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Pre-fusion/nuclear planetary transport

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I'm writing a story which starts with numerous non-scientific or pre-scientific civilizations being able to conquer, trade and communicate even at some basic level. (this doesn't include backstory) I really don't want spaceships, giant floating metallic eye-sores, orbitting space stations or anything like them. (I hate star trek, babylon 5 et all.) I'm thinking in terms of something which could capture the primitiveness of civilizations at a time when you'd expect humans to have advanced even further (and yet they've reverted instead). On a related point in the early Dune novels Herbert has Guild ships which serve as the basis of trade/warfare between houses. At the same time civilizations in general don't seem terribly advanced. They have genetic/cloning technologies and yet seem primitive. Perhaps there could be some form of transport, a reminant of a past/great civilization (so cliche! this is exactly what you find in recent space sims, e.g. homeworld, freespace...) But I'd prefer something that each of these primitive civs could develop themselves (and yet things like escape velocities would be a problem)... I want to utilise something imaginative and yet try to avoid something fantastic. Creative ideas are welcome. Edit: I'm also hesitant in using prevailing scientific theories when science is prone to being disproved (Ptolemaic -> Newtonian -> Relativist -> Quantum Mechanics?) or compromised. [edited by - c-thru on May 17, 2004 2:32:15 PM]

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As I recall the houses in Dune wheren''t primitive at all they where very advanced, they only seemed that way since lasers, and computers where banned technologies.

So you want primitive cultures on diffrent worlds to have communication and trade.

Some random ideas that come to mind are.

The Dreamtime

People perform a ritual to enter the Dreamtime a world made up of the psyhic impressesion left by everyone who has have touched a part of the real world. Its a place where many beings exist and its through the dreamtime that peoples of other worlds meet and interact. There is no need of languge in the dreamtime instead people comunicate through thoughts and feelings. Trade can occur but beings can only bring with and take back what they can carry.

The World Nexus

Each planet has a Nexus a point at which the world is in a state of dimensional flux. It is at this point that worlds are connected. Traveling through the nexus allows a person to travel to any planet in the universe. Foci are carried by travelers these small objects are used to tune part of the nexus to allow the travler to reach a particular world. A seperate foci is need for each world and traveling without one means the traveler can end up anywhere.

Wind Dancers

A beautiful and birdlike creature the lives in the vastness of space. They travel through the solar system dancing and playing in through the atmosphere of the various planets. occasionally stopping to explore the planets surface. These wind dancers have been befriended and tamed by many cultures throughout the solar system. Those people use the wind dancers to send messages and objects back and forth to other peoples of the solar system.

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"Fate and Destiny only give you the opportunity the rest you have to do on your own."
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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Offtopic, but I''d say that relying on something like M-theory wouldn''t be that bad; it has a rather solid mathematical foundation, plus keeping track of recent theories like that makes your game, well, seem to have a bit more polish. However, it''s a real bitch to get a grasp on, and then to try and implement in any serious way.

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Your idea seems to be along the lines of steam punk... Sci-fi with 19th century technology.. The gigant mech spider in "Wild Wild West" is steam punk. Other steam punk works include "The City of the lost children", "Dark City", possibly "Spaceship Titanic" (I haven't read/played/seen it so I don't know), possibly "Arcanum: of steamworks and magick obscura" by Sierra (I haven't played it). The planet Jonas Quinn comes from in Stargate SG-1 is also steam punkish. "1984" and "Brazil" are also steam punkish, but possibly invoulentarily so (esp 1984 the movie)

Anyway, you might be able to find ideas by searching for steam punk on google.

EDIT: More references


[edited by - frostburn on May 17, 2004 3:57:17 PM]

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quote:
Original post by c-thru
(I hate star trek, babylon 5 et all.)



Off Topic: Et al is used when citing multiple authors. You should have said et cetera



Orion

"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own."
-BRUCE LEE

[edited by - orionx103 on May 18, 2004 6:14:40 PM]

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A series of giant swings (think trapeze) fling a carriage higher and higher, finally lobbing it into orbit. Once spaceborne, the carriage unfurls its sails, and the solar wind carries it to its destination.

- dorix

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Steam punk is cool. I see it a lot in anime, the most recent one I can think of seeing is one of the episodes in the animatrix where the style is the 1920''s but they have computers and stuff. Its always interesting to see peoples ideas of what modern technology would look like in decades past.

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, drown a man in the water and the fish will eat for a week!

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Well, you could always go the Verne route (giant cannon), as in From the Earth to the Moon.

Solving the whole gravity issue, you might go for inhabitants of a world with less gravity than earth... of course then explaining a dense atmosphere (if necessary) becomes a problem. If gravity were 1/6 what it is on earth, and the atmosphere as thick, it might be believable for rudimentary rockets to be able to grant interplanetary travel. Methods for sustaining life outside of an atmosphere with an acceptable expense in weight might be a little more difficult to think up... one might have to stray from strict science or do a lot of thinking on that one.

Getting a little closer to the fantastic, what about moons or chunks of rock engulfed in the atmosphere of a gas giant? If one wanted to go the hardcore SF route, this is in denial of basic laws of physics (unless some well-explained advanced technology rescues the day). Islands of stone in a sea of gas, in which one can take flight to a nearly infinite array of other such havens.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Well, since this universe is supposed to be a fantastic creation, (scientific advances without science...) I don''t see why it should have to obey the regular laws of the universe as we know them...take the dominant thoughts of the universe from 500 or a thousand years ago, and make them "real" in the game world...

The world really is flat, planets really are on the backs of giant turtles, etc. Take those kinds of ideas and go with it. Maybe you can get from planet to planet in hot-air balloons. Perhaps you can sail to the edge of the world, and then use a star-bridge to walk through the sky to another planet. Maybe birds and other animals can easily fly from one world to another.

If you want to make it a little more realistic, maybe go with giant rockets made with old chinese firework technology...don''t worry about the vacuum of space and all that...maybe it isn''t important in this universe.

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