Author Topic: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?  (Read 4341 times)

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How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
I ask this because it seems quite a challenge to make campaigns with effectively forgone conclusions 100% of the time (and in most of those cases, the conclusions are futile/depressing in hindsight) and have much creative freedom when the military assets, tech, and capital ships (especially for the Colonial side) remains extremely static, limited, and predictable.

Shattered Armistice did a fantastic job of mostly averting this problem, but I seriously doubt it's a feat that can (or even should) be pulled off more than once (not including specifically canon campaigns/missions related to the Galactica and/or Pegasus)--very few ships even had the capability to fight back during The Fall, and it's hard to continually play 'they're all doomed, they just don't realize it yet, and there's very little that can be done anyway' campaigns.

So will there be any deviations? Even if they're just 'hypothetical' canons in themselves as an aside to the main design goal of a canon series of releases? In other words, are we ever going to see a campaign or aside-contuinity for Diaspora (that's not entirely fan-made) where a battlestar other than the Galactica or Pegasus actually survives beyond The Fall (or its alternative equivalent)?
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Offline newman

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
That would be telling :) For now I can say we have a pretty good plan on where to take it from here. Alternative timeline campaigns are something I'd like to see eventually and have even pondered on some stories for them, but for the moment we're sticking to the canon timeline, no alt timeline campaigns are planned for the immediate future. Working in these frames can be tricky but there are ways to do it right - and R2 aims to do just that. I can't reveal any of the plot details at this moment, though.
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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
That would be telling :) For now I can say we have a pretty good plan on where to take it from here. Alternative timeline campaigns are something I'd like to see eventually and have even pondered on some stories for them, but for the moment we're sticking to the canon timeline, no alt timeline campaigns are planned for the immediate future. Working in these frames can be tricky but there are ways to do it right - and R2 aims to do just that. I can't reveal any of the plot details at this moment, though.

Sounds good! Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of room for awesome stuff within canon for at least a while; the big concern comes further down the line. Glad to see you guys have given it a lot of thought.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
To be fair, we've already released a non-canon mission. The FRED training mission is alt-canon.
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Offline newman

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
True, I was talking about official campaigns.
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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
With the release of Blood and Chrome, have any members of the team considered First Cylon War-campaigns? I understand it'll be a while before that sort of thing can become a reality as new models would have to be made, like 1st War-era Basestars and Raiders, for one - though I do believe a Galactica-class Battlestar model already exists? Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyways, since B&C takes place in the final year of the war, the first 9 years of the war are very, very fertile ground, creatively-speaking. As well, I'd have absolute faith in the Diaspora team to write a campaign that does the war justice - 'Shattered Armistice' was top-quality, and I know that if a Cylon War campaign was ever done, that would be top-quality as well.

So, is this sort of thing ever going to be a possibility?

 

Offline newman

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
This sort of question has been discussed before. In short - yes, first Cylon war stuff is planned eventually, but we'd prefer to give the new era justice first to avoid spreading ourselves too thin.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 06:49:13 pm by newman »
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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
This sort of question has been discussed before. In short - yes, first Cylon war stuff is planned eventually, but we'd prefer to give the new era justice first to avoid spreading ourselves too thin.

Okay then! Sorry for the repeat of the question, also. I wasn't aware it had been raised before. Nevertheless, good stuff! I look forward to seeing what else is going to come out from you guys :) I should also note to you and the rest of the team, that as far as I'm concerned, Diaspora is on the same level as a professional studio-done project. Keep up the great work!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 07:05:38 pm by McKerrin »

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
We've mentioned the First Cylon War as a definite project many times because that is the one that offers us the most creative freedom.

Since Blood and Chrome is only going to be a one-off, we have the entire first 9-10 years of the war as our playground.
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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
We've mentioned the First Cylon War as a definite project many times because that is the one that offers us the most creative freedom.

Since Blood and Chrome is only going to be a one-off, we have the entire first 9-10 years of the war as our playground.

Now I'm pumped. I know that when the Cylon War campaign/s eventually come out, it'll be a professional-level storyline of the war that we never got to see in a series. Can't wait! :)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 08:31:41 pm by McKerrin »

 
Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
It seems to me there are three main paths you could take for campaigns in Diaspora:

1. Try to weave your missions into the canon, which is what R1 does (very well, all in all). This seems like it would be the hardest path. As already discussed the turkey shoot and everybody dies nature of the Second Cylon 'War' means you'd be very hard pressed to tell many stories within its framework. But also if you wanted to do missions that follow the fleet you would have to be very careful to justify why these things are never mentioned in the show. The Beyond the Red Line demo was pretty good in that respect. I can't imagine a full campaign that could pull it off however. But then again, the show itself features an entire movie in which BIG and IMPORTANT things happen that go virtually unmentioned within the show itself, so who knows.

I fully expect someone to make single missions based on battles from the show though, at some point. Just seems inevitable,

2. Alternate universes. What if the Cylons didn't do their virus attack thing, or if it wasn't fully effective (imagine a handful of early missions where you play the roll of an unaffected plane having to protect disabled assets until they can be brought back online)? Then there would be an actual war, and one could create a classic 'cog-in-the-machine' Freespace-style campaign. Maybe give the Cylons an actual order-of-battle, with frigates and cruisers as well.

