Creation and updates
Judging by the dates on my files, I began working on my various StarControl projects back in Sept 2004. This page was made in May 2005 with the intent of setting up a story for a StarControl II sequel. However, it is now 2015 and I'm sitting here trying to clean up this page, and understand old intents. I failed. Also, it's now 2017 and I have no idea at which point I gave up. Perhaps where the English gets more wonky. Many broken image links.
I wanted to give the player a fresh playground and avoid discrepancies with the old star map, so I needed a way to midrate most of the original aliens inhabiting the familiar region of space. I put the robotic Mmrnmhrm into this role, as I felt they are quite enigmatic. Note that some of them were joined with the Chenjesu and became the Chmmr, but apparently only a small group of them. The Mmrnmhrm are part of a very large and ancient "System" so they are no doubt scattered about (inhabiting Mother Arks iirc).
The migration is set in motion when a warning signal activates the Mmrnmhrm who get busy building rather large Arks for the different species to use. These are later sent through a portal. Something known vaguely as "The System" is causing this to happen on a galactic scale, but why? Apparently "The Enemy" has been detected and this is the programmed response. While the slave shields are also used as a protection from the enemy, the fate of the species on the SC2 map is left untouched, until possibly the end of the game.
The Samatra is destroyed at the end of SC2.
This is just when the Kohr-Ah know they're about to win, and the Kzer-Za realize they may be wrong about things, which may make them a bit more humble or at least somewhat reasonable.
The Ur-Quan is nearly destroyed by the powerful Chmmr.
They are disorganized and scattered. Their influence sphere would be of average size if they were to collect themselves, which Chmmr prevents.
Chmmr are beginning to get worried about the rushed fusion (between the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm). There is a garbled old "codicil" segment in their essence which should have been dissolved during the fusion, but it somehow persists.
Setting things up...
The wealth and wisdom provided by the Chmmr leads to an expansion of alliance territory. The surrounding space is being explored and a slave shielded planet (new race 1) is liberated and join the alliance. Also, a battle thrall (new race 2) is convinced, although with difficulties, that the Ur-Quan are defeated. They are sceptical about the alliance.
Captain is honoured with a new flagship, a new type of Cruiser, Zelnick-1 (still in beta stages). It's modelled after the Vindicator, and fitted with some precursor technology that was successfully reverse engineered (although far from as effective).
The captain's new ship.
Zelnick wakes up, remarks to Talana that he just had a dream about the Syreen looking awful.
This would be a reference to SC3 of course. I think the TV-series Dallas did a similar thing where an entire season was just a dream.
A powerful signal comes from the galaxy core.
The signal contained instructions to the Mmrnmhrm on how to build a portal allowing the sentient species in the area to escape. The instructions could be Xor'ed with a number of things, preventing the enemy to snap it up.
Soon after, the Chmmr begin to disintegrate. They manage to leave a couple of confusing messages and a set of coordinates before turning into dust.
Whomever made the Mmrnmhrm was clever and paranoid. The Mmrnmhrm were engineered to remain pure and uncompromized. When the signal was received, it unpacked the encrypted payload of the codicil, destroying the Chmmr, leaving the Chmmr barely enough time to make a few observations.
Why destroy the Chmmr? I think they were a candle that burned too brightly... things should not go too well. However, it's not impossible to have the Chenjesu (re-introduced later) and the Mmrnmhrm go through another process, which can be fully completed this time.
The loss of the Chmmr leaves the alliance crippled and unable to fully pursue the lingering Ur-Quan threat and perhaps emerging usurpers.
The Orz seem to be *retracting*. Melnorme is already gone.
An imposing Mmrnmhrm Mother Ark drifts into the local space, but doesn't appear to be a threat.
A malfunction had caused an ark to produce task-less Mmrnmhrm units earlier (explaining the ones in the earlier games), but it fixed itself after running diagnostics. It doesn't have to be the same Mother Ark. My story indicates several across the galaxy.
