Scenarios, draft of BAR's lore and community faction-logos contest!

Summing up the work on sinlgle-player campaign and announcing a faction logos community contest!

June 23, 2021

The single-player campaign is in the works!

Hello, folks! We are happy to inform you that we are finally on our way to reach one of the biggest milestones planned before launching BAR on Steam. For quite a while now we have been announcing that we would like to release BAR with a fully-fledged campaign and now we have most of the tools in place to make it a reality.

We want to make BAR awesome to all kinds of players, not only the try-hard competitive types. Therefore, our intention is to prepare something really special and interesting for all the lone-wolves and coop survival-lovers as well. We want BAR to appeal to all these groups. While the multiplayer competitive gameplay part is pretty much ready for a release, there is a big demand in the community for interesting single-player options and we want to address it...

Building the storyline

Few days ago PtaQ and Teifion have brainstormed and came up with a nice idea for the basis of BAR story. The main plot is going to revolve around four "factions" featured in game's universe - two playable ones - ARMADA and CORTEX and then an AI-driven Scavengers (SCAV) and "Chickens" (working title) - a terrifying invasive alien species.

The lore will very slightly relate to Total Annihilation story, but for the most part, explore some new ideas and take it in a different direction.

The perspective of the main campaign will change from mission to mission, meaning that you will have a chance to play both ARMADA and CORTEX within the playthrough. We want it to encompass about 20 missions.

In the future we would like to release more campaigns as DLCs or just usual updates. Moreover, we are thinking about making Scavengers and Chickens also able to be controlled by the player as playable factions. Perhaps one day they will also receive their own storylines for you to explore. You can read more about the specifics of each of these factions in the end of this post.

In the meantime, we have provided with a nice placeholder/alternative for a single player campaign that you can enjoy right now! Introducing...

Scenarios!

Scenarios are a fun game mode in which you play a skirmish with some predefined unit restrictions and units placed on the map, very close to what actual missions will eventually end up looking like.

You can treat these scenarios as fun "challenges" designed to test a wide range of tactical skills and teach how to act under many different circumstances.

These little skirmishes are prepared in such a way that player of any skill level can enjoy them.

Each one can be played on 5 difficulty levels from 'beginner' up to 'brutal'). So far not even the best players in our community had managed to complete "Catch those rare Comets" scenario on brutal so you can try it and get all the glory yourself :).

So far we have prepared 18 scenarios for your entertainment.

You can also contribute by preparing your own scenarios for others to try out. For details on how to do it check the pinned messages in #scenarios channel on our Discord.

Announcing faction logos community competition!

Firestorm's logos propositions (example)

As you may have noticed, for several weeks now, we have been using placeholder icons for ARMADA and CORTEX factions in the lobby. It is time to make them awesome! After a short brainstorm our dev team has decided that it would be best to ask you guys how you would imagine those icons to look like. So, here’s a little contest:

If you are a graphic designer, artist or just someone with an imagination and a pencil, please give it a shot!

Submissions of ARMADA and CORTEX logos are going to be open untill the end of June. After that we will collect them and make a poll within players for the most likeable and thematic ones. After limiting the list to the best few applications, devs will decide about the final choice.

Some ground rules and information:

Please post your drawings/graphics in #faction-logos-contest channel. If you don't use discord, you can also submit them on our subreddit.
  • Form is not important - it can be a fully fledged complete photoshopped masterpiece, or just a scan of the general design drawn on a piece of paper, for us to finish. As long as it fits in a square
  • It is preferred if it's colorized / with an explanation of how to colorize it
  • Remember that the logos are going to be displayed downsized in the lobby, keep them simple/not much detail or offer a simplified and a full version. ARM and CORE logos from Total Annihilation are a great example of a simple design that works
  • Please design both ARMADA and CORTEX logos within our application, and if you wish, do a Scavenger logo as well! (and well, why not something for the Alien Chickens/Raptors while you’re at it)
  • Design in Figma would be cool.
  • ARMADA leading color is blue (R0 G77 B255), CORTEX - red (R255 G0 B0), SCAV - purple (R223 G40 B247)

