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    UT Lore Development.

    I wasn't sure where to put this thread, but in the art section seemed most appropriate. UT doesn't really have that much of a story, but it would be kinda cool if design of all the games assets and the blurbs attached to maps where guided by an underlying story, that is: hints at the universe this takes place in.

    The character designs that are official are going towards a slightly paramilitary feel, but that feels more like the original UT, which had mercenary characters, terrorists and so. Lightly armored, instead of the tank like power-armored juggernauts of UT3. That was okay for UT3 as that game was set in a war. I like the overall feel of how its going now.

    So I really wanted to open this thread for people to discuss developing the lore of this game.

    Personally, I think it should borrow from all the other games without being rigidly attached to some canonical thing, because all of the previous games kinda made no sense put together. So, take the DNA, but don't be absolutist or afraid to retcon something. Definitely, this has to be set in the tournament and not a random corporate war. It should have a slightly sports feel, like this is to the future a mix of Reality TV, Racing, The Olympics and UFC! I say Olympics, because the characters in this tournament display the full range of human athletic and mental abilities in all the various game types. I think references to modern social media culture wouldn't be a terrible idea, if done in a tongue in cheek way. This would give a bit of an updated feel and it could be incorporated into things like advertisement in a city map and so on.


    For the Necris/Phayder, my own idea for them is that Nanoblack is a substance that was discovered by xeno-acheologists prospecting the newly discovered Omicron 6, as this was possible planet for human colonies. The world had the decaying architectural remains of a previous alien civilization, but no apparent life. The Phayder Corporation in secret spent years experimenting on this new substance without revealing its existence. It was hoped to be a possible nano-weapon, but they found it could delay aging and death when injected into organisms and controlled by macroscopic implants. This made for very effective but psychotic assasins, as they nanoblack warps the users mind and slowly corrupts them. The older Necris will look more transformed by it. Phayder monopolize this miraculous substance and only allow this modification process for those wealthy enough or loyal enough to the Corporation. They have it all sewn up so that the tech can't be just copied someone else and that they are the gatekeepers to the most advanced nano-tech in the Galaxy. Their culture is based on trans-humanism and nihilism, sort of the tenets of Nietzsche but they despise life, see it as inferior and want to wipe it from the galaxy and replace it with their own "superior" civilization to the ever reproducing virus of life. They can't reproduce, only transform new organsim into necris, but they se this as a good thing and that life is a plague. Naturally all humans want them dead (this time for good!) as see their belief system as a threat to the Galaxy. So they don't believe in a God, but they do hark back to the previous Omicron civilization in a cultist way, but might have interpreted it completely wrong as they only have fragments of it to go on. What happened to the previous race on Omicron...that's a unsolved mystery. Ideological transhumanist fundamentalist fused with alien technology, to sum it up.

    My idea for Xan is to at least move him away from just being a robot and make him possibly a guy in a suit (Iron Man?) or at least leave that open as a possibility, that he secretly is the the CEO of Liandri, but highly modified with power armor that mimics his body, that's powered by a small nuclear reactor. Or a possibility is that his body did die eventually but his mind was uploaded to a future version of the armor.


    My Idea for the BioRfile goo is that its called a GES Biorifle because processing Tarydium uses an organism that digests the crystals (like an alien microbe, amoeba or algae indigenous to Na Pali) and the green stuff in Green Exploding **** really is, well ****, its the biological substance excreted by it.

    My idea for the Izanagi, would be to make them look more like cyberninjas, rather than Ronin tanks, but without being too stereotypical or antiquated. Their armour would be streamlined and not too complex, and with ghost-face logo on it. Will probably have to draw that one to explain what i mean. Added onto it would be items like futuristic shurikens and grenades and so on. The reason there are old looking buildings on their colony worlds even though their a modern corporation, is that this is a nostalgia thing in the hyperindustrial world of the future, and tech has become almost invislble or integrated into everyday objects, so colonial corporations operate what are essentially "theme worlds" in the future to get away from it all! The new expanse of lands opened up by jumpgates and jumpships enabled worlds like this to be built for rich enough colonists and retirees. Behind the facade, its all run by corporations and technology and is basically fake.


