Early in the second millenium of the Common Era, mankind has begun colonizing nearby star systems. Like the first settlers of the First New World, these new colonists depart their homeland for a variety of reasons: the thrill of discovery, religious mission, entrepreneurial greed, or simple hope for a fresh start. But instellar travel is no safer than early colonial seafaring. So it was that the Mayflower II hit a series of disasters as it passes through a "slingshot" system, leaving it unable to reach its destination. With life-support stretched beyond capacity, the crew have no choice but to crash-land onto the nearest (barely) habitable planet. The ship breaks up in orbit, and thousands perish. But a hardy few survive, only to face new challenges on a hostile new world... MOD GOALS This is a sci-fi mod about early human interstellar colonization, inspired by Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC). As a work of sci-fi, it sits, like SMAC, somewhere between hard science and sci-fantasy (e.g. Star Wars). Here are some of the goals I set for myself when I started this project: Tell an exciting story. Rather than copy the SMAC story wholesale, I'd like to capture its feel -- both a sense of discovery as well as an unfolding plotline that the player moves forward however she chooses. While movies and multimedia would be ideal, given likely limitations text storytelling is a desirable vehicle for me. I err on the side of "literate" and DO think text-based insterstials would not only be acceptable but desirable, though of course a movie would be better. Provide exciting choices. I would like for the "builder" option to be just as fun as the "conqueror" option. I would also like the game mechanics for non-violent conflict to be just as fun as violent conflict. For example, "economic competition" should be just as fun as battles -- perhaps by leveraging the battle model. Provide "moral" choices. I liked how SMAC delivered an ecological message without forcing you to accept it (victory was quite possible as an eco-abusive Morgan). I would like the player to confront these choices -- whether as a matter of selecting civics or terraforming the landscape. The Strip Mine improvement might, for example, provide an immediate boost to production but destroy the land's long-term value. As a consequence, users of the Strip Mine would be forced to constantly move like locusts to stay alive. Be easy to learn. Techs and units should be intuitive, and there shouldn't be layers and layers of concepts. Since the setting is sci-fi, the beginning should be more intuitive, and new complexity should be added in digestable chunks. All else equal, always choose the simpler option. Be immersive. As much as possible, I'd like the end product to be well-polished, with a consistent style and feel. (For example, try to avoid the "clip art" approach to unit graphics). Have fun -- of course! Honestly I'm having plenty of fun just creating this mod, but I hope the result will also be fun to play .