Tech icons

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Style of Tech Icons:

Tech icons should be as clean and simple as possible while still conveying the concept. The tech icons of Alpha Centari are a good stylistic model. However, since many techs convey a rather complex meaning, a slightly more complex approach might be necessary.

icons should:

  • Be on a transparent background
  • Be recognizable at smaller sizes
  • Have a strong silhouette
  • Make minimal use of gradients, or variations in tone
  • Avoid tiny details which carry the meaning

A list of current technologies including the icons and descriptions

Learning Tech Name Type Description
the_physical_brain.png The Physical Brain Theory The stuctures and their functions in the brain are determined. The electrochemical and quantum nature of thought and memory are exposed. With understanding, alteration and augmentation of brain functions becomes possible, and new ideas are spawned at the frontiers of thought, its expression, and its replacement.
algorithmic_elegance.png Algorithmic Elegance Theory With greater and greater difficulty of data analysis problems, traditional measures of algorithm performance become less useful due to the limitations of irreducible complexity. At this stage, other measures of algorithm form and function become significant; aesthetically and metaphorically, the elegance of the solution must be optimized.
translingustic_thought.png Translinguistics Theory Lesser minds struggle with, or accept the confines of the language they have learned. Adequate minds reach and feel constrained by the concepts they are given ways to express. Truely great minds break free of the bounds of language, forming and analyzing thoughts that verge on the transcendental. But merely great minds are left isolated and futile, for without language to express thoughts, how can they share their insights?
psionics.png Psionics Theory Though deep introspection or artificial enhancement, the brain may develop abilites to directly interact with the universe around it, bypassing the limitations of a physical body. Powers such as telepathy, empathy, clairvoyance, prescience, psychokinesis and psychoenergetics replace or surpass mundane biological or technological alternatives. Applications of these powers, including mind control, personality alteration and possesion have profound implications for the relationship between talented and untalted beings.
artificial_minds.png Artificial Minds Theory While traditional computers have nearly unfathomable intelligence and computational abilities, they lack the essential qualities of self-awareness, consciousness or sentience. With the development of true artificial minds, these qualities may be synthesized, modified and altered. These investigations open new avenues of research into cognitive sciences and novel metaparadigms.
xenoarchaeology.png Xenoarchaeology Theory The contemporary empires, races and single-star civilizations are not the first or only beings to have lived in this galaxy. Remains, ruins and rumours of the ancients may be found on deserted planets and lifeless asteroids, or drifting in open space. Finding and decyphering such clues holds great potential to reveal secrets, teach lessons, or give warnings of ancient knowledge.
gravitonics.png Gravitonics Theory Analagous to the "colour charge" of quantum chromodynamics, there are several types of graviton. With the common attractive-force graviton, the colloqiual "anti-graviton", "right-graviton" and "left-graviton" may be combined to bend and flex the surface of spacetime arbitrarily. This manipulation is percieved as control of the force of gravity, permitting structures, craft and investigations previously impossible, even theoretically.
the_theory_of_everything.png Theory of Everything Theory Early, naive theories describe subsets of the four fundamental forces of nature: electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces, and gravity. A complete framework expressing all forces as special cases of a single interaction represents a holy grail of science. This theory describes the earliest moments of the universe, the most distorted depths of a singularity, the tightest windings of hidden dimensions and the final fate of the cosmos. Yet still, there may "exist" layers of existence beyond what can be observed and described by science...
force-field_harmonics.png Force-Field Harmonics Theory Like Fourier analysis of sound, electromagnetism, strong and weak forces may be expressed as harmonic quantum standing-wave superpositions of force-carrier particles. By selectively amplifying these harmonics, forces may be arbitrarily controlled to shield, attack, contain or support.
mind_of_the_void.png Mind of the Void Theory We are not alone in the cosmos... but why should the search be so limited? Many cultures have myths, legends or fervent belief in a higher consciousness. Whether a loving or malevolent God, or a detatched observer, it is clear that something, perhaps the universe itself on some level, is alive, aware, watching.
temporal_mechanics.png Temporal Mechanics Theory What are "now", "future" and "past"? The twin paradox of special relativity, or the theoretical "wormhole" in its place, suggest early forms of "time travel". Direct manipulation of spacetime and temporal flux permit these effects to be harnessed and magnified. Temporal incursions cannot perceptibly alter the past of the universe that we perceive. They can, however, compress ages or extend moments to arbitrary durations, to uses limited only by the material supplies provided, and our own patience...
n-dimensional_subspace.png N-Dimensional Subspace Theory Early superstring theorists spoke of 10, 11 or 26 dimensional universes, with all but the 4 macrodimensions "curled up" so tightly as to be unseen. These and other dimensions may now be uncurled and opened, and the very surface of space itself stretched and pierced by shifting matter to or from levels of existance previously hidden below the surface of our limited perception, or creating layers or bubbles where none existed before.
unified_conscious.png Unified Consciousness Theory Telepathic communication between individuals or mind-machine interfaces only permit the most basic, trivial and surface exchanges of thought and ideas. Truely joined minds function as a single consciousness, with the summed faculties and knowledge of its constituent parts, and acting as a new unique entity. This has great potential, but also significant risk, in that the union may not seek its own destruction, which is necessary for the original minds to be regained. Alternatively, one of the minds may dominate the other, controlling or destroying the other, rather than forming an equal, harmonious union.
singularity_of_transcendence.png Singularity of Transcendence Theory What is godhood? Is a god concerned with whether it is moral and benevolent or evil and tyrannical? Does a god treat mortals with care and love, hatred and suffering or detached indifference? Does a god even remain aware of the infintitely miniscule affairs of the physical universe, or is true godhood of a form beyond description, of which inability to comprehend by mortals applies equally in the other direction?
