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Travis

Dev
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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #1 
(Wrote this on my phone while Nate was watching TV. Exploring how weird things might get when reproducing mankind with clones.)

"Rainer," Julia's voice came in over his cybernetic comm, "I need you at the core. We've got a legit reincarnation."
 
Rainer sighed, turning his armored flatbed truck around. "It's a code-R Julia and I don't believe in it. Remember we decided not to call them reincarnations? It makes things worse for them and confusing for us."
 
"Say that when you get here," she snapped, hanging up on him. 
 
Bumping back down the dirt road from the tree farm, Rainer's truck stacked half-full of logs made it to the outer perimeter of "home" about an hour later. Mass fabricated stone walls stood about fifteen feet high, surrounding a cleared dirt area and a handful of small wooden buildings. In the center of it all was the domed metal crash site of the core. An AI-powered clone fabrication unit which could make people. Including Rainer.
 
"Howdy Sato-san," Rainer said as he drove past the one watch tower. Two stories up, the Japanese looking man in powered armor shouldered his assault rifle and waved back at him.
 
"Welcome back Lieutenant," Sato said. "I've heard some screaming from the core. Julia needs your help."
 
"Roger that," Rainer said. "Watch out tonight Sato. I saw some giant lizard thing out there today. It was eating the guy we've been calling the 'big f-ing lizard'. Might want to keep the rocket launcher in the tower for a bit."
 
"Yes sir," Sato said, saluting before he returned to sternly gazing at the forest around them. Rainer moved on to the next problem. Sato was the third person, or clone, he'd had the core make. Sato was a military spec human like Rainer himself. Unlike Rainer, who was more of a survivalist ranger type though, Sato was pure combat. All augmented strength, reflexes, and insanely good aim. If Sato couldn't handle it, well it probably couldn't be handled then.
 
Rainer drove his flat-bed into the dirt parking area in the middle of the compound. He was just stepping down when a naked man covered in gel and waving a pistol ran out of the core.
 
"Thank god!" the man said. "Rainer! It's you! Tell me where I am!"
 
Rainer flinched at the recognition. He saw Julia picking herself up inside the core. She limped out behind the naked guy. 
 
"You're on Apollyon," Rainer said curtly. Then he looked over the guy's shoulder Julia. "Hey Julia. What's this guy's name?"
 
"Harvey," she said, as she reached the door. "Harvey Mills. He's an agricultural specialist."
 
"Alright Harvey," Rainer started to say but was cut off as a the pistol was shoved into his face.
 
"You're not Rainer!" screamed Harvey, brandishing the pistol. Rainer decided that he'd had enough of the firearm. He slapped it out of Harvey's hand. His armored glove made it easy, the piece landed twenty feet away in the dirt.
 
"That's my name," Rainer stated simply. "I'm Lieutenant John Rainer of the ICA."
 
"NO," Harvey said, looking around. "No you're not. I served two years with John Rainer out of high school. He went into the Rangers after our mandatory enlistment was up and I went into agri-sci. He was at my wedding! You aren't him! You just look like him."
 
Julia had limped to his side at this point. She raked a hand through her black hair and took a swing off her flask. Rainer still wasn't sure where the hell she'd managed to get the alcohol. "I told you this was a code-R. He's got full memories of the before time. It's reincarnation! It has to be!"
 
Harvey's legs finally gave out, he sank to ground before Rainer. "What is going on here?"
 
Rainer sighed, feeling sorry for the guy. "I'm a clone of John Rainer. The original is probably fourteen hundred years dead."
 
"Fourteen hundred years?!"
 
"Yeah," Rainer said. "Doesn't Juliette teach you anything?" He'd renamed the core's AI to avoid confusion once Doctor Julia had been created by it. Now the AI who stamped out new people was named Juliette.
 
"She didn't say we were fourteen hundred years in the future! What happened to Earth and Mars?"
 
Rainer looked at Julia, neither had a good answer. "We don't know."
 
"It's EARTH! How can you not know?!"
 
Rainer shook his head. "I'm only 240 days old, what do you want from me? Be glad we are standing here at all."
 
Harvey's brown eyes stared at him in disbelief. Then at Julia.
 
"Don't look at me," she said, patting Rainer on his shoulder. "I'm only 100 days old."
 
