Empty Shell (name still up for debate) (WiP) - Stage: Alpha


#1

Hello all.

This is my main project at the moment, although I don’t expect to have too much time available in the near future to actually get much work done on it. Real life is taking up most of my time right now.


The story:

Empty Shell is set in a future where the human race has colonized most of this solar system and have just started with their journey into the farther reaches of space. This is made possible by the relative peace within the human territories. There are some small conflicts, but these hardly ever grow beyond a regional scale. The growing number of pirates presents a more serious challenge. The inter-federal armed forces (a coalition formed by the main regional armies) try their best to hunt them down, but the pirates know their way around the solar system like no other and rarely ever get caught.

The story starts with a raid on a pirate hideout, and is told from the perspective of a young officer. Much to their disappointment the base seems to have been abandoned before their arrival. Despite this they take no chances and carefully search the entire building. Then they find the MC tucked away in a small room on one of the far sides of the building. He/she doesn’t respond to the entrance of the soldiers at all and simply continues staring into nothingness. He/she is checked for weapons, handcuffed and taken to one of the military ships for further questioning.

Because the MC more or less starts off as an empty shell, a puppet controlled by forces I won’t name yet, most of the first parts of the story will be told from the perspective of others. Despite this the MC will really be the key character in this story, whether he/she cares about it or not. While you can of course choose for the MC to remain lethargic throughout the story, they can have a pivotal role in the events that will unfold.

Whether that’s for the better or the worse is up to you to decide.


Feedback:

In case you enjoy the story, or otherwise have feedback on the plot, choices, spelling or grammar, feel free to drop it off here. The help is very much appreciated.


What’s in the story this far:

  • Character creation (very simple. Choice of either male or female sex (for plot reasons) and a name)
  • General introduction of the people the MC will hang out with for the duration of the story
  • Some stuff the MC has to do from their… “employers”, by lack of better word.
  • The first big battle, including pivotal choices and chances for the MC to play hero (and a sneak-peak into the repercussions that’ll have)

Last update:
26-04-2016: Re-balancing of the autonomy stat and made the first ±1000 words of the solitary confinement branch of chapter 6 available.

(01-01-2017: Sort of update. Playtest uploaded to Dashingdon. Couldn’t upload the original .html-file, so some of the new stuff might have slipped through. Please tell me if it has. (This also messed up the save system already in place))

Playtest:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/jklb6r6v74u2rc9/Nameless.html?dl=0
https://dashingdon.com/play/cecilia-rosewood/empty-shell/mygame/index.php?cb=87116


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#2

Starting the game off as a “puppet” protagonist sounds intriguing. I hope you can pull it off.


#3

The story sounds very interesting, and the idea of seeing the events through other characters’ perspective intrigues me. You should go for it!
I just love the idea of pirates in the game (pirates are fun, whether they’re the classic sea misfits, steampunk airship pilots or interstellar spaceship rogues :smile: ).

But just out of curiosity, will we be able to control the MC at some point in the story or not?


#4

That depends on if you choose to rebel against the person who is pulling your strings. You will probably end up doing that sooner or later anyway, but it seems interesting to me to at least make it possible to remain a puppet throughout the entire game.


#5

So, this means the choices in the story are made by the people who watch the MC? Like choosing what happens to the MC like the story is told through a witness-narrator? Sorry just a bit confused!


#6

No. Aside from the MC’s gender, and the MC’s name (he/she doesn’t have one, only a numerical code) all decisions that have an actual influence on the story will be made from the MC’s point of view. In the beginning the MC’s point of view will only be a few sentences, after which the perspective will switch back to that of some other person, but as the MC becomes more aware of his/her own personality the amount of story told from the MC’s perspective will steadily increase.


#7

Sounds interesting thanks for clarifying


#8

It’ll be difficult to pull off, but the idea definiely has merit!
It reminds me a little bit of Terra from FFVI.


#9

Aw. I thought you might be able to influence the story just by describing what the MC is doing through the eyes of the other characters. It would certainly confuse the reader at first, but I think it would be more rewarding when you finally understand what’s going on. Anyway, it still sounds interesting.


