't work that way, if you want a good plot you have to have a a set of good pre-determined characters then you put them in an interesting situation and let them be themselves.
Well, yeah, it does work that way. Characters exist to further plot, not vice versa. Nonetheless, it's true that having good characters as a basis for the plot can be very helpful. as such, I have arranged a list of plot niches that have already/will need to be filled. My point is, however, that as far as the finished product is concerned, it's more important that we have a good story than that we have exactly the same characters that we decide we would have at the beginning.
I don't think the tech level should get close to that until the very end. besides unless you can recover from nova bombs (and lets face it, you can't) giving that to the Eaxaw would destroy to much of the galaxy and cause problems with future campaigns. If your that fixated on giving the Eaxaw super-weapons just write a senario outside the actual timeline.
Ahh, but you've forgotten about the Builders and the Caretakers: Two precursor races who, working together, could (and would, based on their obsessive personalities) easily repair the damage done by an Eaxaw rampage with Nova Bombs. And anyway, as for special end-campaign techs, I'm considering the possibility of "Precursor techs" similar to the Antaran/Orion techs in MoO2. The Building Obsessed race for example, could in late game, conceivably have the tech to capture a single builder ship (if their entire fleet was involved; capturing a precursor ship is not trivial, even in the endgame!) and send the captured builders to their interrogation facilities for questioning and thus glean new technology from them.
There are two problems here, the first is probobly just in your wording "all other races", chances are the Eaxaw would manage to get all few extinctions in this.
Actually, I was considering putting in brackets (except for the ones the Eaxaw eliminated, of course) but it seemed like such a big of course that I didn't bother. ;)
The second is the fact that ignores any rational timescale. Conqureing the entire galaxy would take a long time: you need to grow your population large enough, build fleets, an economy to support them. The Eaxaw can't just rampage accross a galaxy in a single campaign.
Who's to say a single campaign can't take place over that great a period of time? There's no reason that the largest amount of time between missions has to be smaller than the smallest amount of time between campaigns.
[rough outline of Eaxaw campaign]
Naturally both Eaxaw campaigns should be them trying to take over the galaxy and destroy all other races. It makes sense to me that the first one is the one where they get served and have to escape with a few colony ships. The second one, they have massive death weaponry and force everyone else to escape with a few colony ships.
Its not an either or thing, we can (eventually) have both a good story and every fun, unusual, mission someone thinks up so why compromise the story to make the unusual missions fit?
Of course you're right that our ultimate goal is to create an excellent story into which unique missions can be effectively and artistically included. In fact, I might argue that having unique missions and having a good story are essentially the same goal, since an interesting and compelling story should naturally have very interesting and unique situations. My point is that in this case, a good story is one that is fun to play, which may involve significantly different elements than a story that is designed to be read.
I should hope that the campaign missions won't be anywhere near that restrictive. The player should have specific goals to accomplish yes, but for the most part, he should be able to use whatever means necessary to achieve those goals, unless there is a specific reason for a player to get a specific tech a specific way that advances the story, for example.
I didn't say that ;)
Point taken. I'll edit the post for accuracy.


Here, I have arranged a list of plot niches that have been/should be filled. I have by no means read all the proposed races, so if you think a race will fit into a particular niche, feel free to recommend it.

Cowards: Gyisache
Elitist Espionage Adepts: Genus Hominum**
Ultimate Spy Masters:
Genocidal Maniacs: Eaxaw
Thoughtful Explorers: Chato'matou'Gormoshk
Peaceful Diplomats with a Touch of Paranoia: Xelytia
Paranoid Nutcases: The Stonecarvers***
Overbearing Egocentrists*: Egassem
Experimenter Obsessed Race: Alvalios
Builder Obsessed Race:
Humourously Overconfident Diplomats:
Fanatical Scientists:
Empathetic Animal Trainers:
Hedonistic Economists:

*That personality isn't really in the Egassem description...I guess I kind of read it in. Krikkitone can yell at me if he doesn't like it.

**A non-personality oriented Human type race doesn't work for a story mode, so I chose the best of the personality oriented Humans: My own ;)

***New name pending: That means you, Tortanick! Give them a new EP, too because Terran is filled by Gyisache and Genus Hominum. If you don't, I will! :twisted:

Also, there's only 14 there, so we need 4 more to have 2 races per EP, so think up some interesting personalities that we can add.
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Re: The Campaign Mode

#15 Post by Tortanick » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:21 am

I'll respond to the other stuff when I have time, currently buried in coursework.


Ultimate Spy Masters: Stonecarvers also fit this niche, its a natural offshoot of paranoia. I can see the stonecarvers being "wiped out" repeatedly then returning thanks to a contingency plan. (When things are going ok for them they spend their time worrying about eachother, but when things get bad they start working together)
Genocidal Maniacs: definitely a niche where we would want multiple races, I suspect a high morality rate for genocidal maniacs. Trith also fit
Experimenter Obsessed Race, I'm not sure I like that, the precursors should add a little spice to a story about the Orion Races, they shouldn't take centre stage.
Empathetic Animal Trainers: There's a race of robots programed for environmental maintenance somewhere around here, however I'm not sure this works as a concept, I know you like Space Monsters but given where they fit into the game a race that revolves around them might not actually work so well.
Reckless explorers: AEIOU (rename them too if you want), if we add something hard to find that shouldn't be touched we can count on them to touch it. They'd probably make a mass exodus if they ever found their god at the most inappropriate time.
Tragic Diplomats: The People, they're so few of them that wiping them out is pretty easy, its kinda inevitable.
The Straight Man: we'd definitely need some races who are a bit more normal, Abbadonainas (foreign policy anyway, domestic policy is anything but normal), George, Ugmorrs.

Bigjoe5 wrote:*That personality isn't really in the Egassem description...I guess I kind of read it in. Krikkitone can yell at me if he doesn't like it.
I never saw that, I saw them as practical expansionists (we've got quite a few of those, Abbadonians and George for example)
Bigjoe5 wrote:**A non-personality oriented Human type race doesn't work for a story mode, so I chose the best of the personality oriented Humans: My own ;)
:roll: we don't have to have humans you know.
Bigjoe5 wrote:***New name pending: That means you, Tortanick! Give them a new EP, too because Terran is filled by Gyisache and Genus Hominum. If you don't, I will! :twisted:
Feel free to rename them, and if they move, move them to swamps, you won't need to make any changes if they're in a swamp.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Also, there's only 14 there, so we need 4 more to have 2 races per EP, so think up some interesting personalities that we can add.
Is it really that important to balance EPs? Its not like the races will be static, we'll have more arriving over time and others leaving, either an Exodus, extinction or just fading to a minor race.

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