Epic Community Game: Members needed. Interested?


#1

After discussions about a community game here:

And the subject re-approached here:

I am now in a position where I am ready and have time to start work on a space epic game provisionally called ‘Colonising Kepler 62e’.

There are 4 parts to the game:

Part one is on a need to know basis and I can’t talk about that here. For now, you will have to make do with a short introduction:


Red and blue sped through the moonless night. The siren wailed and the sea of metal parted allowing a way through. Inside the white cage, mother screamed with pain. Father sat numb and helpless. The paramedics worked tirelessly to prevent the bleeding. It was all in vain. Before the journey was complete, mother was dead. Father began to sob, but the paramedics kept going. Then, the sound of new life filled the speeding vessel. You were born.

Your birth was forever marked by the death of your mother, something your father could never forgive you for. However, the date in history is remembered for a much more important reason. It was the day that Earth became mortal.

“Hit me.” Says Jonas, holding his cards just below the rim of his glasses. Mary flips the top card from the deck towards her older brother. A Queen.

“Damn it. I’m bust. Every time…” Curses Jonas, throwing his cards down in frustration.

“Lady luck strikes again.” Smiles Mary, picking up the cards. Her smile revealing wrinkles between the bridge of her nose. Before she can deal again, an old man enters the common area.

“J, Mary. We’ve got something.” He says, a mixture of excitement and panic in his voice. The two scientists leave their card game and walk with their father to the observatory.

“What does it look like, dad?” Asks Mary, a 39 year-old astro-physics graduate from Cambridge.

“If I’m not mistaken, it’s the big one. Early assessment suggests a bulls-eye.” Replies her father, and former university lecturer. Jonas and Mary look at each other instinctively.

“Collision course?” Asks Jonas, himself a graduate from Oxford, something he is sure his father has always resented.

“That’s what I said. Take a look for yourself.” Replies dad, malice in his voice only detected by Jonas.

The three scientists reach the observatory and head to the central computer terminal, a set-up of sixteen monitors in a 4x4 grid, each displaying information and observations on various star systems. Jonas instantly spots the rogue monitor.

“Oh, my God. Is that… Is that it?” He asks. His dad nods, staring at the monitor as if looking at it for the first time. Mary starts typing keys and the giant telescope positioned behind the monitors stirs into motion.

“It’s real Mary. Looking won’t make a difference.” Sighs dad. Still, Mary presses on and looks through the lens of the large machine. After a moment, her eyes focus on an object millions of miles away. It looks like a large speck on the screen. She gasps.

“Let me see it.” Says Jonas, lightly pressing his sister’s shoulder. She moves aside for her brother to look.

“Jesus, it’s really there.” He exclaims. “That asteroid is going to destroy humanity.”


The rest is outlined here:
Part two:
In the year 2115 an asteroid is discovered to be on a collision course with Earth. The bad news is that the size of the asteroid will almost certainly wipe out all life on the planet. The good news is that there are 25 years until it hits. As the aid to the leader of your nation, you have decided to build a spaceship and send a group of humans to the only discovered habitable planet Kepler 62e. You must design, build and populate your ship. You must deal with other nations, terrorists, and protests. You must face many difficult questions: How will you decide who goes on the ship? How big will you aim to make it? When will you launch?

Part three:
Once the ship is in space, there will be no turning back. Depending on your choice of cryogenics or a sustainable ecosystem, you will have different challenges to face in space. With most people frozen most of the time, using cryogenics is an easy option. But maintaining the stasis still takes considerable effort. How will you deal with the many problems that can occur? Keeping everyone awake is definitely friendlier. Generation after generation of humans will live and die on the spaceship. However, what will you do to keep the population rate at an acceptable level? How can you cope with cliques between the generations? How can you maintain the quality of the ship for thousands of years?

Part four:
So you have built a ship and travelled across the stars to reach your new home. Well, the holiday’s over and the real work now begins! You need to organise everyone and create a new home on Kepler 62e. How will you prioritise different parts of the city? Will you focus on defences or life support? How will you react to the flora and fauna of this planet? How will you greet your neighbours…?


This game will take a long time to create. The four parts each need a lot of dedication and hard-work to make them successful, however they can all be written independently. I think we need many people to create this.

A head writer or two: Part one and part two will need a dedicated writer each. Part one will be mostly story based and good writing will be needed to reflect this. Part two will be easier to write, but is more complex as there are many outcomes. It would suit a creative writer.

Smaller module writers: People with some experience who can create good dialogue between characters and good descriptive language. A basic understanding of choicescript is important. This will be for part three and four of the story. Each writer needs to pitch a description of the spaceship and how life will be continued upon it.

A coder or two: Someone who knows choicescript and can be creative with the language. We’re going to have to keep track of a lot of variables with this game. Part two will be the most complex as the outcomes from the choices here will determine everything else.

An artist: A game like this would be incomplete without solid visuals to back it up: A large variety of different faces / torsos, imaginative spaceship internal designs, and landscapes.

A director. To coordinate the project and help with the creative process and coding where they can. They will be the builder, taking the code created by each member and putting it all together.

I will take the director role. I will also aid all writers over their portion of the story.

Specific writers/coders who I would like to hear from, whether to work or just suggestions, are:
@Reaperoa @JimD @Nocturnal_Stillness @Samuel_H_Young @CJW @Lordirishdas @Lucid @Cataphrak

For everyone else, if you are interested in working on this project, please post here.


Idea: forum community game
#2

I’ll admit that I’ve not read the other discussions.

Mother dies in childbirth is one of those cliches I strongly dislike, especially in science-fiction games where I would hope that there was enough of an advance in medicine to make that less likely. One of these days I’d be interested in seeing mother suffers from severe post-natal depression, and just ups and abandons her child and her husband.

I’d suggest sticking to one or the other. The deep sleep with cryogenics and a skeleton crew, or a generation ship. Both bring about a whole host of different issues, it’s better to focus on one. My own interest would be in that generation ship, I find them fascinating.

One of the best stories I read regarding to one was by Ursula Le Guin, it tackled the social ramifications of it, how the society onboard developed religion. How, when they finally got to the planet many wanted to just remain on the ship and keep going. It was the only life they’d known after all. And of those who did land, they were ill-prepared for survival, the life was nothing like the safe confines of the spaceship, and many died.

Those sorts of issues are what I enjoy about science-fiction. Not the battles, not the techno-jargon, but the social ramifications and how it effects people.


#3

Thanks for the input @FairyGodfeather

The effects of life on the spaceship are definitely something that will be explored. The generation ship, as you say, will have people who have never seen land before arriving at their new home. More than that though, there will be the possibility of a second ship with other humans, who have also been separated for 1000 years… How will they react to each other when they are reunited on this new planet?

I don’t want to close the idea to a cryogenic ship though. It would be equally interesting to explore. What psychological effects would it have on a person? More so, what about the skeleton crew who are awake through the whole journey? How would their mental state be preserved? Perhaps another scenario could be a sole janitor who wakes each year to maintain the ship.

The introduction is open to change. If people feel it’s too cliche, that can be arranged. What do other people think?


#4

I am up for it …


#5

Well ideally the crew would take turns, so that no one’s actually awake for the entire journey and everyone gets to arrive. Of course that may not be possible.

How long is the journey? Hmm you say thousands of years. I would say that’s far too long and it raises a huge number of issues. Why would a people capable of creating an entire world within a spaceship traverse the galaxy to a planet a thousand years away? Why would they expect the planet to still be in the same state it was 2,000 years previously? (1,000 for the light to reach the earth and for them to realise it’s capable of supporting life, then 1,000 to get there.) Wouldn’t it make more sense to attempt to colonise and terraform one of the planets in this solar system? Or somewhere nearer? And why don’t they just use their space tech to move the asteroid off course?


#6

I’m trying to keep some realism here. At the time of conception of the game idea, Kepler 62e was the closest earth-like planet we knew about. As it turns out, there are many more, so that is open to change. Terraforming would be a lot more expensive than using a spaceship to an o2 ready planet and will be ruled out as an option early on in the story mode. There is license for scifi ideas here, but the inescapable journey across the stars to the complete unknown excites me!

For what it’s worth, this is from April this year:
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-04/what-life-kepler-62f-would-be-numbers

@jlbh thanks for the interest. What sort of position on the team are you looking for?


#7

I am more of a writer and a tester than a coder I carnt code


#8

Okay, great! I’ve taken a look at your game DarkPrestige and there’s potential there. With that project in progress, how much time would you be able to dedicate to this game? Are you looking for a minor writing position (one of the spaceship scenarios) or a head-writer position?


#9

I have decided to put DP on hold and I am writing a game called EndGame

What’s your thoughts on DP

Are you able to give me a little description on what the minor and senior roles are?


#10

Well I´m more interested in cryogenic and the effects in the crew , could their isolation, become them suicidal or paranoid? there would recive what they believe extraterrestrial messages to go other direction. A crew of 20 person with high technical level could if they start young reach the destiny.Also i supposed they could have a great number of robots , that could be other problem.

And about terreformation the only planet suitable in solar system is Mars. If earth is destroyed the fragmentation clearly would affect Mars , also all studies about terraformation, say even using all resources of earth will cost more 200 making start . So humanity would be death also mars storms are terrible. Is more logical make ships than let all eggs in a basket… when the basket could be damaged with earth fragments .

And about code im not the best coder in the universe, but if at the end you don’t found enough valid coders i could help.


#11

@andymwhy
I’m excited about this and I think it’s awesome that you’d specifically want my involvement :smiley: though I agree that the beginning is cliche, that’s the only thing I think needs to be changed so far, and that’s okay because this is a pre-beta.

