Author Topic: [WIP] Tech-Com - Terminator series  (Read 16857 times)

Offline Hobbes

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2016, 02:37:55 am »
That's always been a problem with licensed terminator stuff -- SM Stirling wrote some Terminator novels in the nineties where Skynet literally starts on J-Day with knockoff T-800s -- let's not get into the comics.

I think I have a few Terminator novels or comic books somewhere on my bookstand but I haven't touched them yet. I remember I have the one set in Russia where former Spetznaz special forces are fighting the Russian equivalent of Skynet during the war. Like you say, novels and other non-movie media can have problems.

Quote
The original 10 May 1990 draft contained an extended future
 war scene that not only addressed the defeat of Skynet
and the backstory of how Reese and the Terminator went
back through time as mentioned in the first film, but also
the backstory of the second film on how the second
 Terminator was sent through.  Cut from the script after
the first draft, the scene -- although rich in action and
 resonance to the first film and its concepts -- was a
 narrative tangent to the main story of the film and would
have cost an inordinate amount of time, money, and effort
to produce.  This future scene also had the adult John
Connor as its narrator.

The future war scene script was a very interesting read, thanks. My issue with the T1/T2 storyline when applied to a mod would be that John Connor would know a lot of information about Skynet from Sarah, specially the part concerning time travel, and how would that affect gameplay?

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2016, 03:15:46 am »
Quote
My issue with the T1/T2 storyline when applied to a mod would be that John Connor would know a lot of information about Skynet from Sarah, specially the part concerning time travel, and how would that affect gameplay?

My big problem with the whole "John Connor knows everything through Sarah Connor" idea is that Sarah was with Kyle Reese for only about maybe 72 hours tops. That's not a lot of time for her to absorb everything; and Kyle is an imperfect narrator; he'd only be able to tell her what he knows.

Kyle would however be able to tell her key bits of facts:

Rough introductory dates for significant Skynet advances in technology.

Where the Skynet Central Core is + Time Machine R&D base.

Which human offensives were significant catastrophes.

Translated in game terms; a player starting with the T1/T2 mod would know right away:

TERMINATOR ENDGAME: You need to blow up NORAD and also seize the time machine base; it would be like having the "Cydonia or bust" UFOPaedia unlocked from the start.

You would have advanced warning (maybe a triggered UFOPedia entry) that shows up about a month or so before the AI introduces new units/weapons (the WAR OF PLASMA).

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2016, 03:21:17 am »
The future war scene script was a very interesting read, thanks.

There's a scene in the T2 novelization that hints at mission types for a mod -- this happened circa 2010~ in the T1/T2 timeline.

Quote
But when he was in his mid-twenties, a personal tragedy caused him to withdraw even more into that gray prison of responsibility that had always been his.

Fuentes had brought him the news. John had been crouched in a blasthole crater, giving final instructions to a squad of soldiers still in their teens. They were bright, eager, and dispensable.

They would all later die in a diversionary battle that would lead to a major victory. As he watched them snake out into the moonlit ruins, Fuentes turned to John, struggling to remain calm as he gave his nightly field report.

The supply convoy from Mexico had been ambushed by a squad of HKs. There were no survivors. John had listened, then only nodded. After all, this was simply one more defeat in a war filled with them. The supplies were important, but there were backups the army could use. And John had steeled himself to loss over the years. People were always dying in this war. Like the squad of teenagers John had just sent out on patrol. Even the horror of death could become routine if it happened often enough. All this Fuentes knew. And in normal circumstances, Fuentes would not have found John’s reaction strange.

When he wasn’t needed, the general would often go off by himself to brood, especially after he had ordered hundreds of men into hopeless battle, just to buy time to build the army. But he would get over it quickly, eager to continue the struggle, driven by a certainty of their eventual victory. The loss of lives was necessary to achieve that victory. But Fuentes also knew what John knew.... Sarah Connor had been leading that convoy.

She had been ordered out of the action, but Sarah went her own way, and few people had the rank or the balls to stop her. Even John was in awe of her. Not only was she a superb combat soldier, she was also an expert tactician. But sooner or later, even the best soldier can be overwhelmed by superior firepower. As in this case. So Fuentes found it strange that John simply nodded when he told him his mother was dead.

When the news became common knowledge, people who only knew and respected her by reputation would be weeping. Sarah Connor had been almost as legendary as her son. But all John did was thank Fuentes for the information and stride off. Later, Fuentes walked in on John, bent over his cot, sobbing.

