[Last Updated: 13th January 2016 by Brendan Drain]
The Predestination back-story starts far in the future of our own galaxy, as humans from the United Colonies of Earth break the warp barrier and find that the galaxy is filled with dozens of alien races. With most of the habitable worlds in range being claimed by other empires, the United Colonies colonial and exploration fleets settled on barren and lifeless worlds the other races ignored. They found many of these worlds littered with the decaying ruins of ancient civilisations, and from these ruins they recovered powerful technology that accelerated their rate of technological advancement.
The story advances as a United Colonies deep space probe discovers a mysterious cloaked planet in deep space. The planet’s atmosphere is filled with toxic gasses and its surface is covered in metal with several openings into underground structures. Recognising the need to press any advantage they could get, the United Colonies enter the underground structures and plunder the planet for its technology. The United Colonies soon rose to power within the galaxy, dominating some races by force with armies of robotic soldiers and engaging in diplomacy with others. While exploring the cloaked planet, scientists discover millions of stasis pods containing the planet’s former inhabitants in suspending animation, and unwittingly awaken them.
This mysterious Revenant race quickly reclaimed its homeworld and began sending powerful ships out from its homeworld to systematically wipe out all life in the galaxy, annhilating populated worlds belonging to dozens of space-faring civilisations. The few survivors band together for one final attack on the Revenant homeworld and the United Colonies attempt to use a stolen piece of Revenant technology to freeze the entire solar system in time and end the war, but something goes horribly wrong. Temporal rifts start to open all throughout the star system, pitching ships back through time and scattering them throughout the galaxy. This is where the game officially starts, as you command of one of those ships that has crash-landed on a habitable planet and must work to rebuild your race’s civilisation in the past.
Each gameplay session terminates when either the player’s empire is destroyed or any of the races in the game meets one of the victory conditions. Each victory condition triggers a different storyline ending, each representing a different potential result of the initial temporal incursion. Many of the resolutions are examples of the Predestination Paradox physics phenomenon. Each of these resolutions will be played out through an image slideslow with text.
- Galactic Domination (Predestination Paradox): This victory condition will trigger if the player destroys all other races and conquers the galaxy. The storyline resolution explains that you have dominated the galaxy and built the biggest galactic empire ever known, and that no trace of the Revenant planet is ever found. Your scientists find no way to go forward in time again, so in order to return to your time your people go into suspended animation in underground chambers and leave AI robots behind on each planet to maintain them. Aeons pass and your empire’s stars drift around the galactic core and become separated. Its inhabitants awake to find the rest of their empire gone, the robots left to maintain the planet shut down, and an alien race picking over the ruins of their planet. Great ships are dispatched to annhiliate the intruders and anyone else who stands in your way. It turns out that your race became the Revenants. This condition cannot trigger if the Revenants Planet event is triggered.
- Destroy Revenants #1 (Predestination Paradox): This victory condition will trigger if the Revenant planet event has triggered and your race has destroyed the Revenant planet. The storyline resolution explains that you capture the Revenant homeworld and find advanced technology on the planet that assures your dominance over the galaxy, and within a matter of years all of the other races have joined your great empire. You research the ability to get back to your own time, but all attempts fail. To return to your own time, you decide to put your people in suspended animation in the ancient stasis pods on the Revenant homeworld, and move all of your civilization’s technology to the planet. Aeons pass and your people awake to find their civilisation destroyed and the United Colonies picking over the ruins. Great ships are dispatched to annhiliate the intruders and anyone else who stands in your way. It turns out that your race became the Revenants.
- Destroy Revenants #2 (No Paradox): This secret victory condition will trigger if the Revenant planet event has triggered and your race has destroyed the Revenant planet, AND your ships that attack the Revenant planet must be equipped with Temporal Shielding. The storyline resolution explains that you capture the Revenant homeworld and the timeline begins to re-arranges itself around this change. With the Revenant war no longer happening, no ships were sent back in time and all of the empires vanish in an instant. Only your ships remain, protected from the transition by their temporal shielding. As your ships exist outside of time, they were the only ships capable of destroying the Revenants without being erased from the timeline themselves. The revenant homeworld is destroyed to safeguard the future and avert the revenant war. Your time ships now patrol the galaxy in case the Revenants ever return.
- Technology (No Paradox): This victory condition will trigger if your race reaches the end of the tech trees and researches the Technological Victory path in the Synergies tech tree. The storyline resolution explains that you figured out how to use the Temporal Rifts to return to the moment of the final battle with the Revenants and how to recalibrate the Revenant Time Device correctly. Your ship emerges during the battle with the Revenants at the moment the time device is activated. You transmit the new calibrations to the time device and this time it works. The Revenant homeworld is ripped away from our timeline, and the universe returns to the way it was before they were ever discovered. Your ship’s temporal shielding protected it from the changes in the timeline, and only you will ever know that the Revenants existed. Your ship now patrols the timeline, enforcing the Temporal Prime directive and keeping watch in case anyone does something that could cause the Revenants to return.
