Luke Styer
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Tue 28 Jan 2020, 16:52

In the 57 years between this film and Aliens the company seems to have forgotten entirely about the derelict and went ahead and built a colony on the world!
If we work from the premise of a compartmentalized, dysfunctional WY, it’s not hard to imagine that whatever executive arranged Ash didn’t share his or her intel with the company as a whole but still ended up taking the blame for losing the Nostromo, and perhaps more importantly, its cargo. It’s not unreasonable to conclude that WY as a whole lost track of even the existence of the derelict between the first two films.

Carter Burke’s scheme and the incident at Hadley’s Hope seems far less likely to have been lost to compartmentalization, so it’s reasonable to assume that knowledge and Interest on the part of WY would pick up between Aliens and the default timeframe of the RPG.
 
reseru
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Tue 28 Jan 2020, 22:34

Yeah, exactly. Burke re-opened the can of worms everyone either forgot about or never knew to begin with, and Michael Bishop is re-directing the company to look into all this - a great place to insert any campaign hooks you have or whatever you decide is canon from the prequels. It's an uphill battle, though, given the recent headline disasters the company was responsible for. You can see their determination, and desperation, in Alien 3.
 
S.M
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Wed 29 Jan 2020, 01:32

It’s not unreasonable to conclude that WY as a whole lost track of even the existence of the derelict between the first two films.
WY as a whole didn't know.  Whoever issued SO 937 wisely covered their tracks when they lost a ship and its crew.
Which is exactly what I said a page back. Factionism must be holding WY back. No way do their actions from the first to second film show cohesion.
And this is something we deliberately pushed in the EU at Fox.  We took the idea established in the films and built on in Cold Forge that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.  It enabled stories to be told in an era of no known Alien contact.  The events are generally isolated, orchestrated by a handful of people before being all but wiped out.  The general public never finds out about the Aliens and you maintain the overall film continuity.
 
Bengt Petter
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Wed 29 Jan 2020, 08:53

S. M, how extensive was the consultant work you did for Fox? Was it only you or a group of people who had read all the novels and comic books? Was it just a one shot meeting or something more? Did it directly involve this RPG? I know it’s a bit off topic, but I think most people in here could be interested.

To me, Star Wars is a part of the context. As everyone in here probably knows, Disney is now expanding that universe with a lot more than movies in a more strategic and cohesive way (?) than before. They just had a total failure with the latest film. The Alien franchise is in a similar situation - a fantastic core of things, surrounded by later stuff a lot of people dislike. The solution in the Star Wars case seem to be more TV series. But perhaps also rethinking what the brand is all about. I can see something similar happening for Alien. There are several parallells - the Ripley story (the Skywalker saga), the Weyland story (Darth Vader) and the corporate story (some Sith lord stuff). Yeah, I know it’s not exactly the same. But I believe it’s similar in terms of brand development.

In a way - the topic of this thread is in the core of the Alien brand. What WY knows is kind of what the movies is all about. I hope this will not turn too off topic...
 
S.M
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:25

I was supposed to work on the RPG.  Had discussions with Fria Ligan and being a RPG player a very long time ago, was extremely excited.  Then pretty much nothing apart from 'can we use your star map?' and a 'Thanks' credit in the back of the book.  Really disappointing.  They did sling me a copy though.  Which was nice.

I've been consulting with Fox going back to the Weyland Yutani Report and providing continuity advice for comics and novels, plus other stuff in the background and some things that had a bunch of work done before falling over.  Sometimes they credit me.  Sometimes they even paid me.  The Disney takeover has seen some changes.

In comparison to Star Wars, that universe has a much wider scope.   In Star Wars you can take out Jedi, or smugglers, or the Empire, or the Rebellion, or bounty hunters, and still have a good story to tell.  With Alien, once you take out the monsters, or even push them into the background as some novels did, you start to wonder what the point is.  And with Aliens in the story, nearly everyone dies, and it can be difficult to have recurring characters, and create ongoing stories, which is what was going on with Amanda Ripley.  Olivia Schipp, introduced in Echo, was going to be another character that spanned a few stories.  Being a horror franchise, the horror reduces the longer the same hero defeats the baddies.
 
decanox
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Wed 29 Jan 2020, 16:07

In comparison to Star Wars, that universe has a much wider scope.   In Star Wars you can take out Jedi, or smugglers, or the Empire, or the Rebellion, or bounty hunters, and still have a good story to tell.  With Alien, once you take out the monsters, or even push them into the background as some novels did, you start to wonder what the point is.  And with Aliens in the story, nearly everyone dies, and it can be difficult to have recurring characters, and create ongoing stories, which is what was going on with Amanda Ripley.  Olivia Schipp, introduced in Echo, was going to be another character that spanned a few stories.  Being a horror franchise, the horror reduces the longer the same hero defeats the baddies.
Sorry, if I am going away from the thread's subject but I have a question... It seems you are not totally agree with the idea of a campaign set in the "Alien" universe (maybe I misunderstood you). What would be your suggestion to a game set in the "Alien" universe? I'm curious.

I ask this question because I think you are right (at least, in part). "Alien" is an horror (and lethal) franchise, which turns around the xenos... If we remove the xenos from the equation in the game, what remains? But if I introduce xenos, players would die even in the so-called "TPK" event, term used in other rpg games, which suppose to start a new story again... And I would want to avoid that meaningless feeling in my campaign.

To avoid that I am introducing cyberpunk elements in the game, focusing in conspiracies and corporate-states wars, trying to maintain the xenos in the background but I don't know if this is enough.
 
