Friday, December 30, 2022

Comparing Spreadsheet Codes. the Pride of a Hobbyist.

I told my son - when Your older no one will correct you or fix your mistakes (especially when my Mentors retired, no one really checks my work, and my uncle passed). So when I see an obvious mistake or a REALLY badly designed function system I cannot remind myself I'm an adult and no one is around to correct me. 

Not bad for a guy who's job is really the Social Skills used to develop Win-Win scenarios but wants to be a scientist and used to be a graphic artist. 

Exciting how this is shaping up. This can be reUSED for Vehicles, Mechs, and SUITS.  So when I make this part of 2-Parsec and Mneme World Generator, I can imagine someone will make their own Traveller ship construction system. 

This is great for work also because I need to figure out how to Organize our Inventory and Item Codes and Categories for insight about our Purchases and Sales. When you play and Breathe Biz Ops in Traveller its a really hard skill develop and playing Traveller allows you to go through MORE SCENARIOS than a person can have in their real life. Games give us the rehearsal practice we would never have the opportunity in real world conditions. 

Listening to Mr. Fantastic

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Cepheus Engine Ship Stats: Removing Tables and Using Formulas

In Cepheus Engine Ship Creation the following Are Tables that Should be converted to Simple formulas. 

  1. Hulls Cost and Dtons. 
  2. MDrives, JDrives and Power Plants. 
  3. Bridges and Cockpits. 
  4. Computers 
  5. RANGES for both Sensors and Combat. 
Simple Averages can be used to Calculate how the tables work out. 
  1. Hulls. Get the Cost/DTON. So average is about 60,000 per dton. With prices going as high as 100k/dton. Since we are going to make these Non-Gravitic the prices should be as low as 1/10 or 1/3. Let’s have a conservative 1/3 or 20,000Cr per dton (which is equal to 10 mass ton capacity and 15 cubic meter volume). 
  2. MDrives and JDrives - this is a fun and simple puzzle. How do I get the correlations of the data which should be something I could do as part of my job and a gamer. The simple solution I though of was the Performance ratio. Begin with the Performance per Ship Dtons and Dtons of Component. Ok. 
    1. Q: What are the relationships? A: I want Performance is related to its Dtons of Component = Per/Comp.Dtons. So I get the performance per Comp.Dtons. 
    2. But now I have a new problem - the performance should go down per shipdtons. (Performance/CompDtons)/ShipDtons. 
    3.  I arrive at the Performance per Component Dtons per ship Dtons. But I cannot use that.  I need a relative Value to work with not just straight Dtons of Component. I need % of the ship. (Dtons/Ship). I cannot work with 0.1 Jump/Accel per comp.DT/ship.DT  
    4. I have to isolate the Component Dtons % of the Ship. Component Dtons / ShipDtons / performance. I arrive at a Performance of 1 = 2.5% of the Ship’s Dtons of Components. Round Dtons of Component Up. 
    5. So a Performance 1 Ship would be 1-2.5% of their Dtons for MDrive. And 5-12.5% for JDrive. 
  3. So the Maneuver Drives (and there for Reaction Drives) will be 2% per Dtons of Ship per Unit of Performance: Acceleration. To get Thrust just get multiply Ship Dtons by 10 mass Tons and multiply this by 9.8M/s^2 and Acceleration. A 100Dton Ship at Accel 4 = 100dtons x 10 mass tons x 9.8 x 4 = 39.2 MN of thrust. So a 100Dton ship with Acceleration of 4 has 8% of their Dtons in M/RDrives. Or 8Tons. Averaged out thats 2M/dton of MDrive. For Reaction Drives thats 1/10 for 0.2M.  In CE Tables its average about 2.1M/dton
  4. The Jump drives is 5x as much at 10% of Ships Hull per Jump level at 2M.  In CE Tables its 1.7M/dton. Keep it Simple round off. So a Jump 1 capable courier is 10dtons. 
  5. Power Plants are purely for Jump Drives and Energy Equipment. A Powerplant can support X Dtons of Jump Drive and High Energy Components equal x2 their Dtons. 10dtons of Jump requires 5dtons of Power Plants. For Non-High Powered Components, a dton of power plant  supports 10dtons. So the same power plant can maintain 50dtons of components.  
    1. TL determine Days, Weeks, and Months of Power. 
  6. Bridges and Cockpits should be simpler. Minimum 1 dton which can fit 1 person with computers, controls and sensors. Needs 5% of the ship. At only 2% DM-1 for checks. Double at 10% of the ship DM+1. At 100,000Cr per dton of controls. There is enough Life support in the Controls for 1 person per dton.  
  7. 5Dtons per Turret. As a 4 dton = 1 40ft container or 2Dtons = a 20ft Container. You can imagine a Turret is an extruding 20ft container bump on the ship. Maximum of 10% of the ship. 
  8.  Axis Mounted Weapons and Simple Launch bays - launch bays have enough reaction mass to push the object out or mechanical push systems that eject the object out.  Imagine launching a 10 or so missiles without any delta V except the delta v to move it away from the ship. Then its reaction drives kicks. Axis Mounted weapons - imagine a 60m diameter spin gravity with a Mass Driver attached along the circumference - launching missiles or projectiles. 
  9. Computers being DATA CENTERS with HVac, power supplies and protection, shielding and hardening and redundancy. as 1DTON = 15 cubic meters and a micro data center unit is easily just 2.0 cubic meters. 
  10. Range Combat and Sensors

