Shadowrun Returns Deluxe at Humble Bundle:
Sale, not free.
Something 'far weirder and delves even deeper into the psychological ab-space of 'existing as a Shivan.'' sounds really cool, but probably not suited to a Freespace campaign, maybe a short story? As I've said before, you can't go too far on the side of incomprehensible, both in terms of how Shivans work, but also in gameplay terms. Without anything to latch on to, the player may as well be reading a book in a different language.
Quite ironically, its entirely because FS2 makes the Shivans more compelling and less straightforward that a Trimurti during FS2 would be much harder. That straightforwardness could be relied upon as an anchor for player to not get completely lost. The avenues for FS2 actually showing new viewpoints/re-contextualizing the actions of the Shivans or otherwise changing or enhancing what we already know about the events of FS2 (because otherwise there's no real point in making such a campaign) are much less clear to me than FS1, at least in way that keeps the player relatively grounded in 'normal' Freespace gameplay.
One of the things I loved most was that the campaign evoked in me, and earned my participation in, the Shivans' monumental indifference. I didn't get angry when I failed a tough mission, or feel any resentment of the jerks shooting me down. I always had this sense that I was still in control and that I would inevitably win in the end, even if my individual fighters were frail. When we got to hear the Washington's heroic speech in the last mission I remember thinking not 'a lot of species must've made this speech' or 'you guys are really ****ed' but something more like...clinical remove? Just this sense that the outcome was inevitable and all the human yelling was a symptom, a byproduct of the process, as meaningless in content as the Shivan transmissions.
(Now if I'd been trying it on insane, I might've gotten mad!)
I read back in the thread and saw the discussion about player-understanding vs. character-understanding; I get that the Shivan character probably understands the transmissions, but I still like the idea that the player's incomprehension is evoking something fundamental about the Shivan psyche, a process by which information is received and acted upon without interiority or qualia.
It's a tribute to the campaign that I left with my brain fizzing with ideas. Here is a vomit of some of them:
—I'd love, love a pseudo-sequel set during the events of FS2, which I think could be far weirder and delve even deeper into the psychological ab-space of 'existing as a Shivan.' I say pseudo-sequel because of the spoilery stuff around the ending. I just want to see such more! I want to be inside the Shivan response as it evolves and develops structure.
—The measure of great video game lore is how it alters moment to moment gameplay decisions, and there were definitely times when I stubbornly persisted in attack runs, or threw myself at certain targets with unusual aggression, because I thought 'I'm a Shivan and my life doesn't matter' or 'this is what I always see the Shivan AI do.' Similarly, lurking around regenerating, waiting for prey to show up, was A+ ludonarrative.
—Talking about weirder stuff: this edges into pushing my artistic interpretation of the Shivans onto yours, but I would love to see more symbolic/semiotic weirdness. A downtime mission about what Shivans do while they're not killing everything, by which I do not mean domestic theater, but 'a mission where you do things you don't understand for reasons that aren't apparent, but which are clearly having some effect'. Moments of failed contact, meaning-corrosion, miscommunication: things reaching out, but in vain. It may be that your Shivans are highly functional and do not experience this. But I dream of what you could do with a notional Trimurti 2 — interaction between Shivans that isn't as cleanly hierarchical and uniformly efficient, eruptions of consciousness or interiority which are starved or destroyed, mentality arising and vanishing in the crevices of the cold Shivan structure. Images appearing to you as you act. Imagine receiving conflicting objectives from outside, neither understanding those purposes nor having any criteria to choose between them — and observing the results of your choice for some hint as to what you've actually done. Such depths of incomprehension and enigma to evoke! You could explore whether Shivans are a tightly integrated unit, or as alien to themselves as they are to us. You could show us individual Shivan vessels or minds developing idiosyncrasies, madnesses, strange malformed psyches gestating in a mindless space and awakening surrounded by incomprehension and mindless hostility only to vanish again into the turmoil. Oh, the possibilities! Thank you for making me think about all this.
least active hosted project boardWell alone copying your release thread over there (51 replies) would give more posts than the FreeSpace: Fleet Command board (45)...
Thanks for the reminder, but I just checked and there's absolutely nothing in the code that should be stopping play-dead from having a priority up to 200, like any other goal. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯Regeneration is a great touch and only enhanced by the fact that you can ****in give yourself orders while regenerating which while probably not intentional is hilarious. Your weapons stay locked but you'll fly around after targets and stuff.Play-dead has been broken for months now! Go bug a coder about it!
(Whether or not the slashes are good) The Terrans and Vasudans created slashing beams specifically for the purpose of hitting as many subsystems as possible.
Really? I thought it was just to look cool.
At some point I should test that in FRED; see how long it takes for a few Deimos corvettes to take the Lucy's reactors out.