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Author Topic: Star Control Story  (Read 27496 times)
Grakelin
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Star Control Story
« on: December 23, 2006, 01:55:37 am »

Stop me if this has been done before. :O

As an avid writer (currently taking a break from his novel), I have been tossing about the idea of writing a large fan fic for Star Control detailing Zelnick's entire adventure. Now, I know what you're thinking: "WTF? Get the hell out, n00b!" but let me explain. My idea is to start from the begginning of the game, probably including the events from their departure on Vela in more detail, and continuing until the very end. The storyline IS excellent, and I DON'T want to change ANYTHING that happens in the game. I DO however, want to detail more closely into the life of the crew. Whatever happens to Ensign Rigby (who, I believe, is the fellow who studies that moonbase), how do the people feel about all that's going on around them?

In effect, I'd like to detail the universe of Star Control in more ways than just through the eyes of the Captain. My ideas thus far are mostly just some sketchy character ideas, and a few close calls I've had in previous games that might make climactic moments during the course of the story (it's not going to be a run and gun Die Hard-style action story, because those suck. But every so often, people have had enough with delving into people's lives, and want to see them do something). Here are some I've had:

-A first officer: I know what you're thinking: CLICHE! CLICHE! CLICHE! But having grown up in a military family, and having a 3 year stint in the Air Cadet program, everybody in charge has a 2nd in Command. So don't go too hard on me just for this guy's position.

What I'm thinking is that this fellow is older, one of the higher ranked scientists on the mission to Vela. He resents not being in charge of the vessel, and as such acts arrogantly around the much younger Zelnick, often makes the wrong remark at the wrong moment, and can cause quite a bit of trouble with inter-crew politics (like office politics, but on a spaceship, if you need some way to envision him. Tongue ). He is NOT an evil person however, and he wants humanity to be safe more than anything. He just thinks he can do a  better job, and secretly hopes that one day Zelnick will piss off the wrong Alien.

(Remember these are sketches, not a finalized idea!)

-The Shuttle Crew: Who does all that mining? Who nabs those aliens? Why, it's the shuttle crew! My idea was to fill this crew with the people who get mentioned (very briefly!) whenever a shuttle of yours finds something on a planet (for instance, Xenobiologist Rigby!). I'm pretty sure the SCWiki has something listing all these one sentence characters, and these are the kind of characters who deserve some fleshing out! Led by Lt. Robinson (he reports to you after the Spathi hide under the slave shield, leaving behind their moon base), these fellas will be in charge of mining minerals from the planets (I have an idea for a sort of machine attached to the shuttle, which could be used for this, but that's sketchy as well), nabbing those creatures for the Melnorme and Admiral Zex, and (in a rash display of creative liscencing, I know) occassionally meeting with aliens or doing essential repairs on the ship while in deep space.

-Fwiffo: Everybody knows who killed Kowalski, Fritz, Chin, O'Donnell, and all three of the Liebermann Triplets. I suspect that there would have been quite a bit of drama going on in the confines of the Vindicator after that little display. I'd like to fully go into the crew's thoughts about this Spathi.

-A brief visit to the Zoq-Fot-Pik planet: The crew deserves some shore leave once in a while, right? Unfortunately, in this case, it is right after the Flagship removes the Ur-Quan ship that was previously nuking it. A nice chance to detail the lives of those people forced to rebuild after an Ur-Quan attack.

---

There would be much more, of course, but these are just some rough ideas. Anything action-oriented in this story will be something that took place in the game. How it will work, is that I will play through the game, and write as I go along. There will be long pauses between playing the game and writing, however. I don't want this to turn into some sort of walk-through shenanigan, because that's not what it is. Rather than jumping from important event to important event, the time between these game events will be for enriching the story line, revealing more insight into the characters, and for the relationships between all such characters to be made clear. I'd like to say that rather than these being the intermission between space battles and diplomatic relations, space battles and diplomatic relations are intermissions between the character development.

