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Old Apr 06, 2012, 02:17 PM   #7341
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Originally Posted by ChiefDesigner View Post
Alas, got in on this discussion late!

I would suggest a more modern, sparser map--possibly one of the reference maps Symph was using, and closer to the X-COM geoscape.

Instead of funding from the UN, you get your funding and the bulk of your soldiers from the G-20; with a few military liaisons or technical from various other states (Israel, Taiwan, Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria?)

It is *useful* to you to defend countries like, say, North Korea or Iran, who have incentives to sign treaties with aliens. But now there is an added political element--consider a scenario of storming an Ethereal base on North Korean soil...
To be honest, your idea is really good, but it adds a degree of complication I would rather not deal with...
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Old Apr 06, 2012, 02:21 PM   #7342
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Are you going to keep saving that map as a jpg? Because their compression hideous and terrifying.
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Old Apr 06, 2012, 02:31 PM   #7343
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I already have it in PNG format, so there should not be a problem.
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Old Apr 07, 2012, 05:39 AM   #7344
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More things about X-COM:
In the X-COM games, one lab can have up to 50 Scientists working on one research project, independently of what is being studied. My suggestion to keep the number of Doctors limited is that the top limit is 1 Doctor per each 10 Researchers. Thus, since you start with 10 Scientists in the game, you have 1 Doctor and 9 Scientists. Also, a Doctor's wage should be bigger than a Scientists, about 10%. Thus, if a Scientist earns, say, 60000$/Month (that's the wage in the game) a Doctor would earn 66000$/Month. The bonuses Doctors give to research would depend on the nature of the research, but I'd say that, for most things, their Theoretical knowledge (TEO) would give a bonus while in the first 25% of research, and their Practical knowledge (PRA) would give a bonus while in the remaining 75% of research. We could also combine TEO and PRA to have Knowledge (KNO) which gives a bonus to the whole research and helps me a lot.

The development is a bit more difficult to work on. In the game, you start with 10 Engineers (I suggest we use a 1 Inventor per 9 Engineers ratio and 10% extra wage for Inventors) and a Workshop has 50 slots, but objects that are being built occupy one or more slots, so you can't put 50 Engineers to work at the same time unless you have more than one workshop, although you can build more than one thing at the same time. At game effects, consider that the Engineers are working 24/7, and thus 1 Engineer can do 720 Work Hours per month (Assuming 1 month = 30 days). Check here to see the Costs of all items, as well as other important information. We can easily eliminate redundancies, such as the fact that several weapons have different kinds of ammunition, and reduce it to one to simplify things.
As for the production part, I guess we can do it like in the game. And, like for Doctors, the Inventors could have just 1 stat to make things easier.
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Old Apr 08, 2012, 12:18 PM   #7345
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Well, more about X-COM! To be exact, the stats:
Spoiler for Player Stats:

1: The XCorp Name. 2: Player's Name. 3: Background (have yet to decide if we will do this) 4: Standing within X-COM. The higher it is, the more money you will be getting. At standing 0, you get no money.
5: The economy. Funds states how much money you are getting monthly from X-COM; Bank, what you have as a reserve; Costs, what you spend monthly between workers' wages, crafts' rental and facilities' and defenses' maintenance, and End what you will have at the end of the month.
6: Total number of workers of each kind. Sol=Soldiers, Pil=Pilots, Sci=Scientists, Doc=Doctors, Eng=Engineers, Inv=Inventors. Also, the number of craft of each kind: INT=Interceptor (your first aerial weapon against the UFOs), and SKY=Skyranger (a VTOL aircraft that transports your troops to the different missions. You start with 10 Soldiers, 2 Pilots, 9 of each Scientists and Engineers, 1 Doctor and 1 Inventor.
7: Soldiers' stats: Name, number of base, nationality, strength, dexterity, bravery and psi (this stat will be hidden until the moment it becomes possible for the soldiers to use their psychic powers). The last four can change as the soldiers become more experienced.
8: Pilots' stats: Names, number of base, nationality, type of aircraft, speed, agility and power. The last four can change with time, the first by simply changing the aircraft used by the pilot, the other three by modifying the different planes. Agility can also change as the pilot becomes more experimented.
9: Doctors' stats: Names, number of base nationality and knowledge. Knowledge can change as the doctor becomes more acquainted with alien technology.
10: Inventors' stats. Names, number of base nationality and knowledge. Knowledge can change as the inventor becomes more acquainted with alien technology.
11: Name of the base. Just for fluff.
12: Base number. Important, at least for me.
13: Base's location. Important, because the missions you can be informed about will depend on where your base is.
14: Base's stats. From top to bottom, the personnel present at the base, the available facilities, the base's defences, the research being done in the laboratory and the work done in the workshop. Research shows the project that remains unfinished by the end of the month, how many researchers are working on it, how much accumulated knowledge there is between all the Doctors working on the project (remember, 1 Doctor per each 10 researchers at the same time), how much work can be done in a month and some other data related to research. The window about the Workshops is the same.
1 laboratory can only concentrate on one kind of research, but the workshops can work on as many things as their space allows.
15: Free space. Living refers to the living space available (1 Living Quarters gives refuge to 50 people) and Stores to the storage space available (1 Stores gives 50 storage space).
16: Hardware. This shows what you have in the base when it comes to weaponry and other things.
Everything with a ? is something that you have not found or researched yet. (PSI should say ? too, but it is too late, so...)

