Diaspora Scenario

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aphenine
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Diaspora Scenario

#1 Post by aphenine » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:02 pm

While there aren't many races and while there aren't the mechanics for them yet, I was thinking that a good backstory and game mode for FreeOrion would be the Diaspora scenario. This is where one species sends out a load of sub-light colony ships that land on different worlds. The worlds develop a little and adapt to their situations and then someone somewhere develops the FTL drive, and a massive race for the stars starts.

Diaspora would be fun because it would be different from most 4X games, which invent a massive backstory that is convoluted and designed to explain why numerous different alien species all suddenly start from a homeworld in a race for the stars. It's also been the hallmark of lots of science fiction books.

In the Diaspora setting, diplomacy would be magnified and military action would be very quick and dirty. This is because you'd be among lots of colonised star systems. Some of those colonies would be less successful than others, some more, and you have to negotiate your way through alliances, beat back local competition and then forge a strong star empire to take on the other star empires that are springing up in more distant parts of the map. If you're victorious against them, there remains the distant threat of your homeworld, which started off with more depleted resources but a far bigger industrial might and population than you or anyone else did, and much nearer longer established colonies.

If there's any series I'd really like to use as a model, the Honor Harrington books strike me as a good one, in which there's the distant and all powerful Solarian league based on Sol whose "foreign policy is a product of so many compromises that it effectively didn't exist" and about the only thing they could agree on was that "planetary bombardment is banned under the Deneb Accords", while there are far flung colonies which are further away and more primitive, but have more space to expand into and (through conflict with each other) more reason to progress, as well as access to phenomena that the Sol system doesn't. For example, in the series, one star system manages to go toe to toe with a much larger empire because it has a system with three habitable planet, asteroid belts and 6 wormhole termini, which is about as perfect as it gets.

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eleazar
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Re: Diaspora Scenario

#2 Post by eleazar » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:33 pm

aphenine wrote:While there aren't many races and while there aren't the mechanics for them yet, I was thinking that a good backstory and game mode for FreeOrion would be the Diaspora scenario. This is where one species sends out a load of sub-light colony ships that land on different worlds
(emphasis mine)

What you are describing sounds like an interesting campaign or scenario. Last i heard we'd like to eventually support such "hand-crafted" galaxies where everything is set up just so to provide a more story-driven game experience.

But playing against multiple different species is kind of a core concept for this game, i don't think we'll be adapting a such a diaspora as the core game set-up.


BTW i don't understand how somebody somewhere inventing FTL starts a massive race for the stars. If the inventors are in competition with everyone else, why give away the secret of FTL? No one else would know about it until they arrive in overwhelming force in super-duper FTL ships.

aphenine
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Re: Diaspora Scenario

#3 Post by aphenine » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:05 am

But playing against multiple different species is kind of a core concept for this game, i don't think we'll be adapting a such a diaspora as the core game set-up.
Fair enough.
BTW i don't understand how somebody somewhere inventing FTL starts a massive race for the stars. If the inventors are in competition with everyone else, why give away the secret of FTL? No one else would know about it until they arrive in overwhelming force in super-duper FTL ships.
That's a fairly good question.

I know that many sci-fi books use FTL communication done via spin-aligned quantum electrons in addition to actual FTL, so that dispersal of information is done more rapidly than dispersal of ships. While the technology wouldn't be given away, the research behind it would undoubtedly be shared and easily leak out and it would be a short hop to turn theory into practise by those that can. I'm sure that one's played out in some books I've read, though I can't think of any right now.

In the Honor Harrington series I described, things don't happen that way. As far as I know, the government of Sol don't bother to keep the information from private hands, so interstellar trade quickly takes off as companies build their own merchant marine and the technology travels outwards very rapidly in peaceful trade (most first contacts being private traders and not governments), making the Sol system filthy rich and very powerful but lacking any monopoly on the technology. Additionally, due to uncharted space hazards, the early days are very dangerous and FTL travel doesn't take off properly until scanners catch up with the drives and most hazards get mapped (usually by ships not coming back), meaning that the technology's around a lot longer than it's truly useful to use. One particular group are particularly far-sighted and set up a slush fund on Earth in case it gets invented while they're travelling, and so buy their own FTL ship, as well as any emergency supplies they need once they set up a colony (in this case, the original colonists are blessed with a very terrestrial world that adapts well to them - so well the local diseases jump over to them and start killing them, so they need emergency supplies and fresh colonists).

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Krikkitone
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Re: Diaspora Scenario

#4 Post by Krikkitone » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:47 pm

It might be interesting to have a situation where all the species basic pics are the same, but their HW/Start pics are different (so you have some humans starting on a large, poor world, others on a medium world, others on a tiny artifact, ultrarich world)

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