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LTFC - April 2016 - Commerce Edition

#1
Take part in the discussion --> here
Only submissions in this thread, please.

Heyaa!

Welcome to the second edition of the revived Limit Theory Fan Contest! This month's edition will be about Commerce/Trade. Be a little creative, and I'm sure you can come up with something awesome. :) Everyone can make as many admissions as they like, but only one can be the "official" admission by which you are judged.

This contest will have 3 prizes for the top three submissions, and each entrant can only win one prize. If there are less than six entrants, only two prizes will be given out. If there are less than four entrants, only one prize will be awarded.


The objective: Create art about Limit Theory.
This could be in written form as a story, lore, or a detailed idea for a mod. It could be visual like a gif, photoshop or video. Or even audio... Anyone up for a bit of stand-up about Limit Theory?
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head, but I'm sure you guys can think of a lot more. It is fine to use other games' assets in your submissions.
Rule of thumb: "Does it spotlight Limit Theory?".


Prizes:
  • Ring Runner, courtesy of Talvieno
  • Starpoint Gemini 2, courtesy of CSE
  • Stardew Valley, courtesy of HowSerendipitous



The rules:
  • The artwork needs to be about Limit Theory per the objective.
  • Everybody is free to enter but can only submit one entry to the contest. You are free to change or replace your submission for as long as the contest is open.
  • If you have submitted more than one work, you need to be very clear about which one you're entering. If there is any doubt, the latest entry in the forum thread will be judged.
  • All contest submissions have to be made as a reply to this thread.
  • Submitting a prize does not exclude you from having a submission scored.
  • Judges are not barred from making a submission themselves, but their submissions can't be scored.
  • The contest will be open to new submissions until Saturday, April 30th, 23:59 GMT.
  • Discussion about this contest or submissions can happen here.
  • Any prizes are yours to do whatever you want with them. You can even give the prize to someone else if you'd like, and they don't have to be from this forum.
  • The number of prizes given will be equal to the number of entrants divided by three and rounded up, up to a maximum of three.
Note: if you're using another site to host content, make sure the title and comment displays that it's part of a contest submission.
This only to avoid future googlers from becoming confused when looking for official content.


Judging:
Our jury of three people will judge the submissions based on the following criteria:
  • Originality: 30%
  • Aesthetic: 25%
  • Details: 10%
  • X factor: 20%
  • Realism according to the LT universe: 15%
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Re: LTFC - April 2016 - Commerce Edition

#2
OK, I was waiting for this opportunity since over one year.

I actually posted an entry for a then-future competition with topic "commerce" in January 2015. I spent a nice amount of work on it... so if it is acceptable, I would like to officially enter it in this competition. Just tell me if not eligible...

So this is a movie on youtube: http://youtu.be/sEWsqb6wr54

Hope you like it. We take orders in our offices in each major systems.
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Re: LTFC - April 2016 - Commerce Edition

#3
Tit for Tat

The burning disc of the searing sun danced in the backgrod, the large display screens dimming the light automatically. ships sped to and fro hauling goods and technology, ores and currency, zigzagging through the sector's trade ports.

A few flicks of motion from the keyboard, and lines of data scrolled down the screen, overshadowing the brilliant sun and the station she sat outside of. her eyes raced in and out of data lines, searching for ships, technologies, commodities, or even cargo to buy and sell in an instant.

Flying fingers selected seven trade deals almost instantaniously ,and sold them off just as fast for a percentage higher than she bought. her profit margins rose slightly, but while sitting at a few trillion, that was hardly a small catch.

A dull tone repeated itself until she pressed a key, and a low voice filled her cockpit speakers "oy now Ima, that was yu wasn it? you just snapped up does deals loik it was nuffin..." the voice trailed off, the sound of thruster trails replacing the thick accented English.

"What do you want Zax?" she groaned, her strong voice nearly imposing even when she was sweet talking. her muth didnt move ofcourse, the liquid in the tank prevented that, but through her spinal tap that linked her synapses with her ship. she couldnt, however check the market data, and feel the ship at the same time, that was why she had the keyboard installed.