stellar_tomography.png Stellar Tomography Application A network of specialized satellites can use tomographic methods to reconstruct the activities occurs deep within a star. These otherwise costly-to-produce conditions are ideal for a variety of research endeavours, with larger benefits for more exotic star types.\n\nProvides + 4 to research per 10 population on primary research focused worlds in systems with black holes.\nProvides +3 to planets in systems with neutron stars.\nProvides +2 to planets in systems with white or blue stars.\nProvides +1 to planets in systems with red, orange or yellow stars.
basic_autolabs.png Basic Autolabs Application Automated laboratories can produce significant research output without direct supervision, however it remains necessary to provide guidance to such labs regarding what avenues or research to persue, and extract the resulting information from them. A specailzed control centre is required to facilitate these exchanges. Consequently, while individual worlds develop their own autolabs without additional cost, the control centre requires signifiant up-front production effort to build. This makes autolabs more attractive to empires with excess production capacity, but lacking in research output, and less useful for empires already producing significant reserach, but lacking in industrial or minreals capacity. Additionally, autolabs produce larger quantities of waste products than standard laboratories, negatively impacting health on worlds on which they are used.
automatic_theorem_prover.png Automatic Theorem Prover Application Abstract mathematical discoveries frequently have practical, if unforeseen, applications in future research. Increasingly complex formal systems require correspondingly increased time to manipulate in order to prove such discoveries, limiting progress. Elegant algorithmic methods to automate Theorem Proving can overcome this problem, however doing so requires significant research effort itself, limiting the method's usefulness to empires which have chosen to focus on research in the long-term.
Missing.png Collective Thought Network Application By transferring the mind into cyberspace, thousands of minds can act as one, solving problems and making breakthroughs that no single mind could.
Missing.png Distributed Thought Computing Application The average citizen literally wastes his mind away, one of the finest computing devices in the universe. By tapping into the idle brain cycles of a sufficiently large population through a network of simple cybernetic transceivers, the research centers of a world can gain access to cheap and plentiful raw computing power.
Missing.png Enclave of the Void Application Study of the Void Mind could be accelerated by genetically engineering the populace of an entire world to be attuned to the Void. This new priestly class could transform the entire social structure of their world to better understand and channel the wisdom of the Void Mind to the entire empire.
looking_glass.png The Looking Glass Application A window into Space-Time, the Looking Glass will be the ultimate museum. Instead of excavating the ancient ruins of eras past, it is possible to simply open a window into time. Great leaders of the past would no longer be accessible only through books and holo-vids, but directly observable. Such a museum would gather flocks of both tourists and academicians.
monument_to_exodus.png Monument to Exodus Application The greatest artists and engineers of an Exodus society are called together to produce a design for a fitting tribute to their accomplishments, and usher in the Exodus Age.
psicorp.png PsiCorp Application It is now possible to identify the nascent psionic abilities inherent in rare individuals at birth. But to truly cultivate their gifts, it would be necessary to create an academy dedicated to psionics. Graduates of this academy, would comprise a highly trained task-force of Psi elite that could be assigned to research projects as conduits and amplifiers for the greatest researchers of an empire.
Growth Tech Name Type Description
planetary_ecology.png Planetary Ecology Theory Agriculture and medical science can drastically increase survivability, causing population growth to become hyperexponential, for a time. Eventually, new limits to growth arise in the carrying capacity of a planet, and the interconnected web of life that supports it. Understanding natural ecology and its interaction to stresses permits the system to be sustained, and its benefits reaped for generations to come.
genetic_engineering.png Genetic Engineering Theory The palette of genetics is as varied as the forms of life from which it borrows. Genes may be removed, copied and reinserted into genomes to create transgenic organisms with combinations of traits not existant or possible in nature. As well, genes may be altered prior to reinsertion, by altering the base codes directly, allowing entirely new genes to be created. Techniques are limited, however, to small modifications of existing genes that are available for study.
medical_pathology.png Medical Pathology Theory Treatment of diseases and injuries requires thorough understanding of their causes.
environmental_encapsulation.png Environmenal Encapsulation Theory Covered, surrounded and sealed pockets of a particular environment are essential for space travel, colonization of hazardous planets and preservation of natural diversity on heavily industrialized worlds. Maintaining the desired conditions is not as trivial as it may seem however, as in many cases there is no external source of pure and clean materials or organisms available. Rather, it is necessary to create a self-sufficient and sustainable environment, often an entire ecology, capable of recycling and reusing its wastes to supply everything it needs and consumes.
symbiosis_biology.png Symbotic Biology Theory From the first domesticated animals or agricultural plants, societies discover the benefits of symbiotic relationships with other species. Later, bacteria or natural parasites are often used for medical purposes. In these early forms, however, the dominant species is (ideally) in complete control of the relationship, with the "farmed" organism existing only to server its owner. True symbiosis only occurs when both organisms exist and prosper together, each aiding and depending on the other to mutual benefit, the combination greater than the sum of the parts alone.
genetic_medicine.png Genetic Medicine Theory Traditional Genetic Engineering alters genetic codes and then implements or raises the modified organism. Similar techniques may be applied to already matured individuals. The goals of these treatments may be cosmetic or enhancing modifications, or corrective, preventative or time-critical medical treatments. Reducing the delay between alteration and results from generations to months, days or hours has a corresponding increase in the range and power of possible alterations.
lifecycle_manipulation.png Lifecycle Manipulation Theory Most complex organisms have progress through physiological stages during a lifetime, whether distinctly separated by metamorphises, or blurred by continuous slow aging. In many cases, one or more of these stages are, at least at a given time, more useful and desirable than others. By delicate control of hormonal or mental mechanisms, it becomes possible to drastically speed or slow each stage, permitting fully developed and functional individuals to be produced in a fraction of the natural timeframe, and for those individuals to remain functional indefinitely, becoming effectively immortal.
