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And some worldbuilding, while on the subject...

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Here's the starting future history for the game. I hope the environment suggests either interesting interaction in towering vertical cities, Fallout-style wastelands, or in space.

Straylight Future History

    1905 - For reference
  • Mass TV, radio, telephones unknown; indoor plumbing rare; much of the world is agrarian, even the US; messages can take months to circle the globe

  • Early nanotech; fusion possible for brief time periods; experiments in using computers to simulate neural activity; first mind-machine interface experiments employing simians

  • Dwindling reserves of fuel (natural gas and oil) intensify conflicts between China, India, Europe and US

  • An "Energy Ice Age," caused by inability to match dwindling supply with growing demand, creates lasting waves of global recession; unrest due to unemployment, food shortages and
    blackouts begin to become common
  • Deep winters and droughts caused by climate-change force world population toward more

    temperate regions
  • Quiet "Nanotech Revolution" begins in labs across US and Europe
  • Alternative energy and crash nuclear fission programs arrest complete collapse in some, but not all First World nations
  • "Hot" wars erupt for remaining natural gas and oil fields; targeted ethnic plagues emerge, origins unknown; US loses vital proxy war in Venezuela to Chinese, begins withdrawl from world stage

  • First world consumer economy in shambles; cars, televisions begin to disappear
  • India, China and Japan increasingly engage in direct air and naval confrontations
  • US first nation to use remaining resources on restoring national train networks, mass transit; early foundations for vacc train networks that will span the globe

  • Most nations begin isolationist policies, using last energy resources to enforce civil order at home
  • Many First World powers balkanize due to war, rebellion, and destruction of civil infrastructure; Federal authority dramatically wanes in US
  • China and India engage in land conflict, limited nuclear war before splintering
  • Nanotech recycling, automation and alternative energy arrest complete slide into post-industrial Stone Age
  • US spits into dozens of regions and micronations, the strongest among them Texas, the Western Alliance and the southern nation of Jubilee
  • First sentient AI created in prosperous surviving city-states; allows cities to radically expand control over nanotechnology

  • Acologies (sealed, armored, nanotech-driven megacities) arise to protect against extreme weather, rogue combat nano and genetic plagues; most soon fall under autocratic rule by religious, corporate or military leaders, but attract large populations because of their safety and wealth
  • Rise of the "Nangineers," individuals skilled in merging with AI to bring nanotech to unprecedented heights; soon become independent order of traveling "miracle workers", healing plagues, restoring seedstock and rejuvinating communities
  • Surviving powers, under old nationalist / religious banners, increasingly begin fighting as their spheres of control overlap
  • "Atrocities Against Sentience": Nanotech used to control or disrupt neural activity of unprotected populations; pathological AI created to enhance nanotech attacks, driving millions to acts of mayhem and depravity
  • Nangineers condemn attacks, but outwardly remain neutral; secretly begin planning with independent AI factions to end atrocities

  • Emergence of the "I/You Ethic," ethical philosophy based on sharing the experiences and pain of others via mind-machine interface; spread by group of Nangineers and AI; becomes most popular philosophy among youth in arcologies
  • "Conscience Revolt:" Cabal of nangineers and AI enable popular uprisings, largely lead by young people, to replace corporate, religious and autocratic leaders within many (but not all) arcologies
  • Newly democratic arcologies reorganize into democratic "Global Reconstruction Authority;" voting privledges and nanotech enhancements are sustained through community or military service; leadership of arcologies expelled into wastelands
  • Remaining "rogue arcologies" shunned via sanctions until they renounce repression and agree to democratic elections
  • "Deconstructor Revolution:" Nangineers leverage culture shock over atrocities and history of near total extinction to foster revolutionary sentiments; philosophy emerges focusing on tearing down old cultures and replacing them with a new, global Common Culture
  • Widescale nanite-based deconstruction of old cities, historical heritage leads to clashes between Common Culture and ethnic / religious powers

  • Failed radiological bomb forces mass evacuation of Miami Arcology; Jubilee suspected
  • AI Peacekeepers supress rising ethnic / religious dissent in wastelands around arcologies
  • Global Reconstruction Authority's power increases to combat terrorism and microwars; charter later expands to cover expansion of human civilization into space
  • Fusion discovered; several rogue states agree to join Common Culture in exchange for technology
  • "Stratoscrapers" arise within Common Culture; eventually become "orbitscrapers" tethered by monowire to space stations; vacc train networks begin to link arcologies
  • Construction of L5, first orbital city
  • "Colonial Cultural Compromise" reached: Ethnic and religious minded groups agree to expand offworld

  • "Nanotech Renaissance:" Vacc train networks connect most Common Culture arcologies around the world
  • The "1 Million Nations" arise, made of sentient human-AI communities within the Common

    Culture, united under the goal of expanding human civilization to the stars
  • Human-machine consciousness transfer; rise of post-human cyborg class
  • Colonization boom; colonies established on Luna, Mars; asteroid mining begun
  • Dismantling begun of cultural icons such as the Great Wall of China and Pyramids at Giza; Vatican exports Sistine Chapel and several other artifacts into space

  • Halo of stations, mostly Common Culture, emerges around Earth
  • Stations established around Jupiter, Io, Europa
  • Beginning of H3-based solar economy
  • Oort Cloud probe discovers alien wormhole artifact

  • Present day: World is mostly wilderness, deconstructed ruins, desert; 4 billion live in

    orbitscrapers; 3 billion in space; surviving 2 billion live in scattered tribal communities continually around the globe
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uhhhmmmmm.... That is totally cool!

Where does Michigan fit into all of this? I mean we have the most fresh water in the US.

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I've been following your journal for a while now and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Your future history was a great read, having such a detailed world is really going to help your game.

Look forward to your future posts.


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Argh! I hate it when I don't keep up with replies! (Sorry guys, hope you get a chance to read this)

@noaktree: In this future history places like Michigan have a rough time. Changes in rainfall patterns caused by climate disruption cause very erratic deep winters and dustbowl conditions that last in long cycles. However, the idea of Greater Lakes holdout communities, maybe mixes of survivalists and technologists, could fit very well. [smile] The future US history is still in progress, so nothing's set in stone.

@Doolwind: Thanks! Knowing someone's reading makes it worth writing!

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