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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 58 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Setting and purpose  (Read 4355 times)
Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« on: December 03, 2002, 04:21:37 PM »

Okay, so I know how the mechanics work. I know it's a sci-fi game. What I don't know is some more meat of the setting and what makes it stick out from other sci-fi games, other than the mechanics are Narrativist, rather than Simulationist and as dry as a physics textbook, the way most sci-fi games are.

So, what is the setting? What do characters do? What's the point? Why should this game rocket to the top of my "must murder to get" list? Yes, I know that ultimately that's up to me, that I should purchase it just out of sheer gratitude it's not a post-apocalypse or cyberpunk game, but how does it handle space and advanced tech that other games don't?

This is all asked out of curiosity; some of what I've read sounds fun, but the description is in sore need of meat on those bones.
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Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!
JSDiamond
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Posts: 276


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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2002, 12:18:11 PM »

Thanks for the comments and questions.  Let's get to it!

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Okay, so I know how the mechanics work. I know it's a sci-fi game. What I don't know is some more meat of the setting and what makes it stick out from other sci-fi games, other than the mechanics are Narrativist, rather than Simulationist and as dry as a physics textbook, the way most sci-fi games are.


Actually, the actual book text isn't that dry.  It's conversational without being pretentious (so I've been told) and more-or-less 'gamer to gamer' friendly in the overall.  It only seems dry because I am a terrible writer when it comes to summarizing it on a website.  But I will try (this month) to get the site together in that regard.

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So, what is the setting? What do characters do? What's the point? Why should this game rocket to the top of my "must murder to get" list? Yes, I know that ultimately that's up to me, that I should purchase it just out of sheer gratitude it's not a post-apocalypse or cyberpunk game


The setting is a *not* bleak space opera, sci-fi western, future where everything went dazzlingly well.  In fact, so well, that core space is over crowded and becoming the grand central station of the universe (yes, even with the hobos and smell of pee).  So, instead of there NEEDING to be a reason to adventure, it's a law according to the League of Allied Worlds that all young adults depart League Space and 'sow their oats' or whatever you want to call it, for four Earth-standard years elsewhere, before returning to claim full League citizenship.  The only exceptions are those who go into law enforcement or the military.  And even they can expect some cruddy posts out on some frontier world.

This BTW is where I believe that Orbit scores on originality.  And why sci-fi games do come off dry.  Their settings are already much like our own modern world and so inventing a reason to 'adventure' always feels a bit artificial.  Unless it's a 'grim, gritty, dark future with dudes in long leather coats' and so on.  That's fine, everyone role-plays according to their own priorities, but I wanted to avoid that as an Orbit player's *starting* point.  

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how does it handle space and advanced tech that other games don't?


A lot of consumer tech is just 'cool stuff' that I think anyone would like to actually have.  And thanks to Dr. Ben Baugh, Gonzo Physicist on Retainer, the starship travel is simple but incredibly colorful as described.  The rules are the same as the rest of the system.  You won't have to break out rulers and blast templates to figure out how many days it takes to get from here to there.  I don't know how original any of it is, but I believe that it works better than aping wargame-type mechanics.

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This is all asked out of curiosity; some of what I've read sounds fun, but the description is in sore need of meat on those bones.


I know, and it really all comes down to me being a less than stellar webmaster.  I promise I will get the site cleaned up and really try to include more info.
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JSDiamond
James V. West
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Posts: 567


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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2002, 06:46:06 PM »

Jeff

I've never checked out Orbit, but your recent posts have got me interested. You probably answered this elsewhere, but is Orbit in print form or do you plan to print it?
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Spooky Fanboy
Member

Posts: 585


« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2002, 07:40:24 PM »

Quote from: JSDiamond
Actually, the actual book text isn't that dry.  It's conversational without being pretentious (so I've been told) and more-or-less 'gamer to gamer' friendly in the overall.  It only seems dry because I am a terrible writer when it comes to summarizing it on a website.  But I will try (this month) to get the site together in that regard.


I apologize; I meant to say *most other* sci-fi games are text-book dry. I don't know how you're game is gonna turn out, because, like I said, there's not enough info to really say one way or another. But what you told me looks interesting enough...

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So, instead of there NEEDING to be a reason to adventure, it's a law according to the League of Allied Worlds that all young adults depart League Space and 'sow their oats' or whatever you want to call it, for four Earth-standard years elsewhere, before returning to claim full League citizenship.  The only exceptions are those who go into law enforcement or the military.  And even they can expect some cruddy posts out on some frontier world.


I'd think of something more like a carrot/stick dichotomy like pay for the first six months of their steelement elsewhere (a really optimistic  ie. cheap stipend) vs. the stick of a stay in a work camp somewhere. Seems more realistic. But do what you like; yours sounds good too!
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Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!
JSDiamond
Member

Posts: 276


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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2002, 11:16:33 AM »

Early first quarter 2003 Orbit will be an actual printed book!
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JSDiamond
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