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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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Kwayne
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Unzervalt - The Adventure Game
« on: March 16, 2020, 01:59:59 pm »

My latest big brained idea involving Star Control comes from my adoration of a certain interactive fiction called Frederik Pohl's Gateway and its sequel, Homeworld, both made and published by LEGEND Entertainment. I think the setting of Gateway has some vague similarities to Star Control, mainly because both stories feature ancient alien races (Heechee and Precursors) who left powerful relics of unknown technology behind for mankind to discover, for more or less mysterious reasons. The great difference between these games is the scale of storytelling, as in Star Control one has to travel between the stars and fend off hostile aliens to discover puzzle pieces, however it's not impossible to put a magnifying glass over a small part of the universe and tell the story of at least a somewhat more detailed time and place. We know Unzervalt, how the colony looks like, who some of its inhabitants were, what were their motivations and their eventual fate. It might not be an ideal setting for a TV series, but there's enough content there to add some puzzles and adapt it into a sort of prequel text adventure.

If such a project is plausible beyond a writing exercise, I'd prefer making it look and feel either like a LEGEND title (since their relation to Star Control III) or something with C64 aesthetics (since that's my strong suit, the C64 is part of Paul&Fred's history, and another Star Control II prequel, Star Control was also released on that platform) ... or both. Nevertheless, while I spend some time studying text adventures of old, I'd post some thoughts on the story & puzzles here while keeping it all open to advice and suggestions.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 02:03:05 pm by Kwayne » Logged

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Krulle
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Re: Unzervalt - The Adventure Game
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 10:04:29 pm »

Intrigueing.
The story of a kid, born to two scientists stranded on a mission, and now colonists.

And the knack of this kid to have a feel for how precursor machines and computers work.
And in the end, getting exploited into making an old man look good with the kids achievements.

Of how the kid learns to live in an environment foreign to Humans, a lot of freedom, but also living in a small society, with only limited, self-grown/self-madr supplies.

I do indeed see a big chance for a C64 adventure here....
Monkey-Island style, one person running around solving riddles, with the final goal of making the big, unknown machinery in a big, artifical cave work. and keeping it running...
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Re: Unzervalt - The Adventure Game
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2020, 11:14:36 am »

Initially I rejected the idea of making Zelnick the player character, but the way you described it sounds like it provides a lot more puzzle crafting opportunities and makes more sense narrative-vise. Originally I wanted a young adult officer find the kid and help him, but there's something inherently limiting in playing as a kid in terms of access to tools and locations, and the way grownups treat them, which creates an obstacle course adults don't have to deal with in creative ways.

Currently I plan to divide the game into three chapters. One is about Zelnick finding his way into the (hollow) Precursor Computer and managing to operate something noticeable only to Farnsworth, leading to their first encounter. The second is about exploring the colony and the caves a couple years later, concluding in the activation of the facility. The third would be about activating the ship itself a decade later.

Noticeably my idea of how each chapter plays out is getting more vague as the game progresses, though what's actually written in document is heavily focusing on the mid chapter and it's puzzles, because honestly that's the fun part. Chapter 2 is where the entire Unzervalt thing can be unwrapped, exploring ideas about building materials, domesticating Ortogs, hunting Libbixx, officers and scientists assuming new roles more fitting to colonists, and what the early history of a new community is like.
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Re: Unzervalt - The Adventure Game
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2020, 02:26:44 pm »

I like it.

Alas, I am neither good in graphics, nor in coding, nor in whatever relevant to create games.

keep me updated!

PS: keeping the Ortogs might incite revolts, as those are from the SC3 lore, which some here reject.
I don't remember them being present in the SC2 lore.
(I personally found them one of the better ideas of SC3. - One I acutally really liked, independent from the idea of what the Ortogs were...)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 05:42:09 pm by Krulle » Logged
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Re: Unzervalt - The Adventure Game
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 06:06:31 pm »

For some reason this reminds me of Mardek. Space ship crashes, kid explores it, mind-merges with an alien, goes on adventures
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