@FairyGodfeather
I’d have to disagree about terraforming, since anything too close to the Earth would be devastated by its destruction.
And there may not be hapitable worlds that are close enough besides Keplar 62e

I would love to be the writer for part one, though I must warn you that I’m best at fantasy and don’t know much about sci fi. However, I can learn and I’d love to be a part of this project. And, the artist for Trial of the Demon Hunter could be the artist in this gamebook, at least if there are no other applicants.

I’m very busy on Trial of the Demon Hunter, but I’d be willing to work on this as soon as I’m done (that should be a couple weeks away, which I’m hoping isn’t too much time)


#12

@andymwhy

I’d love to have a shot at part three but sadly I have other projects I have to work on. I could however help with ideas if needed :slight_smile:


#13

@Samuel_H_Young Im a expert in Sci fi i could help you with ideas and possible outcomes if you want.


#14

@MaraJade
That would be awesome! I’d mainly need help with all the jargon and technical stuff.


#15

No problem pal, we could also talk with @CS_Closet due she is a astronomy mayor so no problem this game would be pausible and accurate .


#16

Sounds great. I can’t wait to get this started


#17

The problem with terraforming anything within our own system is more the lack of time than money (at least in this scenario). Also, I don’t think an Earth-shattering collision would likely have any immediate catastrophic impact on Mars (assuming Mars had an Earth-like atmosphere at that point). The Martian orbit is pretty far away and takes up a very small amount of our system’s real estate. Eventually, some part of former-Earth will hit the planet, sure, but chances of it being anything large enough to have a noticeable effect are small.

I’d offer up space stations as a more plausible solution, but I really like the “traveling into the unknown” idea and it’s a good enough basis for a game that slightly unrealistic solutions need not spoil the fun. :smiley:

@Samuel_H_Young
It might be best to try to limit the technical stuff anyway for better accessibility. Sure, the jargon might sound impressive, but if it doesn’t mean anything to the reader there’s not much value in going too far with it. Just my opinion, though.

I would volunteer my coding services, but I’m a little booked on project time at the moment. I do wish you luck with this project, @andymwhy. I really look forward to seeing how a community game works out with this kind of structure. Oh, and the game, too. Sounds like fun. :slight_smile:


#18

@CS_Closet
Oh okay:P well then I shouldn’t have too much of a problem.


#19

I do like the travelling into the unknown idea too. It’s just I like solid reasons for doing so.

The evacuate from a meteor raises all sorts of questions for me. It’s one of the reasons that I prefer the idea of them leaving earth, not because of an uncontrollable disaster but for other reasons.

I find the over-population of the Earth, as well as its resources growing sparse, to be one compelling reason to explore further into the galaxy, to take a chance at a new and better life on a new planet.

Or, offer tickets off the planet to the undesirables, framing it as a chance for a new life. Round them up, or do the whole “congratulations you have won!” and send them off to be somewhere else’s problem.

Or because they wanted to establish a colony with like-minded individuals, with similar beliefs and ideologies free from the restraints of earth.

Or even just for exploration purposes, the intrepid adventurers wanting to start a new life in the unknown, to experience that which no one else ever has before and be the first to do so many things.

Or a scientific expedition, complete with their families and other support workers since there won’t be a way back. Perhaps they’re seeking minerals, signs of alien life. Maybe they have hopes of bringing with them a variety of earth flora and fauna that has long since been extinct. Of course that brings so many issues in regards to introducing invasive species that can devastate a planet’s eco-system.

If they’re capable of sustaining life on a spaceship for 1,200 years that says a lot of the society. If it can be sustained on a spaceship than why not also on a planet? Any planet with suitable gravity.


#20

Yeah reason for travel up for vote interests me immensely. That means I can throw a whole bunch of ideas, and if people decide they like Giant Meteor, Alien Invasion, Super-Nova, Virus Outbreak, or even In the path of a Space-Highway.

I do think that evacuation provides all sorts of interesting social implications. I doubt you’d be able to evacuate the entire earth’s population and there most certainly would be those who’d wish to stay. There will also be those who wish to evacuate but can’t.

I’d think the priorities would be anyone with useful skills. Those skills would differ depending on whether it’s a generation ship, or if it’s cryo-ship. There are people you just wouldn’t want to bring along unless they have extremely valuable skills. The elderly, the disabled, anyone who’s physical or mental health issues might cause issues on the ship. I’d suspect that everyone would undergo a thorough psychological evaluation before they’re cleared. They’d also be checked for genetic defects, and infectious diseases.

And you’d have an entire shipload of people who know they’re surviving something which is going to kill everyone else. That’s a heavy burden to carry. They’ll likely be split up from their families and their friends.

Also, would you send an even number of both men and women. Or would you prioritise one over the other.