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Old 08-06-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
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Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Atonement, Chapter One: Where the Hell are We?


I opened my eyes for the first time and nearly went blind. I was encased in metal and glass, and as my gaze came into focus through the flickering blue lights of the machines around me, a symbol injected itself into my mind that I would never forget; before me was a glass wall with the insignia '11' etched neatly (and backwards, I would later come to realize) into its sleek plane - and beyond that lay only darkness.

I coughed bile and fluid out of my lungs and tore apparatus from my balmy flesh. I tried to scream, but my cries were drowned out in the monotonous hum of my prison's computerized walls. As the ground quaked beneath my feet for a fleeting moment in time, I furiously beat my fists against the glass wall before me in a desperate attempt to escape from this Hell.

The glass shattered and its unforgiving fragments stuck into my skin like an old memory that refused to be silenced. Bloodied and weak from atrophy, I pushed away from that sickly, pale blue light - and into the darkness. Bent over and between deep breaths of glorious oxygen, I dry-heaved. I was impossibly hungry, as though I had never eaten before. My bare feet ached with each stumbling step further into the emptiness of the vast, black chamber. With the monstrous roar of a demon, the florescent lights of the room flickered on to exorcise the shadows with a dim and yellow glow. Lining the walls were an army of identical glass doors. Each door was illuminated from within by that hateful blue light, shadowed only by the sleeping bodies of other men and women - and each of those doors bore a number; I followed those numbers with my eyes, from Zero to Two Hundred. Only two numbers were missing - Eleven had been my prison, and Nine was dark and empty as well. I was not alone.

From behind me came a lilting, frightened voice. "Who are you?", she asked. I turned around to see the naked form of a woman leaning against a window to the outside world. Her arms were crossed over her shapely breasts protectively, and her hair was wild and tangled; despite this, she was beautiful, with a lean body and curves in all of the right places - and for the first time, I felt desire run through my veins with the flow of hungry, boiling blood.

I clenched my jaw to quiet the biological urge and swallowed hard, before I pondered her question. I did not know, then, who I was - or even where I was. I answered in a deep, husky voice that surprised myself, "I am Eleven. Who are you?"

She answered me with some managed amount of confidence, but her head turned to let her gaze drift back to the window she leaned against, "I do not know. But there is something that you should see, Eleven."

I shambled over the expanse of cold, metallic floor and empty space between myself and the beautiful woman before me; somewhere close to half-way, the entire room shook tremendously and I nearly collapsed. I-do-not-know seemed less bothered by it than I was. Of course, though, she was older than I was; this was my first birthday. When I drew close to the woman and the window, I could feel hunger for food and flesh creep back into my mind, but it was drowned by the confusion and fear that was gripping me. We did not speak then, but I forced myself to look away from her and through the panel of the window that she indicated to me. I almost wish that I had not. I almost wish that I had stayed in my Hell of blue lights and strange machines, that I had found the willpower to return to sleep.

Beyond the window was a black ocean of stars and Nothingness. An icy, blue rock the size of a ball, or a fist, floated lazily across the vast sea of space. I nearly choked. A streak of golden fire reflected against the glass, the sign of some unseen source of light. Debris in the form of floating and misshapen boulders drifted by at a speed much faster than the distant planet.

"Where the Hell are we?", I intoned, and my question came out in a dry rasp, as I looked back to the beautiful woman at my side.

"I do not know", she answered with wide-opened and frightened eyes, "But I think that we're going to die, Eleven."

The embrace happened naturally. I opened my arms and she opened hers, and I then wrapped myself around her to draw her close in a gesture of shared fear and compassion. Her cold breasts pushed tightly up against my pallid skin, and I could smell her hair; yet, I felt no desire for her now. My focus was lost through that open window, even with her head buried in my chest, and I gazed into the Void - the Unknown.

Somewhere behind me, glass shattered with a deafening crash, and another sibling was born into our inhospitable reality. There was a buzz of static, and from what seemed like all around me, a computerized voice spoke without passion or sympathy:

"Now entering target system. Engines off-line. Navigational targeting
system damaged, but operable. Life-support systems operable."


