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Story Time (Part 1/2)

Posted by bach,

As promised in last week’s post, this time we want to tell you a bit about the world and events within which Halfway takes place. The background setting of the game is a key component to how we build the game. It shapes all the little details that we are putting in the world, nuances in dialogs and interactions but also how we approach things visually. As always, these things are subject to change and we’re constantly tweaking things to make the world more interesting and consistent.
So, why not grab yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and read through this first part of this rather word-heavy post 🙂

The Setting
In the year 2321 CE, scientists have achieved an incredible milestone: Faster-Than-Light travel. Through a freak accident the G.S.A. (Global Space Agency) discovered an anomaly while experimenting with gravitational fields, which lead to a quick development of engines capable of travelling at superluminal speeds. Equipped with that break-through, humanity very quickly started spreading across the galaxy and building a network of colonies in neighbouring solar systems.

The race to explore the universe caused the face of society to change dramatically. Governments started to weaken their hold, as all power moved to privately funded corporations around the world, leading the charge amongst them, the G.S.A. These corporations were responsible for some of the most radical reformations in society, one of the most controversial ones being the strict 3-tier social structure now commonplace in most parts of the world: Either you were born into the elite (A-Citizenship), employed by one of the large corporations (B-Citizenship), or unemployed and considered the outcasts and scum of society (C-Citizenship). Moving from one to the other of these social tiers rarely occurs. There are rumours of a small underground movement trying to oppose the grip the corporations have.

This vast expansion to other solar systems is carried out by large experimental colonisation ships, the crews consisting of all areas of society specifically trained to establish outposts of humanity in the distant corners of the galaxy. Driven by the prospect of glory many people gave up their normal life on earth to be part of the great human expansion.

Even though these colonisation ships travel at extreme speeds, the journeys are long and challenging. In order for the human body to properly deal with the extreme conditions of superluminal travel and to save on rations needed, the majority of the crew is cryonically frozen and only a skeleton crew handles the everyday tasks aboard the ship. Journeys may take months, sometimes even as much as a year.

The Global Space Agency (short G.S.A.) was formed during the 22nd century by an unprecedented privatisation of national space agencies across the world.

During the 21st century not much progress was made in the area of space technology. Governments began minimising their investments in what seemed like a fruitless branch of science. However, space tech was still actively pursued by a few private companies who still saw a future in space exploration. Towards the end of the century, propelled by an assimilation of private space tech companies, a large buy-out of government funded space tech caused most countries to completely shut down their space exploration efforts. Out of this, the G.S.A was formed.

The leadership of the G.S.A had acquired all this technology to further their investments in asteroid mining technology. Their venture started paying off a few decades later with the deployment of the first large mining vessels to gather resources from asteroids.

With natural resources becoming increasingly rarer on earth the G.S.A. was soon able to recklessly force the government to their rules and regulations as one of the only providers of natural minerals. The discovery of the FTL drive further strengthened the GSA’s grip on the people and government, which was one of the initial triggers that caused radical changes in how society is governed in general.

And with this we’re concluding today’s post. Stay tuned for more details and background info next week!

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