Possible other background idea

For discussions around writing about the project.

Moderator: DarkSpartan

Possible other background idea

Postby gbear605 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:14 pm

There was a humans versus AI war, and the humans were losing. Majorly. The humans only had one last-ditch attempt to survive. They unleashed a (device) that breaks all computers. In the years since then, computers have only gotten to a very low level - the DCPU, and humans are hesitant to make computers any better, because they worry that the AIs could come back.
gbear605
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:03 pm
Location: United States of 'MURICA

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby salamano » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:30 pm

The AI war bit has the advantage of being able to explain the discrepancy in technology between faster than light ships and the DCPU, which seems to be the main thing we need to handle. That said, it's not particularly original. I've been toying with the idea of, rather than there actually being a war between humans and machines, humans just thought there might be, and took preventive measures. Take this for instance:

With the development of faster than light travel, humanity began flooding to the stars. Whether because of disagreement with the recently created global government or simply out of a desire to start a new life across the galaxy, people from all over Earth left their homes and sailed up into the sky. This went well enough for a few Earth decades, until the cultures of the various colonized worlds began inevitably to diverge.

Over the years, improved transportation and communication infrastructure on Earth had resulted in a relatively homogenous Terran culture. However, with light years now separating even the closest of worlds, and communication limited to FTL courier ship which was quite expensive and, while fast, was still far from instantaneous, this unified culture began to divide with each world developing its own local flavor. The Earth government which had been ruling, fairly benevolently, over the colonization process saw this as a threat to its power and decided something needed to be done. The obvious answer was to create some sort of enemy: something that would pose a threat to the colonies and force them to look back to Earth for protection.

Now, while humanity has always been a prolific innovator, there has also always been a certain skepticism about technology as well. Dating back to the 19th century or earlier, there have been concerns that rapidly advancing technology will ruin our way of life. This fear took on a more definite form with the advancement of computer technology and with it, artificial intelligence. Started by old 20th century science fiction and fueled by the incredible advances in technology, this fear was a definite force in everyday life by the time of interstellar colonization. When an automated defense satellite vaporized a civilian shuttle due to a malfunction in the shuttle's transponder, killing everyone on board, the Earth government took it as an opportunity and began warning that the robot uprising had come. They dispatched human soldiers (a rarity by this point) to the colonies to oversee the destruction of any advanced computational technology (and to ensure that the local government remained loyal). This went on without a hitch for a year or two, until nearly all modern computers and means for their manufacture were wiped out. The FTL ships kept flying though, ensuring Earth authority, by use of the massively outdated DCPU.

At this point though, some of the colonial governments took the technophobia even further. The colonies were never the most educated of places and they didn't see the distinction between computers and other recent technological advances, such as the FTL drive. The local governments took advantage of this and began sabotaging the FTL courier system at any chance they got. Earth, unable to remedy this, grew increasingly isolated as one by one, it lost contact with its colonies. After a year of this, Earth, having used up most of its natural resources and having thus become materially dependent on its colonies, began having severe shortages of everything from aluminum to food. With just the support of the few worlds that remained loyal, Earth could not reestablish contact with the other colonies and fell into a period of political turmoil and unrest, with the global government struggling to hold things together.


And here's where the player comes in. This should provide for the varying levels of civilization discussed in the other thread (more technologically backwards colony worlds but also more developed core worlds) as well as explain the technological incongruities. It also sets up a need for trade since people on the colonies still might want technology, so long as it's hidden from the local government (yay smuggling!) while Earth and its allies would need commodities.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the issue. Please tell me what you think.
salamano
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby TakenakaHanbei » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:06 am

I just want to point out my answer for the difference in technology: Humans themselves.

I think you may remember my whole idea of the once-united human race being torn apart by an empire growing from one of the planets deciding nothing good was coming of the confederacy and wound up taking over a few nearby planets and destroying their center of government. The humans that do not join [the empire] wind up disconnected from the rest and without the trade stimulated by the government, and the empire not willing to trade with planets outside their control, some wind up dying or with vastly inferior tech.

