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​​​​​​​Concept, Development, & Design (Andrew Sperry)     |     Interpreted Artwork (David Hakobian)
Inspiration:        
Remembering back to World of Warcraft’s vanilla days invokes a nostalgic feeling one can only dream of revisiting. The commitment strained relationships, put real-life responsibilities on hold, and gobbled up valuable time like it was candy. Eventually though, jumping  around the bank roof of Orgimmar became all to common of a task; a sign that it was time to seek out something new and unfamiliar. Suprisingly, dabbling around in other MMO environments proved to be quite disappointing. These experiences were missing critical aspects needed for quality gameplay or simply second level attempts to mimic World of Warcraft’s dominance. Unable to satisfy the urge for a long-term commitment, unclaimed time and frustration were channeled into short-term commitments with Xbox, Steam, and Battle.net, but more importantly, into the creative development of Survival - specifically imagining what a worthy successor to World of Warcraft might look like.
After the Steele family is selected into the New Beginnings Exploration Program on Trabal, an unexpected spacecraft malfunction results in a devastating explosion that leaves thirteen-year-old Lailah Steele stranded as a sole-survivor on the unexplored planet Andonis. Struggling to recall memories before the crash, Lailah eerily discovers a terrifying creature has her trapped inside the damaged lifepod, patiently waiting for an opportunity to strike.
Core Storyline
Book I: Survival - A New Beginning
Synopsis
After Lailah Steele and her family are unexpectedly selected into the New Beginnings Exploration Program on Trabal, thirteen-year-old Lailah Steele quickly finds herself all alone, stranded on a vibrant new world crawling with life. With the assistance of L.I.L.I.E., Lailah struggles to stay alive as she attempts to repair essential lifepod communication systems - her only hope of escaping all that has gone wrong.

Summary (Preview)
On Earth, Lailah Steele and her family live on the forest side of the river. Her father is a lumber farmer and her mother runs the community's Care & Learning Center. The family travels to Trabal after receiving word by the Galactic Space Agency that they are this year's New Beginnings selectees. After landing on Trabal, they are greeted by the chief executive of GSA, Caprice Herring. The family joins the New Beginnings Training Program and spends much of their free time in the city of Novis - enjoying all that it has to offer. Lailah befriends a young Bardul boy and spends most of her free time with him in the city.

The Steele family receives their first unaccompanied assignment from the GSA, tasked with orbital observation of planets within a newly discovered solar system. During departure, Lailah's friend gift's her a falcon Mech to remember him by. The family travels through the temporary wormhole gate, arrives in the system, and the wormhole gate closes. The family enters orbit around the closest planet, Andonis, and begins observations. Approaching the eighth night of observation, spacecraft systems begin to malfunction after a small explosion is heard. L.I.L.I.E, the spacecraft's artificial intelligence reports that the main reactor has been compromised and must be ejected into space to prevent certain casualty. This forces the decision to land the spacecraft with remaining backup power. During decent, Lailah and her family enter emergency ejection pods for safety while L.I.L.I.E. lands the spacecraft. The spacecraft's backup power begins failing, causing intermittent thrust. L.I.L.I.E determines the spacecraft is moving to fast and ejects the emergency pods and lifepod. Lailah's emergency pod smacks into a rock before it has time to recover, damaging one of its thrusters and sending it into a spin before it crashes into the ground.

Lailah wakes inside of the lifepod to the voice of L.I.L.I.E. As she struggles to her feet, Lailah learns that her father went back out for her mother. She immediately puts on her spacesuit and bolts out of the door as L.I.L.I.E. urges her to remain inside and wait for their return...
Book II: Survival - Remembering the Past
Synopsis
Guided by clues gathered during her time on Andonis, Lailah Steele sets out on a journey to uncover the mysteries of her past. After the discovery of hidden documents exposes a shocking truth, Lailah finds herself at a crossroads with the life she knows and the pastlife she has just uncovered. Analyzing her surroundings and the unique abilities given to her, Lailah chooses her path in life and prepares for the backlash she fears her choice has ensued.

