So now we know how the controls work. Let’s take a look at the world works.
The two factions that the player works for vie for supplies and control in the city (or cities) where the game happens. The factions have three variables: Influence, Armament and Manpower. The total amount of each variable is static, so when one faction loses Influence, the other gains it. Influence represents how well the faction relates to Cairne. Doing missions, helping out in the field and going along in dialogue increases Influence to the faction and reduces it from the other. Armament represents how well the faction’s forces are armed. Low Armament means that combatants have basic blasters and nothing else. Higher Armament introduces more equipment, such as repeating blasters, grenades, speeder bikes, assault vehicles and even gunships to the enemy, making the player’s life more difficult. Manpower simply means how many enemies there are in the field. All of these factors make missions more easy or more difficult.
Every value can be modified by taking part in randomly generated events in the overworld. The factions attack each other, raid their supply depots and send recruiters to populated areas. The player can skip these events freely, in which case they resolve by themselves. By default, however, the values attempt to equalize, so the player just can’t grind all values to the maximum at the beginning. The player will have to help the factions semi-constantly to make the game easy, if he wants to.
The missions themselves are quite similar to other sandbox games. Almost every mission will have some sort of conflict at which the faction wishes to gain the player’s help. There are two to four missions available at any time; At least one for both factions. The reason for this is that the player might want to avoid helping them do something not agreeable. Sometimes the government tries to stamp out the rebels with iron boots, giving little thought for collateral damage, making the decisions to help them questionable. The rebels are not all saints either, inciting riots and assassinating officials.
Most of the sandbox games have something to explore and do in the overworld. I think avatar customisation would be one thing to do; Finding shops that sell clothes and haircuts would be fun to do. Assassin’s Creed II had The Truth; Glyphs scattered around the world that revealed a very interesting plot-related video clip. Finding them was fun and rewarding; I think finding clues about the Dark Jedi and his goals would be equivalent. Also minigames where the player assists the citizens of the planet would be nice, especially if they would reward the player with philosophy about the Jedi Code and the situation at Saladrin.
So this is Silverstream. The name I just drew from a hat; I thought about the Grey Jedi and their balancing act between light and dark, and that name popped up. A summary of the main ideas behind the game:
- Improving the Light Side-Dark Side-morality to something more interesting than saint-asshole-choice.
- Juxtaposing the aforementioned morality with an unsolvable political and ethical conundrum.
- Being the first game since Lego Star Wars (a great game, play it if you have the chance) to tone down the Force and the Jedi.
- Showing how hit points and guns can function together without looking stupid.
- Doing all of the above while remaining “safe” enough for publishers to consider making into an actual game.
If this concept interestsed you, dear reader, do share your thoughts. It probably will never manifest into an actual game, but a man can dream.