The Mother Ark starts orbiting Groombridge. Several Mmrnmhrm ships are sent on scouting missions. Under silence they carefully examine the surroundings.
They are careful in case the dreaded enemy is around. Were they to see it, they would self destruct immediately to prevent their secrets falling into enemy hands. They scout to see what sentient species are around, and don't answer questions or hostilities.
Another slave shielded planet is liberated (new race 3). Otherwise things are starting to look bad for the alliance, they can't expand any more and the Ur-Quan, especially Kohr-Ah (who didn't like having their trophy destroyed) are becoming a threat.
The Chmmr left a shield activation and inactivation device behind. This device was originally made by the Kzer-Za, who might have found the technology rather than having made it. The shield could've been transparent at first, but the Kzer-Za changed color to make it more imposing. The Chmmr probably figured this out.
A hidden Chenjesu outpost is found at a set of coordinates given by the late Chmmr. The outpost also had a few Mmrnmhrm, but they left the planet in haste under strange circumstances at the time of The Signal.
Chenjesu was paranoid as well, and left a few of their original kind hiding in celibacy. Alternatively, they could just have been isolated during the war, possibly in another part of the galaxy. Species from all over the galaxy will have an opportunity to meet later.
The Mmrnmhrm finally reveal their Purpose, which appears to be to ensure the survival of all local sentient species. They have constructed several huge Arks which are to be dispatched the homeworlds of several sentient species. The Arks are constructed one at each rainbow world (10 in total). Due to time restraints, there's not enough Arks for each species. At Groombridge a massive portal has been built.
It must be clear that the Mmrnmrhm is just a part of The System. They could for example refer to other functions, or act as if they expect other functions to be present (and they're not).
The species concerned understand the concept of not keeping all eggs on one basket, even though the Mmrnmrhm isn't able to clarify why fully what's about to happen. Supposedly, there was a system part made to battle or delay the enemy, but there's no signs of it. The Mmrnmhrm are a low priority System function, and only have minor means of defence.
Transport Ark & Mother Ark, Y-ship (small Y), various ships.
The Mmrnmhrm somehow manages to seem nervous, and now reveals an imminent departure date. It's eventually also understood that what the Kzer-Za have been using as slave shields is actually a defensive shield, used as protection against the enemy. The Kzer-Za could be vaguely familiar with the enemy, and put more weight to the decision to use the Arks and shield (and they could be very domineering about it, as usual).
The actor behind the Arks must know that the shields are not a 100% protection, since it bothered with the Arks. Also, it's perhaps not the Mmrnmhrm's task to manage shields so that's why they haven't mentioned it.
The politeness and neutrality of the Mmrnmhrm, plus the impression left by the immense Arks, results in all remaining species accepting the 'invitation', except the Orz and Arilou who have now disappeared.
Also, the Mycon were ignored by the Mmrnmhrm and never showed any intrest.
The Mycon could be ignored because they are (perhaps) a part of the system, though apparently not functioning properly. They might already be present in the new area, suggesting that The System is huge.
The Druuge immediately begin stripping their Ark for parts. They also attempt to purchase the other Arks, unsuccessfully.
An image symbolizing their own death. Like predators they tear the flesh of their vessel of survivial, exposing the skeletal hull structures. Yeah, well, so I didn't draw it too good. It's supposed to be little ships towing parts around.
The Kzer-Za, being a bit more humble and resonable after getting owned by the alliance, decide to use an Ark (but won't share it).
The Kohr-Ah however, are... very angry. They destroy the Ark sent to them. They also try to sabotage the Kzer-Za Ark, aswell as the Earthling one. They're a serious threat at this point.