A moment of silence passed. My gaze stayed in awe at the hateful wonder that awaited me beyond the window. The beautiful woman in my arms began to sob with a quiet dignity, and I felt panicked tears begin to well up in the corners of my own eyes. And then, the cold, computerized voice spoke again:

"Destination set: Home."

I did not know where Home was.




---


The Creators and Storytellers of the Lost Tales of Beleriand, as well as Northlands and the Fall of Osgiliath on Shadows of Isildur, bring you the Next Generation of RPI and Science-Fiction Mystery: Atonement.

Release of ALPHA roughly slated for Early September 2009.



Just a Few of the Fresh Features and Gameplay

- Stellar MOB AI: be prepared to face enemies who know how to fight and are intelligent, are interactive, use strategies and formations, set traps and can use the environment around them to their advantage against you, and who grow in power as time goes on.

- Our next generation of automated event scripting allows for a more immersive and interactive world than ever seen before on an RPI.

- Our improved crafting system allows for a less confusing, more intuitive and powerful means to create within the world. On Atonement, crafts may not produce the same results in every room, allowing for a single craft to serve a multitude of potential purposes.

- Increased object interactivity. Food and drinks have tastes - and objects have scents. These may play an important part of survival as you look for clues to unravel the foreboding mystery of the game-world.

- Profession code means an easier learning curve for new players. The three starting professions for the "Survivor" race will be Soldiers, Scientists and Engineers. Soldiers will be combat-oriented, Scientists will be focused on medicine, research, experimentation and invention - and Engineers will be focused on repairing broken equipment, jury-rigging systems and computer science. This is not to say that your character cannot combine elements of multiple professions, however, and you do retain a plethora of customization options. Each Profession will have a solo-adventure that you may play through before character creation, so that you can get a taste of what you might expect from that play-style.

- Improved combat optimization and somatics. We are retaining the RPI Engine's wound system, but it is vastly improved to include racial-based severed limb capability, poison, broken bones, concussion, temporary blindness, disease and other, more mysterious somatic affects. For those of you who enjoy playing healers, you will find yourself a much more valuable commodity as you deal with a more realistic and diverse set of health challenges for the Universe's characters! For those of you who love to play combat characters, you will find that your optimization is increased, as is your ability to rise to a legendary level of skill in comparison with the average non-combatant.

- A setting that combines elements from wonderful pieces of literature, beloved cult films and classic Survival Horror games to create a unique and mysterious Universe to discover! Story-lines that demand in-character consequences for in-character action, exploration, teamwork and all of your wits for survival!



Predicted Opinion on Finished Work

- Story-lines for the first six months of play.
- Three "Preview" stories written to give glimpses into the Mystery.
- 1/5 of building for ALPHA
- 1/2 of re-vamping a vastly improved Gaming Engine
- 3/4 of World Design
- 1/5 of Starting Documentation
- Player Volunteer and Discussion Forums Open



While we work to improve our server, finish our website, and have the Guest Lounge for Atonement open for chatter, we would like to invite everyone to the temporary forum for General Discuss and Player Volunteering for Atonement RPI. If you are excited or curious about the game, or want to get involved in helping to create the Universe that you and others will play in, do click on the link below:

The Atonement Project

A special thanks to everyone who has sent us their best wishes or aid on this project. We are more excited than we can say to bring you what we believe could be a revolutionary new RPI, and we are honoured by all of the support that we have received.

Sincerely,
The Team of Atonement RPI
Songweaver, Phoenix, Bangarang, Hulk, Kodiak, Kithrater and Iaew.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

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Originally Posted by DonathinFrye View Post
The Creators and Storytellers of the Lost Tales of Beleriand, as well as Northlands and the Fall of Osgiliath on Shadows of Isildur....
You might want to change the tagline on your forums that reads "From the Creators of the Lost Tales of Beleriand and Northlands" to clarify because there was a RPI called Northlands a few years ago (might even still be open though I don't have a valid telnet address for them). You are not talking about that game, merely an area of Shadows of Isildur.

