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Personal Concerns and Suggestions on the Future SoA Plot

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Thomas988, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. Thomas988

    Thomas988 Back Into Space

    • Member
    I've been daydreaming a lot about SoA lately and how the plot of the game could unfold. It's only natural I would return to the forums to learn more about how the devs will tell the story of the game, but it's raised some questions and suggestions I feel like sharing.

    However, before I continue any further, I would like to make it blatantly clear that all points expressed here is not fact but personal opinion drawn only from the information given thus far. For all I know, what the plot may turn out completely different than what I expect. Please keep this in mind!


    Here is what I have to say:

    • The plot sounds cliché.

    I played Rodina lately, and the similarities between it and SoA's future plot were astounding. **SPOILERS!** In Rodina, a fleet of spacecraft looking to colonize a distant solar system is destroyed by an unknown hostile race of aliens. Sounds like SoA? Of course, this is just one game, however I think the idea of "aliens attacking" or "deep space colony ships" appears too often in science fiction.

    Another example of a cliché is that the main point of the colonists travelling to Trinity is because Earth is dying. It is not the fact that Earth is losing the ability to sustain life that is concerning, it's the fact that the world seems too "unified" on saving humanity. The first sentence of the game's official description is, "The Earth is no longer sufficient for humanity, which has looked to the stars for new homes to expand to." I feel this implies that a majority of the population realizes that Earth is in trouble, and tries to help keep life going. The reason the real-life space race began was only out of fear that the US or the Soviet Union would develop space weapons before the other did, not for scientific advancement or human exploration. The idea of humanity coming together and agreeing to set up this huge space mission sounds next to impossible, especially in today's world where the sciences are not seen important in the media.

    Some ideas to make the plot more original:

    What if the humans attacked the aliens first? What if the aliens tried to attack, but the humans won the fight? What if the aliens were actually peaceful? These are just some scenarios running through my head right now that sounds like an interesting twist that could help attract players.

    What if the space mission to colonize Trinity was done by a private organization? What if spaceflight was banned in the future? What if governments worked together in colonizing, but in the end used Aldrin and the Trinity system for personal profit? This too could get very interesting with just a few detail changes.

    • A fleet of large colony ships is difficult to believe.

    This is a bit complicated, so I'll try my best to explain. In the "About the Game" section of the SoA homepage, a part of the paragraph reads "...who launch a vicious attack on your colonial fleet". Later is the sentence "Earth...which has looked to the stars for new homes to expand to." To me this implies that the journey to the Trinity system is one of, if not the, first interstellar excursion of humanity. The idea of humans being able to launch several spacecraft in an orderly manner and get them all to a distant solar system without problems seems unlikely. After all, the third mission to the Moon nearly killed the entire crew on Apollo 13.

    My idea:

    The colonization mission to Trinity was done by one or a few all-purpose spacecraft. This/these spacecraft(s) would not be that large and would only be able to perform what was necessary, thus making life on them difficult and not at all extravagant. Things would often go wrong due to humanity's relatively low experience with interstellar travel. I feel this "weakness" would make the colonization efforts much more tense and choice-intensive, since anything could go terrible at any moment. Plus, when the aliens do attack, it would only seem logical that the spacecraft(s) would get annihilated since they would not be equipped with extra vanities such as space weapons.


    That's all! In no way to do I say that this is the only way to make the plot good. Nor do I demand that my ideas expressed in this thread be used in the actual story of the game, since they are merely examples. I know that the writers on the SoA team will do a fantastic job with the future plot and will make it awesome no matter what, but I just felt obliged to get some of my own words out there.

    That's all, folks! :D
    joppiesaus, Michael-CM, Jpr and 2 others like this.
  2. Potatocat

    Potatocat Back Into Space

    • Member
    That was righteous, heh. I definitely agree that it is a little cliché, and the alternative plots you gave sound exciting. Though, I think if the story was in the future they would have maybe a fleet.
  3. PsychoticLeprechaun

    PsychoticLeprechaun Designer & Web Developer

    • Dev Member
    Some very nice ideas in the post, @Thomas988! There was one thing there that is incorrect: Earth, the Solar System even, may be "no longer sufficient for humanity" - but that isn't to say it is dying. ;)

    We have been working on the story and made a lot of progress on it at this point. We have quite a detailed backstory at this point for SoA, and we don't believe it, or the story itself, to be cliched or unexplained whatsoever. We have a rather epic plot for the motivations of various actions that have and haven't been disclosed about the story. It is all very much in development though, so all ideas will be taken on board as we develop it! :)

    I would also add that the "about the game" section of the site is rather very vague and doesn't really go into the story at all. For that and these rather vague replies: I apologise, but, as always, I don't want to give away any specific details, lest you have a worse experience for it.
    Michael-CM and Thomas988 like this.
  4. Lionitow

    Lionitow Reinvented The Wheel

    • Member
    It's true, the "Earth is not enough, let's go in space but... whoops, we're in trouble!" is very very common in space survival games. However, I don't see many possibilities...
    Maybe some NPCs could be humans from other expeditions/countries and you have to choose if to engage a "run to the space" (trying to arrive first on planets), fight them directly, or collaborate keeping peaceful relations.
  5. Sevio

    Sevio Back Into Space

    • Member
    I definitely like the suggestion of some difference in agenda between some parties within the group of colonists as a whole. Allows for a whole darker subplot (or main plot) alongside the human vs alien plot!

