Design Doc for Gunman
History of the NFC
The Northern Freedom Confederacy (NFC) is one of several large territories encompassing the known universe. Bordered to the "north" by the Frontier and the "south" by the Old Papacy, the NFC is fairly isolated from its old enemy, the Southern Republic, and concentrates on its own internal politics.
Before the NFC
Very little is known about humanity's past, most records were destroyed during the reign of the Papacy. The Papacy ruled for many generations under its religion of the Source. Many of the flock grew wary with its strict rules and harsh justice, and eventually the era of the Million Sects burst forth. This was a time of chaos and hardship, when each sect fought tirelessly for conflicting ideals.
Whenever there is conflict, a third party can always make a proft. During the Million Sects many people grew weary of the constant fighting. Truces were made, people turned from religion and discovered the benefit of neutrality. Guilds were formed to take advantage of the sects and their needs such as travel, sustenance, and weapons. The guilds began to wield unchecked power and eventually ruled the people as harshly as the Papacy, though with regulations in the place of religion.
Soon after the guilds held their power, their lack of cooperation led to a new conflict, the Guilds' War. Utilizing technology both newly researched and rediscovered from before the reign of the Papacy, the Guilds' War advanced the science of warfare but little else. It was during this war that the NFC came into existence.
Realizing that the only way to survive would be an alliance, the most powerful guilds "north" of the Old Papacy banded together under the title of the Northern Freedom Confederacy. To appeal to their people, the guilds then agreed on a fairer system of government and titled themselves baronies, with five Major Baronies forming the backbone of the government.
The NFC gained the upper hand in the Guilds' War, forcing its enemies to band together as well. With the Old Papacy in shambles, those guilds "south" of the Old Papacy were the only systems able to come to an agreement. Thus was formed the Southern Republic; though unlike the NFC, the guilds retained their status and still held a strict but fairer rule.
The Guilds' War reached new heights as the NFC and the Southern Republic fought over territory within the Old Papacy and each other's borders.
End of the War
After many decades of war, the Southern Republic and NFC made an uneasy truce, declaring the region of the Old Papacy as a neutral ground. Though publicly united as the Allied Systems, both parties still wage unofficial, guerrilla warfare within the systems of the Old Papacy. The lack of outright war is beneficial to both regions, and they were (and still are) able to expand through reopened trade routes and scientific development.
During this time, the Southern Republic was able to incorporate a mysterious group long unknown (excommunicated during the time of the Papacy) called the Thousand Worlds League; the Southern Republic renamed itself the United Republic in recognition of the change.
With the newly-opened avenue of expansion, the NFC began to explore the nearest unknown star systems to the "north," often called the "Frontier." Surprisingly, many of the systems hold planets suitable for human life. Rumors exist that ancient ruins are sometimes discovered deep within steamy jungles or locked in polar ice caps. It is this Frontier that serves as a boundary between the Allied Systems and Tillikum peoples. It is also the Frontier that holds one of the strangest beings ever discovered: The manos.
Like shoals of titanic jellyfish these bizarre creatures hang suspended in the vacuum of space, feeding off of the very fabric of spacetime. Manos derive their energy from the gravity wells of mass-densities such as stars and planets; a large shoal of manos may eventually ruin an entire star system, sending the planets hurtling into their suns.
Two facts of mano biology are what makes them an invaluable resource to the NFC. The energy they consume is stored internally in spherical "mano cells," a resource quickly being exploited for its superiority to conventional energy storage. The second fact is a mano's method of travel. By expending the energy stored in their cells, a mano bends space around it, pulling their destination towards them. Pilots have discovered that by flying in close to a mano they can "ride the wake," i.e., they travel alongside the mano without using their own fuel.
With the discovery and subsequent exploitation of the manos, the NFC quickly expanded into the Frontier. It was deep in the Frontier where NFC gunmen led their mano shoal to feed from a newly-discovered star system; the first disastrous encounter with the Tillikum.
When NFC gunmen brought their hungry shoal of manos to an undiscovered star system, they simply allowed the manos to feed without considering any possible inhabitants. The gunmen's shoal was so plentiful, the planets' orbits began to collapse mere hours after the feeding had begun. Then, without warning, a small fleet of whale-like ships attacked and obliterated the gunmen and their manos, leaving but one gunman ship to return and warn the NFC. This incident paved the way for future relations, though recent diplomatic missions have eased hostilities.
