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Old 01-14-2006, 07:29 PM   #1
StealthWar42's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Twilight Imperium (Gauging interest... WARNING: extensive background information)

*WARNING* very long, but it can be a good read for those who like backstories to games. This took a long time to type up so I'd appreciate it if you would at least "glance" over it and tell me if it sounds interesting enough or not to make a mod for it.

This background information is to allow people to get a "feel" for what Twilight Imperium is all about. If you only care about what I would like to mod in the game, then please skip to the bottom to my "Potential plans" section.

Hello! I've been keeping an eye on this game for a long time, and I've been having thoughts about making a Twilight Imperium mod for this game. I'm assuming that most people haven't heard of the Twilight Imperium games before, so I'll give a good amount of background information on the game's backstory and races, etc.

Gameplay:From the official website: "TI3 is an epic empire-building game of intersteller conflict, trade, and struggle for power. Players take the roles of ancient galactic civilizations, each seeking to sieze the imperial throne via warfare, diplomacy, and technological progression."

Players take over planets to gain a certain amount of resources (income) and political influence, depending on the planet. The resources are used to construct space docks, fleets, and invasion forces while political influence is used to get an edge against other players when voting on new laws in the Galactic Council. Each race has access to the same units, however they all have unique abilities that may make them better with certain units than other races are. Units are also improved through technology.

Technology in the game comes in four categories: Red (military), Green (biological), Blue (mobility), and Yellow (general). Players can advance over many fields or maybe one field to gain advantages in certain economic, military, and logistical situations. Trade also plays a key role in the game, and players may make trade agreements with eachother. These symbolize an "invisible peace agreement," as any act of war will break trade agreements.

Background: The game centers around ten races that are all in a struggle for galactic supremacy. Before the time that this game takes place, there was once a race that had nearly total control of the galaxy. They were known as the Lazax, and they ruled from their capitol planet of Mecatol Rex (in star wars terms this would be Coruscant). With the addition of new races in the Lazax empire, they established a galactic council that resided in Mecatol Rex. There were six original races that were represented in the council, the last to be admitted on the council was the Federation of Sol (humans).

I'm just going to type here what I feel is the most important part of the official background... credits to Fantasy Flight Games.

"For untold ages, the Lazax ruled the known galaxy. As new races came into contact with the empire, they would be allowed to join the Galactic Council that represented the needs and voices of the empires people. The great races: Xxcha, Hacan, Letnev, Hylar, Sol, and N'orr were all represented in the council during the last time of the Lazax empire.

Yet, as the years passed, discoveries of new races and planetary systems began to slow. Little by little the mood of the empire changed as technological and intellectual growth began to diminish. In their need for advancement, the great races began instead to look to the power of the Lazax and hte resources of their neighbors. Greed and ambition slowly grew in the hearts of statesmen and councilors. The spirit of the empire turned suspicious and fearful. It is during thsi time that the first conflicts between the great races are recorded in the Imperial Chronicle. The Galactic Council became a seedbed of intrigue, ushering in an era of spies and assassins. First in secret, and later in public, the great races began at this time to build their military capabilities. Many started territorial expansions that extended beyond their original charter. Border strife and resource disputes began to proliferate, gnawing at the very foundations of the empire. This was a time of growing darkness that is now known as the Age of Dusk.

Throughout most of this age, the Lazax held authority without question. Except for a few minor and unsuccessful rebellions, few dared to openly challenge the emperors. Yet, blinded by assurance of eternal rule, the Lazax did not perceive the threat of ambition that grew around them. As years passed, tensions between the great races grew deeper, and so did their hunger for power. In the end, they held only one thing in common: They hated the Lazax, hated the imperial rule, and hated the benevolent arrogance of the emperors.

A small affair near the Quann wormhole was the spark that set the galaxy aflame.

In protest over imperial trade oversight, the Baron of Letnev had begun a blockage of trade traffic through the Quann wormhole. As this had been far from the first trouble with the Letnev, an unconcerned Lazax emperor sought to solve the conflict peacefully in the Galactic Council.

Then, without warning, the blockading Letnev ships were attacked and annihilated by a Sol task force acting without imperial mandate. Losing valuable trade-income, the Sol federation had lost patience, and had acted in its own interest.

Angered, the emperor attempted to consolidate his control by issuing the Maandu edict, which would place all warships under direct imperial supervision. The Maandu edict would be the stone that shattered a brittle empire. After this proclamation, the Letnev, Sol, and Jol-Nar civilizations announced their immediate withdrawal from the council, drawing the galaxy into civil war.

