In Collective, players help develop the story. The developers have plans for backstory and plot development, so there need to be limitations on what players can and can't do.
This article is a mirror of this wiki article, but in the case of differences, this should be considered the official source.
The Main Idea of the Lore of Collective
Backstory of Wanderstar
Wanderstar was a relatively peaceful planet with a handful of regions named and defined long before the events of the game Collective. (Truncated world map coming soon).
The Core Set of cards represents the native population of Wanderstar as they were before the portals started opening up. There are several other planned continents, as well as other areas on the same continent that the current truncated world map displays, which have other populations and creatures native to Wanderstar. For example, there is a weird-looking human named Wide-Eyed Tourist which, despite clearly being a human in a land where Feowyn are the dominant species, canonically came from somewhere else on Wanderstar. (That's why he's a tourist.) The Core Set of cards ARE the native denizens of Wanderstar. This is another reason that only the developers can update the Core Set.
"About a year ago," portals started opening up, and beings from other Realms began appearing on Wanderstar. Player created cards ARE everything which came out of these portals, with the exception of Heroes. The portals began opening up "about a year ago" because this is when players began submitting cards to Collective. The timelines are meant to be parallel. Cards which are added to the game are added to the world of Wanderstar at that exact time.
"Heroes" like Heldim and Ashgerdy came out of portals as well. Heroes are, in gameplay terms, the characters you play as; in story terms, Heroes are characters who have some ability to choose what comes out of portals. Heroes ARE the beings which came out of these portals that also have the power to influence what comes out of them. When you play the game, YOU are the Heroes. The power that Heroes have over what comes through Portals is planned to be expanded on as part of the lore explanation of in-game voting. (Really.)
Shortly after the portals began opening up, the native Feowyn created a religion in which they worship the omnipotent Gods which decide what appears on their planet. They call these Gods "The Collective." They theorize that these Gods have a grand plan for their future and pray to them, believing that if they act morally, The Collective will reward them by allowing good things to come through the portals. The Collective represents the Subreddit. When you vote on cards in the Subreddit, YOU are The Collective. The native denizens of Wanderstar have high hopes for your responsibility in creating their future, and would appreciate it if you kept them in mind.
You can see this idea reflected in the dialogue from story missions. When you draft cards, you act as a Hero (Ashgerdy in the story mode) by deciding which creatures come through the portals and fight for you. When you speak with the Lizabo, they explain that stronger Lizabo have come from the portals and made them stronger – they are speaking of player-created Lizabo cards, which have made the Lizabo faction stronger in the game lore. In the story missions, it is stated that the portals began opening up "about a year ago." Fritz and Minna, two Feowyn who are native to Wanderstar, explain that Heroes (You in game) as well as The Collective (You as a subreddit voter) hold their fate.
The Role of the Players
The purpose for this lore is to explain the unusual world of Collective, in which the Subreddit creates and votes on what is allowed into the game. By deciding what cards get into the game, the players determine the future of Wanderstar. As the game develops and the developers get access to more resources, the developers plan to create the events of the game based on player-created factions.
Lore Limitations of Realms
"Realms" are terms for the planets and galaxies Cards and Heroes come from. Nearly anything to do with the lore of home worlds is acceptable. You can even depict a character multiple times. For example, if someone were to make a character called Niña Colada which gets into the game, then a month later gets a second card into the game called "Niña Colada, Battle-Scarred," which represents her character later in my own Realm's timeline. This seems to directly contradict the idea that a card being added to the game is thematically parallel to it arriving on Wanderstar via portals, however the specific method by which Portals worked is not explained yet in the story. (This was entirely due to player feedback on excessively restrictive rules for Realms.)
It is neither confirmed nor denied that Portals are a method of interdimensional/many worlds travel. Your lore should not be hinged on the existence of interdimensional travel, or the idea that Home Worlds and Realms are other dimensions.
Lore Limitations on Wanderstar
Portals are the eye-shaped rips in space from which Heroes and player-created characters (represented by Cards added to the game via Reddit) have been introduced to [Wanderstar]]. Portals as of now only go in one direction: from wherever, to Wanderstar. In lore terms, objects, information and other non-card things can only go in one direction. Nobody can get information or anything else from Wanderstar; they can only send it to Wanderstar through a portal.
