Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Change of Paradigm - Advantages of Harder Scifi Aesthetic

World Building. 
  • That the Ship is NOT some shark or enclosed space means it can be modular. 
  • As it is Modular then the Wealth is the Ship. Ship can get components and each shiny component can be Perks, Advantages, trade-offs, etc... for the Characters. 
  • That we limit our Range to Delta V means Logistics is a High Margin Business (because of the Risks). As Risk Go up, Margins has to Go Up or else it just doesn't make sense to do the business with a high Risk without a good pay off. 
  • Ships with its Changing Components is a Character itself, and allowing the Players to Change that Character from time to time can move the story forward and peak interest. 
  • That I can incorporate more of my 3rd World/Developing World mindset on Frotiners, Social Mobility, and why people develop markets. Particularly the changing status quo. How I Frame Opporutnities, Missions, Deals, Investments, Risks, etc... can be rationalized to make an 100M ship reasonable. 
  • Learning with the other players more about science, life support, and the technology. Not everything at once, creating a framework how to move the story forward and being able to pick and choose what Scientific or Economic constraint will be tackled in the game. 
I spent my night just scrolling and absorbing (not really reading) the ships in Winchel' Chung's Atomic Rockets. What's beautiful about it? When we create all this great Scifi Art, I cant help but think we are doing what the people in previous eras Envisioned the future to be.  

We see the practicalities of their Design Now, we can say why balloons have a limit and instability, or this requires roads or rails, or there is no market and enough users for these as urban centers become more dense. 

The work in Atomic Rockets and the Aesthetic of the Difuse and Modular Components makes me realize that maybe ships are not the ships Art but that of Engineers. That a person in the future can see the beauty of these designs because of the Function. These days I see a Ring Module of a 50m diameter and say - man thats luxury. 

The Eifel Tower is aesthetically pleasing but can something like a skeletal frame with modules be aesthetically pleasing? Can a ship that does not look like a shark or a bird look amazing?  

What if you can attach value to every component you see? What if from reading the rules and mechanic you know that's a $20M drive, or a $5M habitat module? What if you learn to intuit the DeltaV of a Tank+Drive config and know that's 1 week instead of 2 weeks travel? 

The yellow Iron Episode of Essential Craftsman have been Inspiring to see this master craftsman work with his hands in the ancient art of blacksmithing, to all the trades you see him do, to the operation and direction of using heavy equipment and recently in Video editing and Production. Its his archetype - the renaissance man of humble origins that make my image of a Traveler. 

That in a Generation his team would have accumulated enough Components to be able to Operate a Class E or better Star Port with many diversified trades - biologicals, mining, research/experimentation, etc.... That their ship transforms into a Homestead where they can carve out a niche in the vastness of a System or in the many systems there exists.  

The margins are huge in the Game, not the piddly margins - its just that the Investors, Corporations, or Cooperatives take their cut as they come to collect components from the Ship as the Ship grows or Cash or require the ship to move those components back. Mission Profiles tend to be "source and accumulate all these resources" for this Project. 

Whats changed is the Risks and thats the piracy, bad deals, and hostile entities. This sadly draws on more of my work experience in a 3rd World construction and manufacturing company so - the way I approach risks and opportunities are very alien to most of the Traveller player base. Which I can feel more and more as I've joined the groups. I have more in common with an South Asian, SEA, or African in business and risks than a westerner even as a Filipino we consume a lot fo Western media and education. Louise Rossman 's approach to things and perspective about business and technical challenges is a contrasting point to Cy Swan. He's another inspiration of how I perceive business, risks, and opportunities very differently. 

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