Javascript/Google App script is needed for the Drop Downs.  That took about 2 nights. And even after figuring it out I had a lot to think about - like how to order the information. 
You will notice 3 Qty. The first quantity is a reference quantity typically Number of UNITS or the Dtons of the ship. 
I had to watch "Learn Google Spreedsheet" to review IFS (many ifs) and OR() and AND() functions. Then I had to google how to create NESTED quotes. so I need to add a certain number of quotes that I don't full understand even if I made it work. Trial and Error - using the feedback of it working. I think we get overloaded and we cant understand it anymore and rely purely on the black box - not knowing how it works but knowing If I do X then Y is the outcome. 

So I need to make these all manageable. Like instead of EVERY battery and TL power Plant looks an Index Match. 

This is my first try - I later realized I should use an Index Match for this. That is another mental ORDERING of how this will all lookalike. 

Creating a Table for this is hard. 

Next I have to have a Column that Simplifies all the text. 
I'm still studying the Orbital period. I learned  Mu or mu (µ) and its gravitational constant and mass. My problem is that there is a lot of PREREQUISITE knowledge when mike aben is talking - like having to remember everything in the previous Videos in his kerbal. 

I will have to have to use a WORKAROUND - particularly Circumference and ΔV - that the ship is orbiting at the Speed of its ΔV and it takes X hours per orbit.
in ΔV every Position is an ORBIT.
A % of Orbit Time (possible to have more than 100% orbit) = Orbital Period per leg of the trip. 
so I add up all the Orbital periods until I'm at my destination. 

so ifts 4 months to get to Mars at 6kms. Spending 24kms would be probably 1 month. 

You know what's MIND BLOWING about this NON-linear method of travel - 
1) I'm effectively JUMPING between CURVED space times per gravity well/spheres of influence. I'm Accelerating to get out of one, and Decelerating to orbit one until its time for me to get off. 

2) Abstracting is not impossible with someone who just knows algebra and doesn't do heavy math for work like me. Its all about Extremes and Averages. Since I sum ALL the orbital periods of each leg of the journey  I just have to make sure the CRITICAL CHAIN and PATH have the largest weight and base of a % of that. Basically it means If I want to get to MARS from EARTH - I have to factor the Orbital periods and base a % out of that. 
Now Once I have the % of Period or TIME then I can chose to BURN more extra Delta V to reduce that time. If I burn x2 as much delta V I can assume I'm halfiing the time. 

Pecier is going to teach me and Nicco about Hohmann transfers - which means teaching us to calculate orbital periods. 

I realize the amount of Delta V of fuel in TL9/12 (Cepheus engine 9 and Mneme 12) is so efficient its possible to send a probe to go reall

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

SECTIONS determine formulas used.

I'm such a dumbass. I'm not out of the woods yet. Basically, there are many different METHODS of calculating Quantity, DTons and Costs. This means that I have to create if statements for the different calculation methods. That is a large formula script in the cell that would be a future headache. 

I realize I have to make up to 3 Factors, columns that will be filled in. Example would be Armor. Armor needs the Hull Dtons and Cost and the Armor Value. 3 factors to encode.  

Different Methods are the following: 

  1. (second to the easier) Hull - Dtons x Cost per Dton.
  2. (next hardest) Armor - Hull Cost * % and Cost - this has Hull embedded in it. I have to allow Encoding/Inputing of these values. s
    1. X is the Hull Dtons, and Y is the Hull Cost.
  3. (Easiest) Components - Qty * Dtons and Cost.  
  4. (Hardest) Power Plant and Drives have a performance relative to the Hull.  this is going to need a match index where the column is determined by Dtons and Row is determined by Model. If I make different kinds of Power Plants I'm going to have a more complicated formula. 
By Easy that's probably a Night to figure out. Hardest is the unforeseeable difficulty. 