Technologies would allow travel outside of Wanderstar or the destruction of major locations/characters in Wanderstar
In your Realm lore, pretty much anything goes, but once your cards arrive on Wanderstar (i.e. get voted into the game) they are not allowed to have access to certain technologies. This includes Cards which reference traveling backwards in time, faster-than-light travel, intergalactic (from one galaxy to another) travel, easy and convenient interdimensional travel or wormholes, and planetary, galaxy or dimension-wide destruction. Destruction of anything from a city to the entire universe of your Realm is OK as long as it's not something which characters that appear on Wanderstar as cards could make happen again (because then, according to your lore, they have the ability to destroy Wanderstar and therefore the entire setting of Collective).
Protections for the developer-created lore of Collective
Lore about the behavior of Portals, the backstory of Wanderstar, its nearby planets, moons, etc. is not allowed. Creation of Cards which canonically live within orbit of Wanderstar, such as Galactic Command Post, is allowed; Cards which can travel to other planets after having landed on Wanderstar are not allowed. Lore about the history of the Feowyn and other native groups of Wanderstar should be approved by the developers. Most things will be acceptable, but canonically, Feowyn are terrible bookkeepers and anything before about a hundred years ago has been forgotten. Lore about the Feowyn's new Collective-worshipping religion, a cargo cult which began as Portals began appearing just a few hundred Wanderstar-days ago, is off limits – aspects of it will likely become incorporated into upcoming game modes.
Depictions of things which happen after your card lands on Wanderstar
Lore about the interactions of different cards and factions after landing on Wanderstar is usually OK, and your card art, flavor text, etc. can depict characters or events that happen before or after they land on Wanderstar. Basically it's OK to show them being on Wanderstar, maybe interacting with a Feowyn or something because that's just one thing that happened once. It's not OK to show them being on Wanderstar and razing a city, for example.
Locations outside the currently visible world map
Lore about areas of the world beyond the currently visible world map is extra off-limits. The globe in the main menu is an accurate representation of the world as planned, and has planned aspects of lore incorporated in its design.
How to incorporate your designs into the timeline of Collective
As stated earlier, the portals began opening up "about a year ago" because this is when players began submitting cards to Collective. The timelines are meant to be parallel.
Example: Respecting the timeline for existing denizens of Wanderstar
A group of players were developing cards based on the idea that they are the "Pelztat Militia," and suggesting that the "Pelztat Militia" was becoming corrupt. This is not acceptable lore because it implies that player created cards were here before the portals began opening up.
To make this fit better, developers suggested that the "Pelztat Militia" faction be rebranded as mercenaries hired by the government of Pelztat. The story implication here is that the faction, despite being cat-people called Feowyn, came from another Realm and were hired by the existing Pelztat government. This allows for lore in which the mercenaries can be corrupt without breaking the timeline by suggesting that they have been around since before the portals began opening up. (Additionally, the native Feowyn of Wanderstar are canonically simple-minded and good-hearted, unlikely to become corrupt, and do not have access to "Renaissance-level technology," in opposition to these otherworldly mercenaries.)
Lore Limitations of Player Self-Inserts
If players want to do self-inserts or something similar that's OK. Characters which reference or represent Alec, Nick or Collective Staff are not allowed.
Lore of Cards
Cards in collective are a pure abstraction and have no explicit analog in the story. Cute references to cards like Spidrawer are totally fine but don't mean anything in terms of the story.
Where is the Official Lore Heading?
We at Odious Studios are working more heavily on adding features than developing the plot right now, but we do have plans for other locations on the planet, a fleshed out backstory for the game and an explanation for Portals, Heroes, Wanderstar and its denizens, and the other main parts of the story.
One other thing: just like the meta of Collective is determined by the players, the events and overall tone of the game will be as well. When we have more time to show the impacts of player-created things, we will strive to think dynamically about what would happen in this setting with the cards and Realms that the players have been working on. Many Realms have a tragic or war-torn backstory and are written as if, immediately after landing on Wanderstar, they began to violently contest territory between one another, and we think showing the impact of this on the world could be quite powerful. We believe that, instead of following some set script planned years ahead of time, developing the lore based on the direction of the players is the most "Collective" direction we can go.