The Impending Singularity
The inhabitants of Earth were coming closer than ever to a technological and biological singularity. Global unity was attained as the last real war ended, and in the largest United Nations conference ever held, representatives from every advanced country in the world drew up a treaty to resolve all religious and economic power struggles that were so archaic at this stage in humanity.
Fifteen years ago, all permanent residency requirements were raised without notice, and set unreasonably high at that. It was made essentially impossible to change residency from one country to another. Citizens were not made aware of the reasoning for this, and any explanation ever given was so generic that no one could foresee the true reason. Five years later, the intent of this ruling was made clear. Using the growing worldwide fear of overpopulation as justification, childbirth was banned in all of the first-world countries in the world. A corporation known as DEUS placed devices emitting suppression fields in these countries to enforce this law.
The Singularity Is Here
DEUS (Developers for Eternity, Unity, and Singularity) was a private military technology research and development firm. After their first major product was administered globally (the suppression field emitters), it was revealed that they had been given massive amounts of government funding over the past two decades, through the many "bailout funds" administered with the intent of "fixing" the national economy. Soon after this information surfaced, DEUS's flagship product was revealed. Cheap, easy to produce nano-machines, made to interface with the human body.
It was then announced by the UN that all citizens residing in any of the six major nations (The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Japan) were to be procedurally implanted with these nano-machines, over the course of the next two years. They rebuild cells in the body, allowing for eternal life, youth, and protection from virtually any illness. It was now obvious that these changes to control population growth were truly done to allow these nano-machines to be used without causing any conflict. Events of this scale do not always go exactly according to plan, however.
China was, at one point, the third most powerful nation in the world, until a dilemma presented itself during the planning stages of the implants. The Chinese government could not reach an agreement with DEUS, who feared that China's overpopulation would bring more problems than solutions. There was much opposition from the citizens of China regarding this choice, so a conference was called for at the UN. After a tense, globally broadcast, weeklong session it was decided that to keep order, China should not receive any nano-machines. This decision did little to hold order in the nation, because the next day the tension broke and large-scale riots took place across the country. Citizens were furious at this decision for their life or death that they themselves had no part in deciding. These riots seemed never-ending, and as the months passed many Anti-Government cells formed in the general population. The country was turned into a police state by the Chinese government to try and regain order. This attempt was made in vain, as one of the extremist cells detonated a homemade nuclear bomb in Hong Kong, vaporizing the city and much of the surrounding area. DEUS patrols were sent to guard the country's border and keep the citizens contained, but no attempt was made to recover what was left of the government. In a day, China was lost.
Another dilemma surfaced on the other side of the world. In the remaining nations of the aptly named "Big Five", groups of citizens questioned whether living eternally was ethical. There was not talk of a choice, because it was assumed that all would comply, as humanity's greatest fear is unarguably death. This led to the refusal of the implants by some citizens. Let it be known that the majority did accept them, but the future was bleak for those who did not. DEUS detained many for their lack of compliance with the justification that they were causing a risk for the people who did accept. Many were quarantined and never seen again. During the distribution period nearly all hospitals were closed down in these nations as they became unnecessary. Reserve DEUS hospitals were kept in the nation's capitols, but only for research purposes.
All this time, the world's governments were slowly merging into one global alliance. Healthcare was globalized, and amid economic bailouts between the countries it became apparent that a globalized united government was being crafted. DEUS nano-machine outfitted troops replaced federal police in the Big Five, and the replaced police officers underwent training to join DEUS troops. The nanotroops began patrolling the streets as part of the Evolved Homeland Security Act. Curfews were set in place across the globe, wages were regulated universally, and the government distributed food and housing.
The UN had undying confidence in DEUS that their microscopic machines would keep humanity thriving and safe without error. And they were right, until a chain of unpredictable events took place and upset this balance that took so long to achieve.
First, I'm sorry for the lack of information on this project here to all you watchers(and the incoming wall of text). The past year has been one huge learning experience for us on the team. In retrospect, this project was publicized far, far before it should have seen, for the sake of keeping anyone interested happy. I have to say that the chances of HOPE being completed anytime soon are essentially nonexistent, however before the riots start (har har), I will say that personally I think this is great news. Recently, as we've posted less here about this project, the team has been working hard to improve their skills privately. The reasoning behind this isn't unlike any other group with high expectations, and we don't deny that. We have high expectations, incredibly improbable aspirations. But for us that's not something we're letting hold us back.
With the more recent influx in appeal towards "indie" gaming, and I use that phrase purely for reference, the mod scene seems so much less appealing. When we have at our fingertips some of the worlds top game engines, free, clean, and ready to be altered to our hearts content, it seems incredibly counterintuitive to continue using such a dated and limited framework such as the Source engine. To create something we can really be proud of, without using barrels and crates that some guy at Valve made (great job though, seriously) in 2005, we need to move on, and that's what we've been doing.
Getting to the point, I've just recently begun publicizing my progress on our current project, which is based off of the UDK. I'm not going to start spewing aspirations and whatnot yet this time, but if you like, come check out what we've been working on. I have to say that in the little time I've spent in the engine, I can already tell it's going to be a better experience than with Source. I'm already just impressing myself with the work I've put out compared to my Source work.
Enough about that though, here's the link. I update the blog very regularly as you'll see, and if you follow our progress, maybe you'll end up seeing something you like. ;)
Oh, and as for HOPE: If for whatever reason you really enjoyed the concept and the small amount we've shown, don't get too down about it. It's one of my favorite stories I've come up with, and arguably the most fleshed out (what we've posted here is nothing). So I won't say that there's no chance of it ever popping back up from the dead. Really, because I like it so much, as we've said before, it deserves justice. And as James Joyce once said: justice can not be served in an engine that doesn't support proper post-processing.
ITT: I explain our lack of updates over the past two months.