Point of view?

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Point of view?

Post by sucramreverse on Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:16 pm

I've got a couple ideas for potential races/species. But figured it should be asked what the point of view for this universe should be. From the eyes of one race (such as mankind) as we've seen, Or as a 3rd person kind of omnipresent?

The 1st person approach limits the knowledge of the other races, and while it makes it easier to skim over difficult stuff (like finer details of how alien technology/government/etc. works), it also encourages some things to be skipped that might be better explained.
Also discourages playing these races as they aren't the "masters of the universe".

The 3rd person view would in some ways make it easier to explain some aspects of the background, but would also might make the creation task seem daunting for those of us who aren't scientists. And it also take out the "mystery" that is somewhat inspiring, and might not leave many gaps to fill.

OR both? maybe a 1st person from each race? giving the reader a 3rd person glimpse, while allowing some 'wiggle' room for adding and expanding?

And for that matter, are we focusing on one galaxy in this universe, or perhaps taking it intergalactic? I think some intergalactic ties would make it a fair bit easier creatively. That way one person could come up with a whole galaxy, with empire borders etc. and still not directly interfere with someone else's background. Not sure how battles would take place between races intergalactically, since that kind of travel is nigh impossible, or only available to highly advanced races. But hey, this is fiction Razz
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Re: Point of view?

Post by S W Dickson on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:20 pm

I always chuckle at that bit in Star Wars when Lando flies off "into" a galaxy - now that's some speed he's goin at!

I like minutiae. I fiddle with the seemingly most pointless things. Heck, I paint toy soldiers - of course I do. But what I mean is, I enjoy fleshing out everything that doesn't seem so important to the bigger picture - which is very good for background on races/factions etc. It's always nice to leave some things unsaid that ARE really important, but with the tiny details - it makesit all seem a tad more real.

Just from an importance point of view - I'd say you'd have to include a fairly concise detailing of human endeavours - it connects the player to the game a lot better than just a horde of alien types. As for the question of the range of area covered - It'd be hellish trying to write an intergalactic background - so I'd vote for a singular galaxy - it's scope being plenty large enough to cope with many varied lifeforms getting on each others nerves - heck, a spiral arm would give you enough space. But who wants that?

So - I'd say flesh out the current eras main events, and those leading up to it, and then sketch out the spheres of influence for each proposed race/faction.

I, personally, I want the global nuclear holocaust on earth (was there even a question of this occurring?) to occur sometime in the next hundred years or so. This is important as it not only isolates the earth, but signifies to the universe that we exist as a possible threat. Where along the line afterwards we come in is another thing, but it opens up from a globally changing event that is very identifiable as a possibility. Grounds it in realism, and brings us into grimdark territory.
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Re: Point of view?

Post by sucramreverse on Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:04 pm

haha, well since the star wars galaxy is far far away, it might be an extremely small one right next another one. it could happen.

Did you just imply toy soldiers are pointless? Sad I know what you mean though, but I'm not sure how to pick and choose what should and shouldn't be known. I like the mythological aspect of a universe, with realistic 'gods' vying for power and meddling in affairs, and will probably tend to lean that way. I'm thinking that I will go for 1st person view of each race itself. That way their isn't much need for technological explanations per say. And also less need for retcon or similar stunts to add new races into the fold. (If it was from the point of view of one race, like mankind, then we'd only know about races that they've encountered. and adding a new one would mean explaining how that occurred without anyone knowing until now).

That is true about one galaxy being large enough, but with some certain empires, they claim to have such a vast hold on the galaxy with territory spanning across nearly half of the galaxy. This is a bit unrealistic though and would probably better serve to make each empires holdings on a much smaller scale in comparison to the whole galaxy.

And I was actually thinking about nuclear holocaust myself. something along the lines of mankind barely surviving its near suicide, but the energy given off by the war attracts the attention of an alien empire which we are actually in. they didn't know about our existence with our extremely low tech not giving off much energy. They basically incorporate us into their empire, but it's more of an enslavement to try and rebuild the planet's environment for their use. Mankind eventually get's it in their heads to rebel and they stage a successful attempt and break put of the solar system with the knowledge and tech they gleamed from this alien race. by the time this happens the enslavers have spread too far and can't spare much forces to fend us off as their empire is slowly collapsing. Somewhere in the current era we find our own empire a bit on the front lines of this race's losing battles.

This is all very much 'in the air', as I personally have more of an interest in the xeno races than mankind's role in it.
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Re: Point of view?

Post by S W Dickson on Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:09 pm

Ooh - I like that.

Perhaps mankind fighting for the goal of retaking Earth that was lost. Fighting back from cultural slavery of higher beings. Has mankind learned its lesson, or is it still likely to fall into internecine fighting?

A human empire not based on earth. Quite refreshing.

I quite like the way that a certain space elf book was written, more so than many other of its ilk - lots of reference in 1st and 3rd person viewpoints. The death robot book shoulda been done more like that - it has very little 1st person stuff.
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Re: Point of view?