Problems Delegated to the Book. Fixing the Technical Debt of the Ship Design system. 
  1. Organization of Categories. Sections Like Hull, Armor, Engineering etc… are important to be better organized - not only do they help in determining what Formulas the system will use BUT it helps in performance metrics. 
    1. Engineering will determine how many Engineers and Maintenance staff is needed. 
    2. Payload vs Propulsion - Delta-V calculations of efficiency needs this to be well defined. One problem is the Engineering cannot just be propoulsion as Power Plants and Jump Drives are not part of the Delta-V propulsions. 
  2. Thrust and Specific Impulse and Mass Flow rates. Wow thats complicated till you have games that reward you mastering them, the way you learn the Probabilities in TRPGs and make more calculated risks. The technical debt here is that if the Players and the GM’s will make exceptional parameters. Example of exceptional parameters are Missiles and Drones. Their performances are very different since they have much less payload. Ships, Small Craft, and Drones/Missiles. The ability to make more customizations. Example would be pure Electronic Counter Measure Missiles and Drones - the kind of technology that would allow a prepared inferior force take on a much more capable force. 
  3. Hulls, Surface Area, Lift Body, etc.. its not a linear relationship: Surface area vs volume - anyone who buys in Bulk will know the packaging is a large % of mass the smaller the units. Fixing this is understanding the construction limits - like why 750,000 cubic meters is the reasonable volume of our Cargo Vessels (24,000 Twenty Foot equivalent units, 20ft containers are roughly 2Dtons or 30 cubic meters). The Technical DEBT here is the scaling of Hulls - because we need it to scale well because the same Formula will be used for Space Stations. 
    1. Metrics about the space elevator Have to be incorporated -  the space elevator determines our ability to both create space stations and habitats that can house a large population.  Heck to CE you make a space elvetor
  4. LESS TABLE REFERENCES!!! just formulas like in GURPS Traveller and Mongoose Traveller.  
Other Problems
  1. Brain getting used to Delta V. a 100Dton Courier with 50dtons of fuel, having 25K km/s of delta V - enough for Earth orbit (getting out of earth is not included) is enough for a 15k kms Trip to Ganymede 100km orbit as Compared to a 200Dton Trader with only 9.5K kms - good for 250km Earth orbit to 200km mars orbit. 
  2. My brain is not used to thinking of the Merchant Trader with less ΔV than the Courier. But it should make sense since the Trader has double the Dtons.
  3. That the proportion of Fuel to rest of ship is going to be 15% to 55%. Ships with a lot of ΔV will have a larger amount of fuel. 
  4. That FUEL to Cargo ratio - and Cargo is also the Humans. That ships with MORE fuel as a % of the ship will have HIGHER per unit cost. Bundling a Passenger. the COurier ship has 260k of fuel costs divided to the 2 staterooms. Thats about 160k per 
  5. I don't know how to calculate duration. How long are these 15kms is going to be? what if I burn more fuel? how long will it take? 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Dependent Dropdowns: needed for Cepheus Engine Ship, Vehicle, Robot, Suit, Mech, etc...

Traveller and Cepheus Engine uses the Bill of Materials or Scope of Work method of building things. Its basically a Table where an Item's attributes: Cost and Specifics, are arrayed and summed. 

 Here it is for anyone to use. My philosophy make it that someone who will make a better set of tools I WOULD BUY would come around, until then I will make these tools.  Someone hopefully will come around - make automated spreadsheets for making their Cepheus Engine stuff much easier,  and uses that automation and blender to make HARD SCIFI more accessible. Guys who are as bad in science as me getting to play "accessible" hard scifi until eventually we can wrap our heads around it. 

So to make 2-Parsec Playable I will be fixing Cepheus Engine ship Combat. I'm making good progress despite the Social Obligations of the Holiday. 