The Arks, huge black cylinders (Rama paraphrase), are very simple in construction, but they have clever highly modular interiors. They're roughly 400 meters long and 150 in diameter (the Cruisers are 30-40). The only interesting piece of Ark technology is the hyperspace portal spawner "ship", which is uses a special technique to open hyperspace portal holes big enough for an Ark. The portal is used because whatever dimension the IDF species use, may be too scary for regular species. Also, it's practical to have an external portal spawner since the Arks are many, and primarily made to be roomy.
The Arks are able to ship 50 000 or even 100 000 earthlings if squeezed in tight. However, a limited amount of Arks were made, so some species have to share Arks. The sacrifice to share was primarely done by alliance members.
The Ark requires 1-2 months to go from Sol to the portal through hyperspace. Maybe 4 months to load (a rushed process because of a deadline given by the Mmrnmrhm).
The Spathi, hiding behind their shield, effectively countered all the attempts to deactivate it. However, the Umgah were not so keen on going alone on their Ark, having no one to pull pranks on. After recycling the 'Evil ones' joke, they manage to trick a substantial amount of Spathi into sharing the Ark with them.
Umgah and Spathi on the same ark will be fun, and is one of the reasons I wanted a limited number of Arks. Aslo, a limited number of Arks and other flaws in The System gives the story more tension. Another thought, maybe the Spathi has some ancient genetic memory of the enemy, and that's why they are cowards.
A special Ark is made for the Slylandro, suggesting the the Mmrnmhrm have designs for such species aswell.
If it's the Precursors that are responsible for the Mmrnmhrm, they would be familiar with the Slylandro, because they visited them in the past. The Slylandro might be a little safer than regular solid planet based life, but The System didn't want to take chances. This must be the first time the Slylandro gets an Ark, or they would have remembered it.
Also, a number of escort ships and transports tag along with the Arks. Because some species are still hostile to each other, they keep their distance.
The rendezvous at the portal which is surrounded by a cloud of Mmrnmhrm ships. The Kzer-Za somehow seemed strangely motivated about their departure and are already gone. One by one the 7 remaining arks pass though the portal. The Earthling one is the last, and is under attack by the Kohr-Ah. Ark escort ships (Cruisers) manage to hold them back long enough to let the Ark enter the portal. The Kohr-Ah follows. Delay.
The Kohr-Ah on persuit. The small Mmrnmhrm Y ships are circling the portal like seagulls, but remain passive.
Suddenly several Thraddash ships rush through the portal. It's not unreasonable that some Ilwrath were hiding cloaked somewhere and slipped through cloaked.
Torch and transport, small ships.
A huge unknown warship approaches the portal. The portal is quickly destroyed by the Mmrnmhrm, creating a huge 'Utwig bomb'-like explosion, which appears to kill everything.
Enemy at the gates. The Mmrnmhrm ships fly into the portal, two carriers appear from behind and destroy the portal. This so it's clear that it's destroyed by Mmrnmhrm and not the enemy.
The enemy ships are iconic rhomb-like shards, very large. 'Smaller' ships are making their way towards the portal, but are too late, as it's about to blow up in their face.
The Arks appear in another galaxy, or a small star cluster to be correct. The Mmrnmhrm, having completed their primary task, populate a remote area of space. Once again they're purposeless. The Kzer-Za and Vux choose remote areas too. The Kohr-Ah find themselves outnumbered by escort ships and are chased away. They did manage to get a rather large and nasty looking ship through though.
With a fair amount of star systems available, there's no immediate quarrels about territory. This will change however.
There's already a few other species populating this area of space, some of which came through other Mmrnmhrm portals recently.
The IDF species (Arilou, Orz, Melnorme, Androsynth, Taalo) could appear, and those plots could be explored.
Game starts somewhere around here!
With a little help from an IDF species, the captain return to Unzervalt briefly to get schematics of Mark II. Possibly, he uses a Precursor factory in the new map area to build it.
Service Vessel and MkII and other sketches (probably 2005). The old map area is dangerous, so the visit is brief indeed. No time to check the surroundings. The captain and Talana have to return to Unzervalt at this point, because it's stated in the SC2 extro.