The Quann conflict marks the beginning of the Age of Twilight.

As race fought race, as a thousand territorial disputes erupted over a few years, the Lazax desperately sought to assert their authority. Holding together a crumbling empire, Lazax fleets fought across the galaxy. The final days of the Lazax began in the seventy-third year of the war. Without warning, an alliance of Sol, N'orr, and Hacan attacked Mecatol Rex itself.

Of all the planets in the galaxy, no planet was more war-torn than Mecatol Rex. Over the course of only a few years, the planet's ecology was ravaged by bombardments, its population decimated, and its green fields blasted into a toxic wasteland. The last Lazax emperor and his entire family were executed during an early Sol incursion and no successor was named.

After the death of the last emperor, all semblance of Lazax control collapsed. The Lazax people became hunted across the galaxy in the vengeful wave of murder that is known as the Great Scourge. Lasting only twenty years, the scourge resulted in the complete annihilation of the Lazax race. Until now, no Lazax has been seen in the known galaxy for more than 3000 years.

The Twilight Wars continued for centuries. Yet no race was pwoerful enough to seize the throne and risk the fate of the Lazax. Slowly the strength of the great civilizations failed as their economies crumbled and whole technologies were lost from the strain of long war.

The Twilight Wars died in a slow whisper. The time that followed, now known as the Dark Years, was a period of economic, cultural, and intellectual collapse. The great races had by then retreated into their own small, safe areas of space.

With time, the Dark Years did come to an end, and a calm but uncertain period of rebuilding began. As I write this, the great races have regained elements of their former strength. In my city, the Galactic Council is growing in influence once more, while the great races are embarking on the colonization of neighboring systems, abandoned during the Dark Years.

The signs of great change are everywhere. I taste it in the air I breathe. This year, as if walking out of ancient prophecy, the Lazax returned from the darkness of history in a foreboding cybernetic form. To me, their coming is like the first wind of a terrible storm. I feel as if the galaxy is waking. As if an ancient beast stirs from slumber in a dark cave.

The day will soon come when a new empire will rise. For the sake of all, may the new emperor not only have the power to seize the throne, but the strength to conquer the peace."

Races: Each race in this game has a unique background and feel, and they all also have unique abilities. In my opinion, not all races have the objective of gaining control of the entire galaxy. Some races seem to just want to be recognized as an independent power, while others believe it is their destiny or role to rule over others. Also, there is only one empire of humans. The other nine races are various version of aliens, but they are not terribly bizarre or cliche... in my opinion, they all seem believable. One other note I want to throw in about races, the humans are NOT weak compared to the alien races. I wanted to point that out because I feel like other board games or video games give humans too little credit, and they are weaker than they should be.

I'm going to list the ten races here and include what I feel is the most important paragraph in their background. I'll also give a short, once-sentence description of their concept based on their abilities.

Federation of Sol (humans): Numerous infantry and superior logistics lets the Federation of Sol take planets quickly, and it is not easy to contend with Sol ground invasions.

"The humans themselves represent the most numerous and most diverse species of the galaxy. Since the discovery of the mass-drive, humans have left Jord to explore, and they continue to explore, the distant corners of space. Humans can be found in all corners of the galaxy and seem to demonstrate the greatest variation in intellect and application of skills. Human colonies and settlements can be found everywhere, as can human servants, traders, cartographers, explorers, mercenaries, scholars, construction crews, smugglers, scientists, diplomats, etc. It is commonly recognized among galactic historians that it has been the diversified skills of the human race that has been the determining factor in it avoiding annihilation or extinction."

The Barony of Letnev: Letnev fleets are better managed, allowing them to attack with more ships at the same command efficiency as another race's smaller fleet.

"Under the surface of Arc Prime, heated by its planetary core, the Baron presides over the proud and fierce Letnev people. Few non-natives have ever visited the capital Goz, fabled "city of a billion," or the other six major underground urban centers of Arc Prime." "The Baron keeps order by maintaining a strict bureaucracy, discipline, and an elitist military culture that brings the strongest and the smartest directly under his control. The pale Letnev despise light, and will often wear protective headgear when visiting other worlds with bright sunlight."

The Universities of Jol Nar: Although they are not suited for combat, their technological advancements come swiftly, letting them always be one step ahead in any tech race.

