Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Chandrasekhar, Dec 16, 2007.
You can always put SPOILER tags around it if you don't want the screen to get too stretched.
2007 - 2053 AD
On an average-sized planet, orbitting an average-sized star, in an unremarkable galaxy, civilization developed. The accumulation of hundreds of millions of years of biological evolution, and of thousands of years of societal evolution, brought about a world unlike any other. The organisms of this world called themselves "humanity," and their world, "Earth."
A particular way of recording time became the norm, and by this calendar humanity had recorded events up to the year 2053 CE. Many nations ruled over the Earth, and for the most part people were concerned only with their immediate surroundings. Civilization had progressed far, and humans in general lived more comfortable and enlightened lives than their predecessors could have dreamed. Yet this generalization did not hold true for everyone, and humanity would require many, many years to achieve the utopian vision it strived for.
But time was one resource of which humanity had plenty. The species had settled down somewhat, and it looked as though it would go through an age of consolidation and reconstruction as population levelled out and advanced technology put an end to poverty, war, and famine. As of 2053, things were going fairly well... certainly, the world did not resemble the futuristic paradise envisioned by 20th century sci-fi authors, but barring some sort of unexpected event, such a paradise was just over the horizon.
Naturally, an unexpected event happened.
At first, it was nothing major - an anomalous reading on some particle physics equipment. Yet as more experiments were performed, and scientists around the world got the same results, a consensus about their cause finally formed. Some event outside the solar system, perhaps even outside the galaxy, was causing this disturbance.
Still, this was far from a big deal. Odd stuff happened in space all the time, of course, and the people at large preferred to hear about the latest celebrity 'scandal' instead of a dry physics lecture.
But as the year 2053 moved on, a group of EU physicists were able to isolate and duplicate one of the elusive particles that the Earth was being bombarded with. Influenced by a 2030's sci-fi book series, the scientists jokingly named the particle "Stigma," after the Greek letter Ϛ. The name stuck, and thus became official. This was world news for physicists, but went largely unnoticed by the populace.
However, as the year 2053 went on, and the properties of this new particle were analyzed, something was discovered that could not be ignored. The Stigma particle behaved in some ways differently than conventional matter. The most notable of these differences was that, when properly energized, the particle and anything in its immediate vicinity could be made to travel far faster than the speed of light.
Naturally, this attracted an uproar of media attention. Though Stigma particle technology was little more than a theory as the year 2053 wound down, its theoretical implications were clear. Faster than light travel would open up the interstellar frontier for colonization - countless untouched worlds with bountiful natural resources to be used. Celebrity scandals were more or less forgotten, and the topic on everyone's tongues was of humanity's impending journey to the stars.
Of course, it wasn't quite as simple as all that. The interplanetary frontier had been somewhat neglected for the first half of the 21st century, and while humanity certainly had the technology to make permanent settlements on Mars and even Mercury, no one had bothered to do so. The next couple of decades would surely see the great powers of Earth racing not only to produce a working Stigma propulsion system, but to colonize the planets in the Solar system as well. Before 2053, there was no rush to do so, but now that the whole galaxy was opened to humanity, competition over the nearest stars would be fierce. The political and technological struggles of the next few decades would shape the interstellar landscape of the future.
Player Instructions: 01/02/08
This will begin the main phase of the Pre-NES. Current players should send orders to detail their nation's development over the course of the turn and conduct diplomacy, while prospective players can be appointed as colonial governors for new planets and systems.
Orders should include how nations will develop internally, their technological aims, what systems they intend to colonize, any diplomacy conducted with PCs or NPCs, and miscellaneous (read: military) actions. Governors appointed this turn will send their first orders next turn.
On the public thread, stories and diplomacy are of course welcome. Further comments on the structure of the game would be helpful, too. This turn will last from 2054 to 2075, so keep that in mind when deciding what you want your aims to be. Detailed diplomacy and contingency plans are certainly within the scope of your control.
 - More description of this will be in the first Tech File, to maintain the flow of writing.
(Map and commentary will be posted as soon as I update the first posts.)
Alright, the stats are up too now. Keep in mind that the economy stats are influenced by the "Control stat," and thus the US in particular appears to be much more economically weak than it is.
This map shows the habitable systems closest to Sol, and the circles around them represent their quality. Blue is the best, followed by green, yellow, orange, and red, in that order. The lines between the systems represent the distance between them. Green is the shortest distance, yellow is greater, and red is greater still.
It is almost certain that only green jumps will be possible by the end of this update, so only the three systems closest to Sol should be of concern.
The system designations are entirely fictional, of course, as it would be pretty tough to set up a starscape based on "real" stars and distances. Whoever colonizes these systems will be able to (and probably should) propose names for them.
At the moment, the list of known habitable systems is fairly short, and only the closest systems have had their planets evaluated. As humanity spreads, the map will expand, as will the list of systems with known stats.
Decloak: I like the map. Only real suggestion for improvement would be expanding the habitability indicators to 2 or 3 pixels instead of 1; since they're blurred slightly (unlike the paths) it's a bit difficult to make up the colors at a glance.