- Diplomacy #1 (Predestination Paradox): This victory condition triggers if you manage to get the entire galaxy to unite in one huge alliance and there have been no wars for 40 turns. The storyline resolution explains that the races form a galactic council and come together to share territory and resources. The races realise they’ve created a utopian society much better than the one they left, and so a pact is signed to never seek out the Revenants. The Revenants sleep so that in the future they can wage their terrible war and create this utopia.
- Diplomacy #2 (Predestination Paradox): This victory condition triggers if you unite the galaxy in one huge alliance as above but the Revenant Planet event has already been triggered. The storyline resolution explains that the races forming a galactic council and come together to share technology and fend off the Revenants. Together you develop a replica of the original time device that sent everyone back in time, properly calibrate it so that it works this time, and manage to deploy it on the Revenant homeworld. The star system freezes in time and the planet lays dormant for millions of years, its star drifting around our galaxy’s core. Millions of years later, it turns out that a United Colonies ship finds the planet and the first thing they do is to steal the time device, and it’s this that releases the Revenants into our galaxy.
In addition to the replayable Sandbox mode, Predestination will launch with the first episode of a playable singleplayer story campaign, with further episodes released as free downloadable content. Each episode will follow the story of one of Predestination’s alien races, what happened to them after being sent back in time and how they grow and establish their new empires. Once we’ve completed story episodes for each of the races, we’ll combine them into one final episode that will see all of the empires come in contact with each other and work together to defeat the Revenants. Note: If anyone updates the storyline here, please also update the storyline section on the Races design document.
[Complete] Episode 0 – Tutorial: A basic introduction to the main gameplay elements of Predestination. This will be placed at the start of the episodic story mission list to encourage new players to run through the tutorial before proceeding to the story.
Episode 1 – United Colonies Story: The United Colonies singleplayer scenario will follow the story of what happens to them after they get sent back in time. They will initially start the game alone, but half way through the scenario you’ll discover another human empire has sprouted up from another United Colonies ship. As the game progresses, they make contact (via a micro-wormhole) with a high-ranking member of the Renegades, a small radical faction who split off from the United Colonies during the Revenant war when it became known that it was the United Colonies who unwittingly unleashed the Revenants into the galaxy. This second United Colonies empire will become increasingly accusatory throughout the story and eventually defects to the Renegades throughout the story mission. The result of the scenario will see you either make peace with this new Renegade empire or conquer/destroy them. Either option unlocks the Renegades singleplayer scenario.
Episode 2 – Renegades Story: The Renegades mission will start after the United Colonies mission and follows the story of the main Renegades faction. The goal of this mission is to find a micro-wormhole hidden in the galaxy and use it to contact the United Colonies and turn them to your cause. Special Data Disks will be scattered throughout the galaxy that must be recovered by scanning the planets, and each one must be researched (using synergies tree) and shared with the United Colonies (using diplomacy). Once you’ve shared all of the data with the United Colonies, they will turn to your cause. If you destroyed the Renegades in the previous mission, you receive a report at the end of the mission that the Renegades were destroyed. If you made peace with them, you get a report that peace has been made.
Episode 3 – Starforged Story: [To be determined] Ideas: Seeking out creators (United Colonies). Goal of mission could be achieving critical numbers required for collective sentience? Could require a tech at end of era 3 to do it.
Episode 4 – Sauros Story: [To be determined] Ideas: Sauros must protect and incubate their eggs to solve reproduction speed problem and maintain genetic diversity. Maybe some kind of time limit or impending disaster? Hatchery world is slowly cooling or supernova, must find the solution in ancient ruins?
Episode 5 – Kazzir Story: [To be determined] Ideas: Sauros and Kazzir together as ancient race vs young race? Kazzir story goal could be forced diplomatic victory?
Episode 6 – Z’loq Story: [To be determined] Ideas: Starforged expansion into Z’loq space, Z’loq goal is to liquefy and capture all ice planets. Get liquifaction device early.
Episode 7 – Final Battle / Revenant Story: This story mission will be the final mission of the main storyline, and takes place in a huge sized galaxy composed of all the individual empires you played with in the first six missions (see below). The player will choose one race to take charge of, and then this mission will play out exactly like the sandbox mode, with all of the standard victory conditions in effect. The game will end using one of these victory conditions (see Storyline design document). Depending on your actions in the first six missions, the initial starting conditions for this mode should be altered. For example, if the United Colonies and Renegades formed peace during the first mission, they would start allied with maximum favour to one another. The Revenant Planet Reveal event will be a timed event with plenty of warning.
- Individual stories should be limited to tech eras 2 or 3
- Final event has no tech limit, so you can go for tech victory
- Revenant Planet event should be disabled in all individual stories
- Possible to copy over the final state of your galaxy at end of each story mission to feed into final event?
- Give a score breakdown after each mission, promotes replayability.