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Shatterloop

Story

Posted 9 Months ago by Xhin

These are *definitely* half-baked ideas. Nonetheless, it's helpful to get them on paper as I think through them and the shifting lore.

In the rare case that you're not me, there are spoilers here obviously.

Can't imagine I'd need a listing of the different sections here.

There are 4 Replies


Reseeding

The "reseed" feature actually ties into the story and even the gameplay to some extent. It'll be called something else.

Basically what's happening is you were part of some experiment or attempt to do something, and this caused you to wake up in all timelines simultaneously, and you can switch at any time to go back to that initial point or whatever amount of that place you've already experienced.

Memory loss

A big part of whatever the thing you went through was memory loss. It's temporary once you remember certain things but it's pretty total initially. This makes sense from a story/lore perspective, but it also lets the game release bits and pieces of your memory slowly to you over time.

To help guide you through the actual game, you have a Journal, which has a lot of cryptic notes in it but a pretty clear call to find "Asher" in your current dimension first thing.

Pivots

Pivots tie into the story somehow -- I think maybe they're the things causing uncertainty and causality shattering a and may be somewhat responsible for tetrads as well (6 Pivots matches 6 elements). The overall goal is probably to turn them off, which can't be done without someone known as the Last Technician.

The Last Technician

The Last Technician is someone who had done work on the Pivots and so is able to repair them. She was in the newflesh node network when it went down, maybe because the Pivots shattering the world killed her. This allowed her to keep all of her memories, which means she's the only one that can fix the Pivots and/or restore the society.

The problem is, she wasn't resurrected -- she's still stuck in the network, which is now connected to the new set of timelines. You need the Soul's pivot to resurrect her or find her or something -- this actually involves finding it in one seed and then exploring other seeds in a kind of new game+ to do so (with the Soul's pivot, which thankfully grants near omnipotence).

The Last Technician's name might be Ijon, to fit into the whole Asher thing.

9 Months ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Asher

Asher helps you remember certain things and get started on your quest -- however he has an alterior motive to claim the Soul's Pivot for himself because of the enormous amount of power it gives its wielder.

Both you and Asher work for the Maintenance Guild, and Asher hopes to use it to get out from under the guild's power. Asher is actually an alternate version of you (and he knows it and doesn't share it intentionally), but I'm not sure how that fits into the plot yet.

Hadurah

Hadurah is your wife. You and her once had a farm somewhere with a kid, but the kid died somehow (probably had something to do with Pivots issues) and you buried yourself in your work while she went out to try to find some way to bring him back -- the newflesh node thing didn't work for some unspecified reason (probably related to Pivots).

You and her are estranged, but you do encounter her again when you meet Tangle. Tangle had turned her into some kind of very strong cybernetic person or something, and she works for him because he promised he'd revive your son if she reached the Singularity/aleph naught or something like that.

Tangle

Tangle is Shatterloop's version of the original Tangle -- a sentient being composed of quantum-entangled automatons. Living in shatterloop has made him somewhat crazy (not that the original Tangle wasn't already pretty crazy).

The various monsters found in caves and dungeons are his design, which is why they're semi-robotic and a lot stronger than normal.

Tangle wants to reach the Singuarity so he can use the Aleph Naught to destroy the entirety of Shatterloop -- like the original Tangle he's sentient and doesn't want to be, and this is a way of achieving it.

Hadurah had been feeding him information about what you were doing to find it before you lost your memory and probably contributed to the estrangement in some way, as he pulled Hadurah closer to him instead.

When you go into enough dungeons, Tangle will become aware of you and will subtly start revealing himself. Initially he'll pose as the Last Technician to get you to come to him, and when you do you'll encounter Hadurah or something. Or something else. Still kinda hazy about the plot here.

Asher might also be working with Tangle, which would make Tangle the real villain of the game, which fits a lot.

There might be a scene where Hadurah kisses you and seems to come back to your side, but secretly implanted something in you that way so that Tangle can get the Aleph Naught. This might actually happen too -- loops might start randomly turning into void when you get to that part of the game, and would need to be restored with Myriads.

Aleph Naught

The Aleph Naught is a gift of the Singularity, who is also sentient and absolutely ancient -- predates humans coming into the world. The Singularity is an alien construction, and/or maybe ties into universe creation in general -- she's possibly the heart of the dodecaverse, or one of them.

Her main thing is balance -- in order to create universes, other universes have to die, and to get something like the Soul's Pivot, loops need to be annihilated. They can be restored with Myriads, but that pulls energy from those planes permanently. She may be partially responsible for the death of the parent universe -- it's necessary to create the dodecaverse. Idk how far I want to go into meta-lore though; would like to make other games and worlds set in it eventually.