Tell me what you think of this idea, and do speak up if this has been done before. I'm not asking any of you to do all the work for me, but it would be nice for you guys to put forward some character ideas/interesting character development scenarios. Also, don't be afraid to suggest very slight storyline changes as concerned to the actual game. I have some slight altercations in mind, none of which will probably affect the storyline in a serious way. One such idea is certain members of the crew actually meeting Aliens in person, rather than through a viewscreen (though, never with such aliens that are obviously not believable, such as an Ilwrath or an Orz), such as at the Crimson Corporation Orbital Station (I believe that the Druuge planet has one of these, because I don't remember actually ever touching a druuge planet with my ship. I may be mistaken, and if so tell me. Tongue ), the trade off to Admiral ZEX (With unhappy results, of course, ending with ZEX trying to keep the Shofixti and promptly being eaten by the monster, while the Captain flees back to his shuttle), and the later conversations with the Commander (it just makes sense that they would be in person at some point or another, doesn't it?).


Please, send any ideas/suggestions/reasons this will never work in my direction.

P.S.: I'm not a total newcomer to StarControl, or it's forums. I've just lurked a lot until now.
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 02:16:22 am »

First of all, welcome to the UQM forums.  Did you send an e-mail to Alex Ness?

Also, it's truly awesome that you want to novelize Star Control II.  You're not the only one who wants to write Star Control fiction; there's a few stories at http://starcontrol.classicgaming.gamespy.com/scwc/fan_fiction.shtml.

Writing a fan-made story in the Star Control universe is a great way of showing TFB just how important a new Star Control game is.

You have some nice ideas about showing things from the crew's perspective; that would illustrate things that aren't shown directly in the game.

I don't want to tell you how to write (I've never written fan stories, or anything like that; just essays for my classes), but it would be cool to novelize the famous Star Control ship melees too; for example, fighting Slylandro probes, dreadnoughts, etc.

If you have any doubts about the validity of your storyline, just look at the UQM wiki, google, or ask someone about it.

Someone wrote a book called "Star Control: Interbellum", and it is considered a horrible book because it says things about the aliens that are completely wrong (I think there was something in there about polite Ilwrath, or something).  I'm 110% sure you'd do a better job than this person.
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Grakelin
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 02:42:29 am »

Hi,

Yeah, my novelization WILL include space battles. The only one of which I have in mind at the moment is based off of a previous game (from about 6 or 7 months ago, so not that long) in which I got to the Arilou portal too late and found myself surrounded by Slylandro probes, with 2 weeks before the bloody thing opened up again.

But yeah, hopefully I'll be able to do a half-decent job on this. I hope to have a chapter detailing the departure from Vela to the Commander's agreement to aid in fighting the Ur-Quan by the end of January (it will probably be done before this, but don't want to get punted if something goes wrong and I need edits. Tongue ). This will have many of the things I listed above, including the mining, the ship battles you mentioned (against the Ilwrath), and many of the characters will be introduced. I hope to stay very rigid to the games story, and will be playing it through as I write to ensure that I miss NOTHING.

I HAVE seen some of the other fictions, and I'd have to say that most of them are VERY good, and if any of those authors want to collaborate with me on this project, I'd be more than willing to work with them on it. Smiley


EDIT: Incidentally, I've got some rather interesting questions. These would stump me for hours if I didn't ask.

- I know Zelnick is only a technically correct name for the captain, but is there any first name to go with Zelnick? John Zelnick? Adam Zelnick? Julian Zelnick? Valdez Zelnick? Fievel Zelnick? Unzervaultian Zelnick?

-Where do the other ships in the fleet go? Do they just fly beside the Precursor Tug all the time? Since the Precursor ship is so big, could they possibly fit inside/latch themselves to the sides of the ship?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 04:39:20 am by Grakelin » Logged
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2006, 11:32:02 am »

Do it. Please.
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2006, 12:40:50 pm »



-Where do the other ships in the fleet go? Do they just fly beside the Precursor Tug all the time? Since the Precursor ship is so big, could they possibly fit inside/latch themselves to the sides of the ship?

I personally consider them flying with the main ship a la a famous scifi series airing now. Installing a hyperdrive into the ships wouldn't be too hard, as they install an emergency escape unit almost instantly on production/retrieving the ships. I believe there is a topic with thoughts about this on the forums somewhere already, lumme just look for it...

