Chief Chat Q and A Transcript


Community Manager
Jul 26, 2016

This is the transcript of the Chief Chat QandA focused on Lore that was held on Saturday. Feb 25th, 2017.


Terricon4 "What type of tech makes those massive terraforming machines fly/float?
Grummz: How scalable is that tech for smaller things (omniframes, dropships, small office building sized stuff,etc), and what costs/limiations does it have?"
I don't know how they levitate yet But I do know that materials can be very light weight and strong, like the Omniframes. The Gatestrider level of technology is not the most advanced of the colonies, so I always imagined the Terraformers to be of another colonies manufacture. The Gatestriders just own several of them. This advanced civilization that manufactures the Terraforming units might have anti-grav while the Gatestriders dont.

Saulens181 "Alright - I mainly want to ask about how the lore/world will be a part of the gameplay - is the idea to have the lore happen in the standard method where the player does quests and is part of the plot, things happen with/alongside you, or is the lore mainly going be just 'there' and occur as the game exists and is updated? "
Grummz: Good question. Basically the game is more about fighting invasions than it is questing. So I thought about story being something we release as an intro to each episode of the game. As we fund/release more episodes, we open more territory and reveal more story. Since there aren't quests in the game, Story might come out each time you terraform a zone up to the next stage or some other gameplay milestone.

PlzBanMe "Do others know about ember is is that on the hush because they used gates to find it?"
Grummz:Originally I was going to have everyone know about Em-8ER, but after I wrote the Gatestrider survival aspect, these are shadow gates that nobody really knows exist. If the rest of the colonies knew the Gatestriders were still gating, they would be stopped. So, only the Gatestriders know about this gate

neonserge"Does the story have different possible endings"
Grummz: No, since the story will evolve over time as players play and new episodes are released, there is only one path for the story. But the actions of the players will probably inspire us to take the story in one direction or the other. We'll pick up on fan ideas along the way and how/if any RP develops in game.

Terricon4 "Have the Gatestriders checked to see if Em-8ER is Enshigi restricted?"
Grummz: Yes, once you pass through a gate, you can start the process of triangulating your position in space by referencing and cross referencing data with new stellar surveys from beyond the gate. The process takes some time because you can end up anywhere in the Universe, including beyond where light as yet to reach Earth or the colonies...but Em-8ER has been cleared and is not part of Enshigi restricted space. Whatever the Enshigi were hiding/guarding, it wasn't Em-8ER

BEN/LDT "How much will we see of the Enshigi?"
Grummz: Not much at first, the story will be focused on the Tsi-Hu and gatestriders. The lore is broader than just Em-8ER because it is also meant for the tabletop game set in this age of new human expansion with 28 distinct cultures/civilizations and a new age of exploration and politics and cold war. But maybe the Enshigi will play a role later on. Right now they are certainly one big motivation for the Gatestriders to get more powerful through Em-8ER exploitation/discover/etc.

Evil Boomer "Not sure if this is considered "lore" or not but will the fact that the Gatestriders originated on a 1.8x earths gravity planet effect the character customization/base visuals at all?"
Grummz: No, I've taken artistic license with the body design whic is more along the lines of Brink and comics...not sure I can relate that to the increeased gravity since they are not short and stout!

Siguza "Does Em-8ER have any flora and fauna besides the Tsi-hu"
Grummz: Not yet...and we're set on an icy barren world not just for aesthetics. As an indie game flora/fauna are expensive to make...I want to have more variety of Kaiju instead.

Terib.Dark "How did the Tsi-hu react to humans" and PittPyro "Are the Tsi-Hu defending their homeworld or terraforming it?"
Grummz: The Tsi-Hu motivations are not entirely clear, but if we meta we know that the Tsi-hu are prisoners in a time loop on Em-8ER. Why they were imprisoned and what they want when they escape will be revealed in the game. But we do know that they reacted violently to the humans from the start

Terricon4 "Do Gatestriders have vehicles other than MEK and MEK-A?"
Grummz: No, not for this initial version of the game. I would love to add more as budget allows in the future.

Andele3025 "On Kaiju, is there a cheance of mechs that re based on the desing of Kaiju encountered prior to game start."
Grummz: No, we start just as the Kaiju start appearing. I also don't see the Gatestriders adopting Kaiju designs into mechanical form...mecha-godzilla? I want to keep them very distinct from each other for contrast.