He quietly backed away, not wanting to intrude. It was the only time he had seen the great man cry. Since that time, John had never talked about his mother.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2016, 03:39:16 am »
There's some storyboards floating around of the extended future war scenes:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/5336955/terminator-2-storyboards-show-the-destruction-of-skynet/

There's some smaller stuff that could fit as Skynet "HWPs" (Centurion)

Offline Hobbes

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2016, 03:56:48 am »
TERMINATOR ENDGAME: You need to blow up NORAD and also seize the time machine base; it would be like having the "Cydonia or bust" UFOPaedia unlocked from the start.

Actually... I have already done some thinking about this and the Skynet Core will appear right from the start on Geoscape on the location of Cheyenne Mountain. So the player will be able to assault it right from day 1, however that will be a losing strategy for several reasons - the turrets and terminators at the Core would have plasma weapons right from the start, or the player will require to get some late tech to be able to survive just the LZ. Plus, craft will have a range limited to intraregional rather than interregional, so it would be required to place your starting base in North America. Which is basically a bad move, since North America is the only region that will have HKs running Retaliation missions right from day 1 and from my testing you get usually hit on mid-late January with such a mission.

So, one idea would be for the player to be required to assault Skynet Core and afterwards have to perform a 'Cydonia or Bust' final mission to gain access to the temporal displacement device.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2016, 04:21:32 am »
Actually... I have already done some thinking about this and the Skynet Core will appear right from the start on Geoscape on the location of Cheyenne Mountain.

Makes sense; since by what ?2025? The Resistance should know WHAT skynet is, and WHERE it is.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2016, 04:26:14 am »
So the player will be able to assault it right from day 1, however that will be a losing strategy for several reasons - the turrets and terminators at the Core would have plasma weapons right from the start

It might be worth it designing unique terminators and mobile weapons just for the Skynet Core (and maybe for other Skynet bases), since Skynet would have designed its bases around the needs of Machines, rather than humans -- with the bipedal infiltrators being only a grudging admission that it needs multipurpose generalist units in order to dig out the resistance from it's hidey holes.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2016, 11:58:36 pm »
I've made an attempt at some alt-history in trying to construct a timeline for the original timeline. Here goes:

13 May 1965
Sarah Connor Born (Approximate, based on her being 19 in Terminator 1)

12 November 1982
Yuri Andropov becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Union.

8 May 1984
Sarah Connor sleeps with the man who left a voicemail on her phone in the original T1 (Approximate).  This man is the true biological father of John Connor in all timelines. In all timelines, she never really knows her son's true biological father. In later, altered timelines; Kyle Reese becomes John's "spiritual father".

Late 1984
Greg Simmons and Jack Kroll leave Cyber Research Systems (CRS) to found Cyberdyne Corporation. In the Novelization of T1, they're the ones who discover the arm and skull in the factory and hide it from their superiors and found Cyberdyne.

12 February 1985
John Connor born. (Approximate)

Circa 1986   
Cyberdyne wins contract to supply Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) chip subsystems to Northrop.

Late 1987
Miles Bennet Dyson joins Cyberdyne as an engineer on the ATF chip systems.

January 1989
Richard Lugar inaugurated as 41st President. (EDIT: Anyone but HW Bush, because we need to push "Star Wars" all the way to the end, and even with the USSR hanging around post 1992...we need more impetus).

23 April 1991
Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23 announced as winner of ATF Competition.

Mid 1992
Cyberdyne wins contract to supply computer systems for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization ("Star Wars") Strategic Defense System; which implements ground based and space based defensive and offensive systems. Design of the 4000 series begins.

Late 1992
Miles Bennet Dyson appointed Director of Special Projects to oversee the design of the 4000 series distributed supercomputer.

26 May 1993
Yuri Andropov dies.

9 June 1993
KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Union.

Circa 1994
Cheyenne Mountain Complex selected as the ground-based command and control node for the SDIO Strategic Defense System.

Early 1995
Construction begins on enlargement of Cheyenne Mountain Complex, effectively tripling it's size to support the SDIO Strategic Defense System.
Cyberdyne has become the largest supplier of computer components to the US Defense Department due to it's F-23 and SDS Contracts.

Late 1995
First Orbital Weapons Station launched into geosynchronous orbit via National Launch System (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Launch_System).

Circa 1997
Cheyenne Mountain Complex enlargement completed. Installation of the Cyberdyne 4800C System begins.

Late 1997
SDIO: Strategic Defense System renamed "SKYNET".

Early 1998
24th and Final Orbital Weapons Satellite launched into orbit. SKYNET Orbital Construction Complete.

