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Devblog #38 The Story of Hellion

“John was still deep in sleep when the first wave of pain washed over his body, then came the second one and the third until all he could feel was just sharp unrelenting pain. He opened his eyes and tried to scream but no sound came out. After what seemed like an eternity, the pain receded and his whole body loosened up as his dormant lungs filled up with air, for the first time in a century. Doors of the chamber opened and he stumbled onto the cold floor coughing. Emergency wakeup procedure, he remembered. He was still dizzy, from all the steroids in his system, but at least he was alive. The floor felt slippery beneath his fingers and it took him a lot of effort just to stand up. When his eyes finally focused, what he saw sent chills down his spine. The air was cold and thick mist shrouded the room while the flickering emergency lights gave it a hellish glow. Pieces of ruined wall padding and glass shards littered the floor while thorn cables hung loosely from the ceiling along with what remained of the covering panels. Cryopod to his left lay crushed against the opposing wall, thrown probably by the same force that almost tore open the module’s hull. He immediately knew why the floor was wet, there was no need to check for vitals.”

 

But who is John? What’s his background, how did he end up in this situation? How many characters opened their eyes inside a cryochamber and asked themselves, how on Earth did we end up in this mess, only to realize that something is missing? After all, it’s hard to roleplay when you don’t have a proper setting. What is the Expedition, what is Altair Corporation? How are they connected to SDS and what was their agenda? But most importantly, what the hell happened in Hellion? What could have caused such system wide devastation and why are we only waking up now after everything had ended… Or did it? What if there is yet a purpose for the survivors of Hellion? What if it was all part of a plan?

 

Up until now Hellion was but a blank canvas on which stories of many players were painted. We’ve enjoyed reading them on forums and we knew that if this sketch of a world enthralled so many players that we were probably on the right track. But we never forgot what we had promised when we announced the game. A story, a deep narrative permeating all the places you can explore and a history behind every doomed outpost and every derelict you’ve come across.

 

So far our development team has been working primarily on basic gameplay mechanics and the story was left on backburner. Starting with 0.3 we are bringing this aspect of Hellion into focus and starting the work on proper mission and progression structure as well as quests that will guide you as you uncover the events that preceded the first moment you opened your eyes in Hellion and saw a world in ruins.

 

We had never intended Hellion to be a one-time experience, where you get in the game, take a ride, kill some enemies and than leave. We had envisioned it as a unique experience that stays with us long after we’ve logged out and keeps playing in the back of our minds until the moment we log back in. We wanted to depict the frightening situation where people would wake up to find themselves all alone in the vacuum of deep space. A place where the future world became the world of doom. Survival was taken out of classic context and set in the most unforgiving environment imaginable, the one that none of us are familiar with. After all the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

 

Implementing a narrative in Hellion’s environment represents a big challenge for us, since our goal is to both paint the world and allow players to create their own personal stories within it. We hope that you will enjoy this new experience that will be coming to Hellion with the next update.

 

Until then, fly safe

Posted by Zero Gravity team