    I think it should be implied that on winning the Earth-Skaarj War, humans also eventually overtook Na-Pali and the NEG's second largest base is here, with a jumpgate over the world. Its their crown jewel, but the Skaarj want it back and are constantly testing ite defenses. So, some maps set on occupied Na-Pali...except the humans are now the occupiers and have a tenuous relationship with the Nali, that is not completely terrible. Some Nali believe their Messiah will come gain to remove the NEG millitary forces. After winning the war, use of tarydium and Skaarj tecnology became widespead on Earth, and all wonders were achieved from respawners to 12 mile high buildings using this new power source. It was a leap forward for humans, but the war came with the consequence of a semi-dictatorial government, that is run by a council of leaders from the former separate nations of the world, kind of like a corporate board, rather than a single emperor figure. Before the Earth-Skaarj war, humanity was separate power blocs and nations fighting each other, with their respective chartered corporations for new colonies in space, and the fight for human survival forced a single earth government to be formed. A Map with a rusting ISV-Kran hull or Vortex Rikers would be cool.

    Oh and if anyone is making Niven or a similar map, i think it would be cool if part of its back-story isn't that is just a random orbital nuclear reactor (what would that be useful for), but that reactor actually the power source for an obsolete 'second cold war' orbital energy weapon (like ion painter satelite, but the size of a space station)

    And deep lithosphere mining is a controversial technique in the future as it's rumored to cause Earthquakes (DM-Liandri/Deck-17). There could be a map set, with all these worming metal tubes sucking lava out of the mantle up into a fissure in the earth, with little force-field ports that allow you see through to the glowing magma. UT3 had no lava levels


    anyway, long post. Anyone who wants to add their general ideas of what the lore should be, feel free to chime in!
    Last edited by Gregori; 01-16-2015, 06:27 AM.

    #2
    Have you read through Liandri Archives? I think it has the currently most holistic view of the universe you can find anywhere. The story seems to fit together okay, though there are some things I would either retcon or ignore in future games were I asked.

    What specific parts of the story do you think really need to be fleshed out more? I think Phayder and the origins of nanoblack are kept vague for a reason. Some of your other explanations would be fine but why explain something when keeping it vague works just as well?
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      #3
      I have read through all of that (actually i contributed to some sections of it)...it doesn't really gel together because UT2k3 (which came a game that was supposed to be an independent product, Unreal Championship) had some other storyline in it that was just appended with more things from UT99 in UT2k4 for the fans. And then UT3 was really Unreal Warfare rather than a tournament for some reason. I am all for just doing a year zero on the story aspects of it, but all the old stuff into blender and remix them into a new continuity, that is closer to the original Unreal games.

      So I think the Necris being fused with nanoblack was already in two games, so that can pretty much stick as the explanation of what they are, rather than them being random space goths. But if they have a home planet, they ought to have a reason for why they're attached to that place (like a religious, ideological or nostalgic reason) I think the idea that Nanoblack is a substance they found on a planet full of ruins but no obvious life, would be kind of cool explanation, and that the Phayder Corporation after years of testing in secret labs on its new far flung colony, weaponized it to make things like undead assassins, nano-viral weapons and Darkwalkers. Of course, i kinda ripped that off three well known films who won't mentioned, but Unreal has always borrowed from popular sci-fi or paid homage to it, so i don't think its terrible idea to do that. Perhaps, the first person to have been successfully fused with nano-black was the CEO who wanted to have eternal life and he had a nano-tech induced 'revelation' and that is who their prophet is. And he/she wished to not just make undead assassins but recreate the previous Omicron civilization, it its forms and ideals...sort of how the American revolutionaries harked back to classical greco-roman times and wanted to recreate some of that. And this makes them insurgents at odds with the rest of the galaxy who feel threatened by their superior nanotech and way of life. I am thinking about this in the way certain CEOs of popular companies have attained a cult status as "visionaries", or even a legendary one after death to the point days are named after them, even though they're secular figures.

      I don't know! I am just spit balling potential ideas to flesh it out.

      I do think the little prologue explanation at the start of UT99 should be 100% canonical, and that shouldn't be changed, that in 2291 in attempts to... you know the rest!
      Last edited by Gregori; 01-18-2015, 04:38 AM.

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        #4
        I don't think we need to go exploring too deep just yet. Not until Epic lets us know where they're headed in that department. Is there a single player campaign mode? If so, will it be handled like UT3 or UC where the story focus is on a selected few characters or will it be just a simple tournament run like UT99?