8 June 1999
SKYNET Ground Based Construction complete with installation of last cabling in Cheyenne Mountain Complex Expansion.

4 August 1999
SKYNET Activated.

Late August 1999
John and Sarah Connor go on vacation to Argentina to visit friends. John is fourteen and a half years old.

29 August 1999
SKYNET Becomes Self Aware at 2:14 AM EDT.
SKYNET launches the weapons under its control at 2:43 AM EDT. (JUDGMENT DAY)

18 July 2003
Kyle Reese Born (Approximate, based on his age being 26 in Terminator 1)

2021
Kyle Reese Assigned to 132d under Perry

2025-2026
SKYNET deploys first experimental prototype T-800 Infiltrators in limited field tests.

2027
Kyle Reese Assigned to Recon/Security under John Connor following the conclusion of the Oregon and New Mexico Offensives.
SKYNET standardizes the T-800 Infiltrator as Standard Issue.

11 July 2029
Terminator 1/2 Future War Finale. John Connor is 45 years old.
   
OUT OF CONTEXT NOTES:   
12 May 1984
Beginning of T1 (Events have not occurred in this timeline)

14 May 1984
End of T1 (Events have not occurred in this timeline)

Circa 1995
Events of T2 (Has Not Occurred in This Timeline)

Circa Sep 1999
On a "Tuesday in September '99" is how John Connor recalls Judgment Day as occurring in the Future War scenes in the original T2 script draft.

T-800 Introduction Notes:
Reese in T1 refers to the T800 Infiltrators as "New", plus he says they can't be made "not for about forty years." This places their introduction to somewhere between 2024 and 2029.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 12:06:25 am by MKSheppard »

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2016, 01:00:53 am »
This timeline is the result of some thoughts by me a bit back:

1.) In the original timeline, Skynet is a Series 4800 supercomputer built by Cyberdyne for SAC-NORAD.

2.) SAC can't exist if the cold war doesn't, so Gorbachev can't take power in 1985, and the continued cold war would spur military development.

There's a nice way to square this with T2's timeline as well!

What if in 1984, when the T-800 starts shooting wildly, he kills a KGB rezident at the night club who was there to meet with a source from the Southern California Aerospace industry?

Said rezident in the original timeline was key to Gorby not being elected in 1985.

So Gorbachev takes power, the cold war ends; and Skynet is saved only from cancellation by the discovery of the chip which significantly accelerated research and made it interesting enough to fund in a peacetime environment.

Offline Stoddard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2016, 01:12:34 am »
For the cold war to not end and thus ensure the birth of the Skynet, there should be another separate arc of Skynet sending terminators back in time to help with the Soviet economy. Can't see how otherwise the Soviet Union could have survived the 80s.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 01:14:25 am by Stoddard »

Offline Hobbes

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2016, 01:51:37 am »
Nice work in general, I'll add some suggestions/comments :)

Late 1984
Greg Simmons and Jack Kroll leave Cyber Research Systems (CRS) to found Cyberdyne Corporation. In the Novelization of T1, they're the ones who discover the arm and skull in the factory and hide it from their superiors and found Cyberdyne.

Circa 1986   
Cyberdyne wins contract to supply Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) chip subsystems to Northrop.

It might be a little unusual for a 2 year old start up company to be selected to work on something as important as the ATF program, unless they already had mastered innovative technology that the military really wanted to have on its planes. And any patents or proprietary technologies developed by both engineers for CRS would still belong to their former company, so they would have only 2 years to implement into reality any ideas that CRS wouldn't already possess.

On the other hand, I remember that on T2 the T-800 mentions that stealth bombers are fully automated (either Northrop's entry who won the ATB contest and became the current B-2 Spirit) or Lockheed's competing Senior Peg design), so it might make more sense to use them (although the novelization might specifically mention the ATF). 

For the cold war to not end and thus ensure the birth of the Skynet, there should be another separate arc of Skynet sending terminators back in time to help with the Soviet economy. Can't see how otherwise the Soviet Union could have survived the 80s.

This can be solved with a fictional third oil crisis like those of 1973 and 1979 where global oil prices jumped upwards. One main reason why the Soviet economy was a mess and completely bankrupt at the end of the USSR was because its main source of foreign currency was oil exports and the oil price stabilized in the 1980s, leading to less oil revenues and less foreign currency, which was required to import goods and technology from the West to modernize the Soviet economy.

