Core Dump - Work In Progress
September 3, 1997 : Alien(men) and secret things
Secrets... and why
I included three endings in the promo. And I've found that not everyone has yet found the hideout of the Belmont family. Well, to get the other endings you must also find the Belmonts and talk to them.
The reason for doing it like this is that players can complete the game and still haven't seen everything. Also, with the new structure it is always possible to finish the game in different ways, even when that results in the same ending. This means you can play the game again and again, finding new things every time.
Also, I haven't had any report on people finding the hidden item. But I know that to get to that, you must have some knowledge of the Belmonts. Gee. I said the promo had three endings.
So: find those Belmonts!
Alien(man) and Human(man)
Everyone working in the Sci-Fi storytype has the alien problem: how alien are my aliens? On the one end of the scale we have the star trek "man with strange face" alien, and on the other hand we have ... something we haven't even imagined.
The problem is that probably, aliens are far more unlike humans than we can suspect now. And that in turn raises question about whether we'll be able to communicate at all with such true aliens.
If you use man-derivatives in your story, it becomes essentially a story about humans in a strange setting. Most Sci-Fi movies with some depth have this element. (Oh: Robots are tinned humans most of the time..) Now, to be true in your storytelling, you really should be getting as far away from human values as you can (for the aliens) but you then run the risk of no one understanding what the hell it is about.
People understand tin robots and star trek-like aliens. I daresay any author has to come up with a believable true alien concept yet. Arthur C.Clarke went some way in trying, but it is really very difficult.
For Akin, we used human-like aliens, but they weren't revealed, and that made them more mysterious. In Core Dump they are the "stars" and as such I have to explain more about them. The player is actually an alien this time. And now it becomes clear why human-like aliens are so convenient: I can tell a human story (love, trust, the lot) within a half-believable setting that allows for new machinery. That is why SF is so much like fantasy: both are human stories in strange settings.
So this all helped in directing the story for Core Dump, in which the aliens only differ from a human enemy in, that they do not know humans very well. The Raalin are set to take over the human universe convinced that they are doing the right thing, just as the humans do. And that is where things get creepy. Although they both think of themselves as being morally right, they can both be accused of doing wrong, albeit in different areas. As such I never write stories about right and wrong. But morality is everywhere, it just cannot be omitted. But no one is right in Core Dump. Some individuals call some actions right or wrong. And that's where morality ends and stories begin.