Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL & DCPU

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Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL & DCPU

Postby DrFeargood » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:06 am

I have not been here long and this is my first post. I tried to catch up on everything, but if I missed something I apologize!

Looking around the forums I have noticed a few conversations pop up regarding the HUGE gap in technology between FTL drives (or whatever the equivalent will be) and the DPCU. One is a futuristic, non-existent technology, and the other is technology based off of computers from the mid-late 80's. So far (to me at least) the explanations have not been satisfying. Ranging from "the discrepancy doesn't matter" to "technological dead zones" in the galaxy I think we need something better, more believable, and more concrete.

I am making this thread to pitch ideas specifically pertaining to this problem (if the community indeed views it as one). I would like to start by submitting my rough concept for a story that may explain why we can travel throughout the galaxy in an instant, but cannot run Crysis on the DCPU. I invite other to submit their own ideas and feedback to others' below. I just ask that for organizational purposes we keep this thread limited to this topic as many of the threads on these forums (at least in the writing and design subforums) seem to be derailed rather easily.

So, the idea I've been playing with has actually happened in our Earth history. I stumbled upon the idea while pondering the tech differences and trying to think if anything like that had ever actually happened to humanity in the past. It has multiple times just on a smaller scale. A few examples are the calamity of the burning of the Library of Alexandria (which wouldn't work for us, because information is now stored everywhere), The Fall of the Roman Empire, and closely linked The Dark Ages (which lasted roughly 1000 years).

I have already ruled out the The Library of Alexandria because it is incompatible with our vision (I think). But, since it is what got me started on this in the first place I wont discard it completely.

The Fall of The Roman Empire makes sense to a point. A huge empire, that much of inhabited space relied on, collapsed suddenly and violently leaving a wake of chaos and disorder throughout the 'verse. Arising from the empires ashes? A savior. One man who has a message that the people can really relate to. He says that humanity had it coming. The empire fell apart because of the countless sins humans have committed on the galaxy. The message resonates throughout the hearts and minds of the humans scattered about the stars and they subscribe to his belief that humans are too greedy and know too much. This evolves into a scorched earth campaign to rid the galaxy of technology and information (unless it benefits the cause of course. It would make sense to me that they would keep FTL technology around for at least their own vessels to better spread their beliefs and police their citizens.) Databases are destroyed, coders are murdered in their sleep, entire planets blanketed in ruin in an attempt to take humanity back to the old ways. The New Empire is formed and a decree is put forth that unless it is in the service of the galaxy (see: The New Empire) coding, even recording scientific data is punishable by death, as these heretics are attempting to bring about the downfall of humanity. It nearly happened once after all.

This brings me to my third example: The Dark Ages. While many exaggerate the affect The Dark Ages had on technological advancement (or lack thereof) as well as stagnation I believe this could be an excellent direction to explain the massive technological gap. For 300 years this "New Empire" rules unquestioned. Then, a second collapse. The New Empire's popularity fades as the people see their loved ones, guilty of no more than writing a few scripts to increase the efficiency of their trillinium mining drones, carted off into death pods. A civil war erupts and leaves neither side the victor. Humanity's population is greatly reduced. Humans are scattered throughout the galaxy. Technology (and those whose profession it was)is crippled to the point where only pockets of humanity manage to make any technological progress. A few isolated colonies do fairly well while the rest of humanity lives humble lives "living off the land (galaxy)." This lasts for several hundred years, with most groups living in a very isolationist fashion. Eventually the galaxy reverts to a wild west style social structure. Miners looking to get rich, caravans transporting goods, settlers setting up homesteads, bandits robbing people blind, a few space sheriffs attempting to keep the peace, and some people just trying to live their lives uninterrupted.

The player emerges at the end of the Dark Age, a resident of one of the more prosperous colonies where coding has become publicly acceptable again and the economy has just boomed due to the influx of new (old rediscovered) technologies. This would also help account for a noob friendly zone. The area around the starting planet(s) would be part of the more prosperous regions making them innately more safe.

I think my concept explains well enough the DCPU and FTL discrepancies in a relatively realistic manner. I am open to suggestions as well as criticism and again welcome the community to post their own suggestions as to why this technological gap occured.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby mrout » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:13 am

Hi, welcome to the forums. I like your thread a lot, and I think your ideas have some merit. Just two things, though:

1. There don't actually have to be any discrepancies. They're different types of technology, orthogonal to each other.
2. There's already a thread about this.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby DrFeargood » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:27 am

Hi, welcome to the forums. I like your thread a lot, and I think your ideas have some merit. Just two things, though:

1. There don't actually have to be any discrepancies. They're different types of technology, orthogonal to each other.
2. There's already a thread about this.


Gotcha. Apologies on duplicate threads. I'll try to find the appropriate one. I've seen scattered discussions on this but must have missed the dedicated thread.

But, just because their doesn't need to be an explanation doesn't mean we can't have one. I'm of the mind the more lore the better, but as I'm the newcomer I'll skedaddle on to the other thread concerning this.

Again, sorry for posting an unnecessary thread, and thanks for the input.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby mrout » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:36 am

Well now you've posted it here, we might as well carry on the conversation. :)

I'm not sure it is the case that "the more lore the better". They say that "perfection is not achieved when there is no more to add, but when there is no more to take away." I think overapplying this principle is a serious mistake, but I think it's applicable in this case. There's no reason in particular why a universe where the space race accelerated couldn't have focused so much money and effort on FTL technology that computing technology was left behind in the dust, especially if there was no pressing need for more powerful computer systems.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby DrFeargood » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:02 am

mrout wrote:I'm not sure it is the case that "the more lore the better". They say that "perfection is not achieved when there is no more to add, but when there is no more to take away."