Or perhaps a campaign that departs from the show at some key point (my vote would be for right after the New Caprica exodus) and attempts to give the story a non-retarded ending. I don't have much expectation of this one, it would be a colossal undertaking. But it's an interesting thought.

3. Prequel/FCW campaigns. So obvious it goes without saying. I've thought quite a lot about the potential of this era. Consider that B&C takes place at the tail-end of the war, which means there's more or less total freedom for things set earlier.

How did the Cylons survive against an organized military long enough to start building things like basestars? We know that the colonies became a united force during the course of the conflict. So at the beginning the toasters were probably faced with a scattered, disorganized enemy. Maybe it took the Colonials a few years before they settled on the concept of giant armored battleship/carriers. Perhaps at some point you're assigned to a top-secret proto-Battlestar?

Imagine all the different colonies having different ships, maybe even entirely different orders of battle, at the start of the war, before gradually uniting and standardizing. I bet the poorer Colonies would have brought some really interesting improvised warships and weapons to the fray. Maybe the Viper was an entirely Caprican invention, and other factions had their own fighter designs. The player would start in those retro Mk I's and the II (and possibly III) would be mid or late game upgrades. Seems like the skies the limit from a creative standpoint.

I'm sure all I've done is layout stuff that other people have already thought of, but them's my thoughts, for what they're worth.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
When the BtRL team were making the demo the original plan was to make it so that the player fought and killed Scar. We even had a special Scar texture made up (it was actually released although SP never used it).

When I had the idea behind Birth of a Legend we decided to change focus because the idea of being the player who gave Scar his first scars was a way to let the player defeat Scar without taking away anything from Starbuck and Kat. It also had other significant advantages.

1) The player no longer had to be either Starbuck or Kat. Having the player as either would have been a nightmare in terms of voice acting as either we'd have to find a Starbuck sound-alike or simply clip soundbites from the show. Neither of which would end up remotely as polished as we wanted.
2) Although it makes for great TV, in a computer game the battle with Scar is pretty boring. You have a mission with only one cylon ship and two colonials. Unless we make a large part of the mission about finding where Scar is (something which could be potentially boring), there isn't that much to the actual mission (if you notice in the show the combat takes less than a couple of minutes in real time).


I have similar ideas for a couple of the other iconic battles in the game but when it comes down to it, some of the battles in the show are better TV than they are missions.
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Offline Aesaar

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
2. Alternate universes. What if the Cylons didn't do their virus attack thing, or if it wasn't fully effective (imagine a handful of early missions where you play the roll of an unaffected plane having to protect disabled assets until they can be brought back online)? Then there would be an actual war, and one could create a classic 'cog-in-the-machine' Freespace-style campaign. Maybe give the Cylons an actual order-of-battle, with frigates and cruisers as well.
I like this.  As the releases go on, I expect it would become difficult to come up with new reasons for why the CNP backdoors aren't working (though maybe you'll surprise us).  An alternate reality where the CNP doesn't let the Cylons get a complete victory has serious storytelling potential, IMO.  You'd get to make a BSG war story that could be much better than B&C.

This would probably be more feasible when the Valkyrie, Mercury, and maybe Galactica-type are ingame, which will understandably take a while.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 09:10:31 pm by Aesaar »

 
Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
2. Alternate universes. What if the Cylons didn't do their virus attack thing, or if it wasn't fully effective (imagine a handful of early missions where you play the roll of an unaffected plane having to protect disabled assets until they can be brought back online)? Then there would be an actual war, and one could create a classic 'cog-in-the-machine' Freespace-style campaign. Maybe give the Cylons an actual order-of-battle, with frigates and cruisers as well.
I like this.  As the releases go on, I expect it would become difficult to come up with new reasons for why the CNP backdoors aren't working (though maybe you'll surprise us).  An alternate reality where the CNP doesn't let the Cylons get a complete victory has serious storytelling potential, IMO.  You'd get to make a BSG war story that could be much better than B&C.

This would probably be more feasible when the Valkyrie, Mercury, and maybe Galactica-type are ingame, which will understandably take a while.

For CNP backdoor you can use a Pegasus like excuse, (maintanace, computer error etc.). As they said in the series : The ones that had any succes were old or in need for some serious overhaul.

For the ones who are up for it:
You could also have a story like that some serious computer nerd of the crew managed to get a firewall up in time to disable the CNP backdoor in time (or did it in advance below the radar...).

Quote
1. Try to weave your missions into the canon, which is what R1 does (very well, all in all). This seems like it would be the hardest path. As already discussed the turkey shoot and everybody dies nature of the Second Cylon 'War' means you'd be very hard pressed to tell many stories within its framework. But also if you wanted to do missions that follow the fleet you would have to be very careful to justify why these things are never mentioned in the show. The Beyond the Red Line demo was pretty good in that respect. I can't imagine a full campaign that could pull it off however. But then again, the show itself features an entire movie in which BIG and IMPORTANT things happen that go virtually unmentioned within the show itself, so who knows.