Spoiler for X-COM Stats:

1: X-COM. The organization's name.
2: Geneva, the location where X-COM's HQ is.
3: The list of the different nations. Besides their name, it shows the level of support for X-COM, how much money they give to X-COM in dollars if their support was about 50% and the money they are putting. If a country goes down to 0% support you have 1 month to do something about it, or they will sign a deal with the aliens and you won't be getting any money out of them. This also shows the total funding X-COM is getting and how much they have reserved for emergencies. I have yet to decide what should be an acceptable quantity in terms of money, but hopefully I will come up with a good one that becomes fair.
4: What each X-Corp is getting in terms of money. X-COM will be reserving part of the monthly funding for emergencies, and divide the rest of it to all the X-Corps. How much each X-Corp gets will be proportional to their standing.
5: Soldier Pool. This is where all Soldier candidates to joining X-COM will show up. Stats are the same as in Players' Stats.
6: Pilot Pool. Like Soldier Pool, for Pilots.
7: Doctor Pool. Like Soldier Pool, for Doctors.
8: Inventor Pool. Like Soldier Pool, for Inventors.

Last edited by Milarqui; Apr 08, 2012 at 12:21 PM.
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Old Apr 08, 2012, 04:49 PM   #7346
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Ooo, wow. I am totally behind this!

On Scientist TEO/PRA: I agree with your 25% bonus to figuring out just what the hell this stuff means and 75% to figuring out just what the hell we can do with this stuff. However, we could classify some techs as inherently Theoretical and inherently Practical. For instance, looking at tech trees like: Laser Weapons→et al. we can see that before you even get to a practical application of laser weapons we have to figure out what 'laser weapons' are! Thus, making Laser Weapons a "Theoretical" tech. Likewise the 'laser pistols, laser rifles, heavy lasers, and laser cannons' techs are all "Practical" techs. More likely than not there will be more "Practical" techs than "Theoretical" techs.

I'm still puzzling out how it would effect the bonuses, more than likely we would have "Practical" scientists and "Theoretical" scientists who would be better at researching their respective techs, thus mitigating some of the dominance of the PRA-heavy scientists by making the TEO-heavy scientists good at figuring out techs that are 'up their alley'. Heck, I would go even further by upping the manhours needed for theoretical techs to model the difficulties in figuring out the nature of things as new/foreign as alien stuff, simultaneously increasing the worth of TEO-heavy doctors. Furthermore it could aid in player-made techs by having players know that they will begin with "Theoretical" research and then move into "Practical" research of what they want to do.

We could easily determine which base-techs are theoretical and which are practical.
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Old Apr 08, 2012, 08:00 PM   #7347
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Tentative idea for a NES based on a video game that I like, but it will need to be worked on first.
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Old Apr 08, 2012, 10:12 PM   #7348
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would anyone care to proofread my update? I just finished it, and I want to make sure I didn't make any glaring mistakes before I post it. I have everything done but the political map. please reply if you can do so now and get it back within an hour or two, since I am hoping to post it today.
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Old Apr 09, 2012, 02:13 AM   #7349
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@nutranurse: I had already changed the stats to make it so that there is only one stat for the Doctors and Inventors to follow. However, letting the Doctors have Theoretical and Practical as stats, if we work things out as you suggest, is quite a great idea!
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 12:23 PM   #7350
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This is to show more information about X-COM NES: Techs, Facilities and Defenses.
There are going to be two kinds of technologies, Theoretical and Practical. The former will deal with understanding things, while the latter will deal with putting those things into practice.