"Wew yu ave been makin ih hod fu me and me mates to make credits yeah..." his voice trailed off again. his "Boys, his unaffiliated pirate gang, moved into the sector a few days earlier from their last. he probably called them in to eliminate the competition ,and secure the new sector before anyone else.

She knew what that was, a threat ,and she would act first. she shoved the ignition coils from idle to overdrive, rupturing the cell walls of the fuel, and converting the gas into energy. Her bright red lines of light traced through the dull blue nebula backdrop. her ship julted forward into the nearest warp lane, giving her time to check for persuers. seven on her tail, and maybe more waiting ahead.
Her ship lurched back, and the ignition coils launched passed the stops again, and she rode the flames from her tiny fighter towards the shipyard. three gunships flanked by four military fighters, she stood no chance, but she got all seh needed.

She requested docking permission, and deftly, but narrowly, avoided the eges of the large open maw of the small ships port. as soon as her grav pads locked onto the surface of the station, her manues stll obscuring her vision, she immediately purchased the most expensive ship, two escorts, and a full arsenal of weapons ans ammunition. the transaction dented her account by a trillion, but her survival was key.

she saw their ships scanning the small and medium ship docking bays as her tank was beamed to the command of the other ship. their scanners on high output looking for new and eager exits from the station.

She got the feel for the new ship, flexing her turrets and reving her drives. she hadn't noticed really what she purchased, only that it was expensive and needed big guns. the Dreadnought titled "Titan Crusher" was now her new shell, and body. it launched from the docking ribbs that held it in place. the pirate fleas had grown in number from seven to fourteen, but they wearnt on the assault. amateurs than, unaware of her reputation and the amount of money she made off with before they got irritated. her two escorts emerged form the far side, forming a pincer maneuver with the enemies in between.


They were crushed swiftly, so she returned in her behemoth of a ship to the trade station, this time to stock up on components. her ship vanished into the milky nebula, her empire starting form the seed in the far corner of a sector, and began germinating outwards.
There is no peace, only passion
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Re: LTFC - April 2016 - Commerce Edition

#5
Retaliation
Melvin woke to the soft drone of the ventilators. He looked around groggily for a moment before rising and dressing. He glanced over at the missing wall plate, the exposed conduits and pipes behind resembling veins and nerves. He’d filed a maintenance ticket about a leak behind the plate something like three weeks ago, but the maintenance crews were so overworked trying to keep the decaying station together that they never got around to putting the plate back in.
“Good morning, Captain,” a vaguely feminine voice said. “The time is oh-six-hundred hours. No outstanding contracts today,” the voice continued in a wry tone.
Melvin sighed. “Thanks, Saiak. Now where’d I put my keys?”
“Right on the table there,” Saiak replied. “Your wallet is on the couch, before you ask.”
“What would I do without you?” he chuckled, retrieving the file of keycards and wallet. He walked to the door and paused before opening it. “Are there any contracts other than freight?”
“Still no outstanding ones. Apart from the escort contracts from Gold Star Interstellar.”
He considered this for a moment. “What about the hush-hush boards?”
“About three hundred sabotage and piracy, largely directed towards Gold Star.”
Melvin smirked. “You were ready for that, weren’t you?”
A short pause. “Yes.”
“How about the ship market?”
“Relay’s selling some battleships, like usual, but those are way overpriced.”
“Not to mention out of our league. And they need some crazy license or something.”
“Yeah. Anyways, there’s some midsize ships, same story. Wow!”
“Huh?”
“Some crazy miner retrofitted a cruiser with rockcutters and a compactor. It’s got about a dozen beams. The price is bonkers, though.”
Melvin’s mind raced. “Indeed. Anything else?”
“Centauri’s selling their tin cans. I don’t trust those, though.”
“Alright.” He paused, contemplating. “Tell me about those sabotage contracts again.”
The pleasure was palpable in Saiak’s voice. “Absolutely.”

