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Thread: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

  1. #41

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    Some ideas on elves

    The elves are dramatically different in physiology from both humans and bugs. In their natural form, the elves are strange, plant-like organisms that alternate their lifecycle between sessile and motile forms. Elves are able to compress themselves into convenient carrying cases known as cores. Their units on the battlefield are suits of programmable matter, each of which is piloted by a core.

    Human military forces are composed of various forms of human derivatives, strong AIs and weak AIs, which may be conscripted or engineered for their role. Bug military forces are composed of organisms engineered for specific roles, the vast majority being nearly mindless warrior beasts and a minority of synapse beasts to direct them. By contrast, elven military forces lack these distinctions. All cores have the same basic capabilities and capacity for growth, and may be transferred between different suits with ease. Although their psychology and culture still eludes human scientists, cores have been observed asexually dividing in order to reinforce their numbers. They do not appear to go through a larval stage like bugs or an adolescent stage like humans.

    Alternate idea

    Elven units appear to be remotely controlled drones generated by vats of an all-purpose programmable matter. If their commanding elf is killed, they will cease to function and begin decaying unless another elf takes control of them. Despite their relative immortality, many elves seemingly exhibit a bloodlust so powerful they will place their lives at risk simply to experience combat firsthand.

  2. #42

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    This is not entirely correct. SC's Terrans are based on the American South and the entire aesthetic of the frontier planets is taken from the colonization of the American West. Names like "New Angeles" suggest that there may even be a Hispanic and/or Latino population. It is fairly obvious that the population are descended from citizens of the USA.
    That's not quite what I meant. Being based off certain things is cool, but it's not like the Confederacy is in any way really descended from the CSA. I was sort of under the impression that factions in the ripoff would be direct outputs of countries, like a Canada planet, or a European Union planet, stuff like that. It was the direct stuff I was objecting to, assuming that's what you really meant.


    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  3. #43

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    That's not quite what I meant. Being based off certain things is cool, but it's not like the Confederacy is in any way really descended from the CSA. I was sort of under the impression that factions in the ripoff would be direct outputs of countries, like a Canada planet, or a European Union planet, stuff like that. It was the direct stuff I was objecting to, assuming that's what you really meant.
    That's absurd. A planet colonized by the EU would be an EU colony, but not "Planet EU." It would be a new country or countries with a new ethnic identity. The sheer distance will force their cultures to diverge, and the great powers are hardly homogeneous to begin with. Planets colonized by the USA would be new states, for example.

  4. #44

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    The sheer distance will force their cultures to diverge, and the great powers are hardly homogeneous to begin with.
    Unlike primitive empires, the Khalai were able to keep their society homogeneous and unified because of their warp capabilities. In effect, distant colonies were little more than additional provinces of Aiur.

    If you develop a society with strong warp capability, the cultural divergence would be slowed.

    One of the things I found my fascinating about the WarHammer universe was the sheer diversity of factions within each of the races. The Legions of the Astartes were each inspired by Terran-bound cultures. Each chapter has a long history with the other chapters, where solid friendships and ancient blood feuds dictate their interactions. I would love for this richness of history to be present in the fluff of other games.
    Aaand sold.


    Be it through hallowed grounds or lands of sorrow
    The Forger's wake is bereft and fallow

    Is the residuum worth the cost of destruction and maiming;
    Or is the shaping a culling and exercise in taming?

    The road's goal is the Origin of Being
    But be wary through what thickets it winds.

  5. #45

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Unlike primitive empires, the Khalai were able to keep their society homogeneous and unified because of their warp capabilities. In effect, distant colonies were little more than additional provinces of Aiur.

    If you develop a society with strong warp capability, the cultural divergence would be slowed.
    We have globalization on Earth, but in many cases it actually spurs nationalism rather than making cultures more homogeneous. The internet is chock full of tribalism, and the internet has probably made tribalism even worse.