Post by sucramreverse on Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:51 pm

space elves and death robots...that just makes them sound ridiculous!

I kind of was thinking that in the current era they have established a little bit of a foothold, though this may not be on earth itself, that's kind of what I was thinking. I don't know. But mostly that they are trying to battle their opressors and expand their own territory even though they are within the territory of this master race. this is basically just what the 'master race' doesn't need right now, with mankind's rebellion near the edge of their holdings and being continually attacked by several other races on this edge of their empire (as well as from other fronts). So mankind finds themselves trying to fight off their oppressors and at the same time defend their new territory from outside xeno empires.

So basically mankind is like "let's rebel, we've been doing these guys dirty work for long enough!". the master race is like "oh jeez, just what we needed, more fighting Rolling Eyes ". we easily overcome them as they are trying to defend their lines which are a little bit past us (which it turns out is defending us), and we are like "sweet that was easy, lets keep going and take planets around us, we're so cool". but the front lines of battle reach our own new-found borders and we are like "oh...other xeno...this probably won't end well...".

So currently while we are a bit pressed to focus on defending ourselves rather than internal feuds, but of course it is human nature to lack cooperation. I see some differing viewpoints on how to go about expansion and defence, with some silly ones trying to form alliances with some other races. So no humans fighting for the greater good or not complaining about their wages, but we can't exactly break out in open warfare against other humans when that would clearly be a terrible idea no matter what.

Of course there are still those who side with our former masters and think that the rebellion was blasphemy and generally the worst move made since nuclear warfare. but when we get a hold of them, they don't usually live for long.
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Re: Point of view?

Post by S W Dickson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:13 am

I'm thinking of an orc-ish type of race as a possible oppressor. It's kinda the same concept as the Orcs in Terra Obscura - but these guys are definitely a lot less "Orcy".

Not much bigger than human, but an average "Gnar-shak"(not by far the final name) would give the strongest human a good kicking. These guys are strong believers in the old adage that they are number one, so why try harder?

They stink of wet dog, have a coarse hair covering almost every inch of their grotesque humanoid bodies (If a Gorilla was to stomp around on two legs and tighten up his posture a bit, you'd be getting close) - enjoy all the sports that involve something dying at the end, and don't see why they should apologise for anything. Ever.

They have definite tribal based society, with the greatest warrior of their race in charge. This guy is also the one that gets all the ladies. Basically, they have a self enforced darwinist culture.

This is not to say they are evil. Just well, a little harsh. This is why they are so prolific. It is a simple view to their life, and it brooks no deviation form the norm. They enjoy doing all the noble arts of killing and strategic decisions and stuff, but the stuff like cleaning the toilets, growing the livestock etc, well surely they can punch some other race enough times to make them do it instead. As the treatment of their slaves is not exactly within union regulations, the life expectancy of a slaverace is drastically lower than it should be, hence the "Gnar-shak"s need to continually expand their massive empire, and enslave new populations.

One resistance fighter suggested that maybe they could appeal to their better nature. Everyone else laughed. Trying to stop the "Gnar-Shaks" mindset is like trying to stop a speeding juggernaut with a fly.
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Re: Point of view?

Post by S W Dickson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:14 am

Actually, that's a bit more Orcy than the one's in Terra Obscura.
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Re: Point of view?

Post by sucramreverse on Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:55 pm

ohhh, That sounds good actually. I was trying to think of what that race would be, and all that came to mind was something along the lines of space elves, lol. But your idea actually reminds me of the Roman Empire, or at least other people's view of them as gross pigs that fight a lot, and expand to capture slaves to build all their stuff while they focus on more fighting...intriguing.
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Re: Point of view?

Post by Kane on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:03 am

This all gave me a thought as to how people could re-use existing models in this setting. The already existant Space-Orcs could be written as a sub-species of man, long ago shipwrecked on a distant planet for a millenia. The harsh, brutal world and corrupting energies of that world slowly twisted them into something no longer human, but painfully familiar. After many long years of re-discovering the remnants of their own technologly, they set out to spread their corruption and make war on a grand scale.

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Re: Point of view?

Post by Wulfric on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:09 am

Another option would be to be 'outside looking in' for all the races - as a super-race of creators watching their creations in what is effectively a monumental sandbox.

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Re: Point of view?

Post by Kane on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:17 am

Wulfric, that is an interesting thought. You could even take it a step further and throw a touch of role playing into it and give the player the ability to play special abilities or bonuses on their units as though they really were a god watching the battle.

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Re: Point of view?

Post by sucramreverse on Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:13 pm

I've had this idea as well, but struggled with how to bring it to life really. And as a god, the player would want/need a knowledge about their race that isn't typically seen. explanations of technology and biology etc. Those things could always be ignored, but what god doesn't know how they built their creation?

This is why I am personally go for more of a 1st person view from each race I create, with some added explanations to bring the player to a basic understanding. From a 1st person there's no real need to go into detail on biology because what kind of person sits and thinks about how their cells work right before battle?

Of course, anyone is welcome to create species and add whatever they choose, however they like. Very Happy
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