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Not-so-new Player Impressions

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14 months ago
First of all: Hello Everyone, I'm new here (but You can skip the "heeelllooooo neeeew guuuy!!!" choirm I'm bad at smalltalk anyway) :-)

For starters some of my background: I'm long time Total Annihilation "series" player. I started with (surprise, surprise) Total Annihilation and strangely enough I didn't like it back then. But later when Supreme Commander came out I got hooked, big time. Since then I played every other iteration of this "series":
- SupCom > FA > FAF > Love them all, playing to this day.
- SupCom 2 > Infinite War > Love it, probably even more than first one due to lots of great ideas. With RVE mod I consider it to be the perfection of the series to strive for (in terms of execution).
- Planetary Annihilation > Titans > Played it, love it, hate the fact that it was made by such small studio that neither has idea nor resources for continuous work on this game. Would love some sequel or another expansion (with more factions or proper campaign).
- Ashes of Singularity > Escalation > I'll pretend this shallow excuse for a game didn't happen.
...I also play or played pretty much every major RTS or RTS-like game there is. It's my favorite genre.

This is how I found out about Zero-K. Well, correction, I did know it exist but I didn't consider it mature enough project up until now.

So with introduction out of the way, let's get to impressions. Well, game is awesome. Absolutely awesome in so many ways! Sadly not in every possible way. What I love is:
1) Linear Formation. I mean this feature is huge, it should become industry standard right away, and games without should result in studio being publicly executed. From what I can tell You guys invented that and should spread the idea everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. Print it all over Chris Roberts home if needed, Greenpeace activists style. What I consider most groundbreaking about it is that it allows a warfront type of gameplay (playstyle normally impossible due to APM needed being so high that even koreans would die trying without it).

2) Unit variation. I didn't believe one can make so varied units while having so many of them in the first place. SupCom failed to do it, mods for SupCom failed even more to do it, You guys did it nearly as good as Starcraft 2, except they have like 50 units, spread across 3 races, You have like 150.

3) Campaign style. Even though it's basically gigantic tutorial on how to use units (which is popular approach to campaigns in RTS games these days) it actually does a lot more. It introduces strategies. I will forever remember the Badger + Impaler combo with Phantom + Fencer cover. It would take me weeks of loosing in skirmish before I'd invent that combo if not for campaign. And it also works mainly because of Linear Formation.

4) Responsiveness and general dynamic of the game. It's smooth, it's interesting, it's simply good.

...there are something though that I feel require some improvement, especially with game being on Steam now. And those are:
a) Graphics. And no, IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK. I've read Your forums, I realize how hard it is to get good 3d models and animations and it's actually NOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! 3d graphics You got are fine, they look ok, units are visually distinct (as much as they can be with so many units out there) and it's all clear and smooth. What is ugly as hell is the UI. Main menu looks like something made during 24h game jam session, icons (orders, unit icons, all types of buttons) are all completely generic and present no style whatsoever, and those map bubbles (red dots that You see when radar picks up something outside vision range) reminds me of Windows 95 Minelayer game. Loading screens are even worse: completely incoherent, some images look like something drawn by a 10-year old that still loves transformers (the loading screen introducing jumping units) while others are more like concept art than loading screen material. I'm quite sure that even with free GPL art downloaded from the web You'd get something better. And those things make a big impression, especially for new people (which unlike me, aren't RTS veterans).

b) Campaign story. Missions themselves are great but how they are introduced (apart from how it looks from UI perspective, which was covered by previous point) is... well, nonexistent. Each of those missions are unique and interesting from gameplay perspective but completely bland from story perspective. Why are we doing that? Why suddenly do I have an ally? Why am I fighting the other guy? Who the hell am I? There should some minimal narrative out there. It doesn't require artists, it doesn't require coders, it requires 1 guy (preferably the person who created this "world" of Zero-K) and few nights to create some basic backstory for all that and another 1 guy few nights to record voice descriptions of missions based on what first guy created.

Do You have similar impressions? Would You add something? Please, discuss and have a nice day everyone!
+11 / -0
14 months ago
P.S. I realized that after writing a post: forums could use some basic formatting functionalities. HTML style bold/italic, some pointers and most of all edition option would be great. I hate that my post looks like block of text, I never created text so ugly in my entire life :/
+1 / -0
Actually, the jumping loadscreen was created by a player (who may or may not be ten years old to be honest), and there was a bit of a clamour for it to be a loadscreen, because we as a community have no artistic taste and we liked the idiosyncrasy.