Melvin strode through the hangar towards his cradle. The ships changed slowly as he walked down the aisle from gleaming and spotless, to scratched, battered, and dirtied vessels. He glared at one shining specimen sporting the asterisk of Gold Star Interstellar. The huge corporation had moved in about three months ago, mining and transporting ore out of the system. Of course, that’s what the locals had been doing for the past three generations--but Gold Star undercut their prices and brought in heavy mining equipment. Over the last month, most of the local mining firms fell. But now that was beginning to change. Dozens of miners had taken up arms, buying lasers and retrofitting their rockhoppers. Lately, the freighter pilots had followed suit. Melvin was one of these.
He drew near his bay. The freighter sat in its cradle, its hull plates dull and pitted. A badge on the side read "SAIAK," and three of the auxillary compactor tractors had been replaced with polished laser turrets. Two engineers scuttled out from beneath the ship, carrying their flywrenches.
“How is she?” Melvin called to the two engineers.
“All turrets are installed, we just need to link them up to the computer,” one replied.
“Saiak, did you hear that? Link ‘em up!”
A hum emanated from the ship. The engineers stopped short, eyes wide.
“Turrets linked.” The three shining turrets gimballed. “Ooh, this feels...new. I like it!”
“Alright, alright. You’re scaring our friends,” Melvin chided. “Let’s go fulfill some contracts, shall we?” He stepped up to the ship. The hatch opened and he strode inside. Immediately, the cradle released its locks and approached the launch tubes.
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Re: LTFC - April 2016 - Commerce Edition

#6
Deep in the vast emptiness of space lies the Arxal system, home to the Traders of Arxal, owners of the Arxal Trading Station, a bustling center of commerce for traders, smugglers, and generally anyone who wants to do something with tradeable goods.

Here, members of the RHLFS, or Rich Hunters of Less Fortunate Smugglers, make their base of operations. Here, members of the MFS, or Most Fortunate Smugglers, make their base of operations. Here, members of the JWCMU, or Janitors Who Clean Messes Up, complain daily about the messes left by the increasing number of conflicts between the RHLFS and the MFS. But the JWCMU are not listened to very intently by anybody, rather, the RHLFS are the ones who get all the credit and attention in the Arxal system.

One day, a seemingly normal day, except for the JWCMU complaining about the ever increasing price of janitor equipment, the RHLFS got a report saying that a top-secret AI designed to smuggle anything in anywhere, through any amount of security, was stolen, and is going to be smuggled into Arxal. RHLFS immediately assign many more security guards to the station, and begin to run heavy scans of every ship before granting docking clearance to them.

It is not long before several smugglers are uncovered, arrested, and interrogated, although none of them are the thief.

Several Earth days later, a freighter requests permission to dock. This freighter, upon scan, shows no life forms aboard. Docking clearance is granted, and the freighter moves slowly into the station. RHLFS sends several security officials to the pad the freighter is assigned, and when it docks, they quickly surround it. They wait. The freighter does nothing. The RHLFS officials request permission from the RHLFS command office to enter the freighter. They receive a somewhat shocked reply, “what the heck are you asking, you are RHLFS officers, you can do practically anything!” The officers took that to mean yes, and forced their entry into the freighter. They quickly discover why there were no detected lifeforms aboard, as the entire ship is controlled by an AI. The cargo hold carries generic legal goods such as food and clothing, among many other random goods.

A technician is called in to analyze the AI, which is soon found to be the stolen AI, on a mission to smuggle itself into the station. The AI, only partially complete, lacked the programming to get past the heavy scans, present itself to the scans as a human being, and get into the station undetected and undaunted by security.