I'll admit it was a blanket statement. And I'll agree with:

mrout wrote:There's no reason in particular why a universe where the space race accelerated couldn't have focused so much money and effort on FTL technology that computing technology was left behind in the dust, especially if there was no pressing need for more powerful computer systems.


I just think having all of the pieces there for players to discover would be amazing. Even if contained in nothing more than discarded .txt files found throughout the galaxy. It could be ignored by any who choose to ignore it (or are ignorant of its existence), but be there for those guys that read every book in every RPG they've ever played. A hidden depth to why we're there, to what happened, to what brought us, and made us (and subsequently our technology) the way we are. I'm just tossing out an idea and hope someone catches it and runs with it. Or at least spark an idea in someone else for something even better.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby radar37 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:44 pm

mrout wrote:There's no reason in particular why a universe where the space race accelerated couldn't have focused so much money and effort on FTL technology that computing technology was left behind in the dust, especially if there was no pressing need for more powerful computer systems.

Right, in the real world we did just the oposite. Our computing power has increased exponentually, but we still use rockets based on technology developed in the 60s and 70s.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby mrout » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:04 pm

Exactly! There's no reason to believe that just because we have developer certain technologies at certain times, that that is the only valid order.
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby DrFeargood » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:36 am

Never was that my argument! I was simply trying to ascertain the conditions which lead to the development (or lack thereof) of the specific technologies we are using in Project Trillek. Something caused technology to evolve that way. My tale was one of many possibilities that could explain the existence of certain technologies and the absence of others.

It could just as easily be explained by saying we found out Sol was going to go super-nova in 500 years and poured all of our resources into developing FTL drives in order to ensure the continued existence of the human race. Humanity as a whole could not decide which direction to go (lol politics) and became scattered among the stars. Some populations flourished while others suffered and/or died out.

I'm just looking for something we can agree upon as established canon. This will make the process down the road much easier when it comes time to actually throw a universe together. I figured a thread for this specific issue would be more efficient than slapping it into the "Background Idea" thread, which seems to be all over the place.

I'm not saying it is wrong for technology to have developed at any particular rate or order. I'm simply asking the question "Why did it develop the way it did?"
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby JTxt » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:20 pm

djetty would have posted this if he could. He asked for forum posting permissions in IRC, but noone's available so I offered to post this for him.

djetty wrote: I think it's a pretty big stretch to just say that humanity ignored the next logical step in expanding computers, dropping dead at 16-bit and shifting their entire focus on to FTL technology.

I'm absolutely all for sandbox over story, and I definitely think a minimal story would be the best for the game, but I at least think we need something that inspires the player and creates an interesting pretense for the gameplay. Here's one of my ideas:

In this time, 16-bit computers are cutting-edge, while advanced spacecrafts are a rapidly growing industry. Other planets in the solar system are just starting to be colonized, and space is generally considered to be the future of humanity. However, while incredibly fast, no spacecrafts are capable of reaching other solar systems due to their ridiculous distance.

At some point, a scouting ship (possibly surveying the inhabitability of the planets on the outskirts of the system?) intercepts a mysterious radio signal from an unknown, distant source, which appears to be a binary message. The signal evidently loops the message over and over again, and the scouting ship records it, reporting its findings to the (government/s?). After thorough analysis of the radio wave, it is estimated to be hundreds of millions of years old, from an obscure source (as it was bent and distorted through the passage of space and time), and is apparently a message of some kind in an unknown language. Through more investigation and research, linguists and mathematicians interpret the language (which is probably a mostly mathematical, practical language, perhaps similar to Lojban, but that doesn't matter much), decoding the message to be a set of mathematical formulas and instructions that describe in detail FTL theory and technology.

After much research and experimentation, engineers and scientists discover that the formulas do indeed work, to everyone's amazement, and it is quickly applied to spacecraft technology in order to achieve mass space travel. In the present day, this technology is very recent, but is considered to be stable and understood fairly well.

So this raises the question, and sets the backdrop for the game. Where did this transmission come from? Is there intelligent life, far out there? Why are they spreading their technology all across the cosmos? Are they beckoning intelligent lifeforms to come towards them from all over the universe, perhaps for some grandiose, higher purpose that extends far beyond any tactile goals?

Some explorers on the new frontier of the vast, open, boundless space dedicate themselves to inquiring upon this, trying to trace the signal, or use their newfound mobility for other idealistic purposes, like creating utopias or whatever.

Others take advantage of the technology and become space pirates. This can double as a vague comment on what happens when technology advances faster than the law can contain (or faster than human nature is prepared to handle), bringing up ethical questions, opportunities, dreams, and inevitably, crime, whose limits are that of the universe's.

This sets up an environment where the players have free range where instead of having a black and white side to join, they play by their own rules in a moral gray area, either looting ships in pirate gangs, colonizing planets to build communities, monetizing the new opportunities of space, or practically any combination of those, and more.


In hindsight, I could've sold this idea better, but I'd like to at least get this out there. Also keep in mind that in the game, this story wouldn't just be a huge text dump, just a brief backdrop told in a very minimal way that doesn't slow down the start by too much. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Re: Regarding the Technological Discrepancies Between FTL &

Postby djetty » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:40 pm

Just got approved, and thanks for posting that for me JTxt.
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