The inspiration

We have prepared some back-story to give you a sense of what those two factions and species are about to inform and inspire your designs:

TL&DR (just keywords):

  • ARMADA: sleek, finesse, order, existentialism, lawfulness - see ARMADA units
  • CORTEX: heavy, brutal, chaos, nihilism, entropy, destruction - see CORTEX units
  • SCAV: ruthless, mindless, assimilate, deluge, a glitch in the system
  • CHICKEN: hive mind, invasive, persistent, "life, uh, finds a way …" - see Chickens

Closer look at the factions: ARMADA & CORTEX

We imagine ARMADA to be more sophisticated, lawful, fighting for some 'higher' state of existence (ascension?) while CORTEX as being more nihilistic, destructive, seeking havoc and trying to bring existence and especially conscious life to an end.

Let those be their most basic motivations, their lowest level code, the kernel. If we want it to be about intergalactic wars on the galactic scale it makes me think about entropy, one of (if not the most) basic parameters defining the state of the universe. The state of entropy of the entire universe, as an isolated system, will always increase over time which ultimately leads to the inevitable 'heat death' of everything there is.

Pyro (CORTEX) - Fast assault bot

Let CORTEX fight to bring this event closer by depleting galaxies from all matter and turning it into a more entropic (disordered state), catalysing the nuclear burnout of stars, turning whole planets and systems into dust. CORTEX aims at ending all existence for an arguably noble reason though - to end all suffering.

Bulldog (ARMADA) - heavy assault tank

Let ARMADA contest this pro-mortalistic/anti-natalistic philosophy, trying to postpone the end of all existence, wanting the life to flourish and expand thought the cosmos.

ARMADA machines may at the first glance seem cold and soulless, but they still bear a shard of humanity within their operating systems.

However, after all, both of those motivations ultimately lead to the same outcome, because one can't totally stop the universe from cooling, one can only slow down its inevitable decay. Therefore the war for chaos or the war for order has no real/meaningful reason behind it, it is truly Beyond All Reason™. It is also quite interesting from the philosophical or 'moral' standpoint, serving as an allegory of the eternal fight between life and death, the order and chaos, the existentialism and nihilism.

"To be or not to be - that is the question"

On Scavengers origins

Cold and ruthless place

Our galaxy has been scarred by epic wars raging for millennia. It is a cold and ruthless place, where the remnants of Armada and Cortex factions still battle each other in an ancient struggle for domination. Most of the planetary resources have been depleted and turned into machines of destruction only to fight and get reduced into wreck fields that stretch to the horizon. These junkyards are a common sight among the once live and habitable planets. This is where our Scavengers story begins.

The Sardoth-11 event 

No one knows for sure where they come from, what made them alive and hungry for destruction. It might have been some alien technology, a random short circuit of a processing unit or a deliberate action of mother nature to end the destructive war between Armada and Cortex. One thing is certain – some unknown event has influenced the AI algorithm of a group of Cortex bots left over on the planet called Sardoth-11 after one of the major battles between the two factions.

Protocol 1: Scavenge

Their original algorithm was tailored to realize a simple task of finishing the leftovers of Armada forces and setting an outpost on this planet. Yet for some reason they suddenly started doing something totally different – picking up the junk from the battlefield and using an advanced resurrection technology that utilizes tachyons (particles that travel back in time) to put life back into those wrecks. All of this would end up being just an interesting little phenomenon for scholars of the future to analyze. But there was yet another fact that changed everything…

Protocol 2: Multiply 

It turned out that the novel process of resurrecting had one more interesting aspect to it – every unit which got back to life by the Scavengers has been infected by a copy of the very same malicious algorithm that told them to scavenge the wreck fields and resurrect every single piece of junk to do the same over and over again. This unstoppable feedback loop has resulted in an exponential growth of their numbers, in just a few days taking over the whole world of Sardoth-11.