xenological_genetics.png Xenological Genetics Theory Early genetics is limited by the available samples of naturally occuring organims on which to base its modifications. As well, these modifications are restricted within the limits of the physical mechanisms of genetic code storage, alteration and expression in developed individuals. By investigating the equivalent systems in entirely different ecosystems and organisms, great insights or revalations may be reached, spurring new developments in more familiar genetic systems.
nanotech_medicine.png Nanotech Medicine Theory While genetic alteration can repair or undo the effects of harmful or undesired mutations or correct biochemical imbalances, treating major physical trauma and non-genetic congenital defects requires actual physical corretive measures. Nanotechnology may be used to accomplish these tasks, with two important advantages: Correction may be done without invasive surguries and associated secondary damage and risks, and treatment reaction time is greatly reduced, as the tools to do the job are always in place and ready to function.
xenological_hybridization.png Xenological Hybridization Theory Regardless of how well understood, or how adeptly improved, a biological system is limited by its inheirent nature. Structures and basic physiology can only be altered so far within the confines of a single planet's biology. With understanding of other biologies, however, the disparate systems may be fused, forming an entirely new hybrid biology, with potential abilities and traits greater than those of any of its parts.
nanotech_cybernetics.png Nanotech Cybernetics Theory After applying nanotechnology to internally correct defects or injuries, the next step is to augment or replace natural biochemical systems with superior artificial replacements. Rather than merely regrowing lost limbs or repairing damaged organs, augments are able to quickly grow new ones to suit their needs at any time. Antiquated biological systems, from muscle tissue and tendons, down to organelles or enzymes may also be replaced, affording greatly increased strength, endurance and flexibility.
pure-energy_metabolism.png Pure-Energy Metabolism Theory The ultimate stage of physical development is to transcend the physical altogether. Without bodies, individuals and society may move, grow and exist freely, unhindered by unecessary physical limitations and inefficient metabolic processes that waste energy supporting homeostasis.
industrial_farming.png Industrial Farming Application Traditional, simple farming methods are sufficient for small, locally self-sufficient populations without significant limits on available space or time. With greater specialization of more advanced socieites, however, fewer farmers must feed many more workers from much greater distances away, including even interstellar food shipment for fledgling colonies. Hydroponics, automation, fertilization, pest control and altered illumination growth cycles become necessary. Successful use of these tools requires understanding of their function, interactions, costs and low-level mechanims.
self-rotating_crops.png Self-Rotating Crops Application High-intensity farming output benefits from a thorough understanding of the environment and application of this knowledge in custom-tailoring crops via genetic modification. Self-rotating crops may be grown continually, without the traditional need to alternate to less productive, but soil rejuvinating, plants every few growing seasons.\n\n+ 5 to max farming per 10 population on primary farming focused worlds.
habitation_domes.png Habitation Domes Application While terraforming efforts can make planets much more useful, the process is expensive and time consuming. Habibation Domes provide a faster and cheaper, though more limited, alternative for increasing the population capacity of inhospitable worlds, allowing moderate levels of infrastructure and resource capacity to be developed.\n\nIncreases by +2 the maximum population of Terrible environment worlds with current construction of at least 20.
the_caducean_institute.png The Caducean Institute Application A premiere centralized medical academy and research centre has benefits to health and population growth throughout an empire. Adequately funding such an institute can greatly tax smaller economies, however, potentially limiting its attraction to large or economically powerfully empires.
bioterror_facilities.png Bioterror Facilites Application I dunno... it makes people grow less.
genome_bank.png Genome Bank Application The unknown variables in genomic calculations for any given species remain severe for all but the simplest genetic repairs, not to mention the changes that a genetic modification can potentially have on a larger multi-species biosphere. To truly realize the benefits of genetic medicine, it is necessary to collect a massive genome database for all the species from all known worlds.
the_living_planet.png The Living Planet Application Theoretically, it is possible to completely predict the ecology of a single planet by mapping out its entire web of biological interdependence, both sentient and non-sentient, in fractal algorithms. In practice however, this could only be realized by constructing a vast planet-spanning network running a computer program dedicated to regulating the planet's entire biosphere. This computer would become, in effect, the brain of a new type of life--A single planetary organism, with intelligent citizens as part of its fabric, subject to the greater will.
orbital_gardens.png Orbital Gardens Application A marvel of engineering and design, the Orbital Gardens feature samples of flora gathered from throughout the known galaxy, each cultivated within the wide range of artificial environments re-created within this small artificial moon.
urban_farming.png Urban Farming Application On industrialized worlds, where arable land is rare to non-existent, the capability to produce food in hydroponic or aeroponic environments tightly packed into multi-storey buildings becomes critical to maintain food output.
orbital_farming.png Orbital Farming Application The primary energy source for food production in most societies is solar radiation. Bound to a planet, farms have very limited access to this energy, due to the comparatively small solid angle subtended by the planet's surface, and surface farming must also compete with other land uses. By moving food production to orbital installations, continuous access to solar energy is gained, and any undesired spectral filtration by planetary atmospheres is eliminated. Food production may be increased dramatically.
industrial_cloning.png Industrial Cloning Application Primitive manual nuclear transfer cloning techniques are little more than novelties for large organisms. By applying techniques similar to industrial mass production or biochemical process engineering, it becomes possible to generate dozens, or millions, of full-grown copies of a single genetic blueprint. Populations may be made to order, tailored to meet the specific needs of society.