Lasers: they will probably be one of the first projects you deal with. Laser weapons have the advantage of not requiring any kind of ammunition, although they suffer from slight problems with accuracy. Pistols make a good secondary weapon, while Heavy Lasers could be an early Sniper weapon. Laser Cannons make relatively good secondary craft weaponry, although they have the problem of very short range (you will probably be able to find them other ways to get something out of them, though...)

Laser Weapons (T)→Laser Pistol (P)→Laser Rifle (P)→Heavy Laser (P)→Laser Cannon (P)→Laser Defence (P)

Plasma: in order to research these, you need to be able to find a Plasma weapon in a mission. They are very powerful weapons, but making the clips requires Elerium-115, a mineral you can only take from the aliens.

Plasma Clip (T)+Plasma Rifle (T)→Earth Plasma Rifle (P)→Plasma Cannon (P)→Plasma Base Defense (P)

Heavy Plasma Clip (T)+Heavy Plasma Rifle (T)→Heavy Earth Plasma Rifle (P)→Plasma Cannon (P)→Plasma Base Defense (P)

Fusion: just like with plasma weapons, you need to get these from the aliens. Blaster Bombs have the advantage of not requiring to be shot straight at the aliens: you can set several waypoints for the bomb to follow. The problem is that making the Bombs is quite expensive.

Blaster Launcher (T)+Blaster Bomb (T)→Fusion Ball Cannon (P)→Fusion Defense (P)

Armor: this will eventually become one of the most useful things in your inventory, as you will need those for your soldiers to have a survival chance at fighting the most powerful alien weapons. The following things (which you can get out of UFOs) will be required in order to be able to develop Armor: Alien Alloys/Elerium/UFO Power Source/UFO Navigation

Alien Alloys (T)→Personal Armor (P)

UFO Power Source (T)→UFO Power Source (P) (Meaning we can recreate it now)

Elerium (T)+Personal Armor+UFO Power Source→Power Suits (P)

UFO Navigation (T)→UFO Navigation (P) (Meaning we can recreate it now)

Power Suit+UFO Navigation→Flying Suit (P)

Craft: your starting craft (Interceptor and Skyranger), while good, will not be enough to face those blasted UFOs and survive. You will need something better, taken out of the Aliens, to get back at thos b*stards. The following things (which you can get out of UFOs) will be required in order to be able to develop new Craft: Alien Alloys/Elerium/UfO Power Source/UFO Navigation

Alien Alloys+Elerium+UFO Power Source+UFO Navigation→UFO Construction (T)

UFO Construction (T)→Firestorm (Fighter) (P)→Lightning (Fighter-Transporter) (P)

Lightning→Grav Shields (P)

Lightning→Avenger (P)

Psionics: some aliens are capable of doing things with their minds that affect their surroundings. They might even manage to take control of your soldiers! Of course, they do not know who they are screwing up with, because some of your soldiers might also have psionic abilities! Just make sure you manage to capture a living psionic-capable alien and you will be able to force him to give up the secrets to psionics!

Interrogation (T)→Psi Lab (P)→Psi-Amp (P)/Mind-Shield (P)

Detection: human radars, while good, might not be enough to find the UFOs as they travel over Earth's skies. This does not mean you can't catch them, but understanding how the UFOs communicate can be good enough to determine the aliens' moves. Just find the aliens that work at the communications positions of the UFOs and you are set!

Interrogation (T)→Hyperwave Decoder (P)

Corpses: each alien leaves a corpse behind when you kill it, of course. Taking it back to the base will allow your scientists to determine their weaknesses and prepare adequately for the assaults on them.

One-Off Research Topics: these are topics unrelated to other technologies, but they can be very useful - if you find good ideas...

Medi-kits (P) Mighty useful, give a soldier one of this and he might be able to help other soldier survive to fight one more day.

Alien Grenades (P) A bit more powerful than normal grenades, you will find them by the drove if you kill enough aliens.