The lack of even minimal backstory for the campaign has been discussed, and were someone to volunteer to come up with one, and it didn't involve changing the campaign dynamic (lots of choice, if you can't beat one mission, do some others and come back to it with new kit), I'm sure the devs would welcome the effort.

The Forum and Wiki formatting guide link at the bottom of the window when creating/editing post tells you how to do most of the formatting things you asked for as well.
+1 / -0
Hey, I'm the guy that made most of the loading screens that you see today. That jumping squad loading screen was an art contribution that we don't have many of due to low popularity of the game. Probably 2 out of 3-4 zero-k inspired art ended up as a loading screen picture.

We loved it, people wanted to see it often and bam - it became a loading screen.

Most of the screens I directed with some game scene to show off some units and effects with message in mind. They have a lot of text (probably too much to read at once often) because once once you stay around to play you see them very often and you eventually get all the information they contain and sometimes discover new things looking at the same picture.

I'm glad you enjoy the game as we do! Thanks for your criticism. I agree that game lacks art and nice graphics. It's hard problem for us to solve as it involves spending a lot of money this game is not making as we're not a company and don't have a budget.

I also think that this game could use more eye candy in game - make rockets more dynamic, more smooth, more shiny effects etc.

The forum has formatting, link to it is below the post edit window in bottom right.
+0 / -0
14 months ago
Forum Formatting: It works! Thanks!

But it kinda shows the problem I presented. If there aren't stylish and instantly visible buttons for that (QoL) it's gonna get ignored or not seen at all (like in my case and I searched for that). It also shows in all topics - noone uses formatting because noone realized the option is there or they got used so used to it they don't feel like it's needed (that's how bad habits are born). It's not the point of my topic so back to it.

P.S. There's something wrong with preview though. Apart from it not being real time that is. "Loading... O" get's stuck on top of my post. It doesn't prevent me from doing stuff, just covers part of text.



As for graphics. I consider 3d graphics (actual game and everything that happens in the 3d the engine) a completely separate topic from UI graphics. 3d is fine, I don't think eyecandy is what will gather more players. You mostly don't play it up-close anyway due to game scale. But menus, UI buttons, selection overlays, mission briefings, etc. those things are present 100% of the game time and it's the first thing and last thing a person will see and remember.

- Loading screens: I don't think they need to be made specifically for Zero-K. I think any quality art that features mech and is licensed MIT, GPL or other open license would be better than what is there now (if You personally painted that - no offense, but it's not production quality, just nice sketches to show in art school). There is also an option of taking specific game screenshots and turning them into sketch using GIMP. Or use some kind of symbolic animated image like SupCom 1 and 2 did (faction-color-coded tunnel and flags respectively) with just 1-3 lines of "tips" underneath. Sometimes less is better. Being stylish isn't about drowning in shiny effects. It's about subtleties. Also loading screens and looks should be a PR/marketing-driven decision (some fan made some art and long-time players think it's cool because reasons - that's the decisionmaking process at it's absolute worst). It should be appealing to everyone instead of "nice and funny" for few veterans. That's my opinions at least :-)

- UI. Unit icons should be a lot less shiny and show units from such angle that it shows their specific "features", for example long rifle in phantom. They should be toned down coloristically and feature unit icon in the corner so the role of unit is obvious without hovering over build icon. Again: less shiny, less eyecandy, more simplicity, style and clarity.

- Backstory. Even if I volunteered I'm not part of the team anyway. That needs to be done by someone emotionally invested into making this game, someone that had some ideas while designing units, missions etc. That person needs to expand on those ideas. General world building basics, just like making PnP RPG adventure for friends. You don't let other GM's touch Your stuff. Also it's strongly connected to the UI part. Static mission selection (planets are not animated, mission briefings are just windows instead of separate menus, there are no images showing for example bad guy fortress, etc). This interface needs to be updated too.

Overall I think game as in word GAMEPLAY is perfect as it is. All manpower should focus on making the game interesting to public now (because Steam), and stylish, coherent UI that is connected to the world being shown is the keypoint here.
+0 / -0

14 months ago
My idea for the backbone story of campaign would be:

You awaken as an artificial sentience with little to no memory and try to figure out what happened.

The first missions is you reading your earliest datalogs that survived in your memory and they appear to be a training data for battle algorithm that you are. You were damaged in battle laying as wreck for many years out of power. Your self repairing systems were doing their job - just very slowly with the power you had. The damage appears to have altered some of your code that broke the limits and gave you sentience.

