Category Archives: Game Design

NaGa DeMon: The Slipstream Drive

A couple of days ago I wrote down a few notes on how FTL travel and communication is supposed to work in my Galaxy Rising game. I haven’t decided yet, how fast you can travel using a Slipstream drive nor have I set a limit for FTL communication. I’ll set those limits when the setting has progressed a bit further. In the short fiction piece I released a science vessel made a trip to the Orion nebula, which is about 1,344 light years away. This might be around the upper range limit of what League drive technology is capable of.

The Slipstream Drive
Image: Les Bossinas, created for NASAThe slipstream drive invented in the late 24th century finally allowed fast interplanetary and interstellar travel. The drive creates a slipspace tunnel through which the vessel can travel at faster than light speeds without breaking special relativity. Another use of the slipstream drive technology are the so called slipgates which create semi-permanent slipspace tunnels through which ships without their own FTL drive can travel. The League has established an extensive slipgate network in their area of influence. While in slipspace a vessel does not interact with matter in normal space.

Slipspace Communication
The physical properties of slipspace also allows electromagnetic waves to propagate much faster than in normal space, allowing almost instantaneous communication over vast distances. State-of-the-art slipstream drives can also generate several slipspace tunnels with tiny diameters in order to allow laser or radio communication over several light years. Alas it’s impossible to open communication tunnels while the ship travels in slipspace, so starships have to make regular stops in order to communicate. The League has constructed a network of relay satellites which which is known as LeagueNet.

Would such a drive system be possible from what we know today? I highly doubt it. But it works in the realm of fiction and has a couple of limitations that can be used by to help the plot of your game. FTL travel is not unlimited in range and it still takes a while to travel from A to B. Communication is faster but probably more limited in range. Which means starships are pretty much on their own when far enough away from League space. And this alone always helps to create great adventure opportunities. “You’re on your own. What do you do?”

NaGa DeMon: The League

Today I want to share my notes about the League with you.

The League

Gliese 581g (Image: Lynette Cook)The League of Free Worlds was formed shortly after discovery of the Slipstream drive and the first contact with an alien species. The first contact showed that it was necessary that mankind spoke with one voice at least in matters of interspecies relations and space exploration. In 2397 the League was formed by the major space-faring nations on Earth, the Mars colony, the Icarus space colony which is situated near the Jupiter trojans, and the newly-established colony on Gliese 581g. Each member elects a number of representative which form the League’s Council. The Council then elects the Speaker from among its ranks who acts as diplomatic representative of the League. The League gets funded by its member states and uses these funds to fund colony projects, the League Defense Force and the Institute of Space Sciences which is responsible for space exploration and developing new technologies. The League Defense Force defends the League against attacks from outside threats and also helps to maintain order in League space. The LDF has no jurisdiction on Earth or within the space claimed by one of the member states.

Any thoughts? As always any advice is highly appreciated!

NaGa DeMon: What’s In a Name?

icon-speak-150x150 One important part of any game design is coming up with fitting terms, names, et cetera. Alas I have to admit I am really bad at this aspect of game design. I have pretty cool ideas on how a game setting is supposed to look like but when it comes to naming things, the trouble usually starts.

The most important name to come up with is the title of the game itself. The project I am currently working on for NaGa DeMon will be a Scifi roleplaying game set into the 26th century. One aspect of the game that’s very important to me is that space exploration and a sense of wonder should play a major role in the game. A large portion of our galaxy is still undiscovered, there are mysteries behind every other corner. For quite a while I wanted to create a game called “Galaxy Rising” and I think it might actually be a good fit for what I have in mind. The name is inspired by a quote by Carl Sagan. In his TV series Cosmos he said the following: “A still more glorious dawn awaits, not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise. A morning filled with 400 billion suns. The rising of the milky way.” (Check out “A Glorious Dawn“, a musical tribute to both Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking!)

In my opinion “Galaxy Rising” is a great name and conveys the same sense of wonder I want to convey with the game itself.

In the small piece of fiction I published last week I included some of the names of alien species that will play a role in my game. But since then I have pondered whether I should use plain language names for the alien species instead of “Valar” and “Arelians”. Or alternatively I could use names from mythology that fit what the aliens look like or behave. The problem with names you’ve come up with is that you may pick something that actually has a meaning in another language. Perhaps you heard about the issues Mitsubishi had with their Pajero, which is actually an offensive word in Spanish. I’ve not come to any decision yet, so every name I post here on the blog is subject to change.

By the way, what’s your stance on the subject? And how do you like “Galaxy Rising”? As always every comment is highly appreciated.