Protocol 3: Upgrade 

The scavenging algorithm had some flaws, as could be expected of a protocol that arose from seemingly spontaneous reasons. Sometimes it wasn’t able to rearrange the unit pieces in a correct way and used scraps from the next wreck they could find. Sometimes the piece recognition module just bugged out creating frightening Frankenstein-like unit mashups. In some instances it resulted in totally useless abominations, but every now and then the chimeras turned out even stronger than the sum of their parts. 

After almost all metal on the planet has been used there were still some leftovers that due to fragmentation or damage couldn’t be used to make operational units. However the scavenger protocol was very strict about metal – it had to use every single remaining scrap of it. The spare metal was used to put more armor and more weapons on original units, creating bigger and stronger versions of them. They were even able to build the frightening giant Commanders

Protocol 4: Expand 

to be continued…

"Chickens" biology and origins

Gallinacei Raptorius - an invasive extremophile species originating from planet Alectryon - a terrifying environment ravaged by geothermal and volcanic activity where acidic showers and toxic clouds are just everyday business. These bipedal monstrosities are at the apex of what natural selection can lead to through billions of years of evolving under such unforgiving conditions.

Their genome is of quite a unique structure, unseen in other parts of the universe. It results in few characteristics which make this species so powerful and enduring: 

  • A total polymorphism of shape and size - similar to ants, the genes of these creatures may be expressed in a variety of ways depending on the external conditions. The eggs of this species are not just shells that protect the developing embryo. They have their own neural network able to sense their surroundings and communicate with each other and the Queen. Depending on the environment and Queen’s “mood” the embryos will morph into different variants like worker drones, armored soldiers, avians and amphibians equipped with different skill sets adapted to their situation. If the queen finds itself endangered, it will produce more and more terrifying bodyguards. So far 53 different variants have been classified.
  • Hermaphroditism and fully self-sustained breeding cycle - in the harsh habitat of Alectryon you can’t sustain a species if it is dependent on whether one can find a mate. Gallinacei have developed a unique breeding mechanism in which every single mature specimen produces a living embryo of another raptor inside it, safeguarded by a tough shell. If the environment is propitious, it naturally lays an egg when it's ready. However, in the case of a mature raptor dying the egg will very likely survive feeding off the decomposing carcass of its parent before it fully develops and hatches.
  • Ability to digest and draw energy from virtually any matter. These creatures can feed off ground, rocks, and even metal. Their complicated internal chemistry can break down most known compounds. What is more, even deprived of material nutrition, both mature raptors and their eggs can survive through photosynthesis on a lower, but still dangerous energetic level. 
  • Virtually infinitely expanding territory - Gallinacei Raptorius are the only known species in the universe which can expand its territory naturally by the means of panspermia making itself multiplanetary. The unmatched adaptability allows their eggs to survive in the vacuum of space for thousands of years in a spore form. This means that random cosmic events like an asteroid impact can launch those eggs into space and make them land on other inhabited planets. Due to the fact that you just can’t possibly have worse conditions for life than on Alectryon basically every planet can sustain and produce a new colony if it is unlucky enough to get ‘infected’ by one of these innocent egglings. 
  • A seismic communication mechanism -The contents of Alectryon atmosphere are so chaotic and unstable that relying only on conventional sound-waves projected in air to communicate is a dealbreaker. In addition to sounds they make in the air, their communication is based on seismic vibrations which is how the eggs can also “hear” the swarm. 
  • Queen's election through blood - in the case of the Queen dying, eggs stop receiving its feedback. This provokes an intrinsic selection process. All the eggs will now yield new queen candidates of monstrous sizes that will just claw each other to death with no second-thoughts. From this bloody mess the most ruthless, durable and powerful champion raptor emerges. It will be the new Queen, the one to lead a new generation of the swarm.
All of the research allows the conclusion that Gallinacei Raptorius as a hive, is in fact a single, DNA-sharing organism capable of terrific adaptability to minute changes on the battlefield. For the purposes of confrontation it is to be considered a fully sentient opponent.

Are you still here?

Wow, that was a long read! If you have managed to get so far, then you must really be hyped up to play some BAR now :) Download the game and try it out today! Be sure to check our Discord too and interact with our community and dev team!