This one might be useful, though I have not read it entirely:

http://uqm.stack.nl/forum/index.php?topic=3228.0

Ah, here is the other I remembered, though an old topic:

http://uqm.stack.nl/forum/index.php?topic=3015.0
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 12:52:18 pm by Koowluh » Logged

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Grakelin
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2006, 04:29:33 pm »

Thanks for all the response guys. Cheesy

Last night I got some work done, writing my way up to the Vindicator's first arrival at the space station. I know it doesn't seem like that much, but I got 5 pages on it. At the rate I'm going, I can churn out one page for each one hour of work. My first chapter, detailing Vindicator's arrival at Sol, the Ur-Quan Probe Transmission, the Space Station, mining the minerals on one of the planets (Mercury, I think, I'll check on that), the battle with the Ilwrath avenger, the confrontation and recruitment with Fwiffo, and finalizing itself with the departure with Sol; will probably be available in, at most, two weeks times.

Also, as to the flying along with the ship, what about the Arilou's Portal Builder thingamabobby (the thing that sends you out into green space. Tongue )? Are all of the ships equipped with that too? If not, do they somehow attach themselves to the Vindicator (I'm thinking of some sort of cable, looking something like what modern planes use to refuel each other)?
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2006, 04:43:52 pm »

The Arilou quasispace portal spawner?  Yes, all the Arilou Skiffs are equipped with that.
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Grakelin
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2006, 06:21:48 pm »

You'll find that very few (if any at all, I'm thinking) of your ships are Arilou Skiffs. Tongue
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2006, 07:59:44 pm »

*spoiler*



You actually get 4 I believe once you contact the Arilou and return to starbase. And it is still a Portal spawner, keyword being portal there.

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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006, 10:25:46 pm »

Ah, so you're right. My mistake, I had been thinking of it as being similar to Hyperspace, in that you just ported the whole ship into a different dimension.
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2006, 12:57:27 am »

One thing I would personally like in a Star Control story is a bit more insight into the alien cultures. My favourite SC aliens, as everyone who knows me can attest to, are the Yehat and the Arilou. However, I suppose that there won't be many (if any) Yehat or Arilou crewmembers on board the Vindicator. Of course, there's the Skiff pilots the Arilou send when Zelnick finds their home, and the rebel Yehat do send all the fully-crewed Terminators they can spare. I imagine that Zelnick and the pilots of his support craft do have some kind of meetings every now and then to coordinate their actions, that'd allow you to introduce some alien characters who aren't in the crew per se.

However --- the reason for the sudden price drop for crewmembers when Zelnick drops the cryopods with frozen Shofixti maidens in Tanaka's tender care is, of course, that thousands and thousands of young Shofixti start showing up on the Earth Starbase. Some of the Shofixti crew that ends up on the Vindicator will be only months old. You could get some interesting characters out of that, I suppose. It also makes sense that the New Alliance races send crew members to the Starbase, aside from their pilots --- I mean, it makes very little sense for humans to be of much use as crew on, say, a Spathi ship. You'd pretty much expect a Spathi ship to have equipment designed for pincers, for example. And how do the Arilou Skiff pilots get along with any Orz Nemesis pilots Zelnick recruits, given the.... tense relations between those two races?

(I once toyed with the idea of making a Star Control MUD, since I'm good at describing settings and coming up with story ideas, but terrible at all the aspects of writing that deals with describing human emotion, motivation and such. I dropped the idea, though, as I don't have the time to maintain a MUD.)
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2006, 05:48:12 am »

Speaking of races, any thoughs of what the Spathi look like? I once had a thought that they have insect-like legs that resemble their arms, but other theories include having them just slither around like snakes, or with little green legs.

As far as I'm aware (from Hayes detailing of the Orz arriving at the starbase) whenever you ally with a new race, they have dudes and dudettes and dudons running around all over the place in the base, with the exception of the more secretive ones (so there'd be a lack of Arilou, but there'd be Zoq-Fot-Piks running around all over. What do you guys think of the blue vent thing hopping around, or the eyeball thing moving on what APPEARS to be stubby legs at the bottom of its body, or the green plant thing hopping/pulling itself along with it's tentacles? Alternatively, they could just use those circles they sit on as vehicles).

