Just a quick drawing.
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Here’s another idea I had. It’s probably not a secret that I like swords – think they are very… elegant. In addition to my personal sense for aesthetics, the sword is probably the most iconic weapon mankind invented – the only other ones that come close are a nuclear mushroom cloud and perhaps the AK74. The associations with each of these differs vastly, though – Mushroom cloud only gets associated with utter destruction and the madness that is MAD; and the AK74 stands for revolutions and communism.
The sword, on the other hand, is far more symbolic – we associate it with knights, king Arthur (Excalibur), justice, even with slaying dragons. In Somnium, the sword symbolism is used by the Sword Worlds, a group of worlds all named after famous swords from myth and history.
But Empire also uses swords. It’s an empire, with an Emperor (well – Empress) as the head of state. It’s gotta have knights in shining armor, right? And knights have got to use swords. These are probably mostly ceremonial, although I imagine that melee weapons are used alongside very low-powered sidearms in ship-board combat. You really don’t want to use anything too destructive on board a spaceship – it’s far too easy to cause damage to the life-support or, on unarmored vessels, even the hull.
If the sword is used as a ceremonial weapon in the Empire, it is conceivable that it is also used in the Imperial coat of arms. The image above is a quick sample; and to be honest I think it’s working quite well – probably because it adds some contrast to the dragon and red background.
Update, a few hours later:
I’ve reconstructed the basic seal because the center star and the circle of stars just weren’t completely symmetrical. They’re still not “perfect”, but especially the circle is now much better. Here are the three variations:
I did not notice that the sword’s hilt was partially covering those two stars – I still need to fix that. Other than that, this is probably as good as it’s going to get without professional help.
Edit: I also need to center the dragon. That’s why I should not post after a night without sleep. 🙂
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”. 🙂
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.
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.
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:
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”:
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:
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 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.