Sending good vibes this holiday. I don't think nicco and I will finish in time. But Nicco made a bunch of Space Stations for 2-Parsec. I need to make a Delta V map generator for Mneme World Generator 

//24:00 Making sure it grabs the right List, the dependent dropdown.
//global script
// 40:31 making the SHEET a global variable
var mainWsName = "APPSCRIPT";
var optionsWsName = "SECTION";
var firstLevelColumn = 1;
var secondLevelColumn = 2;
var thirdLevelColumn = 3;

var ws = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getSheetByName(mainWsName)
//I need to make an Array where all the Sections is mapped to all the Options of that Array.
//creating the array is in 23:31. row and column start.
var wsOptions = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getSheetByName(optionsWsName);
var options = wsOptions.getRange(2,1,wsOptions.getLastRow()-1,3).getValues();
//31:05 stuck here but fixed. I was missing the applyValidationito Cell visible at 12:59
//now stuck at 32:11 - it doesnt clear
// 36:28 we are going to make it that the Main column can easily be changed without changing the code.

// function myFunction() {
// var list = ["a", "b", "c"];
// var cell = ws.getRange("C2");
// applyValidationToCell(list,cell);
// } //removed at 40:57

//it limits the edits to Column 1 and Row >5
// this way only this column works.
// unforunately this means this script only works with
// this sheet.
function onEdit(e){
var activeCell = e.range;
var val = activeCell.getValue();
var r = activeCell.getRow();
var c = activeCell.getColumn();
var wsName = activeCell.getSheet().getName();
//37:01 Chaging this to firstLevelColumn
if(wsName === mainWsName && c === firstLevelColumn && r > 5) {
} else if (wsName === mainWsName && c === secondLevelColumn && r > 5) {


} // end of onEdit

//38:18 new function
function applyFirstLevelValidation(val,r) {

if(val === ""){
// 48:15 clear validations
//will try this in 33:16
} else {
var fileredOptions = options.filter(function(o){return o[0] === val });
var listToApply = (o){ return o [1]})
//removed console log in 37:40
var cell = ws.getRange(r,secondLevelColumn);
} //else
} // applyFirstLevelValidation

function applySecondLevelValidation(val,r) {

if(val === ""){
//will try this in 33:16
} else {
var firstLevelColValue = ws.getRange(r, firstLevelColumn).getValue();
var fileredOptions = options.filter(function(o){return o[0] === firstLevelColValue && o[1] === val });
var listToApply = (o){ return o [2]})
var cell = ws.getRange(r,thirdLevelColumn);
} //else
} // applySecondLevelValidation

// visible at 12:59 this was the other mistake. I forgot to encode this part.
function applyValidationToCell(list,cell){
var rule = SpreadsheetApp


Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Cepheus Engine Space Combat Challenges

 2-Parsec is not complete without a good space encounters. fixing up the rules so this is as smooth as possible is what we hope to do. 

  1. Damage Rules. Holy Crap I had to reread Damage page 158 over and over again. Like 10x. It needs to be broken into clearer sentences OR use what many of us plebs use: bullet points. 
  2. Maneuvering. It was going to use the Thrust Point systems of Mongoose Traveller and decided against it and there was a Maneuver Phase ommited. Thats not a problem, Delta-V budget/Reaction Drives is WAY better and thanks to Expanse more exciting. 
    1. This has a LOT of implications. 
  3. Combat Organization. This is not GM & Player Friendly - if you liked us creating Charts and Maps - then you will like the 2 page aid we are going to make: Nicco is going to make it more elegant because I would have made it look like a quickly drawn Mind Map. 
  4. Ready and fun Practice Scenario.  rules practice scenarios should be an option and encourage in writing game books. I will prepare one and run it. it should take 30 minutes to run. Nicco and I will demo it. This is using the tools. 
I pray to Seth Skarkowsky the patron saint of User Friendliness and Consistent details in adventure writing. 

1) significant. What makes it significant is the reduced amount of time I feel I have writer's block and tense and powerless. Much less than yesterday and much less than last week. 
2) Sadly, I'm slow. Filling up an A5/Statement and B5 Notebook (a bit smaller than a letter) by hand is a new thing. Strangely My brain needs me to write my bad handwriting to get ideas out. I will consolidate them electronically after I exercise them. 
3) Nicco is done with Bastet Station: 1.3 GB Blender file. The file will be available with the book but I guess I have to host it elsewhere. 

