The lack of a narrative is kinda inherited from Quake III, it just dives into the action without any thought. There aren’t many games that have similar overall fundamental features like Trem, but still there is a lot of potential for Trem to have a story, it is a very sophisticated strategic game.
Very good point, there is a lot to be desired about the relatability and back story of the aliens.
Not only is very little known about the aliens, but also there is very little known about even the humans, and there are a lot of unanswered questions. Like are the humans cloned, and do the telenodes generate said clones, or do the telenodes teleport the humans in from some distant location? Are the humans actually mercenaries for hire by some some public institution or by a private company? Are they private contractors, or soldiers of some government? Are they private security? Maybe do they have some other full time job, and just took up arms to address an immediate alien threat? Although in any of those cases, it is odd that each human has to personally pay for their weapons, equipment, and supplies, usually whatever orgnization would be hiring them, public or private, would be handling the logistics.
We don’t even know why there is a conflict between the humans and aliens? Are the aliens invading the humans for some reason, or are the humans invading the aliens, perhaps for resources, and/or perhaps for a preemptive strike, and/or perhaps for some other reason? Can both teams be given relatable causes that just happen to clash, and that don’t make either team out to be purely the bad nor good side?
There are a lot of maps that look like there is some backstory associated, even with default maps like Niveus, Nexus6 (this map actually introduces a small part of a story, that is there is some company called “Nexus Corp.” that has some kind of involvement either directly or indirectly), Tremor. Buth then how do the arena style maps fit in (the most played map is arena style too)? Is it some kind of war game simulation? Or are both the aliens and humans like gladiators, fighting for the entertainment of some unknown third party? Can we have arena styled maps with stories other than along the lines of gladiator like?
What are the different ways we can tell a story about the game with/in the game (not a rhetorical question, feel free to mention additional ways)? Some ways that initially come to mind:
An actual backstory available available in the main menu and/or as an open sequence when you start the game. It could be written, and/or it could be a cinematic type of thing.
A single player narrative campaign mode available from the main menu in the client, not requiring an online connection.
A coop mode with objectives that tell a story.
The design of the maps themselves , whether for single player, or coop, or player v player, can tell stories.
The design of the player/buildable/deployable/weapon/equipment assets.
The design of the player v player game play ca tell a story (for example via roles of players and game items, and via descriptions).
We can establish a basic story of the game through the default client, server, and assets. The story can then be further expanded and built on by custom mappers/modders.