It is now some decades after the first encounter with the Tillikum, and relations have been smoothed over somewhat. Animosity still runs high, and both the NFC and Tillikum often stick to their own boundaries, with the Frontier between them. Unfortunately neither side always agrees on where the Frontier ends and their own systems begin, various treaties and agreements notwithstanding.
Mano herding is still a worthy resource, even if the gunmen must be more careful about where they feed. The various baronies of the NFC, especially EnTrust, are constantly finding new ways to utilize the bizarre energy contained within the mano cells.
Gunmen are becoming even more sought after than ever before. With the increased expansion of all the baronies, hostility also increases; and since the gunmen retain no permanent ties, a barony often turns to them to do their dirty work.
Acting as mercenaries with little or no official ties, the gunmen serve many purposes. From herding manos to covert operations, the gunmen are always available ... for the right price. Though they remain unaffiliated to any one employer, good gunmen often have the privilege of choosing an assignment.
The newest barony to be accepted into the prestigious role of Major Barony, Spiral Dreams focuses on the tourism and pharmaceutical industries. Spiral Dreams is known throughout the NFC as a kindly underdog with powerful allies. Unfortunately, they also bear powerful enemies.
One of the older baronies, and a Major Barony, the Energy Trust (EnTrust) holds a near-total monopoly on energy resource and storage technology. EnTrust has the most to gain from research and exploitation of the manos and their strange biology. They have a reputation for placing profits higher than the people they provide for.
Little is known of the Tillikum, so different from the people of the Allied Systems that many citizens refuse to believe the Tillikum are humans (or even exist)! While the people of the Allied Systems rely on technology for survival and convenience, the Tillikum have turned to biology, especially in realm of genetics. A Tillikum can somehow manipulate their biology so as to produce many different traits in their children; this has lead to a sort of caste system with highly specialized roles.
The Tillikum people are loosely organized as a whole, the tighter social group being a tribe which often resides on a single planet. Each tribe, or even tribal region, speaks a unique language, and it is a common trade language that ties the tribes together.
Technologically speaking, the Tillikum have highly advanced means. For example, their spacecraft are living beings and possess an empathic ties with their pilots; and Tillikum weapons are grown and nurtured rather than built.
While the term "xenome" is a catch-all term for non-familiar life, recent events have added an entirely new fear to the word. All across the NFC, reports have been made (and subsequently hushed up by worried baronies) regarding a bizarre new order of alien creatures who possess completely unknown means of travel, survival, and even rudimentary biology.
It is said that these creatures have developed purely organic ways of traveling through spacetime, operate towards a common goal without any awareness, and possess nightmarish attributes. Truth be known, even the NFC scientists have not begun to understand the full threat of the xenomes.
SINGLE PLAYER STORYLINE
What follows is the single player storyline for the GUNMAN character. The TILLIKUM storyline is still under heavy development, and there is even the possibility of a XENOME storyline. The storyline is divided up into five LEVELS, each with two SCENES. A level follows a consistent theme, while each scene represents a map.
This storyline revolves around the tensions between two rival baronies and involves the discovery of an ancient human technology unknown to both the Tillikum and the NFC.
Level One - Icnus
The planet Icnus is a popular site for rich clientele looking into a "rustic" getaway. Owned by Spiral Dreams, many resorts and theme parks have been constructed in Icnus' harsh desert climate in a simulation of the gritty Frontier colonies. Unfortunately, one such resort was suddenly overrun by xenomes, slaughtering nearly every resident.
Spiral Dreams wishes to keep the incident from leaking out, so they have hired the player to investigate and, if possible, stop the xenomes infestation.
An abandoned Frontier-style town (looking much like a small town from the Wild West), eerily quiet and desolate. Most buildings show signs of struggle, and house a stray xenome. One building is coated on the interior by organic sludge, where what once was a cellar leads into the heart of the alien infestation.
The high-tech communications and living quarters were built beneath the inn, out of sight from tourists. It is here that the xenomes have somehow appeared, spreading their ecology into the entire underground system. At the end of this scene, the player discovers the xenome "ankat gate" (a spacetime link to another world) and must destroy it to stop the xenome infestation.