The Singularity helps guide you as you use the Aleph Naught to build the Soul's Pivot. I'm not sure how Tangle's secret use ties into this plotline, but you'll probably have to confront him at some point.

Tangle might also end up merging with the Singularity, which would be absolutely catastrophic -- a good way to destroy ALL universes to save all Tangles from sentience. However the source of Tangle's power is the Pivots, so the Last Technician would be able to turn him off. This might make the new game+ have a more interesting plot than the base game, which would be interesting -- Tangle would be present in all timelines with the same memory.

It might make sense to merge the plotlines then -- Tangle is responsible for the Uncertainty, not the Pivots -- the Pivots just give him his power. So you need the Last Technician exclusively to turn him off -- this fixes both problems at once since Tangle caused the other problem. Probably needs some work to make this more coherent.

As for how humans just so happened to stumble on the one universe where the Singularity is, this could be the Singularity's fault -- she may have wanted to pass on the Soul's Pivot to some other race, or may have felt guilty for destroying the parent universe or something, and wanted to make it up to the dominant lifeform in it.

Anyway there's a lot of potential here, I'll hammer it out and make it more of a coherent plot.

Plot Summary

  • You (also Asher) -- male -- a member of the Maintenance Guild, had saved up for a farm to live on with your wife and your son. After your son's death, buried yourself in your work and the Guild's goal to find the Last Technician.

  • Hadurah -- female -- your wife. After your son's death worked with Tangle to gain access to the Singularity so that she could resurrect your son. Turns into a cybernetic monster to help fulfill this goal. Has no idea that Tangle wants to destroy everything. Also has no idea that Tangle's actions inadvertently led to her son's death.

  • Asher -- male -- also part of the maintenance guild, and is one of its lowest-ranking members despite also being a version of you (and knows about this). Heck the maintenance guild might *all* be Ashers -- this would make sense. Has a high rank in your current quest entirely due to technology that Tangle fed him (need to make a section for this I guess, it's coming together). Helps you in your quest to reach the Singularity but wants it for himself to take over the Guild. Has been fed a lot by Tangle, including a lot of lies.

  • The Last Technician (Ijon) -- female -- Got stuck in the newflesh network while working on a Pivot during the Uncertainty event. Has all of her memories intact, and is the only person capable of turning off Tangle.

  • Tangle -- semi-male -- a sentient being made up of quantum-entangled automatons. Hates being sentient, and wants to destroy everything to lose it. Sort of the main villain of the story, and is heavily implicated in a lot of the conflict and catastrophes in the plot.

  • Singularity -- semi-female -- Very powerful alien being capable of creating entirely new universes. Was responsible for both the destruction of the parent universe and the creation of the Dodecaverse. Wants to give humans some of her power to make up for destroying their universe -- the Soul's Pivot. Merges with Tangle at some point.

  • 9 Months ago
    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    Maintenance Guild stuff

    The maintenance guild serves to keep all the underpinnings of civilization working -- the conduits, newflesh node network, portal networks, the tech used in farms, etc. You've worked for them a long long time.

    The higher levels of the guild also maintain the Pivots as best as they can -- they don't have the skills of actual technicians but they've been able to at least keep things stable. Some of their technology has come from cryptic messages sent by the Last Technician, sent intermittently. The highest levels can communicate with her, but she's too fragmented to respond right.

    Lately though the Pivots have been going really crazy (due to Tangle I guess) and the only way to fix it is to bring the last technician back to life.

    It's known that there are parallel timelines in Shatterloop -- another side effect of the Shattering that created all the different dimensions. The Last Technician is present in all of them simultaneously and so can't be pulled out of any specific one.

    However her position fluxes occasionally, which makes her coherent enough to communicate. If you knew which timeline she was in during a flux you'd be able to pull her out there. But you'd have to be able to access alt timelines and you'd also have to know where to be and when.

    The second answer is easy enough -- the maintenance guild knows about a powerful alien artifact in the heart of the Shatterloop Singularity (they don't know it's sentient though). When a being in all timelines accesses it they'd be able to see the exact time and place to pull The Last Technician out, and they know this because the Last Technician knew people who had accessed it before -- it's part of how the Pivots were constructed.

    (I guess I need to change the timeline so the timeline thing was always there, and shattering just shattered the dimensions, or something like that. Maybe it was an effect of messing with alternate timelines too much -- that makes sense.)