"This can't be happening," Harvey said, mostly to his hands as his face dropped into them.
 
Rainer shrugged. "Julia, go get your ankle fixed up. I'll get Harvey rinsed off and in clothing."
 
"Tah tah, don't break his brain ok Rainer. We all busted our butts hunting lizards to make him," she said, limping off to the 'medical' log cabin to doctor herself. Rainer liked Julia, few things ruffled her. Unlike other members of their growing colony.
 
"I won't," Rainer shot back. "He knows stuff about the old place. I have so many questions Juliette can't answer."
 
"Lizards?" Harvey asked as Rainer pulled him to stand. 
 
Guiding the still naked argi-scientist back into the core, Rainer found the jumpsuit Julia had brought for his awakening. He showed it at Harvey and turned away.
 
"They aren't actually lizards," Rainer said. "Their alien what-the-fucks who look like lizards. We need a lot of protein, amino-acids, and other assorted biological materials to make a new human. Anyway, the lizards are big, and now we've a truck to haul them in, it's a lot faster than before. So yeah man, you're like 99% bad-ass space lizard."
 
Harvey put on the jumpsuit quietly, thinking about it. "I really am just a clone... How do I have all these memories then? I remember Earth."
 
Rainer shrugged. "We theorized this might happen. Skill and knowledge recording is done by these black-box neural AI programs. Nobody knows how they work or what they record. It's likely that the original Harvey was neuroatypical and bound up his language and know-how with his memories in a way the rest of us didn't."
 
Then Rainer gestured with his thumb in the direction of the medical hut and Julia. "Or you can think of it as reincarnation. Whatever floats your boat and gets you to make a farm for us, I don't really care which. But we'll find out for sure when we make another Harvey one day."
 
Harvey looked at him in horror. "Another me?!"
 
Rainer grinned. "Yup. We've only got eighteen people to chose from. Eventually, we're gonna have to make a duplicate of someone." He opened his armor's face plate to scratch his stubbly chin. "Not sure how we're gonna handle that haha. Julia suggested numbering ourselves like Harvey 2 and such. Sato and I aren't fond of that idea. No one's gonna say 'Hi Rainer 2' in conversation. I'm thinking we'll just make people use middles names for round 2."
 
Harvey put his head in his hands. "Alien proteins, clones, false memories, numbered versions of myself?! Can we call ourselves humans anymore?"
 
Rainer pointed out the door at nearby tree just outside the walls. A large brown animal, kinda like a porcupine, was eating nuts hidden in its branches. "If it makes you feel any better, I made Julia out of those guys. You have no idea how long it took me to hunt enough of em." 
 
"About 140 days going by your ages," Harvey said more than asked. "Not bad for a fully grown medical professional. You know they normally take 30 years to reach double-doc level right?"
 
As they both watched the pudgy ball of spikes eat, something scared it, causing the animal to scramble. It then gracelessly lost it's grip and fall several branches with a squawk and a plop. 
 
"Yeah, she was mad when she found out..." Rainer said. "But screw you, it was 140 days of living on the razor's edge. I constantly worried that I'd break a leg or succumb to an infection Julia couldn't fix. Starvation and plain old getting eaten by some violent monster were also on the table. If anything bad had happened to me, mankind's second chance was over. And believe me there were some close calls. You have it easy by comparison, there's like six of us now. I don't have to walk around like I'm a precious egg anymore."
 
Harvey sighed. "So what do I do here then? You mentioned a farm?"
 
Rainer grinned. "We're tired of being hunter-gatherers. We have a base, we can't follow the herds or crap like that. I need you to reinvent agriculture."
 
"You have to be kidding," Harvey said. "This is a collection of wood buildings on an alien world. Do you know how long it took humanity to domesticate even the neolithic crops?"
 
"Nope," Rainer replied, hooking his thumbs in his weapon belt. "My day 1 was 'reboot humanity' and I'm just a grunt who likes camping. It can't be harder than that for a top farm sciences guy like yourself." He held out a hand to Harvey. "Come on, I'll show you how many surprises these wooden buildings hold. We're not exactly the stone age around here."
 
Harvey took it and stood up, still a little shaky. "I guess I don't have a choice. Ok. Father of modern agriculture it is then."
 
