Author Topic: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Stars Beyond Reach!  (Read 5103 times)

Offline x4000

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Hey all,

I know we have a lot of creative types here that love to think up cool things.  And a lot of times when it comes to core design things like this, by the time you see the game it's too late.

So!  I'm holding a semi-blind request for technology ideas.  By semi-blind, I mean that you only sort of know what the game is, so the mechanics that you're proposing are unlikely to be exactly implemented, or in a lot of cases even vaguely implemented.  In other words, I'm not really looking for game mechanic ideas, and you're not really in a position to be able to offer them like you would be with our other games, but of course if you have them I will read them (but I won't have time to comment on most of them, unless we actually do them).

Rather, the idea behind what you are suggesting is really more of a thematic thing.  Civilization has a very clear tech tree, because you can have things like "Agriculture" and "The Wheel" and so forth.  We know what that is, because it already happened in our past.  The Last Federation includes a lot of future techs, and it's things kind of along those lines that I'm looking for.  Those were a mix of Josh and myself coming up with that list (mostly Josh on the more esoteric stuff, which is my favorite kind of stuff).

But many heads are better than one, of course! So what I'd like is ideas for future technologies, and if you like, a brief explanation of what it is or what its practical application might be.  This could be anything from Meson Computers to Vibro Blades to a Theory Of Economical Wellness... to whatever.  Cultural, scientific, civics, engineering... anything and everything.

Even if the name for something has already been proposed -- like Meson Computers is in TLF, feel free to suggest it again, but with a specific thematic basis behind it.  For instance, we had both Meson and Gluon computers, but not really any super-detailed differences between them.  I'd like a more interesting lore with these things than that, and I don't have the background on those specific things to know off the top of my head.  I could look it up, and for a lot of things I will, but in terms of your part of the process I'm looking to involve folks in the creative sci-fi part of this. :)

Thanks for participating!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 05:19:49 PM by x4000 »
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Offline mrhanman

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 05:07:33 PM »
A Replicator of the Star Trek variety is the first thing that comes to mind.  Teleportation is another related concept.  Electromagnetic Spectum Transparency aka Invisibility.  Cybernetics and Advanced Prosthesis.  Is that the sort of thing you're asking for?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 05:10:34 PM by mrhanman »

Offline x4000

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 05:08:59 PM »
Generally speaking, although less all-powerful than that, haha.  Teleportation is a basic method of transportation in this game, anyway, though -- there are no roads, only transporter depots that then people go on foot from once they use them.  And then air travel for super long range stuff, as teleportation has a fixed distance.
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Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 05:10:13 PM »
I have a quick question. Since this game will be heaviliy influenced by Civilization, will there be a counterpart to civilizations world wonders?
TLF had these artifacts that could be found on some planets and that caused different effects.
I see them as the equivalent to the world wonders of civilization and I think they would fit the theme.
Like the marker from Dead Space as example that was built from an unknown alien race. Would be cool if we could create or build similiar artifacts.

Will there be race exclusive technologies like in TLF? Would also make sense because some stuff don't work on specific races because of their different anatomy that does not support specific technologies (I cannot see robots eating lab-grown meat for an example).

I would like to see an orbital laser so you can attack anywhere on the map where you can see. Would be pretty cool to send laser blasts on unsuspecting enemies. this should however come with a hefty cost or maybe also destroy the terrain (since terraforming will also be some kind of feature).

Offline mrhanman

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 05:11:20 PM »
I edited my post with a couple more.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 05:14:48 PM »
Alright, someone dig up a copy of Space Empires and start ripping ideas from their tech list. :P

More seriously, I did like some of the super-unique tech ideas they had.  And by "unique" I mean "staple of the sci-fi genre" but rarely represented in a sci-fi game.  Such as organic ships that had special organic armor that could repair itself.  There was also a crystal tech tree, but I've long forgotten what it's benefits were.