I'd imagine that the StarRunner would HAVE to have at least SOME humans on it, since it's only Fwiffo all by himself (though, he is skilled enough to kill five dudes by himself).

If you have any ideas on where you'd like the races to head, speak your mind on all of them, the story can always use more detail. ^_^


EDIT: And most writers have the problem you've described. I'd say just stick with it, and practice practice practice at it! Detailing psychological emotion is difficult to do, and if after ages of trying you still can't do it, just do what Dan Brown did and write about Jesus. Then everyone will read your work. Wink

All kidding aside though, the best way is to imagine the people in your mind as if they were close personal friends of yours. The deaths in my stories are usually very sad (unless it's just some random bloke on the street who gets in a car accident or something) because I put more detail into my characters than I write on paper, and they usually end up like close personal friends to me. Creepy as that sounds. Tongue
« Last Edit: December 24, 2006, 05:57:57 am by Grakelin » Logged
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2006, 07:59:46 am »

Just talk with the Spathi high council and you will see how they look like.

Or look at this photoshop picture  Tongue http://www.worth1000.com/emailthis.asp?entry=47347
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2006, 01:22:05 pm »

You won't ever see Arilou, Pkunk or rebel Yehat striding the halls of the Earth Starbase --- they're sympathetic to your cause, and they give you ships, but they don't form a formal alliance with you, and don't send you the usual delegations of ship pilots and crew. That's why you have to seek them out for them to give you ships; you can't build or crew them yourself. Hayes also says that the Utwig drop off a few ship commanders and the Jugger blueprints, and then leave. So I guess there won't be many of them around, and I suppose that most of the crewmen aboard their ships will be humans (they do look to be physiologically humanoid, though, so it makes sense that a human can do an Utwig's job).

So, races that will be present on the base, and perhaps in the Vindicator crew: Earthling, Syreen, Zoq-Fot-Pik, Orz (shudder), Chmmr, Supox, and lots and lots of Shofixti. Depending on how you complete the game, there may also be Spathi and Thraddash at some points.

As for the Spathi: They call themselves "meta-mollusks", and compare themselves to clams. If they're mollusks, I think they probably look like snails, slugs, or some kind of bizarre land cephalopod (land-squid, land-octopus, or such). As for the Zoq-Fot-Pik, I've always assumed the flying discs are their preferred mode of locomotion. As regards Fwiffo's "skill": I think Barely-Armed Puny Planet Lander versus Spathi Eluder might be a bit of an unfair fight. ;-)

The races..... Well, I'd like to see more of the Arilou. I like them. I'd like to see more of both their benevolent and their mischievous natures. The fact that even during the war, they maintained friendly relations with the Umgah (of all races), speaks volumes about them. Personally, I'd probably make sure to not actually *answer* any of the questions the Arilou raise, but do drop some more hints. A good way to show the reader more of Arilou culture would be to let the Vindicator crew get some shore leave on Falayaralfali. I'd like to have a Yehat as one of the main characters, although it probably makes little sense, given their allegiance to their traitorous Queen early in the game. Personally, if I were to write a SC2 story, I'd probably not let it be about the Vindicator crew, though --- I'd either let the protagonist be Hayes, or some alien commander. Of course, alien main characters have some challenges to them, one of which is that the reader is human and might have a hard time identifying with some odd pterodactyl or bug-eyed psychic Martian. ;-)

Alternately, some pirate gang, maybe led by humans in an old SC1-era Cruiser.

As for me writing: Nah. I'm good at coming up with worlds, but as said, not too good at populating them with "real" humans. But that's OK, I found another way. I gamemaster a good RPG set in a homemade universe, and I code on computer games (that I never finish Wink ) in my, sadly lacking nowadays, free time. That works better for me.
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Re: Star Control Story
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2006, 02:01:51 pm »

You could flesh out the Yehat Civil war a bit... Facts, theories wild speculations among the crew why the queen yielded to the UQ, fed by the fact that one of the Yehat crew might actually board the Vindicator (hey, gameplaywise you can divide crew amongst your ships, taking crew from a Yehat ship and putting them on a Pkunk vessel, or an Arilou on an Orz ship, write about that Wink ) .
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