Monthly Archives: November 2012

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Somnium

The setting formerly known as “Voyagers” now has an official name.

I spent a long, long time debating this (and I am sure I really got on the nerves of the few people I bothered with the big naming question) before settling on “Somnium”.

Somnium is Latin for “The Dream” – appropriate for a science fiction setting that deals with the – probably overly optimistic – assumption that we will discover an FTL drive and colonize the galaxy.

It was also the title of a book written by Johannes Kepler (yes, the Kepler) which describes a voyage to the moon. Written in the 1600s, the book is more of a fantasy story from our modern point of view – but it was meant as a serious work, and ultimately could be described as one of the first works of Science Fiction.

It will likely be next to impossible to get a good domain name (and so on) for Somnium – I already checked – but the situation isn’t much better with anything else I came up with. And quite honestly I am getting tired of referring to it as “My Science Fiction Universe”. đŸ™‚

More on NaGa DeMon:

Here we are – NaGa DeMon Day 3. The entire thing is still unsuitable for actual use, but a picture of where we’re going is slowly emerging.

I spent way too much time today on other things (I will shamefully admit to finally getting that last level for my World of Warcraft character; which took about six hours) and thus started fairly late. I’ve probably worked 3-4h on this today, and I will continue working after I post this – but since Nov 3rd is over, I thought I should post today’s update.

I do think I found a “method” that works for me – it’s a combination of brainstorming and patching in bits and pieces one by one and in a decidedly non-linear fashion. I expect that I will end up with a collection of rules that “kinda work”, but do not mesh perfectly; balancing and fine tuning is a second step, to be done later.

Today’s file:

More on NaGa DeMon:

I’ve started slowly, mostly because I had other things to do.

Most of my time spent, so far, has been on research – I already had some notes, and I haven’t incorporated everything in this very basic first document either, but anyway, it’s a start.

I’ve decided that I will upload the state of my document every time I post a status update to my blog. I encourage you to download it and very much would welcome feedback, but don’t expect anything “usable” for a while.

See also:

 

Building a Better Star Map III: Placing Stuff

Now that we roughly know what territory humans occupy, it’s time to start working on some actual, practical details. First I used our theoretical groundwork to set a border for the Federated Nations – my setting’s “precursor empire”, if you will. It’s a white, thick, dashed line on this map:

Interstellar Borders, Part 1
Interstellar Borders, Part 1

I then placed Empire (red), Terran Federation (dark blue), and neutral nations (lighter blue – the smaller nations). Having a number of smaller independent nations that can and will get caught up in our interstellar war makes for more interesting politics and plots.

It’s getting a bit crowded so from now on I’ll turn off the whole mess of circles. It’s time to return to detail work anyway – after all, my first version of the star map wasn’t bad – it was just too large and too off center!

Starting to transfer some planets on the spinward edge of human space, I decided to work along the former FN border – moving out just a little bit since the Free Colonies, the worlds named after Arthurian knights and of course the Sword-Worlds were always intended to be “the frontier”:

Details on the Frontier
Details on the Frontier

Looking at the map, though, I am beginning to realize I will probably have to improve the background eventually as well – it was probably not the best idea to make it so “noisy” (pixel-y). I like it, but it’s causing problems with compression. Here’s a version with a 5×5 pixel Gaussian blur applied to the blueish background:

Smooth
Smooth

Which version do you guys prefer?

Incidentally, I am working off of a bitmap export of the old star map, marking off worlds as I transfer them to avoid duplication and omission.

I do not follow any sort of “scientific” method for placing these worlds. While there are some things I could work out – for example, star forming regions would have young stars that haven’t had a chance to develop worlds, if they ever will – the amount of work that would be required is in no way justified by the benefits. So instead I simply place and will keep in mind that they are “important worlds” for when I work out detail maps.

 

Naga Demon

I usually take part in NaNoWriMo in November. However, this year I decided I should do something a little different: Naga Demon.

Naga Demon is the “National Game Design Month”. The goal is to create a game, and play it – even if you do it by yourself.

That’s much more reasonable than trying to write 1667 words – on average – every day after work.

My Goals are, specifically:

  • Write star ship construction rules
  • Write star system generation rules
  • Write trade system rules
  • Run a small tramp freighter through a small star cluster until she made a fortune or runs out of money…

And yes, those are all things I can use for the development of my science fiction setting. As a big bonus… I will try to finally decide on a name for the setting.