I'm more of a "specific mechanical" kind of thinker and not so much with the fluff.  For example, one of the "doodads" in the TD I'm working on is called HoldCharge.  Mechanically it makes the tower store power when there aren't any targets it can shoot at.  It's inefficient (has to go through a full reload cycle and only increases the next-shot by 10%) but it's really good at alpha-striking (first volley is two or three times as powerful as normal).  I also have it increasing the tower's range, which gives it an increased opportunity to fire off one of those super-charged shots.

But I'll ponder this.

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 05:23:10 PM »
If this was for say.... Spectral Empire,  i might want to include something apart from the human technology trees, which would normally concentrate on things like power, armor, weapons, etc...

To something that was embedded in the alien environment, say, scavenging, where disparate parts and pieces of metal, other tech, soil acids, plant fiber... etc can be used in a 'crafting way' to produce items on the fly and used as and when needed. Having weapons and shields, or armor or stealth skills be used interchangeably, instead of all at once.

In addition, raising the level of the 'parts', in effect the pieces that are scavenged could be used to raise the level of the item that is crafted. In such a case armors, may use denser fibers and rather diluted acids, whereas a weapon might use thin and flexible fibers, high concentrations of coarse acid and low energy electrical tech + metal only as a housing substance and therefor relatively in a low percentage.

In addition to scavenging our add-on's we might be able to capture local fauna or flora that is used from anything from clothing, housing, to mounts or sentry creatures.

If the approach is wide enough per part then we may have different kinds of armors... flexible and allow the wearer to run quickly, but only able to stop low grade shots over time, or a high grade shot for very short term periods. Weapons that shot fibers to trap? High density projectiles, or wave length beams with different combinations? If might lead to players finding different combinations in different leveled pieces and different scavenged parts.

Just a thought, give me some time, i'll think of something else to add,  :)
-Teal


Offline Draco18s

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 06:18:10 PM »
These are kind of stream-of-consciousness, and more combat oriented but hey.  Also kind of human-centric.

Super Capacitating Capacitors
 - Advances in metamaterials have uncovered a superconducting material that under the right conditions causes it to act as a capacitor with thousands of times the electrical capacitance per volume than traditional capacitors, but for a short period of time.  Laser weaponry is able to take advantage of this to fire off incredibly powerful bursts at the cost of consuming the entire output of the [power plant] for the 1-2 seconds it takes the super capacitor to discharge.

Sper Capacitating Capacitor Shields
 - Super capacitors can also be utilized in energy shield technology, although in a limited capability.  Due to the short durations that the super capacitors can hold a charge, its best utilized in an emergency situation in which the [unit] is facing an extreme spike of incoming fire.  By consuming the entire output of the [power plant], the shields can be energized for a few seconds and withstand almost any barrage.  Due to the short times involved, optimal deployment has to be timed by a computer with enough processing power and sensor input.

Carbon Nanotube Cloaking
 - While not a true invisibility, [armored vehicles] coated in this ulta-thin ultra-light material cease reflecting all light across a wide swath of elecromagnetic radiation.  The unit becomes effectively invisible to radar and due to its non-reflective nature, effectively invisible to the visible spectrum under the cover of darkness.  Its not perfect, but in the right environmental conditions, damn near close.
 - Basis: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/super-black-material.html

Supercavitating Bullets
 - These bullets were developed to mimic how the pistol shrimp hunts prey: by creating cavitation bubbles in the water.  It isn't the bullet that kills you in this case, but its trail.  When fired into a liquid body, these bullets effectively have increased accuracy (as close-misses will still damage the target) and damage (due to the cavitation), but drastically reduced range (standard ammunition impacts the surface and shatters, so this is actually an increase in penetrating power although shorter than through air or space).  Great for shark and sub hunting.
 - Actually a Thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercavitation

Underwater Firearms
 - Using a specially designed firing chamber and propulsion device, this weapon works just as well under water as it does on the surface.  Combined with supercavitating bullets, these weapons can be outfitted on any aquatic unit for devastating firepower.
 - Basis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_firearm
 - Thoughts: you could equip an underwater firearm machinegun turret on a submarine, giving it a short-ranged weapon against softer targets, rather than limiting it to just torpeos.