Summary
...details not yet revealed.
Book III: Survival - Battling the Future
Synopsis
Cautious of those she chose to leave behind, Lailah Steele prepares for conflict as she continues her exploration of Andonis. After relentless waves of attack bring Lailah to her knees, Andonis is quickly declared hostile territory by the GSA. Unable to continue her journey on Andonis as a scout, Lailah is forced to walk away from the only life she has ever known. Unwilling to leave it all behind, Lailah makes a bold choice, allowing her to return home once again.

Summary
...details not yet revealed.
NOTE: The following conceptual artwork was developed with the brand's gameplay form in mind. There are some planned changes to species and vehicle appearance that have not been implemented yet.
Human
Human's originate from the planet Earth. Their primary colony on Trabal resides in the central city of Novis. Although many refer to them as a jack-of-all-trades, they are extremely proficient in robotics engineering and artificial intelligence - most notably known for their creation and manufacture of artificially intelligent machines referred to as Mechs. Their competitive nature makes them extremely proficient strategic planners, serving as quality assurance officers for many of Trabal's everyday activities.
Neodroid
Neodroid originate from the planet Prarvis. Their primary colony on Trabal resides in the Northern Arctic. They are highly proficient in genetic and chemical engineering - most notably known for their powerful chemical weapons and creation of the Kulion species as a workforce. They prefer colder climates given their body's ability to produce a natural form of anti-freeze. They contribute heavily to the health of the population on Trabal and operate many of its medical centers.
Kulion
Kulion originate from the planet Prarvis. Their primary colony on Trabal is located in the Desert Dunes. They were created by the Neodroid species as a workforce and cared for well. They are known for their strength and stamina, their resistance to extreme temperatures, and their proficiency in construction and material extraction. They have small communities setup all over and are welcome anywhere because of their undying work ethic.
Anguiman
Anguiman originate from the Zayama moon of Trabal. Their primary colony on Trabal resides in the massive under-ocean cave system just outside of the central city of Novis. Enhanced senses make them extremely proficient trackers - tracking and taming the most exotic pets around is customary. Their respiratory system allows breathing underwater and on land. They are fast swimmers and even faster on foot. Anguiman supply and run a majority of the seafood establishments on Trabal. 
Teratode
Teratode originate from the planet Jostara. Their primary colony on Trabal resides at the edge of the Redwater Jungle. They are very alert beings born with a variety of different colors and patterns. They are expert foragers and farmers of everyday and exotic vegetation. Teratode are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to natural remedies and poisons. Recent work with Neodroid engineers has produced some of the most exotic concoctions imaginable. 
Zeptorg
Zeptorg originate from the planet Ackeral. Their primary colony on Trabal resides in the Greenwall Canyons - an amazing city carved into the rock at the canyon's base. They are known for their amazing wood and rock work, responsible for many of the beautiful sculptures and structural designs found in Novis and other cities. Assisted by A.I.D. forces, Zeptorg operate and manage most of Trabal's security operations on the ground. Their massive muscle structure easily supports some of the toughest armor in the galaxy.
Dynakin
Dynakin originate from the planet Creulia. Their primary colony on Trabal resides in the Great Grasslands. Dynakin cells are photosynthetic in nature, requiring a smaller diet than most. On average, they live much longer than any other intelligent species. Dynakin are extremely memorable and booksmart - operating the most exquisite libraries found on Trabal. Dynakin culture is luxurious and proper. Many of their material establishments offer the most desired fabrics and custom wares currency can buy.
Bardul
Bardul originate from the planet Troenus. Their primary colony on Trabal resides in Ashland Valley. They prefer hotter climates and are extremely proficient custom metalworkers, providing the most reliable custom tools, weapons, and armor for everyday activities on Trabal. Although Bardul are known for their short tempers and aggressive behavior, their loyalty to the group and its mission are second to none. They are excellent hunters, especially in groups - serving up some of the most exotic meats available on Trabal.
Planetary Vehicles
Planetary air and terrain vehicles are an extremely vital part of exploration missions and day-to-day activities on Trabal. They are compact, precise, and almost silent machines that provide a layer of protection against the elements and other hostile threats. They are manual, remote, or task operated artificially intelligent vehicles with systems that automatically account for the surrounding atmosphere and environment. The PAV is an extremely stable lift and transport vehicle - capable of moving several tons and travelling at extreme speeds. The PTV is a completely sealed, extremely durable vehicle that can float and move through water and other liquid bodies. It has front and rear wenches that can easily pull and lift more than its own weight, and an anchoring system that bolts to the ground floor for immobilization. Both vehicles are powered by photosynthetic reactors for non-stop operation around the clock. Both vehicles support "Swarm Link", allowing them to communicate with any number of other vehicles in a group to complete tasks in a more efficient manner. ​​​​​​​
Space Vehicles
...in the process of being added
Gameplay
Progression
Gameplay consists of three phases: solo, community, and expanded content. During the solo phase, players are trapped on Andonis and must play through the storyline and be rescued. Once the player is rescued from Andonis by the GSA, they are taken to the planet Trabal and community gameplay begins. Expanded content patches deliver new planets, storylines, and events for players to complete as time progresses. 

