Question that was on my mind, is how story can be incorporated in to main game, in order to make it something bigger and more important then just explanation why model of ships look different.
We can start with question “Why it is important to have well developed lore and factions in your world in the first place” answer to this may be Star trek, Star wars. Warhammer, or even Mass effect. It’s important because it shows how world operates, it makes it deeper and show a lot of potential. Different factions with different ideologies gather different people and create some form of symbol for world, not to mention that even short stories can be so damn cool.
Looking at different games then Starfall, that already managed to show story in them in few ways. We can see few dependencies
Lets start with game that is I believe closest to Starfall. Empire at war – this game took world and created interesting drama with it. While you had well established conflict between empire and rebellion as a core, game made sure to show us things that both were and were not established in the movies and eu. For example, how Rebellion got X-Wings, first time that gravity well (or something like that) cruisers were used, or first time that at-at were in combat.
Point is, that background of the world was already well established and expanded a lot. That’s why forces of corruption fitted well. They expanded gameplay and world in natural way, just like missions in main game did. Over all adding tone of lore and epic story (honestly last mission in forces of corruption was epic as hell) in systematic and easy to take in way, so it was not overwhelming and natural for you, still giving something more in planet bios, ship specifications and so on for maniacs like me. Not to mention such a damn awesome characters
If we look at different game that is worth mentioning in it we can see different approach. Sins of solar empire have really “Free” way of showing story. What you know for sure is what you see in intro for the game. Its very good intro, ultimately showing us what exactly can be seen in the universe. However I always felt game on this part was underwhelming, while it had ability to show us this epic story of 3 factions it never delivered with it. I mean Sins of solar empire (in this case rebellion) is awesome game with so many epic moments that simply develop naturally during course of game, but it suffers from lack of interesting scenarios or mission.
If we look deeply at impact of Empire at war and Sins of solar empire, in the culture, then while sins of solar empire have much, much weaker license we can see that impact it left, still a success even if wasted chance. I cannot stop thinking that Sins of solar empire would have far bigger influence over pc rts space gaming if at least few epic missions were implemented.
Especialy since, if you read wiki articles, about things like ships, you could easly see that huge potential was there for epic scenarios.
Of course you can understand why many games do not consider story to be such an important thing especially with limited budget. But then you remember, that all major companies put at least small effort in world building even in games that have nothing to do with world for example DOTA 2 which have a lot of story in it, character backgraound, comics about shopkeepers (really, pretty good in my opinion too) and background information about items. That’s impressive, but why would they do that? So that player can have better connection to this world they created, so this world has bigger impact and so the person can imagine it better.
Story and lore isn’t a magical thing, best story will not repair bad gameplay and worse story wont break awesome gameplay this sad good lore can make a lot for the universe.
Idea with this codex like thingy that posses information about ships weapons and other important aspects of the world is awesome, but I came to realize that this may be expanded And while I do not remember if story mode was planned I wanted to suggest story pack type things that would develop singleplayer stories of certin fleets.
For example faction: Deprived
Fleet name: Legion of Exiles
When Deprived were first spotted, it was assumed they were nothing more then primitive pirates, scavengers or representatives of some poor lost colony. Their crafts, although created with brilliance and spark of genius were not even close to a level of even older Eclipse or Vanguard vessels. Deprived were often ignored or chased away, treated as parasites or even hunted for sport. They were too few for anyone to care about. In realty in civilized part of galaxy only few ever noticed them, often perceiving them as some form of religious sect that nobody should care about.
This state was exactly what Deprived leadership wanted. For them it was obvious that years of unlimited resources gave their brothers and sisters better progress in some area. But Deprived were intelligent people, they were quick to adapt, experience taught them how to shape disadvantages into advantages. How to make, even their weakness work for them.
It did not take long for people of business to contact what seamed to be unorganized hunt for junk. Pirates, smugglers sometimes legit traders contacted strange ships often exchanging what was for them simple things in exchange for valuable resources, of which Deprived had an influx after serious mining operation in Sol system were renewed. Some of those traders would grow fond of their contacts. Sometimes, both sides would start to trust each other and when learning about culture and society, sympathy would became very strong. While it was not common, many people frustrated and tired of Vanguard order and Eclipse hedonism and corruption, would earn trust of Deprived and willingly would join them.
Those people created a Legion of Exiles, and while in the beginning they would serve as traders and scouts, when the scale of threat that Deprived presented was understood they were among those fighting in the first line of defense against the onslaught.
In next years many new fleets were created, however Legion of Exiles remain one of the best recognized and symbolic military formation of Deprived war machine.
With background information player would be sent to mini campaign that ties in to the background for example
1- Steal plans using invisible ship
2- Defend Merchant ships against pirates
3- Secure trade
4- Secure mining platform
5- Intercept spy drones
6- Ambush Vanguard covert ops
7- Defend colony against Vanguard and Eclipse armada
8- Capture Eclipse shipyard
For wining missions and story mode player could get some cosmetics for ships and weapons (simply difrent effects for weapons that do the same) and some rare modules, obviously those would be the same that every player can get buy buying crates Also I think that creating some sort of pool or competition on forum for players to create in game characters would be totally awesome
So what do you people think? Do you suffered this amount of text? What fleet would you suggest? What do you think about story packs? Oh and sorry for mistakes, word decided to change words in intresting way (impotent instead of important :) edited to fix some )