Hypersonic Speakers
 - Using high-frequency speakers and a specially designed acoustics enclosure this technology can create sonic weaponry.  Point, shoot, ignore armor.  The pitch used by the device is so high that it effectively penetrates metal, ceramic, plastic, and cloth armor without losing more than 1% of its energy.  It renders the target temporarily deaf, nausious, and in intense pain.  While technically a non-lethal weapon, extended exposure will rupture blood vessles and without immediate medical care, death from bloodloss or suffocation.  Can't effectively be aimed underwater, as the cone of sound diffuses too widely and will effect the firer, but if fired from air into water, the sound spreads out and effects a small area.
 - Basis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_weapon

Mass Silencer
 - Utilizing ultrafast computing and continuous sensor readings, this device can render all sound mute by picking up the vibrations as they hit the device's sensors, and then inverting the wave, and re-emitting it.  The waveforms cancel out perfectly, effectively rendering an area devoid of sound.  While this can protect the area from sonic weaponry, it also renders voice communication impossible, as the subjects in the area could neither hear nor be heard.
 - Impossible, but a villian from Batman Beyond (Shriek, http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Shriek) had a device that did this, and is just plausible enough to slip under someone's Suspension of Disbelief

Solar Freaking Roadways
 - SOLAR PANELS IN THE ROAD!  This expensive technology has the power to generate power from every road constructed out of it.  Extends the build time by a factor of 5 and the cost by a factor of 10.  But at least it generates a small amount of electrical current during the day.
 - Totally implausible, but totally Rule of Cool.

Autonomous Footsoldiers
 - AKA "drones."  Always send drones in first, machines can be rebuilt, a life is irreplaceable.

Rigger Control Interface
 - This cyberware upgrade allows a remote user to "jump in" and directly control the body of the person outfitted with the upgrade.  Effectively this makes meat-drones, as they can be controlled from a centralized location (either by a trained human or an AI program) without the need for training the soldier themselves.  Who...needn't be willing...or human...Implanted into a bear and you get a freaking combat-capable bear for the low-low cost of $150,000.

Skill Wires
 - A less invasive version of the Rigger Control Interface.  Rather than being controlled like a drone, it allows the implanted person to access the "muscle memory" for any skill chip slotted.  This is an expensive, but quick, way of "training" footsoliders.

Genetic Engineering
 - We're playing God here people, but seriously, who doesn't want dragons in their airforce?

Robotic Workforce
 - Increase the efficiency of the economy...by making everyone unemployed and replacing them with robots that can do their job better, faster, and cheaper.  There's only one real use for these meatbags: cannon fodder.  Drones are expensive!

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 06:29:07 PM »
You had me at "combat-capable-bear".

Combine with some carbon nanotube cloaking and it's time to collect some pic-a-nic baskets!
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2014, 06:46:10 PM »
You had me at "combat-capable-bear".

I'll admit that that piece of tech (and skillwires) I pulled from Shadowrun.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2014, 07:53:55 PM »
Just some questions on the scope here. Which of the following would be useful:
  • Orbital techs (roughly within planetary orbit)...satellites and such
  • Travel and/or non-travel related solar system techs (within a single solar system)...travel in this category would imply at least accessing resources off-world, if not colonizing local planets/moons, non-travel could be solar collectors installed in the sun
  • Travel and/or non-travel related interplanetary techs (between solar systems)...travel in this category would include starship techs, non-travel could be long range telescopes or other information gathering tools
  • What scale of military techs...city vs city, army vs army (Civ5), or smaller scale than that? It could be multiple scales? In other words, can cities aim mountain shattering cannons at each other from across the world, or would I be equipping a 6 man special forces team with specific gear to cut off my enemies mining operation?
  • Any "fantasy" techs? Specifically the name implies a possible relationship with spiritual/soul/reincarnation techs? If so, should they be framed in Sci-fi or more mystic? Think 40K Necron/Chronicles of Riddick vs Shadowrun Mages.


