A while ago I was talking to a friend about sci-fi things and the conversation got around to starbases. The friendly debate was that, from my side of things, starbases are, essentially, towns and cities in space.
The logic ran as follows:
- They are places to stay that harbour you in a possible dangerous environment
- You can have your transport looked after there
- There are NPCs to interact with
- You will often find security forces there watching over you and the other inhabitants
- Can often buy goods and services of various types
- Depending on the size, there are some kind of defence systems in place, such as walls, mounted weaponry etc
- Shady deals and criminals can be found here
The list goes on and on.
This, with minor adjustments for the genre, makes it easy to take a favourite city and make it into a starbase in your sci-fi games , or , inversely, your favourite starbase and make it into a city.
I’ll illustrate this point by using my favourite space station (DS9) and fantasy city, Minas Tirith and swapping the genres they belong to. I’ll assume you are already vaguely familiar with them, if not, nows the time to go have a quick google about them. Come back when ya done!
Terak Noir (Deep Space Nine)
The mining and processing outpost known to the locals as Terak Noir was just outside of the occupied region of Baaajror. This occupation was a messy one and when the Cradassians withdraw, a nother group known as the Alpha Federation stepped into to help the region gets back on its feet. Not long after this, a portal to the far side of the world was discovered and through some incredible feats of magic and engineering, the outpost was moved nearer to the portal so it could keep watch over it.
Starbase Tirith (Minas Tirith)
In orbit of the third planet of the Arda system, Starbase Tirith is a massive gleaming starbase known as Tirith. Belonging to the Gondorian Star Empire, this is a hub for knowledge, people to live and work and keeps watch over the nearby systems. The station itself is circle shaped, with another layer on top, each layer smaller than the last, with the admin floor at the top, Due to its reasonably close proximity to the star of Arda, the station is covered in white reflective tiles. The current oveerser is rather complacent with things and rumours are abound that they are living in luxury whilst his people and troops go hungry, despite the fact that a close by empire is building up an incredible fleet to one day destroy this shining beacon of the GSE.
As you can see it’s very easy to swap genres like this – Not only for starbases and towns, but for NPCs and items as well.