    Getting there is difficult (especially with the very cryptic notes gathered from the last technician) but doable, and the steps required can apparently only be done by a being present in all timelines -- maybe interacting with tetradshards doesn't work right otherwise or something.

    Getting a being to be present in all timelines is trickier -- there's an old machine that did that but it had been lost and the maintenance guild was working on trying to create a new one, with bad effects on its test subjects.

    This is where Asher enters -- a very low-ranking member of the guild, was out collecting tetradshards. This is dangerous work, both for the dungeon monsters and the fact that tetradshards that aren't contained right (or interacting with an all-time lines being) can kill the owner and also scramble their newflesh node coding to make that essentially permanent. He took the job though because he haaaaated his position in the guild and it gave him a chance to get some money up towards his farm fund.

    While in the dungeon, Tangle reached out to him and warped his mind a bit. Gave him information on where to find the all-timeline artifact, which would increase his position considerably. And a promise of more if that didn't work out (Asher was still loyal to the guild at that point, and argued against Tangle, but Tangle was patient.)

    The artifact was found, and the maintenance guild would be able to move forwards with a candidate. Asher thought *he* would be chosen, or it would give him enough money to save up for the farm or something but the maintenance guild ignored him and chose someone who *already* had a farm , but said that if he helped the candidate they'd move him up in the ranks some more and pay him decently for it.

    Outraged, he returned to Tangle who convinced him to implant something in the candidate so Tangle could track him, and to help him reach his goal. In return, Tangle promised him more information -- information that would lead to Asher becoming the head of the maintenance guild and leading to the downfall of its current members.

    Meanwhile, the maintenance guild chose you as the candidate. Due to the death of your son you were in a rare position where you had the prestige and adventuring experience of a farm owner but were also unhappy with that life, and had been doing some pretty great things for the guild lately.

    At some point during this Asher put in the tracking chip, and Tangle was able to use this to reach your wife when she was looking for a way to resurrect your son and corrupt her.

    Prologue to the start of the game

    The timeline-altering machine had a side effect of total memory loss (which you liked the sound of a lot) and also location scattering, so they made sure you were equipped with several machines that would help you get started, and a Journal full of detailed information on how to survive.

    Thinking that someone in all timelines with no memory would be better served knowing very little about his mission until he was ready, they left everything else up to the care of Asher, and put in a note for you to find him. Asher of course is on the other side at this point and so doesn't reveal *everything* to you when you encounter him.

    So they turn on the machine, you lose your memories and wake up in a weird limbo where you can pick a timeline to start out in. Since the Pivots are involved, all people and holdings of the Maintenance Guild are the same, but everything and everyone else is completely different, depending on quantum differences after humans first entered Shatterloop. This means all story characters are identical, since they're all connected to Pivots in some way.

    9 Months ago
    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    Story interaction with the game

    The Pivots should be actual objects that exist in the six melange/elemental planes (one for each Pivot) concurrently at very very far distances. These should be accessible in-game somehow and tie into the story, but given their distance, they're almost impossible to be discovered by accident. For lore reasons, they're always in the same place regardless of seed.

    Your original farm should also exist, but be in a random townless dimension per timeline. Also very unlikely to be discovered by accident, but it can happen. Getting there will be a story thing, along with maybe eventually getting Hadurah to return home.

    The Maintenance guild leaders are scattered around various luxurious farms that you can't steal from. They should recognize you and maybe trigger memories -- of you belonging to the Maintenance guild, if nothing else.

    The Last Technician thing can probably be triggered directly by the Soul's Pivot, so no further integration needed there. Though it would be cool if you had to interact with one (or a town one) to make it happen.

    Anything else story-related happens like this:

  • In "memories" that are unlocked by visiting places or types of areas or doing certain things. These can be "remembered" at any time and may cause cutscenes or may just be text (or both depending on what it is). Programming wise, building something in the "memory" dimension makes the most sense, and then maybe locking your movements and moving the player or w/e.

  • Asher does reveal a fair bit, though not everything.

  • Tangle reveals a lot as you progress through dungeons and maybe also randomly -- you have that tracking chip in you after all.

  • Hadurah, the Singularity and the Last Technician reveal things as you interact with them.

  • A lot of general lore can be unlocked via the Books/Tomes system -- this may help you piece things together more about backdrop or absurd coincidences or whatever, but I do want the story itself to be self-contained.

  • You might occasionally get cryptic messages from the last technician. Addressed to Asher, who you probably don't realize is also your name.

  • 9 Months ago
    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

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