Seven Hours in orbit


This topic is about a small project I am using to get back into the swing of writing. I intend to write it over the weekend.

Title: Seven Hours in orbit.

Summary: The protagonist is a crew member of the six person terraforming vessel the E.S.A. Orion. They are awoken early from cryosleep by a shipwide alert. Finding the Orion orbiting an unknown planet with critically low power, they need to find and fix the problems with the ship in seven hours before total power failure and the Orion plummets planetside.

Protagonist: The MC can be either, the captain, the pilot, the security officer, the engineer, the doctor or the trainee. Each with own abilities and traits. The unchosen roles are fulfilled by the Npcs. The ship is always crewed by 3 men 3 women so one character will be the opposite gender the player chooses.

Layout: the game will consist of seven chapters (each representing an hour) With each chapter containing six vignettes (each representing 10 minutes).

Stats: will consist of two groups of 3. First group refer to the player and represent health/oxygen, suit power, and suit Shields. The second group refer to the Orion and represent ship power (starts off at 35% dropping off by 5% each “hour”) ship condition (starts off at 25% and goes up or down depending on what you can fix) and lifesigns (starts off at 6 and drops each time a crewmember dies.)

To me at least it seems simple enough to focus on over the weekend. But some opinions would be useful.

Getting back into the swing of things

A small, self-contained game sounds like a fantastic idea to get back into writing. Especially with a small cast. It sounds like you’ve got it all nicely planned out too.

I really enjoy terra-forming, exploring a new frontier, surviving a ship-wreck/space-crash stories.

I’m sort of vaguely thinking of Gods Will Be Watching, although I only played about five minutes of that.

Can we find an alien pet?

The stats sound rather boring. People always focus on physical health, but what about what about morale? I take it most of our skills are set by what role we have on the ship?


At the moment the entire game will take place on the Orion you’ll only see the planet if you fail. Or if certain triggers are met for an ending.

I was actually thinking of replacing health with oxygen.

Yeah depending on your role you can get unique options in choices. For example when you wake up you have to escape your room but the door is locked. Engineers can rewire the door whole while security officers can override it.

Edit: new topic for project created :slight_smile:


Moving my response over here instead. :slight_smile:

How large is the space ship? Does it really only have a limited amount of oxygen? I’d have assumed failsafe and backup upon backup in regards to that. With everyone also having spacesuits with personal oxygen generators. And escape pods with similar. And a shutlecraft! And if we’re a terraforming vessel I’d expect we’d also have ways to make the planet habitable, and to survive on it before it is.

I do like the idea of tough decisions where things start going disastrously wrong and you have to choose between which crew members to save and which die. Particularly if you like one of those crew members better, but they have less useful skills. Will we have something like that going on?

And again, I’d be as interested in seeing a stat that reflects the psychological impact of going through this sort of disaster, particularly if people start dying and everything goes wrong. I’m more interested in that sort of thing, and how people respond, than I am in physical dangers.


Look forward to this as I have a similar game underway, but only hit and miss when I work on it.
*create main_power false
*create life_support 40%
*create batt_life 50%
*create solar_panel_deployed false
*create main_computer false

Smallish game so will be nice to see what you come up with.


For some reason, my mind jumped to he old game called “Planetfall” when I read your description - I think this would be a fun little jaunt to pursue.


@Nocturnal_Stillness nice to see your going to make another game, im sure it will be as good as unnatural :slight_smile:
(and i have to say i wish you make a wip of your books A New Pulse in a future :heart_eyes: )


I’m not going to lie- I’m pretty pleased at this development. I’ve spent the last two or so days playing the hell out of Unnatural Season One, and I’m glad to see you’re getting back in the saddle.


The ship is smallish. It is split into three levels. The lower level is technically separate from the ship. The humans in this game terraform by releasing the lower level into orbit of the planet where it is full of billions of nanabots which work on converting the planet unfortunately the process takes a few years.

Nanotechnology is pretty important in this world. The suits the crew wear are nanotech altering on the fly. Forming armor or masks as required. Oxygen is limited but there is two supplies the ships which need to be fixed and their suits.

I shall add a Morale and stress stat for each crew member.

There should be a shuttlecraft and escape pods. But at least one is damaged.


Are you using actual concept ship such as the IXS or is this something your crafting from scratch? Do they have faster then light drives? I am more or less going with cryo sleepers for the long vouage as the mechanics of the game as the MC is alone through out the game, kinda going for psychological horror type story.


From scratch. And with faster than light travel is possible the journey to the as yet unknown planet was supposed to take several months even with FTL speeds.

Solo psychological horror sounds cool


A breakdown in FTL? May become a generational ship with limited supplies. Ow the fun you could have with that hehe. Seriously looking forward to whatever direction you take it in. :smile:


Oh, that’s a marginally horrifying idea.


The lord of the flies in space, thats all I’m saying lol. :wink:


I’m reminded of Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky, and Slow Train to Arcturus by Eric Flint and Dave Freer. Both fit the bill fairly well for Lord of the Flies in space… Generational ships with breakdowns are a horrifying thought in general.


The description really made me think of Tharsis. The only general question I have: Fix power or the ship falls to the planet? Orbital mechanics don’t work like that. :stuck_out_tongue:


Ssssshhhh, physics shouldn’t get in the way of dramatic license! :stuck_out_tongue:


Will the crew remain in orbit around the planet while it is terraformed? Do they oversee the terraforming, fixing things if it goes wrong?

Is that sort of distance between planets normal? Why has this one been picked?


Well this wasn’t the planet they were aiming for was it? Maybe they came out of FTL and slid into a decaying orbit? In which case they’d need, I dunno, manoeuvring thrusters to get into a non-suicidal orbit, or a quick burn of the engines.

You know it’s times like this I wish I knew… things


No, that’s about right terms (well, other than maneuver thrusters are for steering, main thruster would be used for entering/correcting an orbit). The thing is, if that’s the limit, getting thrusters online is priority one, followed by everything else. Unless everything is going to fail in seven hours, which seems… less plausible. (I love space and realistic looks at the actual possible mechanics of certain space missions.)