        I'm getting the sense UT4 is almost entirely going to be all multiplayer and little to nothing in the way of single player campaigns, which suits me fine

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          #5
          From what I know, UT2K3 is considered by Epic as the beta version of UT2K4, so I'm tempted to say it entered into Canon discontinuity. However, UT2K4 makes a lot of references to UT2K3 in a way that it appears that UT2K3 did indeed happened. UC, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It was completely erased from the canon timeline. (Perhaps it still happens in an alternate universe?)

          BTW, prepare to get a lot of bored people coming to this topic only to say "who the **** cares about the storyline?" because supposedly UT should be made only for the pros.
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            #6
            There is plenty of room to make the events in UT3 make sense and retcon some of the goofy story elements. I would really like to see a story plus tournament this time like they should have done with UT3 (IMO of course).

            I think canonically UT2003 and UC were the same but I can't remember.
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              #7
              Personally I'd like to see a full reboot starting with Unreal and Unreal Tournament as the historical base. Pretty much everything from then on has been a misstep. The Juggernauts, the silliness of Unreal 2, the retconning and space-opera-drama of Unreal Championship 2, most of Unreal Tournament 3's story... The universe lost its thematic & creative identity between all of these titles. To me, starting with a blank slate (or almost blank slate) is the best way to get things in order and develop a game universe that's going to have an interesting identity, rather than one where people sit around and nitpick when the date of the first tournament was because there's very little else of interest to discuss.
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                #8
                The dates of the Tournaments aren't really mentioned anyway other than lore exploration documents. I think the only other place that mentioned it was the UT intro and UT2003 manual. So retconning years would be easier than snot. Technically there is no year on Unreal, either. I think it would be awesome to see an Unreal 3 that explores the beginnings of the Tournament.

                I just don't see a reason to ditch any lore after UT. Most of it make cognitive sense in the universe they've created. There are only a few plot elements that don't fit, UC2 isn't even about the Tournament IIRC, it's about a different event called the Grand Championship (where the winner becomes emperor). I honestly really like the UC2 plot line and would love to see a UC3 to follow up on it.

                There is a bunch of stuff in UT3 I would get rid of but the vast majority of it are side plots/explanations that really don't matter (like lettuce generators). The main plot is silly but makes little difference in describing the overall universe.
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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Sir_Brizz View Post
                  I just don't see a reason to ditch any lore after UT. Most of it make cognitive sense in the universe they've created. There are only a few plot elements that don't fit, UC2 isn't even about the Tournament IIRC, it's about a different event called the Grand Championship (where the winner becomes emperor). I honestly really like the UC2 plot line and would love to see a UC3 to follow up on it.

                  There is a bunch of stuff in UT3 I would get rid of but the vast majority of it are side plots/explanations that really don't matter (like lettuce generators). The main plot is silly but makes little difference in describing the overall universe.

                  I don't disagree that you can explain it, the question to me is should you. If we want to make the best Unreal universe possible, then keeping around baggage just for the sake of keeping it around is a mistake. In general, this game is presenting a much more limited and focused vision of UT than past games in the series, and I think in terms of lore/story we should take a similar approach: Trim the bad and mediocre, keep only what's actually good.
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                    #10
                    I don't see why not, what's the cognitive dissonance? I really liked UC2 and hope it stays. While I don't care much for the UT3 storyline, I just don't see them abandoning much of it.
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                      #11
                      I don't think massively redeveloping the lore is really going to help the design process here. It seems clear to me that Epic is well aware of what aspects of the existing lore are strong and interesting and are going to emphasize and build around those (like what is happening with the Phayder Corperation stuff) and simply steer clear of the more questionable stuff in the series so far (UT3 storyline, Gen Mo' Kai, UC characters, Mr. Crow?).

                      In many ways, less is more. Brief character and faction bios are good enough for me. There's no need to over-engineer the backstory or come up with an elaborate explanation for every aspect of the universe, that just robs any mystery from it. There's not really any value in giving an explanation of where nanoblack originates from or what GES biorifle goo is composed of. Why should we know? The player isn't an omniscient character, they should only know what's available to them, and just like real life it should be an incomplete picture.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Sir_Brizz View Post
                        I don't see why not, what's the cognitive dissonance? I really liked UC2 and hope it stays. While I don't care much for the UT3 storyline, I just don't see them abandoning much of it.
                        Unreal Championship to me is fine as its own continuity, but to me it's an alternate reality of the Unreal Tournament universe.

