Author Topic: Time's End comments thread  (Read 1290 times)

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Offline Stormtrooper (OP)

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Re: Time's End comments thread
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2021, 06:01:48 PM »
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It is nice for the dolphins, sure, but in the present what about our own race.

This is a statement of a representant of a primitive civilisation. More advanced ones do care about dolphins evolving and carrying the tradition of sentience forward, long after they will be gone. So that as they fall one by one they are sure the universe will thrive once again...

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Of course for you as an author this is a narrative success

Thanks... Always happy to see someone enjoy my aliens, because I feel like in space-related stuff is one of the easiest things to screw up by not making them alien enough or whatever.

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I would cry shame on them for simply accepting the premise at face value and not interrogating it thoroughly, "whether it was all a mystification or not".

Who said they "simply accepted it"? It just was terrifying enough for them to smeg their pants who said they react like humans when afraid. Their balance might be perfect, but is also fragile - throw too much stuff at them and it will affect them, even if later they figure out what you threw was not true. Definitely better outcome, but simply saying stuff like that to any Groaxian in a convincing tone is enough to already cause some harm. Especially with all the went through...

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the depths to which the Groaxians have sunk into Dark Forest nature, if indeed it was not in them all along as many seem to be afraid.

There's a reason universe is set up this way and not any other and why there's always an endless stream of things wanting to kill you out there.  ::)

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We do seem to be in the endgame now.

Timer is ticking... Dark Forest will hear, and once it hears, it purges.

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The slate of candidates certainly brings a wide range of perspectives to the table
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The range of visualizations for each candidate does a lot to show their background and personalities and is much appreciated.

Thanks, this is me opening the commanders window for the first time (except for the first manual assignments to the planet and academy at the very start of the game only to never see this window again), decided by telling a bit about different Groaxians I should avoid the "all aliens of one race are the same" cliche by a wider margin than by simply mentioning something about a special group of them or something.

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Clearly some balance will be needed but what that should be is complicated.

Looks like you've predicted the latest update, they do indeed need some balance and it is definitely complicated... ::)
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Time's End comments thread
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2021, 03:28:58 PM »
Thanks... Always happy to see someone enjoy my aliens, because I feel like in space-related stuff is one of the easiest things to screw up by not making them alien enough or whatever.

To your credit I think the big accomplishment you've had is being consistent in your presentation of your aliens. In many cases writers try to create "more alien" aliens by making them look weird and every so often giving them quirks or weird rituals to remind the reader that the aliens are weird, but otherwise they act in very human ways.  What you've done here is start from an alien race with a very distinctive cultural nature and drawn the narrative from that characterization rather than sticking "weird characters" into a predetermined plot arc.

I think Aurora is very strong in this regard, since it essentially generates the plot for us and gives a lot of natural cause-and-effect so the stories we tell make cohesive sense (unless there is a bug...). However much credit is due the writers who succeed in making the most out of what the game gives them.  :)

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Who said they "simply accepted it"? It just was terrifying enough for them to smeg their pants who said they react like humans when afraid. Their balance might be perfect, but is also fragile - throw too much stuff at them and it will affect them, even if later they figure out what you threw was not true. Definitely better outcome, but simply saying stuff like that to any Groaxian in a convincing tone is enough to already cause some harm. Especially with all the went through...

Really I think what I am getting at. The Groaxians are so fearful that in their reaction they struggle to keep to the ethical nature of their race. Of course this is good characterization to show how Dark Forest has affected the Groaxians.

And now for the updates...

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COVID-19 PANDEMIC

It's funny to recall how this universe of yours got started with a, shall we say cheeky COVID-19 plot hook, and now in some sense we have come in a full circle. Of course now the tone is very different...

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Zu'Zhuchuziv was the first one to come up with a plan. The middleman reminded about one of the experiments conducted in Qusmont labs. technology for rapid tissue expansion and cybersoul-based machines for shaping it into any organical form desired were widely used in medicine to heal wounds or replace corrupted organs, capable of even completely replacing all of them in case of advanced stages of most severe diseases. But that was just a mere entry point to more advanced cases. Bioengineers working with this technology predicted it was capable of doing much more, for example regenerating whatever part of a brain required replacement. The research on this part was mostly theoretical, though, with a few of experiments with animals here and there. Groaxian applications were strictly prohibited by Conglomerate. The plan of the candidate was nothing more but to continue the suspended project and replace damaged parts of the brain with a new tissue.

