Although Overstep is an online multiplayer experience with no single player, we still want to be able to convey the story across to the players through a variety of media in game. One such methods is the AI commanders for both sides who interact with the player through voice commands and communication
The two most important characters in the game are the ones issuing orders directly to the Plodders, on both the Sapiens and Peregrinus sides. Their Handlers.
For both the players and the plodders, these 2 voices are what tie them to the respective species that they are fighting for.
The Sapiens commander is a Female NPC named Maia. A Third generation commander she is young and gentle but extremely knowledgeable for her age, however she doesn't agree the with was she has become part of and when playing you will begin to understand this through some of the subtle comments that are made. Even though the Sapiens are seen as the invaders and destroyers, she represents the other half, the innocent that is taken to a war they did not want.
She is treating the plodders as mere chess pieces, but she is not happy with this. She is fond of them, and often shares her feelings and talks to them as if they are sentient beings capable of understanding human emotion.
On the Peregrinus side there is a much older, wiser and harsher voice. Dravo is a top ranking leader of the Peregrinus that cares for his people, their planet (Elido) and holds only anger and resentment for the Sapiens. Over time it can be seen how Dravo holds the player in great esteem and honors them whilst leaking parts of the knowledge he has to the robots.
The difference between the two species is apparent in the way they refer to the Player. For Sapiens, the Plodders are nothing more than robots, hard workers that do their bidding and serve only as a means to an end. The Peregrinus on the other hand refer to them as Custodians, honorable guardians and constructs of Elido that have served for more than just war.
Aside from giving the players information on objectives and other battle related info, the handlers also provide a small window into both species struggles as well as their own throughout the game.
With this we have turned the standard multiplayer announcer into a storyteller of sorts, that over time the player can build a bond with and be keen to learn more about the games lore.