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wildweasel

Freedoom's Story

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I'm aware that Freedoom currently doesn't have very much of a story. My idea is to actually provide it with one. Do the intermissions already have text written, or are you just letting the Doom/Doom 2 texts remain instead? Did you ever figure out what AGM stands for?

These are the kinds of things I feel I could help out with.

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These threads could be of use when fetching ideas for a solid story. I think I like Fraggle's draft the most, it ties in well to the whole free software theme and also touches on some possible serious problems that could come up in the future.

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We have a DEHACKED lump that changes the story text. Feel free to suggest a story and replacements for this text. The monster names are also open to be changed if you wish.

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WildWeasel said:

Did you ever figure out what AGM stands for?

Isn't it obvious? AGM's a Giant Monopoly.

(This isn't actually official :P)

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Imps should be totally named Slithes. Because they're slither. I think.

They're supposed to be snake people, right? I'd figure soem snake related name be in order for them. Cobramen came to mind too, but sounds too GI Joe-ish

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WildWeasel said:

Did you ever figure out what AGM stands for?

Afterglow's mom

Apple/Google/Microsoft
Advanced Genetic Modifications
Agro-industry, Guns, & Media

A Giant Merger of All Global Megacorps

Aliens Gone Mad

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Here are some terrible possibilities of AGM's sinister meaning.

-Allied General Machinery
-Advanced Genetic Movement
-Ambitious Greedy Mankind
-Ancient Galaxy Marauders
-Aimed Galactic Monetary
-Astral Galactic Manufacturer
-Active Grey Matter
-Alien Gene Machine
-Adam's Geological Maintenance

lol

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Sodaholic said:

These threads could be of use when fetching ideas for a solid story. I think I like Fraggle's draft the most, it ties in well to the whole free software theme and also touches on some possible serious problems that could come up in the future.


That's a lot of stuff to search through. This thread had some cool discussion though.

Something I rarely see addressed is the chaotic sense of reality in Doom's basic premise. Like, if they're demons, why can you kill them with regular bullets? If it's actually hell, why don't you find the souls of the damned, laboring in infinite torment? Why are there cyborgs everywhere? And if they know how to build cyborgs and teleport, why are the forces of darkness so stupid when it comes to fighting the player? For the original games, none of that stuff actually mattered — partly because the point of the game was just to shoot stuff, and partly because the engine didn't offer tools for revealing more about the world as you explored.

Contrast this with Marathon and System Shock, where the worldbuilding was quite consistent (even though the worlds portrayed were pretty fucking weird) and a lot of the gameplay elements were suggested by the answers to other questions. Id's later games have made various attempts to move towards that kind of internal consistency, with obviously mixed results.

A lot of the suggestions floating around contain a hidden assumption that Freedoom should follow suit: Build a more plausible world around a more internally consistent idea. But there are a couple people basically suggesting the opposite and wantonly combining different ideas into something crazier than Doom. I'm not entirely sure which approach I like more.

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Here's my version of the Phase 1 story. I've used Fraggle's ideas as basis, added a couple of my own ideas, and tried to fit it into a story that spans the four chapters of Phase 1...

Chapter 1 (Outpost Outbreak):

The outpost is a massive offworld facility entirely operated by prison labour. The AGM wipes prisoners minds, and turns them into mindless, disposable cyborg drones that are controlled by an unknown central force.

You are a prisoner on the outpost, still awaiting "conversion". One day, you hear gunfire and mysterious growls through the prison walls. Seeing your chance, you steal the distracted guard's pistol, break free from your chains and escape your prison cell.

Mysterious creatures have appeared in the the base, and the mindless prisoner drones have gone berserk. Armed only with the pistol you stole from the guard, you journey into the base in a bid for freedom...

At the end of the chapter, you defeat the Pain Lords, and discover they were the ones who had control of the prisoner drones. The creatures are discovered to be an alien force. The AGM conceded to the alien's demands, in exchange for their own safety. The aliens, however, were just waiting for the right time to destroy humanity completely, and take earth and all its colonies for themselves.

You find a long-distance teleporter, your only way off the outpost. It sends you to...

Chapter 2 (Military Labs):

You land on another moon. This one was used by AGM to create biological weapons to control the populace of earth. Seeing alien symbols on the floor, you realise the situation isn't any different here.