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Gebohq
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Wed 29 Jan 2020, 16:54

In some ways, I think Prometheus was attempting to tackle that struggle of an "Alien" movie without "the alien" and it's a sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't situation: without the aliens, people complain that they're not in there, but with them, you stifle what the franchise as a whole could, IMO, naturally expand towards. I don't necessarily think a reoccurring character is necessary, at least in the traditional sense, so long as you have a reoccurring theme, motif, or other element. If there is a reoccurring character, maybe it's something akin to the protagonist of Eternal Darkness, who is piecing together a story told over centuries, and each movie focuses on different characters (fitting especially if we consider a cyberpunk angle). If we continue the Lovecraftian angle, sure, everyone loves Cthulhu, but there's plenty of other monsters too, though I think at this point, your general audience might be too resistant to working other ideas in, which is a shame.

To tie it back to the original thread, I think (someone at) W-Y could also be a tying thread, sort of like how Darth Vader was for the first 6 SW movies. Your reoccurring character could well be a tragic hero/villain...
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Bengt Petter
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Wed 29 Jan 2020, 17:58

Well, I will try to reconnect to the original question in this thread (I know I got off topic in my last post - sorry!) The answer to the initial question could also be based on what kind genre you see Alien as a part of. In a horror film, you don’t know where the horror is coming from. It’s just there, at least in the beginning. But if you see Alien as cyberpunk in space (WY is a megacorporation, similar to Tyrell Corporation in Bladerunner) this is a franchise where the real horror is manmade and corporate. Then a lot is probably known by WY, it’s a big company with dark secrets and powerful resources. Of course, you can also get into a lot of details and conclude that the different movies aren’t really cohesive, because they aren’t. That has already been said several times in this thread.

How much WY know is also question of where the entire franchise should go and what it’s really about. Is it even about hiding a secrets? Probably, and there seem to be more than just the xenos. In Prometheus it was more than hinted that the Engineers are also a part of the secret (Peter Weyland knew at least something). Exploring the unknown is an important theme in the Alien franchise. It’s obviously Lovecraftian: mankind, insignificant beings in the vast universe, is confronted with other, stronger creatures. The Lovecraftian perspective also tells us that there is for sure more to find out there.

I do agree with S. M that Alien is a horror franchise. Without the xenos the brand drama doesn’t work. And there is actually just one other really major character: Ripley. Nobody else in the franchise is as central as she is. Of course, that’s quite narrow. What is really left to find out? I think the franchise has three core themes:
1. Xeno body horror (based on Lovecraft mythos)
2. Cyberpunk corporate power.
3. AI as a challenge to mankind.

If you want to develop Alien more, these core themes should probably be included - and they are all connected to what WY knows and is interested in knowing. Removing the xenos might be possible in an Alien RPG scenario, but probably not in a movie or in a TV series. But I do think the xenos will have to be put in new kinds of situations, new environments and perhaps also new genres. Body horror can be made in multiple ways, I guess. I remember that Ridley Scott talked about focusing more on androids. So maybe a developed version of the initial question in this thread could be: what do the WY androids know? What do they want to know and why? In what way are their needs and desires different? I’m not just talking about the androids in the movies, but also other. We know they are there. In a way, what androids really want is about who they are in this universe. Exploring them further could for sure be a way to make the entire franchise bigger and more interesting.

This became another very long post here. But I think I at least raised a few new questions, without being off topic...
Last edited by Bengt Petter on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 19:34, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Diego
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Wed 29 Jan 2020, 19:11

Personally for me, the idea of a dysfunctional WY fits with the whole theme of the game. Corporations that exist today suffer from dysfunction, there size makes them difficult to manage and more than once we have seen branches in what part of the world suffer because of what a sister branch else where has done (case in point Blizzard and the Hong Kong riots fiasco). Now when you multiple the scope to a mega corp that stretches beyond the stars it's even worse. The inability for WY to acquire the Alien directly, which raises the question of who exactly in the corp even knows of the derelicts existence (or former existence) can easily become a reoccurring theme. What happens when one arm of WY stages a fake fuel shortage that the rest don't know about, or another starts falsifying star charts to hide astrometric data. Ultimately like in the case of the incidents in the films, it will always be the everyday man who suffers as a consequence of it. I just find it interesting that simultaneously the players can be working for a mega corp in trying to undo the damage that the same corporation inflicted and might not even know they did it.
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S.M
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Re: How much do Weyland-Yutani know?

Thu 30 Jan 2020, 04:35

Sorry, if I am going away from the thread's subject but I have a question... It seems you are not totally agree with the idea of a campaign set in the "Alien" universe (maybe I misunderstood you). What would be your suggestion to a game set in the "Alien" universe? I'm curious.
Fair question and the answer would be, no I'm not against it.  However the longer the campaign went, and the more times the player survives, then Aliens can lessen as a threat.  Even if you look at the main protagonist in Ripley, she survived two encounters before she was unceremoniously impregnated in hypersleep.  To lengthen a campaign it'd be a good idea, as you suggest, to incorporate other obstacles for the players that aren't Xenomorphs.  And if you don't won't to go down the corporate angle you build up to facing Xenomorphs with lesser threats like hammerpedes or even Neomorphs.
3. AI as a challenge to mankind.
This is definitely another non-Alien threat that could be explored in light of Resurrection and the prequels.
I just find it interesting that simultaneously the players can be working for a mega corp in trying to undo the damage that the same corporation inflicted and might not even know they did it.
Yep.  Another good idea.

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