Production Tech Name Type Description
microgravity_manufacturing.png Microgravity Manufacturing Theory The microgravity of low planetary orbit offers great potential for novel manufaturing facility designs, equipment and techniques not possible on planet surfaces. Solids may be held in place with minimal support. Liquids and gases float freely, shaped only by surface tension, unless otherwise manipulated. Factory equipment may be arranged optimally in three dimensions. These conditions permit great increases in efficiency and productivity, if properly exploited.
planetary_geology.png Planetary Geology Theory Useful minerals are created throughout the volume of a planet, under various exacting chemical and thermodynamic conditions, including aqueous surface sedimentation, crushing core differentiation and mid-depth metamorphosis. After creation processes such as plate techtonics, vulcanism and deep convection currents are equally important in determining the final location and form of these extractable resources. Understanding these processes, their effects, causes and signs is essential for large scale efficient mining operations.
robotic_production.png Robotic Production Theory Although high level initial design and initial facility setup still require active supervision, the elimination of operators from the actual production process eliminates many bottlenecks. Robots work continuously, without perpetual demands for greater economic compensation. Robots have much greater tolerance for hazardous environmental conditions in the factory, and do not require additional habitable space off-site. Robots perform their assigned tasks flawlessly, or at least as well as they are instructed.
fusion_generation.png Fusion Generation Theory Explosive or uncontrolled thermonuclear reactions are comparatively simple to cause at scales ranging from small tactical warheads to supergiant stellar furnaces. Controllable, stable and practical power generation from the reaction is somewhat more difficult. The process remains attractive, however, due to the near-limitless supply of fuel and potential for emissions-free operation.
nanotech_production.png Nanotech Production Theory Traditional production techniques are fundamentally limited by the size and form of the tools it employs. As a product takes form, its outer layers may prevent direct access and manipulation of the inner structure, requiring inconvenient and inefficient adjustment to the order of assembly. Further, the components of a larger product must be carefully formed and assembled to exacting specifications to ensure they will function as intended when combined. By using nanotechnology to form a complete product in one step, directly from the stock materials, these limitations can be bypassed, dramatically improving efficiency and production speed.
orbital_generation.png Orbital Generation Theory Low orbit of planetary bodies provides numerous benefits for power generation compared to planetary surfaces. Direct exposure to nearby solar radiation without atmospheric attenuation, and the orders of magnitude larger structures that may be assembled in microgravity to collect it are significant advantages. The resulting power may be used in orbit, or may be beamed to the planet to support surface industry. As well, new mechanisms of energy conversion become available in orbit, including planetary magnetic field coupling, orbital momentum exchange, and frictional heating with planetary atmospheres, which are uniquely beneficial for specialized applications.
sentient_autofactories.png Sentient Automation Theory As equipment becomes increasingly automated, it becomes capable of fully replicating and maintaining itself without outside support, other than its required raw materials and a requested, or suggested, final product to produce. When controlled by an artificial mind, the entire system can learn, plan, react, and adapt autonomously, and can do so without the cumbersome inefficiencies traditionally required to house and employ workers.
force-field_assembly.png Force-Field Assembly Theory Whether effected through artificial means, or psychokinesis, or a combination thereof, remote manipulation represents a revolutionary improvement in assembly techniques. At nanoscopic scales, fully controlled chemical reactions and custom assembled molecules become almost trivial. At larger scales, up to and including manipulation of celestial bodies, locally reactionless and non-contact force impartion permit previously impossible non-destructive testing, and are particularly suited to manipulation within an enclosed or covered region, without compromising isolation seals, nor removing masses of previously obstructing matter.
interstellar_co-production.png Interstellar Co-Production Theory Traditional means of production are limited by the necessity of self-sufficiency due to transportation and other logistical problems. Later planetary regional cooperation permits some degree of specialization and co-operation, with each facility producing only a few parts or subsystems, and the whole system benefitting from concentrated expertize and economy of scale. Expanding this concept several orders of magnitude, it may adapted to a galactic scale, with individual planets or entire systems functioning in the role of the single specialized facility. The logistical difficulties inherent in this paradigm are also similar to those of the earlier iteration, and are scaled up to the same degree as the potential benefits.
n-dimensional_assembly.png N-Dimensional Assembly Theory The geometry of physical space has always been a major impediment to the assembly of objects within that space. Objects cannot be colocated, and volumes cannot be simultaneously enclosed and open if their existance is restricted to a mere three dimensions. Moving beyond this limitation, parts of objects can be folded out of the way in a pocket dimensions, and continguous lines may be passed around other masses by going "off-axis". Similar mechanisms are also used to assemble lower-dimensional objects in configurations that would be impossible without higher-dimensional pathways.
singularity_generation.png Singularity Generation Theory As matter is drawn towards a singularity by the intense spacetime curvature, or gravitational field, the matter forms an accretion disk and is greatly compressed and heated. High energy radiation emitted from the disk may be captured and harnessed for power generation. The event horizon of the singularity itself also emits radiation do to annihilation of virtual particle-antiparticle pairs that form in its vicinity. This method of power generation is significantly more delicate and unstable than that with the accretion disk method, but can produce even greater output as well.
zero_point_energy.png Zero-Point Generation Theory Any power generation mechanism that involves a material fuel supply is limited by the relativistic mass-energy relationship: no more energy can be produced than equivalent mass consumed, even with perfect efficiency. By tapping the inherent energy of the vacuum, or zero-point energy, an effectively infinite source is made available. The rate, or power, of this extraction is also theoretically unbounded, with limits only in the available means to collect and use the output.
basic_autofactories.png Basic Autofactories Application Automated factories greatly increase industirial output without direct supervision, however it remains necessary to provide guidance to such labs regarding what needs to be produced. A specailzed control centre is required to facilitate these exchanges, and the language in which they are conducted requires extensive research prior to implementation. Consequently, the use of automated factories may only be practical for empires that conduct large amouts of research. Conversely, empires with minimal research, but much existing production capacity, may find other production-enhancing methods more practical.
environmentally_conscious_mining.png Environmentally-Conscious Mining Application Many mining methods are incompatiable with highly populous planets, due to environmental damage. Careful consideration of Planetary Ecology is required to permit limited mining techniques to be employed without such downsides. Minerals production is less per unit of population than more extreme methods, however additional population may somewhat offset this. Additionaly, these limited techniques are only applicable to worlds capable of supporting high populations: Superb or Optimal for a given race.\n\nIncreases minerals production by +2 per 10 population on primary mining focused worlds.\nIncreases minreals production by +1 per 10 population on primary balanced and secondary mining focused worlds.\nMultiple focus balances are cumulative: primary and secondary mining focus provides +3 to mineral production per 10 population.
heavy_mining_processors.png Heavy Mining Processors Application When increased minerals production is the only concern, no environmental damage considerations exist, and the environment itself is condusive, partially automated bulk mining activites can be optimal. Significant processing capacity is required, however, necessitating the use of centralized ore-processing facilties.
orbital_mining.png Orbital Mining Application On solid, habitable planets, traditional bulk surface mining is effective and relatively efficient. For gas giants and terrestrial planets that are unable to support a sizable population however, the ability to extract usable minearals with space-based facilities is far more practical. A primary challenge to this method is overcoming the planetary gravity well, but once this is accomplished, vast new sources of minerals become available. As well, specialized resources on uninhabitable planets become accessible for the first time.
asteroid_mining_i.png Asteroid Mining Application Mineral resource extraction from subplanetoid-sized bodies involves challenges, and provides opportunities quite distinct from those of full-fledged planets. Lacking sufficient mass to self-liquify and differentiate, asteroids can provide much easier access to some heavier elements, and lack of a gravity can make extraction for use in space much more efficient. Conversely, the limited size of each source asteroid requires fully portable self-sufficient extraction facilities. As well, the challenges of any microgravity environment must be overcome, requiring redesign of many traditional methods. The initial implementation of asteroid mining techniques yields moderate gains to mineral production in systems with suitable asteroid belts to exploit. Increased mining output occurs on all planets in system, allowing planets with environments normally difficult to mine, which often also allow larger populations, to produce large amounts of minerals per unit of population. Normally large mining output per unit population is limited to low-population capacity worlds, limiting actual mineral output.
asteroid_mining_ii.png Advanced Asteroid Mines Refinement Experience with operation of initial implementations of asteroid mining techniques allows more refined methods to be devised. The same asteroid field and population produces additional minerals at all planets in-system that focus primarily on mining.
deep_core_mining.png Deep Core Mining Application The pressure and temperatures in terrestrial planet mantles and cores create large quantities of crystal and mineral formations that only appear on upper crust layers due to vulcanism. The lower atmospheric layers and core materials of gascious planet contain even more exotic materials, in greater concentrations. Accessing these regions to extract the materials is difficult and treacherous, but eminently rewarding, compared to traditional surface mining activities.
industrial_centre_i.png Industrial Centres Application Coordinating industrial activity between planets and star systems can be effectively accomplished at large centralized complexes.\n\nFacility's large cost and build time, as well as significant future range growth potential, require strong planning to produce in location with ideal future utility. Large industrial benefits come with large up-front cost, in both production resources and time, but with minimal research prerequisites, making facility useful for high-production strategies, but unattractive for research-focused empires.
industrial_centre_ii.png Greater Industrial Centre Refinement Improved centralized management of dispersed industrial activities increases the range and size of increased industiral output provided.
industrial_centre_iii.png Supreme Industrial Centre Refinement Additional experience and facilities improvements further extend the range and size of industrial output improvement.
artificial_black_hole.png Artificial Black Hole Application By carefully collapsing a singularity in a distant solar orbit, a conveniently located source of unlimited power would be possible. This would be a highly expensive and dangerous task, but with far reaching benefits.
mining_engineering.png Mining Engineering Application Applying the concepts of Planetary Geology allows effective extraction of minerals from near the surface of planets. By identifying the probable locations and ideal extraction methods, efficiency and total possible production are increased. As well, proper planning and analysis increase mine safety and longevity.\n\nBonuses depend on planet type:\nBarren and Inferno recive +4 per 10 population of planet at mining focused worlds.\nDesert, Radiated and Toxic recive +2.\nTundra and Terran recive +1.\nOcean and Swap receive no bonus.\n\nLarge research cost and time and lack of building-production requirement to receive effect make technology attractive for research-focused empires, but less useful for production-focused. Bonuses are largest on low-population planet types, making overall benefit small until future advances can increase the popluations of these planet types.
exobots.png Exobots Application Exobots, as they become commonly known, are a marvel of form meets function. They are robots designed to fulfill nearly any manufacturing job, in fields as wide ranging as electronics to large-scale construction. Easily mass produced, they serve best on colonies that lack the infrastructure and work force to dedicate to specialized factories. Every colony receives a standard issue team of exobots, boosting their construction during the early development phase.
fusion_plants.png Fusion Plants Application Fusion plants, while expensive to produce and maintain, easily pay for themselves on industrialized worlds with ever increasing power demands. Reliance on old fission based nuclear plants will gradually become a thing of the past.
matter-energy_conversion.png Energy Conversion Application At appropriate scales and under specific conditions, matter-energy becomes a unified phenomenon. Applied at larger scales, complete control over the structure of matter and the dynamics of energy becomes possible, as does the interchange between the two. Transmutation and replication, at limited scales, become possible. However, despite the enormous rest mass energy equivalence of matter, converting directly to energy for bulk power generation is generally less effective than comparatively simple fusion generation.
matter-energy_replication.png Replication Application Previous iterations of assembly techniques were essentially ways to avoid or remove particularly vexing problems with manipulation of matter. None of these techniques fundamentally changed the basic method however, which was to assemble larger objects out of smaller parts, be they prefabricated subsections, or individual atoms. By converting pure energy directly into the desired material object, eliminating the need for precursor parts or supplied materials, the ultimate level of flexible and efficient assembly is achieved.
hyperspatial_dam.png Hyperspatial Dam Application Once the greatest fear of N-dimensional physicists, now the noblest goal. To deliberately create a hyperspatial rift between our universe and the next, but inside a dimensional bubble, safely separate from known space-time. Once this is accomplished, it would be a relatively simple matter to tap into the enormous flow of energy that would travel across the rift.
miniature_suns.png Miniature Sun Application A magnetically contained, self-perpetuating fusion reaction could be safely built and placed in coincident orbit above a planet's night facing hemisphere. This new star would dominate the night sky, providing constant twilight on its planet-facing hemisphere, while its outward facing hemisphere would be harnessed as a massive fusion power plant.
