Natural Wonders

Teleros
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Natural Wonders

Postby Teleros » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:02 pm

That Cracked.com article about 6 crazy things in space got me thinking... what if there were such things in MORE? They wouldn't have to be terribly useful, but it'd be a fun addition to the setting IMHO. For example:

Diamond Planet
-Found orbiting the remnants of a supernova.
-Cannot be colonised (think irradiated, airless, barren world with NOTHING but carbon), but you can build an outpost / starbase / whatever around it.
-Whoever controls it gets a constant revenue stream from it (tourism + miners).

Charged Black Hole Debris Field
-Found around a black hole (think close-in asteroid belt).
-Cannot be colonised (!), but again you can build some kind of orbital base there.
-Whoever controls it gets a research bonus.
-The constant electric current messes up shields, so hard shields are required for combat here.

Shattered World
-Where two or more worlds collided at high speed.
-Huge asteroid-like debris field (Hoth, but worse) around a cracked-open planet.
-Can be colonised, but at best a Small population.
-If Random Events are on, prone to breaking up & killing lots of colonists.
-Defenders get a huge defensive bonus due to the horrible conditions in trying to land.
-Lunatics like to race in & around the rocks (media event? money?).

Supernova
-Very rare event. Only happens in certain star types etc, and you can probably get a warning that the star is looking like it's going to blow etc. Getting two in an epic-scale game is probably a case of pretty bad luck in fact.
-System the supernova is in gets completely wiped out. Star is changed to a white dwarf or w/e. Maybe some asteroids at the edge of the system.
-Takes several turns to actually go boom, allowing you to evacuate people etc.
-A near-lightspeed bubble of radiation leaves the supernova, harming any other colonies it hits. Follows the inverse-square rule, meaning nearby systems are screwed (mass deaths, anti-terraforming, etc), but ones on the periphery should escape without any bother (ooh, light show!).
Clear ether!

VenomStorm
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:18 am

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby VenomStorm » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:05 pm

Those are awesome ideas. I'd love to see many strange phenomenon in the galaxy as we explore and colonize. I want as many unique things as possible. I want enough of them that I may not even see one in several games (like your supernova example.) I want the discovery of new planets and systems to be very fun and exciting.

knightdt
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:11 am

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby knightdt » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:32 am

The supernova event sounds like a really cool random thing... but also rather game destroying for the player whose space it happens in. I think there should be some way revealed to exploit the event for a benefit (Massive energy influx? Scientific discovery boost? Mega tourism at the far edges? Is it so destructive that it needs all these boosts to partially offset the horror?). If you are forced to lose an entire system (or even the ones surrounding) then rather than a random event taking out your entire empire there should be some way to turn it around and use it.

I'm not fond of random events that essentially just say "oops! Random number generator says YOU LOSE. The End." But if you can slap in some benefits that make it not so completely destructive (while still giving the appearance of "Oh S#!T, I'm going to lose three systems!") but then still have the ability and potential benefits to desire to keep playing and make something of what's left... that's a good random event.

Teleros
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby Teleros » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:47 pm

knightdt wrote:The supernova event sounds like a really cool random thing... but also rather game destroying for the player whose space it happens in.

Agreed, though I suppose there are ways you could mitigate it. First, code it such that any star which can go supernova (and very few can) is treated as a homeworld - thus should start well away from any other homeworlds. Second, give players a warning that this star is looking like it could go at any time. Third, you could simply ban it in smaller maps. Fourth, provide mid-to-late game defences against it (or even end-game solutions) - eg planetary shields and atmosphere rebuilding terraforming or w/e.

That way it can't do more than trash a part of a player's empire, and they'll have had plenty of warning beforehand. I agree it's powerful, but should offer some interesting options for gameplay too. Do you risk building near the supernova, or does everyone leave that area as no-man's land until the end game? Also, how about a "ticking bomb" scenario where at the end, the supernova goes boom and everyone dies (the winner being the one with the highest score or w/e at the end)?
Clear ether!

