Core elements: Background

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Core elements: Background

Postby DarkSpartan » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:21 pm

Okay, we've put our heads together and put together a backdrop for the game overall. Let's run it down and see what shakes out.

Humanity has been forced to take to the stars-- the few of them that survived the destruction. As the humans spread out from the initial planetfall locations, they get more distant, until at some point some idiot cuts the interstellar communications links. With 3000+ colonies to try and administer, and no quick communications, the guv falls apart, and shit goes completely downhill from there.

A couple of hundred years later, and you have still-working starships, but the level of cooperation has gone completely to shit. You have small empires and groups, but a large-scale government is impossible on just FTL ships.

Even the technology to make the FTL computers to run those ships has been lost-- they have to make do with much older technology that they can build.Those computer cores are worth their weight in gold and platinum. In theory, the old ones could be copied. In practice, it's not so simple. Most of the tools were destroyed or fell into disrepair over the last four centuries, and Humanity lacks the technological savvy to repair them.

The widespread cultural collapse of the Reverse rode the wave of large-scale destruction of technology, from the top-down. The old Empire shattered, leaving only various smaller empires behind, the largest of which could count even a handful of worlds.

Four hundred years later, there is a semblance of order starting to build at the core of the Old Empire. What form this will take, no one can say, but the call is out to reclaim that which was lost. In this place, there are four sorts of regions to consider:

The Core Worlds: These are the ones at the center of the Old Empire, and the ones that were quickest to recover. Most of the tech curve is available for sale, but it tends to get spendy. The law here is quick to respond-- only the stupidest of Pirates even consider operating here, and those usually don't live long. Of course, the influence of civilization brings with it its own ills. No law is absolute, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The Colonies: The area that was covered in the first wave of expansion after the founding of the First Empire. Three-quarters of the Tech curve should be available, and about half of it should be obtainable with whatever form of currency is lying about. Raiders and pirates ply the lanes, but are kept in check by local enforcement.

The Periphery: The law is limited, and the ability to buy things with scrip goes down rather sharply. Half the tech curve is available beyond the ruins of of Old Empire facilities, and most of that will be well picked-over. Half of what they can make in terms of tech will be available for sale. It's dangerous out here: Pirates and raiders are commonplace, and those turning their hand to the same will find the going difficult but at least somewhat rewarding. Many worlds are uninhabited, awaiting only to be explored and settled.

The Frontier: Nobody lives here. Not unless they must. This was the outer edge of the Old Empire, and is was the hardest hit when everything went to shit. The Law is what you make it, by force of arms or diplomacy. Ruin is everywhere, from space junk to abandoned cities reclaimed by their environments, just waiting to be explored. For some, the lure of adventure and salvage is too great-- they take to the Frontier in the hopes of striking it rich. Of course, there are others out there more than willing to take it all away, including any number of brigands and scalawags that were driven from the Periphery for their heinous crimes.

That's the core. I'll be adding more as we have it.
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby robyn » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:30 pm

That's excellent, it's got me hooked already! I'm going to read it closer a few more times and see if there's anything I can add or flesh out a little.
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby TakenakaHanbei » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:54 pm

I hope you don't mind that I'm going to jus add some blurbs under everything to put down some suggestions or such.

---

Humanity has been forced to take to the stars-- the few of them that survived the destruction. As the humans spread out from the initial planetfall locations, they get more distant, until at some point some idiot cuts the interstellar communications links. With 3000+ colonies to try and administer, and no quick communications, the guv falls apart, and shit goes completely downhill from there.

A couple of hundred years later, and you have still-working starships, but the level of cooperation has gone completely to shit. You have small empires and groups, but a large-scale government is impossible on just FTL ships.

All right, so working off of this, we of course don't want to have too many planets/colonies or else we would have to flesh out them all out. There's also the issue of how advanced humanity's ability to travel is at the time and why they all decided to separate after they reached their initial destination when escaping the "Destruction". If this government was already stretched out across the stars, how come communications were so easy to break down and why didn't anyone try to fix the communications afterwards?

Even the technology to make the FTL computers to run those ships has been lost-- they have to make do with much older technology that they can build.Those computer cores are worth their weight in gold and platinum. In theory, the old ones could be copied. In practice, it's not so simple. Most of the tools were destroyed or fell into disrepair over the last four centuries, and Humanity lacks the technological savvy to repair them.

This is an easy thing to handle, in the case of everything breaking down. Many planets may not have the resources to recreate the technology. However, how did they lose the technology to make FTL computers but can still make computers that were a bit older? How come these secrets weren't passed down?

The widespread cultural collapse of the Reverse rode the wave of large-scale destruction of technology, from the top-down. The old Empire shattered, leaving only various smaller empires behind, the largest of which could count even a handful of worlds.

