Friday, March 15, 2024

Lack of Hard Scifi Habitat Books - is this an opportunity for Game in the Brain.

 So, Nicco and I are nearly done with the 60m diameter habitat. The ball was in my court for double-checking the dimensions - I would make an object that would be as big and check the volume since it would make the scale accurate. Nicco will then proceed to make a denser map that would be friendly for people using VTT like Roll20. We downloaded the Roll20 map-making guidelines.

Delays were caused by having chills and fever March 8 and only getting antibiotics March 11. Today is my last day of antibiotics. 

There is going to be a 1-month learning curve as I teach Nicco how to use the dynamic lighting in Roll20 and test if both our PRO accounts can be moved back and forth, or if he just has access to my pro account. I’m not sure how this will work out.

If you’re new here, Nicco is the artist making the 3D and 2D materials in Mneme. He is also my co-writer and editor for background material, and he leads the writing projects like our unreleased adventure “2-Parsec.” I have the same skills as Nicco as we were “barkada” (close friends group) in college gaming and strangely had similar-looking styles. He continued to do art working in corporate communication and media (presentation decks), and I was roped into the family business being the IT head. I typically do the R&D, but Nicco did the R&D to create the geometry nodes that allow us to create the ships easily (People have access to these same geometry nodes since they have access to the Blender files), but as a friend said: the skill level to use your material is too high - it has to be more accessible. Nicco is not just an artist, he’s also a hard sci-fi guy who would do the math given the opportunity. 

In the Game in the Brain, I guess what would sell based on what I would want and the market doesn’t have. For example, our products, if you look at them, were based on the gap in the market and what I believed is needed to have a great experience playing Cepheus Engine.

In the habitat, I did the calculations and requirements, Nicco created the drafts and I would examine them. Typically that would be double-checking his calculations and compliance with the ship stats. I’m not too strict because I pay for the rework. I advance everything, if the book doesn’t sell (it’s sold only 23 copies, I need about 100 to be close to break-even or possibly 200 copies when I give sales… Like today) I absorb all the costs. I don’t buy games as much and cut back on other things to pay for improving Mneme.

Anyway, when a friend, Jay, pointed out that our games are not too accessible, I got to thinking - would people be interested in a 5000 dton habitat? 10 rings of 60m diameter, that would be a 100m long ring with a 2000DT tender able to jump and resupply. Imagine a ship with a fuel cable that unspools to skim on a gas giant, the fuel cable is 100m long for every dton allowing standard hull-type ships to stay in the thinner atmospheres - note that this is to allow more area for the ship to catch atmosphere for fuel, as you need tens of km of spool to properly mine a gas world.

The book is probably going to be 40-50 pages with tiles for rooms. It will have 1 ship, but 3 sample interior setups. There will be Roll20 maps with dynamic lighting.

The product is a 5000DT (3000DT) habitat that can be placed in any location that needs a lower tech (TL7-8 or in GURPS TL8-9) habitat. If it will be hard sci-fi Traveller like Orbital 2100 then this will be ubiquitous. The economics of the habitat and its tender will be noted as this determines the economic potential the PCs will encounter.

Images of a habitat nestled in an asteroid being formed to shield it would be the most common, as well as it naked behind the moon with a powerful magnetic field. With 3000DT it can hold 300-600 people, what kind of economic unit is 300 people or 60 families? Imagine the fuel tankers through or around the habitat. Nicco and I will have fun detailing it, but the question is, will it pay off and will people like such a product that it will be bought? 

I’ve been mostly wrong every time, none of the projects every hit break even. While I still do this even if it’s not break even and because I want such a product to exist. Where else can you get the 3d Models of the ships and all the editable tools you need to detail and customize our material? Cepheus Engine exists! it took a decade for people to catch on. You’ll notice I’m juggling my JS studies along with the other studies even if I’m sick right now, having little sleep because of my cough. 

I guess I have to come up with a free product: Running Cepheus Engine hard sci-fi, as well… answering all the questions regarding this. Being the Quality and Safety Officer, being in charge of our Maintenance and on the board of our Building - and seeing how safety, engineering, and maintenance is done in other companies - I would love to detail this - trying o predict how it would work out. I would love to make Engineering, Maintenance, Operations, and Automation fun and accessible the way learning so much about it in Games and Real life and filling in the gaps. I would love to gamify life for people so they can win-win. Having an electronics start up - I would love to translate it into low key adventures - so that students and starting adventurers can have better options - as they have a more structured framework to approach the industry. Of course I have to be lucky enough to have an engaging product - that my flaws dont obscure our strengths. 

What do you think? We are open to feedback!

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