    The wording of "colonial fleet" does suggest that there was a space battle with weapons firing on both sides, but if this is indeed humanity's first or one of the first interstellar voyages and they have not met (evidence of) alien species yet, it would not make sense for them to waste precious mass budget on equipping the colony ships with weapons for space battles and the alien attack would be a completely one-sided, devastating surprise attack.
    Gingy and Thomas988 like this.
  6. Thomas988

    Thomas988 Back Into Space

    • Member
    Well said! I'm not worried whether the plot will be good or not (because I know it will be), I just want to make sure it'll be as original as possible. SoA is too awesome to be boring! :D

    Thanks for your answers, this has clarified a lot!
  7. Arctic

    Arctic Giant Robot Advocate

    • Tester
    I agree. The 'Original' plot of a fleet of colony ships heading out to Trinity did seem rather cliche, and I hope the 'New' plot will be better. And not just cookie cutter sci-fi.
    Jpr and Thomas988 like this.
  8. Danarkivus-2

    Danarkivus-2 Back Into Space

    • Member
    i like the idea of different space agency trying to get there.

    my idea for a story line is (note i am using this idea for a machinima series ) is that aliens came to earth to colonize it but found life they tried to contact peacefully but some humans a PMC group saw a opportunity to destabilize the UNE (united nations of earth) so they attack the aliens unable to retreated fight back they do massive damage to earth when one of their ships FTL drives blows up in earth atmosphere. when the aliens get wiped out. there is a massive out cry for war but only the UNE know what really happen but the PMC group has enough influence (buy reviling "the truth" which is a lie ) to get the UNE to send a prototype war/colonization fleet to hunt down alien fleets. this fleet puts the UNE in massive debt in which if the fleet was to be destroyed the UNE would collapse so the PMC group uses sleeper agents to get inside the fleet to sabotage the fleet when it goes to the first star system they sabotage it when it attacks the aliens so the fleet loses the battle but your character finds out the PMC are behind it. and the story line is you the character try to get the truth out.
    Thomas988 and Potatocat like this.
  9. Potatocat

    Potatocat Back Into Space

    • Member
    A PMC v UNE storyline? Cool.
  10. Lionitow

    Lionitow Reinvented The Wheel

    • Member
    What is PMC for? I like the UNE thing... since it is 24th century (was it?) and the earth is overpopulated humans understood that they had to make a big global alliance in order to survive and expand in the space. However, it is very difficult to put aside old conflicts and the interests are contrasting. So there could be some human factions (different countries/organizations) beside the aliens, and you can choose what type of relationship to keep with them. Maybe as you suggested there could be a factions of traitors that you have to hunt down and punish...
  11. Danarkivus-2

    Danarkivus-2 Back Into Space

    • Member
    in the story line i have. The PMC where a group that helped the UNE to bring world pace in the 2130s.
    Danarkivus-2, Jul 28, 2015
    Last edited by Danarkivus-2; at Jul 28, 2015
  12. MichaelH

    MichaelH Writer

    • Dev Member
    We definitely appreciate the ideas, and I respect people wanting to make sure the story ends up being the best it can be. That being said, I'm hoping I can join my Leprechaun friend in soothing some of your worries without giving too much away.

    On the general subject of cliches, I have this to say. There are lots of theories on plot and structure, and one of my favorite is this--"There are only two stories in the world. A stranger walks into town, and a boy leaves home." I think it's a little more complicated than that, but the point is that almost any story can be made to sound like another if you abstract it to a high enough level. Sure, some are easier to do this with than others (Star Wars and Eragon, anyone?) but high concept similarity does not mean two things will be alike.

    We've got several people hammering the story of SoA together, each providing our own ideas and perspectives--both the "official" writing team as well as other ideas that flow in and out. Yes, this is a science fiction story with aliens and spaceships. They have been a staple of science fiction for the past fifty years for a reason. Firstly, that they are cool. Secondly, that they are flexible. There are a lot of things you can do with these devices, and plenty of stories left to be told. Have some faith, and know that this is a game being made by plenty of nerds--we've read the same stories as you. We know what works, what's been done to death, and what to watch out for. If something seems cliche to you, it probably will to us too, and it's only going to end up in the game once we've given it our own spin.

    That being said, the game is far from finished. We're coming up with new ideas every day, and everything is a living document. Trust that there is way more story written down than you have seen, and there will be more story than what is written down. We've got plenty of room to grow. [insert corny "Seed" pun here later]
    Sevio, _zombiehunter, Arpak and 4 others like this.
  13. Arpak

    Arpak Moderator - Former CM

    • Moderator
    Keep in mind Matt wrote the little tid-bit on the "About The Game" page in his free time to fill in the blank space on the website, it hasn't been updated too often and shouldn't be used as a Bible of sorts. I'm sure when the writers hammer out what is and what isn't it will be better representative of the story.
    Arpak, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited by Arpak; at Jul 31, 2015
  14. Thomas988

    Thomas988 Back Into Space

    • Member
    Ah, I see. :) Thanks for letting us know!
    Arpak likes this.
  15. Sevio

    Sevio Back Into Space

    • Member
    Thanks Michael and Arpak for the clarifications, I will patiently await the development of the story that is to come! (and with some anticipation, any teasers/spoilers you might be willing to give away a little before a release! :))
    Arpak and Thomas988 like this.
  16. Gingy

    Gingy Back Into Space

    • Member
    Honestly, I was never hung up on the story clichés, because nothing I saw made it seem like the story was more than outlines at this time.There's still an engine to perfect before they can start setting story in stone. It wouldn't surprise me if everything we see now doesn't make it to the final cut. As was shown, I think there's ways to tweak this to be unique and still have the main premise about it.

    Now, if the engine and and gameplay were pretty much complete, I would share your concerns.
    Arpak and Thomas988 like this.
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