Tentative Outline
  1. Problem Statement: Infinte DeltaV
    1. Reaction Drive Mechanics
    2. Reaction Drive Fuel
    3. Jump
    4. Power Plant
    5. Delta-V Budget
  2. Ship Operations
    1. Intrastellar Travell
    2. Roles and Functions
      1. Pilot
      2. Sensor/Navigator
      3. Sensors/Comms
      4. Engineering
      5. Gunner
  3. Ship Combat
    1. Basics and Outline. 
    2. 2-Page Diagrams and Guide. 
    3. Initiative and Actions 
      1. Roles and Functions
      2. Significant Actions
      3. Minor Actions
    4. Damage and Effects. 
  4. Sample Scenarios - use it as Prelude or part of the backstory of the Crew. 
    1. Pirate Ambush. a simple scenario where the Players discover a ship that is on a Distant Intercept. (3 Pirate Armed Shuttles vs Merchant Freighter)
    2. Security Force Raid. a small force (3 System defense boat vs a Raider) who intend to chase down a well known raider. 

This will be part of World Generator along with 2-Parsec. 
It will have  PWYW version with just the ships for the scenarios. 
It will have a Paid version with all the CE SRD ships converted and Nicco making 3d Ship art for all these. 

Mneme Ships will be a dedicated version of this where there is an overhaul. The overhaul changes the Dtons to mass and volume tons (metric). It will have the above but a much simpler combat system (less steps). It will have a spreadsheet for easy creation of Ships. This will have the 3d blender ships as well, but including the Interior 3d Maps of the ships. Again all the models are part of the product so the people who buy it can play around with it and customize their ships. When you learn to change colors, add decals, etc... it is quite empowering. When you blog about your game, you can have the renders about it. 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Thank you for the Patronage, Week 49 sales Dec 11-17 2022

 Wow! a sale and someone decided freely to get the Cards. Its less than a handful who both PWYW the 6 cards and got the 24 Career Cards. I hope people check the Preview since I make the entire thing Available in the Previews so they know what they're getting. 

  • Nicco is working on the 3D blender Models of the Space Stations using Daniel Grove's Kitbash kits. 
  • I'm writing up the equipment and the EASY fix for the reaction drives. My problem is that I have to write a "paper" its not like one of my many long winded posts. I have to really rewrite it a number of times. 
    • I've been rewriting it both on Paper and on gdocs I'm about at 5x now; Every time I had to re-write it because I had to STOP and create a spreadsheet to double check my claims. 
    • Nicco is the same, he had to rebuild the ship design after reviewing the appropriate cubic meters of volume needed. We are thinking of sticking to 100 cubic meters per person for Permanent Habitation with a community and factoring the the tennis racket theorem or the Dzhanibekov effect . *
  • I'll be taking my leave from work on Dec 23, so by 26 onward I have time to really focus and relearn a lot of science. As mentioned I don't get to do the algebra of rocket equations a lot in my line of work - I love learning the math (it was one of my weakest subjects even if I did get to pass the exam to be BS Math) its just that life wont give me a living in it and I missed my chance. Spending Xmass week writing or "Being the game writer I always dreamed about" is pretty much a vacation to feeling powerless at work as an IT and Plant Head. 
  • Hopefully I finish them all - my main obstacle these days is that my workouts and getting longer, my attention more fractured, and my Anki is taking longer to do (a distracted multi tasking 3 hours). 

I too want to get to the part where I'm making 3d space ships and Space stations with Nicco and rendering them in my R5 2600 with its RX 550 and the GTX 980 a friend lent me. The ships I want to detail - vertical layouts (like in the Expanse) on the Orbiters aka Shuttles, Ring Habitats, and 

*I think the people who will like our stuff like the harder scifi like Andy Weirs. I forget another source of inspiration: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Particularly the Mega Structures. 

Check out Oliver Rothe's Blender made space ship scenes. I want it that a Simple (Eevee) scene can be made by the people who buy our ship book in the future. Enough tools so that the GM can render a Flyby of an Enemy or the Ship of the Crew, as well the ability to customize it. The beautiful thing about Blender and giving people access to the models is that they can customize it and really Immerse. 

Science and Math Review today - Speeds and TNT

 Today I had to review the following:

TNT equivalents reminded me that joules to TNT has a particular formula and not merely a higher order of Joules. specifically 4.184*10^12. 

That a Missile in Cepheus Engine with about 0.83 metric tons of mass, 1 hour of Accel of 10G has delta-V of 352 KM/s and the energy of 6.8 Beirut Explosion blasts. 

Energy Scaling is one the weird things the current Traveller setting. 

Again the great thing about Open Gaming License is that you can make a harder sci-fi of Traveller/Cepheus Engine (or Old School Scifi RPGs). 

I'll save the spreadsheets and more detailed explanation for the appendix. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

When reasoning doesn’t matter, thinking doesn’t matter.