Phase I:    Solo gameplay on Andonis (player named planet in-game).
Phase II:  Community gameplay on Trabal, Andonis, and in space.
Phase III: Expanded content patches.
Installation
The following creative gameplay transitions attempt to eliminate traditional download and install wait times - allowing players to jump into the action of the game immediately.

Part 1: Opening 
After initial studio / production company logos, a transport craft is shown traveling through space (a creative loading bar) while "Basic Tutorial" files load.

Part 2: Character & Interface: Basic Tutorial
After the "Basic Tutorial" has downloaded and installed, the camera approaches the transport craft traveling through space - entering a view of its interior. The tutorial goes through graphics optimization, character & planet customization, basic controls, and simple tasks within the ship. During this time, further game files continue to download and install in the background. After the tutorial is completed or skipped (once available), cinematics transition back to an exterior view of the transport craft before approaching Trabal to land. 

Part 3: Galactic Space Station (GSS) Tour
Player's are taken through a semi-interactive tour of the GSS and then are shown their rooms. 

Part 4: Exploration of Novis
Later that night, players follow the parents into the city of Novis on a tutorial quest-line that teaches the player whats available in the city and how to interact with certain things. The quest-line ends with the player following the parents back to their rooms at the GSS and going to sleep.

Part 5: Ceremony Cut-scenes
Part 6: New Beginnings Exploration Program
Part 7: Exploration and Departure Cut-scenes
Part 8: Space Travel and Orbiting Andonis
Part 9: Spacecraft Crash Cut-scenes
Part 10: Primary Gameplay (Andonis)
At the start of the game, players must catalog and identify materials before use, make primitive tools, and survive with the basics that nature has to offer. Once players are rescued, they gain access to advanced equipment and techniques used to survive, explore, and prosper according to their desired role within Trabal's community.
Phase I: Solo
Part 1: Awakened Cut-scenes
The player wakes to the sound of L.I.L.I.E.'s voice. Dazed, confused, and unable to recall memories other than the crash, Lailah asks L.I.L.I.E where her parents are as she makes her way to her feet. L.I.L.I.E. explains that Lailah was brought into the lifepod by her father a few hours ago and then headed back out to assist her mother. Lailah quickly throws on a spacesuit and rushes out of the lifepod as L.I.L.I.E. begins to insists that she should stay inside and wait for their return.

Part 2: Parental Search
Part 3: Devastation Cut-scenes
Part 4: L.I.L.I.E.'s Lifepod Tutorial
Part 5: Rude Awakening Cut-scenes
Part 6: Primitive Survival
Part 7: Dangers of the Night Cut-scenes
Part 8: Building Tutorial
Part 9: Main Quest-line: Getting Rescued
Part 10: Situational Quest-line: Removing Local Threat
Part 11: Exploration Quest-line: Uncovering The Territory
Phase II: Community
Upon completion of phase I tasks, the player is rescued from Andonis by the GSA and taken to the GSS on Trabal. The player's character is repaired of damage and provided a new uniform and set of casual clothes. The player is free to explore the GSS and Trabal community areas to visit shops and pick up some new stuff. At this point, the player must complete the "discovering the past" quest-line to progress in the game. This quest-line mimics the storyline of book II, requiring the user to choose one of two factions to join (Lailah's past-life faction or Lailah's present-life faction). This choice will largely unbalance the player's reputation with the two factions. It is possible to change factions later with a quest-line and lots of reputation repair, but not something a player wants to do more than once.

