When it comes to science fiction, and boiled eggs, how hard is too hard? I've always loved my hard scifi, but to be honest I think it's a genera that can get too bogged down in its own trappings from time to time. Sometimes you'll find that character development and side plots can be left by the wayside as the author chooses to indulge in pure world building and scientific speculation. There are times when I think such authors mostly hope that, at some point in the future, someone will look back on their work and say 'What an oracle, such-and-such author really predicted where X technology was going to go!'As I said, I love this kind of scifi, but it can become tiresome when there is no consideration at all given to the characters the reader expects to become invested in. You can't solely blame the authors for this either, by the by. Often a cold extrapolation of some potential future based on existing scifi is exactly and entirely want's demanded by fans. (Ugh, romance? I came here to find out what a future where general AI is common and Scotland won WW III might look like!) For my two cents, I suspect it's an area where teen fiction writers often strike a better balance than some of those writing for an adult audience. This can go
This hard scifi-at-the-cost-of-everything-else approach is not at all what we'd like for UNION. The character and characters of the world are paramount, and while we absolutely intend to inject a healthy dose of actual science and speculation into the universe1, it will hopefully never be at the cost of the narrative, either our own and those our players will want to create inside the game. Some constraints in terms of what's possible are great - those are the lynchpins of the universe, points upon which we hang our disbelief when we enter. But overall, the story is the take away, and something that should be facilitated by the science part of science fiction, not impeded by it. We think and hope our players will agree!
1For example, we're using actual up to date observations to determine the layout of the Alpha Centauri system, with a certain amount of interpretation to fill in the blanks.
Featured image By Timothy Titus (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
What do you think? Totally agree? Totally disagree? Don't care, and are curious why others might? Let us know in comments below!