One of the many great Ideas Seth coins is this particular one: if Internal Logic doesn’t matter, Thinking doesn’t matter. Seth mentioned it in the Dungeon development series he had. As someone who grew up with old dungeons “Why” kind of bothered me so I just stopped thinking and played mainly to hang out with friends. I have a background in Construction and deal with engineers, my IT skills have so many parallels with engineering troubleshooting that I cant help but remember - like just smelling to check ventilation, my lips cracking from humidity or how short of breath I become, then there is the trade offs of better materials vs more available materials, and how to peel back finishing works (how it is what sets the appearance and hides the gaps and how something was made).   

So Seth, for me, pointed out how I just stopped thinking in some games. My friends are having a great time, I’m just shut that part of. Have you been in a meeting where you can’t think - I get sleepy and struggle to keep awake. It’s not out of malice, sit in on anything that doesn’t engage you and see how your brain reacts to it: is it looking for a distraction? Did it find one? Is it engaged with a distraction?  It’s either engaged or not engaged, age and how we evolved that the brain consumes so many calories - its no surprise that being unengaged we become sleepy - or being engaged we can go all night long in a game or conversation. 

It’s just more work? Yes. It’s more work to engage players - its more work to try to engage them and learn. It’s more work to test our limits and stretch ourselves thin.  Of course what is expected is an attempt, a dialogue, and an understanding what is challenging. Nothing beyond what can be given. 

So basically i stumbled onto this wisdom by accident, writing - “Why reaction drives?” Why should I care? So what? When it came to Learning harder sci-fi. The most underlying thing about the hobby is mental engagement. In the age of AI able to generate adventures - what does it mean to be the GM? What does it mean to be the story teller if AI is going to generate more stories? John and Hank Green have an interesting take and exploration of AI and when you compare what the AI wrote for John Green as his script and what John Green wrote on the topic - there is that uncanny valley - John acts to engage the audience he knows - the AI (as of current) can only guess and uses its current data set to craft what it is programmed to estimate about the audience. 

So what will happen, in my prediction, is that there will be some GMs and Game Designers using AI as prompts - ways to get started but discovering its disappointed hollowed content - and the human fills that content. The World Building will be, for now a human task, until humans can work out how to enhance its Working Memory and Scale their compute power - we will be trapped by our hardware. AI drawing from the public information of the Crowd for the skilled Writer and User to transform into something more. 

What the AI can’t do - can you imagine that - we are at the age where the AI is now competing with many lower skilled work and people are struggling to level up. The AI will quickly follow. I wont be surprised if Disney, Wizards of the Coast, WB, HBO, NYT or some major media will invest heavily in AI to create content - we are so disconnected from each other dispite being able to connect that we will not be able to tell if its a Human or a Machine manipulating us. 

I just realized I have to make my Kids AI-proof (Both as a target of its manipulation and being made obsolete by AI). 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Thank you for the Patronage. Week 49 Dec 4 to Dec 10 2022

  •  Well I can say that while someone is checking out and enjoying the product I'm grateful. 
  • Nicco and I are due to finish it this week. Should be published by end of Next week: Hopefully by Dec 23 or worse Dec 30.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Mneme: Space Elevators - Trees of Life

 Bradley C Edwards's Space Elevator is a KEY PILLAR in the Tech levels in Mneme. Its not just a SPACE ELEVATOR its the TREE OF LIFE.

Humans will not settle on a Space elevator - the thousands kilometer structure that is a space elevator will be mass-produced for the following:

  1. harvesting of Metallic Hydrogen and Minerals from Ice and Gass Giants, 
  2. Inertia Banks 
  3. Space Habitats and Inertia banks - where there is a RING habitat near its center, parallel to the spiraling tether
  4. Jump Capable Bases.
Klem - This vector image was created with Inkscape by Klem, and then manually edited by Mnmazur 

The Yin-yang Arms of the Space Elevator become the symbol of life in Mneme in the hundreds of years that will follow. the Butterflies - huge Autonomous Mirrors that reflect energy back to the Space Elevator (its a solar sail, with ion thrusters and uses gravity to travel) and are symbionts that feed of the nutrients and material the Space elevator generates and become the key symbiosis that will allow for major terraforming. 

There are two Forms:
  1.  the straight form as it raises material up from the gravity well and 
  2. the Yin-yang form - as it catches and moves material TO or FROM the space elevator or orbit of the gravity well. The yin Yang form is also the form it takes as it harvests material from the surface of Gass or Ice worlds. 

