Writing the Larger Campaign

Hey, everyone! Jorden, here. I skipped the last blog post because there wasn't really anything new to report. We're prepping for an early media release of the game, meaning a release for playtesters, journalists, and influencers, and therefore it's been all hands on deck making sure that whatever is going to be in the game for that release is stable. For Matt and I this means being submerged over our heads in the tutorials for the past several weeks. There will be more information on the media release in our Steam Newsletter tomorrow morning. For now, I wanted to talk a bit about what I've been working on that wasn't the tutorial, the campaign!

We've always known the rough details of Rank: Warmaster's story, and since I joined the team we've had a solid idea of how we wanted players to experience that story. In the past couple weeks, as my work on the tutorials starts to taper off (there's only so much writing you can do before all the work is just code implementation), I've been taking the time to actually outline the details of that story.

The campaign of Rank: Warmaster will be delivered in a series of longer scenarios, much like the ones I've described on this blog in the past. The current plan is for the campaign, and gameplay, to progress through seven sections, or zones. Zones 1 & 2 are both on Mars and serve to introduce players to the situation, taking place just after the completion of Tutorial 3. Zone 1 is, physically, a small area of Mars containing only two other corporations by default, as well as a handful of nodes to expand into. Progression from Zone 1 to Zone 2 is as simple as expanding outside of the initial area, at which point the whole of Mars if fair game. Getting out of Zone 2 is more complicated, requiring the player to discover their first Faster-Than-Light engine and travel to the moon. As the player progresses through each Zone they will also complete a campaign scenario, which will serve to advance both the narrative and the development of their corporate empire. As I just mentioned, Zone 2's campaign scenario will focus on the discovery of some form of FTL travel. Most of the scenarios will force the player into conflict with the other corporations in each zone. How exactly you deal with those other corporations is largely up to you.

As to more specific examples? Nothing is finalized just yet but I can tell you a bit about what I've planned out so far. The first campaign scenario revolves around the player establishing an orbital presence as they exit Zone 1. For the second, players will learn a little about the history of the Rank: Warmaster setting as they attempt to recreate the conditions which first lead to the discovery of the "Sling Drive", a very crude FTL engine which allows ships to cross vast distances by distorting space until they are flung towards their destination. It's a bit like snapping a rubber band across the room with your fingers, but the rubber band is space-time. Also, the rubber band takes you with it. If that sounds kind of dangerous to you.....Yes! In terms of gameplay, this first FTL drive will only allow ships to travel between large bodies such as planets and moons, or to circle those bodies quickly in high orbit. Like I said, this is by no means finalized and we're pretty far from ready for players to actually leave Mars, but I wanted to give you some insight into what I've been working on.

All that being said, I've probably over-shared with this post. But it's because I like you all. Keep it between us, okay? See you next time!

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