Construction Tech Name Type Description
orbital_construction.png Orbital Construction Theory On a planet, there is always a fixed reference direction: "up". Microgravity is effectively isotropic. This single difference has a multitude of consequences for the types of structures that can be built, and which of those forms is the optimal use of space, materials and energy in each environment. As well, the interior configuration of spaces in orbit must be rethought. However, while it is appealing to attempt to completely revolutionize interior design in a paradigm completely independent of the styles used on planet surfraces, the practical use of these spaces will be initial primarily by those who are used to, and adapated for, those planet surfaces. Rather than a complete break from older styles, a gradual transition may be more effective.
architecture_psychology.png Architectural Psychology Theory The form of a structure or inhabited space is not merely guided by the physical limitations of the materials from which it is constructed. Psychological effects on the inhabitants within, or observers outside can have a far greater influence on the success of a design than the strength of a wall or sturdiness of a foundation.
infrastructure_ecology.png Infrastructure Ecology Theory The basic infrastructure of an established planetary colony may seem to be created entirely by the colonizers, and to function only according to their designs. In reality, however, the ecology of the planet on which it is built is the foundation and support mechanism for the added infrastructure, and often forms an integral part of its function. Understanding the interaction between natural and artificial components, and the limits of the resources an ecological system can provide are essential to the development of an optimal and sustainable infrastructure for any colony.
organic_structures.png Organic Structures Theory Buildings formed of inanitmate minerals are functional and occasionally elegant, and those of harvested but dead organics are often simple and inexpensive. Actual living structures, however, can be grown into their final shape with no additional labour, as well effect some degree of self-repair when damaged. They may also naturally self-regulate their internal environments, or potentially adapt to varied or changing surroundings as necessary, during or after their initial growth.
metroplex_infrastructure.png Metroplex Infrastructure Theory When the entire surface of a world is covered, continued development must occur above and below pre-existing construction. Care must be taken to ensure the stability of the undercut or overshadowed structures are not damaged, and transportation and supply routes must be rethought to support vastly increased population densities. Furthermore, novel stylistic and functional issues must be considered, to ensure that the newer levels, and the combined whole, are worth inhabiting.
Missing.png Transforming Structures Theory A shutter functions as both a solid wall and open window, according to the desire of its user. A room may be refurnished to serve an entirely new purpose, within the limits of the space available. This concept may also be extended to the actual form and structure of an entire building or city, whether mechanical or organic. Eliminating the need for demolition and rebulding permits much greater infrastructure flexibility and efficiency. Single or isolated structures may also serve many purposes simultaneously, that would previously have required much larger and elaborate fixed designs.
architectural_monofilaments.png Architectural Monofilaments Theory Essentially unbreakable and merely a few atoms in diamater, single-crystal filaments have many uses in improving traditional structure designs in durability and economy of construction. The capacity to suspend or stress other materials in previously impossible configurations also permits a wholly new designs. Low weight and high strength filaments are of particular use in large-scale orbital or surface to orbit spanning structures, where variations in gravity across lengths were previously very prohibative.
Missing.png Self-Gravitating Structures Theory As orbital construction grows ever larger in scale, eventually the mass of a single installation is sufficient to appreciably self-gravitate. Where previously the microgravity environment was fundamental, designs must be rethought again, just as they were when originally moving surface activity into orbit. Rather than expanding endlessly in efficient regular patterns, the natural curved shapes of planetary bodies begins to emerge in artificial bodies as well. Advantages over surface construction are retained, however, as the artifical mass is designed and built with its purpose in mind.
asymptotic_materials.png Asymptotic Materials Theory Once certain thresholds of performance are passed, measuring the physical properties of materials for relative comparison becomes impractical in any terms other than orders of magnitude or logarithmic scales. Much like superconductivity in electronics, the tensile strength, toughness, density, elasticity, refractory index and other mechanical properties of materials may be controlled with effectively no limits. With all previously significant limitations removed, structure designs are further unhindered, and may extend or change by similar order of magnitude scales.
structural_integrity_fields.png Structural Integrity Fields Theory Advanced materials and architecture can greatly extend the practical size of rigid structures. Eventually however, the stresses placed on load-bearing matter approach the magnitude of the strong nuclear force which holds atomic nuclei together, at which point alternative sources of support become essential. Projected energy support fields may serve this purose, and replacing or augmenting fixed supports in this manner allows a drastic reduction in the necessary structural materials mass and volume. As well, such methods may allow dynamic adjustment of reinforcement in response to rapidly changing stress patterns, whereas fixed supports must remain in place even when not being actively used.
Missing.png Controlled Gravity Architecture Theory By fully controlling the orientation and strength of gravitational forces acting upon and existant within a structure, designs may simultaneously exhibit the freedom of weightlessness and the utility of having a defined up and down. The structure itself, and the local environments it seeks to provide, may take any shape in space, extending to great lengths, looping about itself, and making arbitrary interconnections. Simultaneously, local environments within may be infused with a useful tug, which may vary from or be entirely different from immediately adjacent areas. Such versatility permits great new functional designs for social, manufacturing or other uses.