Astro "If the Gatestriders are banned from going through gates, and Em-8ER is a secret, how are you going to incorporate different corporations sponsoring MEK-As and what not? Are the corporations spanning only within the Gatestriders themselves then? "
Grummz: The answer is that their sponsorships were stripped when they went into Enshigi forbidden space. Any decals on the MEKs would be worn and fading fast now. Their motiviation is pure survival now, establishing a new homeworld, and possibly revenge long term.

neonserge "Do the gatesrider have any alien allies?"
Grummz: No other intelligent life has been encountered by humans until the Tsi-Hu.

Terricon4 "What will bases and Tsi-hu ruins look like?"
Grummz: (paraphrasing a lot here) We don't know yet! It depends on a few things. First is that we're not doing bases for the first playable encounter due before the KS. That's just a THMPR encounter. Also, I want to see how big we need to make things to feel right with Kaiju running around. The scale and feel will be very influential to how we design the buildings.

Astro "If they are stuck in a time loop, someone had to have done that to them right? " Grummz: it was a civil war... oh you just gave me an idea too. lol. Will sit on it and think about it for now.

AetherBreaker "Will parts of Em-8ER be playable in space?"
Grummz: No, we are super focused on land based invasions both for cost and gameplay reasons. It was the funnest part of Firefall and we want a laser like focus on that.

syna and one other "What century is Em-8ER set in?"
Grummz: No idea, I didn't want to trap myself into a timeline that didn't give sufficient time for everything to unfold. Now that its all written out, I hope to work backwards and figure it out. But I don' t know if it matters.

Terricon4 "Why didn't they discover the ruins before in already terraformed areas?"
Grummz: Well first they discovered the ruins new territory under consideration for terraforming, not existing ones. Also, the nature of the time-loop bleeding through may account for some of this. Who is to say the ruins they discovered were even there before they looked?

GarettSlayer "Will there be ships in orbit and do they have weapons that can be used for calldown"
Grummz: Hmmm, good idea! Yeah, I'd like to do that.

SimonPheonix "Can we go back in time and slap HIlter around"
Grummz: I'll take this as reference to the alternate history. Some have said it feels unecessary to Em-8ER and it really is. The alternate history is more important for the different colonies and the main storyline of their conflict with the Enshigi in the tabletop game.

Andele3025 "Will there be factions of Tsi-hu and feral ones"
Grummz: Yes, there are feral Tsi-hu, how did you know?

NimbusCloud "Will there be parallel universes and melding type encounters/foes"
Grummz: I assume you mean humans crossing over into the time-loop? No I had not planned on that. First phase of game is very narrow and focused: Invasions of terraformed areas and pushing terraformed areas to higher tiers by collecting resroucews and building up bases.

Terricon4 "Why the EMP story element to pause attackers."
Grummz: You got me, its for gameplay reasons. I needed a way for players to significy they are ready to cut bait and head back to town before risking more mining with THMPR. But it offers story possibilities later.

Astro "Tsi-Hu can only time jump to areas populated with "tech" or something?"
All tsi-hu activity seems directly tied to human presence and activity.


Community Manager
Jul 26, 2016
neonserge"Can we make/discover our own gates and go to different planets?"
Grummz: No, not focus of the game. It IS a key aspect of the tabletop game though. Exploring new gates for adventure.

Terricon4"Are the Tsi-Hu ruins going to give us underground tunnels/caverns in the map or stuff we can go into, or for gameplay will everything be more outside in the open?"
All gameplay is on surface. We don't have the budget to do otherwise.

BEN/LDT "Will there be any religion in Em-8ER?"
Grummz: Dunno yet, depends on what happens when I get deeper into the Tsi-Hu.

PittPyro "Is there shielding?"
Grummz: Yes, the Omniframes have shielding. It could fit that bases have some form too, if it turns out its good for gameplay.

Angel McWalsoft "Seems like the game is all mining and up close in your face shooting. What will character classes look like, or is there just one archetype, gunner? "
Grummz: Game is mostly invasions, with mining being a support activity you do when you are not fighting in big battles. Classes are for another day, but some was revealed in the REddit AMA.

NimbusCloud "Does Em-8ER's sun have a name?
Grummz:No, it does not. Need one.

"Oh, how has up to the point of the game the "offense vs defense" development of tech race been going? Did melee and high powered blasts a offensive focus due to super high defense or is it more "ranged firepower surpassed defense so far that people focus on mobility over shielding" (since the frames/mechs seem to be very light on proper bulk defense past the gauntlet shield of the heavy frame concept art, but force fields can take it either way)."
Grummz: Not sure of the question? also, we're doing lore today.