The whole AI vs. Humanity thing is too overdone for my liking and I think this (while I have not explained every detail) does it a bit better.
I am the one who writes.
TakenakaHanbei
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:41 pm

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby mrout » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:18 am

I don't see why there is any logical disconnect between DCPUs and faster than light drives. Some technologies advance faster than others.
mrout
 
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:49 pm

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby salamano » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:36 am

mrout wrote:I don't see why there is any logical disconnect between DCPUs and faster than light drives. Some technologies advance faster than others.


But if we're scrapping Notch's alternate reality idea, how are we going to explain computers getting worse than they are today while everything else involved in space travel still gets immensely better?

And TakenakaHanbei, where can I see a more fleshed out version of your idea? I like it, but I'm still not sure how it justifies the DCPU.
salamano
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby gbear605 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:48 am

mrout wrote:I don't see why there is any logical disconnect between DCPUs and faster than light drives. Some technologies advance faster than others.

Because, while technology can evolve at different paces, thats like comparing a slug to a roadrunner from looney tunes.
gbear605
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:03 pm
Location: United States of 'MURICA

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby mrout » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:14 am

salamano: because who said the game is set today?

gbear605: technology does evolve at different paces. Fact. There's no need for there to be a relationship between a CPU and a faster-than-light drive. None at all. There's no reason their rate of advancement should be compared. They're incomparable.
mrout
 
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:49 pm

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby thomas9459 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:29 am

Perhaps the DCPU is the most common because it was the most apt for long space voyages: it didn't consume huge amounts of power, it was rather resistant to cosmic rays and other forms of radiation, and it was cheap enough for even the most meager space explorer to afford. Hardware started being developed exclusively for the DCPU, and the DCPU became the de facto standard for space vehicles. Although newer CPU came along that were fully backwards compatible, they failed to break the DCPU's monopoly. Although most other CPUs faded into extinction, some have survived the millenniums and can still be found throughout the galaxy (see this post on the RCPU). That is one possible explanation why the DCPU is the main CPU of the game.
thomas9459
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:18 pm

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby salamano » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:46 am

mrout wrote:salamano: because who said the game is set today?


No one did. Not even myself. The issue is that the DCPU is obsolete by today's standards. How are we going to justify regressing to the 80s if we are throwing out the alternate history thing?

thomas9459 wrote:Perhaps the DCPU is the most common because it was the most apt for long space voyages: it didn't consume huge amounts of power, it was rather resistant to cosmic rays and other forms of radiation, and it was cheap enough for even the most meager space explorer to afford.


I suppose that makes sense. The power consumption and price are a little questionable, but the issue of radiation seems like a valid one. Making a microprocessor resistant to cosmic radiation does degrade performance a bit, so it's not too inconceivable that interstellar travel (or perhaps something having to do with the FTL drive) would result in unsatisfactory performance in modern chips. I like this justification. Thank you. :)
salamano
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: Possible other background idea

Postby mrout » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:56 am

salamano wrote:
mrout wrote:salamano: because who said the game is set today?


No one did. Not even myself. The issue is that the DCPU is obsolete by today's standards. How are we going to justify regressing to the 80s if we are throwing out the alternate history thing?

thomas9459 wrote:Perhaps the DCPU is the most common because it was the most apt for long space voyages: it didn't consume huge amounts of power, it was rather resistant to cosmic rays and other forms of radiation, and it was cheap enough for even the most meager space explorer to afford.


I suppose that makes sense. The power consumption and price are a little questionable, but the issue of radiation seems like a valid one. Making a microprocessor resistant to cosmic radiation does degrade performance a bit, so it's not too inconceivable that interstellar travel (or perhaps something having to do with the FTL drive) would result in unsatisfactory performance in modern chips. I like this justification. Thank you. :)


Nobody has suggested (AFAIK) throwing out alternate history altogether, merely throwing out notch's frankly silly trillions of years of sleep idea. Perhaps microprocessor developers in the 80s hit a brick wall with making CPUs faster, perhaps they missed out on having that one guy shout "I've got it, I know how to make them smaller" or whatever. Maybe for political reasons, microprocessors were banned from becoming faster. In the 1500s (I think, I may have the date wrong) the Chinese Emperor banned ocean-going ships from being made in China, which is generally considered the main reason why China has been so insular ever since, up until very recently. Something that seems quite small can have massive repercussions.
mrout
 
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:49 pm

Next

Return to Writing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest