Outpost 2 has a rich story based on hard science fiction.
What Has Gone Before…
They were the last survivors of a dead Earth, castaways in an ocean of stars with not one they could call home. For nearly a century they drifted, suspended in cold sleep, while computer intelligence guided their hastily-built starship and searched, unsuccessfully, for an Earth-like world. Resources dwindling, the computers woke a few of the crew to make a desperate decision. If no Earth-like world could be found how close was close enough?
Their voyage ended on a world they named New Terra, in the same spirit that desert dwellers once named their towns after sources of water. In truth, it was nothing like Earth; stark, hostile, forbidding, and in its own way, beautiful. There the last few hundred surviving humans cobbled together a town from their meager supplies and what they could salvage from their starship and landers. At first the colony was known only as “Outpost,” but as it grew the colonists gave it a real name. They called it Eden.
Then, things began to fall apart. The colonists divided into two groups, one that wanted to conquer New Terra, and a second that wished to adapt to its harsh environment. In the end, it was the second group that took their share of supplies and resources and moved away to form a splinter colony, which they name Plymouth.
For a time the two colonies tried to reconcile, but talking only seemed to widen the canyon of thought between them. When Eden announced its intention to terraform their planet, to transform it into a new Earth, the Plymouthers were outraged. In protest they broke off talks, and sent a command to the lone satellite that linked the two colonies, shutting it down, unaware that it could never be reactivated. It was as though a curtain had closed, and neither colony wanted to be the first to open it.
For years, the two colonies turned their backs on one another, each growing and advancing in technology, never understanding the hidden forces that had torn them apart, never suspecting that disaster would soon bring them back together in fire and conflict.
In Eden, behind locked doors and shuttered windows, intense and secretive research begins to bear fruit. Not only will they terraform the planet, but they have taken steps to see that no one will stop them. No one. Then, even as the leaders announce their impending triumph, things begin to go horribly, horribly wrong.
Meanwhile in Plymouth, the long-dead rocks beneath their colony's foundations begin to shake and heave, a geological impossibility. Little do they know that this is only the beginning - of the end.
On New Terra, all the rules are about to change, except one: extinction is not an option.
Excerpt from the Outpost 2 game manual.
J. Steven York authored a novella that supplements gameplay and establishes a rich plot surrounding campaign missions. Each campaign mission has a dedicated chapter of the Novella that can be read in game. The novella is split into 2 parts, which cover the story of New Terra and the colonists from the perspective of either Eden or Plymouth.
The full Novella can be downloaded in eReader form here: Outpost 2 Novella eReader
Each campaign mission contains a detailed briefing and list of initial mission objectives. The briefing closely ties into the mission's associated novella chapter. Over the course of a campaign mission, sometimes the objectives will shift.
Outpost 2 units and vehicles have associated vignettes to supplement the in game theme developed by the novella, mission briefings, and gameplay.
Tales From New Terra can be found here: Tales From New Terra.
Research in Outpost 2 is based on current feasible technology. Each research topic includes a brief teaser and results section that enhance the hard science feel of the game. They can be read in the research section of the Outpost 2 manual.
Research teasers can read from the research page: Outpost 2 Research