Date of the greenpocalypse

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trooogdooor
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Date of the greenpocalypse

Post by trooogdooor » Mon May 21, 2012 9:58 am

So, I've been thinking about something for a while now. What date should we have reached, before the Titans came to knock us back into the greenpocalypse.

Originally, Matt had around year 3400-3500 in mind (1500 years in the future), and then he revised it to the Titans hitting us 300+ years into the future, which I applaud.

Here's my case for us taking this laudable attitude a little bit further, and putting us at ca. 240 years into the future. IE, make human technology have made it closer to 2, or 2½ centuries into the future, rather than 3+.


1) Genetics. The main thing for me is, genetics is going to make humans weird in the future. 1000 years in the future, many of us probably won't look the slightest bit human, I think everyone gets that. And it's hard to make approachable pop-scifi with freaks as the protagonists.

But realistically, 300+ years into the future, people will still be getting pretty weird. Like "not human seeming" weird. Past Space Marines, and into the realm of blue monkeys from Avatar weird. Of course, this will not be all humans, and each transhuman will be different from the next, since people will be modifying appearances according to personal tastes. But it will be enough to change the tone of the game. And I think that this is probably not what we want for DP, since we want a strong majority of human-seeming genmods (Gattaca style, the best of humanity, plus maybe subtle stuff like improved blood, etc), I think that Matt and most players would prefer that transhuman freaks are very rare. 240 years into the future, it's more realistic that the changes are still subtle, and that we haven't started to get very freakish, compared to 300+.

2) Ruins. Most of the ruins we can conceive of look like something that would fit into the 21st century. I mean, look at the art! All our concept art is ruins of 21st century buildings, plus the occasional space elevator or something in the background. But of course, this is like Thomas Jefferson in 1750 imagining that ruins from 2012 like little brick houses and futuristic looking horse buggies overgrown with trees, plus in the background a really big bridge, right. It's hard to imagine a 100 year old ruin of the tower of Dubai in 1750. Now imagine how far Jefferson is from getting the ruins of 2100 right… He can't imagine how technology develops exponentially, the rise of steel skeleton skyscrapers, etc.

The ruins of 240 years into the future would likely be much more like our ruins than the ruins of 300+ years into the future, is my point. 240 and 300+ both sound like "the future", but they're quite far from each other!

3) What's to be gained?. So, my best argument is that there's nothing really that we can do 300+ years off, that we can't do 240 years off. Humans can spread to 20 systems, no prob. We can have Haussman computers by then (indeed, 240 years seems better for this level of computer intelligence than 300+). There's no guns or anything from the game that wouldn't make fine sense in a 240 years into the future context. Etc.

Basically, same arguments for bringing us back from year 3500 to 2300, just going a few years further. I think it might make a more consistent background! What do you think?

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Re: Date of the greenpocalypse

Post by BobofDoom » Mon May 21, 2012 2:40 pm

There is just 1 glaring flaw that would need to be addressed for the setting to be 2300: Time. As it stands, we need 100 years after the 100 year war, and 100 years for the 100 year war leaving the date to be 2100. This means that all of the advancement done for the human race is done in... 88 years. This includes (and this is necessary for the setting) creation of the haussmann gene, discover of dark matter and implementation of it, creating a fleet of ships to travel light years in a reasonable amount of time and the creation and settlement of 20 colonies. Then with those you get into specifics. The first ships aren't going to be war ships, they're going to be science vessels. So there needs to be time to create those (if we cut into the 100 year war that still leaves maybe 10 years per ship). The haussmann gene is created but there needs to be created machines that can properly take and utilize it. Course the Creme de Resistance: DARK MATTER NEEDS TO BE DISCOVERED AND UTILIZED. This means that in less than 100 years, dark matter needs to be found, collected, explained, and turned into a fuel to power engines. For comparison, electricity took 237 years to get its first motor.

