Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Scope of a Hard Sci-Fi RPG Setting

    One of the things I've mused is what I would need, as a non-programmer, to run a hard sci-fi setting. 

    One big barrier to Sci-fi is the data dump of the setting. Fantasy has a "medieval" earth and Tolkien as a baseline. Traveller was that kind of baseline as there were IMTUs and various settings that springs up.

    One big advantage of a Hard Sci-fi RPG setting is that because technology and understanding advance one can justify Version updates which incorporates 3-5 years worth of innovations and changes in understanding. Of course because of editing and peer review, by the time the latest version hits the market its about 1-3 years out of date.

    • The Baseline. An Open setting Timeline that have its core Assumptions spelled out.
      • This open license setting has sample Best Practices aka the Nash Equilibrium of various practices in Trade, Warfare, Society, Information, etc... 
    • The Library. A site that discusses Hard Scifi (Atomic Rockets fits the bill) and various forums that go into illuminating some key scientific principles. 
      • Not just NASA science, but economics and biology sections. 
    • Automation. A Vetted Star System Generator which has Support, that its star generation program updates as there are advances in stellar formation understanding. 
      • It might be subscription based so that it will continually update. 
      • Templates for Star System Mapping for 2d presentation. The Fading Suns stellar map comes to mind and various improvements. 
      • Open access to older Near star system maps and a way to view and explore these files.
        • Maybe Collaborative Projects that details and create content, exchange and trading content. (I have this cluster filled up, can I exchange it with yours).   
      • Apps that Calculate Travel time and various Astrological Occurrences.
      • Apps that aid the GM in running the game by having many of the tables available or automating a ton of the tables. 
    •  The Community. A community of various artists, programmers, writers, that trade and sell their services and material. 
      • With community projects that create a larger and larger pool of usable sci-fi art and resources. 
      • There is open content and pay wall content for supporting. Various types of patronage is available. The point is that the community makes it easy to find options and substitutes. 
      • It has a Forums dedicated in spitballing or answering questions about these practices and provides various alternate equilibrium. 

    A day where people can just rip a setting and file of the serial numbers and run it as their own. When there is an update, the World Builder just checks the change log and updates based on that. There are custom content and open content. There are various Convention designed Intros for the setting that lower the complexity barrier and let people easily jump in the community.

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