Andele3025 "I meant it in the lore sense, did defense or offense win the technology race, because that usually defines how cultures/groups at war further develop (Warhammer 40k imperium vs eldar being a example of it). But since the answer seems to be melee as just given, defense probably won."
Grummz: I wanted a sci-fi universe for Crixa tabletop that could acoomodate many sci-fi flavors. Hence the separation and divergence of the 28 colonies. In some cultures defense could rule, in others offense. Some worlds are cyberpunk, others are more like Star Trek perhaps.

Terricon4"What weapons do Gatestrider use?"
Grummz: Gatestrider tech is middle of the pack for colonies. Their weapons are very much analogs of what we have today: so kinetic weapons, energy weapons that act like kinetic weapons, and MELEE. I really would like to do melee and our server tech might be able to make that a reality.

Sorrow2u"Enshigi gave co-ords but 10k years have passed with no update"
Grummz: No, its only been 200 years.

Access "Are the Tsi-hu carbon based?
Grummz: " Yes, I always thought they were Carbon based. But the beast modes have the ferro-fluid fur that makes me wonder if I should do something more there

KyanJohansson "how to tie lore between tabletop and vidya?"
Grummz: Well, I sort of imagined Gatestriders and MEKs to be a supplement for the tabletop, each major group of colonies would get their own supplement book with rule expansions for their tech "specialty".

Terricon4 "Do gatestriders make their own stuff or can they still access goods from other worlds?"
Grummz: The Gatestriders use the black market and sometimes steal to get what they need to survive. So yes, they have other colony tech.

BEN/LDT " Will there be specific culture reference for reapers/gatestriders? Also TsiHu 's names gives me a impression of something asian. Any confirmations?"
Grummz: No cultural fixed point for Gatestriders. They are a mix but center around a clan/nomadic structure. Tsi-Hu language is IRL constructed from asian and european influences. The name sounds Asian, but the language itself does not.

Silv3rshadow "Will there be a resource based currency like Crystite?"
Grummz: No, currency is probably going to be independent of Resources in Em-8ER.

Access"Any chance the gate to Em-8ER will be discovered by others?"
Grummz: Yes, I'd say that's always possible

Forsaken-Symbiont "if gatestriders are a more mixed bunch how far will character editing go- "
Grummz: For now there is no character customization in the milestones leading up to KS encounter demo. This is purely for budget/time reasons. After, dunno.

GarettSlayer "Where does Gatestrider food come from? Do they replicate?"
Grummz: Dunno. I'm hesitant to give Gatestriders replication tech because it implies a lot of other tech that would push the Gatestriders beyond tech tier I wanted for the game. If they did have replicators for food, it would be from another colony's tech.

PittPyro"how do gatestriders use EMP without effecting there own tech?"
Grummz: The EMP mechanic is yet to be fully figured out. A lot will depend on the actual mechanism we use in-game to determine when players are done risking mining operations.

NimbusCloud "have you thought of a 'news paper' of sorts that gets released every month or so telling players what other factions are up too?"
Grummz: Another good idea. For original Firefall we wanted updates as you log in. Would love to see if we can do this.

Grummz: Okay, hour is nearly up. I'll take 3 more Q's

Grummz: I am desperate to find out how to do navel on a cold afraid of being lynched if I don't.

Grummz: Mechs have glide mode and thrusters...they MAY high a high speed SKIM mode for fast-travel. <END>

Silv3rshadow "Will resources be different to what we have on Earth like Azurite, Bissmuth etc?
Grummz: "Yes, expect different resources. Resources not restricted to earth type or even elements...can be complex inorganics not found anywhere else but prove to be useful.

Grummz: @BEN/LDT Tsh-hu is pronounced "See-Who"

PlzBanMe "So will we finally be able to get that rocking muststash? I don't think we ever got it in firefall. (even on females)"
Grummz: Epic last question. Yes, but only on MEK-A.

Okay, thanks for coming everyone! THMPR rig should be done this weekend, btw. Then off to animators it goes. Thank you all for the lore questions!!!!


Well-Known Member
Base Commander
I wasn't available for Chief Chat, but I do still have a question for @Grummz: What happens to the bodies of the Tsi-hu? Do they dissolve back into plasma or do the bodies sit and rot?
If we can get loot... then somethings got to remain... But on the other hand that'd be hell on the server and our GPUs to keep all those corpses around so they'll probably just dissolve really fast after spawning possibly "loot" items that will sit around for awhile longer.

Eh, good question though and I'm curious for an answer.