I fully expect someone to make single missions based on battles from the show though, at some point. Just seems inevitable,

You could just use a paralel story. For the most part there was no contact with other fleet assets and they never really came in contact (except for Pegasus). Maybe some other captain did something similar like in the series and had a civy fleet of his own after a while. You could make a parallel story which is similar but also totally different! The possibilities are numerous.
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Offline The E

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
Quote
You could also have a story like that some serious computer nerd of the crew managed to get a firewall up in time to disable the CNP backdoor in time (or did it in advance below the radar...).

If we take the hints about what the CNP does that were dropped throughout the series, we see that the CNP was a system that was supposed to create a giant information sharing network between ships and stations onboard ships. The backdoor wasn't so much an actual back door, it was a systemic vulnerability combined with a leak of the encryption keys or whatever it was they used to secure that network. Even if a ship had "a giant computer nerd" on the crew (and given how important computers are for warships, even ones as old and unupgraded as Galactica, we can assume that there are dedicated computer techs on every Battlestar), the possibility of that guy, or a group of guys deciding that the big mandatory upgrade that came down from HQ is not properly secured is absolutely laughable. It's a plot device that falls apart under even basic scrutiny, since it assumes that not only that this vulnerability is something that can be spotted quickly by a single person (Given that the backdoor was built into the system by the lead Engineer on the project, this is highly unlikely), but also that that person could sabotage the installation procedure so that that backdoor is hidden. If you remember Razor, we saw that at least one 6 was doing the installation, or helping out with it on a fleet flagship; it would not be a stretch to assume that other cylons were doing pretty much the same in other critical locations. Hell, they even went so far as to put one cylon on Galactica, a vessel that wasn't deemed combat worthy anymore by the Colonial Admiralty!

That's of course only covering the "Disables the backdoor in advance" scenario. The other, the "disable the backdoor just in time before its used" scenario assumes again that the person in question a) already had an inkling of where to look, and b) was able to implement a countermeasure before malware specifically designed to lock down all available systems as fast and as hard as possible could act.
Again, highly unlikely scenario that.

What I am basically saying is that other scenarios, like the one Galactica used, or the one we used with Theseus, are simpler, just as effective, and above all, more resilient to critical inquiry by people who actually know a bit or two about how hacking works.
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Offline BritishShivans

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
Or, perhaps you could try a half-half solution: The ship that has CNP has some of it's systems turned off, but parts of it's hardware/software are resistant/or use different/older software to the rest of the fleet, so while some parts of the ship go offline, maybe the crew eventually gets the ship ready for combat/gets the affected systems back online via manual control.

Of course, you couldn't obviously use this for everything/all the time, but you could use it for a single, or maybe two ships. This way, you could have an interesting mission where your patrol gets CNP'ed, but the main ship/battlestar/whatever has it's engines, point defense, and some other systems remain online, but you need to defend the ship from Basestars/Raiders until they can get their main guns back online so they can have something big to shoot back with.

Really, there's a lot of ways you can do this without going "lol no cnp" or "we weren't affected by cnp because technobabble".

 

Offline Trivial Psychic

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
 :lol: That just put me in mind of the 5-minute BSG pilot comic.
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Offline MatthTheGeek

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
I don't think Diaspora is at a stage where they need new plot ideas right now.
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Offline newman

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
It's not. R2 plot's been selected, and we have the CNP part covered - there aren't any ideas here that weren't already considered many times. If people like to talk about this though, let them do it. Preferably not in the form of Diaspora plot suggestions, as we aren't taking any at this point.
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Offline Master_Drow

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Re: How in-line with canon will Diaspora continue to be?
Oh there is many a way that you could get a some sort of military vessel past the cylons. First, remeber that most of the colonial fleet was stationed at one dock. Which makes no sense, but lets go with it. Well, where are all of the old Battlestars? A mothballed fleet? How about the prototypes? I think a prototype battlestar stolen from a research facility would have a lot of fun story in it.
You could even go with a rag-tag civilian fleet that managed to FTL out. For guns you can have them raid the old decommissioned war vessels graveyard, or a research lab, or even just the factories. Sure they won't be a strong as a battlestar, but again there is a story to be told. Maybe they arrived at Ragnar a few hours/days after the Galactica left (and the cylons who followed after) and then use the remaining supplies to arm themselves.

The show only covers the chase of the Galactica and a bit about resistance fighters, on one planet. There a dozen other colonies, plus you have mining fleets, and shipping fleets, small moon colonies, space stations, research outposts. There are sure to be other groups of ships that managed to get away. Leoben (sp?) on Ragnar station claimed he was a pirate there to steal weapons and supplies. What about the other pirates? They must have some sort of defenses in case they got caught, even if it was just really good at getting away and having a few dozen hiding places.


Diaspora is really a great name for this project. "A scattering of people away from their homeland" their are dozens or hundreds of splintered groups all trying to hide from the cylons, and each has a story to tell, you just have to pick one.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 11:41:54 pm by Master_Drow »