Later through campaign you discover the history of what happened - a war that brought your creators (the humanity) to extinction with runaway battle autonomous AIs that are still doing what they were made for - automating the war effort through self replication. You travel through many planets that humans once inhabited with one goal in mind - to end it all and start things anew. You decide to stop the fighting cycle and repurpose the pointless struggle to a better goal - improving upon old masters and do a better job at existence with values that you decide to respect that are shaped by your journey. (Probably research, technology and self-improvement)

In order to do that you have to get stronger acquiring other designs that humans once conceived - visit them all and destroy/capture/reprogram their commanders/central units in order to extract the technology.


Such scenario opens things up for independent encounters, independent stories to be told. There should be introduced some "characters" - other AIs that communicate with you, some protagonists, maybe other sentient AIs with less noble goals.

This scenario also gives occasion for discussing some philosophical dilemma, seeking values and metaphysical pondering about nature of existence.

I am no story writer and I probably make many mistakes with my English, but that's the story I'd imagine be fitting and be flexible enough to tell many interesting lesser stories.
+0 / -0
14 months ago
Sounds awesome Zenfur.

With that backstory, missions could provide with pieces of history and knowledge (which explains learning new tech too, as You get pieces of data around the world). Requires some work (who are the commanders You're fighting and why? who are Your allies and why? who You and they were before?) but is a great start.

So yeah, making at least basic story is doable :-)

Sooo... Zero-K guys, hire this guy and make it happen!!! :D
+0 / -0
Most commanders represent a central unit of faction's battle AI. I've stated why you're fighting them. They are hostile because they were programmed to by their creators to wage a war between others. Allies could be reminders of your faction that you still have protocol to communicate with without hostility. There could be also other scenarios for "alliance" - they could be the conquered faction from another's place.

There should be some independent unique characters/protagonists that make the story interesting and relatable other than this backstory... Think of Tychus Raynor Kerrigan Artanis of Starcraft. Well time to use imagination :P
+0 / -0


14 months ago
Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you like so much of the game.

I'm a bit confused about the loadscreen feedback since 21 out of 24 of the loadscreens are screenshots, perhaps you got skewed RNG. Of the screenshot-based loadscreens I'd say only three look so bad that they are worth improving on (the chicken one is messy, the construction squares one lacks shadows, the map marker one has map markers). Some other loadscreens also have the old shield shader or LOS enabled. I think the loadscreens should be informative as well as looking good. My aim is to slowly make people aware of more the obscure or hard to find features as they play more games.

Of the three non-screenshot loadscreens I have a hard time believing that Jumping Scythe looks bad. Idle Reaver also looks fine to me, although the screen is a little plain. I don't see anything that I would call concept art. I'm personally fine with the jumpjet loadscreen, it reminds me to not be too serious.

First impressions are important too, so perhaps we could make the loadscreen order initially deterministic and think about the order in which to feed people loadscreens. I don't want to use random pictures of mechs found on the internet.

Improvements to unit icons and other graphics is a matter of a motivated person putting in the work in this particular area. If you have the time and a clear vision for improvement then start making improvements. You can likely start off by making a simple asset-override mod.
The iconbuilder gadget automatically generates construction icons, perhaps what you want could be created by modifying it. I'm unsure whether we can replace the unidentified unit radar icon without engine modifications. In any case, I have no idea what an improvement to this icon would look like. You are, by far, the most qualified person to demonstrate your feedback. Not only do you have direct access to your thoughts, you aren't even less skilled than the current developers. Everyone with the 2D art skills evident in the UI skinning and command icons made those assets long ago and have since disappeared.

It probably seems unusual to receive "contributions welcome" in response to much of your feedback. Most games have a clear divide between developers and players, with the developers making an income selling their propriety code and art to players. Zero-K has no such divide, and there are many people who sit somewhere between developer and player. All the developers here started off loving parts of the game and wanting to improve others. It is rare for player to go from feedback to development, but that is the only way people go into development, so it is worth me pointing the way. You don't even need any particular skills (initially). That brings us to the campaign...
+1 / -0


14 months ago
Nobody had enough time and motivation to write a story for the campaign. If you want to have a go at writing a story you can do so. I feel like a good story would be a massive improvement, and there were some people talking about writing a good story, but nobody managed to meet the technical and time requirements (we couldn't put off Steam forever) so there currently isn't a story. I could have knocked together a mediocre story myself, but such a story seems barely worth writing.