Already we see that the new Conglomerate is likely to take very different approaches from the old one, which is almost certainly necessary but at what cost?

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Once upon a time Humanity faced a deadly plague. Not for the first time, and apparently not for the last (though the pace of progress in medicine afterwards made that particular one the last truly devastating pandemic),

I really hope so...

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To further help the sleepless population, old Conglomerate agreed to increase the usage of cybersoul-based autonomous machines. So far it was hesitant of introducing too many of them into the industry as to not break the balance, but at that stage it was a necessity to compensate for the lowered productivity. It felt surrealistic: dead machines working solar and cosmic watch among deserted cities and factories while ice storms strike against them and with many Groaxians fighting in heated encampments to finally hibernate and sleep well till a new cycle begins.

It is almost like this pandemic could in the end have benefits for the Groaxians if they can discover how to defeat the actual disease. Introducing automation may contradict their social values but could also give them the elevated productivity they need to make a lot of progress on Project Ascension and other efforts to survive the Dark Forest. Of course this hinges on the Groaxians being able to find balance again if and when they can overcome the pandemic.

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Enough Groaxians became Watchers for a new concept to raise and circulate among them, something not possible to emerge with the amounts of Dark Forest Disease patients from before the pandemic. They were no longer centered around the idea of balance, but instead took the idea of adaptation as their main guiding light.

Oh dear, this has the potential to cause massive upheaval when the Groaxians who have remained on the surface to hibernate re-awaken. Two fundamentally different views of existence cannot be compatible...can they?

What I meant to say was, "viva la revolution "   :P

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A breakthrough on Yatune was announced shortly afterwards. Watchers not only were able to use the "spare brain parts" like evryone else, but it also turned out that after having genome sequence enriched with a tiny bit of small modifications to alleviate for missing hibernation, their mental condition was improving while doing so. Ironically, this was exactly what Watcher's ideals were about - as test subjects believed themselves, their adaptation allowed to pave the way towards ending the pandemic.

The intersection of scientific breakthrough and philosophy of existence is a wild and crazy frontier. Much can happen here.

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The results... They were... too good. After so much time after the discovery of this theory, to have someone question its validity sounded strange at best and worrying survival-wise at worst. Groaxians, put on extinction timer, could not afford to waste it wondering whether the universe really operated the way it operated. But at the same time the outcome was hopeful: it served as a proof that a total reset of Groaxian society was doable. The "lost generation stragety" proposed by Pa'Voxihik was examined in a new light and gained more support than ever. And in the latest version nobody would technically have to end up "lost". Do what needs to be done, evacuate the race to a new home far from Qi and cure the society only after the imminent danger is avoided were the new points raised by many.

It is good to see the diverse efforts of the new Conglomerate members come together in such a solution, even though much work remains to be done. It is truly a very Groaxian solution, making intuitive sense to them while us humans would still be arguing about Ship of Theseus theory or something like that.

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After more thoughts thrown at the issue, all sides involved managed to negotiate a new compromise: exactly half of the population would be cured and focus on Project Ascension, meeting Humanity and other tasks relating to overcome Dark Forest, the other half would be reprogrammed to take responsibility of preparing and later fighting the battles that were yet to come, and on top of that, a new Conglomerate alongside with its closest collaborators would remain how they were, without any genetic modification or mental overrides. Their task would be to carefully oversee the new status quo and intervene whenever they'd see it being skewed towards either side. And finally, when the time comes and either Qi and Mimung are evacuated or Project Ascension completed, they shall be the ones to pull the final switch and restore peace and bring the society to how it was before the interstellar era had begun.

In the end, both balance and adaptation are necessary. An interesting conclusion, yet one which certainly reconciles the nature of the universe. The Groaxians still face many challenges and must never become too comfortable with their place in the galaxy, but at least for now they can move forward into their Brave New World ;) with some measure of confidence I think.
 
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Offline Stormtrooper (OP)

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Re: Time's End comments thread
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2021, 04:44:40 PM »
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To your credit I think the big accomplishment you've had is being consistent in your presentation of your aliens. In many cases writers try to create "more alien" aliens by making them look weird and every so often giving them quirks or weird rituals to remind the reader that the aliens are weird, but otherwise they act in very human ways.  What you've done here is start from an alien race with a very distinctive cultural nature and drawn the narrative from that characterization rather than sticking "weird characters" into a predetermined plot arc.

