So after undocking from the mothership that is RMQ, I’m making a new game called Scout’s Journey. What is this game, how is it different from RMQ, who is Scout, and what can players expect of the journey?
Scout’s Journey originated as RMQ’s first episode (out of 4). Actually before that, it originated as a remake of shareware Quake (the entire first episode of that game was distributed as shareware, so you could freely download and play it – those were the times before game companies went apeshit over DRM and piracy and all that).
In July 2007, this project hooked up with another Quake episode remake to eventually form RMQ. The goal of RMQ was, and is, to “remake Quake”. And for 5 years now, that project grew and festered and mutated and sprouted new features all over. And many talented people were drawn into its gurgling maelstrom (and spit out again). And a lot of technical progress was made. And things were mostly good.
Except that RMQ has always had a predetermined faultline, probably rooted in its DNA. That line went between those who wanted a more conservative sort of remake and those who didn’t want to follow that doctrine too closely. The result was constant friction, confusion, identity crisis, and potential conflict that was mostly dormant, but always looming. The decision making process was usually drawn out and painful. It was like living in the shadow of a volcano.
But enough about that.
Scout is the new game’s sole protagonist. She was born out of the idea to have a new player character for each of RMQ’s four episodes. Actually, she was born out of my idea for a female alternative to Quake’s (and RMQ’s) protagonist, Ranger. It has always been a man’s world, and frankly the time is ripe for change. She was initially just known as “the Quakegirl” as opposed to “the Quakeguy”, as Ranger is habitually called, and she used a model created by a community member ages ago that was found in an archive. A second potential Scout model has since surfaced, and what she will actually use is probably going to be a higher-poly mixture of the two. Thus, Scout does exist as an in-game model at this point.
Scout’s Journey, the game, already has a strong, coherent story that the entirety of the game will be built upon. This story is completely different from Quake’s. The player (as Scout) is sent in after a military campaign has failed horribly to find out what became of the operation. Scout, who is a complete rookie, is supposed to collect intelligence and contact surviving troops who may be lost in the Quake dimension in order to help defeat Shub-Niggurath’s forces.
Scout witnesses the aftermath of the military operation firsthand and it soon turns out that everybody else is either dead, mind controlled or insane. When Scout continues deeper into the alien dimension, it starts to affect her in various ways. Scout encounters woundrous things and nameless evils, until she has to make a decision that will change her life forever. She finds out that the conflict is age-old, that she is not alone in her struggle, and Shub-Niggurath is by no means without rivals…
Will Scout manage to save her people? And what will be the cost?
Scout’s world is dark and shrouded in Lovecraftian mystery. Her road is a downward spiral… always downward through strange eldritch portals, excavated and tempered with by ever-curious mortals. Downward through dank, mossy dungeons and castles towards the place where they burned the dead and threw their ashes into Chthonian moats.
Then further downward.
They call themselves the Herd. They abandoned their humanity to revel in the glory of their Great Mother, Shub-Niggurath, the Goat with a Thousand Young, forevermore. Death to all who oppose them!
They once were like us – they built splendid castles and feasted in their High Hall. They were knights in shining armour. They prayed to good-hearted gods. Now they are all dead… and what remains are rotting dungeons and desecrated altars, and the taint of Shub-Niggurath is everywhere. Death to all who oppose Her!
They lived in small tribes, led by cunning shamans. They knew not good nor evil. They only knew the hunt, the rituals, and the making of crude tools for warfare and household. Since time immemorial, they have now served Shub-Niggurath. She has been good to them. They are strong! The tribes flourish! Death to puny humans!
They have existed since the dimensions were young. Some of them are older than Shub-Niggurath Herself. They sometimes serve Her, and sometimes they mind their own business. Sometimes they serve the Elder Gods, sometimes not. Their lifeblood is magic, both the innate kind and the kind learned from the great tomes in the labyrinthine libraries of Yith and Fodrian. They don’t bother with death.
Scout will discover that she has a powerful ally. The name and nature of that ally are not to be disclosed. Suffice to say that for the first time in eons, Shub-Niggurath Herself is worried. During one of Her voracious quests for power, She must have overlooked something. Or underestimated something. She did not stomp something hard enough. Something survived. But what could it be?
She will find out. One of Her countless minions will surely stumble upon the missing link.
And then She will crush it.
Or so Shub-Niggurath desires.