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Mod Ideas/TheMachine

The Machine

Design Treatment, Version 1.0

April 2003

Vacation Gone Bad

"Here take this and stick it up your nose," said a bloody man laying on the ship's floor.

Russel just stood there in confusion and wondering why he took a vacation to Mars. "What the hell is this guy talking about? Damn, my heads hurts. Who in the hell hit me in the head? Why, oh why did I have to choose to go to Mars?," Russel thought to himself.

"Hey, snap out of it! The pilot is dead and YOU need to take control over the ship. So, take this from me."

Russel was even more confused now. "I can't fly a ship. I'm just an insurance salesman. I'm just trying to have a nice vacation. What do you mean the pilot is dead? Oh my god, we are all going to die!"

"Everybody else is already dead and I'm not far behind. If you want to be able to survive and avoid a permanent vacation, you need to take this from me and stick it up your nose."

"What the hell are you talking about?" asked Russel as he looked at something with two prong-like attachments protruding from a hand-sized box-shaped device.

Basic Game Concept

The Machine is an action/adventure role-playing game in which the player finds himself as a character stuck on Mars right in the mix of a confrontation between a Mars commercial/exploration corporation named Athena and an underground resistance movement with the acronym R.A.M. (Resistance Against the Machine). To get off Mars, the player must either help out Athena to put an end to the resistance movement or help the resistance movement topple the Athena Corporation.

Series Structure and Gameplay

The player will go through eight missions. Depending on a player's action, such as aligning with the resistance or with Athena, the goal of some of the missions will change accordingly.


Since the player's character is just an insurance salesman, he needs help to overcome the obstacles in his path to reach the goal of getting off Mars. A new technology called Advanced Learning Modules (ALM's) will help him to do this.

ALM's are devices that one can use by inserting the prongs of the device into one's nostrils, which then the device locates a nerve stem to the brain and then uploads or teaches the brain a new skill or other knowledge that one would normally have to spend many days learning. The player will either be given and/or have to find or purchase these ALM's throughout the game. Skill related ALMs acquired by the player will always be an upgrade if the player already has already acquired that skill. There are three skill levels per ALM except for the vehicle ALM given to the player's character in the opening movie sequence, which has only one. There is a limited amount (ten) of ALM's that the player can be able to use before his brain goes into overload.

The list of ALMs skills are vehicle, weapons, explosives, environmental training, hacking, and infiltration.


The weapons in the game will be mostly conventional weapons with a futuristic aspect to them. The weapon list includes a blaster pistol, stun-gun, shotgun, sniper rifle, assault rifle, and rocket launcher. The blaster pistol and stun-gun will be the only weapons that will not need ammo, but they have a charge limit and once that is reached they need to recharge before they can be used again. As the player increases his weapons skill with weapon ALMs, the more effective will the weapons be in damage.


Explosives in the game can be used to destroy targets in the game or used to clear certain types of obstacles in the game. Explosives in the game will include C4-like explosives, EMP grenades, and conventional-type grenades. The higher level the explosive skill, the higher the effectiveness of the explosives.

Environmental Training

Some parts of the game will have hazardous areas that will require that the player use a hazard suit or compression suit to complete his missions. To be able to use these suits, the player will need an environmental training skill. The higher the skill, the longer the player can use the suits. For hazardous areas, such as rooms filled with gas or fire, the higher the skill will lessen the damage taken by the player while using a hazard suit.


Some areas in the game will be secured by electronic security equipment in which can be bypassed if the player has a skilll in hacking. There is a chance that the player can fail in hacking a system and the failure rate is determined by the player's skill in hacking. The higher the skill, the less chance of failure.


For the player to be quieter and avoid being seen and heard, the infiltration skill can give the player an option other than brute force to help complete his missions. This skill will also allow the player to use a disguise kit and uniforms from NPC's to infiltrate an enemy's base. The higher the infiltration skill, the easier it is to avoid detection from enemies.

The Missions

Training - When the player's character first arrives at Mars, he will be informed of the situation between R.A.M and the Athena Corporation, which will explain why he was hit on the head and everybody on board the ship were killed. He then will be told that he can't leave Mars until the situation is under control. For his own safety, he will be given a blaster pistol and a weapons ALM, and the opportunity to test his new skill. This will allow the player to get used to the controls and the interface.