Motion Scanner (P) Useful to detect aliens, but only if they are moving, so do not trust it 100%...

Mind Probe (P) Although it uses psionics to work, it does not actually require psionic ability. If you know where an alien is, even if you can't see it, you can use it to detect enemies that are worth it to capture.

Alien Food (P) You can use this to feed the aliens you capture, and make them more pliable to talk.

Alien Surgery (P) Understanding this may be the key to many things.

Alien Entertainment (P) You can use this to make aliens more pliable to talk.

Access Lift: the point of entrance to your base. You only need one per base, and they are indeed the first thing you have to build if you want to set up a second base.
Hangar: where your craft is kept. One craft needs one Hangar.
Living Quarters: 50 people can live in one of this. It is a bottleneck in hiring soldiers or other people.
Stores: you can store up to 50 units of cubic space in one of these.
Laboratory: where research is done, can have up to 50 scientists working full-time.
Workshop: where your developers work. There are 50 units of space, and things that are being built occupy one or more units of space, so the maximum developers you can have working will depend on what they are working on.
Alien Containment: where the living aliens you capture are kept.
Hospital: if your soldiers are injured, they will be able to recover in hospitals.

Small Radar: can detect UFOs at 1500 nautical miles with a 10% chance, and keep tracking them at 2000 nautical miles.
Large Radar: can detect UFOs at 2300 nautical miles with 20% chance and track them at 3000 nautical miles.
Missile Defenses: your first defenses against potential alien attacks against your base.

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Old Apr 16, 2012, 02:54 PM   #7351
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What? Isn't there someone interested in what I said?
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 04:29 PM   #7352
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That said, I would be interested if my scheduel gives me enough room to even think about joining new NESes.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 11:24 PM   #7353
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Originally Posted by Milarqui View Post
What? Isn't there someone interested in what I said?
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 08:11 AM   #7354
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Hi everyone. I'm looking to create a NES, but I would like some sincere input.

I feel my only successful NES was my first one. Other than that, I haven't had a terribly good run. I feel this is for a plethora of reasons. One is an overcomplicated ruleset, or at least one which does not allow much flexibility. The other is a too hands-on approach to modding (I think it is better for the mod to step back sometimes and let magic happen, without constant micromanagement). That said, I'm ready to jump back into modding (personal time permitting -- which it does!).

There are a few NESes I am looking at to get some good ideas from (most notably Thlayli's new NES and North King's old one). Any other NESes you think I might benefit from examining, please let me know.

To put my newest idea simply, it is a "fresh start". However, it is not a fresh start in any typical sense of the term. This will be a fresh start, set on Earth, but beginning after the end of modern society.

I like to refer to my idea as biopunk. I am inspired by Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl (inspired, not based on).

It is not a post-apocalyptic NES. Rather, it is just how I described it: a NES regarding new human society on a future Earth. Let me explain (this is written rather sporadically, so I apologize for the mediocre quality):

Setting (Quick Version)

[ roughly two hundred years in the future ]
Instead of humanity triumphing over its myriad problems, they were overcome by them. Overpopulation led to an increasing demand on food, water, and other resources. Agricultural centers were pushed to produce more, and so crops were genetically modified beyond recognition. A few major conglomerates took over most of the world's food production, many of them based out of the United States of America. These powerful organizations used famines to tout their products. For example, after one organization had a hold on the food supplies of a certain country, another conglomerate could come around, using bioterrorism to inflict rot or rust on the 'genehacked' crops -- and thus, in turn, tout their own genehacked product.

The result of the food crisis is that millions died of starvation, war, and struggle. Because more people means more food, racial and ethnic tension escalated, with many countries violently purging minorities (for example: the purging of ethnic Chinese from Malaysia, and the subsequent migration of those Chinese to Thailand -- this is just an example, I am leaving things vague, and you will soon see why).

Many types of fruit we know today no longer exist. Lemons, oranges... gone. There are, of course, many exceptions in polities that have preserved a "seedbank", where old fruits and tastes may be tinkered with genetically, and once again released into the world. These are rare. Even so, all of the seeds in a seedbank are not original seeds. The majority of the world's natural genetic seed stock has been supplanted by the genetically engineered seeds.

That is the food aspect. Now to energy.