If the oil prices had stayed at the 70's levels then the USSR would still be able to keep its citizens (and its satellite countries) satisfied. There would be no need for the Soviet leaders to recognize that the system need change (thus Gorbachov would never become General Secretary).
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 01:57:47 am by Hobbes »

Offline HelmetHair

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2016, 01:56:17 am »
Well...

Even if the Soviet Union doesn't exist, their ICBMs do. Let's not forget the Russians have "dead hand" and SKYNET could be the U.S. answer on the same problem of command and control in a nuclear war.

In T2 the cold war was basically over and it was specifically pointed out that it was Russia that was hit not the USSR.

It could be pitched that the US was afraid of another nation wanting to capitalize on the power vacuum and to be certain to remain dominant thus keeping the idea of MAD alive.

The USSR itself wouldn't have to exist, but the "enemy" would... even if emphereal.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2016, 02:00:08 am »
It could be pitched that the US was afraid of another nation wanting to capitalize on the power vacuum and to be certain to remain dominant thus keeping the idea of MAD alive.

Or the US simply wanted to remain as the sole superpower (like it did after the Cold War, whether it wanted or not) or possibly even becoming the world's hegemon.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2016, 02:01:49 am »
Here's my bizarre off the wall theory to try and explain causality and preservation, because SKYNET had the first "throw of the dice" each time and logically should have succeeded with it's 1984 and 1995 attempts; a T-800 or T-1000 would have easily liquidated Sarah or John Connor.

----------

I think in the ORIGINAL timeline, SKYNET is still kind of new to time travel, and hasn't fully explored the theory, application and use of it before Connor smashes it's grid.

So... what I think happened was SKYNET did some short range hops and cache tests:

1.) Sending a T800 back three months to destroy a random resistance outpost to see if the future can be changed. It works, and SKYNET concludes yes, we can change future, and begins further work on the tactical time weapon.

2.) Sending test shots back progressively further, which are nothing but beacons or metallic markers that are later found by SKYNET in the future. Basically, something similar to Back to the Future where Marty says "we will put the keys HERE" and then picks the keys up "but we got to remember to do this in the future".

Essentially, they send little time capsules with internal clocks back to 1996, 1986 etc which are then rediscovered by SKYNET in 2029, with the clocks showing elapsed time since travel = the same amount of time that has passed as the targeted temporal displacement date.

So SKYNET thinks it can move to an operational tactical time weapon.

But before that happens, Connor smashes the defense grid and SKYNET panics, and decides to "roll the dice".

It sends the T-800 Terminator back to 1984, and waits 30 seconds.

No change detected.

???

It starts to panic, and thinks "all my prior time displacement attempts worked, why didn't this one work?"

So it breaks out the T-1000 and sends it back to 1995. It can't send it back to 1984 to assist the T-800 because of limitations in time travel; each time you send something back to a certain point in time, it creates ripples in space time which disrupt the capability of the Temporal Displacement Equipment to successfully rematerialize the space/time within it's field in the past.

These ripples in time, ironically fade with time, but time is something Skynet doesn't have, as it's grid is smashed and Connor is on his way.

So off to 1995.

That doesn't work, and now SKYNET is really panicked. Then...the cruel end as TECH COM blows it's main node in Colorado.

Connor shows up 30 minutes later, and when he sees on the system log of the time machine:

"Terminator sent back to 1984. MISSION: KILL SARAH CONNOR"
"Terminator sent back to 1995. MISSION: KILL JOHN CONNOR"

he panics and sends a volunteer back in time to 1984 right away; and because his TECH COM team was severely depleted in the final offensive, he has to reprogram a T-800.

Finally, he sends back the T-800 and starts the time loop.

Originally:

1984 T-800: Materialized in Marianas Trench. Imploded by immense depth of water at 4 miles deep.
1995 T-1000: Materialized in Solid Rock in San Andreas Fault.
1984 Kyle Reese: Materialized in fire escape. Dies painfully.

as "time"/"universe"/"chaos theory protects itself -- the original tests Skynet did were not big or important enough to provoke a response from the fabric of nature itself -- the Resistance base that was destroyed as a test...would have been destroyed six months later, and was insignificant in the scheme of the universe.

But when Skynet literally started punching the universe hard; the universe punched back. (time displacement spheres going awry)

But then John Connor had to punch the fabric of reality so hard it broke with his attempt to send the T-800 Uncle Bob back through; causing the other attempts to successfully materialize in the past.


Offline HelmetHair

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2016, 02:21:12 am »
Or the US simply wanted to remain as the sole superpower (like it did after the Cold War, whether it wanted or not) or possibly even becoming the world's hegemon.

Yep, better phrasing at what I was digging at.