"That's the spirit."
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Travis

Dev
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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #2 
Writing this brought up so many questions in my head about the game itself.

Tree Farming - this is pretty essential in minecraft and terraria. Any game where you build a big base and need wood past the start of the game is gonna need the ability to plant trees or maybe have trees regrow somehow. Otherwise, the map will get clear cut and everyone will be SOL.

Food - other than hunting, are there plans for farming? It doesn't feel like it'd fit with Gearstorm to me. Playing around in the game and with these short stories, my gut feels like food tanks or some kind of space-aged, super mechanical method would be more appropriate. Also, I get the impression that this isn't a farming game haha. Giant tanks of Veggy matter and Protien which a Star Trek dispenser can turn into food seems much more fitting. Haha, I love the idea off throwing lizard corpses into a chippershredded attached to a food fabrication plant. LOL.

The size of hardware - Right now, you have very small fabricators and research stations. For all the tier 1 stuff, that's great as players don't have a lot of materials and bases will be small. IMO higher tier machines should be bigger and bigger. That creates housing and defense issues as players increase their tech and logistics capabilities.

Rogue Like Spawns - I remember having a conversation about this, but Harvey really makes me think it'd be a cool touch. Like, when the player respawns give them the choice of two random people they can be. Each person being a collection of Edges and Flaws. (simple stuff to start with like.. Rainer "+5% weapons damage, -5% damage from animals. -10% research speed 'uneducated'")


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GearStormTrooper

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Posts: 1,322
Reply with quote  #3 
Another great story.  Awesome stuff.  Keep in mind that Apollyon has been occupied by humans for centuries.  Although the Phage and the indigenous life have kept those populations under wraps.

It's possible that our heroes landed in a remote uninfested corner.  But likely they would encounter the other factions and the Phage in short order.

The game map will have burned out locations to explore (check out the Game Map thread)  the marked locations will be populated while many other smaller outposts and abandoned locations will be there too.

On to your questions...

Tree Farming -  We intend for unpopulated areas of the map to regenerate/respawn.  The game does support the ability to add trees but a bit of work needs to happen first.

Food and other Farming -  We do plan to support farming.  Currently there are two levels of devices,  planters and hydropods.  Both are incomplete (like the extractors).  Player can farm if they want.  But here's the value of NPCs.

NPCs are your workforce.  I would like a truncated RimWorld experience with them but today they have a Job function.  NPCs can have up to 3 job assignments.  They will move from device to device producing "work".  Work makes RP at research stations, grows food at planters, generates materials at extractors etc.  AI's can also do "work" albeit faster and consume much more power (not yet implemented).    But absolutely,  NPCs need to have "DNA"  that affects their dialog selections, behaviors, moods etc.

Also on the future roadmap, is Construction Mechs.  To stamp down industrial sized equipment you'll need to build and operate one of these.  Would be cool to get there but scope...

Thanks again,
B
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Travis

Dev
Registered:
Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks. 

I know there's other people. But I loved the absolute razor's edge of being the last and only humans. So I'm with ya in thinking they landed somewhere remote. I get the impression Apollyon was never heavily populated. 

Maybe the next one will be them discovering there's other people...and the phage.
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Travis

Dev
Registered:
Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GearStormTrooper

On to your questions...

Tree Farming -  We intend for unpopulated areas of the map to regenerate/respawn.  The game does support the ability to add trees but a bit of work needs to happen first.

Food and other Farming -  We do plan to support farming.  Currently there are two levels of devices,  planters and hydropods.  Both are incomplete (like the extractors).  Player can farm if they want.  But here's the value of NPCs.

NPCs are your workforce.  I would like a truncated RimWorld experience with them but today they have a Job function.  NPCs can have up to 3 job assignments.  They will move from device to device producing "work".  Work makes RP at research stations, grows food at planters, generates materials at extractors etc.  AI's can also do "work" albeit faster and consume much more power (not yet implemented).    But absolutely,  NPCs need to have "DNA"  that affects their dialog selections, behaviors, moods etc.

Also on the future roadmap, is Construction Mechs.  To stamp down industrial sized equipment you'll need to build and operate one of these.  Would be cool to get there but scope...

Thanks again,
B


Cool!
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