Ooops, I think I might have tried to do just that, make them "more alien" and whatnot, but if you say both I didn't do it and it's bad, then I guess... task failed successfully?

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The Groaxians are so fearful

They are not fearful, they just want to enjoy their little utopia at peace without something always screwing them up and destabilising them even with the mere thought of its existence many light hibernation cycles away...

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It's funny to recall how this universe of yours got started with

Well, you think why I wrote all this updates I wrote? I just wanted to reiterate through how it all started but in a different way because DLC...

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I really hope so...

Don't worry, World Government already has this under control. Expreiments with cybernetics and genetic modifications are picking up pace and we're only a few years left from nuclear engines and this little beast

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Scorpion class Geological Survey Vessel      3,178 tons       50 Crew       257.3 BP       TCS 64    TH 150    EM 0
2360 km/s      Armour 1-19       Shields 0-0       HTK 19      Sensors 0/0/0/1      DCR 1      PPV 0
Maint Life 1.58 Years     MSP 50    AFR 81%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 23    5YR 346    Max Repair 100 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Nuclear Thermal Engine  EP50.00 (3)    Power 150    Fuel Use 100%    Signature 50    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 250,000 Litres    Range 14.2 billion km (69 days at full power)

Geological Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

will take humans to Mars, Venus and overall across entire Solar System expect Nibiru and its two moons before the decade ends. We got this.  8)

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What I meant to say was, "viva la revolution "

Yep, this time it's a real revolution. Surviving extreme conditions does affect stuff...

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It is truly a very Groaxian solution, making intuitive sense to them while us humans would still be arguing about Ship of Theseus theory or something like that.

Well, seems like you finally start to understand how this civilisation works. It has different problems than humans and certain things that would be a problem for humans are no big deal here. Except here it actually is a big deal because balance yadda yadda, but it's a Brave New World for a reason...

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they can move forward into their Brave New World ;) with some measure of confidence I think.

Well... Don't say "I survived Dark Forest Strike" before Dark Forest strikes, that's all I can tell for now... ::)

P.S. Damn I've really pushed as far as I could, time to play aurora again to get more stuff to work with.
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Time's End comments thread
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2021, 05:11:55 PM »
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To your credit I think the big accomplishment you've had is being consistent in your presentation of your aliens. In many cases writers try to create "more alien" aliens by making them look weird and every so often giving them quirks or weird rituals to remind the reader that the aliens are weird, but otherwise they act in very human ways.  What you've done here is start from an alien race with a very distinctive cultural nature and drawn the narrative from that characterization rather than sticking "weird characters" into a predetermined plot arc.

Ooops, I think I might have tried to do just that, make them "more alien" and whatnot, but if you say both I didn't do it and it's bad, then I guess... task failed successfully?

Haha, nothing wrong with intentionally making your aliens "more alien" - I'm more talking about the kind of writing where the "aliens" are basically humans with weird quirks and extra appendages, but they still speak, act, and think in fairly human ways beneath the superficial differences. If you could tell the same story with humans instead of aliens...well, why do you have aliens?

The Groaxians are of course very alien as a race, but what you've done here is I think to have a unique and alien culture which is not just "humanity with a weird trait" (like: Vulcans = logical humans, Klingons = aggressive humans, etc.) and explored how such a different culture would live in this Dark Forest universe. I could not describe the Groaxians as "collectivist humans" or "humans with telepathy" based on how the actual story has unfolded.

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It's funny to recall how this universe of yours got started with

Well, you think why I wrote all this updates I wrote? I just wanted to reiterate through how it all started but in a different way because DLC...

Wait I thought this AAR was an excuse for self-indulgent philosophizing about the nature of life, the universe and everything?

Oh no, wait, my bad, that's what the comment thread is for.  ;)

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Well... Don't say "I survived Dark Forest Strike" before Dark Forest strikes, that's all I can tell for now... ::)

Call me an optimist.

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P.S. Damn I've really pushed as far as I could, time to play aurora again to get more stuff to work with.

Oh no, however will you survive?  ;)
 
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