Tunnel - The player finds out that the tunnel from where he is at, the spaceport, to Athena's commercial district has been sabotaged and blocked. He is allowed the use of an old tunnel boring vehicle to unblock the tunnel. On the way to unblock the tunnel, the player will be met with some resistance from R.A.M. One of the resistors will have a rocket launcher, which could disable the vehicle. If this resistor is killed, the player can loot an explosive ALM from the resistor, which will allow the player to be able to still clear the tunnel.

Commercial District - After the player unblocks the tunnel, the player will be met by Athena's police chief. The police chief will give information to the player on how to contact a person in a shady part of the commercial district who has information on how to infiltrate the resistance group to find out who is the leader of the resistance movement. Once the player finds this person, he will have to perform a small mission to win this person's trust. Once this is done, this person will give the information on how to infiltrate R.A.M and will offer the player to purchase an infiltration ALM with a disguise kit, a weapons upgrade ALM, different types of weapons, and ammo.

R.A.M. Infiltration - To find out who the leader of the resistance movement is, the player will try to infiltrate R.A.M by sneaking in or by force. The leader, when found, will not trust the player if the player uses too much force and will escape.. If the player finds the leader without much force, the leader of the resistance movement will try to win the player over to his side. If the player chooses to side with the resistance, the leader will give the player his next mission. If not, the leader will escape.

Athena Police Station - If the player is now helping the resistance, his mission will be to release a R.A.M. member who is held by the police. If the player is still helping the Athena police, his mission is to go back to the station to report on what he found out about the leader of the resistance movement. In this case, the player will still meet with the prisoner who will also try to persuade the player into joining the resistance. This will give the player another chance to change his course. The player will also be given the information on what R.A.M. is planning on next, which is to destroy the solar power plant to allow the them to try to take over Athena's headquarters.

Solar Power Generator - If the player is helping R.A.M., the player will be given the mission to destroy a solar power generator, which is located outdoors with a Martian atmosphere. In this case, there will be Athena policeman protecting the generator. If the player is still aligned with the Athena Corporation, his mission will be to help protect the solar power generator from R.A.M.

Athena HQ - The player will either attack or defend the headquarters depending on which side he is on.

Boss - After the raid on the headquarters, the player will now have to fight against either the CEO of Athena or the leader of R.A.M. to be able to finally get off Mars and end the game.

Cast of Characters

Russel Paddock - This is the character that the player gets to play. Russ is an insurance salesman by trade and doesn't have the look of someone that could be a hero. His goal was to have a relaxing vacation on Mars before he was caught up in the conflict between R.A.M. and then Athena Corporation.

Peter Nelsen - Peter is the dying man on the same spaceship that Russel was on, which was hi-jacked by R.A.M. members. Peter was on his way back from a meeting on Earth with a company who has an interest in Athena's new technology, ALMs.

Paul Brocklesby - Paul is the spaceport officer who debriefs Russel about the situation on Mars. Paul is also responsible for the training mission if the player needs it to get used to the controls and interface of the game.

Chief Officer Lansky - No one calls the Chief by his first name. The player will meet Officer Lansky after clearing the tunnel.

Jake Nixon - Jake is the person that Russel searches to find out more information on R.A.M. Jake is an arms dealer by trade and a purveyor of stolen goods for fun.

William Emerson - Will is the resistance member being held by the Athena police. He is very loyal to the resistance movement but talks a little too much, which allows the police to know beforehand some of the events planned by R.A.M.

Juan De Gauss - John, as his friends call him, is the leader of the resistance movement. He fears that Athena is using the new technology of ALMs to manipulate and control people.

Alexander Olsen - Alex is the CEO of Athena Corporation. Alex is responsible for the building of Athena. He is the Machine.

Look and Feel

The Machine will be in first person and will use a graphics engine suitable to first person shooters, the Unreal Engine. This will be a mod of an existent game, Unreal 2. The levels will have the look and feel of scenes from movies such as Blade Runner, Johnny Mnuemonic, Nick Fury, Total Recall, and other sci-fi and cyberpunk movies. Inventory, skill, and NPC conversation interface will be similar to that of Deus Ex.

Target Audience

This game will be suited for people who are interested in mods which extend the gameplay for Unreal 2. This will also be a game for those who like cyberpunk environments and games, such as Deus Ex.

Original Document written and updated by Chris "MinisterFish" Voyles at http://www.3dmappers.com/treatment.shtml


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