At the conclusion of the chapter:
You defeat the Assault Tripods, the terrible creatures in charge of the laboratory moon. The victory was short lived, however. You feel a tingling sensation. In a desperate attempt to stop your one-man invasion, the aliens have teleported you to their main base, the world from which they are masterminding their invasion. Leading us to..

Chapter 3 (Event Horizon):

Now you are at the place where it all started. The aliens have terraformed this planet to be like their homeworld. It literally looks like hell, and the aliens are going to do their best to keep you there!

At the end of this chapter, you defeat the Technospider. This disables the forcefield on the planet, and you are beamed onto a spaceship. The spaceship has been locating survivors, and is heading back to earth....

Chapter 4 (Double Impact):

The ship, running out of fuel, crash lands on a remote research outpost at the edge of the explored galaxy. You are ordered to get to the Launch Bay, where you may find another ship to get off this planet and get back to earth.

At the end of this chapter, you find a spaceship, and head for earth. This takes us on to Phase 2.

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Jewellds said:

Here's my version of the Phase 1 story. I've used Fraggle's ideas as basis, added a couple of my own ideas, and tried to fit it into a story that spans the four chapters of Phase 1...
]

[/B][/quote]I like this story, it's feasible and isn't completely different.
It incorporates the aliens and explains the hell maps well enough. Plus touches on the zombie monsters. Anyways, I think this is a feasible story.

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I also like this story, particularly the starting premise. It becomes a little laboured stretched over 4 episodes but you'd be hard pressed to find a serious story that doesn't.

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Looks good, but it would be nice if we could maintain some of the back story from my original version of the story.

This new version is missing context for why you were in prison in the first place. It should be clear that the AGM is an evil megacorp that's imprisoned you and that you don't belong in prison (ie. unambiguously a "good guy").

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Fraggle said:
Looks good, but it would be nice if we could maintain some of the back story from my original version of the story.

That was my intention. I said that it was based on your story, and I always intended all the back story (Player imprisoned for daring to stand against the greedy, oppressive AGM, etc) to remain the same.

My fault, I should have been clear about that in the post. :P

Purist said:
It becomes a little laboured stretched over 4 episodes but you'd be hard pressed to find a serious story that doesn't.

Yeah, I kind of agree. The first chapter's the strongest. If anyone has ideas to spice up the other chapters, be my guest. :D

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Jewellds said:

That was my intention. I said that it was based on your story, and I always intended all the back story (Player imprisoned for daring to stand against the greedy, oppressive AGM, etc) to remain the same.

My fault, I should have been clear about that in the post. :P

No problem, thanks for clarifying.

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Jewellds said:

If anyone has ideas to spice up the other chapters, be my guest. :D

Well, I do have a few thoughts here...

Jewellds said:

In a desperate attempt to stop your one-man invasion, the aliens have teleported you to their main base, the world from which they are masterminding their invasion.

I'm not sure this jives with the intended difficulty curve of the project overall. If the invaders are "desperate" so early in the story, why does it take the rest of the first game and an entire second game to finally defeat them?

Phase 2 should be the part where they're actually on the defensive, which is why the fights are harder: They're more important battles. By contrast, the player should spend most of phase 1 seen by the enemy as either a harmless annoyance, or a patsy playing right into their hands as they carry out their super secret plan.

Jewellds said:

You are a prisoner on the outpost (...) Seeing your chance, you steal the distracted guard's pistol, break free from your chains and escape your prison cell.

This part is the most important to get right, because players jumping straight into the first episode (without reading any supplemental materials) will know nothing else about the premise before they start shooting people. I think the splash screens could be put to good use here in showing what happens immediately before the player takes control of Freedoomguy.

Jewellds said:

I always intended all the back story (Player imprisoned for daring to stand against the greedy, oppressive AGM, etc) to remain the same.

If the player is supposed to associate AGM with greed and oppression, then this has to be conveyed as early as possible, before the player gets used to seeing the logo and thinking it's just a meaningless name. The best way to do this is through an individual whose personality exudes greed and oppression, and who has the AGM logo on his clothing. In other words, he represents our first impression of the company, and it's not a good first impression.

For obvious reasons, that will have to be the guard.