When the AI was returned to its creator, he says that he was actually running tests on it, and sent a falsified message to the RHLFS, saying that his AI was stolen. He wanted to see how it would react to security, and all his tests are complete now. He apologizes for any trouble he may have caused, saying that he will compensate for any loss, but gratefully thanks them for helping out in the testing. The RHLFS officials reply that is was no problem, it was quite fun to take down an AI, it gave the men a nice change from grinding through smuggler after smuggler. Besides that, the Arxal Trading Station now has better scanners, and many smugglers in the region have been detected and imprisoned.
Resident derp.
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Re: LTFC - April 2016 - Commerce Edition

#7
Daniel lent back in his chair, rubbing his eyes and yawning. He would like nothing else but to sleep for hours, but right now, he couldn't. He sat at a computer in a dark room, lit only by the 6 blue monitors in front of him. Each monitor displayed a different set of data about the ever changing market of Talland-1, ranging from confusing lists of numbers and words to neat line graphs showing trends in Daniel's targeted companies. He lent forward, surveying the data closely, he was poised and ready to attack as soon as he was provoked. And there it was, a number changed briefly, movement in the materials section of the planet's market. He practically fell forward onto his keyboard, typing rapidly for a short while before moving back to his poised position, just as the data updated with his own purchase. He sat there for a while, staring at the screens with red, blood-shot eyes and praying that he could maintain his concentration for however long this went on for. He broke out of his thoughts when the data changed again in the same market section as before. He repeated his religious ritual, jumping forward and mashing buttons on his keyboard until he was in control once again.
"Joanne!" he called, hoping his assistant could bring him enough coffee to see him through tonight. There was no answer, Daniel assumed she'd been in the bedroom with that pool boy again. 'Bloody teenagers' he thought to himself, his annoyance doubled because of his tiredness. He maintained concentration on the screens and he called again, louder and with more anger as well as a bit of a tired slur. "Joanne, if you don't bloody well get your ass down here at least half dressed without that pool boy I'll have both of you fired and never employed together again!". Still no response. Daniel seethed with anger, wanting to smash the empty cup next to him into that stupid girl's head. He stared at the numbers for a while longer, deciding he would go after her when the market updates again. The data moved. Daniel mashed his keyboard, quickly pumping out the required commands to get back on top and jumped out of his seat, running around his house looking for the damn staff. He sprinted up the stairs, taking 2 or 3 stairs at a time. He jogged down the hall way, looking into each room and listening for any sign of the damn lovers. He was nearing the end of the hallway when he came across a slightly ajar door, but from inside he heard nothing. He slowly pushed the door open and waited as his eyes adjusted to the cool darkness of the room. The room seemed fairly neat, not like two horny teens had gone at it at all. Still, he noticed that the curtains were blowing in the wind, likely meaning the balcony door was open. The door looked over the pool, which would have been where the pool boy was. Daniel sighed, realizing that the couple had probably had a Romeo and Juliet moment and snuck off. He stood there, reminiscing about his own teenage years for a few seconds before remembering his computer. He ran back downstairs and and sat back in his chair just as the data changed once again. This change was slightly off. He had assumed that the same person was fighting with him over this market, but no one would make such a bold move as to risk what he could only assume was their life savings, on a mineral market. He adjusted his commands, happy that at least he was going to make a profit, even if he was dead tired.
He jumped out of his chair once again, jogging upstairs and back to the room. He let his eyes adjust once again and moved towards the curtains. He noticed a shadow on the curtain. It didn't look human nor animal. 'There were only supposed to be chairs out there' he though. He moved quickly closer to the curtains. A shiver moved down his spine. Closer still. Blood. He could smell something... Burning cloth. He noticed a blackened area on the curtains. He moved into the doorway. Two bodies... One male, sat on a chair, another female, lying dead at his feet. Both in various states of chaotic undress. They were in a moment of passion. Daniel froze in fear. 'zap'. A spark gap went off. He knew what that meant. He turned slowly, moving his eyes with his head. A shadowy figure stood in front of the bed. "Someone cares about you, Daniel... They don't want you in front of that computer so much." The figure seemed to smirk menacingly. "See no evil, hear no evil" Daniel heard as his senses faded. He felt a tug on his collar before everything went black.

The End

((I would like some specific feedback for this because I might submit it to a junior writing competition for the hell of it. and because nothing I ever write is only 817 words))
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Re: LTFC - April 2016 - Commerce Edition

#9
And now, for the results of the April 2016 "Commerce and Trade" competition!

