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Forum » SpaceEngine » Gameplay Discussions » SE could use a mythos for player exploration (Fictional account of why the SE universe exists at all)
SE could use a mythos for player exploration
AaronDate: Thursday, 02.02.2012, 06:33 | Message # 1
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I would like to think that spaceengine is a game of a universe in a universe that is a game. IE: SE is simply another iteration of a simulator that we ourselves live within. Someone who can spin a story better than I would need to conceive a purpose to the SE universe, but it would be fitting to finally discover that the universe you are exploring inside SE is yet another inception of another simulated universe.

Just don't forget your totem.

A poorly constructed introduction to the SE universe, from a perspective I find intriguing and amusing:

First, there was the email. Her research associates had sent the mail late last night. When she got up in the morning to see what happened overnight at the radio research station, it usually had more to do with who left the lights on, or when the next refrigerator cleanout was happening. However, this was different.

FROM: xxx
TO: yyy
RE: Deep space scan sector 27a
STATUS: URGENT

I found an anomaly on last night's transient object scan. This one has a blueshift pattern that by my estimate puts the object on a collision course for earth in under three weeks. I've sent a mail to the director but we need to get more scanning in place right away!

xxx.

Time has passed. That email was a scant 6 years ago. It turns out that the "anomaly" was actually a construction appliance, sent to earth as a gift from an unknown race. It appears that when you command it to, the machine spits out kilometer long star ships capable of instantaneous interstellar flight. The unfortunate part is the person pressing the button becomes a semi-permanent part of the ship. Ah well, tradeoffs, right?

The first explorers entered the alien vessel that had parked itself in orbit around the earth, and the technological miracles that occurred afterwards were astounding. SSTO flight! Space folding technology! Nanotech assemblers! Unlimited zero point energy devices that you could fit in your pocket. All this technology was bestowed upon the human race as an anonymous gift. The creator's only request was that the recipients of their gift report what they find back to their friends.

At first, people were nervous. Was this some sort of ulterior motive? Why would something give this to another race? Within a year of exploring the artifact, there were hundreds of people that had gotten a chance to interact with the artifact. Each one was able to help hundreds, then thousands, more people brave enough to press the button and essentially become a universal explorer. Each had found a new purpose in life, to gift their fellow humans the stars, planning new worlds for colonization, for resource extraction, discovery. Within a decade, the human civilization had gone from warring factions competing for limited resources on a insignificant mudball, to a multi galaxy spanning far flung civilization. All from that one anonymous donor.

Kat was nervous. She had plans. She wanted to find out who built the builder. There was no going back now - time for a journey to infinity.

Begin. Click.

She thinks she just saw god, but she is not sure - her adventures begin now.

*You are now on a different plane of existence*

*Outside the bounds of the universe that humans perceive*

notations from creationist 7140-42

.The humans trade and discuss their findings constantly on our universal com bus. Their nature has not changed, nor their sense of aesthetic. We find it amusing that such a short time ago a human would discover beauty in their own home, yet now they seek greater and larger vistas. Galactic sunrise over a core world is not enough for them any more. Their insatiable hunger for more perhaps outstrips our own.

.In some ways, it is to be expected, as their unexpected development in our simulations has been in some ways patterned after us. We see them seeking now for the edges of the universe. When they find them, I believe then they will be ready to meet us. We just hope they are not disappointed by who and what they find.


Edited by Aaron - Thursday, 02.02.2012, 06:35
 
curiousepicDate: Friday, 03.02.2012, 15:48 | Message # 2
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For those who might be confused, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis

Even disregarding the simulation aspect, I really like this story. It's right in line with my suggestions for a framework that justifies the somewhat unlikely juxtaposition of tech, aesthetic, and gameplay SE has chosen.





My ideal preferences for visual design of the mothership and technology in SE
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
 
TalismanDate: Friday, 03.02.2012, 20:01 | Message # 3
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I love the Simulation Hypothesis, I'm not sure how probable it is but maybe the big bang is just what a program looks like when it is being loaded? cool

Maybe elementary particles are just too strange, perhaps plank lengths shouldn't exist in a "real" universe.





 
curiousepicDate: Saturday, 18.02.2012, 17:23 | Message # 4
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I felt inspired the other day, and came up with this:

No one knows the true origin of the Parakinesis Cores. Very little data of any kind survived the Great Purge that ended the Artilect War. Was it the invention of a single brilliant mind? The manifestation of the collective ingenuity of Humanity? More likely one of the few surviving vestiges of the doomed Artilect superintelligences. Or was it discovered beneath the sands of a distant planet by one the first sub-light interstellar expeditions? Was it bestowed upon us by a now-silent benefactor civilization? Or is it a gift from God? Regardless of origin, the Parakinesis Cores are miraculous: virtually unending energy, harvested from the very fabric of the Cosmos, and with it, spacetime-bending, superluminal power. The ability to propel matter faster than light.

Along with the legacy technologies of instantaneous quantum communication, mature nanofabrication and metamaterials, versatile superconductors, and stable containment of metallic hydrogen and antimatter, the Parakinesis Cores allow Humanity to swiftly reach into the vastness of space, to set foot on worlds whose light would have taken thousands, millions of years to reach Old Earth.

The Exodus gave us room to spread our wings, to secure our place in the Cosmos. In the light of such abundance, competition for resources dissolved, and with it, our penchant for violence. And with the absence of any trace of other intelligent species in the galaxy, trillions are content to drown themselves, isolated in superstimulating simulations tailored for their pleasure.

But there are those who still embrace their evolutionary roots, yearning for physical community, for collaboration, exploration, and sustainable growth. Those who hunger for the real, for the crunch of regolith under their feet, the force of alien winds, basking in photons forged by a star unseen by any other.