Peak oil is long past. Getting from one country to another in mere hours is a thing of the past. Coal is still used in certain reserves, controlled tightly by governments. One major form of energy for some societies is the "kink-spring", manually wound energy storage devices. Because physical exertion is required to wind a spring, a variety of animals have been bioengineered to be bigger, stronger, and more resilient (example: meglodonts in Thailand). However, constant bioengineering of animals has naturally caused some to enter into the wild (example: the common house cat is just a memory; now there are large cats that can change colors like a chameleon, first created by a rich businessman for his spoiled daughter).

Other societies use other forms of energy, such as wind and hydroelectric. Also leaving this vague, for a good reason! [ continue reading ]

For transportation, sea routes have been largely maintained or expanded, and dirigibles are common in the skies. Thus, international trade is possible. Many types of ships travel the seas, mostly some derivative of the broad "clipper ship" or "steamship" category.

Onto the environment.

Of course, coastal cities such as New Orleans are no longer habitable, while other cities have created intricate networks of dikes to prevent flooding (example: Bangkok). It is hard to say whether or not the Earth is warmer per se, so I'll avoid that issue for now (for the sake of this setting summary). I will have to create a map with some flooded areas (Immac's old NES comes to mind). Unlike my previous NESes, the map will rely on KISS principles.

What is the state of... everything?

I like to rationally consider this fate of our world, instead of say that nuclear war broke out everywhere and everything is radiated and dying and there are zombies. No. That is not what I want.

That isn't to say there isn't any nuclear fallout. But I don't want to make this a post-apocalyptic madhouse. I'd rather consider the effects of extreme biological tampering and overpopulation, rather than the effects of nuclear weapons / power plants. But don't rule it out altogether, obviously.

Rather, I want to seriously consider the socio-political effect such events had on Earth, and go from there. I am thinking polities arranged around areas still containing a modicum of resources, and polities arranged around ideology, ethnicity, religion, and so on. For example, I don't want to do away with the Catholic Church, but I do want to do away with Italy -- and maybe morph Catholicism into something different. I don't want to do away with Buddhism, but the People's Republic of China will no longer exist. I'd like us to consider what remains, and what dies.

I am thinking nation-states that had (during our time) relied on international trade and exertion of influence are defunct and have become largely localized. I am thinking something as vague as "France" may no longer exist in such a setting, due to a variety of factors ranging from ethnic tension to starvation or a lack of proper water supply.

That is where the players come in.

Starting Out

I like how Thlayli's new NES handles things. I'd like to appoint a few exceptional NESers to take control of Earth regions and to develop/evolve interesting histories, cultures, viewpoints, polities, etc., based on the information I have given. In some respects, this is a fresh start, because I am not giving you everything to start with -- it must be created, first. And I felt no better way to create than to give a lot of that power to respectable NESers.

Of course, South America's outcome should be inherently related to North America's (this is just an example). Fine -- that is where certain regional "directors" might overlap, and I'll have to come in and mess with things. But overall, I want those regional directors to focus on coming up with events unique to their regions -- localized events, situations, and realities.

After the gradual decline of oil use, mass starvation, and invasive biological engineering, societies will have become cut off from the rest of the world in many practical ways (travel, trade, etc.), as already mentioned. New solutions would be needed, which regional directors can go into more detail about. The point is, things should be semi-feudal, but re-emerging into a viable world network through a new spurt of stability.

Something I want to consider is: How did the world remain connected, if at all? What is the fate of the Internet, or advanced electronics, or nanotechnology, or the space station / space flight in general (most likely the latter is completely useless, unless an alternative source of energy was found that could drive such an immense project)? We can consider these questions, as well. [As for Internet and computing, I believe such technology will still exist, but will have problems finding enough electricity or power, and will thus be less widespread -- and, due to hackers, Internet networks would most-likely be localized and not contain sensitive information.]

Possible Regions (a list-in-progress)

Mediterranean & North Africa
Western Europe
Eastern Europe
Middle East
Central Sub-Sahara Africa
Southern Sub-Sahara Africa
Western Sub-Sahara Africa
Eastern Sub-Sahara Africa
(we'll probably group some of those)
Western Russia
Central Asia
Northeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Indian Subcontinent
North America
South America
Central America

OK, obviously there are a lot of regions. I would want five or six "regional directors" to start the NES. No more than that. I would then give them broader regions, and some regions would be left without a director altogether (at least for the first update or two).