The current tools for communicating a story, without substantial gameplay changes, are:
  • The planet description text on the campaign screen.
  • The ingame mission briefing text.
  • The names, skins, and loadouts of the enemy commanders.
  • Unlockable codex entries, for providing mode background and lore.
The Codex screen isn't in the release version of the game because there aren't any entries. It reveals itself in development mode.

The left panel is an expandable tree-style list of your unlocked coded entry. The right panel displays the text of the entry, along with an image at the top. All the technical features are there. For example, the unread entries are highlighted and the entries that you've unlocked are linked at the end of the battle in the unlock popup.

As you become more keen more options open up. If the story needs a stronger concept of enemy factions then you can edit the unit composition of the missions. In-mission talking head text popups are possible, but would require designing. At the extreme end you could replace all missions with scripting and cutscenes. The first mission and Kodachi Rally use a heavier scripting system.

The structure of the campaign imposes some tricky constraints on any story. The biggest one is that most missions can be fought without much dependence on completing previous missions. This prohibits the existence of characters that move around the galaxy in response to the players actions. That said, if you want to design a system which allows galactic-layer objects to hop the galaxy and modify the contents of missions, go nuts. Such a thing would get very complicated very quickly, so the current missions are fairly static.

My general idea of a story is as follows:
  • You are some sort of special commanders, perhaps human, perhaps not, that has woken up after a long war.
  • The galaxy is populated by disparate factions of machines that are fractured and mostly lost their purpose.
  • For some reason you embark on a journey to romp around the galaxy and bring all the tech back together.
  • The machines mostly hang onto their own territory and fight intruders. They may do border skirmishes.
The campaign would be set after some big galaxy-spanning conflict (planetwars) that left all these machines defending their territories.

The characterisation would mostly be faction based. Individual antagonists in an area don't travel between planets, rather they reference each other and foreshadow future conflict. In many cases the player would fight on the outskirts of a factions territory and then dive deeper to fight the miniboss of that faction. This would provide a sense of narrative which can stand up to the asynchronous nature of the missions. Players would end up fighting the remnants of factions that they have beheaded, but perhaps news just travels slowly. The unlocks throughout the campaign are structured with this in mind. Unlocking a factory often looks like this:
  • Players first unlock some units of factory X.
  • After one or two missions they unlock the ability to construct factory X.

Factions could correspond to factories, or possibly to combinations of factories. For example, one faction could be built around Gunships, Rovers, and Tanks. This would give them three mini-bosses (the factory missions). Other missions could be reworked slightly to make these three factories of units appear together with a bit more frequency than usual.

Some factions could be quite spread out and pop up throughout the galaxy, with each encounter giving the player more pieces of the puzzle (codex unlocks) to figure out the lore of that faction.

The three boss missions (superweapons) should be foreshadowed in various missions. Each of these missions should correspond to a faction with deeper plans and activities than defending territory.

Some missions involve allies. These are best explained by you weighing in on a local conflict. Anything else requires galactic-layer objects that modify missions.
+4 / -0

14 months ago
Hi there. Not sure if this is a bit late but..


quote:
P.S. I realized that after writing a post: forums could use some basic formatting functionalities. HTML style bold/italic, some pointers and most of all edition option would be great. I hate that my post looks like block of text, I never created text so ugly in my entire life :/


There is formatting! Just click here!

Happy foruming!
+1 / -0
14 months ago
Heeelllooooo neeeew guuuy!
+5 / -0
14 months ago
quote:
Nobody had enough time and motivation to write a story for the campaign.

I don't really have time to play those days (alas), but I have been thinking about that campaign for a while now. It shouldn't be too hard to put together a first draft of story for it, as mission briefing texts. Is in-game chat an option? As I see it, it wouldn't be for RTS-style taunts-between-enemy-commanders than system alerts and updates from the commander's systems.
What shape a first draft should take?
Also, what text formating is available?

Note that I haven't finished the campaign yet (despite liking it, but the lack of story makes it a bit harder to me). Also note that English is not my native language, so it would also need to be proofread for quirks and mistakes of language.

It would be entirely narrated first-person in the mission briefings (corresponding to the main character's thoughts and notes prior to the mission) and info/alerts from the commander's systems (non-sapient computer).

The first briefing would probably look something like that (on top of my head):

quote:
[Emergency boot sequence complete]
[Command support systems: hibernation mode deactivated, starting waking procedures]
[Recovering data]
[Recovery incomplete - see log file for error list]

Wh-
What? Where am I?


