WIP A Distant Galaxy
This is my new worldbuilding project I'm currently working on. For a change it's going to be a science fiction setting taking place in a distant galaxy, heavily influenced by Mass Effect. I would like to hear suggestions on what should be improved or if you have any other ideas to make this map better or unique. The only thing I can think of is that I'm going to change the perspective when everything is done with it so it will have more depth. I used this tutorial http://blog.hexagonstar.com/galaxy-tutorial/ to create the galaxy with some minor tweaks here and there so that I could accomplish it with GIMP instead of Photoshop!
If someone also know any Website that have guides on "how to create a science fiction world" I would be very glad if you could post them here :)
Something about that stylised galaxy says 'Van Gogh' to me. I like it.
Well, I can probably help, but it depends what sort of detail you want and what your main focus or intent is.
Originally Posted by Uomaru
Are you more interested in geology, meteorology, geography, technology, history, demographics, economics, politics, botany, zoology...?
If I know what your goal is, I can maybe point you in the right direction. :)
Well, anything would be nice, but mostly i need links about technology, goverment and how to create "believable aliens". Different ways of traveling the galaxy would be nice to!
Science fiction worldbuilding depends heavily on how "hard" you want the sci-fi ... as in how plausible you want the science. If you want it really plausible, the best way to do it is to look at actual science and take some intuitive (and fictional) leaps.
If you have a library nearby or can spare the cash to buy it, Orson Scott Card wrote an invaluable book about how to handle all of the things you're talking about. If not, here are a couple links to get you started (these are all places I've gotten good stuff for the sci-fi I'm researching). A google search on "science fiction worldbuilding" should yield some good results too.
Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions (fantasy and sci-fi intermix alot, so still useful)
Interstellar Travel on Wikipedia (and pretty much everything under See Also)
Universe Today is a great site for the actual science of space as it stands now
Space Cynic will give you an idea of what the problems with different space ideas are, so that you can deal with those problems in your world.
Thanks for the reply! I think I'm going for a more space opera-ish feeling, something along the lines of Mass Effect and Halo (not sure of Halo's genre). I've mostly been playing around with fantasy ideas and concept, so I'm new to SF. If I would focus on a Hard science fiction setting it will just turn out bad... really bad. Accuracy and mathematics are not my strong side :(
Preferably I want to focus on how it would be if humans, out of pure desperation and near extinction, invades another galaxy. What could possibly be the outcome and the consequences of the humans actions?
I also want to focus, as in my previous post, on governments and oraganizations, aliens and their culture and similiar stuff like that :) Hopefully it will turn out good!
If you are willing to spend a bit of money, GURPS Space is a quite impressive collection of material: Interstellar societies and technology, Placing worlds within a galaxy, designing worlds and star systems, and designing alien life. You don't need the rest of GURPS to use it.
LOL! Good call, Gidde. Yes, Hardness is the first thing to look at. As you can see from my list above, I tend to go for the harder end, so I might not be so much help after all, but just a few pointers to get you figuring where you want to go:
If you're going for the softer sci-fi, technology can be almost anything you want - and if you're going for an intergalactic campaign it'll be well off my scale. Galaxies are several million light years apart (compared with several light years for interstellar distances) so if you want to get there in less than a year, you have to be travelling at several million times light speed. What tech would accomplish that is anyone's guess - and by the time humans have achived that level, they might not even be recognisably human... But I'm talking hard sci and logic again. :)
Human governments run the gamut from a single ruler to a council and from participative democracy to totalitarian regimes - pretty much anything goes there.
Aliens will all have the same ecological problems that we're familiar with - the need to respire, to feed, to procreate and to manipulate their environment. You can go for 'rubber suit' aliens or more exotic types, but the less human they are, the more difficult it becomes to explain their motives - even the motive for conflict. The thing that really makes aliens alien is the way they think.
A human invasion of another galaxy (or even a starsystem) would be a huge undertaking that would require huge resources and a very long period of time. It would have the same difficulties, risks and consequences as any other all-out war - both sides risk genocide and extinction.
Hope that helps. :)
Yeah, I tend to go for the harder end too, lol. I want to give readers the same feeling I got when I read Red Mars for the first time: "Wow, we could be doing this! Why aren't we doing this NOW?"
Another good resource is the History channel's The Universe; they have a few episodes (that get pretty regularly rerun) about what ET/other planets might look like and why. Good for inspiration.
Thanks for all of the advices! I got GURPS Space and I'm currently reading it. All I can say is that this book is a must buy for a SF world builder :) it has a lot of information, stays interesting and explains everything in a nice way, giving newbieís like me a chance to understand basic SF terms and concepts. Very nice!
While Iím reading the book Iíve come up with a concept of the travelling system in the galaxy. Iíve had this vision of a former alien species that only focused on developing their space travelling technology for many many hundreds of years, maybe thousands. They came up with so called hyper stations, or routers, to make space travel faster, secure and simpler.
The routers functions as a sort of catapult that launch ships in high speed into hyperspace, emerging out by another router. Each router has its own close knitted network; one router leads to another one, which then leads to the next one (and back to the previous router).
As the ancient alien species expanded their territory they placed out these routers at strategically and useful coordinates.
Before using a router it must be activated. After the alien species ďmysteriouslyĒ disappeared, one after one of the routers deactivated because of the lack of maintenance.
To relocate and activate the routs, the government funds so called router expeditions so that new territories may be explored, make new travel routs/highways in the galaxy and open up unexplored space. Router expeditions usually takes between months or years as the expedition ship needs to travel the distances between one relay to the other one in ďstandard ship travel timeĒ instead of hyper speed. The time is approximately ten double the hyper jump time, less or more.
All currently found routers are heavily controlled by its founders. To make a hyper travel by using a router you often need to have a certain certificate or pay a fee.
Space stations are often located close to the router so that the government/organization can have some control over the router. They also schedules the ďtravelling schemeĒ (they donít want any coalitions on the highway) and maintains the routerís condition. The space station also protects the router from invaders who wants to take control over it, as the highways are very important for trade, economics, politics and war.
So this is my first brainstorming ideas on the travelling system. I hope it isn't to confusing... english isn't my native language, and neither is SF my specialization :roll:. There are still a lot of topics left to cover, like what travel speed does the ship have in hyperspace, what happens if a router is broken while ships are travelling the highway, can ships be detected when travelling the hyperspace and so on. If you have any opinions or advices (or if you think itís to unoriginal) I would be happy to hear any suggestions! :)
Other brainstorming ideas involves how humans came to the galaxy and why and so on. Itís still too early to put it up here.
Iíve also drawn some modifications on the map. The next step would be to place out the routers if the idea is good enough to be used! I also attached a pic with the galaxy without anything layered over it.