The single-player campaign is in the works!

Hello, folks! We are happy to inform you that we are finally on our way to reach one of the biggest milestones planned before launching BAR on Steam. For quite a while now we have been announcing that we would like to release BAR with a fully-fledged campaign and now we have most of the tools in place to make it a reality.

We want to make BAR awesome to all kinds of players, not only the try-hard competitive types. Therefore, our intention is to prepare something really special and interesting for all the lone-wolves and coop survival-lovers as well. We want BAR to appeal to all these groups. While the multiplayer competitive gameplay part is pretty much ready for a release, there is a big demand in the community for interesting single-player options and we want to address it...

Building the storyline

Few days ago PtaQ and Teifion have brainstormed and came up with a nice idea for the basis of BAR story. The main plot is going to revolve around four "factions" featured in game's universe - two playable ones - ARMADA and CORTEX and then an AI-driven Scavengers (SCAV) and "Chickens" (working title) - a terrifying invasive alien species.

The lore will very slightly relate to Total Annihilation story, but for the most part, explore some new ideas and take it in a different direction.

The perspective of the main campaign will change from mission to mission, meaning that you will have a chance to play both ARMADA and CORTEX within the playthrough. We want it to encompass about 20 missions.

In the future we would like to release more campaigns as DLCs or just usual updates. Moreover, we are thinking about making Scavengers and Chickens also able to be controlled by the player as playable factions. Perhaps one day they will also receive their own storylines for you to explore. You can read more about the specifics of each of these factions in the end of this post.

In the meantime, we have provided with a nice placeholder/alternative for a single player campaign that you can enjoy right now! Introducing...

Scenarios!

Scenarios are a fun game mode in which you play a skirmish with some predefined unit restrictions and units placed on the map, very close to what actual missions will eventually end up looking like.

You can treat these scenarios as fun "challenges" designed to test a wide range of tactical skills and teach how to act under many different circumstances.

These little skirmishes are prepared in such a way that player of any skill level can enjoy them.

Each one can be played on 5 difficulty levels from 'beginner' up to 'brutal'). So far not even the best players in our community had managed to complete "Catch those rare Comets" scenario on brutal so you can try it and get all the glory yourself :).

So far we have prepared 18 scenarios for your entertainment.

You can also contribute by preparing your own scenarios for others to try out. For details on how to do it check the pinned messages in #scenarios channel on our Discord.

Announcing faction logos community competition!

Firestorm's logos propositions (example)

As you may have noticed, for several weeks now, we have been using placeholder icons for ARMADA and CORTEX factions in the lobby. It is time to make them awesome! After a short brainstorm our dev team has decided that it would be best to ask you guys how you would imagine those icons to look like. So, here’s a little contest:

If you are a graphic designer, artist or just someone with an imagination and a pencil, please give it a shot!

Submissions of ARMADA and CORTEX logos are going to be open untill the end of June. After that we will collect them and make a poll within players for the most likeable and thematic ones. After limiting the list to the best few applications, devs will decide about the final choice.

Some ground rules and information:

Please post your drawings/graphics in #faction-logos-contest channel. If you don't use discord, you can also submit them on our subreddit.
  • Form is not important - it can be a fully fledged complete photoshopped masterpiece, or just a scan of the general design drawn on a piece of paper, for us to finish. As long as it fits in a square
  • It is preferred if it's colorized / with an explanation of how to colorize it
  • Remember that the logos are going to be displayed downsized in the lobby, keep them simple/not much detail or offer a simplified and a full version. ARM and CORE logos from Total Annihilation are a great example of a simple design that works
  • Please design both ARMADA and CORTEX logos within our application, and if you wish, do a Scavenger logo as well! (and well, why not something for the Alien Chickens/Raptors while you’re at it)
  • Design in Figma would be cool.
  • ARMADA leading color is blue (R0 G77 B255), CORTEX - red (R255 G0 B0), SCAV - purple (R223 G40 B247)

The inspiration

We have prepared some back-story to give you a sense of what those two factions and species are about to inform and inspire your designs:

TL&DR (just keywords):

  • ARMADA: sleek, finesse, order, existentialism, lawfulness - see ARMADA units
  • CORTEX: heavy, brutal, chaos, nihilism, entropy, destruction - see CORTEX units
  • SCAV: ruthless, mindless, assimilate, deluge, a glitch in the system
  • CHICKEN: hive mind, invasive, persistent, "life, uh, finds a way …" - see Chickens

Closer look at the factions: ARMADA & CORTEX

We imagine ARMADA to be more sophisticated, lawful, fighting for some 'higher' state of existence (ascension?) while CORTEX as being more nihilistic, destructive, seeking havoc and trying to bring existence and especially conscious life to an end.

Let those be their most basic motivations, their lowest level code, the kernel. If we want it to be about intergalactic wars on the galactic scale it makes me think about entropy, one of (if not the most) basic parameters defining the state of the universe. The state of entropy of the entire universe, as an isolated system, will always increase over time which ultimately leads to the inevitable 'heat death' of everything there is.

Pyro (CORTEX) - Fast assault bot

Let CORTEX fight to bring this event closer by depleting galaxies from all matter and turning it into a more entropic (disordered state), catalysing the nuclear burnout of stars, turning whole planets and systems into dust. CORTEX aims at ending all existence for an arguably noble reason though - to end all suffering.

Bulldog (ARMADA) - heavy assault tank

Let ARMADA contest this pro-mortalistic/anti-natalistic philosophy, trying to postpone the end of all existence, wanting the life to flourish and expand thought the cosmos.

ARMADA machines may at the first glance seem cold and soulless, but they still bear a shard of humanity within their operating systems.

However, after all, both of those motivations ultimately lead to the same outcome, because one can't totally stop the universe from cooling, one can only slow down its inevitable decay. Therefore the war for chaos or the war for order has no real/meaningful reason behind it, it is truly Beyond All Reason™. It is also quite interesting from the philosophical or 'moral' standpoint, serving as an allegory of the eternal fight between life and death, the order and chaos, the existentialism and nihilism.

"To be or not to be - that is the question"

On Scavengers origins

Cold and ruthless place

Our galaxy has been scarred by epic wars raging for millennia. It is a cold and ruthless place, where the remnants of Armada and Cortex factions still battle each other in an ancient struggle for domination. Most of the planetary resources have been depleted and turned into machines of destruction only to fight and get reduced into wreck fields that stretch to the horizon. These junkyards are a common sight among the once live and habitable planets. This is where our Scavengers story begins.

The Sardoth-11 event 

No one knows for sure where they come from, what made them alive and hungry for destruction. It might have been some alien technology, a random short circuit of a processing unit or a deliberate action of mother nature to end the destructive war between Armada and Cortex. One thing is certain – some unknown event has influenced the AI algorithm of a group of Cortex bots left over on the planet called Sardoth-11 after one of the major battles between the two factions.

Protocol 1: Scavenge

Their original algorithm was tailored to realize a simple task of finishing the leftovers of Armada forces and setting an outpost on this planet. Yet for some reason they suddenly started doing something totally different – picking up the junk from the battlefield and using an advanced resurrection technology that utilizes tachyons (particles that travel back in time) to put life back into those wrecks. All of this would end up being just an interesting little phenomenon for scholars of the future to analyze. But there was yet another fact that changed everything…

Protocol 2: Multiply 

It turned out that the novel process of resurrecting had one more interesting aspect to it – every unit which got back to life by the Scavengers has been infected by a copy of the very same malicious algorithm that told them to scavenge the wreck fields and resurrect every single piece of junk to do the same over and over again. This unstoppable feedback loop has resulted in an exponential growth of their numbers, in just a few days taking over the whole world of Sardoth-11.

Protocol 3: Upgrade 

The scavenging algorithm had some flaws, as could be expected of a protocol that arose from seemingly spontaneous reasons. Sometimes it wasn’t able to rearrange the unit pieces in a correct way and used scraps from the next wreck they could find. Sometimes the piece recognition module just bugged out creating frightening Frankenstein-like unit mashups. In some instances it resulted in totally useless abominations, but every now and then the chimeras turned out even stronger than the sum of their parts. 

