As I’ve mentioned earlier, the CSG is a party-based game and the party dynamics will be one of the areas we’ll focus on. There will be 12 potential companions (max party size is 4) filling different roles: psychotic paranoia, racial superiority, religious intolerance (works best when mixed with homicidal tendencies), political idealism, and other delightful personality quirks. In other words, the party members won’t be loyal and obedient slaves but will have their own beliefs, agendas, and personality traits (or in some cases, programming).
To give you an idea, here is a quick overview of the top four gunmen who might be persuaded to join you (keep in mind that men of violence are rarely well adjusted individuals):
The Gunfighter – an unstable and somewhat paranoid (which is why he’s still alive) gun for hire. He doesn’t care which side he’s fighting for as long as he gets paid. He doesn’t have much patience for diplomacy or long winded conversations, and if he gets a bad feeling he goes for his guns. Being paranoid, he gets bad feelings a lot, so unless you like shooting your way in and out, consider getting someone else. Holding out on him might give him the wrong ideas about the partnership. Other than that he’s a great guy to be around.
The Preacher – a man of God dedicated to saving sinners’ immortal souls but showing a callous disregard for their mortal bodies. He’ll join you if you join the Church of the Elect to make sure you deliver what you promised and keep you from having second thoughts. He won’t act against the Church’s interests and won’t tolerate your lack of faith, should you ever display it (he would find it very disturbing). Once he’s in your party, you either do what he says or you kill him, which will displease the Church greatly. You might think it’s a bit harsh but religious fanatics rarely make great traveling companions and joining the Church is more than a cosmetic choice.
The Colonel – a former officer of the Protectors of the Mission, makes the best damn fried chicken on the ship. He failed the Mission one time too many and had to switch sides in order to avoid honorable death by firing squad of his peers. The Protectors want him dead more than ever and tried to kill him several times, so he’s well motivated to help you, should you side with the Brotherhood. Then again, he’s equally well motivated to fuck you over if it ends the “misunderstanding” with the Protectors and restores him to his rank and privileges afforded by it.
The Wastelander – a rather antisocial mutant who makes a living exploring the damaged areas of the ship and stripping them of anything valuable. Sort of the ‘mountain man’ of the ship. He had a falling out with the Covenant, so now he bears a special hatred for all religious folks, including the Church. Religion is the only topic that can get him all worked up, so don’t take him places where someone might ask if you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior. He will leave you if you join a faction, but if you’re a “burn it to the ground” kinda guy, the Wastelander is your man.
What's 'wasteland', you ask?
Anyway, back to the party members...
Fortunately, there's one party member who's actually very easy to get along with - Unit Romeo Whiskey Sierra, model XV. When you first find this droid, it's barely more than some scrap metal, but if you put enough effort (not to mention Mechanical and Computer skills, as well as some missing modules), Romeo will blossom into a beautiful, murderous butterfly.
Flood lights, two built-in grenade launchers (brainwave disruptor and stasis field grenades if you can find them,
can be modified to use ship-made grenades (gas, flashbang, smoke), two plasma guns. You can replace pretty much
anything including the armor, building a heavier or much lighter, "dune buggy" style model.
* * *
/on activating it
“Place your weapons on the ground and move your hands to the back of your head.” Though the droid is stripped of armaments, its voice conveys the perfect mixture of authority and threat. “Failure to comply will be considered an admission of treason, which carries the penalty of death. Absent an appeal, penalties are administered immediately.”
1. “I don’t see any weapons.”
3. Turn it off.
“Apologies, Citizen. Your complaint has been forwarded to the Ship Authority interim auxiliary sub-office of Citizen Rights. Please allow 24 hours to verify the complaint and contact you with the response. Be advised that the penalty for filing a false complaint against an Autonomous Corrective Unit is one year penal labor.”
“Be advised that ignorance of the law, rowdiness, and loitering are all breaches of your duties as a citizen. You have the option to make a voluntary confession in exchange for leniency. This offer is limited in duration: 30 seconds... 29... 28...”
/turn it off
"Unauthorized deactivation of an Autonomous Corrective Unit is punisha—"
/after rebooting it.
“Autonomous Corrective Unit Romeo Whiskey Sierra, model XV. Primary protocol: Riot Suppression.”
“Riot: violation of Ship Authority Code Encouraging the Well-being and Positive Attitude of Citizens, Chapter IV, Section 12.0064; a criminal offense against public order involving three or more people."
Structural Integrity: 17% [17 hit points]
Armor: Electromagnetic Reactive Armor [damage resistance: 7]
Battle Reflexes: Integrated Module [6 action points]
Damage Control: Not Installed [0HP repaired per turn]
Target Acquisition: GE-Optic, Marksman 3000, [60% accuracy]
Weapon System: Not Installed [0 points of damage]
“GE-Optic is a division of General Electric dedicated to manufacturing cost-effective targeting solutions for home security products. With Marksman 3000, GE has preserved the popular features of its Marksman 2000SE while completely redesigning the thermal sensors to address consumer concerns about the alleged sensor malfunction in Marksman 2500LX which resulted in one hundred and twenty-six allegedly wrongful civilian deaths.”
“Is there anything better than sixty percent accuracy?”
“Fifty to sixty percent accuracy is an ideal performance range for Riot Suppression Units, which are designed to disperse unarmored antagonists within an acceptable level of casualties. After examining the data from twelve G50 countries, H&K Robotics’ market research has suggested that casualties below 40% are not high enough to dissuade lawbreakers, whereas casualties above 70% deplete the local workforce to economically unfeasible levels.”
“Are you saying Marksman 3000 is all we've got?”
“All Riot Suppression Units are outfitted with Marksman 3000 target acquisition modules. Urban Warfare Units are outfitted with BAE Systems’ Terminator M5Xi modules, which boast accuracy rates of up to 75%. Hunter-Killer Units are outfitted with Mitsubishi Electric’s Street Samurai M-series modules. I do not have specific data on their accuracy.”
“Tell me more about Urban Warfare Units.”
“In the unlikely event that Riot Suppression Units fail to successfully resolve an incident within 30 minutes, the incident is reclassified from Riot to Rebellion and Urban Warfare Units are deployed. These droids have access to a broader range of law enforcement protocols, including Enemy Combatants and Scorched Earth, the latter of which has been a trending resolution protocol with field commanders for over ten years. After the rebellion incident has been resolved, Hunter-Killer Units are deployed to find and neutralize rebellion participants tagged as instigators. These may include foreign as well as domestic targets.”
* * *
Last but not the least, we've made good progress with the engine and moved from evaluation to active implementation. So far we implemented the dialogue editor with basic features (enough to replicate the conversation with Miltiades) as well as basic character and camera control. More on that in the new year.