Friday, October 14, 2016

Writing an Entire Universe (part 5)

Finally, once we had established the histories and positions of the races, we needed to fill in the blanks, so to speak. What was trade like? How did they travel and how long did it take? What other factions existed? Questions like these prompted miniature stories and we filled our universe in with details that “fleshed out” the game world we had created. One example involves the gigantic, roaming asteroid-prison called “Thanatos,” where I imagined a futuristic, isolated Alcatraz-like penal colony for the very worst prisoners. Another example involves the three biggest criminal organizations in the universe and what their goals are—you can read more about these in the recent release of the Union Guard Handbook. Even a disturbing cult exists in our universe, which believes in a mysterious alien race that they are convinced will elevate them to immortality, hence the cult name, “The Immortals.” Many of the other details in our universe were inspired by actual events in reality, and some of the stories we tell through our missions actually reflect these events with occasional, subtle commentary implied through the telling of these stories—what will happen to us if we keep going down this path?—for example. I've always seen science fiction as a warning, reflecting truths about our reality and spinning them forward into the future to show the dire consequences of our choices. The Solar Echoes universe is an imagined space opera, but interwoven throughout its fabric is a lot that might challenge players to reflect upon the direction and choices we are making as humans. At the same time, the game universe is ready for you to write your own stories—there is plenty of room in the reaches of outer space for everyone!

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