    The Protoss had an empathic internet that indoctrinated them into certain beliefs since birth, to the point that the Sargas tribe actually spent a great deal of effort on counteracting this effect. At least back in SC1 when Protoss tribes had different skin colors and a lot of the world building was much different.

    No surprise that my vision of space elves recycles these forgotten elements.

  6. #46

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    As far as the FTL idea is concerned...

    I was thinking that the humans would use good old fashioned warp, the elves would use a portal network, and the bugs utilize hyperspace lanes. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

  7. #47

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    Quote Originally Posted by mislagnissa View Post
    as far as the ftl idea is concerned...

    I was thinking that the humans would use good old fashioned warp, the elves would use a portal network, and the bugs utilize hyperspace lanes. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
    s t e l l a r i s

  8. #48

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    Quote Originally Posted by KaiserStratosTygo View Post
    s t e l l a r i s
    Didn't I mention that as an inspiration? I've been watching the streams on youtube. FTL was redesigned in 2.0, though. But really, I got the list from tvtropes. For a more detailed list: http://www.projectrho.com/stardrv.txt

    As far as the three races are concerned, it is supposed to play into their history. The ancient elves developed stargates and jump drives, which the modern elves are still trying to reverse engineer. The bugs rely on entering a parallel reality where FTL is possible, but it has tides and currents which make free roaming very difficult. I considered the possibility they originated from this other reality (and were brought into ours by the ancient elves), as did tiberium, but I don't want to limit my options. I was thinking the dark elves might rely on this reality for personal teleportation, a la X-men's nightcrawler.

    Speaking of which, I had an idea for different philosophies in reality warping powers between high elves and dark elves (and wood elves?). The high elves excel at affecting spiritual and living systems because their philosophy is based on presence (through the tele/empathy internet), but need bulky tech to affect spacetime and matter. The dark elves' philosophy is based on absence, so they find the opposite true. The twilight elves, who come into existence later, would meld these philosophies. (This originates from a discussion on spacebattles. Will find link later.) (EDIT: here it is)

    The bugs have a bizarre philosophy which is midway between presence and absence (since they are a hive mind) and individually much weaker. They excel at telepathy and biopathy, but need large numbers to boost their signal strength. They cannot easily affect spacetime (at least until they develop something like SW's dovin basals), but they can rip holes in it to enter/exist hyperspace. I think it's a matter of precision. Easier to damage something than to fix it, yes?

    Right now it's all brainstorming about how to explain different game mechanics. I might change my mind later.
    Last edited by Mislagnissa; 03-14-2018 at 10:53 AM.

  9. #49

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    I was a bit inspired by the Alien films. According to interviews, the alien was originally intended to be an intelligent, scholarly race. A cataclysm wiped out the adults, but the eggs survived. Originally the eggs were found in a pyramid by an alien pilot and later the humans, but budgeting forced the pyramid and the alien ship to be combined. So if the intelligent alien concept was revisited (ignoring the atrocious prequels and sequels), then it would probably be merged into whoever was responsible for the alien ship.

    In the comic books, the aliens were given planet-spanning colonies and telepathy and stuff. If you try to reconcile that with the idea that the aliens seen thus far were merely feral children of advanced ship-builders, it makes the civilized adults look pretty messed up. Which is totally awesome IMO; I would expect Giger art monsters to be terrifying regardless of intelligence.

    Some ideas on the bugs

    The bugs are your standard swarm of alien bugs. Like the Zerg and Tyranids, all of their units are created from the genomes of species they consumed. In many cases there is a clear host species which was used as a template, and in other cases not.

    The bugs are a symbiotic lifeform, consisting of these modified host organisms and microscopic helminths. The helminths are the original bug species and the glue which holds their grotesque civilization together. An autopsy of any bug unit will reveal these helminths swimming around in their bodily fluids. (This is a reference to the SC1 zerg backstory which was retconned by SC2. And to The Strain TV show by Guillermo del Toro.)

