Welcome to the new Sinister Design forums!

Main Menu

Speculation! [Free]

Started by ArtDrake, August 04, 2015, 02:20:18 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


All right! Everyone's curious about the mysterious ??? project, and none of us have real answers. I am certain, however, that many people have ideas about what the images we've been shown reveal about the nature of this project. That's where this thread comes in.

The plan at the moment is to split this discussion into two threads: one is for speculation based firmly in the evidence given in ???, mostly involving some form of interpretation of those images. Feel free to incorporate knowledge from previous games, but keep in mind that theories posted here should be derived largely from what you see in the pictures.

The second thread (this one!) is for freer speculation, derived mostly from knowledge of previous games and, for example, their thematic progression. It's equally acceptable to post your own pet theories that have little basis or grounding in reality at all there, but the key thing is that they're based on some other source than the images in ???.

The reason for this separation is to allow a cohesive discussion on the content of the released concept art, while still maintaining a forum for other kinds of prediction about the upcoming project.


This thread looks a little lonely -- I think it's time I brought up some less firmly grounded ideas of mine.

[spoiler=Freedom]Given that freedom and what it means to be free are consistent themes in Telepath games, I would guess that this trend will continue in the next game, assuming the released concept art is actually from a planned videogame at all.[/spoiler]

[spoiler=Religion]It's been stated that there are many issues that Craig wants to tackle with his games, so I get the distinct impression he's not going to be repeating himself -- this contradicts the notion of the powerful church proposed in the other speculation thread, but perhaps if the main focus is distinct enough from that of Servants of God, especially with this religious power not posing a theocracy so much as simply a powerful influence, I could see where this aspect of the picture interpretation could coexist with a desire to continually move into new, unexplored territories.

In Servants of God, we had only a handful of explicitly good Cultists, Qudssi and, depending on what it means to be a Cultist, former Senatrix Duvalier among them. But by and large, representatives of that organization are either morally unimpressive job-doers or straight-up evil people. If religion is a theme in this game, I predict much more ethically diverse parishioners, so to say. After all, religion doesn't make people fundamentally better or worse, and I figure that would be something worth portraying.[/spoiler]

[spoiler=Social Control]Slavery and forced labor have appeared in all previous Telepath games, so this one may look at different kinds -- debt slavery, indentured servitude -- or branch out towards other kinds of social control. Poll taxes, loyalty oaths, shibboleths, poorhouses, debtor's prisons; the floor is wide open.[/spoiler]

[spoiler=Setting]As for the setting and timeline of the (again, presumed) game, we know nothing. Given the sheer darkness of the images depicted, it could be an exploration of the alternate timeline in which the Shadowling Empire won its civil war, if the setting is on the same world as Cera Bella at all. There's certainly precedent in the wide world of gaming for working in a dismal timeline -- XCOM 2 takes place in a world where the original mission of defending the earth was a failure, and Dark Souls 3 takes place after the cycle of rekindling has been broken.

But something tells me that would be too much like backtracking for what seems like it'll be an ambitious and forward-reaching project.

We've seen no direct evidence of any of the old non-human races that we know and love from the previous Telepath games, but that doesn't mean anything certain; they may have gone into hiding as a result of a widespread human-supremacist belief system. But it does lend strength to the possibility that this game doesn't take place in the familiar world. To counter that, though, is the style of mask the figure in red and gold in 03 wears. Very Cera Bella. However, it could merely be very Sinister Design.[/spoiler]

And with that, I'm all out, for now. Please, don't be intimidated or anything -- feel free to post your own theories in this thread!


On the note I ended on in the evidence-based speculation thread, here's a thought -- if the setting is alternate-universe Russia, in the sense that TSoG was the alternate-universe Middle East, maybe the church and the czar are using Psys to hunt down artificial people (super-advanced golem tech??) because their thoughts stand out as distinctively mechanical, even though they look and act like organic people. And that persecution stands in place of the pogroms of the real world.

Then the wealthy man in 09 is acting as a financial backer to a cause kind of like Baz was? And he's openly letting the person he's smiling at see that he's cybernetic or mechanical because this parlour is a safe place for him, and he can reveal his nature openly.

There's a reason this is in Free Speculation. It's most likely hilariously wrong.


I find that unlikely. The man looks like a cyborg, not a robot. Of course it is possible he is a very realistic-looking android, but in that case I would imagine his creators would be able to avoid giving him such an obvious tell.


If he's an android or an incredibly human-like golem, he could easily pass as an augmented human, but to Psys, he'd be obvious. Unless there are humans who've managed to transfer their mind's format to a mechanical one, in which case he'd be indistinguishable from one of them (though perhaps Psys could still tell the difference?); then again, maybe he is one.

But yeah, it seems this man's body has just been cybernetically enhanced. I'm really trying to consolidate our knowledge of all these different kinds of machine-people and person-machines that we're seeing evidence of in the images, because I imagine that if that's what they are, there probably won't be that many types of them -- which would mean I had to figure out what one thing they all were.

Then again, given the themes of diversity we get in TSoG and TT, I also wouldn't be surprised if there were as many kinds of partly or wholly mechanical people as there are those who use the technology.

Or maybe that's not what we're seeing here at all.