These space Elevators, which are later mass-produced in Mars because of the gravity, proximity to the belt and Jupiter, and the billions of humans that settle in mars on their way to the outer solar system -  later begin the terraforming of the Planets (ice and gass worlds) - creating the Mass Drivers that send giga tons of Carbon ICE to Mars from Venus: Mars builds these space elevators that orbit around Venus harvesting atmosphere for building material and sending surplus to Mars. 

As I detail the Tech Levels - the extensive use of Space Elevators - these spiraling batteries of inertia - energy amounting to accumulated giga ton bombs. 

The Purpose of the Technology in Scifi is a vehicle for the story. The Space Elevators - is a vehicle for interstellar colonization (and in the beginning, intra-stellar colonization). it sets the stage of how humans are able to move material that would be a years of Economic Activity for humans (example the 4.4 Billion tons of concrete generated in 2021) - imagine that 4.4 Billion tons of material is just the economic activity of one of the Large Federated/Confederated States that make up Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, Ceres, etc... in a quarter or a period. 

This allows the players and people immersed in a setting to know why a trillion dollar ship is the property of a Non-State like an Individual or a group of Traveller. 

The likeliness that Human Civilization will send these Terraforming seeds into other star systems to make it ready for humans OR for humans to find other civilizations using the technology. 

People will discover that that space elevators are Cool the way Trains are Cool. 

Like the Butterflies and Bees, the PCs and their ship Feed the economies that arise from the Space Elevator - these trees of life. 

By the time I will be writing short fiction for this Nicco and I would have a lot of the material for everyone to make their own fiction. 

Friday, December 9, 2022

Learning Hard Scifi

This is not so different from a Brain Storming Session or Ideation. The difference is the PCs have a plan and the GM brings up the major barriers. The PCs decide how they deploy their resources, and then the GM makes them roll for what works. The science can be wrong - as wrong as a Holywood movie or a Game Session but its the BEST science and problem-solving the Players can do. 

 Perfect is the enemy of Good in both a Problem Solving and Ethical Sense (as Perfect is the excuse to let evil prevail and no action to be taken*). Hard science RPG is wanting to learn new science stuff in the course of the game. I guess if we try (and most likely fail) to add more science in the game in the story I should count it as a HARD SCIFI GAME. Science has to be APPROACHABLE. 

Like ISO 9001 - Controlled Progress in understanding more about science is the definition. Controlled progress - doing what we can to progress - of course to accept that we will fail, stumble, and encounter rare success - but what that doesn't measure is the CHANGE that happens. In a Controlled Progress you are actively changing - you may not change to be more successful quite immediately but you are putting in the work. 

*I just had a recorded MWO game where there was a guy who was just already saying we were going to lose as the game was starting. This classic Defeated mindset - learned helplessness is problematic. 

Learning Hard Scifi

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Basic Tactics are the building Blocks

If you're not practicing the basics until it's pure muscle memory and instinct, then any talk of advanced techniques is pure armchair expert speculation. 

This is true for both my work in Project Management and operations, its true with emotional intelligence and social challenges, it's true with drills and exercises in Airsoft, martial arts, and of course in Mech Warrior online. This is true in doing tactics in the game. 

In Occam's Razor - we learn to break it down into key elements. Scientific literacy teaches us to test and isolate our initial assumptions: what we think are the key elements. We iterate and build up our understanding.  

the simple superiority system in Mneme Variant Combat rules should free up enough working memory and long-term memory so that people will have more resources to think and be aware of the experimentation they are doing with their techniques and the variables and factors. 

We realize dividing or reallocating resources is an act, and economies of scale affects how easily or more difficult it is to reallocate resources. And thus when we reallocate resources (dividing forces or combining forces) we can seize on an advantage against another force. 

Its an Action to move, in economies of action that means when your making another party sacrifice their opportunities to move you are in an advantage in the Action economy, this is true in reverse where the enemy makes you spend actions moving instead of affecting the enemy with damage or debilitating conditions. 

Covered this in Mneme Variant Combat Rules

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Equipment and Reaction Drives Easy Fix Bonus Material

 I have to include Equipment and Ship Easy fix in the 2-Parsec add-on. I will make it, its own product later on but to make the adventures more usable, I have to include it. 

I went down the rabbit hole of Vacc Suits. particularly the EVA and the IVA Suit. I forgot all the things I learned from my last foray into this. 

Anyway, I had to make a New Column in the Mneme Equipment Spreadsheet - a Column for its TONs because some of the equipment mentioned will need to be detailed for ship storage. 

