One of the upcoming sci-fi MMOs we've been following is Black Prophecy, currently in development at Reakktor Media. It's a game they've stated will offer casual drop-in gameplay but with a deep, engaging backstory beneath the surface of its space combat. The game's lore is the subject of a Colony of Gamers interview with sci-fi author Michael Marrak, who has conceptualized and written the story of Black Prophecy.
Marrak tells 'Bandango' from Colony of Gamers that he's produced a substantial amount of material for the game. Marrak explains, "Overall there are about 700 pages of manuscript material. 300 pages are about missions, while the rest contains the timelines, story background, research and templates for the game design."
While this sounds a bit overwhelming, actually, it should benefit the gamers who choose to really dig into the story and the setting. The depth will be there for players who want it, but the game and its quests won't require that players read through most of the material. In fact, we suspect much of that content will make its way into a Black Prophecy novelization or line of fiction.
On that, Marrak hints, "There is this idea of a Black Prophecy novel haunting the corridors of Reakktor's offices which would probably be published in [the] English language."
The interview also hits upon the challenges Marrak faced in adapting his prose to fit the unique constraints of an MMO. Marrak says, "In its structure, the actual mission script is very much like a screenplay or a stage play with plot descriptions, dialogue and stage directions. In addition it contains information for the graphic artists and programmers. Yet the biggest difference is that what's written experiences a metamorphosis and transforms into a different medium - from the written text to animated, nearly cinematic pictures. The author's mental cinema becomes an audio-visual experience for the masses."
While the COG interview explains the game's timeline and story structure, Marrak also discusses how he's also drawn upon his background as an illustrator, blending his crafting of the Black Prophecy story with the game's art direction.
Have a look at the Colony of Games interview with Michael Marrak for more about the setting and game experience the author has envisioned for Black Prophecy.