As we had only six entries this month, the number of prizes has been reduced to two by random selection (Specifically, https://www.random.org/ ). The available prizes are Ring Runner and Stardew Valley. If you would like to decline your prize, please let me know and I'll pass the choice on to the next person in line.

The first place winner is: CSE, for his entry IsoSpacetrainer - with a score of 78!!

The second place winner is: The runner ups are (in order of submission):
Comments of the judges in order of submission:
CSE:
  • Very strange ad. I tried to watch this as both a major investor or as a small company and it was pretty drawn out. However, the effects were great and the demonstrations shown were spot on!
  • This has a very professional, 90s vibe to it - brought back old memories and I loved it. :) I'm not entirely sure how it was related to LT, though, as I don't think space containers will be a thing.
  • Brilliant! I abolutely love it. It doesn't look like the flashiest of modern commercials, but is very good nonetheless. The models and concepts behind the storage containers was also great. I loved the music as well!
Catsu:
  • Your story has an excellent amount of detail - I particularly liked your description of the ships (and Zax's accent, of course). It feels like you didn't give it a once-over after writing the first draft. Still great though! You have much potential.
  • A strange take on life in space, very well detailed and slightly thrilling. I loved this read quite a bit Catsu.
  • An interesting story. I get that you used dialogue in an accent, but you had numerous spelling mistakes to the point where I couldn't even understand what was going on at one point, so i deducted points for that. But story wise, it was pretty good.
HowSerendipitous:
  • As usual, loads of detail and a great scene to boot! Lots of trucks there, even ones that don't make sense! Good job!
  • So much detail! I can hardly imagine how you made this in a single month, but it's very impressive! I really like it. :) I really, really, really hope that planetside spaceports look like this in LT.
  • Excellent modelling and detail as usual. Can't really say it had much X Factor though, and it's hard to know if this is realistic to LT or not as we've never seen spaceports on planets.
0111narwhalz:
  • Neat story, good dialogue, and a good reference to the various economic aspects of the game... pretty sure there wont be couches and keys in LT though. :ghost:
  • I'm not sure what to think about this entry. It feels like I'm reading a piece of a story instead of the full thing. It would be an excellent excerpt from a longer tale, and while excellently written in itself, it doesn't feel... conclusive. It feels like I'm still waiting for the end.
  • It was hard to keep up with who was who in the conversation between Melvin and Saiak. Kind of a predicable story, but fully believable.
Detritus:
  • A neat little tale - or fable, if you will. I feel like you could drop a moral lesson in there somewhere. Pleasant and fancifully written (if a little sparse on details), the only things that really bugged me were your acronyms.
  • That was a tad difficult to read with all the abbreviations. You might do better calling them "The hunters" or "The MFers" after the first time. You made an interesting story, but it was a bit crude and stilted in the way it was written. With more practice, you'll definitely create interesting stories that are more pleasurable to read.
  • Interesting concept but it didn't hit home, it was written in a very crude way and was hard to follow. However the idea's presented could have been great with some more work this story could have been a really good read. I look forward to your entries in the future.
Black--Snow:
  • This was an interesting read, quite well done in fact.... However this barely fits the theme and really has nothing to do with LT. Not to mention you have a few grammatical and spelling errors. A good read, just didn't hit on mark.
  • Ok, that was fun. Very unexpected for a commerce entry, but the most entertaining submission of this contest.
  • First I'll note that this has basically nothing to do with LT (and little to do with the theme) - but the composition is decent. Next, I'd like to say, PARAGRAPHS!, and then that I'm confused. Someone murdered several people, I know, but the reason why seems unclear - and unexpected. There wasn't really any foreshadowing.
A detailed overview of all scores can be found here.

Prizes will be handled now in the comments thread! CSE, you're first up with a choice between Ring Runner and Stardew Valley. Thank you again to the judges and thank you to everyone who participated! :D
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