October 18th 2013
Hello and welcome to the first installment of LORE BUILDER, where we pick an unexplored aspect of the Star Citizen lore and develop it with the community’s help. Before we get to our inaugural topic, we’re just going to lay down a few caveats and references for our newer readers.
To gain an understanding of the areas that need to be explored or haven’t been fleshed out, I would recommend reading the Time Capsules. These posts were daily updates leading up to Chris Roberts’ initial announcement at GDC in 2012. Each post covers a historical fact in the timeline that leads up to the ‘present’ day in Star Citizen.
We also compiled a Writer’s Guide for our fans who were interested in developing their own fiction for the Star Citizen universe. This was crafted to be similar to a ‘show bible’ that you would find on television shows; a non-dramatic understanding of the universe as it stands, featuring the various alien races as well as the technology that is (and isn’t) in play in the SC universe.
As mentioned with the Writer’s Guide, this universe is still in active development so elements may change in order to accommodate gameplay.
We are going to avoid topics that will directly affect gameplay, as those mechanics have yet to be determined or finalized. That isn’t to say that what we’re doing here is strictly for the fiction and won’t appear in the game. The Star Citizen universe is huge and needs to be filled with a variety of fictional elements (food, religions, superstitions, etc.) that don’t necessarily affect how the game is played.
While it’s totally cool to suggest characters that may be ancestors or relatives of the character you want to play in Star Citizen, understand that any connection you establish in these fictions won’t directly apply to your character to any tangible effect. Using this week’s topic as an example, you probably shouldn’t say that your character is a nine-time Murray Cup winner and the best pilot in the universe, as it won’t confer any bonus/perk/reputation/UEC etc. to your character when the game goes live. In short, all characters are starting from the same place in the universe; create accordingly.
With that said and done, we’ll get started with one of the sports in the UEE:
We have briefly discussed ship racing in Star Citizen. The highest achievement of which will be the Murray Cup. The Murray Cup was the background of The Cup, the three-part story featured in Jump Point.
Since that will be tied into game mechanics (how big systems are, top speeds, etc.), we will have to wait to figure out exactly how the races will work, but….
There is something we can do in the meantime: we can sort out some of the history and major characters some historical figures/races. Avoiding the mention of anything that could reflect game mechanics, who are some of the major players or nail-biting races that have occurred in the race’s colorful history?
Shortly after Ellis System was discovered in 2467, the system was very sparsely populated. Four planets were currently being terraformed so there wasn’t much to do planetside. Terraformers began having ship races around the system to pass the time, setting up the skeletal ‘tracks’ for the first set of courses.
Travellers moving through the system began to take part, challenging the locals to their high-speed races. Amon Murray was a criminal and gambler in the system, currently making most of his money selling the terraformers drugs and other contraband. He was also a bookie who began to collect bets on the amateur races throughout the system.
Finally, in an effort to make some real money, Murray committed some of his resources to offer a small credit prize to the winner, knowing that the CTR’s (the UPE’s currency at the time) would bring even more competitors into the system and hence, more bets would be placed. Under those humble (but somewhat shady) beginnings, the inaugural Murray Cup was held in 2479.
After that, the races grew in popularity and Murray had fortuitously positioned himself in the heart of it. His cash prizes increased as well, until he could afford to leave his criminal enterprises behind (mostly) and focus on pushing the sport and spectacle of ship-racing into the mainstream.
Ian Rikkord was as an atmospheric specialist for Gaia Planet Services, one of the terraforming corporations working within the system. A self-professed ‘hobbyist engineer,’ he would modify and customize his ship in his spare time. When the other terraformers began to organize races, Rikkord signed up on a whim. His ship broke down halfway through his first race. After that initial failure, he became consumed with winning a race — any race. That process took several months and dozens of practice runs, until he finally placed third.
At this point, the racing bug had clearly infected Rikkord. He spent all of his free time researching astroengineering and racing techniques to try and gain that edge against his competition, who were mostly still competing for bragging rights, not as a real sport.
By the time of the first Murray Cup, Rikkord was the in-system favorite but the prize was enticing enough to bring in outside racers. For the first series of races, Rikkord seemed outmatched and overwhelmed by the new competition, but still managed to stay in contention. During the final race, he managed to score a dynamic victory, barely stealing the Murray Cup away from Ella Nero, a veteran test pilot from the Navy, who had been dominating the races thus far.
After that, Rikkord never won another Murray Cup, but not for lack of trying. Many speculate that as the Murray Cup grew in popularity, the racers became too professional for this ‘hobbyist engineer’ to compete.
So, who are some of the other winners of the Murray Cup? Please post in the comments section (keep them concise, two paragraphs max). Any other historical events help change the way the sport is played? Enjoyed?
Coming up, next week, we’ll amend this post to include some of your suggestions and try to tackle another sport in the UEE: Sataball.