So here's how I'm imagining it will go down:

  1. The first splash screen shows the hero chained to the floor, screaming in pain. The guard is using some kind of machine to torture him at the press of a button. The guard's body language is confident and carefree, as if he's indifferent to the hero's pain or even enjoying it. He's gesticulating dramatically with his free hand, perhaps because he's in the middle of a villainous monologue.
  2. The second splash screen shows the hero standing upright, breaking free of his chains. Now the guard is terrified, hunching over in a defensive posture, screaming into a radio for help and holding onto his pistol for dear life.
  3. The first room of the first map is recognizable as the torture chamber. There's a dead body on the floor, and the hero is holding the guard's pistol. Rather than stealing it, he has beaten the guard to death with his bare hands and looted the body.
Note that when you show something bad happening to a character and make no explicit moral statement about why it happened, the audience's default assumption will usually be that the character deserved it. Introducing a second character as the "badness target" will draw blame away from the hero for being imprisoned in the first place, and even suggest to many people that he was wrongfully imprisoned. And this is all without a single word of textual backstory.

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All good insightful commentary, and we should definitely try to express the story implicitly if possible without the need to read a bunch of text. However...

Mako said:

So here's how I'm imagining it will go down:

  1. The first splash screen shows the hero chained to the floor, screaming in pain. The guard is using some kind of machine to torture him at the press of a button. The guard's body language is confident and carefree, as if he's indifferent to the hero's pain or even enjoying it. He's gesticulating dramatically with his free hand, perhaps because he's in the middle of a villainous monologue.
  2. The second splash screen shows the hero standing upright, breaking free of his chains. Now the guard is terrified, hunching over in a defensive posture, screaming into a radio for help and holding onto his pistol for dear life.
  3. The first room of the first map is recognizable as the torture chamber. There's a dead body on the floor, and the hero is holding the guard's pistol. Rather than stealing it, he has beaten the guard to death with his bare hands and looted the body.

We should bear in mind that Freedoom is designed for Boom-compatible ports and in practical terms that means there isn't really a practical way to show story "splash screens" - that isn't something that Doom supports.

it is possible to use hacks to accomplish this kind of goal though - one option is to have DEMO1 be a recording of a special level where the player watches story screens. This sounds kind of weird so if you want to see what I mean, load up deca.wad and watch the first demo.

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fraggle said:

We should bear in mind that Freedoom is designed for Boom-compatible ports and in practical terms that means there isn't really a practical way to show story "splash screens" - that isn't something that Doom supports.


I actually mean the title screens you see right away when you run the game, before you open the menu. My (incorrect) recollection was that you see the main title screen, and then the credits screen, and then a demo starts playing... But it looks like the credits screen only shows up between demos, so this wouldn't work the way I pictured it.

That demo hack idea is really clever. I'm afraid to contemplate the ways it could be abused... I'll try that map as soon as I get a chance.

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Mako said:

I actually mean the title screens you see right away when you run the game, before you open the menu. My (incorrect) recollection was that you see the main title screen, and then the credits screen, and then a demo starts playing... But it looks like the credits screen only shows up between demos, so this wouldn't work the way I pictured it.

No, unfortunately it's just the title screen and then it drops straight into a demo. The credits screen is shown as a stop gap between demos though.

You may have gotten the misconception that this was the case because some source ports (like ZDoom-based ones) just show a slideshow of the title screen, credits etc. because they aren't able to play back Vanilla-compatible demos.

That same limitation means that the "story demo" wouldn't show on such ports. But most of them offer alternative ways that could be used to show the same story screens before the start of the game.

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Here's a story pitch I mentioned a little earlier in Ray's sprite thread. I noticed that there definitely seems to be a kind of Dino/Trilobite theme in the art, which looks cool. The Caco is the biggest example, and then there's also the lizard-baron. So, here's something I cobbled together in the span of seventeen minutes and a half.

Freedoom story (Any scientific inaccuracies regarding Dinosaurs is totally intentional)

The multi-national conglomerate AGM, a company whose sole-purpose is to use off-world minerals and materials to create the latest in advanced computer hardware, has successfully created the most advanced computer processing core the world has ever seen, sending the online information high-way millions of years into the future.... And to humanity's own extinction. Computer waves sent back and forth between the thousands of satelites for the last million years have gone awry as more and more pressure built onto their seemingly endless power supply and computing power. The core, so advanced that it never needed to upgrade due to it's own ability, has given out and made a mistake, sending a shockwave up and into the cosmos.

A massive asteroid intercepted the radio waves and was knocked off-course, finding itself on a trajectory with Earth. There was little to no warning. The cloud of satellites blocked sensors and dishes from being able to detect the asteroid, and even if they did, there was nothing that anyone could have done. With one mighty impact, the Human civilization was thrown back 65 million years, and a tear formed in the fabric of time and space, bringing the past to the present. And the core took on a life of its own. Humanity devolved back into a primal state, and their intelligence was transferred into the blood thirsty reptiles that prowled through the tear.