Level Two - Pris Tenus
Pris Tenus was rediscovered by Spiral Dreams explorers, the original human inhabitants being an old sect from the Papacy who denied all aspects of space travel. By providing non-heretical services, Spiral Dreams was able to obtain an agreement which turned into a thriving tourist resource. Spiral Dreams also engaged in secret operations in the more remote areas of the planet, including missile-defense and communications technology. EnTrust, a rival barony, has infiltrated and taken control of one of these installations; Spiral Dreams has hired the player to destroy the entire installation, lest EnTrust obtains any sensitive information in the future.
The player's dropship crashed, leaving the player parachuting haphazardly into the snow-covered alpine forest. The player must travel through the mountainous terrain and find the entrance to the missile installation.
Sneaking through the installation, the player must close all the silo panels and set a timer to release the missiles. Once countdown is complete, the missiles will fly into the panels and detonate inside the installation. Near the end of completion, another member of the player's team can be heard declaring the pickup site where the player must rendezvous.
Level Three - Mutmazzen
EnTrust used the previous incident on Pris Tenus as a distraction to complete a mission of greater magnitude. Mutmazzen is an old planet, recently purchased by Spiral Dreams from a small barony desperate for money. Spiral Dreams explorers found a compound of abandoned science facilities, which were quickly reopened and studied. EnTrust caught word of these facilities and sent in a team of their own to capture the facilities. Lacking the military superiority of EnTrust's troops, Spiral Dreams hires the player to investigate the communications loss with their facilities.
One gunmen is to secure each building in the compound, maintaining encrypted radio communication. Unfortunately, as soon as the player enters the building, the radio is scrambled, leaving the player alone. The player must clear the building of EnTrust troops, making a descent deep underground to a structure far older than the science facility.
The science compound was apparently built over ancient ruins, possibly to study the ruins' creators and bizarre technology. While EnTrust has placed troops within these ancient walls, the original inhabitants have left their own means of defense: Ancient robots still operable and wielding technology unknown to the Allied Systems. Unfortunately, the robots are far from willing to let themselves be studied.
Level Four - Snohwakuk
The tension between Spiral Dreams and EnTrust is ever increasing, and is nearing outright war. Spiral Dreams knows they are outmatched in military force than EnTrust, and plans to secure the help of a Tillikum tribe. Sending the player as an emissary to ally with the Snohwakuk tribe, the player learns of problems within the Tillikum world. A xenome infestation has taken over one of their large cities; the player is to enter the city with a band of Snohwakuk warriors to defeat the xenomes.
The strange forest is home to many dangerous creatures; the Tillikum band along with the player must make a trek through the bizarre landscape into the city. On their way, they must face local predators and xenomes who have strayed from their lair.
In a city overrun by the nightmarish xenomes, the player and the Tillikum band must enter the heart of the city to destroy the ankat gate. The center of the city is unrecognizable as anything but a vast xenome lair, open to the sky.
Level Five - Erysdren
The mysterious planet Erysdren is home to many ancient ruins, predating history by millenia. Both EnTrust and Spiral Dreams hold a great interest in the ruins, since they have found traces of a prehistoric technology far superior to anything they know possess. Open combat rages across the ancient ruins; because of the player's incredible record with Spiral Dreams, they have assigned the most important mission on the planet. The player and a team of Tillikum warriors are to enter the site believed to hold an ancient and vastly powerful artifact.
Racing across the moss-covered stone, tripping over jungle vines, the player must find an entrance to the ruins while avoiding heavily-armed EnTrust troops and local predators. Surprisingly, there are some encounters with the strange xenomes as the player gets closer to the site's entrance.
Descending into the site, the player discovers that are the ancient defenses still operable, but the xenomes have infested this place as well! The player must fight through both ancient robots and horrid xenomes to obtain the artifact and escape alive.
Each player will be able to choose between a GUNMAN, TILLIKUM, or XENOME player. The different players will have different methods of attack and different weapons to choose from, possibly stealing weapons and items from their opponents. For example, a Tillikum player may grab an energy pistol from a dead gunman opponent.
The story behind multiplayer games is the idea of a "Claim." When the gunmen and Tillikum must settle a dispute over territory, they must perform close quarters combat in order to "stake their claim" for the land. Though considered barbaric, this method was the only one agreed upon between the NFC diplomats and Tillikum leaders.
Xenomes hold no such honorable notions, and simply fight because of their instincts; each xenome is an independent creature being subtlely manipulated by some sort of collective entity, furthering to expand the strange xenome race.