The Story for Mechaenetia

What's the story?

I would like to gather all of the story-related information together in one place. Since Mechaenetia is at its core a game of the sandbox/survival genres, the story that ships with the base game doesn't really compare with most games. There doesn't necessarily have to be a story at all.

Nevertheless, let's consider the stories in other games that I think might be similar to Mechaenetia. These are all survival games and most of them are also sandbox games.

Factorio (real-time strategy/construction and management simulation/survival)

The player character is an engineer who has been shipwrecked on an alien planet. While fighting off hostile creatures, the player must harvest resources and set up a factory in order to construct a space ship and escape.

Minecraft (sandbox/survival)

Minecraft has no backstory, but it does have an ending. The closest thing to a story would be the optional in-game objectives ("Advancements", formerly "Achievements") which guide players to defeat the final boss, the Enderdragon. After defeating the boss a portal appears. Stepping through the portal will show a long fourth-wall-breaking poem about life and the universe, then roll credits.

No Man's Sky (action-adventure/sandbox/survival)

The player character is presented as a retrograde amnesiac who feels compelled to travel to the center of the galaxy. The (mostly optional) story is the player's journey there, and the backstory is revealed by the end. I believe there's actually two branches to the main story now.

Starbound (action-adventure/sandbox/survival)

The player character is a newly graduated Protector, but at the graduation ceremony a planet-destroying monster consumes Earth, homeworld of the Protectorate. The player escapes in a spaceship, and later becomes stranded in orbit of an alien planet. The game proper begins as the player beams down to obtain fuel for his or her spaceship. Starbound features both a formal linear story and random missions.

Wurm Online (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game/sandbox/survival)

The player's backstory is given when first starting the game: you step through a one-way portal and arrive in the strange and fantastical world of Wurm. Wurm itself has a backstory involving kingdoms and wars and religions. Because the game is both an MMORPG and a sandbox game, each server has its own lore based on player actions within that server.

At present, the only thing I could find that touches on a potential story is one post in the worldbuilding topic,

I believe this “players all know that they are players” means the player has no backstory. It is not clear whether or not the base game will tout a main story arc.

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Hahahahaha you are aware there is tons of Lore and History in Minecraft, right? It is just not out in the open, so you need to go deeper.

Well that and a short paragraph on the Game Ideas Page about color coding certain things.

But yeah this is gonna be a Sandbox where most of the World is shaped by the Interactions of the Players and NPCs.
Though it is gonna be much more closely resembling the procedural World Building of Dwarf Fortress, where every World is a different procedurally generated set of Island(s, or Continents), that you access a couple hundred years after it has been generated in order to create a History to explore if you wanted to.
And that Info I dropped about Tech Artifacts still applies, since there is ofcourse going to be a History before the generated History.

And the reason Players always know they are Players is, because people who can just look up what they need to know in the Wiki (or ingame Documentation), do have some uncanny knowledge about the World in advance in a lot of cases, so it is kinda hard to pretend they dont know what they are.
Especially in Multiplayer where they could communicate in ways outside of the Game, and to spectators they just look like they use Telepathy to talk with each other, or stand there “doing nothing” and then a “carefully planned” Battle Strategy happens out of nowhere.
Dungeons and Dragons couldn’t really solve the “everyone sits at the Table and hears everything” Problem, and Baldur’s Gate 3 went around the Issue by just implanting a Mindflayer Tadpole into the Heads of all Players and NPC-Team-Members, and called it Plot.

The Players themselves indeed do not have a Backstory at all, since the Player is YOU. You have the freedom to make up some BS and call that your Backstory, just like in most of these Games. :wink:

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I am aware of none.

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Well have you seen all the Ruins in the World that contain Loot for you to find? Alone those do tell a Story of some ancient civilization living in the World before Steve showed up.

There is Theories that Endermen were just like Steve before they went to The End, but ate too many Chorus Fruits over the generations which turned them into the tall natively teleporting Guys they are now, and that the same thing happened to the Silverfishes from the Strongholds to turn them into Endermites.

Or that they went to the End in the first place because they caused a Wither outbreak of sorts from the Nether into the Overworld, and had to bunker down in Strongholds just to be safe.

Or that the Illagers/Pillagers try to use the Magical properties of Lapis to re-summon “Steves” but failed at it resulting in Zombies and Skeletons instead. And they definitely KNOW that Stuff can spawn out of literally nowhere, such as Cats and Iron Golems around a Village.

You typically explore the History in the order that it happens even, as normal Dungeons on the surface dont usually have Enchanted Tools or Diamond Tools, while in the Nether Enchanted Stuff does show up, and in the End they have Enchanted Diamond Tools and Wings to fly with.

(and no, i dont believe all the MatPat Theories, only the ones where I think they make sense, which is very few)

There is lots of stuff hidden in plain sight. You just need to combine them properly and you can speculate over the History of the Minecraft World.

The way I am gonna do History is similar to this approach.
Though I am not averted from adding a sort of Atlantis alike advanced City with actual related Lore and optional Population in it later on.

And I should mention that the Main Menu, or something similar to a Main Menu is going to have the insides of a small to medium Spaceship/Spacestation in it, with a Hologram of your World in the Room the Camera is initially placed at. I am not sure if I make it just decorative background Stuff or if I let people roam around in it.

Those are all speculative theories based on level design. I wouldn’t say they count as proper stories because there is no narrative exposition, not even one implied through level design.

Regarding Mechaenetia, I think you are saying the player will have no backstory but the game universe itself will have a procedurally generated backstory like Dwarf Fortress. Mechaenetia will not have a story narrative in the mold of Factorio, No Man’s Sky, Starbound, etc.

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Does Factorio really have a narrative Story? Apart from you being stranded on a Planet trying to get a Satellite up there is nothing in regards of Story.

But yeah there is not going to be a predetermined narrative, I am not a good writer in those regards. But I can create hidden Lore.

I was thinking of the tutorial mode for Factorio, which is much like the campaign you might find in a standard RTS. It includes some minimal dialogue from the player character (the “Engineer”) and presents a linear sequence of events.

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Didn’t they get rid of the Story part of that Tutorial? Or did they keep some Story Elements in the replacement?

I would not count Tutorials as a Story though, at least not if the only reason for Plot is teaching the Player.

I only started playing Factorio this fall, and it definitely laid down the basics of the Engineer being the last survivor from his ship, finding an abandoned mining site, discovering hostile native life, fleeing, finding an abandoned research station, abandoning that because of natives, then I think the last one was finding an ore processing facility.

These are different than the tutorials which put you in a holodeck or something to learn how to place rails.

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Yeah there was another Tutorial before that earlier this year, and then another very outdated Tutorial before THAT one.

Do you plan on having some backstory elements or hidden lore present in all games, or will it be totally random each time?

For example, base Minecraft always has one Enderdragon boss (who can be respawned now). There’s always villages, dungeons, nether fortresses, strongholds, desert temples, ocean temples, end cities, and woodland mansions.

From the post at the top, you said there will be hidden space tech on the planet. Is this something that will be in every unmodded Mechaenetia game?

Edit: Nevermind, you already answered this question here.

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Yeah, but ofcourse you can just take certain Content parts out of the Game if you dont want the Tech Stuff in there. :wink:

Just putting this out there that Minecraft’s lore was mostly officially added in the later revisions after Microsoft bought the company. It’s made canon through officially released books similiar to how FNAF reinforced its lore.

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Okay, I wasn’t aware of any of those books being officially endorsed.

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Considering they are released by them its quite obvious. Also Minecraft Dungeons is also a thing that Lore can be gotten from.