Missing.png Galactic Infrastructure Theory Integration and development of the infrastructures on highly productive worlds into a unified galaxy-spanning network is one of the greatest logistical effort conceivable. When completed, such a system functionally unifies the worlds of which it is composed. Integrated transportation, housing, maintenance, and construction tools may be fluidly deployed wherever needed to optimally alter resource allocations or adjust to changes.
force_energy_structures.png Force-Energy Structures Theory When forces and energy can be manipulated as desired to provide the same functionality as solid surfaces, there is no essential need to have physical materials enclosing the occupants of a building. Structures composed entirely of energy have many advantages, including simple reconfiguration, resiliance, portability and novel design possibilities.
artificial_heavenly_bodies.png Artificial Heavenly Bodies Theory When roughly the mass of a small moon or larger, it is no longer suffient to conceive of what is wrought as a "structure", "station" or "ship". Rather, beyond this scale, the object becomes more like a heavenly body; its gravitational pull influences orbital motions, it may retain an thin atmosphere on its surface, and it may be orbitted by, rather than orbitting with, lesser structures. At even larger scales, entire planets may be built, or rebuilt, or even new stars may be formed and ignited, broadcasting the power and determination of their creators throughout the universe.
transcendent_architecture.png Transcendent Architecture Theory The epitome of design unifies optimal functionality with elegance of form. A transcendent structure expands and inspires the minds of its occupants or observers with its shape, placement, substance and integration, whether through awe-inspiring scale, perfect emphasis of a single idea, perception or lack thereof, or utter simplicity and fitness for purpose.
n-dimensional_structures.png Dimensional Structures Theory Of all the bizarre feats of applied physics, the ability to to fold space onto itself has the most direct and profound influence on structural form and design. The potential is endless, literally as hallways are made to bend back upon their beginning, or given a twist so that their ceiling becomes their floor. As well, the concept of urban sprawl becomes laughable, as any number of people may fit into an arbitrarily small volume, safely tucked into an adjacent plane of existence.
Missing.png Controlled gravity wells Application By installing a massive null gravity generator at a planet's core, it becomes possible to turn a planet's gravity on or off like a light switch, but in a narrow well. The planet's industry then gains all the benefits of low-G and zero-G, but without the drawbacks. Reverse gravity wells can also be created, making space launches cost practically nothing.
megalith_construction.png Megalith Construction Application Mastering advanced orbital construction techniques, scientists create methods to enable construction of the awe inspiring Megalith.
Missing.png Orbital Factories Application Since all colonies begin in space and raw materials are largely imported from off-world, the common Exodus practice of complete planet-fall for new colony ships is wasteful. The manufacturing work so badly needed for upstart colonies can be done more cheaply in orbit. Equipping new colonies with pre-built orbital factory kits helps them make use of the natural resource of low orbit.
Missing.png Planetary Ring Application Space elevators are now a relatively modest task. It now becomes possible to undertake their natural extension. By placing several elevators in a ring around a world like spokes in a wheel, and then connecting them together by enormous chains of satellites and space stations, a planetary ring can be created.
subterranean_construction.png Subterranean Construction Application When space is at a premium, the holy grail of construction is the ability to build down as easily as up. Modern techniques finally make this possible.
space_elevator.png Space Elevator Application Nano-construction enables production of tensile cables strong enough to reach beyond geostationary orbit. Shuttles magnetically lifted up the cable are superior to the expensive, inefficient, and highly dangerous rocket launches to escape velocity.
Economics Tech Name Type Description
market_economics.png Market Economics Theory The free exchange of goods and services between individuals and groups, whether by simple barter or through a commonly accepted credit currency, can be a effective and dynamic economic system. In the idealized case, the market is fully self-regulating, with supply and demand forces pushing the economy towards optimally efficient resource use and worker employment. As well, the opportunity for personal gain in such systems can be a powerful motivator for innovation and worker effort. Caution must be observed however, as that same motivation can also lead to explotation and collusion amongst the priviledged and successful, which can negate and undo much of the system's proported benefits.
planned_economics.png Planned Economics Theory By identifying and prioritizing needs and specific goals for society, then actively implementing the necessary steps to realize them, a focused and stable economic system may be achieved. Whether the path taken is decided by high-level central planners or through distributed local bodies, in the ideal case all unnecessary diversions and waste are eliminated and all resources are focused on the top priorities. As well, a collective purpose and effective planning eliminates innactivity and waste by ensuring a opportunity to contrbute for all workers. Caution must be observed, however, as individuals may lack dedication to the communal goals or the specific plan to achieve them, which may undermine worker motivation.
externality_integration.png Externality Integration Theory Unsophisticated economic systems feature decision-making based on factors affecting only the decision-makers directly. Other factors, or externalities, that affect non-decision makers exclusively, are not considered, which has accordingly unexpected consequences, resulting in an overall loss of economic efficiency in an otherwise ideal system. By integrating factors such as environmental degredation, tragedies of the commons, or consequences of networking effects, the overall economy can be brought closer to its theoretical ideal form.
economic_spectroscopy.png Economic Spectroscopy Theory With careful analysis and well-formed models, a linearly independent set of basis states as a frequency parameterization of an economy may be constructed. Cyclical economic trends and indicators of particular recurrance periods may then be studied independently, and may be amplitude- or phase-adjusted to achieve desired economic goals. Such manipulations must be conducted with great caution however, as simultaneously phase-matched cyclical effects which initially appear to be unbounded growth will inevitably reach a peak, after which the economic collapse will be equally dramatic.
interstellar_trade.png Interstellar Trade Theory Commerce between the stars can be seen as essentially equivalent to trade confined to a single planet or continent, aside from the scale of the distances involved. While concepts such as trade routes, merchant guilds and piracy all remain in some form, effectively adapting methods of economic interchange and its regulation and control to space-based forms is nontrivial. As in earlier times, the harnessing or misuse of these factors can have drastic effects on the economies that grow to depend on them.
