Alright, we have the ludings roughly designed, and now we want to imagine how they perceive a game setting. It is essential to visualise the player’s experience, as the game protagonist will be a luding. The first shot was to tell a world’s recent history with a mouth of regular inhabitant. A bit ignorant and playful, but that’s what the most of ludings are. We had to play a bit with the original backstory, reform it and adjust to ludings instead of humans. We wanted the backstory to be less pompous and more carefree, including the naming convention. Stay awhile and listen.
Our life and civilization started on Mom, our homeplanet orbiting around gas giant that we dubbed the Red Lamp. Some scientists claim we come from some cosmic jelly, but who cares. Anyway, ludon civilization expanded and after many generations we managed to populate all planets in Red Lamp system. It was so cool for ludings to live on various planets, build cities, develop some crazy technology, robots and stuff. It was a golden age of automationism – the progressive mindset of liberating the ludings from any toil and sorrow through widespread automation. Automationism also made an ultimate promise of curing the ludings from demastosa – that innate disease that makes each luding to fade and die overtime.
It was going well until we had this massive crisis a few generations ago called The Fail. I don`t entirely understand how did it come to this, because all seemed fine: the technology was so advanced that actually almost no one needed to work. How cool is that! Robots and computers got all things done and the ludings could do whatever they pleased all days long. But for some reasons, many folks could not afford the living. Without understanding of that new order, without work and without livelihood, they remained unfit and unnecessary. So they got angry and then mad. They protested and rioted heavily against some powerful corporations, so the suits lost their patience and smacked them really hard. Then it got even worse, the riots scaled up to local wars. Finally the corps released the Gloom – that demastosa accelerating virus to ‘optimize the population’ and ‘pacify the instigators’. Many, many ludings perished at the time.
And then came the Ludon Collective. These guys started as a bunch of rebels fighting against automationists supremacy, but it was The Fail, that made them really stand out. They sabotaged and infiltrated corporate facilities and finally managed to steal the remedy for the Gloom. The chaos went to a halt, as they gave away the remedy to infected ludings. With the support of frustrated majority, they felt confident enough to reach for political power, bringing back some order during the times of bumpy ride. They established a regime that was meant to ‘protect our civilization from falling into oblivion of technological debauchery’ – their words. The Collective embraced luding hand as their symbol and struggled to provide the meaning of life through work for every luding. It looked cool at the beginning because they kicked away the robots from factories and brought back the work back to the hands of ludings. They banned the AI, talking computers and many other beeping devices. Only tools and hand-operated machines were declared legal. What’s more, they blocked all genetic research., which resulted in abrupt halt of all pending projects aimed at finding the cure for demastosa. They justified it that this kind of research is more likely to result in another Gloom, rather than wonder-cure for demastosa, and that the ludings must learn to accept their mortality. The omasta was to remain the ‘uncharted essence of life allowing us all to retain true luding spirit’ – their words. And folks did like it, it seemed to them fair to even the odds between rich and poor, at least organic-wise. In order to keep the progressive aspirations at bay Ludon Collective formulated the Prime Doc – a set of rules preventing the ludings from losing their nature in lieu of technologically improved existence and reaching technological singularity. Most of population was happy with the decrees of Ludon Collective, as they balanced social inequalities, gave work and threw away many hindrances of freedom of a choice (by simply limiting or canceling any choices). There were of course few malcontents that opposed the populist politics of Ludon Collective but they quickly felt the breath of SPUX on their backs. The SPUX was the special security force tasked with suppressing any expressions of non-adherence with Prime Doc. SPUX stood for Special Prevention Unit, and X was added to make it sound more badass.
And so it lasted for a good deal of time. Folks say it wasn’t that bad – a bit boring and ridiculously bureaucratic. The paperwork was inflated to absurd scale in order to improve control over population and satisfy the demand for work. Civil rights were reduced, just in case, and wealth was redistributed. For generations no one died in misery but also no-one died in luxury.
But no power is given for all times. The Ludon Collective regime finally collapsed under its own weight, and regulated lives of our folk went completely off the rails. With pre-Fail generations long gone, the explosion of freedom completely twisted the rules of existence. The most cunning individuals made a rapid profit before the masses made out what actually just happened. The most clueless ludings were immediately pushed into poverty or economic slavery. Some made fortunes overnight, some lost the lifetime savings in shady, ill-placed transactions. Freaky Science and gene-engineering, finally unleashed, allowed to expand the lifespan, cure diseases and sculpt hot bodies for those who could afford it. Free trade flooded the planets with wanted and unwanted stuff.
The luding folk, united up to that day under the emblem of a toiled hand, now became split into quarreling factions following conflicting ideas. The remnants of the regime administration, desperately tried to make out the most of new situation: the suits and officials placed their bets on those who held power in various factions, SPUX enforcers went rogue lending their firepower to the highest bidder in sight, some tried to make quick and easy money on raiding and pillaging. Daring enterprises were launched to scavenge the resources of fallen regime. Cool new cities were built upon public buildings and blocks of flats. A toiled hand of Ludon Collective became only a symbol of times that passed.
And now we are finally free and, again, we can do whatever we want.