Thanks, I'll probably get that done when I expand the map for the next update.
Edit: Maybe I'll make the blue a bit brighter as well.
lurker's comment: Really. Incredibly. Cool.
Seriously, this looks awesome. I love the tech description on the front page. Only one question--what are the three components of the economy stat?
I'll be gone from 1/6 to 1/13, so I don't want to get involved atm, but after that I will probably apply to become a colonial governor. Or maybe I'll try to play Russia or something. You never know.
The stats are as much for my reference as the players' at this point, and will likely go under heavy revision as the main NES approaches, but as for the economic divisions... The first represents wealth from agriculture and extraction of base materials (from mining and such), the second is from manufacture and industry, and the third is from trade and services.
Sweet Chandra! Let's get rolling!
The next part is up to you, players. I won't set a definite deadline quite yet, 'cause I'm honestly not sure how long this will take, but with the low number of current players, this turn should go by fairly quickly.
I assume player action will make it possible to name those?
Yup, both systems and planets will be named by players.
I can only reiterate what others have already said. This is truly awesome!! I already knew you were a good writer from your writeups in S&F, and (as your forum name indicates) you're an interested astro-physicianphysicist (dang it!) as well, and that combination bodes very well for this game.
I really like the way you categorize planets, very simple and efficient. One thing I'm wondering though, what about the natural satellites? Certainly even in our own solar system there are several moons that bear mentioning, perhaps most notably Titan and Europa (and Luna!). The designation of Jupiter and Saturn (frigid, hostile/inhospitable, jovian) says nothing about these satellites. I realize that it means extra work to track these as well, but I would love to see them in somehow, and you can always decide just how (in)frequent they are. In our solar system I would expect to see something like 5-10 natural satellites, all of which are more likely targets than some of the planets.
Stigma particles, brilliant idea, and the explanations for the physics surrounding them are really cool too. Can't wait to find out what's at Andromeda.
Regarding the map, I second Symphony's idea about thickness. Otherwise it looks really cool.
Oh, and yeah, I'm up for a colony governor position.
This looks even more awesome than I thought it would! Anyways, I'll see about doing my orders later today, although I have a question first: how many years will the update cover?
... and ten characters.
As I've said before, the field of NESing makes S&F look like checkers by comparison. I think the forum needs a Sci-Fi NES anyway.
Oh, and a minor humorous correction that I can't not make: Astro[wiki]physician[/wiki]s will no doubt be in high demand to determine the health effects of interstellar travel, but you probably meant astro[wiki]physicist[/wiki].
I struggled with this issue myself, but both the workload and the clutter were prohibitive. As things stand, colonization of Jupiter generally represents colonization of its moons. I had an idea where the "size" attribute of a jovian planet represented the surface area of its moons or somesuch, but ultimately discarded it.
Pre-established plotlines aren't really my thing, but I'll keep that in mind.
Anyway, I might have opted for an FTL travel method that was more firmly rooted in science fact, but the Stigma particle should work out fine. I have a few other reasons for choosing such a method, but those will remain secret for now.
I've thickened the circles on next turn's map, by the way, so that part at least is taken care of.
Aye, good thing you've stepped up to the task where I had to step down.
Too bad really. Are you sure you won't reconsider? Even restricting yourself to max 4 or even 3 per system (leaving out any considered 'hostile'), and treating them the same way you do planets would IMO add an extra dimension. Something like
Mercury: Very small, hot, inhospitable, rocky planet. Uncolonized.
Venus: Medium, blistering, hostile, terran planet. Uncolonized.
Earth: Medium, temperate, bountiful, terran planet. Populated.
- Luna: Very Small, cold, inhospitable, rocky satellite. Uncolonized.
Mars: Small, cold, decent, rocky planet. Uncolonized.
Jupiter: Very large, frigid, hostile, jovian planet. Uncolonized.
- Ganymede: Very Small, frigid, inhospitable, rocky satellite.
- Europa: Very Small, frigid, inhospitable, rocky satellite.
Saturn: Large, frigid, inhospitable, jovian planet. Uncolonized.
- Titan: Very Small, frigid, inhospitable, terran satellite.
Uranus: Large, frigid, inhospitable, jovian planet. Uncolonized.
Neptune: Large, frigid, inhospitable, jovian planet. Uncolonized.
And of course not all systems need to have any satellites. I expect our own solar system to be rare in terms of number of planets, so why not satellites too? Would adding 1-2 moons per system on average really be that much extra work?
Haha, I agree that a pre-determined plotline isn't a good thing. I just want to know what you envision that stigmatic event to be. It doesn't have to (shouldn't!) affect the game in any way.
I must admit, that altered stat list for Sol doesn't look too bad at all. I'll take some time to think on it over the next couple of days, and hopefully gather some other opinions on the matter as well.
Looks brilliant, nothing like a bit of sci-fi. Put me down for a govenor
Very awesome. Really looking forward to the NES itself.
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