Examples are the Fabricators, Collapsible Vacuum Cabins, and the supplies for these. I need to improve on writing game material because work got me out of practice. I'm enjoying work because of the new Batch of Student Interns who I am training to deploy "High tech ERPs" in our developing country. 

I will provide the spreadsheet on the dedicated Product. 

What is harder to do these days is focus. So many problems simultaneously jumping in front of my attention to act on. I have to keep a physical notebook to slow my brain down to write AND use lo fi music to calm the busy parts of my brain. 

It would be great to one day just focus on this: wake up in the morning - exercise, drill in Chinese, and just hammer away at writing this (ideally with AI's breaking writers block). 

the easy fix for engines is  simple formula, basically Fuel Tanks determine delta V budget and I bench marked it all against the ships in Simple Rockets 2. You get a pretty decent delta-V budget per ship. I'll try to convert the Book ships to Cepheus Engine TL7-9 stats. 

Tech Level is so distributed and diffuse. Collectively we are at a particular Tech Level (example CE TL6.5 which is Mneme TL8) , but areas have lower tech level (like the Philippines and other Developing Countries are a TL or two behind Collectively; you can get the same goods as in developed countries but you pay more for it) and the highest tech level are in patches. 

Tech Level is a reflection of Infrastructure and Systems. If enough prerequisite systems are of a given tech level you have the Top Tech level available, but if some areas in the system has inefficiencies and lower tech level then the collective TL drops. 

Mneme World Generator goes into the Developing and underdeveloped world A LOT!!! I think there are few other Developing World writers in Game design that appreciate the huge difference in this collective condition. As some developed countries titter near instability, as institutions collapse, you can see how much was taken forgranted. Like Economic metrics, its a Collective Measure - in a game where Players are MIGRANTS! lolz. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

framing it as complicated by or solved by

As an adult the impact of appliances is the time and cost of many of the responsibilities we gain.

In a scifi setting, fabricators, workshops/machine shops, printers, refiners, extractors, food processors, recyclers, etc..

The harder the scifi the more important details and constraints become. System and life cycle  thinking - becomes necessary but does it add value to the game?

Do players like to have a problem complicated by or solved by mastery of these topics.

As the plant director who is IT, a nerd who reads the books and into open repair  I observed - many problems in Philippine manufacturing are accepted as something they can't fix - but to me they are fixable.

One problem we recently had was spending tens of thousand of dollars in New equipment per year: which we didn't need too. Not to someone who knows how to fix Things.

There is this paradigm of people who don't know and it's OK. A manufacturing plant or company without my skills is completely happy and content with what ever skillset they have and just want more capital and higher costs to create outputs - 

Of course IT, Lean manufacturing, and etc affect how we run the plant. The players can completely play traveller or cepheus engine without optional rules on the details and make money based on the efficiencies in the book... How much cost they spend to create income modified by how efficient they are. 

Then of course there are players who want to be able to fabricate repairs in ship, manufacture small batches of tech in their current port that doesn't have the tech, solve a technical problem in their current star system etc...  There is that technical problem and People - the largest influential irrational variable to any system issue. 

The game adapts to its players - as younger players emerge in Scifi - someone will challenge the way the game is played. They will not grow up with the golden age of scifi books - they would probably grow up on Scott Manley, Anton Petrov, curious Droid, Kurzgesagt etc... 

My kids will not understand many of tropes I grew up with, as it's more common for kids to be different from their parents than be their copies frozen in time (kids in 2020 enjoying 1980-1990 materials). 

I'm not the only parent who is using minecraft and roblox concepts to understand their kids. Understanding this is their world now more than ours as abilities decline with age, and they are learning their potential. 

Still that layer of thought applies - one can work with what ever level of complexity they can handle in a TRPG. If they want to go deeper there is always a community who supports them the way I got into my work education came from games before I studied the real life applications. I had the freedom to choose the complexity.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Thank you for the Patronage, Week 48 sales Nov 28 to Dec 3 2022

Still very grateful for the sales. 
  1.  Almost done. By done a few drawings left of NPCs, the 2 other maps, and EASY FIX rules for the following: 
    1. Reaction Drives and Delta-V from TL6 to TL9 for Cepheus Engine SRD. 
    2. Converting the Basic Ships into Reaction Drives for the Mneme Tech Level (which slows down the Cepheus Engine TLs). 
  2. Nicco and I are 80% Confident ready by Dec 19, which takes 3-6 days to process to go live.