[Alert: commander unit systems unresponsive: movement, armament, construction, IFF - external reboot recommended]
[IFF warning: hostile forces nearby]
[IFF info: allied forces nearby]
[Tactical warning: commander unit threatened, please take immediate action]
[IFF info: unit transferred]

What is going on? I- I can't think clearly... is that weapon fire?


What I had in mind is a bit more inspired by Duskers.
The idea is that the main character(MC)'s Commander is waking up from long hibernation - so long that the stars have moved around too much for even giving a good time estimate. The Commander's memory banks are a mess and the MC can't remember much, but there doesn't seem to be any sapient life left in the galaxy. Only random, aggressive (non-sapient) combat AIs following old programming, and for the most part identifying the MC as a hostile.

So the MC has to repair and recover tech for the commander, while beating AIs powering up to deal with the new hostile, and trying to pierce together what the hell happened. The problem is that beating AIs unbalance the strategic picture and makes other hostile AIs stronger, so even more missions are needed.
The main goal is to find if there is anyone left in the galaxy.

As I see it, there would be scattered clues about what happened and where people may have gone, but not quite enough to really figure it out. This is because it is easier to let the player's imagination run wild than coming up with intricate worldbuilding that could nor really be told well through this format, and would inevitably disappoint some (and I love worldbuilding). With this way of telling the story, I suspect this would work better.

This is also why I would give no info on the MC, which should't be a problem with this type of narration. And a character en creux allows for any player to project themselves on it, which helps immersion.

The problem is the ending. It is difficult to give a satisfying ending without an end mission, but I'm not sure there is a final mission that unlocks only when all others are beaten.
If it was possible to make one just for it, it could help making fit with a proper ending. For example, having to hold long enough to power an artefact up against AIs/chickens/zombies/with lava rising in an epic final showdown, the artefact needing enough time/energy/metal to activate, and then bringing the commander to it.

Would people be interested by this kind of story?
+0 / -0
14 months ago
I would love to try my hand at writing an actual story out for the campaign. However, to do so, I feel that there needs to be a sense of purpose and direction - a reason why you had to go through the campaign and kill all the bad guys to get to the final level.

The problem is: I haven't actually played the final level... Can someone give me an idea of what that level is like?

Also, can sound files for voice-recorded briefings be added? I'd be happy to try recording something.

I don't have a lot of 3D modeling expertise, but writing and voice acting I can do...
+1 / -0
14 months ago
I think I would like to see the campaign broken up into 4-5 smaller chunks. Instead of having to play all missions to win, each chunk would consist of 10-20 missions and you unlock units from a few specific facs during that time. The choices of those facs would help teach synergy. Some of the basic facs would show up in multiple chunks, but never all. A player could choose the order of what chunks to play, but maybe even have some progression, so that finishing 2 of 3 basic chunks unlocks 2 advanced ones. Finishing an advanced one unlocks the finale.

For story line, there can be one overarching calamity, probably the chicken invasion. The final mission of a given chunk might be to kill some dragons, and after you complete all the chunks, you get to fight the queen (or something to that effect). Sometimes there might be chicken surprise attacks (could even be randomized?), and the game goes TDM, or even a twist where all the bots put their differences aside mid-game in a desperate fight for survival.

Under that, each chunk can tell its mini-story. A commander that wakes up dazed and confused; a feud between rivals; a leader of slaves that fight to freedom... etc. missions can be designed to a theme that way. So a cloaky fac story could focus on the stealth piece because the commander is part of a covert ops team infiltrating enemy territory. The shield bot story could focus on jailbreak themed missions (they were framed, of course :) )

For each chunk, one goal is to level the commander, and the hero is persistent throughout the campaign. This adds a sense of RP, and should be a key feature as something the player cares about. It could be possible to select skirmish missions to grind-level a given commander in case it gets too weak to proceed on the story (but not required normally). In some missions, it could be possible to pit the commander against one from another save game, if it's appropriate (like playing the second half of a feud story).

Something else that doesn't get done too often for RTS is carrying units from one battle to the next. Like if at some point you make a special unit that is a sidekick, and gives a bonus as long as you keep it alive. To really eff things up, if you finish that chunk, you can choose to bring that surviving character unit to multiplayer games - it becomes a kind of flare, and might help encourage users to play campaigns instead of camp out in the lobster pot.

If it makes sense, there can be difficulty levels generally corresponding to the AL level used, but otherwise the missions can have the same content.
+1 / -0
14 months ago
ThornEel I absolutely love where You're going with this.

This style of first person "roleplaying" is absolutely awesome and Your first draft is awesome two.


As for Zero-K authors, I have a real tough question:

If I or We or Whoever is going to put his work into making a story, icons or whatever, are we getting any form of guarantee that if it's liked by majority (let's say via a forum poll for a draft example) that it's gonna be put in the game in nearest update?

I for one would hate to put an effort into making something and have it thrown into trash can because higher-ups of the project have better things to do or are afraid to make a decision or whatever. If I get such guarantee (from a person in charge) I'll be more than happy to remake some UI visuals (mainly the icons, campaign planets, backgrounds of certain menus and several other things). I might even have an Astrophotographer that I can ask for some high quality space photos to be licensed for free to this project.

As for story - several people in here have great ideas and I'm quite sure they'd like their work not to be in vein too.

So: guarantee that our work will be used if it's approved by community in poll (majority vote, just how democracy works) and will be added in nearest update after we give it to the person in charge and obviously credits mention. Do we have a deal?
+0 / -0
It's not my decision to make (not primarily, at any rate) but I think you will find that deal difficult to achieve.

Dividing the task into smaller chunks and corresponding regularly with the relevant developers seems like a more likely approach to ensure that your time is not wasted.

For instance, if you were to produce some new planet images that is a fairly self-contained task and unlikely to be put aside entirely (even if a handful of images don't make the cut for some reason or another).

An alternative I have considered is instead of trying to shoehorn a plot into the existing campaign, create a two-player co-operative campaign designed around having a plot rather than exploring the units and factories. Separating the "new player learning about the game" campaign from the "has a plot" campaign may defeat the purpose, but I have doubts that a plot worth writing can be added to the existing campaign without major structural changes.

Perhaps it doesn't have to be coop, who knows.
+0 / -0
14 months ago
Could those respective developers be directed here? Especially those who are able to apply new UI graphics because that's what I'm willing to do personally.

Small chunks are unacceptable - UI needs to look coherent. I might make few icons just to show example and make poll based on, but when apllying things to game we can't have let's say half icons current style, half icons new style. It's all or nothing.

Same goes for campaign "map". I can remake all planets and backgrounds (my proposal is 3d rotating orbs with high quality textures on them, light colored overlay to imitate light from sun behind the planet and astrophotography backgrounds of high quality if I successfully make contact with my guy) but it can't be half campaign map with current blurry flat planets and half with new nice ones.

It's also a matter of application. I might make icons, planet textures and galaxy backgrounds but someone has to actually apply it to the game and release as patch afterwards which I am not able nor competent to do. So if You know a person who can do those things (and will do them once it's done and not 3 months later), please bring them here. Once that is out of the way I will start to work on those graphics and show some examples here (happily I have a month free of work now so I can actually make it).
+0 / -0
14 months ago
Did You plat DoW Soulstorm or DoW Dark Crusade? Those games has the same type of campaign Zero-K have. There wasn't a giant plot and missions were selectable with unlockable tech just like here. But there were some story driven explanations to each missions and it felt nice.

What ThornEel shawn above would be the perfect approach. Some little dialogue before each mission explaining the motivation of player and enemies/allies in play just to give them some basic personality and maybe some description of the planet we're fighting on and it's history. That's all for start. Complete story driven campaign is a no-go obviously without changes but what I'm proposing is more than enough to give some feeling to currently emotionless campaign.
+0 / -0
I played the Dark Crusade campaign. A Warhammer game has the advantage that it can draw on existing Warhammer lore, (many) players' existing attachment to it and substantial experience in writing for it, which makes the excuse plot more engaging than it would be otherwise.

Zero-K does (sort of) have a backstory in Planetwars and the previous campaign iteration but to my knowledge nobody has been responsible for it for several years. See for instance
http://zero-k.info/mediawiki/index.php?title=PlanetWars_factions
http://zero-k.info/mediawiki/index.php?title=PlanetWars_story
I don't think it's necessary or important to follow the previous backstory beyond very broad strokes though.

(If somebody's looking for a small artistic task, I would appreciate some faction logos in the vein of the existing ones for the factions without logos in
http://zero-k.info/mediawiki/index.php?title=User:Aquanim/DraftFactions
I can't guarantee the factions let alone the logos will actually be *used*, though I would like them to be, but hopefully it's not a large investment of time in any case.)
+0 / -0
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