Real-time strategy is in for a jolt next year with Supreme Commander, the next game from Chris Taylor's Gas Powered Games. Taylor was one of the creators of the acclaimed Total Annihilation, so it's not surprising that many view Supreme Commander as the spiritual heir to that game. Supreme Commander is set in the distant future, where three races battle for galactic supremacy on battlefields that dwarf anything seen in a real-time strategy game to date.
We recently wrapped up our look at the history, planets, characters, and units of the United Earth Federation, one of the three factions in the game, and now we'll take a look at the Cybran Nation. Who are the Cybrans? They're not aliens, but rather cybernetically enhanced human beings that rebelled against human authority. To learn more, we got the history and background of the Cybran Nation from the designers at Gas Powered Games, and we also have an updated timeline that picks up where the previous UEF timeline left off.
The background of Supreme Commander stretches hundreds of years in the distant future. In an earlier preview, we covered the rise of the UEF, the successor to the original Earth Empire. Of course, this means that the Earth Empire would have had to fall in order for the UEF to rise. And the beginning of the end began in 2592, when cybernetics expert Dr. Gustaf Brackman successfully "twined" the first human and artificial intelligence pair together. This created a symbiont capable of thinking and performing faster than regular humans. The use of symbionts exploded after that. Thanks to their superior thinking abilities, symbionts took up key roles throughout society and the military.
Unfortunately, as always the case, the government sought to keep control of this new technology. Brackman was pressured to secretly install a loyalty program in the AI of each symbiont. In case of emergency, the Empire could control each symbiont, guaranteeing their loyalty. Brackman was given a sizeable reward for his work, and he relocated to a distant planet to establish a colony of symbionts. The settlers made a living by exported technology, but eventually they came to the conclusion that the Empire had to go.
This didn't mean revolution, though. Brackman peacefully petitioned the Empire for independence. But since the Empire relied on total control, the request was refused. Even worse, occupation troops were dispatched to put down what was viewed as an act of rebellion.
With invasion staring them in the face, Brackman declared independence and renamed his people the Cybrans. The Cybrans resisted the occupation force, which led to their massacre. However, this act of defiance would cause symbionts across the galaxy to riot. The Empire declared an emergency and activated the hidden loyalty program.
It worked. The Cybran rebellion was ended, and the rioting symbionts returned to serving as dutiful citizens of the Empire. However, Brackman successfully fled with a small group of symbionts whose loyalty programs had been disabled. A secret colony was founded, and the birth of the Cybran Nation was at hand.
Birth of the Cybrans
2592 - Dr. Gustaf Brackman develops the first symbiont, a pairing of human and artificial intelligence.
2612 - The symbiont research program successfully wraps up, and the technology is offered to the government, military, and private sector.
2663 - The third expansion of humanity begins on a massive scale, and hundreds of colonies are established. This creates problems for the Earth Empire, which struggles to maintain control over so many far-flung planets. With border wars and skirmishes erupting throughout the galaxy, EarthCom, Earth's military arm, is kept busy. However, what's not widely known is that rogue EarthCom commanders are at the heart of some of the rebellions.
2666 - Procyon, the colony established by Brackman and his symbionts, applies for independence from the Earth Empire. It becomes the latest colony to do so, but like the others, the application is rejected and EarthCom is sent in to occupy the colony.
2669 - The symbionts resist the occupation on Procyon, and as a result, EarthCom forces massacre the colony. This triggers symbiont revolts across the galaxy, and the Empire is forced to activate the secret loyalty program embedded in each symbiont's AI. It works, and the symbionts are calmed. Brackman, on the other hand, is vilified as the cause of the revolts.
2678 - A secret colony is established by Brackman and surviving rebel symbionts, now known as Cybrans. Brackman disables the loyalty program in the Cybrans, and the colony flourishes to form the Cybran Nation.