Jason aka Falco

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Old 08-06-2009, 08:40 PM   #3
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

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You might want to change the tagline on your forums that reads "From the Creators of the Lost Tales of Beleriand and Northlands" to clarify because there was a RPI called Northlands a few years ago (might even still be open though I don't have a valid telnet address for them). You are not talking about that game, merely an area of Shadows of Isildur.

Jason aka Falco
Good call, Jason. It's just a temporary forum for now, to keep folks occupied while we prepare the (better) forum and website.

Didn't realize that you were Falco, until just now. How weird.

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Old 08-06-2009, 08:47 PM   #4
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

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Didn't realize that you were Falco, until just now.
That's what it says on my underwear.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:28 AM   #5
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Godwars 2 rocks. Get Kavir to code for you on Atonement!
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:43 PM   #6
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

While I am fairly certain that KaVir likes me and all, I'm even more certain that Godwars II is nearly a full-time job for him. I don't think that he'd have the time or inclination to code for Atonement. Not that I'd decline, because, yes, KaVir rocks. If you were reading this thread and hoping for info on a pure PK MUD to sink your teeth into, go click on the Godwars II link.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:42 PM   #7
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Many people have been asking me about Atonement RPI on its forums, or in emails. They want to know more about the setting, the technology level at the start of the game. They would like to know where "Home" is - and what our characters can expect from the game-environment around them. Now, originally, we were going to completely refuse to answer any such questions; after all, it would be very kiss-and-tell of our staff to create a mystery-oriented RPI set in an unknown and original Universe, only to cow-tow and ruin the surprise for the players. But because people are so passionate about wanting to know, we have decided to create a little spoiler page. Enjoy, if you are the sort that is always just dying to know secret things.

Just keep it a secret and don't ruin the survival-horror mystery for anybody else!

Atonement RPI Spoiler Preview
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:52 PM   #8
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Rick rolling your own thread? A new low for mankind. I don't see how you're going to create any great "Mystery" with your mud, but I guess time will tell. You can create mystery with plots, but having your entire game world be a mystery will be detrimental to players. You'll simply have players playing themselves, not their characters.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:59 PM   #9
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

A bump - all the better to advertise for a future game which I have high hopes for.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:25 PM   #10
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

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A bump - all the better to advertise for a future game which I have high hopes for.
Don't bump posts every 24 hours.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:40 AM   #11
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

A new story is posted below to show another hint at the mystery of Atonement RPI's Universe. Along with that, we would like to officially announce the launch of our Website, In-Game Guest Lounge and the opening of Staff applications to join us in our mission to deliver a next-generation, glass ceiling-breaking Roleplaying Game! Come join us and take place in our community's discussions to help shape our much-hyped RPI.

Interactive Website and Forums: ATONEMENT RPI
Hiring Notice: http://atonementrpi.com/index.php?op...=18&Itemid=100


Disclaimer: The story below was written by Hulk, our Documentation Team Leader. It includes strong language and adult situations, as did the previous installment written by me. Just thought that I would give anyone reading a friendly heads up.



Atonement, Chapter Two: Changing Stations


”And quietly remembering her brother Ivan, shot in the back in Afghanistan - the Stalinist purges the snowy white grave that claimed Boris, Dimitri and Igor”.


The low, slurred voice of the singer filled the room, accompanied by guitars and violins. A slow, steady song filled the room; there were no changes in pace - no highs, no lows - merely music in its rawest form. It came from the large radio that had been fastened high above the reach of drunken patrons onto the wooden wall. The entire room was packed with people, every single one of the simple chairs occupied and surrounding the many small, round wooden tables. It was late and the smell of cigarettes and booze filled the bar. It would linger on even when the drinking-hole was empty - that smell that told everyone that this was a real bar, a popular bar.