VenomStorm
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:18 am

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby VenomStorm » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:21 pm

Don't forget, stars are really, really far apart. Yes, a supernova would destroy all planets in the star's home system, but it would be far from capable of destroying your whole empire, or even crippling it. The closest star to us is 4.2 light years away. That means that even at the speed of light, the shockwave would take 4 years to even reach us (if Proximo Centauri went supernova). Doing a quick Internet search, it looks like most of the gas in the shockwave would only travel at the speed of sound, which is significantly slower. Plus, you also have to consider that as the shockwave expands in a sphere, it's power is significantly reduced as it gets larger. It is not just shooting strait at Earth, it's energy is be spread out over an ever expanding sphere. This means that surrounding systems *might* experience some disturbance, but not for several years, and it would likely not cause many problems.

The other thing with stars is that they live a very long time. We would know before we even colonized a world if its star was close to going supernova, or if it had a chance to. You would be warned as you settled the world. Only certain star types could even qualify as potential supernovas. It would not be as if you were going along building an excellent space empire when suddenly you get a warning that in 4 turns your main industrial world will be gone because its star is going critical. There would have to be an indicator when you settle the system that warns you "this star meets the qualifications of a star that might go supernova sometime in the next 1,000 years" or something. You would know the risk when you settled the planet.

JPTS
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby JPTS » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:32 pm

Some scientists will disagree:

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/23/scien ... all&src=pm

"Dr. Ellis and Dr. Schramm made calculations suggesting that a supernova occurring anywhere within about 33 light-years of the Earth would produce a blast of cosmic rays that would destroy the Earth's protective ozone layer and expose its creatures to deadly solar ultraviolet radiation."

It is just a theory, so I don´t know if it would be interesting in MORE. It would be a terrible event. :twisted:

Teleros
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby Teleros » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:11 am

VenomStorm wrote:Plus, you also have to consider that as the shockwave expands in a sphere, it's power is significantly reduced as it gets larger.

That's why I said it follows the inverse-square rule ;) .

Mind you, Wikipedia reckons that the actual stellar mass scattered during a supernova will zip away at about 10% lightspeed rather than the speed of sound, at least initially (it will lose some energy over time etc). However, the real damage is done with gamma rays.

Also, Wikipedia reckons a supernova even three thousand lightyears away from Earth could noticeably affect our biosphere (!). A lot depends on the type of supernova. A Type II would need to be closer than 8 parsecs / 26 LY to destroy ~1/2 the ozone layer, whilst a nice big Type Ia is the kind that'll screw your ozone layer up from anything up to a kiloparsec away.

That could make for an interesting game dynamic though. Turn 1: a supernova goes off in the galactic centre. Colonies further out are progressively less affected, but even those right on the edge of the map get un-terraformed a bit, or lose population, or whatever. Might make for a fun race against time scenario :) .

VenomStorm wrote:It is not just shooting strait at Earth, it's energy is be spread out over an ever expanding sphere. This means that surrounding systems *might* experience some disturbance, but not for several years, and it would likely not cause many problems.

First, yes it would take years to hit even the closest systems, but it WOULD do damage unless it was a long, long way away. As per JPTS' post, supernova's a freakin' dangerous - they're one of the reasons why most scientists suspect that life as we know it could never evolve in the galactic core - every time it got started, a supernova or similar would reduce the planet it was on to a cinder & it'd have to start all over again.

VenomStorm wrote:The other thing with stars is that they live a very long time. We would know before we even colonized a world if its star was close to going supernova, or if it had a chance to. You would be warned as you settled the world. Only certain star types could even qualify as potential supernovas. It would not be as if you were going along building an excellent space empire when suddenly you get a warning that in 4 turns your main industrial world will be gone because its star is going critical. There would have to be an indicator when you settle the system that warns you "this star meets the qualifications of a star that might go supernova sometime in the next 1,000 years" or something. You would know the risk when you settled the planet.

Exactly. In fact, I'd go so far as to say "that NEARBY star could go supernova". High risk / high reward options could be opened up that way IMHO.
Clear ether!

MetalKid
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:14 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby MetalKid » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:39 pm

So just taking another idea from Civilization? :)

Teleros
Ideas & Texts Creator
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby Teleros » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:55 pm

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and let's face it, those Civ games have done pretty well :) .
Clear ether!

ANGLVD3TH
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:31 am

Re: Natural Wonders

Postby ANGLVD3TH » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:22 pm

+1 like all of these.


Return to “Galaxies, Planets & Moons”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest