- developer: Strategy First
[[Welcome to O.R.B]]
O.R.B., the acronym for Off-World Resource Base, is a 3D real-time strategy game that allows you to command a large fleet of ships in the void of space. You command the military forces of either the Malus or the Alyssians in a battle for supremacy in the Aldus solar system. Extracting resources from the asteroid belt that revolves around the two planets allows you to expand your fleet - but only if you can get your transports safely back to your spaceport. Researching new technologies allows you to upgrade the capabilities of your existing ships and build new models as well. You may capture enemy ships and steal technology to open up new research branches. There is also the opportunity to discover hidden secrets from the artifacts that may be discovered throughout the asteroid belt. All the while, you can watch the skills of the Squad Leaders develop, from scenario to scenario, as they carry forward and gain experience.
O.R.B. is fully 3D. This means that all of your ships can move in any direction. It also means an enemy fleet can attack from any direction. The key to the game is controlling the asteroid belt that moves around Malus and Alyssia. The dynamic nature of the terrain creates a dilemma for you - do I defend my resource base once it enters enemy space or abandon it? This dilemma offers opportunities as well. Secret bases may be built in asteroids that have been stripped of resources to act as launch pads for guerrilla assaults in enemy territory. Success will go to the player who can coordinate multiple attacks.
[[Unique Features of O.R.B.]]
- Fully 3D RTS with full freedom of movement in all directions
- Epic story tracing a battle to the death between two bitter rivals.
- Two playable races with unique campaigns, strategies and technology trees.
- Eight player multiplayer mode.
- Dynamic environment: terrain objects such as asteroids and planets constantly revolve around the sun at varying speeds.
- Squad leaders that gain experience and bonuses that carry over from one scenario to another.
- Context sensitive music: music changes to suit game play.
- Extensive ordering system including rally points, moveable waypoints, and smart waypoints that track targets.
- Interaction with terrain, such as huge asteroids where mining factories and secret bases can be built.
- Epic Scale: Five levels of units including combat-suited commandos, fighters, capital ships, battle cruisers and space stations.
- Visible upgrades to units as you research new technology.
- Customizable Squad Logos on each ship.
- Scalable engine (16/32 bit color resolution independent)
- Units from both sides can be captured opening new branches in research tree.
- Downloadable campaign editor with the complete ability to script your own in game cut scenes.
[[The Races, Part 1]]
In O.R.B., there are two races, and you can choose to play either one. The first of these are the Alyssians.
Alyssian folklore is infused with the idea that they are the remnants of a fallen empire that ruled the cosmos. The evidence of their former ascendance, ruins, art and letters of astounding complexity and mystery are scattered across their planet. Though they are a rational people, their culture, philosophy and scientific pursuits are infused with the manifest destiny of their people to rise and regain their benevolent empire.
Alyssia is a lush and beautiful world. It is a gentle environment that sustains life easily, allowing their culture to achieve a high level of sophistication. Science and reason are pillars of their culture, yet they are a passionate people who can go to extremes. The Alyssians are a questing race; they seek the answers to a myriad of questions about the world in which they live. Individual expression and achievement is encouraged on Alyssia.
When the Alyssians discovered that they shared the solar system with another race, they were overjoyed at the possibilities. Unfortunately, the Alyssians initial optimism turned to bitter disappointment when their neighbors proved to be brutally hostile.
The Alyssians are about to fight a war that is not of their choosing. The coming conflict weighs heavily on the collective consciousness of this generally peaceful race. The Alyssians have fought wars before among themselves. They are not pacifists, but this is the first time they have fought an unknown enemy, an enemy that is obviously accustomed to conflict and seems beyond reasoning. The coming conflict is likely to be bitter and bloody.
The people of Alyssia have developed a subconscious fear for their little understood foe. Against the waves of the Malus war machine, the Alyssians must use their cunning and their superior technology. They will try to avoid massive entanglements until the right time to strike arrives. If drawn into a pitched battle too soon, the Alyssians will surely lose.
[[The Races, Part 2]]
The second species is the Malus.
The prehistoric epic of the Malus, memorized by every child and beating strong in the heart of every adult, relates the tale of the "Lord of the Night Sky" who created two brothers, Kexul and Menok. He promised that the one who proved superior would rule the universe. Menok beat his brother in combat, and his children inherited Malus. Now, the Malus want to claim their prize. The only thing stopping them are the Alyssians.
Life on the blasted terrain of Malus is difficult. Only through harsh discipline and the forged collective will to survive has the race endured. The difficulty of survival on this unforgiving world has made them a hardy people who hold honor and duty as paramount to existence. The culture of the Malus is complex. They are a warlike people and yet their wars are highly ritualized and, in most cases, little blood is shed. In addition to their stoic nature, their culture is infused with rich music, poetry, art and story telling.
In the coming war, each warrior is prepared to lay down their lives for the honor of his or her people. Against the Alyssian technological advantage, the Malus have the advantage of sheer will and numbers. Their ships can be produced in greater quantities and they have a large supply of men and women who are prepared to die for their people. The Malus will attempt to capture enemy ships and steal technology to close the gap between the Alyssians and themselves. They realize that a long drawn out war will mean the death of the Malus.
[[The O.R.B. History]]
The O.R.B. Timeline
ONE HUNDRED FIFTY YEARS AGO: The Malus and the Alyssians become aware of each other from transmissions coming from the other's planet. Each race reacts in their typical manner: The Malus prepare for conflict and the Alyssians for first contact.
100 YEARS AGO: The Alyssians send an unmanned probe to Malus that crashes through the atmosphere. It carries greetings from a neighbor and a wealth of information about the people of Alyssia. The Malus interpret the message as a demonstration of technological power and superiority. The technology used to make the probe was obviously superior to anything the Malus had, so they redoubled their efforts to get armed vessels into space.
The reaction of the Malus confused and concerned the Alyssians. The Malus greeted their peaceful overtures with an intense armament program. It soon became evident that they were on a collision course to war unless something was done. They resolved to make peaceful face to face contact as soon as possible, but initiated plans for building a war fleet just in case.
50 YEARS AGO: The first true encounter of the Malus and the Alyssians was a tragic clash of cultures. The Malus considered the event a challenge to a ritual duel (Kirim'Ba) and the Alyssians regarded it as an honest attempt at communication and diplomacy. The planned "friendly first contact" of the Alyssians turned into a disaster when a simple, but armed, Malus vessel destroyed their unarmed space vehicle. According to Malus ritual, the Malus champion had defeated their rival in battle. The destruction of the Alyssian champion was considered a demonstration of Malus superiority, and according to Malus tradition, the Alyssians had no choice but to accept submission to Malus supremacy. The Alyssians interpreted the incident differently, and prepared their armed forces to destroy a savage and violent race who brutally destroyed an unarmed peace mission.
[[Now It's Up to You]]
NOW: Both sides are ready for war over the fate of the Aldus system. For the Malus it is a matter of honor, for the Alyssians it is a war to neutralize a primitive and backward people that don't have the benefit of their advanced culture.
Both sides realize that the all encompassing asteroid belt is the key - to build a fleet large enough to conquer their foe will require massive amounts of resources that neither planet can hope to supply. The belt also offers a potential base of operation for waging the conflict. For 50 years plans have been made, the masses motivated and programs implemented to achieve one thing: the total destruction of the enemy.
You decide the outcome.