I'm a software engineer who works on game development part time. I teach game development (on gamedev.stackexchange.com and lynda.com). I'm always working on something, and I'll post updates here. Let me know if there's a game development topic you want to know more about, I probably know the answer, or at least where to get one.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Discovery

Presenting the first draft of the Age of Goblins back story, names and details may change. Enjoy, let me know what you think.

The Discovery was easily considered the most important discovery in goblin history. Not only did it unify all of goblinkind with a single purpose, it pushed the bounds of known science to previously unfathomable extents. The goblins were simply born too late into Eilliam, the world they called home. The binary stars that gave them life, Qurat and Korbly were building a bomb that would outshine the galaxy. In just a few generations, Korbly would supernova; the goblins had to find a new home.

Goblin technology at the time of The Discovery wasn't more advanced than that of human technology in the late 1800s. The goblins had an immense amount of work ahead of them if they wanted to save their species. They needed to develop space travel, find a way to survive the vast distance to the nearest habitable planetary system and do it quickly.

The years were tough; sacrifices were made. The whole of society was driven by the solitary goal of evacuation. The resources of an entire world were needed. After many years, the goblins had built themselves a massive colony ship in orbit. Being the salvation of their species, they named it Sal. Sal was a marvel to behold. The apex of goblin engineering. Sal was fit with an experimental FTL(Faster Than Light) drive and stasis pods for the nine month trip to the New Korbly system. This would allow the goblins to make several trips before the supernova. They would save themselves.

The maiden voyage found Sal stocked with supplies, laborers, engineers and scientists. All that was needed to prepare a new world for colonists. The universe surely smiled on goblinkind this day. The whole world celebrated their achievement.

The FTL crackled quietly, just audible over the hum of the cryo-pods housing the first passengers to New Korbly. It had been 3 months since Sal left orbit around Eilliam. Sal had just passed the one third mark towards their destination. That's when it happened.

The warning lights only flashed once before the ship rattled in a violent explosion. The shuttle bay had been hit, it was ripped free from the ship. It took the FTL drive with it. The warp bubble collapsed and Sal tore back into normal space out of FTL. Deck zero took the brunt of the Cherenkov radiation and evaporated into blue mist. Goblins and supplies turned to atoms.

Most of the crew had survived, most of the equipment was lost. Communications were down, long range viewers destroyed. The universe showed the goblins how much it cared.

The uncontrolled re-entry into normal space had left them with precious few options. The pain of subluminal travel was sharp. Without the FTL drive it would take thousands of years to get back to Eilliam. Their home and any hope of help would be long dead by then. New Korbly was much too far, tens of thousands of years. The stasis pods were not designed to work that long, but theoretically they might. The only option was to go on and hopefully find something on the way.

Sal could only save her current passengers. Just a small fraction of the goblin population. The crew set the autopilot to search for a new home and went into stasis, not sure if they would ever come out. None were awake to see the flash behind them.

For 10,000 years Sal crossed through the void, getting close enough to stars to observe and look for signs of a habitable planet. Sal, unable to go on much longer, finally found a world suitable to support goblin life. Now an ancient ship, she limped into orbit around this bizarre rectangular world. The world is habitable, but hostile.

Waking the crew in small groups, they are sent to the surface in escape pods, a one way trip. Without the shuttle bay, there's no way to get all the survivors down to the surface. With Sal failing overhead, barely able to hold atmosphere, the goblins need to get the remainder of the survivors down to the surface. The materials needed to build shuttles to return to Sal are deep below the surface. The goblins must first build the infrastructure required to recover the materials. Then build shuttles to evacuate the crew.

They are the last of the goblins. They must build to survive. Thus begins The Age of Goblins.


  1. Sounds interesting. Based on that description, will the player's goal in the game be to use the goblins to mine into the depths of the planet and gather enough rare materials to build shuttles and rescue the remaining goblins in Sal? If so, will there be some kind of time limit, and will the game end after saving the goblins or failing to do so?

    1. There's still more to the story, but yes the initial goal is to build shuttles. The end game is still in the works. I have considered a time limit for the "difficult" setting. Though I don't see implementing a time limit for the regular game. Like Dwarf Fortress, losing is fun in AoG. It will be very difficult to reach the end game goal, but very rewarding. Thanks for your continued interest.

  2. Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I thought of some more. Since this game is modeled after drawf fortress, will age of goblins be a sort of turn based strategy game, or rather a real time strategy game? Do have any intention of adding multiplayer somewhere down the line?

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer my questions.

    1. No worries. The game is real time. I have considered multiplayer. I can see implementing something where as long as one player was connected the simulation would be running. Multiple players could issue commands, or just watch one person show off their colony. My primary goal would be to easily allow for "generational" plays, were players switch off control every few in game months. Still needs more thought. But it would be after a solid single player experience has been developed. Thanks.