Once a faction is chosen, the faction will award the player a new SCT-L2 spacecraft that includes a Planetary Terrain Vehicle (PTV), an adult Mech body, and a deed to claim a plot of land on Andonis. From this point the player can freely Travel between Andonis and Trabal, participating in all activities the game has to offer.

Andonis (player named planet)
Andonis is a personal player planet that enables construction, material extraction, and exploration. The player has tools to alter terrain, build custom structures, build custom extraction equipment, build custom factories for producing specific items, and more - all working in a blueprint mode that can be saved and sold as a resource on the community market (think Minecraft exploration and material extraction without the blocks + amazing new age construction and terrain tools similar to those found in The Sims + the manufacturing/building processes of items found in complex games such as Eve Online).

There are a number of different caves, lost civilization structures and cities, both underwater and on land for exploration that range from easy to extremely challenging. Some even require a small group of people to clear. Some extraction materials and caves can only be discovered with certain technologies such as a properly equipped orbiting satellite (Kerbal Space Program mechanics) or core drilling analysis.

When players complete the questline "discovering the past" in phase II and choose a faction, the faction sets up a transport service station near the player's chosen plot of land. As the player explores Andonis and learns what the planet has to offer, the player's faction purchases that knowledge from the player. Obtaining all of the knowledge achievements for Andonis takes an extremely long time and is not easy to do.

Trabal
Trabal is the community planet. It offers a wide range of different activities such as faction pvp (similar to Eve Online faction warfare mechanics), arena pvp, arena pve, Mech specific questlines (from species, tribes, agencies, events, city dwellers, etc), security enforcement (related to actions, standings, and area), a player marketplace, shops, and all of the other great things you would expect to find in such an area.

Space
Space is a community area that allows players to travel between solar systems using wormhole gates. Players can fly around freely and warp jump within a solar system. Player's can orbit ships around planets, moons, and other large bodies to provide support to themselves or other players while on the surface. 

Different solar systems in space and areas within a solar system consist of dynamic security levels based on a players related reputation level with the npc who control a particular space. Fly to an enemy faction's wormhole gate and their sentry lasers will attack if you ignore their order to leave immediately. Fly through a space with no security and you may be freely attacked by another player looking to steal your cargo. There are many areas with active faction warfare so its always best to plan out a path before traveling.

Ships that have successfully entered orbit around a planet, moon, or other large body automatically cloak and can not be detected by other players. Players can also manually cloak while sitting in space and become undetectable unless bumped into and decloaked by another ship. However ships can not cloak while travelling through wormhole gates, warping within a system, or flying freely in space.

Travel through space is generally safe, but make a rookie mistake and you could end up losing your ship and valuable cargo in the process.
Phase III: Expanded Content
When it comes to expanded content, modifications to Trabal during an expansion are free to players without the need to buy the expansion. However, access to explore the missions, activities, and battles of a new planet require purchase.
Features
Survival's storyline was developed to address a number of concerns and support a number of gameplay features that are listed below. 

Development Modularization: Limited Risk
Survival's development is modularized to limit risk and maximize reward. Brand analysis can be preformed at each stage below and content can be halted without leaving consumers feeling like the game was abandoned - each stage provides a complete product with the option of expanding and also the option of using publication and film to revive interest in the brand when needed.

Stage I: Finalizing the storyline and artwork for gameplay.

Stage IIA: Publish the storyline into a series of books and shelf game development.
StageIIB: Develop phase I of the Survival game.
- Players get the experience of playing out the life of Lailah Steele on Andonis. Gameplay is a solo-campaign that transforms into a sandbox thereafter. "Minecraft for Adults"

Stage IIIA: Shelf community play on Trabal, publish the storyline into a series of books, push for a film, and wait to see if popularity in the brand grows.
Stage IIIB: Develop phase II of the Survival game
- Players now get the experience of traveling to a community environment on Trabal to interact with others in pvp, complete more quest-lines, meet all the species and see their colonies, and use the market to buy, sell, and trade stuff to further their solo agendas on Andonis.

Stage IVA: Shelf expanded content, publish the storyline into a series of books, push for a film, and wait to see if popularity in the brand grows.
Stage IVB: Develop expanded content that consists of new worlds to complete and progression of life on Trabal.