                        I am not one of the people who cares about X generic character (e.g. Brock, Lauren, Malcolm, Gorge) but the events of that game are really tough to reconcile with what people want character-wise in Unreal Tournament. I also tend to think introducing the nanoblack thing was a mistake, in the same way that introducing midichlorians in Star Wars was a mistake, and some of the overall elements of the game are not worth attempting to bring into the overall universe (Space Egyptians, for example). I have no problem with that stuff existing in its own continuity but I don't think it's right for that to be in Unreal Tournament.

                        Originally posted by Mangley View Post
                        I don't think massively redeveloping the lore is really going to help the design process here. It seems clear to me that Epic is well aware of what aspects of the existing lore are strong and interesting and are going to emphasize and build around those (like what is happening with the Phayder Corperation stuff) and simply steer clear of the more questionable stuff in the series so far (UT3 storyline, Gen Mo' Kai, UC characters, Mr. Crow?).
                        I agree, which is why I'm not saying that the lore needs to be massively redeveloped. I'm merely pointing out that the bad elements from previous games can and should be edited out (i.e. not referenced anywhere).
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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Wail View Post
                          Unreal Championship to me is fine as its own continuity, but to me it's an alternate reality of the Unreal Tournament universe.

                          I am not one of the people who cares about X generic character (e.g. Brock, Lauren, Malcolm, Gorge) but the events of that game are really tough to reconcile with what people want character-wise in Unreal Tournament. I also tend to think introducing the nanoblack thing was a mistake, in the same way that introducing midichlorians in Star Wars was a mistake, and some of the overall elements of the game are not worth attempting to bring into the overall universe (Space Egyptians, for example). I have no problem with that stuff existing in its own continuity but I don't think it's right for that to be in Unreal Tournament.
                          Eh, I think it's fine. Like I said, most of my problems are about specific details. Whatever happens in Unreal Championship is completely separate from the Tournament stuff. I don't see why it's hard to reconcile but maybe I'm forgetting some detail.

                          I dunno about the nanoblack stuff, but I don't think it introduces the sorts of problems midichlorians do, plus it played a central role in UC2 and UT3 so it made a lot more sense for it to be explained. Even with the explanations we have, almost nothing is known about it or where it comes from.
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                            #14
                            Okay... about Xan

                            His story is explained in Liandri Archives. During the Robot Uprising in an asteroid named LBX-something, robots started to form their own nation and starts mass-producing themselves until Liandri team came in and put them all in stasis, and reprogrammed them into The Corrupt. Xan was the hardest to reprogram

                            This scenario is replicated in AS-RobotFactory

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                              #15
                              Finally found this thread. I wanted to look up the corporations in Unreal, but the Liandri Archives page seems to be down.

                              Anyways, I think the best way to explain all of the lore would be through episodic coop mission including mostly classic MonsterHunt game mode (similar to UT99).The missions could be set around
                              - the forming of the Liandri Grand Tournament
                              - the Liandri Mining Rebellion
                              - missions explaining the Vortex Rikers (Basically Unreal 1 remade to fit 16+ player MonsterHunt coop)
                              - the Human-Skaarj war
                              - something about the Izanagi Ghost Warriors (and of course the Ronin from UT3 - it was a war afterall, it's important. + there's valuable stuff about the free necris which are no longer controlled by Phayder)
                              - introduction of the Gen Mo'Kai in the universe
                              - creating the Skaarj-Hybrids
                              -
                              the Necris rebellion (against Phayder)
                              - forming of Iron Guard...

                              The list could go on. The corporation skirmishes are I think the one thing which could be left up to an Assault game mode, just like it was in UT99 and UT2k4.

                              Anyways, the sooner this coop is done the better, because this would be THE perfect way to introduce new players into the game. UT's big problem right now is, that it has a small community of elite players. Every newbie will go online, get utterly destroyed and uninstall the game. I've seen it happen plenty of times

                              Oh and little sidenote here: If we are not going to be the ones who create these coop mission, I'd be totally fine with paying for the episodes to play them. Kinda like the Operations in CS:GO. Of course, the 1st episode should be free, so that everyone gets a taste of it and introduce newbie's to the game.
                              Last edited by InVader; 01-17-2016, 08:07 AM.
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