As it stands, 240 years is no where near enough time. 2400 is pushing it but I think that 2500 would be the best as it allows the human race to create a fleet of interstellar vessels, trade to crop up between earth and the colonies, the average 20 year gap of when something is created before its implemented, creation of the salvagers (that'd have more time allowing it to get into the 100 year war before but its still unlikely given the time frame you're asking for).

As for your genetics argument, it makes some sense but since the tampering is going to be slight than there is less arguments for blue monkeys than Space Marines. Here's the basic of what genetic engineering is going to try to solve: 1) Improve memory, 2) Improve life length, 3) Remove genetic diseases, 4) Allow for bone growth in a zero g environment.

Most of that is actually fixing problems that do not normally appear in the genetic code. Number 2 is simply strengthening the genetic code so it degrades at a slower rate than what it currently does (a belief this is what causes aging and cancer.) The only thing that would really create the blue monkeys that you're worried about is number 4. But even then, changing the protein coding for the dermis of a human isn't needed unless if someone gets the great idea that to remove racism all people should be the same color, blue.

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Re: Date of the greenpocalypse

Post by trooogdooor » Mon May 21, 2012 3:03 pm

Thanks for your reply, Bob. So, this thread is not about the year of the game. It's about the year of the Titans arriving.
Year of Titans arriving ---> Long war against the X'lanthos ---> 100 years of ruin on Earth ----> Year of the game.
We're talking about "Year of Titans arriving". Number of years of pure, technological progress. Not Year of the game.



*
I use space marines and blue monkeys as metaphorical examples. I am not literally saying that humans will become Space Marines in power armor, or literally make themselves 3 meters tall and blue.

They are examples, describing the degree of freakishness.
Normal human ---> Gattacan ---> Space Marine ---> Blue Monkey (Naavi) ---
> non-humanoid
We want to keep humanity somewhere around Gattacan and Space Marine.

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Re: Date of the greenpocalypse

Post by BobofDoom » Mon May 21, 2012 3:33 pm

Ah yes. I misread your post. Thank you for clarifying and in that case, I agree. 200-300 years of development is plenty of time to advance to where we are needed. And I also agree that I think the human race would be more between humans --- Gattacans.

I'm sorry if I came off abrasive. I just thought expecting huge progress in 88 years breaks the basis of hard science.

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Re: Date of the greenpocalypse

Post by miniwargaming » Mon May 21, 2012 4:38 pm

The problem is that everything you are saying about genetics is purely theoretical. We really have no way of knowing what will happen in the next few hundred years.

In fact, the past few hundred years haven't seen that huge a jump in our genetics, so why would the next be so different?

I do, however, agree with the architecture argument. I do want to keep a rather familiar semblance to what we have today, and architecture changes drastically over centuries.

I honestly don't care too much if we cut back the time a bit. We'll have to rework the timeline a bit, but other than that we can really make anything work.

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Re: Date of the greenpocalypse

Post by trooogdooor » Mon May 21, 2012 5:17 pm

Happy to hear it, Matt.

The genetic modifications which I have in mind are not "natural selection", in the sense of what has happened in the past few hundred years, but rather targeted manipulation. Reaching into the DNA strands with fingers of tech, and doing controlled changes. It's a new technology, like computers, hence the lack of genetic manipulation in the past few hundred years.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXfYshYn ... re=related

Natural selection in humans is slow, accidental, and actually mostly makes humans weaker, nowadays. Genetic modification is fast, deliberate, and mostly makes humans stronger.

I think it's fair to say that it will happen, to about the same confidence, or greater, than that the curing of cancer will happen, or the establishing of a moon base will happen, or space elevators will happen, or terraforming of Mars will happen. It's "theoretical", and something odd and unforeseen might stop the obvious from happening, but there'd have to be a surprising reason for us to not go back to the moon in 2-300 years, or to not modify our genes.

It's already being done today, just not on humans yet, except for a few experimental cases.

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