    The helminths have ESP and CRISPR. They can communicate telepathically and can detect other sources of telepathy, which works analogous to radio and RADAR. They can splice genomes of themselves and other organisms with ease. These are believed to be adaptations to living in a radioactive environment, such as that present in tiberium fields. (This is also a reference to SC1 backstory, again discarded by SC2. Plus Alien and tyranid genestealers.)

    The bugs assimilate new species by first infesting them with helminths. The difficult part is making the helminths compatible with the physiology of new organisms without killing either party, which generally requires a period of research and development. Although it is uncommon, they can acquire genomes from well-preserved corpses as seen in several species which were extinct by the time the bugs arrived. (This is a reference to Gradius’ Origins campaign, which makes mention of resurrecting extinct species and overcoming biochemical barriers.)

    The bugs typically produce their forces at dedicating cloning facilities, but host species have been seen reproducing on their own. The helminths contain the complete genomes of all bug units, allowing them to mature into any host species provided they have a suitable environment. (This is a reference to Zerg larvae and the autopsy section of the 2004 Tyranid codex.)

    Human-conducted experiments on bugs have revealed some interesting information. It is possible for human telepaths to communicate with the bugs, but this process appears quite unpleasant due to the alien and single-minded nature of the bugs’ psychology. The experiments were able to extract a limited amount of information, such as basic motivations: the bugs consider all other life to be food for their young and clay for their creations. (This is a reference to the novel Liberty’s Crusade, which was contradicted by later sources.)

    The human experiments revealed the bugs have known the elves long before the elves knew of them, and label the elves xenophobic and genocidal gardeners. This contrasted against intercepted and translated transmissions from the elf listening posts, which seemed fairly innocuous (even if the space-time manipulation casually mentioned in the census records was terrifyingly advanced). (This is a reference to Liberty’s Crusade and the Starcraft beta website.)

  10. #50

    Default Re: Let's brainstorm a Starcraft rip-off

    aesthetics: Teleportation and wormholes
    Wormholes are used by the Protoss in Starcraft, the Scrin in Tiberium Wars, and the Undead Scourge in Warcraft 3.

    I am of two minds about how the bugs construct things. On one hand they could gestate troops in buildings on the battlefield. On the other hand they could create portals which summon their units from their home reality (if they are aliens from hyperspace).

    If the bugs are summoning their buildings and units, then the elves would have to not do that to maintain a sense of aesthetic distinction. Maybe they could grow their buildings like trees similar to the Night Elves in Warcraft 3.

    base building in OpenRA
    If I'm using the OpenRA engine, which I am partial too since I loved playing RA2 back in the day, then I would probably be limited to the mechanics used there. All buildings have to be built near the base, and you cannot move buildings. The closest to movable buildings would be the ability to revert an construction yard back to an MCV (mobile construction vehicle), which is only allowed in certain game modes; modding could expand that to other structures, such as a mobile war factory I saw in a mod once.

    The closest to creep/blight in OpenRA would be concrete in Dune2k. Concrete is built like any other building. Buildings have to be built on concrete foundation or they will fall apart. This was dropped in Emperor, where the only limit was that buildings had to be built on rock, never sand.

    Power is a resource in all Westwood RTS games. It is produced by power plants and consumed by structures. This could be fluffed a variety of ways for the three sides: humans have conventional power plants, bugs have bioreactors that rely on tiberium, elves have their weird alien power plants.

    harvesting resources in OpenRA
    I found it pretty easy to imagine how the three sides would harvest ore/tiberium. The humans use a soviet-style harvester, the elves use an allies-style chrono miner, and the bugs use a yuri-style slave miner. In the bug's case the slave miner would actually be a giant bug creature which serves as a mobile refinery: it sits down next to a patch of resources and releases smaller mining bugs to collect the materials.

    I was thinking the bugs could also use a yuri-style grinder, fluffed as a digestion pool or something. Units could be sent to it to be digested and reclaim their resource value for use elsewhere.

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