After almost all metal on the planet has been used there were still some leftovers that due to fragmentation or damage couldn’t be used to make operational units. However the scavenger protocol was very strict about metal – it had to use every single remaining scrap of it. The spare metal was used to put more armor and more weapons on original units, creating bigger and stronger versions of them. They were even able to build the frightening giant Commanders

Protocol 4: Expand 

to be continued…

"Chickens" biology and origins

Gallinacei Raptorius - an invasive extremophile species originating from planet Alectryon - a terrifying environment ravaged by geothermal and volcanic activity where acidic showers and toxic clouds are just everyday business. These bipedal monstrosities are at the apex of what natural selection can lead to through billions of years of evolving under such unforgiving conditions.

Their genome is of quite a unique structure, unseen in other parts of the universe. It results in few characteristics which make this species so powerful and enduring: 

  • A total polymorphism of shape and size - similar to ants, the genes of these creatures may be expressed in a variety of ways depending on the external conditions. The eggs of this species are not just shells that protect the developing embryo. They have their own neural network able to sense their surroundings and communicate with each other and the Queen. Depending on the environment and Queen’s “mood” the embryos will morph into different variants like worker drones, armored soldiers, avians and amphibians equipped with different skill sets adapted to their situation. If the queen finds itself endangered, it will produce more and more terrifying bodyguards. So far 53 different variants have been classified.
  • Hermaphroditism and fully self-sustained breeding cycle - in the harsh habitat of Alectryon you can’t sustain a species if it is dependent on whether one can find a mate. Gallinacei have developed a unique breeding mechanism in which every single mature specimen produces a living embryo of another raptor inside it, safeguarded by a tough shell. If the environment is propitious, it naturally lays an egg when it's ready. However, in the case of a mature raptor dying the egg will very likely survive feeding off the decomposing carcass of its parent before it fully develops and hatches.
  • Ability to digest and draw energy from virtually any matter. These creatures can feed off ground, rocks, and even metal. Their complicated internal chemistry can break down most known compounds. What is more, even deprived of material nutrition, both mature raptors and their eggs can survive through photosynthesis on a lower, but still dangerous energetic level. 
  • Virtually infinitely expanding territory - Gallinacei Raptorius are the only known species in the universe which can expand its territory naturally by the means of panspermia making itself multiplanetary. The unmatched adaptability allows their eggs to survive in the vacuum of space for thousands of years in a spore form. This means that random cosmic events like an asteroid impact can launch those eggs into space and make them land on other inhabited planets. Due to the fact that you just can’t possibly have worse conditions for life than on Alectryon basically every planet can sustain and produce a new colony if it is unlucky enough to get ‘infected’ by one of these innocent egglings. 
  • A seismic communication mechanism -The contents of Alectryon atmosphere are so chaotic and unstable that relying only on conventional sound-waves projected in air to communicate is a dealbreaker. In addition to sounds they make in the air, their communication is based on seismic vibrations which is how the eggs can also “hear” the swarm. 
  • Queen's election through blood - in the case of the Queen dying, eggs stop receiving its feedback. This provokes an intrinsic selection process. All the eggs will now yield new queen candidates of monstrous sizes that will just claw each other to death with no second-thoughts. From this bloody mess the most ruthless, durable and powerful champion raptor emerges. It will be the new Queen, the one to lead a new generation of the swarm.
All of the research allows the conclusion that Gallinacei Raptorius as a hive, is in fact a single, DNA-sharing organism capable of terrific adaptability to minute changes on the battlefield. For the purposes of confrontation it is to be considered a fully sentient opponent.

Are you still here?

Wow, that was a long read! If you have managed to get so far, then you must really be hyped up to play some BAR now :) Download the game and try it out today! Be sure to check our Discord too and interact with our community and dev team!

Some images

Mentionable team members

Intel received from

Teifion
Beherith
IceXuick
FireStorm
Floris
PtaQ

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