Four hundred years later, there is a semblance of order starting to build at the core of the Old Empire. What form this will take, no one can say, but the call is out to reclaim that which was lost. In this place, there are four sorts of regions to consider:

Lack of communication does lead to individual identities to form. However, if these empires that span a few worlds can keep communication flowing, how come the original government couldn't?

---

As far as the different parts of the galaxy/universe or whatever, it all depends on what we do with the first concepts here and how we handle them.
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby NatureHikes » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:09 am

TakenakaHanbei wrote:All right, so working off of this, we of course don't want to have too many planets/colonies or else we would have to flesh out them all out. There's also the issue of how advanced humanity's ability to travel is at the time and why they all decided to separate after they reached their initial destination when escaping the "Destruction". If this government was already stretched out across the stars, how come communications were so easy to break down and why didn't anyone try to fix the communications afterwards?

At this point we have no idea what the planets will look like in-game, and it isn't our job to worry about fleshing them out. For all we know the actual explorable areas of each planet could be quite small. As for communication breakdown, it's easy enough to write in some catastrophe that happened in the past that ended communication. Some war or rebellion (or something that's less of a science fiction cliché).

I like the four region idea, going further having more risk, having to stock up before travelling to the far reaches. I think that calling it the "frontier" makes it sound like it's still being colonized, maybe it should have a name that implies desolation or remoteness.
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby albatrossy » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:16 am

DarkSpartan wrote:Humanity has been forced to take to the stars-- the few of them that survived the destruction. As the humans spread out from the initial planetfall locations, they get more distant, until at some point some idiot cuts the interstellar communications links. With 3000+ colonies to try and administer, and no quick communications, the guv falls apart, and shit goes completely downhill from there.

Why has humanity been forced to take it to the stars? Solar flares? Was it turning into an Orwellian society that eventually collapsed? Nuclear war? Why did "some idiot" cut interstellar communication? It doesn't seem like an idiot would be able to do that. It seems like some smart being (whether human, overrun or completely foreign) sabotaging an operation is more plausible then some idiot cutting a single wire and accidentally shutting down the thing that makes wireless communication work. Why can't it be fixed? There needs to be some kind of pseudo-science behind it since this is a rather science-based (or rather tech-based) game. Why wouldn't ships be able to recreate, fix or find a solution? Is the a disturbance in what we know as physics? Some extraterrestrial that is out to get us?

DarkSpartan wrote:A couple of hundred years later, and you have still-working starships, but the level of cooperation has gone completely to shit. You have small empires and groups, but a large-scale government is impossible on just FTL ships.
So now they're working again? We are capable of going faster-than-light but communications are still terrible?


DarkSpartan wrote:Even the technology to make the FTL computers to run those ships has been lost-- they have to make do with much older technology that they can build.Those computer cores are worth their weight in gold and platinum. In theory, the old ones could be copied. In practice, it's not so simple. Most of the tools were destroyed or fell into disrepair over the last four centuries, and Humanity lacks the technological savvy to repair them.
Isn't repairing and maintaining your ship kind of part of the game, even if you only have older hardware? Why did people become stupid? We understand how to use it but we don't know how to repair it?

I'm not sure about the rest of the recovering civilizations either. We don't know how big of a role AI will have in Trillek and it doesn't make much sense to me to say that an empire is maintained by snail mail and no sense of technology when the game is mostly about technology. I understand that we can have the knowledge to repair the world and save it from ruin but how does that make people want to fight each other? Why does the empire still want to be an empire at such a time of weakness?

Just some of my thoughts. Feel free to break it down for me. Not a bad start at all though. :geek:
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby stefonzo » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:07 am

Humanity has been forced to take to the stars-- the few of them that survived the destruction. As the humans spread out from the initial planetfall locations, they get more distant, until at some point some idiot cuts the interstellar communications links. With 3000+ colonies to try and administer, and no quick communications, the guv falls apart, and shit goes completely downhill from there.


I like this idea but the thing about it that doesn't make sense to me is "some idiot cuts the interstellar communications links."
Other than that everything makes good sense to me on that. Perhaps the reason the interstellar communication failed was because of some kind of natural disaster?

A couple of hundred years later, and you have still-working starships, but the level of cooperation has gone completely to shit. You have small empires and groups, but a large-scale government is impossible on just FTL ships.


Starships still work, yet what do they use for fuel?

Even the technology to make the FTL computers to run those ships has been lost-- they have to make do with much older technology that they can build.Those computer cores are worth their weight in gold and platinum. In theory, the old ones could be copied. In practice, it's not so simple. Most of the tools were destroyed or fell into disrepair over the last four centuries, and Humanity lacks the technological savvy to repair them.