My ideal preferences for visual design of the mothership and technology in SE
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Saturday, 18.02.2012, 21:31 | Message # 5
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I don't like the idea of ​​a "gift from above". This implies that mankind is so stupid and primitive that it cannot invent itself the hyperdrive and other space technologies. I think the best that humanity came in a "large space" itself, met with other civilizations somewhere far far away, giving them some of our technology.

*





 
curiousepicDate: Sunday, 19.02.2012, 00:30 | Message # 6
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
I think the best that humanity came in a "large space" itself,


I'm not sure what you mean by this phrase. Just that Humanity expanded deep into space on their own?

I wrote this lore just because I thought it would be interesting to have the origin of the "fantastic" tech in the game to have an unknown origin, partly so that we don't have to explain how it works or how it was created. But I can understand your preference against that. I like the Humanist perspective too, showing hope for our own future even beyond the game. I would be happy with a positive, Sagan-inspired backstory. (Well, what I wrote was also inspired by Sagan's rhetoric, just with the mysterious twist).

The other half of why I wrote this was to give some inspiration and justification for why humanity is expanding and colonizing at all. In a time of super-abundance and high technology, I think the majority of humanity would be happy to just live their lives in simulations, and there would be little or no will to physically expand into the galaxy. I wanted to evoke the feeling that the player is someone who leads the (relatively) small group of humans who felt a deeper connection with true reality, further into the galaxy, just for the sake of exploration and being there in-person.





My ideal preferences for visual design of the mothership and technology in SE
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
 
AaronDate: Sunday, 19.02.2012, 01:48 | Message # 7
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I think it's pretty easy to come up with a deus ex machina that fits the bill.

You could borrow from a couple other science fiction tropes. For example, perhaps humans discover a "quantum corralation effect" that allows people to programattically alter matter in the universe. It then turns out that humans discover a way to alter basic properties of particles, such as their mass.

After years of research with this effect, humans discover ways to create jump drives based on this effect, along with nano assemblers (remember, the technology is based on localized altering of fundimental constants and being able to coherce quantum objects to do specific things) and all the other technologies I've seen spoken about in the forums.

The ability to retain the idea that just beyond humankind's understanding (in this fictional universe) is that for some reason the entire basis of this fictional technology is that the universe humans are in is still a numerical simulated universe, where humans have unwittingly discovered how to "bend the rules" of the simulation, allowing for powerful starflight abilities, along with other capabilities that a Class III/beginnings of Class IV civilization on the Kardashev scale.

There's a lot that could be invented that could provide some powerful game concepts, rules, and limitations to make an "interesting" game.

The basis for the deus ex machina does not require basis on "humans being stupid apes being given tools from higher beings" for this to happen.

The story could just as easily be "humans determine they are in a simulation, and are smart enough to uplift themselves indirectly out of the universe they were born in" - a transcendence of our current existence.

I hope this does not sound like ramblings of a lunatic.

Aaron

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
I don't like the idea of ​​a "gift from above". This implies that mankind is so stupid and primitive that it cannot invent itself the hyperdrive and other space technologies. I think the best that humanity came in a "large space" itself, met with other civilizations somewhere far far away, giving them some of our technology.
 
curiousepicDate: Sunday, 19.02.2012, 03:04 | Message # 8
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But in a way, the simulation concept itself is a "gift from above". I like the idea on one hand, but on the other, it would somewhat cheapen what Space Engine is all about - exploring the universe. This universe, in its (what humans like to hope is) naturally evolved beauty.

I really like your concept, and in a way, it's a great fit for this game, but I'm not sure it aligns with SpaceEngineer's vision.





My ideal preferences for visual design of the mothership and technology in SE
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
 
werdnaforeverDate: Friday, 20.04.2012, 00:50 | Message # 9
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How about...

Our universe is actually within Space Engine Version 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.96: Special edition!* - a being on a higher plane of existence who's species and technology evolved enough to create computers capable of handling the entirety of a universe has downloaded the program and launched it. Starting with version 230,765,328,910,991,453,908.40218, this "Space Engine" program includes a feature which allows for simulations of entire universes from big bang to a finite end, until entropy takes over entirely and nothing happens forever, or any other possible endings. The best part is that it's all done in "real time"- no more annoying loading screens! smile

*System requirements- You just need a computer with (ERROR - UNABLE TO DESCRIBE USING HUMAN LANGUAGE).

With all seriousness, I think Space Engine is important as more than just a game- in a way it makes you consider what software (and computers) will be available in thousands of years- what some of our descendants might be doing in their spare time could be an extension of this. (considering things go smoothly and the many problems in our world are finally solved...) Could the development of universe simulation software lead to the simulation of entire universes one day? It's a philosophical point too.

When considering the universe of Space Engine itself, in the context of game play, the explanation would be simple- the universe was created by a computer program. A little person on a procedurally generated planet might consider that idea silly or foolish, or even mythological, but to us it's quite simple. For all we know, we could be in the same kind of situation. (see initial paragraph of this post).
 
PressianDate: Tuesday, 08.05.2012, 18:11 | Message # 10
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The best "simulation" story I've ever read is here. I will paste it whole between spoiler tags wink



All rights go to Sam Hughes wink


Edited by Pressian - Tuesday, 08.05.2012, 18:13
 
AerospacefagDate: Wednesday, 09.05.2012, 11:09 | Message # 11
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It doesn't bother me enough if Space Engine is already constructed some 20 billions years ago, as well as any other versions of some Divine Quest Universe, we have to try our own simulation right there.


Attachments: 2767917.jpg(29Kb)


Edited by Aerospacefag - Wednesday, 09.05.2012, 11:27
 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Gameplay Discussions » SE could use a mythos for player exploration (Fictional account of why the SE universe exists at all)
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