The Dinosaurs were back, and they had fused with modern day technology, becoming a domineering race of super-lizards, packed with retro-boosters, rapid fire missiles, and seemingly magic abilities. Any Human who had survived the events became their slaves, thrown into an endless turmoil of work and death. Thousands labored until they expired, either due to exposure, at the hands of the guards, or worse yet... Being fed to the primal devolved Humans who were once friends and family. The primal masters of the world renamed Earth to Sauros, Planet of the Beasts. Humanity was doomed to die unless....

Unless you could free them from their bonds...

You were a member of the UEF (United Earth Force) Special Operation Team that was sent to the largest AGM facility when the time-rip occurred. You watched as the asteroid not only decimated Earth, but opened the tear that allowed Dinosaurs to once again roam the Earth. Somehow, you didn't devolve. Somehow, you survived. And now, hidden in the ruins of an overrun facility, which by now was as dilapidated as the ruins of Greece, you have been biding your time. You have the weapons, and the resolve. But this is not a mission of revenge. It's not about getting even. This mission is for the salvation and freedom of Humanity, and to reclaim Sauros from the monsters that rule it. The reptiles had their turn long ago, and you will not let them reclaim the past, present, or future....



And:


Devolved Guard (Former Human)
These dime-a-dozen baddies were once normal Regular Joes like and you and me. Unfortunately, the devolution process has put their education back a couple million years, and you don't have the time to bring them up to speed. Teach these guys a bit about pain instead of arithmetic, okay?

Devolved Captain (Former Sergeant)
These guys are slightly smarter than your run-of-the-mill guard. Because of that, they're slightly smarter as cavemen too. They carry slightly larger guns that pack a slightly bigger punch and they're slightly tougher to kill. Slightly smack them upside the head with a .357 or two and keep the shotgun for yourself.

Devolved Trooper (Former Commando)
These guys were your buddies in Boot Camp. The guys who always had your back during the worst missions, the ones you called on Christmas, and the one who held your hand during your best friend's funeral. If it makes you feel any better, you can tip your hat to them after you kill them before they tear you a new one with their minigun.

Serpidas (Or just Serp/Imp/Poor-man combination of the words Serpente (Sci word for Snake) and Odontopleurida (a kind of Trilobite))
The snakes from Hell, Serpidas are the unintelligent foot-soldiers of the Sauros Army. These bony bugs shoot fireballs from their bare hands, and if that alone doesn't make you realize that they're dangerous, well, you'll learn from experience.

Red Liches (Cacodemon/Redlichiida is a kind of Trilobite)
What do you get when you cross a prehistoric bug and a puffy balloon that can shoot lasers from it's crotch? You get this pain in the ass.


All I got for names.

So, uh, yah. There's a pitch for yah.

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Earth, 3021.

The AGMSMC is the law enforcement and military wing of the nebulous Alliance General Mechanics megacorp. Among it's duties, the more dubious include "debt retrieval" from debtors who were foolish enough to take a loan from AGM Finances.

Often, this equates to massacring the surrounding area and bribing the local officials. When this facet of your job was revealed to you, you weren't exactly....thrilled.

Thus, you landed yourself with a court martial for deliberately fragging a small group of soldiers attempting to massacre innocent civilians. Now, don't delude yourself. PR ain't stupid, so they shipped your ass to the Tei Tenga system.

Shame their experiments with hyperspace cargo transport just so happened to go haywire and bring forth a as-of-yet unidentified alien hivemind to Tenga Alpha.

Tenga Beta is gone, Tenga Alpha is being slowly consumed by the hivemind's growth and you're the only Marine left. Time to get busy.

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raymoohawk said:

i like those descriptions they remind me a lot of the ones in the doom manuals :-)


Sort of the idea :)

If I knew all of the final designs probably would have had more, but it may or may not matter anyways. Ah well.

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Recovered Documents from all operable terminals on Linguica Alpha have been collected here for the purpose of your thoughts on the Theta Incident's criminality. Prosecution is advised, Magistrate.

The Time: 3027 C.E, Midsummer.
The Place: Tannhauser Research Facility Theta, located in polar crater anomaly of the planetoid Linguica Alpha.
File creator: Dr. Aiden Kessler, who other records identify as one of the chief perpetrators of the acts resulting in the Theta Incident's human cost.