enviromental_adaptation.png Environmental Adaptation Theory When the colonization of space begins, the great variety of planetary environments that are encountered will seem to be nothing but a hindrance, as most environments are inhospitable to any given race, and population growth and expansion are thus limited. However, as expantion continues and empires become established in multiple star systems, environmental diversity becomes increasingly beneficial if properly harnessed. Each environment provides its own set of direct and indirect benefits, particularly for the creation or extraction of physical and conceptual commodities, which may then be traded and shared between systems. By adapting the economic system of each world to best suit its unique characteristics, these benefits are maximized.
galactic_monetary_policy.png Galactic Monetary Policy Theory As interstellar trade expands, a transition is made between isolated planetary economies to integrated regional or imperial economies. Inter-empire exchange rates, lending and trade policies and their consequent effects for seemingly dissociated regions become the most significant factors in the overall health of the galactic economy. Accordingly, unilateral economic considerations must be tempered, and local issues considered only in the context of wider-ranging policies, in order to ensure economic prosperity for all.
economic_fluidity.png Economic Fluidity Theory When the physical distance separating star systems is no longer matched by the perceived distance for those whose economic activity occurs between them, a paradigm shift occurs. Previously, the interstellar economy could be thought of like a solid, with atomic local economies and rigid trade bonds between close neighbours. With the perceptual shift, the economy of the empire undergoes a conceptual state change into a fluid. Economic activity begins to flow freely between the stars, into previously unharness crevices, filling cracks, following new flow-channels and eliminating localized unstable asymmetry.
planetary_colonialism.png Planetary Colonialism Theory When an expending empire encoutners a planet that is rich in resources and which is populated by primitive native sentients, the opportunity arises to treat the planet as a colonial posession. A large and well-adapted workforce is immediately available, and can often be a source of information about the non-obvious unique resources of the planet. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that the native population, or at least its leaders, remains inclined to participate in the economic partnership, as former colonial workers can make an equally well-adapted rebel army.
economic_prescience.png Economic Prescience Theory Feedback control systems often consider the present, the past, and projected future states of a system when making correctional adjustments. Making projections is error-prone to the point of uselessness, however, for any highly complex and non-deterministic systems of interacting sentients such as an economy or society. To resolve this difficultly, precognitive projection can be employed to reveal many of the possible future time-paths and their relative probabilities, as well as the best adjustments to make to adjust these probablities as desired. By this method, the unpredictable and often illogical choices of sentients may be isolated, and the economy can finally be described and controlled as well as a macroscopic physical system.
Missing.png Stabilized Hypergrowth Theory Economic activity functions as a positive feedback into its own growth. An exponential growth curve naturally follows from this in many cases, and economic growth is thus often described as a ratio of the economy's size. Occasional bursts of hyperexponential growth intermittantly occur, but are unstable and followed by painful corrections. However, through proper structuring and management, and careful cultivation of the necessary conditions for it to begin, indefinite hyperexponential growth may be maintained.
economic_hegemony.png Economic Hegemony Theory An economy in optimal form represents a great variety of financial, cultural and other social mechanisms that may be employed to achieve the goals of those who are able to control them. Through use of these tools, other less-developed economies may be completely controlled, either through overt domination or destruction, or more subtle and targetted manipulations. By extention, an externally-controlled economy may be used to exert influence or control on all other aspects of a society. Through these means, a power equal or greater than any martial force is realized.
Missing.png Colonial Economic Blueprinting Application With advanced economic planning now a reality, the economy for an entire developing world can be blueprinted with the precision of a physical building. Upstart markets tap their raw potential for growth, without risk of being mired in traditionally immature "wild frontier" mentalities.
commercial_uniion_of_the_colonies.png Commercial Union of the Colonies Application The combination of applications as diverse as economic spectroscopy, bio-mimetics, digital psychology and advanced game theory produce a shift in the paradigm of economic thinking. The means to organize economic markets orders of magnitude above any previously envisioned becomes possible.
Missing.png Deep Green Application The quantum fractal nature of the equations of economic spectroscopy make all but the relatively superficial analyses impractical for most markets. However a massive computer designed from the ground up to handle the unusual algorithms, could supply an entire empire with economic foresight and stability.
Missing.png Economic Etherealization Application In the Exodus age of vast possibilities, the economic systems of most worlds have been slow to abandon the archaic paper and pencil, trading floor mentality. The final step in economic modernization is to dispense with out-dated, corporeal economic systems once and for all and transcend to a purer plane of digital information and virtual presence. This transition will boost the markets of all worlds, especially those largest.
Missing.png Paradise Planet Application The Paradise Planet is the ultimate tourist resort, a world whose entire economic structure has been converted to tourism and pleasure seeking. The benefits of such a planet would extend to the citizenry of distant worlds.
economic_sinkholes.png Economic Sinkholes Application When economic activity is viewed as a flowing fluid, the capability to affect its flow becomes apparent. By creating a localized sinkhole in surface over which trade flows, trade centres well removed from the sinkhole itself are strongly affected. Such trade current disruption propegates out in all directions however, and is difficult or impossible to target selectively.
Ships Tech Name Type Description
galactic_exploration.png Galactic Exploration Theory The discovery of interstellar travel via starlanes ushers in a new era of development of society. Old political squabbles between minor factions become insignificant when the entire civilization is faced with the limitless potential of the stars... for growth and prosperity, or utter destruction.
stellar_navigation.png Interstellar Navigation Application Starlanes form a relatively restrictive network of possible pathes, but interstellar travel is complicated and risky without proper navigation techniques.\n\nIn future, this tech might do something related to starlanes or ship speed or range...
interstellar_lighthouse.png Interstellar Lighthouses Application Useful for ships travelling into and out of a system by starlanes, Interstellar "Lighthouses" indicate the location of a starlane entrance in a system, and also make the lane safely navigable in either direction. Use of the lane is made significant safer.
Missing.png Fleet Logistics Application Gives planets ability to resupply fleets in systems several starlane jumps away.