Offline Coppermantis

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2014, 02:30:06 AM »
Much of this is technobabble and similar BS, but whatever:

General techs:
-Psionic Interface: implants into the user's brain and nervous system to augment psionic/psychic ability, enabling them to alter their environment to varying degrees depending on the power of the system and the user's own training. Can be used industrially to aid production, medically to treat  wounds, or militarily to generate strong psychic attacks.

-Global Awareness Program: Orbital space-station that monitors the brain waves of surface inhabitants. Its processors collect and analyze patters of these waves to determine the exact location and status of individuals in a target area. Everything from what they are currently doing, their plans, their own self-identity and conciousness to their possible future actions are gathered and can be accessed later.

-Information Recycling Program: Siphons excess energy from the computations of supercomputers, increasing the efficiency of such systems.

-Genetic Restoration: Citizens born under this program have their genetic information stored and catalogued. In the event of a serious disease, such as cancer, their body can be restored to its "default" state, that is, what it would have been like at that stage in their life under ordinary circumstances.

-Radiation-absorptive plants: Plants grow off of radiation, de-irradiating the soil they grow in and the air they take in to live.

Combat Techs:
-Colossus Engine: Specialized motor system for larger battle machines (e.g., Pacific Rim Jaegers or WH40K Titans)
-Advanced Tactical Awareness: add-on for the Psionic Interface that enhances coordination between soldiers and allows better battlefield awareness.
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline Histidine

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2014, 04:49:19 AM »
If you're feeling lazy, just plagiarize the entire Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri tech tree  :P

Well, here's mine:

Digital Assimilation: Links the minds of the entire population to a single all-powerful AI. Can be used to create an absolute totalitarian state that makes 1984 look like complete anarchy, a unified collective-consciousness entity, or a dream democracy where everyone's voice is heard.

Nanorecycling: Use of nanomachines to strip apart any object into its constituent elements for fresh manufacturing. Reduces pollution and increases resource generation.

Singularity Power Generation: Power using a controlled black hole. Matter goes in, Hawking radiation comes out. More efficient (though not necessarily safer) than antimatter.

Entropy Reversal: Repeal the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Perpetual motion machines and other such fun stuff are now possible, granting effectively unlimited energy.

Nuclear Force Manipulation: Control and extend the strong nuclear force. You can use this to disintegrate matter at the subatomic level, or just throw things really, really hard. I'm sure the physicists among us (if any) can come up with more creative uses.
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Offline wwwhhattt

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2014, 08:04:46 AM »
This one's a bit like Histidine's Digital Assimilation & Draco18s' Autonomous Footsoldiers. Anyway:

The robotic races could have the ability to link multiple bodies to the one AI, increasing efficiency somehow.
And something (offensive) that separates the bodies so that they've got to work individually, screwing up effiviency and possibly creating infighting. This could be used against the hive-mind races as well.

100% ripped off from Ancilliary Justice by Ann Leckie.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Want to have some fun? Make up future techs for Spectral Empire!
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2014, 12:57:32 PM »
Projected Field Technologies (Military)
These technologies are used to protect vehicals of various kinds. Initially they are not available for civilian use and cannot be made into practical personal protection devices or scaled up large enough to cover massive areas such as cities.

Deflector Shield – This shielding protects against attack from energy weapons by bending them away from the target using gravity distortion. High accuracy energy weapons somewhat counter deflector shields as they only really introduce a penalty to hit.

