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Making the Empire feel real

Discussion in 'Imperia History' started by dirkgently, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. dirkgently

    dirkgently Lord of Statistics
    Staff Member Developer Forum Admin Testing The Galaxy, One Star At A Time

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    One of the most important distinguishing features of Imperia, something we really have to nail, is making it feel like a real place, with a real history. To really do it justice, we need to create a world worth losing yourself in for a few hours - that's a big part of what's so compelling about 4X games, the sense of a universe. One of the reasons Alpha Centauri was so good was that it took one world, with one set of factions, and gave it depth and character. That's something we want to emulate in Imperia.

    One of the ways we're doing that is by scattering little bits of flavour text throughout the game. These will be, roughly speaking, House descriptions, province histories, and so on. But rather than simply feed you a dry summary of Things Wot Have Happened, I'm putting together a collection of snippets from all sorts of 'sources': encyclopaedias, news broadcasts, personal letters... The point is to create a world that feels, if not as substantial as Tolkien's, at least as real as Frank Herbert's.

    Anyway, it'd be rude of me to tease you with a lead-up like that and not give a sample. Here's a pair of quotes from a province's flavour text. Please excuse the #PLACEHOLDER_NAMES - we will be generating the provinces procedurally, so they will change from game to game:

    '...until the beginning of Mission Year 3, in June 2057. Tensions between the crews of the Wanderer and the Deng Xiaoping reached such heights that the captains decided the only way to defuse matters was to keep them wholly separated, alternating use of the Messenger's facilities on a [fragment corrupted]to leave the support vessel. Captain Song, with his opposite number in irons and his ship running low on food and fuel, was forced to evacuate the Deng Xiaoping and land his entire crew on #INHABITED_PLANET, in the hope that the native ecosystem would permit the growth of the few reserve plants and microorganisms in the ship's stores. [...] The Americans, meanwhile, had problems of their own. The mutiny had not been supp[fragment corrupted]d attempt to bring the Messenger down safely on #CAPITAL_PLANET using a heat shield improvised from the remnants of the Wanderer's hull...'
    - Reconstruction MasterWiki, excerpt from archive recovered on #INHABITED_PLANET_2 during excavations 2988-9

    "Rumours of 'wild men' in the Antiges are, of course, utterly ridiculous. Legends of this sort abound on every world, and #INHABITED_PLANET is no different. There is simply some impulse, deep in the human psyche, that makes us want to believe the world around us is more magical than it seems. It saddens me, it really does, but these 'wild men' are as mythical as the elephant."
    - Knight-Mondiale Binefacere Milak, statement to press, 2941​

    Ave Imperator!
    Oliver
     
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  2. se5a

    se5a Alpha Tester
    Testing The Galaxy, One Star At A Time

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    mythical as the elephant... that's awesome.
     
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  3. VineFynn

    VineFynn Viceroy-in-Training

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    Try to be light on the ellipses. I find it personally immersion breaking when I'm reading something and the author has redacted some piece of information or another, for the purposes of suspense or otherwise.

    Just my 2 percent.
     
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