Possible other background idea

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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby Aculem » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:42 am

One potential idea that admittedly would need some fleshing out to work properly is to assume that at some point in the future, some sort of technology ultimately replaced CPUs so that line of technology was underdeveloped, or after a long enough timeline, knowledge and the ability to manufacture high-speed processors was immensely undermined. This could go hand-in-hand with the "AI taking over humanity's infrastructure" plot device, because that would mean that humanity's more advanced ship hardware was basically hijacked causing a technological reboot, where the starting point was from whatever the survivors of humanity could scavenge and use for themselves.
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby mrout » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:17 pm

Or, you know, we just didn't develop CPUs that were very good.
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby gbear605 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:50 pm

Why should we go with a story line of "it just didn't happen", when we can have a story line that not only makes sense, but is complemented by it.
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby mrout » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:13 pm

Because it's more simple. It makes more sense to me that we never developed advanced CPUs, than we developed them and then decided not to use them because X Y Z.
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby DarkSpartan » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:22 pm

There are some things a 16-bit microprocessor just can't do. It's not a case of electing not to use more advanced tech, it's more going to be a case that for some reason they can't make new ones, and they have to roll back to something they *can* make to interface with the OldTech. It has the added benefit of making salvaging rather lucrative, if you can find the bits that don't need large-scale repairs. Even the broken stuff would be worth something, as it can be used to further research.
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby Aculem » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:45 pm

mrout wrote:Because it's more simple. It makes more sense to me that we never developed advanced CPUs, than we developed them and then decided not to use them because X Y Z.


Yeah, I half agree here. On one hand, I don't think any story-telling excuse is going to completely alleviate the player's inevitable bewilderment of what the deal is with outdated tech of any kind in a futuristic setting, but honestly, players get over issues like this really quickly so it doesn't really matter anyway. On the other hand, as technically plausible as it is that different branches of technology simply advance at different rates, processing power has a bit too much of an obvious research utility, so it'd make sense that a bottleneck should happen at some point.

Even if it's a trivial issue, I don't see any harm at letting the creative team do whatever they need to do to iron out the quirks of it, I'm sure somebody somewhere would appreciate it. :)
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby DarkSpartan » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:38 pm

Creating a level of plausibility isn't exactly difficult. Being overly simplistic in our reasoning will do a lot more damage for the story, on the other hand. It's a trap any number of writers fall into, to their detriment.

On the back side, a technological reverse opens up some more possibilities for the game. The only thing we really lose is a little bit of time in both writing and implementation. There's also a potential limiting factor as far as upgrading: Will the player use a working core to upgrade, or sell it? What net effects will that have? What we'd be dealing in then is black boxes we'd need DCPUs to interface with. My little brain finds that a bit more likely than an FTL computer core made up of DCPUs.

Just a thought.
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby sanchezman » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:14 am

This issue with old tech melding with future tech reminds me of an Isaac Asimov short story. Earth is at war with an alien race, but their computerized missiles are leaving them at a stalemate. Earth is looking for an edge when it finds help in a little man named Myron Aub. Aub has rediscovered a lost art: mathematics by hand. You see, humans have depended on computers for so long that they don't even know basic math by hand. The generals are surprised that a puny human mind can do something to rival their expensive computers. They realize that Aub can train people in math. They can then put 'expendable' people in the missiles to Deneb as opposed to valuable computers.

If we can make DCPUs be some sort of expendable (and maybe long forgotten) resource that is of more use than other computers, we could play it off like that.
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby mrout » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:52 am

sanchezman wrote:You see, humans have depended on computers for so long that they don't even know basic math by hand.


I sometimes wonder if we're moving towards this more and more. I saw someone pull out their phone to do 123 + 476 the other day. And the way people act on reddit when you suggest that being able to do even relatively simple mathematics in your head could be a useful skill is absurd. The number of times I've said "Uh no, it's 70c change, not 50c" is mind-boggling.

sanchezman wrote:If we can make DCPUs be some sort of expendable (and maybe long forgotten) resource that is of more use than other computers, we could play it off like that.


Hmm, perhaps. I still think it's overcomplicating things - people push things further and invent new things because they have needs. If humans didn't have pressing needs for more powerful computers, they wouldn't build them.
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Re: Possible other background idea

Postby sanchezman » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:58 am

mrout wrote:Hmm, perhaps. I still think it's overcomplicating things - people push things further and invent new things because they have needs. If humans didn't have pressing needs for more powerful computers, they wouldn't build them.


Maybe, but specialization trumps power in my eyes. There's a reason that things like massive bomber planes and battleships are obsolete. All that raw power is OK, but specialization of ships and planes into high-tech weapons platforms is more in tune with technological advances. Perhaps the DCPU is specialized for the task. Maybe in fitting all the circuitry necessary for calculating the warp drive jumps, other features had to be dropped. If you don't need anything more than a glorified calculator that can do one thing really well to run your ship, why would you waste the money cramming in a supercomputer that does everything just OK?
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