The walls were covered in old flags, signs and a few paintings. Supposedly they were all from before the war, and they held very little true meaning to the patrons. Most of the signs had once been colourful statements that one beer was better than its competitor, or that one burger was bigger than the next. But now the signs were dull, their colour scraped off or faded long ago. They were clear statements of how fantastic Budweiser had become nothing more than a few white letters on a rusty background, no longer holding any meaning. Opposite of the arched exit stood a solid oak bar, stained darkly. There were marks at the bottom, towards the floor, showing that once upon a time there had been a brass rail attached to it, though not now. Everything about the bar felt old and used.

This place - this was the Wicker Basket.


“She remembered how proud she cheered with the crowd, when Youri Gagarin sailed over the clouds. Nadia and Ivan shouted aloud, we put the first man in Space.”



It was also called the Black Hand Inn, if you knew the right people. And Silver knew all of the right people (and all of the wrong ones too). That’s how you stayed alive here in the Outer Town. Granted, he didn’t spend much time in O-town, it wasn’t where he worked. But he made the trip when he could manage the minutes; it made his life a lot easier keeping in contact with John Xenir - the owner of the Wicker Basket. Of the Black Hand Inn. Xenir was enigmatic, to put it mildly. He was an infected man, a deviant, an undesirable, a ****up, a weirdo, a harbinger. John Xenir had three eyes, though most folks didn’t know it since Xenir hide the third.

But Silver knew, Silver knew that Xenir had real power. His third eye gave him the ability to see into the future, to see into a man’s heart. It’s true, he had done it to Silver himself, had told him what was going to happen to him (to his family); it all came true, every creepy word of it. And others that knew the name Black Hand Inn also knew that Xenir had a third eye and that he knew things that no man could claim to know. Hell, even some of the Enforcers knew about Old Xenir; it didn't matter. No one dared shut Xenir down. He had become so popular that all of goddamned O-Town would declare war if the Enforcers laid a hand on him ever again.

Xenir didn’t talk about it, but everyone believed the rumors; torture had caused his left hand to turn pitch black, and that’s why he secretly re-aliased the Wicker Basket to the Black Hand Inn. That’s why he let criminals in the back, why he let anyone say whateverthey wanted to - that’s why he protected people. John Xenir was a hero in his own right. A silent hero. Silver wasn’t though. Silver was a deviant as well, but he couldn’t see the future. He could see opportunity, though, and that is what he lived for.


“But that was before the feared KGB put a question-mark on her own loyalty. To keep an eye on her comrades one, two and three, Irina, Catharina and Olga”.


Silver finished off another glass of Five-Hour whisky, drawing a wheezing breath as he set the empty container down upon the table once again. Absently, his one hand slipped up to his cheek, fingertips running along a deep, ugly scar going straight across one side of his face. John Silver, the self-proclaimed greatest ****ing tracker and scavenger in the whole city. John Silver - a good name, a solid name. His brother always said he got the name from an old paper box from before the war. But his mother said it was because he had a silver heart, even if he never knew what she meant by it.


“And poor uncle Vlad whom the doctor declared mad for refusing to leave his beloved Leningrad. She stood in the doorway tearful and sad when they frog-marched him of to the Gulag”.


Now, Silver wasn’t the best because he always found the way at the first try - no no, he was the best because he didn’t die. Although those beasties did their best to put an end to his living streak. But he got out of it, survived, led the Firebreathers right, got his gold and headed back home. He heard they had found their gold in the end too; they found twenty-five bars of purest red gold, and all he got was a small bag with pebble gold. Dickheads. He hated the corperations. Maybe it was time to retire.


“He took a last look at his own native hills where grew the red dogwoods and wild daffodils. The look on his face was haunting her still, Comrade Nadja Rastropovic”.


Yeah, retire; find himself a good whore to settle down with. That would be the life. Whores made a pretty good living too - he could let her work and bring him the gold. What a sweet life that would be. He had always been popular with whores too; it was one of the skills that he took pride in. Women not on the clock never liked him though, but the whores always had. Maybe he could settle down with Sally, she liked him. She was easy on the eyes too, got a lot of business.


“Sometimes alone she’d think of the west, ladies with opals adorning their breast. Park Avenue poseurs acting like the Tzar, with silver coke spoons for their caviar."


Silver put away another glass of whiskeyand diidn’t even bother to look up and see who was serving him, or more importantly, who was paying. He was too deep in his own thoughts, and inside the Wicker Park he always let down his guard. He had been doing some minor work for the crime rings a while back, and he didn’t like it much. But if he was put in charge of the Black Hand, he could probably get some other deals and do some side jobs for a few of the other undesirables who weren’t part of the crime rings. Plus, he’d get to drink as much whisky as he wanted, he’d get to sleep in a real bed, have a roof over his head, gold in his pocket; life would be good. John Silver the Barkeep. Had a nice ring to it.


“She’d reflect back to when she was just ten and faithfully subscribing to fair play for all men. But seventy odd years of Bolsjevik dreams had worn down her pride and left her no means to cope with her own disillusions”.


The patronage of the Wicker Basket kept a low tone. Another glass of whisky was set down before the brooding man at the bar. Silver absently reached out to take it, not giving the matter much more thought than he had its predecessors. But this time his hand didn’t get as far as the glass; instead, he was snapped out of his daydreaming by a neon-green cube, no larger then two matchboxes, falling from above to land on his hand. He instinctively pushed his chair back and craned his neck to look upward. Looming above him was a figure, casting a masculine shadow over Silver where he sat. The figure was clad in a dark Kevlar coat, seemingly in perfect condition and buttoned up tight. Silver restrained his first instinct, which was to cut the man open. He didn’t know why, but for some reason he looked at this man and he wanted to kill him. Or woman, maybe it was a woman. A tall ****ing woman if so, and it changed nothing. But Silver didn’t kill anybody; he pushed his chair a little to the side and tried to catch a glimpse of the shadowy figure's features. A dark felt hat was pushed down low over the figure’s face and the shadows seemed to have swallowed whatever skin the figure should logically show, leaving only the hints of a nose, eyes and a smirking pair of lips.

“Sorry mate, you seemed to have dropped your veggies, assuming you’re not here to start a ****ing food fight?” Silver tried to keep his voice low, calm, succeeding only somewhat. He could see the lips of the figure twitch, as if the smirk were growing before he responded in a smooth, composed baritone.

“Stardust, Mister Silver. That is a disk with directions to a warehouse filled with it. Go there, secure the cargo, lock the place down, return here with proof that the warehouse and the goods exist, John. Your payment will be one quarter of a bar.”


“If Trotsky and Engels saw Dachas and Zils, the Politburo boys with their hands in the till. The bear was long dead before he got ill, was it the cure or was it the fever?”

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Old 10-26-2009, 03:40 AM   #12
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Quarter of a bar. Not too ****ty, assuming the warehouse wasn’t too far away. Silver reached out for the disk that had been placed next to his glass. Slowly, he looked back up to the figure, nodding once, “Alright, ****ing fair enough. Who are you?”

The figure just shook his head slowly before retorting levelly, “You will receive your payment upon return. Go to Willi’s Warehouse for the gold. I assume you remember the location, Mister Silver. Good hunting.”

With that, the figure left as suddenly as it had appeared. Silver didn’t even follow him/her/it with his eyes; instead, he looked down to the green cube in his hand. Willi’s Warehouse. ****, that place was owned by April Shea - one of the big dogs. So he had caught the eye of Mother Tomato herself. Maybe he could just buy whores instead of marrying them when he retired; marriage was for idiots and bums.

Grinning, John Silver rose, clearly in an improved. He drained his last glass of whisky, then set it down upon the bartop and rumbled over to Xenir, “Eh, Xenir, change the ****ing music will you? I hate this pre-war ****. I don’t understand ****ing half of what they’re saying. Engels? Who the **** is that? They talking about that fat-ass Enforcer with the little moustache and those sausage fingers? ****ing bull**** is what it is.”

Xenir reacted with only a low, nearly inaudible mutter, and pressed a button behind the bar. The radio changed songs.


“In the year 2525, if man is still alive - if woman can survive, they may find…”


Grinning and nodding his head, John stepped away from the table and headed for the door after calling out to anyone and everyone present and willing to listen, “I’m John ****ing Silver. Bow down, you deviants!”
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:23 PM   #13
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Bump for more info!

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Old 10-27-2009, 06:25 AM   #14
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Bump for getting illicitly spammered? (can I do that?)

Certainly want to stress the link to the launched website for easy access:
ATONEMENT RPI
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:12 AM   #15
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Gorgeous site and beautiful artwork, by the way. I'm poking around so that I can read the story without the ****s!

I especially love the timeline. I've got a thing for timelines.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:36 AM   #16
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

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Originally Posted by DonathinFrye View Post
Bump for getting illicitly spammered? (can I do that?)

Certainly want to stress the link to the launched website for easy access:
ATONEMENT RPI
Ah the beauty and simplicity of Joomla.. if you are using Linux Hosting, you may want to switch on the SEO friendly URL's for better Search Engine spidering.. Find it in Global Configuration

Sounds like a very interesting game.. not going to read any spoliers though
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:36 PM   #17
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

News Update:

Atonement will open its doors for the first time this Saturday, November 21st, for what we call a "Timeline RPT". A Timeline RPT is a special event that could take place at any point in the long history of Atonement's Universe, whether it be past, present or future. Players play one-time characters for the event and have the chance to affect future storylines and the gameworld in profound ways by helping to shape specific key events in history.

Our first Timeline RPT is a controlled event, meant to give our engine its first test-run with players; we have invited ten players to take part, all of whom have earned the ten most Community Building Points through contributions to the community and MUD. The log of the event will be posted up onto our website under "Universe->Stories" thereafter and become a permanent fixture in our game's canon for the future. This will also show off a fraction of some of our new features and extremely interactive gameworld.

And within a few weeks after the event this Saturday, we hope to be able to open up our doors fully to the public. We truly believe that we have something unique on our hands, an excellent community that is eagerly awaiting our release, and cannot wait to be able to share our experienced team's hard work with the MUDing Community as a whole.

Stay tuned, sign up for our forums, log into the game and hang out in the Guest Lounge to chat, say hello and get to know a great community of creative and intelligent people in the meantime!

ATONEMENT RPI
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:54 PM   #18
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

With the success of Atonement RPI's first in-game event, we are pushing to fully open the doors of the game to players and tease them with a second "Timeline RPT" that should throw a wrench or two into the community's detective work on the expanding mystery of the game. Check out the following links and stay tuned - now is a perfect time to sign up for our forums, learn about Atonement, and join the others who are excited for the release of the game!

News:
http://atonementrpi.com/index.php?op...id=1&Itemid=78

Log of the first in-game event, "Once Upon a Time, in the Himalayas":
http://atonementrpi.com/index.php?op...ies&Itemid=118
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:48 PM   #19
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Note: We are pushing back the second Timeline Event to allow us to focus on the full release of Open-ALPHA on December 20th. Keep visiting our website for new supplementary materials designed to help prepare new players for the game! Look for another announcement when we re-schedule the Timeline Event and announce its setting!
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:37 PM   #20
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Re: Sneak Peek for "Atonement", a Next Generation RPI

Atonement RPI is currently in Open ALPHA testing phase. This means that you can create a character and play the game in its ALPHA setting. With a strong, excited playerbase, we look forward to pursuing the stories and struggles during this phase of the game; all the while, we will continue to expand the playable area, add new features and approach bugs found by players.

Please, visit our website, read our stories, look at the game's known Timeline, become a part of our thriving community forums and enjoy the work that we have put into this project designed to raise the bar for RP-Oriented/Intensive RPGs.

Come and enter a dark story of mystery, science fiction and survival.

www.atonementrpi.com

atonementrpi.com port: 4500
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