Development Complexity: Low to High
Development of Survival's solo-campaign sandbox requires no complex server load issues or multi-player interactions. This initial phase will require maintenance but there is no expectation of expanded content. If development is expanded to the community phase, server load and multi-character interactions will become a part of the equation and expanded content will likely be expected, however, there is no expected time-frame between the development of phase I and phase II so developers have as much time as they need to get the complex stuff right.

Server Load Balancing
Unlike World of Warcraft, where players jump around and meet up in major cities, many of the players in Survival will be tending to their own personal planet instances (Andonis) when they are not grouping up with other players. These players can buy, sell, and access the market-place without leaving Andonis by using their factions transport service.

Survival also has multiple types of pvp that players can participate in such as solo pvp on the ground, faction pvp on the ground, arena pvp, arena pve, faction pvp in space, and solo pvp in space. 

Lastly, since players run quest-lines in different Mech forms for a number of different species, events, and city dwellers, players are likely to be in different areas at different times based on their preferences. In comparison to World of Warcraft, after a new expansion comes out, everyone is running the same quest-line, in the same area, at approximately the same time.

Play Style Balancing: Solo vs. Community
Andonis (think minecraft for adults) is a personal space where solo play is primary, with an endless number of things to do based on a players desires. It's an area to hang out and get things done in while looking for other players to do things with. Trabal (think World of Warcraft) and Space (think Eve Online) have a number of solo activities, but are community areas where everyone can interact with one another freely. Most group events are instanced (think Destiny).

Elimination of Multi-Character Accounts​​​​​​​
Player characters are not Human, but rather Mechs. This allows the player to purchase and customize new Mech bodies as they desire - some forms to show off in community areas and others that are required to play a specific event or quest-line. The player's learned knowledge, skills, and experiences grow, allowing the use of different Mechs and better equipment / items.

New expansion content will come with a quest-line on Trabal that grants new knowledge, skills, and permissions. Players who have not purchased the expansion will not be able to access the quest-line, preventing travel to new areas and use of new items on their character. 

Unrealistic Loot Drop Elimination​​​​​​​
While some npc mobs drop weapons, items, and currency specific to them, animal and creature mobs are dismantled for their desired parts (like Red Dead Redemption). Some npc players will then make available materials, items, weapons, and vehicles in exchange for these organic items. These organic materials go to food establishments, rich collectors, museums, and other places who require them. ...Because a sword popping out of a pig is just idiotic and lazy development.

Unrealistic Inventory Space Elimination 
When a player is on a planet, asteroid, or other large body, their spacecraft is orbiting above. Inventory crates (filled with materials, mechs, and items) and vehicles / equipment can be delivered to and from the spacecraft and surface as needed. This keeps player inventories more realistic while allowing players access to whatever items they may need at any specific time. These orbiting spacecraft also enable satellite surveillance systems, remote vehicle operation systems, and other benefits to players while on the surface. Vehicles also have a storage space that can be used by the player and the PAV can move and transport heavy payloads when clearing terrain.

Flexible Content Expansion
Themes for content expansion are very flexible given that the player's character is a Mech and content operates in space. Balancing realism with prior content is the only main concern. Many expansions will come with a new exoskeleton (IronMan / TitanFall) or Mech to operate in the new experience. 


Expanded Storyline - Publication / Film / TV
​​​​​​​Following the three-part core storyline above, publication, film, and TV storyline jumps to prequel events. Below, "Survival - Worlds Unknown" is laid out in a TV series format. Written and film publication follow the same storyline, but are compressed together into fewer parts.

Prequel: Survival - Worlds Unknown
Series I - The Cocoon
With the unexpected discovery of a new world suitable for Human life, efforts on Earth and Mars come together to prepare for the long travel ahead. Worker robot production increases vastly to offset the cost of constructing the Cocoon, but tensions rise as population selection begins.

Series II - Life in Space: Part I
Series III - Life in Space: Part II
Series IV - Touchdown
Series V - Population Risk
Series VI - Prison Life
Series VII - Breakthroughs
Series VIII - New Life
Series IX - Internal Conflict
Series X - Division
Possible Film Casting: Lailah Steele
Young Lailah Steele (Book I & Book II): Chloë Grace Moretz
Grown Lailah Steele (Book II & Book III): Scarlett Johansson