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Author Topic: Storyline/Final - Everything else is soooo well written. What happened?  (Read 3791 times)


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I have played your game on and off over the last year and just happened to stumble upon your storyline page at the wiki... Historically, the intelligent and precise technology descriptions (and overall writing) throughout the game has impressed me greatly, but, well, this isn't terribly good. The first block labeled  "Introduction" is quite relevant and well done, but it stumbles a bit after that. 

First of all, I can't help but think that the writer was trying to make more of a political statement throughout the narrative rather than provide background information.  The only parts that really seem to be written with care are those that carry political overtones.  Example:
"Meanwhile, having become increasingly liberal during the Cold War years, China took on the mantle of world leader without knowing quite what to do with it."
> What does becoming "increasingly liberal" have to do with becoming the world leader?  Is this a precise
political message you would like to send to your audience?  If so, no problems there, but lets keep in mind
how other artistic mediums such as actors (Sharon Stone comes to mind) are perceived when they start
pushing political messages.  The writing in this narrative is not strong enough to carry that kind of dead weight. Just stick to the facts please.

Next, the writing makes assumptions that are too far fetched.
"Government loyalists dropped a total of six 50-kiloton devices on heavily-defended rebel positions, including the civilian populations the rebels were protecting. The loyalist army suffered massive desertions in the days that followed; it was the single event that eventually spelled doom for the government."
> This is highly unlikely, a government that has the capacity to use a nuclear arsenal as a terror weapon would have a much stronger grip on their command. Where were these do-gooders when the order was sent to use the weapons?  Why didn't they step in then?  Nuclear weapons are not deployed by a "magic switch" - orders are given, passed through channels, and eventually a soldier on the ground tests and deploys them.  In addition, its far more likely that the fear and greed of the soldiers would put a death grip on any notions of disloyalty.  History has provided many examples.  Again, it seems like you are pushing the idea that a liberal society is astutely more ethical.  Please tell me a story - not a parable.  I have to deal with politics on a daily basis, please just let me enjoy your game in peace.

I didn't want to go through a bunch of examples but I would be happy to provide more.

I understand that some background information is required to explain the new political boundaries but the writing just seems to preachy. Is any of this REALLY relevant to the plot? Stick with a few blanket facts and leave the political theorizing out of it. 

Having said that, I love the game and the vast majority of the writing is phenomenal.  I can't wait to see the next release. 

Offline shevegen

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I agree with you somewhat, hopefully the text can be refined a bit.
However, I wanted to do one remark:

This is highly unlikely, a government that has the capacity to use a nuclear arsenal as a terror weapon would have a much stronger grip on their command.
People can be bribed... people may be afraid of something... people may be blackmailed...
In Germany there are some nukes stored by the US military and some of these sites are guarded by simple draft recruits (Germany has about 8 month mandatory draft service still, but i think this will go away the next ~6 years), so after 8 months they are gone again.

But anyway, I agree with you - there should be a bit more details about this, because we all think that a big government should have enough resources to guard something

Offline VoxDissident

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Emcioran, I agree with what you're saying. However, video game plot lines and "history" aren't typically renowned for being realistic, sensitive or in-tune with all the nuances or complexities of the natural or social sciences. The plot line is far fetched, the writing is good, but not phenomenal.

Some of what is written in the descriptions for the alien organisms and some of what is written for the weapon descriptions are a little far fetched too. For example, lets look at the particle beam weapons. Human beings are constantly being bombarded with solar radiation that causes spontaneous changes in the conformation of our DNA, but it takes a whole lot of these to even give us cancer, which takes several years to kill us, gone unnoticed. A weapon that fires enough particles at light speed to cause significant, immediately-realizable, damage to a living organism wouldn't just have a "nasty kick". It would likely kill the user as well. Let's remember the law of conservation of momentum. And please don't even get me started on the amount of power associated with using such a device and the fact that we will probably never see anything of the like... ever... "A particle accelerator in the palm of your hand!" Yeah... Right...

The US government has labs right now that are researching the use of incredibly high-powered lasers as weapons, but right now these things are immense. I believe maybe the government fantasizes that they will be able to mount one of these things on a satellite of some sort in the Earth's orbit, but don't believe we'll ever see human beings using lasers as an infantry weapon. Not to mention the fact that lasers would be almost completely useless if soldiers began carrying around/wearing highly-reflective mirrors, which makes "lasers" just silly. Furthermore, if an incredibly technologically advanced alien species were interested in spreading a disease amongst human beings, they would probably have very sophisticated methods of venting the disease in a weaponized form into the Earth's atmosphere en masse rather than seizing people one-by-one and shooting them up with syringes. The incongruence in having an alien civilization travel at beyond-light speed to a distant planetary system so that they can land and shoot people up with syringes of something from Night of the Living Dead makes this one of the silliest plot points of the game.


It's just a game. It's for fun. Honestly, it's very difficult to see what the future will bring and there's really no value in saying that a game about the future needs to be believable in all aspects. It is enough that it carries the semblance of believability, a rough simulacrum of real natural and social science in a parallel universe that will never come to pass.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 05:29:14 am by VoxDissident »

Offline Darkpriest667

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Whoever wrote china became more liberal never studied anything about the mandarin culture is all i can say..

the chinese political caste is a cunning calculating bunch.. china has had DOZENS of civil wars.. including the 3 kingdoms war (200 ad) that caused an estimated 2 million deaths ... yes 2 MILLION in the 3rd century..

The most liberal china has been was during world war 2 when they were a republic... it failed miserably and the political caste AND the general population accepted communism as the best alternative... and not the marxist idealist crap they spout in political science classrooms.. true stalinist socialism... Where if you pipe up agains the local council you are escorted off in a van never to be heard from again..

China does not tolerate political dissidents.. as of 2004 they were EXECUTING an average of 18000 political "dissidents" a year..   I highly doubt there will be a political coup in China..

Also as for dropping nukes... its well known in the nuke card carrying club that if you drop one everyone else will... If that wasnt the truth afghanistan would have been a parking lot sept 12...