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A Goblin's Dream of Paradise
Posted by tcaudilllg 
Status Early development 
Last update 30-11-2005 

The setting for "A Goblin's Dream of Paradise", as this game is titled, is 30 years into the future, at the time of the technological singularity. In this setting a global weather control network exists, powered by a nanomachine field in the earth's atmosphere. This field requires so much energy to maintain that only a sustained commitment by the entire world to supply it with energy allows it to remain functional. The idea that the weather can be controlled, hurricanes, monsoons, tornados and even deserts eliminated, unifies humanity in a common interest that transcends all cultural boundaries and divisions. National borders disappear, ancient cultures disintegrate, and ethnic tensions dissolve. The world approaches a state of utopia.

However, the presence of this highly concentrated electromagnetic systems has peculiar effects on the world and even the entire universe. On earth, the magnetic field constellates a kind of sub-dimension about the planet's inner core. This subworld emerges with its own history and races, all of which share a common identity they reckon as "Nicoletian", a reference to the "Nicolitane" religious sect which God is described as hating in the Revelation of John. The races of Nicolete include impish creatures and cyclopiods, to name a few. Nicolete is governed by "the Directory": a cadre of five generals, each of which is a regular candidate for the highest office in the land. The outcome of the elections for this office, which can only be held by a member of the Directory, determine the course of Nicoletian civilization.

One of the members of the Directory is a cyclops known as General One-Eye. One-Eye is the villain of the game and the arch-nemesis of its protagonist. He is driven by a deep sense of destiny, and no atrocity is too terrible for him to commit in his pursuit of it. His experience is one of persistent symbolism: the inner workings of the world are revealed in the simplest things and events. One-Eye possesses a supra-intuitive grasp of history and the course of cosmic events large and small, and how they relate to him and his destiny. He is aware of demonic presences when they exist and is even prone to relating with these presences. Using his Ring of Solomon, he can accent his already formidable battlefield prowess by conducting demons through his body. The Ring of Solomon was created by Nicoletian scientists under One-Eye's own direction, and is the only one of its kind. No one can explain how One-Eye understood how to create the Ring of Solomon. One explanation suggests he may be an incarnation of Lucifer himself.

The Nicoletians trace their history back to the days before the biblical deluge. The nanotech field has warped history itself, and constellated the unconscious elements of the universe into planes of Heaven and Hell. In this history the hosts of Heaven schizmed over the issue of how best to confront the threat of Hell's legions to mankind. One sect, led by the archangel Michael, descended to earth in disguise, and created the "giants in those days, men of renown" discussed in the Book of Genesis. Their descendents were of a disfigured, humanoid character, distinctly apart from the rest of humankind. They proliferated over the rest of humanity and began to suppress the tides of civilization through their warlike nature. The archangel Gabriel was disgusted, and named Michael and his followers "the Forces of Darkness", taking for his own adherents the title of "Forces of Light." He appealed to the Lord of Heaven, the demiurge YHWH Ialdabaoth, to purge the Nicoletians with a great flood, and restore rulership of the earth to the original, uncorrupted strains of humanity. But Michael took pity on the Nicoletians and made a way for them to the earth's core, where he turned reality upon itself and made a new world for them. So humanity lived on as two races, and the ranks of Heaven were split. The Forces of Evil, led by Azmodeus in the mysterious absence of Lucifer, sought to take advantage of Heaven's weaknesses and turn the tide of the celestial war; but to this end YHWH Ialdabaoth established an elite squadron of angels under His direct command, and named them the Forces of Good. To this day the Forces of Light and Darkness are estranged from each other, and the Forces of Good keep a careful vigil over the mechanations of Azmodeus and his demons.

The game begins at a volcano that is erupting into existence due to events in Nicolete. General One-Eye is engaging a scouting mission to invade earth, and it is up to the protagonist to stop him. The protagonist is dressed in white raiment and his (or her) face is shrouded from view. The protagonist may be, at the player's discretion, either male or female.

Gameplay is centered around the concept of "proofs". The mystic powers granted to the protagonist (who is named "Peace Enforcer" by the Forces of Good) must be directed through mathematical formula. As in mathematics, these formula must be constructed from postulates. Postulates must be discovered by the protagonist through interaction with other characters, and through the game's storyline, because one must realize a postulate is necessary to employ it.

Mystic power is generated at a constant rate that is dependent upon the player's statistics. This energy may be directed to either of two ends, offensive and defensive. Greater offensive energy equates to higher attack power, and higher defensive energies entail higher defensive potentials and faster recovery from injury. In combat zones the ratio of defensive energy to offensive energy may be changed in realtime, although not all at once. Controlling the balance between defense and offense is a central element of the game's battle system.

Offensive energy may be directed in one of several ways. These include path, intensity, and form. Offensive pathways are energy patterns that describe the paths attacks take on the battlefield. Longer, broader pathways require more energy to effect than shorter ones. Pathways must be proven to be used.

Intensity corresponds to the strength of the specific attack, and is relative to the form of attack used. Stronger attack forms use intensity more effectively than weaker attack forms. Like postulates, forms must be learned about before they can be used. Forms include lightning, ice, and fire spells of varying strengths. Storywise, spells are conduited through the weather net nanofield, which changes to permit their effects.

Defensive energy refers to defensive potential (accented by defensive items and artifacts) and the strength of a force field that the protagonist is capable of generating in his defense. The force field has three dimensions, intensity, radius, and recovery. A larger radius of protection comes at the price of intensity of effect and rate of recovery when the field is up. Strong force fields are necessary to survive the lazer-play battles that play a constant role in combat, so force fields, like offensive energies, play a vital role in successful battle strategy.

Opponents come in two types. Adversaries are enemies that must be eliminated: they have their heart set on defeating the Peace Enforcer and cannot be reasoned with. Defeating an adversary will increase the player's statistics by a small amount, although this increase may be fractional and not in itself enough to warrent a real increase in statistics. Bystanders are uncommitted opponents who are caught up in the struggle without clearly opposing the Peace Enforcer. Defeating them will not yeild an increase in statistics; however, they can be incapacitated until their commanders are defeated, at which point the player will be awarded their support and a statistics increase relative to their own individual strengths.

I will be releasing this game one chapter at a time until it is finished. My aim is simply to get the game made, and that in itself will be a lot of work. I'm not concerned about making money with it. There are two books to the story so I've got a lot of composing, drawing, writing, and programming to do.

This game is not dead, only hibernating. In all of these years I've never stopped thinking about it. It will be made, someday.

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