"Despite their physical weaknesses, the Hylar are a proud people, often to the point of abrasiveness and arrogance. since the catastrophic Dark Years, the Hylar have started utilizing the natural resources of their own planets, and they now extract metals and medicines from the many algae and coral formations of both Jol and Nar. As a new age nears, the Hylar once more strive for the influence they feel they have earned. The Circle of Regents has secretly decided that the Hylar must take the place of the Lazax in governing and advancing a new united galaxy. Under their mandate, the Headmaster has begun building his forces, and Jol Nar diplomats and engineers have started appearing among the other civilizations in large numbers, appearing friendly, but with hidden agendas. Soon the HEadmaster will make his claim for empire, and the galaxy will enter an age of technological advancement and intellectual achievement."

The Xxcha Kingdom: The Xxcha can bend the Galactic Council to their will, and they are creatures with above average endurance.

"Although the Xxcha still believe in the doctrine of peace and negotiation, they will never again bend to foreign invasion. Travelers to the Xxlak system will often notice impressive sentinel Xxcha superdreadnoughts and the distinctive Xxlun fighters in intense naval exercises. Although the typical Xxcha may seem slow and encumbered by a heavy reptilian bodily weight, when roused, the Xxcha are surprisingly strong and fast."

Sardakk N'orr: An elite military with a mastery of warfare in nearly all aspects.

"Not far past the Unicorn Nebula, the golden Sardakk star shines its ancient, hot light on giant oceanless Quinarra. The massive planet radiates a red glow like a dusty ruby in the night, its massive polar storms clearly visible from space. A great network of orbital space stations and massive completments of fleet units occupy the system in the fasion of the insectile N'orr. Massive whale-like N'orr carriers spew fighters like angry hornets from a disturbed nest."

The Emirates of Hacan: The economics of the galaxy are manipulated by the Hacan, giving them many riches and stronger-than-average friendships.

"Soon the Hacan became masters of trade, and their system prospered as unfathomable fortunes were made by the increasingly powerful trading clans, chief among them the Mowshir Emirate of Arretze. The desire to protect their newfound wealth, and a will to peacefully regulate and arbitrate between the clans, moved the Hacan to form a representative gathering and to elect a Quieron- the leader who speaks for all the Hacan. The Quieron leads the entire hierarchy of trade-groups, each possessing its own fleets of commerce and war. His task: to lead his people to the Imperial Throne, establishing an era of wealth and peaceful commerce."

The Mentak Coalition: Descendents of pirates and mercenaries who reflect this through thievery and ambush tactics.

"Although publicly denied by Mentak ambassadors, the Mentak employ a vast pirating fleet which wreaks havoc among merchant shipping lanes and smaller military convoys. Although now an educated culture and civilization in their own right, the Mentak people have never forgotten their roots as rogues and usurpers. Every Mentak feels a historical need for revenge: revenge against a galaxy that shipped their ancestors to torture and rot on Moll Primus centuries ago. The Table of Captains has given their Hand a clear mandate: to scheme, pillage, and conquer until the ruled are rulers and the enslaved are emperors."

The Naalu Collective: Telepathic communication allows for knowing the enemy's plans ahead of time, as well as advanced fighter formations and actions.

"The Druaa seldom communicate with each other by speaking. Their telepathic communication is more effective, facilitates emotional as well as intelligent understanding, and has allowed the collective to prevent larger internal wars, which in turn has spurred their rapid advance in culture, technology (assisted by the Yssaril), and the creation of the Naalu fleet and military might. Unless speaking to off-worlders, the Naalu use their voices only for their music- hauntingly alluring arias of melodic hissing."

The Yssaril Tribes: Their stealth and spying leads to the knowledge of others' actions, and lets them react to nearly any situation.

"The empire sent reinforcements, and the colonists soon realized that they were under systematic attack by a small native chameleon race with natural greenish skin and large yellow lamp-like eyes. These aborigines had the ability to "fate," making them virtually invisible to the naked eye and a great threat to the farming boom towns springing up along the edges of the measureless swamps. It was clear that the natives were a primitive race, but fierce, intelligent, and relentless in their intent to stop the invasive farming of their native swamplands. From the few early prisoners, it was learned that they called themselves the "Yssaril" and that a vast network of villages and tribes was to be found in the continent-sized Fianni swamp."

The L1z1x Mindnet: Technological adaptation allows for cheaper construction of even stronger capital ships, and cybernetics allow for advanced ground forces.