Besides survival in the new map area and getting acquainted with the dynamics there, there must be something to drive the plot. One such thing is to figure out the fate of 'home', but that's not enough.
The new map area could have several 'bullies' terrorizing everyone. They would of course prey on the newcomers as well.
The enemy could show up of course, forcing the captain to encourage all the old and new species to unite, similar to the alliance came together. Group effort, and a little precursor technology, might give them a fair chance to push back the enemy. The precursor technology in question would be something that was a part of the system meant to fight the enemy.
The architect behind The System was no doubt powerful, but maybe not as diverse as an alliance of many species can be. There must be no signal to activate the Mmrnmhrm for this to work too.
An alternative antagonist could be built on the Orz-Androsynth-Arilou-Taalo mess. Whatever it is, it must be different from the enemy, otherwise the enemy might as well be used.
Also, the hyperspace portal spawner on the Arks has been reverse engineered, allowing larger and larger ships to be built. Before, ships were pretty much restricted to around 50 meters.
There's a few mysteries that need to be considered, but maybe not explained.
This story does not completely ignore the slave shielded planets and battle thralls left by the Kzer-Za. There is a new map to explore, while the old one still is there. Almost all the species survive, which might be a little over optimistic! I do kill the Chmmr and Druuge though, and the Ark deal doesn't go that smooth with the rampant Kohr-ah, and the number of Arks being limited.
Possibly, a few random species can be selected to come every game, adding replay value.
The intro is in widescreen/letterbox format. It consists of stills (paintings) and scripted ingame stuff.
The game has a lot of ship construction, research, fleet/ship tactics, exploration, diplomacy (funny conversations with aliens), and possibly trade. The aim is actually to describe a universe, and then watch it do whatever it does. I'm not much for games these days. After the intro, which is set, the game is very open, but each species will just act according to their interests, which drives the ingame story. There could be behaviours that triggers under certain circumstances.
If possible, I'd like to update the entire universe every game tick. This is not impossible, I could for example have two lists, one with static objects that lay dormant, and one with moving stuff. If I use friction in space, asteroids will settle eventually, and move into the inactive list. Everything is kept in an quad tree (yes, the game is 2D). Each species could have about 50-200 ships, resulting in maybe 2000 ships if all species are alive and kicking. It's more likely that some will be extinct, and others thriving. With no terrain, and thus very simple pathfinding, 2000 units shouldn't be a problem. Also, if I use hyperspace, the units kept in hyperspace are just an identifier. There might be a problem with the time differences in realtime normal space and hyperspace, but I'm working on that.
It's not a fast paced action game, and there's no melee. It's more of a paraphrase on naval battles.
More on the gameplay aspect later. (2017 note: This appears to be a very simulation heavy idea. I remember having a few others for the Lickmasters, Black Spathi, etc.)
Would the portal really be effective for hiding from a powerful enemy? Well, the enemy could be non-intelligent, like a gamma burst or energy wave, or a dangerous ancient race that has gotten very conservative and arrogant. It only uses True and Hyper space, possibly Quasi. Even Quasi space seem restricted to local space, and what the IDF races (such as Orz) use, seem to be something else. Also, they must not understand the shields, or didn't last time they were used against them anyways. Could be a scanner thing.
I'm not decided here. If the precursors were fighting the enemy, their battle platforms might reveal some of the nature of the enemy.
I had this idea for the enemy turning people into tormented white frail zombies/ghosts, that suffer for all eternity as sad slaves/crew aboard the enemy ships. Image does not quite convey that though. The enemy needs to be very nasty I think. Nasty enough to make an ancient race bother with the Ark deal out of empathy.
After having dismantled their Ark, the greedy Druuge will take the opportunity to claim new finds as the other races shield up. They will not shield, but instead attempt to trade the shield technology (shared by the alliance) to the enemy, in return for immunity. This could be countered by someone that does not want to see this happen, such as the Arilou, who want Earth to be safe.