Analysis has finally been completed on the ruins scattered throughout the polar crater, confirming our worst fears here at Allied General Mechanics. It appears that the civilization that once flourished here was destroyed by something malign lurking on the rather uninhabitable surface of Linguica Alpha.

Using genetic samples collected from the ruins, we have begun to experiment on the prisoners provided by AGM and have seen varying results. Some have degenerated down to subhuman thought patterns, forcing us to confine them in specialized "Closet" prisons and hire out far more heavily armed mercenaries to deal with them. However, with more durable subjects, we have seen a tenfold increase in capability. In particular, I am amazed at the progress seen by Operator "Kane".

As I speak, the Council is sending somebody this way to survey our progress.

The Time: 3027 C.E, October 31st
The Place: Facility Theta, Hangar 6
File Creator: AGM Private Security Operator "Kane", multiple aliases on file. The popular nickname for this individual is the "Savior of Humanity".

My god. I-I'm sorry, it's a bit overwhelming. I had no idea about the true extent of these atrocities, and I thought it would be yet another simple whistle blowing job.

The scientists here are akin to tiny little Mengeles in training. They lobotomized political prisoners, then implanted them with cybernetic restraints in order to control them from afar and use them as a private army. "Project Soldat", I believe it was called. However, it was only the start of what I've seen.

One of the eggheaded idiots sold us all out, I think. Sold us out to the Hive Mind, gave it the coordinates to Terra and generally made his mind up to betray us all.

The Hive Mind that lurked on the surface hijacked most of the base and machinery present here, warping it in ways I never thought possible. We never thought there was anything truly sentient on the planet, mostly a couple microbes and Earth animals that had escaped.

Then we got the biggest indicator of man's place in the universe in a very personal way. My- my friends and squadmates were speared on that horrible mechanical spider walker thing's legs and left for those snakes....I saw them die! I SAW THEM, DAMNIT!

I-I'm going to join them. All I have is a .50 caliber pistol and this genetic enhancement they gave me.

End recording, I'm going to die beholden to nobody.

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this is a suggestion that hellstorm archon sent

It is the year 2164. Humanity has just recently mastered space exploration, and is just now reaping its benefits. With it, comes the race for the sweet taste of economic success across the galaxy, and one corporation, the American Genisys Megacollective, has become the youngest and best of them all. Making billions off biological research, as well as weapon and defense contracts back home on Earth, AGM is well on its way to becoming the top dog in this space race.

Recently, it has discovered the planet Demeter, a gas giant 84 light-years away from Earth and with one moon capable of sustaining life, the moon DR-1. Thinking that the discovery of alien life would be worth a fortune, as well as immortalize them as the first megacorporation to discover alien life in another solar system, the bigwigs over at AGM HQ would ensure that the moon would be scoured top to bottom for any life. Soon after, three colonies on separate regions of the moon were established to find any living organisms. Ultimately, alien plant life was found, but anything capable of advanced sentience wasn't. However, researchers found clues that there was not only sentient life on the moon, but an entire civilization had existed. These colonists dug deeper, and found that the Civilization had extremely sophisticated technology never discovered before, but like so many great civilizations back on Earth, the Civilization had evidently disappeared without any real trace of unrest or exodus, nor why the capital city of the Civilization had been abandoned so suddenly.

Afterwards, the Messages started coming in. Some of the higher-ranked researchers and security personnel reported having nightmares about inhuman creatures and malevolent deities hell-bent on eradicating all life found; this of course being a consequence of the colonists coming into contact with some of the Civilization's "holy temples" and "sacred objects." To make matters worse, the same colonists even went insane, and even went so far as to murder their own families, friends, and sometimes themselves. The Messages were distress signals that not only called for help, but went into every explicit detail about every single gruesome event that happened in every single one of these colonies. Finally, the Messages stopped coming in, and unfortunately, the Messages were written and encrypted in an unknown language, probably one of the Civilization's languages, and any attempts to decipher and translate these messages came in random arrangements of letters, words, and even phrases, as well as these translation attempts being too cryptic to figure out.

You, a space marauder looking for a new home, have recently found DR-1, blissfully unaware of the disasters that struck the moon earlier. Thinking that you finally found the perfect place to reside, you try contacting the nearest landing station, but to no avail. You then find that the lights are on, but nobody seems to be home...

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