I understand why the computer cores are so valuable, but why would they be worth their weight in platinum and gold when with 3000+ planets and various other space bodies there would be an abundance of materials. I just couldn't see something that far in the future using metal as worth for computer cores. Perhaps I am being to literal and I understand that whatever they are worth, they are extremely valuable.

That is about all that I had to say about your outline, I enjoyed reading that and think it has good potential. Sorry if I sounded like an asshole in this post.
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby Earl Asplund » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:48 pm

Heya. Sorry it took a while for me to catch up with y'all in Writing, I was looking at some other things and working off of a different forum.

Anyway, I think some of my input on elements of the story might've been missed on the last thread you guys did about the Conflict in the game's backstory.

1) Society reaches the point that some of their most-advanced AI systems recognize their creators as a threat, and launch into Battlestar Galactica-esque war setting. After barely surviving the aftermath, civilization's technology resumes to a low level from thousands of years ago, with some of the powerful computer systems scattered and inactive inside of abandoned carriers, space stations, etc.

2) Society advances to the point of space travel, but without achieving global unification first. War proceeds between the largest superpower nations, and proliferation follows. In the nuclear holocaust following this event, the remaining survivors take to fleeing their once-called 'home', in search of another realm of the galaxy to live upon.

3) Something along the line of Notch's storyline. Individuals end up thousands of years into the future, and have no idea of what events have taken place back on Earth. Primarily, the fact that every space ship has floated off along its own course, with no evident sign of civilization following them.The galaxy is still rich with planets, suns, resources....and maybe perhaps wildlife/sentient beings.

4) Earth forms a new government and unifies, taking to the stars and expanding its empire steadily over the course of several thousand years. Down the line, society discovers another sentient empire(s) with conflicting issues. Standard war ensues, leaving most of the participants severely damaged and crippled.



Now in regards to the present story board that is being worked on:

Code: Select all
at some point some idiot cuts the interstellar communications links. With 3000+ colonies to try and administer, and no quick communications, the guv falls apart, and shit goes completely downhill from there.


An idiot? Seems a little vague and anti-climactic for a buildup storyline that details why things are as they are today. Perhaps it could have been an individual with malicious intent to sew anarchy into the widely-growing nation? Maybe the government was going beyond its reaches of control, and an anti-establishment sought to undermine their power? A sect believed that the growth of civilization was occurring too fast, and wanted to abrasively stem everyday life for 'the good of the universe'?
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby Zardoz » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:39 pm

Earl Asplund wrote:
Code: Select all
at some point some idiot cuts the interstellar communications links. With 3000+ colonies to try and administer, and no quick communications, the guv falls apart, and shit goes completely downhill from there.


An idiot? Seems a little vague and anti-climactic for a buildup storyline that details why things are as they are today. Perhaps it could have been an individual with malicious intent to sew anarchy into the widely-growing nation? Maybe the government was going beyond its reaches of control, and an anti-establishment sought to undermine their power? A sect believed that the growth of civilization was occurring too fast, and wanted to abrasively stem everyday life for 'the good of the universe'?


For me these is a pretty definition of "idiots"
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby Earl Asplund » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:45 pm

Zardoz wrote:
For me these is a pretty definition of "idiots"


You couldn't really call them 'idiots' in the same regard as the OP. The groups may have justified their actions through the end results they expected to achieve through the actions of causing mass chaos. In the case of DarkSpartan's idiot, he unknowingly caused the next sequel of events to happen.
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Re: Core elements: Background

Postby greekguy » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:17 pm

The collapse of a such a huge community couldn't be engineered by a single "idiot". We could easily avoid the SciFi cliches of rise/fall cycles by working within the framework of layered expansion.

--> Humanity has worked out interstellar travel, and the "core" worlds steadily increased their technological prowess.

--> Colonies worked to supply the raw materials and brainpower that the core worlds always required.

--> Eventually (some arbitrary amount of centuries), expansion outpaced the needs of the "core" worlds. They (the oldest planets) became introverted and shunned any need for further expansion. They closed their borders, so to speak; technological advances in the expanding colonies weren't possible without the benefit of a "core" education or industrial might.

--> In some cases loss of knowledge struck colonial worlds, in others, careful progress, the majority maintained what they had and valued it.

A player will originate in one of the "deteriorating" colonies, beginning with a limited knowledge of the extent of humanity really is, and only a inkling of a rumor about why the core worlds closed themselves off from the rest of humanity.

To me, it's important to have a character/group to play the role of our sonic-screwdriver (plot saving device). Including a mysterious human element right away in that plot-saving position will save us from a lot of headaches down the road... new technologies, computer advances, ship upgrades, characters, even an "end" for the game will easily play into a highly advanced and secretive group of worlds.
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