15 December 2014

Personal Projects - Trace Libra

After coming back home for Christmas, I managed to find an old sketch pad with some written ideas for game concepts. None of them were particularly in depth or detailed, often just being settings and organisation ideas. The most in depth one was an organisation named Trace Libra. The name was straight up taken from a random name generator and expanded upon from there.

The Trace part of the name infers subtlety, whereas Libra being Latin for scale not only  has connotations with balance but also with escalation in aspects such as a musical scale. 

Having looked at the name itself, the links to subtlety means that more than likely this organisation would be clandestine in it's actions. This then immediately makes me think of the X-COM group from the titular games. The X-COM Group being an international institution means that if Trace Libra were to go in the same direction, it would open up more avenues for customisation or story line.

This would then lead to the question as to what this organisation would do. Most in depth properties play to common themes such as the fear of the unknown or the fear of change etc. Another avenue would be current affairs and scandals, such as the rise of surveillance and the erosion of privacy. Something similar in concept to the Fraternity from the film Wanted, as a nationless order that roots out corruption could be an interesting concept.

Other ideas included Reconnaissance amd Counter Intelligence, which isn't really a suitable idea unless set in a 'new cold war' or suchlike. Then I began to think about them being a Spec-Ops force which would make little sense to have them as a multinational unless they were a mercenary group. To avoid objection and conflict, the foes faced would probably either have to be ambiguously ethnic or non-human to avoid any complaints of being racially-driven. The problem with non-human foes is that it can easily draw comparisons with X-COM

At this point I returned to the idea of X-COM and the idea of the group being high-tech but simultaneously also being at a disadvantage. One idea from this I pondered was to have Trace Libra as a counter force for super heroes/villains. This has its risks, as people generally don't have the emotive connections to new characters, and it would possibly work better with licensed Marvel / DC characters, which come with their own limitations and stipulations. However I think it's a novel, unique sounding premise. This could then lead to a focus less on the killing of such superheroes etc, but instead of capture and detainment, especially as the vehicle of the distrust of super powered characters could be an analogy for cultural racism.  

With a general concept down I began to explore the setting further, with examples such as the late cold war or an alternate timeline, such as Superman: Red Son, the golden age of comics (40's to 50's aesthetic) which would be interesting, but maybe somewhat generic, to the 'twenty minutes into the future' worlds of the Avengers and that of Batman Beyond.