Distant Worlds (the Backstory) TL;DR

Preface:

I had the idea for Distant Worlds over 30 years ago. Back then I knew that the computers and programming languages of the time just weren't up to the task. While I waited for the technology to catch up I dove into the IT world and have been a Programmer, Network Administrator, Network Architect, and IT Department Manager in the corporate world. On my own I tried to create the game by myself, but it's just to much for one person to handle unless they are a Master Programmer, Musician, 3D and 2D artist, and have about 10 years to spend doing nothing but making the game.

I've always been drawn to games that had the same basic atributes of Distant Worlds, and that's what drew me to Empyrion - Galactic Survival. It's actually perfect that it's still in Alpha and that Eleon is kind enough (and smart enough) to open up the game with an API. With that I've started programming Mods for Empyrion that will bring to life the parts of Distant Worlds that I envisioned in the summer of 1984.
I sincerely hope you enjoy it.


It Begins

Climate Change, Global Warming, Signs of the Apocalypse, call it what you want, but by 2049 we realized it was real, and it was to late to reverse the damage. Then the wars started, but not over oil or political gain, for food and clean water. By the time it was over, 10 billion people were dead, and those that were left made the only choice they could. It was time to leave Earth.

The Plan

The world's space agencies had developed several technologies that were key to making it possible to travel to another solar system. Fortunately the people that helped to build these technologies were stashed away in bunkers during the wars. It was now time for them to help save what was left of the human race.

Two ships were constructed in orbit from a new launch facility built just outside of Yellow Knife in the Northern Territories. It wasn't as hot there, so the dust storms didn't interfere as much with launches. When the ships were ready, there was room for 10,000 people, 5,000 per ship. Needless to say, some people would be left behind. It couldn't be helped. By the time another ship would be ready everyone would be dead.

On Course for Alpha Centauri

It was decided that a small crew would stay awake while the rest of the people on board were in cryo-sleep. There were 10 crews on each ship that would each take a 5 year shift. During the journey there were unexpected encounters with things like meteorite clouds, radiation and plasma storms, and about half way through the journey they encountered a rift. It was barely visible at first, but as they got closer it grew in size. Then they discovered they couldn't steer away from it. It was pulling them in and there was nothing they could do.

On the Other Side

Traversing the rift was a bumpy ride, but most of the ships systems were still operational and the others suffered only minor damage. The confusing and scary part was the other ship was gone. They entered the rift together at the same time, but the other ship was nowhere to be found. What was worse was the stars were all very different. The ship had been transported to the other side of the galaxy.

Not knowing which way to go, they stopped and revived the scientists that would know what to do next, and the leaders to make the final decision. After 2 years of searching they found another solar system that had the best potential for a habitable planet, as it turned out there were several.

A New Start, A Very Different Society

As they got closer to the new solar system they began to realize that it already had inhabitants. Sentient creatures lived on nearly every planet, with varying degrees of technological advancement. The humans were surprised to find that some of the other species spoke human languages. Then they found out that the other ship had come here too, but arrived a year earlier. The rift had thrown them out in a different location and they found this same solar system.

As the newcomers to this system they were taught about how the different cultures of aliens get along, or don't in some cases, and how they would "fit in". In the end it came down to a choice of 4 jobs to choose from. The Aliens call them Origins. Each would have it's own Pros and Cons.

Trader - Your entire existence revolves around cargo transport. You diligently monitor the market boards looking for the best deals. Your goals are simple. Find a buyer that needs something, find a seller that has it cheap, buy it, transport it, sell it, use the profits for a bigger ship, or hire a fighter escort, or build a nice little base on a patch of land by the beach on a secluded planet you can retire on.
You can also maximize profits by mining the resources and making the items yourself, but don't take to long. Someone else might fill the order before you can.

Miner - Mining is a good honest living. Your main goal is to mine as many resources as you can and take them to the local refinery, or put them up on the market boards for sale. You can also choose to take them to another refinery if you find one that gives you a better profit margin than the local one.

Mercenary - If the money is good, you'll do your part for who ever is handing out the paycheck. One day you might be flying escort for a cargo ship, the next you might be teaming up with a couple of your buddies and raiding the next cargo ship that comes by. You might take a job as a bounty hunter, or you might get paid to be allies in a large battle against another faction. It's up to you and who you can find to pay enough to entice you.
Once you've got a decent set of weapons and a good ship, check out the Jobs Board for opportunities to explore your talents.

Outlaw - There are some that just can't handle being tied down by rules. You're willing to do whatever it takes to get what YOU want out of life, and if that means you have to steal it from a well armed alien stronghold, then so be it. Given that you'll be wanted in most places, there aren't many planets in the system you'll be able to settle on. The few that you can live on will of course also be where other outlaws end up, so watch your back.

Summary

Trader = PvE peaceful transport hauler.
Miner = PvE/PvP typically PvE doing what's needed to get the job done while staying away from trouble.
Mercenary = PvE/PvP gun for hire. Doesn't much matter which side, as long as it pays.
Outlaw = PvP anything goes (almost, there are a few Rules that are enforced)


How all of this ties into Empyrion - Galactic Survival

The species that live in this system have formed a cooperative governing body known as the Alliance. Not all of the species are a part of it, and there are battles from time to time, but neither side is willing to declare all out war. The Alliance has grown enough in size and strength that the Outlaws and Mercs are merely an annoyance that need to be kept in check.

The main ship that the story followed arrived at Ardana, the Trader's Origin. The other ship arrived at Finnea, the Outlaw's Origin planet.
The Origin planets are considered "Hallowed Ground" as they are the stage for what is known as "The Trials". As someone in this system comes of age, they are sent to an Origin Planet of their choosing. They are given minimal resources and are expected to find a way to survive, learn from the information given to them on their PDA, and eventually build a ship and leave the Origin planet. Once they leave they can never return, but they are then accepted into the rest of society as an adult capable of making their own decisions about their future.

On Ardana, the Trader Origin Planet, the young are taught that the Alliance is the way to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future without violence and deceit. Helping others in need and keeping the peace are the guiding principals of an Alliance Trader.

On Myrmidon, the Miner Origin Planet, the young are taught to look out for themselves and to do what they feel is best for them in the moment. There are no allegiences to anyone but yourself and your own future.

On Remus, the Mercenary Origin Planet, the young are taught to follow the money. Wealth and anonymity are essential to the lifestyle of a good Mercenary. They are taught to keep their head down, take the good paying jobs and live a life befitting a quiet warrior for hire.

On Finnea, the Outlaw Origin Planet, the young are taught that the Alliance is an overbearing totalitarian government that wants mindless obedient servants to do their bidding. Outlaws are expected to become ruthless warriors and thieves to someday grow the Outlaw factions into a unified rebellion.

Starting the Game

You've awakened from a 75 year sleep where the last thing you knew was that Earth was dead, and you are one of the lucky few that escaped. You expected to wake up to a new Earth-like planet that you and the rest of the survivors would set up a colony on and rebuild the human race. You've now been informed of the events leading up to your arrival in this solar system. The culture and expectations of the indigenous species have been explained and now you must make a choice. Which Origin will you embrace to determine the path your life will take?

Good luck, and ENJOY!