Yesterday I talked about my plans for designing a game and what system I would be using etc. One thing I mentioned is that there would be two settings, a fantasy themed one and a sci-fi themed one. In the fantasy themed gamed, named Easthalen, there would be a parallel twin technological themed world, it wouldn’t be sci-fi, more science fantasy (if that term makes sense), with an as yet unnamed sci-fi game (USG) being closer to what most people would consider being a true science fiction genre.
These two games are separate but semi-linked. I say “semi-linked” because there is some overlap between them and the two do share a history of sorts, even if that history is mangled and twisted and not apparent at first glance. Both will be using the same game system, so, in theory, you could transport between the two, even if due to the background and story it is next to impossible.
Some details about USG. It’s set very much in what physically resembles our universe. There are many forms of FTL, depending on your technology and budget. There is what can best be described as a Galactic Community and Council. Humanity is not the newest species on this stage, having been part of the community for many years after a few wars and events. Some areas of space are highly regulated and others are frontiers. Mutants and evolved beings are found everywhere, treated as normal in some places and feared in others.
My major sticking point for USG so far is its USP or Unique Selling Point. In Easthalen there is the barrier and the fact that everyone can use magic, even if doing so is incredibly dangerous. Every time I think I’ve thought up something that feels right, my research reveals it has been used somewhere else. It’s looking like, so far, there is no major USP and may be a mishmash of existing ones.
So far, I have several “rules” for the background & setting, in no particular order…
01 – Humanity is not front and centre. They are a part of the galactic community and have been for a while. They are not “the best” neither are they bad
02 – Mutants exist, some are horrible to see, some are hidden, others are feared and respected in equal amounts, like psychics
03 – There are multiple forms of FTL, each with their own advantages and disadvantages
04 – Technology levels can vary vastly from culture to culture
05 – There is a galactic council of sorts, but they mostly oversee inter-culture interactions
06 – The council have their own enforcers made up of the groups that are part of it
07 – Time Travel is possible, along with alternate history, but only under certain circumstances
08 – There are regions of space where the rules of reality are not only bent but well and truly broken
09 – No-mono cultures, like all warriors, or traders. Certain groups may be perceived that way by outsiders but this is a big no-no otherwise.
10 – No Gods – There are powerful, god-like beings that try to pass themselves off as gods, but no true gods. Religions are still found in some places.
11 – No Magic, there may be advanced technology or effects that resemble magic
The feel I am aiming for is not one of “darkness and constant war”, neither one of “happy unicorns and dancing and holding hands”. I don’t want it to be what I call Hard SciFi in which every thing is detailed and accounted for from the movement of stars to the way the wind blows on planets etc. There will probably be a fair amount of technobabble to explain how stuff works, but ultimately there is to be more emphasis on the fiction part of science fiction.
I still need to think up a better name for this as well…