This is important because the safety of the species on the old map should not be too easily had. Anyways, the Druuge are most likely destroyed by the enemy.Slylandro
Blue-eyed and curious. Somewhat well informed about the sentient milieu and precursors, but inexperienced in many areas. In any way, these guys are pretty excited over getting a spaceship! They will still rely on automated probes though, except a few 'youngsters' who are bold enough to explore on their own. They also get exo suits which allow them to manipulate objects.
Unfinished and not to scale at all. The Slylandro Ark has a glass bubble containing pressurized atmosphere. There's also some smaller ships that use a similar method, plus mechas.
The Slylandro probe design was purchased from the Melnorme and could be based in technology the Slylandro didn't quite grasp. After a programming mishap leading to nasty runaway replication, all probes had to be destroyed. However, because of the large number of probes replicated, mutations in the design and program occurred, and this resulted in a single probe escaping self destruction. Although it's debatable whether it's sentient or not, it's out there making copies of itself, but not in the chaotic manner of its predecessor. It appears to have an agenda. Dissect people in order to collect precious data?
Movement: Rotates, and turns by anchoring the ends one at a time, sort of like Clu Clu Land.
Possibly apart of The System, as they are ignored by the Mmrnmhrm. I think I'll leave it at that. The Mycon probably won't shield, unless they were a part of the system and they were programmed to do so.
Maybe a precursor were just like "Hey I built this mushroom thing, it can traavel between plaaanets!" and the others were like "Yaaaay!" and then they all deliriously clapped their hands and giggled like little schoolgirls.
The original brown Ur-Quan returns as one of Taalo's 'time jokes'?
The Kzer-Za are not alien to Precursor technology and history, and know more than they seem to about what's happening. They have a few 'smaller' precursor ships accompanying their Ark (since they recognized Vindicator as a 'service vessel') they could also have one of their own. Being administrators and very domineering, they should also act like that on the new map, trying to impose their social framework on everyone else.
Having (almost) won the doctrinal war, they got pretty angry when the Sa-Matra, their prize, was destroyed. Not only that, their fleet also got crippled. Now it's payback time. This shows why no other sentient life should be allowed to prosper. Maybe not even Kzer-Za.
Quite busy driving the Ur-Quan away. Too busy to give the alliance any huge technological improvements. Destroyed 2159.
Robots, possibly created by the Precursors. Polite but not very talkative. New units are built by a Mother Ark, which is currently 'broken'. Merged with the Chenjesu and became the Chmmr. Their purpose is unknown, perhaps even to themselves.
Interested in the wellbeing of the Earthlings, they tagged along... well, warped along.
Their fate needs to be explored, maybe.
The Orz need to explain why they left, and why they appeared (change of playground). It's likely they know know of the enemy, and reveal that by making childish remarks.
Can't stay around with the MetaChron is turning black.
Just some thumbnails and an idea for a 'big-ship'.
Mentioned by Melnorme.
Pulling pranks on Spathi on the Ark they share. They create a new race, similar to the Slylandro probe but organic (Zebranky?). This new race terrorizes everyone it encounters. Great joke, har har har.
Could possibly have traveled into another part of the galaxy, where they boldly entered an Ark portal to go where no Spathi has gone before. They despise the regular coward Spathi and are not late to make scornful remarks about them, and of course and brag about their own heroic accomplishments and death defying manoeuvres.
Doesn't use decoy compartments.
New race 1
I'm not being specific here. I have quite a lot of races designed to choose from.
New race 2
Former Battle thrall and somewhat difficult to deal with. Gets along with VUX really well. Best friends forever!
New race 3
Found after Chmmr is gone.
New map races
I have plenty of ideas here, maybe 20 different races sketched out. Some of these can be random, so for each game there's a new set, which adds replay value. If so, the exchangable species can't be plot driving.