Reflector Shield – Surprisingly unrelated to deflectors, this technology utilizes projected reflective particles to physically build a reflective surface in the path of any attacking energy before the beam can be on target long enough to cause damage. As an added bonus the attack is actually reflected back to the source. Weak against pulsed energy weapons since the reflective surface doesn’t have time to form.

Void Shield – This powerful field are known as void shields because of their black appearance. Available only in a spherical configuration they make up for many of their limitation with the amazing defensive properties. All attacks that strike them are converted into heat which the void shield can dissipate across its surface. Leaving one side of a void shield free of attack allows it to radiate a great deal of the incoming heat freely. Attacks that surround and strike all side, or even being attack on all sides are the primary weaknesses of void shields.

Barrier Shield – Commonly referred to as Barriers, these projected fields use a structured energy field to create a shaped plane that acts like a physical barrier to other physical objects. The limiting factor on Barriers is the amount of kinetic force they can absorb before breaking. This means that while mass is dangerous, velocity is much for dangerous for Barrier. Barriers are used to project against incoming physical projectiles and to deny access to areas.

Grid Field – Know as Grids, these field use a series of small reactive projectors to block incoming kinetic or energy attacks. While in the ready state the field resembled a grid of hexagons and power draw is minimal. Once a projectors grid section is attacked, it spikes up in power usage to counter the attack. This leaves that grid section vulnerable to additional attack. To counter this, grid systems can rotate their entire system allowing a fresh projector to cover against repeated attacks. Still, rapid fire attacks can sneak attacks through a grid.

Projected Field Technologies (Advancements)

Amplified Field Projector – This device allows the use of various Projected Field technologies over much larger areas, notably small cities or armies.

Multi-Directional Field Projector – An extension of the Amplified Field Projector, this device combines advantage computer processing technology to project overlapping fields, increasing the strength of the overall effect for less power. Unfortunately the space requirements are larger and made only worse by the advantage of multiple MDFPs to work together allowing for redundancy.

Micronized Paired Field Emitter – Although smaller emitters normally drop off power at an exponential rate, the MPFE uses dual emitters working together to create complimentary structures. These structures require complex calculation compared to the area of coverage which makes them impractical on a large scale. But when protecting a single individual they allow the use of various projected fields at a reasonable power usage. Using the MPFE, Deflector, Reflector, Void and Barrier Fields can be used on individuals.

Thermal Intake Battery – Used by smaller Void Shields, this battery absorbs some of the heat created to power the shield itself. This effectively negates the power costs of the void shield while under attack. Unfortunately this battery system isn’t scalable beyond personal void shields and it does require normal power supply to activate and maintain the void shield while not under attack.

Sectional Grid Projector – Grid Fields aren’t normally scalable to individuals. The sectional grid projector recreates part of the grids protection on an individual level. Unfortunately the rotational abilities of large grid fields cannot be maintained and so grid section is vulnerable to rapid attacks. To attempt to alleviate this property, the sectional grid projector uses much smaller grid section than normal grid fields. This has the advantage of also making the personal grid field the closest fitting personal field technology.

Projected Field Technologies (Civilian)
Weather Barrier – A refinement of the military Barrier, a weather barrier uses much less power but through the addition of a variable strength control is able to negate a large portion of the detrimental rain and wind effects on structures.

Void Inversion Heat Sink – Although the “inverted” void shield was discovered first it proved to have no real military value. Since an inverted void shield only absorbs ambient heat however, it does make an effective method of protecting structures or even entire cities from excessively hot environments. The construction is fairly involved since it requires a subterranean heat dissipater.

Construction Field Projector – Once the civilian tech sector got access to field projectors, the first industrial field projectors were created to push, pull and lift large objects. This increased construction speeds and made it easier to build in tightly packed spaces.

Multi-Point Construction Field Projector – Advances in computers coordinating field projection systems allow for complex manipulation of multiple large objects at construction sites. The ability to quickly assemble structures is increased greatly in the field but also improved factory output.