As with Thlayli's NES, I will give a brief description of each region a player is the director of (which will be some background as to how that region is faring, though it will be left rather vague). Then, like NK's NES, I'd like to have certain cultures already exist and detailed (created by directors), based on current real-life ones (and some new ones altogether based on the events that have transpired). Then, polities... and so on.

Regional directors would also create local histories, which will tie in with the short blurb / description I give (and the rest of the world), and details discussed over #NES.

I'd like highly capable NESers for the regional director positions. As for mechanics, they will be simple and streamlined, yet flexible and descriptive. No units or techs or other boardgame aspects.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:05 AM   #7355
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That was an interesting book, and would make for a good NES
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 10:30 AM   #7356
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Ah, you've read it. Well, it would not be based on that book. Rather, inspired by it. I would still use terms like "genehack", though. I leave other realities in the world up to those who design it.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:10 AM   #7357
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Well in such a world I would see Solar, Wind and Thermal power taking over power supplies. And I wouldn't see an actually disconnection between parts of the world, ever. Far too interconnected and all you need is some Solar Energy to keep the internet working.

I also think there would be several world-wide events that will take part in such a world before the 200 years end (like an extremist Muslims terror organization that uses Muslims all over the world to cause some big even nuclear damage). Etc...
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:29 AM   #7358
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I believe that the struggles you are describing would have more to do with a shift away from nation-state organizational models. With faith or property based private organizations stepping in to fill many of those roles without being able to claim full authority as a nation state, but still working to exploit the peopleses.

I mean, but why? Why would Muslims conspire to commit acts of terror in a world where US hegemony was gone? They would liberate Palestine or die trying sure, and maybe there would be some local incidents of "post-modern 'Terror'" but I have a hard time justifying anything that centralized in the context of that sort of scenario.

I've rarely felt more tempted to drop the Z bomb.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:30 AM   #7359
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The problem with solar (I'm assuming you're talking about photovoltaics) is that it requires a complex, highly integrated, and energy-hungry supply chain. Silicon wafers don't grow themselves, and mining and purifying rare earths takes huge amounts of energy (both fuel and electricity) and fresh water. Depending on how fast the decline happens, solar PV would likely become far too expensive for short-sighted governments to maintain.

Also, thermal (geothermal?) power is very location-dependent and technologically complex if you want to produce it on any large scale. Wind, on the other hand, is easy.

If satellite launches cease, then high speed intercontinental communication will be reliant on undersea fiberoptic cables. They are easy to find and cut, and that would be an obvious first step in any war. National networks would remain mostly intact, but international communication would regress to lower bandwidth means.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:31 AM   #7360
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Of course, the existence alternative sources of energy are a main criticism of the idea.

Pulling forth a review of the aforementioned book:

However, one topic The Windup Girl doesn’t address is alternative fuel sources; I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to nuclear, solar, tidal, or wind power? There may be an implicit understanding that some of these energy sources are never going to be viable without heavy government subsidization or that the return-on-investment for some technologies never supersedes a 1:1 ratio, but it would be nice to have seen some mention of these technologies and how they ultimately failed in this possible future.
And indeed, I think there are many reasons as to why the alternative energy sources you listed would either: 1. Be costly, 2. Would take forever to implement to completely replace the effectiveness of oil, 3. Would then not be able to adequately fill in the gaps left behind, 4. Be put on the backburner compared to feeding millions of starving people, dealing with plagues and sickness, and general disaster, and 5. Would not be able to sustain a world population that has potentially doubled what it currently is.

A future with alternative energy sources is still an imperfect one, and perhaps kinetic energy can feasibly be used in some aspects of society where it does not fill all of the gaps (some societies). And this is my main point: Different societies will use different forms of energy, based on their climate and geography. That is why I want to develop regions separately. There is not a catch-all energy solution for the planet -- and I think kinetic "springs" are an intriguing concept for less advanced societies, or societies without the conditions for such alternative energy technology to work effectively. Despite that, they, too, are not a catch-all, nor are they a catchy result of sci-fi.

Of course, a gradual transition would have been attempted -- but that is kind of hard if you have wheat rust rapidly spreading and leading to a fast-paced crisis.
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