"Then, on a fateful night during the seventy-second year of the Twilight Wars, two freighters, the Manda and the Hurwana, and Ibna's own cruiser, Syd, left the great spaceport of Mecatol City. Below them, the great Hall of Cartography was burned. So fearful had Ibna been of discovery and persecution by the Lazax's enemies that he had engineered the destruction of any record that could possibly identify his secret destination: a cold but adequate planet orbiting the small star Hazz, far beyond the borderlands. It is guessed that the colony, struggling to survive, started to rely almost exclusively on technology to assist them in their hardships. Presumably helped by the small contingent of Hylar, technology crept into their lives and bodies, until they became almost indistinguishable from it."

Wow, that was a lot of background information! But that's all I've got to get people to understand what the game's all about.

Potential plans based on TI's gameplay:
-All ten races would be nice, however this may be impossible. If it isn't, it may be very difficult to make each of them unique and abalanced, so we'll see how this goes.
-Unique models/skins for each race
-this might cause ten races to be a little extreme, might need to add races in over time, or simply eliminate some races from the list.
-Completely revamped galactic map, including all the planets from the Twilight Imperium galaxy
-possibly a "random planet placement" function
-wormholes (again, might be impossible but would be nice)
-supernovas, asteroid fields, and nebulas with similar function to the Twilight Imperium ones
-New space/land maps for each planet
-Some "deep space" sectors (probably similar in code function to fighting in an asteroid field, without the asteroids)
-Heroes with abilities reflecting the mannerisms of their respective race
-New planetary abilities based on their backgrounds in the Twilight Imperium universe
-All unit stats start balanced, then tweaked to resemble their race's abilities
-New unit abilities to reflect certain racial abilities in Twilight Imperium (i.e. to reflect Sol's numerous infantry forces, have an ability similar to the AT-AT's ability to generate new troops)
-Similar soundtrack if possible
-Different unit acknowledgement sounds (so it doesn't feel like Star Wars instead of Twilight Imperium. i.e. when you click on a Naalu fighter, it shouldn't say "TIE fighter reporting in")

This is just a short list that I came up with, but there's plenty more to be done.

Your Opinion

What do you guys think? Let me know if you'd be interested or not, what you might like to see/not see, etc.

Of course, the plan isn't solid (as of now I'm the only person interested in working on it, much less interested in playing it), and I'm not even sure if we can physically add races into the game. Once the demo comes out, I will have a better idea of what is possible.

Okay so... have at it!

There's no mystical energy field that rules my destiny
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Old 01-15-2006, 04:45 AM   #2
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well, i think that story could be written for master of orion as well
at least it sounds similar.

i think having so many races modded in a game like eaw doesnt work. you would need diplomacy features like in moo3 and i guess thats not possible in eaw, because diplomacy isnt really part of the game - at least from what i ve read so far.

probably a good mod for moo3, but i cant imagine its possible to use all the stuff you mentioned in eaw :/

ps: good read. i love stories like that :]
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:56 PM   #3
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Yeah, that's a concern of mine as well. I think that a diplomacy system might be impossible to add in the game. But, even without diplomacy, I think this would work. There was a diplomacy system in R:TW and that barely did anything, and there were twenty civilizations.

Glad you liked the read! but I guess this is too ambitious for the EaW engine. We'll see when the demo comes out

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Old 01-16-2006, 10:20 PM   #4
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No other opinions?

I've only had two opinions so far: one good and one bad! But I'm getting started on modelling right now... and my friend is working on skinning and concept art. It would be nice to get a couple more opinions to see if I should even continue or not. Or even if people would be mildly interested in helping.

I'm very determined in doing this, so even if people don't like this mod idea, I'll do it on my own. I just want to see if I should try taking it to a larger scale, to make it more public, get more people working on it and making it better, etc.

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Old 01-20-2006, 01:38 PM   #5
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Can somebody delete this? Waste of space at this point

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Old 01-22-2006, 06:36 PM   #6
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I'm going to bump this one last time. If i get no other comments, i'll leave it alone.

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Old 01-22-2006, 06:49 PM   #7
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Well, as i am teammember of a rtw mod (europa barbarorum), i can only tell you not to be discouraged by people not replying, often enough people are interested and just too lazy to write.
Just looked up and found out it's a boardgame, i hadnt heard of it before.
But the scenario sounds like it could be interesting with 10 factions, if they will actually properly work.

And i like the mindnet, that should make for some cool units.
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