With Mecha Ace’s release imminent, it’s time for me to post the third, and final section of my Q&A thread on the Choice of Games forums. I hope these sections have answered any questions you might have about my upcoming interactive fiction.
Precisely what caused CoDEC to rebel?
There’s no one real reason, but there are a few major causes. Foremost is the Imperial government’s moratorium on new colonies, preventing those living on the frontier from expanding in search of new resources. Almost as important was the Imperial government’s refusal to allow colonial governments to field their own armed starships, meaning that any piracy on the frontier could only be answered by armed industrial armatures based from space colonies (which would have very limited range), or pleas to the Imperial military for aid, which could take weeks, or even months to arrive, if at all. In addition, there was the Imperial government’s insistence on favouring corporations based in Sol or its core systems, which obviously did not sit well with corporations based in the frontier, which had become very powerful during the initial colonisation of the outer worlds (who were also straining against the moratorium). Lastly, there was the fact that while most major colonies had instantaneous FTL communications via very large and expensive ansible facilities, the comm channels were all-but monopolised by the Imperial government (never mind that the ansibles themselves were funded and built at the Empire’s expense), mostly to micromanage the various Planetary Assemblies, which had nominal power, but whose authority could be overridden by any member of the Empress’ court.
On top of that, there are already been minor rebellions and civil unrest. Generally, the Imperial response has been demanding that the “traitors” (who are often not even aware that they’ve been labeled such) to surrender, publicly executing the ones who do surrender, and saturation-bombing the areas where any suspected rebel holdouts are hiding.
Needless to say, this has not made them very popular.
Will there be a chance to sacrifice one of your squad to take down a particularly tough foe? For example shooting through them to lower the chances the enemy can dodge?
Yes, and unless you can convince the others that it was necessary, the survivors *will* call you out on it afterwards.
How old will the [player character] be?
The player character will start the game at an indeterminate age, but hints in the text imply that the player character is somewhere in his or her late 20s.
You mean that we aren’t random teenagers who just fall into the cockpit and proceed to become the best pilot in the history of war?
That was actually something I took a look at when I started writing Mecha Ace: I came to the conclusion that with a teenaged protagonist in this sort of setting, the player’s agency would either be heavily curtailed, or the setting would have to bend over backwards to accommodate things that a fifteen year old kid couldn’t get away with. In short, it’d be a story about growing up, and that wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in: watching someone else grow up through the traumatic stresses of the battlefield can be a rewarding experience, playing through that process would cut off a lot of options.
That being said, there are characters in those same series who do have more unrestricted freedom to act, and often drive the plot by acting more than reacting, ones with a lot more power and responsibility over the lives of their fellow pilots than the teenage protagonist does. In short, I came to the conclusion that while it’s fun to watch Amuro, it’d be more fun to play Char, so to speak.
Mecha Ace releases the day after tomorrow.