#10

will you be trying to reclaim your sanity?


#11

@Capital Nah. You might end up insane though. I’m still looking for a better titel.


#12

I’m a bit out of good name ideas, so I’d like to hear yours. Here are the discriptions of the (possible) RO’s:

  • The killer for hire (male)
    This person is regularly hired be chairman Zedd to get rid of people he doesn’t
    want to deal with directly. Naturally he’s kept in the dark about his employers
    real identity. He doesn’t really care much about that as long as he is paid. Misc.:
    He’s got a cybernetic right arm. In his spare time he likes to participate in
    robot rodeos.

  • The young officer (male)
    Serious and sociable. Was urged (read as forced) to join the military by his influential
    grandfather, a senator back on earth. He prefers being around his men over
    being around his fellow officers. He turned down an offer to get promoted a few
    times, despite being encouraged to do so both by his men and higher ups. Misc.:
    Likes pre-colonial history.

  • The doctor / biologist (female)
    Timid, but very passionate about her work. One of the latest additions to the
    crew. Joined the armed forces to have access to the equipment needed for her
    biological research. Her daughter, a stubborn six year old, is currently living
    with her parents on the moon.

  • The ace (female)
    Hot-headed and impulsive. Eats, breathes and lives action and loves life-threatening
    situations. Likes kick-boxing and extreme sports. This is probably why she’s a
    lot stronger than most men. The best fighter pilot in the fleet. Misc.: She’s
    surprisingly fond of children.

  • The sniper (female)
    Half of a twin. Calm and composed. Likes to do advanced ballistic calculations
    and weapon development in her spare time. Can assemble, disassemble and repair
    most rifles and long range cannons with her eyes closed. Misc.: Likes flowers,
    especially lilies.

  • The charmer (male)
    The other half of the twin. A charmer and a smooth talker. Good at manipulating
    people. Usually involved in negotiations, intel gathering and reconnaissance missions.
    Misc.: Likes old cars and cooking.


#13

I think you need a stronger story outline, right now the direction of your story seems quite vague. In saying the MC will be the key character of the story, how? What is his purpose in the story? Why should the reader care about him? If you’re saying he ends up insane, then write out the whole story of how he becomes insane first. Many questions you have to sort out along the way before it can work out. It may be better and easier to start with a simple story instead and when you get that done, you can tell the story from the perspective of others. The issue I already see from a writing of different perspectives is, the reader can easily get lost, so the writing needs to be top notch to not let that happen. I also suggest reading sci fi novels and documentaries for idea inspirations. Even on the WIP forum, there are plenty of people doing some fantastic outer space sci fi titles for you to get inspirations from. That’s just my 2 cents =)


#14

I’m currently still working on the outline of the story, so I have to agree with you on that point.

The MC will basically start out as an empty shell, a mere puppet created solely to do the bidding of his or her creator. His/her personality will be shaped by the decisions the player makes, and he/she will react accordingly. The way the story goes and which decisions the MC will encounter will partially be decided by this. As for the writing things from someone else’s perspective, that will mainly be in the beginning of the story, and only for short periods of time. It’s more to give people a bit more to see than just the world from the MC’s eyes. Especially in the beginning of the story the MC’s world is very small.

As for the WIP forum, I’m quite sure I’ve been roaming around there for a lot longer than you have :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#15

Well, good luck to you either way =) come check out my WIP title when you get a chance ^^


#16

Oh well. Since you asked it so nicely :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Edit:
Nice pictures, BTW.


#17

Behind the Name has a really good name generator. I use it all the time for naming my characters. You can just play around with the settings and see if anything pops out at you :smile:


#18

@Cecilia_Rosewood thanks ^^, which one? the profile pic ? or the WIP pic ?


#19

WIP pic. I can’t really make out much of your profile pic.


#20

o ok, ya the profile pic is a bit small to see properly, but it’s the cover art for my published hosted title silent gear.