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Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#1
After a search didn't turn up this notion (that I could find, anyway), a little thought occurred to me.

The physics of the Limit Theory universe are that normal space exists only inside star systems. There's nothing in between star systems; you can't fly between them. Their only connections are through notional wormholes.

So the possibility comes to mind that every star system could be considered to be its own independent piece of reality -- a "pocket universe."

If so, couldn't the laws of normal space physics be different between different star systems?

I'm not saying they should... exactly. This is more to suggest the idea, to let the various Black Hats among us explain why the concept can't work, and to let the Yellow Hats go to town on how this could enable some forms of gameplay that other space games just don't even dare to dream of. ;)

If star systems could have different physics, what are some ways in which reality might vary? Which ones of those could add gameplay value?
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#2
I'm not sure if you're aware but I propose something similar to this in the Wormholes (in-depth) thread (cannot link ATM), where wormholes can link to pocket universes (stable or unstable) which are small collections of systems that obey slightly different laws of physics to other systems. The main difference is that you're suggesting this be applied to all systems, whereas in that thread I proposed that they were more like special cases.

If you were, carry on. :)

Edit: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2016
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#3
As for your actual suggestion, I think it could be quite cool. One thing I really like is that it obviates having to calculate realistic skyboxes based on the actual position of other stars in the galaxy, as it'd be a different set of stars each time if you're actually transitioning between universes. From a lore perspective, it's also really interesting to think that perhaps we (or whoever the inhabitants of LT are) never managed to circumvent the speed of light barrier, so instead of expanding outwards into the rest of our own universe, we expanded outwards between universes instead, and wormholes necessarily connect between arbitrary star systems in different universes. Has this ever been the subject of any work of science fiction? Having to consider that different physics apply in every single system could add another layer of complexity, but I don't know if it would end up being overwhelming.
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#5
I could see this being overwhelming if you changed several things at once but if you only changed one, non-core aspect of the game it might help break up the sameness of the universe (I hate to say it but even a procedurally generated universe starts to become the same if you spend enough time in it). You could do something simple like change the color brown to purple (no gameplay value but interesting to look at), or increase your speed by 1.5x but only in certain regional anomalous areas. You could also make the top 20% of resource asteroids "glassy invisible" so you would have to use you scanner to detect them (and maybe no hit boxes for them so you detect them that way) or a really good eye. You also don't have to make a change in every sector, just once in a while randomly to keep things interesting.

As a side note I would love to be able to add custom effects and export them so that I can have an always-changing ever-new set of effects.

Anyway, it is safe to say that I like this idea.
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#6
If systems do have different properties, I would really like to see those properties visualised in the same way as we see properties for blueprints. Like a blueprint might be for a fighter variant that has +10% dps at the cost of +20% mass. System properties could be shown in a very similar way where a system could be represented as a node in some graph and have global effects represented like +10% to thermal damage in this system, -25% velocity to all ships in the system. Unification!
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#8
ThymineC wrote:If systems do have different properties, I would really like to see those properties visualised in the same way as we see properties for blueprints. Like a blueprint might be for a fighter variant that has +10% dps at the cost of +20% mass. System properties could be shown in a very similar way where a system could be represented as a node in some graph and have global effects represented like +10% to thermal damage in this system, -25% velocity to all ships in the system. Unification!

I think this sounds like a good idea... However it reminds me a bit too much of the wormholes in EVE, and I've been trying to think of a way to keep the idea of a system having special effects while not doing the same thing.

1. Instead of percentage-based across the entire system, perhaps the anomaly or wormhole that causes the effect spreads over the system, thus the closer you are to it the stronger the effect. Still using percentages, this could be, say, a 40% increase in engine power at the location, while only a 5-10% bonus near the edge of the system

2. Perhaps instead of using effects on the ship directly, there would be some way to affect them via a transmission or trigger mechanism, for example an effect that causes asteroids to become unstable and explode if mined too aggressively, or an effect that causes ships to take damage over time while using "warp tunnels" (I forget the actual term for the method Josh developed for traveling long distances)

I'm not sure that either of these ideas is decent, but what do other people think?
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#9
Spatial anomalies within systems - I like it! The further you are from x white hole or y pulsar or z black hole, the weaker the effects, so you can end up with something like a "strong pulsar" system that constantly knocks off 80% of everyone's shields even at the edges, or a "weak pulsar" system that only hits 10% very close to the star. And the star doesn't always have to be the anomaly at all, which makes things much more interesting.
Spacecredentials: looks at stars sometimes, cheated at X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, killed a titan once.
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#10
ThymineC wrote:I'm not sure if you're aware but I propose something similar to this in the Wormholes (in-depth) thread (cannot link ATM), where wormholes can link to pocket universes (stable or unstable) which are small collections of systems that obey slightly different laws of physics to other systems.
I did read that thread a while back, so all the details didn't stick. But yes, while similar, I'm suggesting here that, rather than being recursive places within systems, it seems to me that the design of the LT universe is that star systems, as separate areas of normal space, already are each pocket universes.

The thing is, they're pocket universes that all just happen to share the exact same rules of physics. But why should they?

Small but perceptible differences in the fundamental physical constants of each system could cause different places to specialize in different goods and interests. That would increase the strategic texture of the entire universe -- characters would have reasons (beyond randomly emergent specializations) to travel between systems, and reasons to control particular systems.
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#11
The thought occurs that if death mechanics were to work as I propose in Death in LT, where we assume there's an infinite number of universes, it would tie in with Flatfinger's suggestion pretty nicely. In the case of "surviving" death, you'd find yourself in a very similar universe to the one you were in before, since you would imagine the game would only "pick" from a set of universes that differed based on the outcome of a single event (the player's death) - everything else remains constant.

However, imagine that wormholes were able to connect between any two arbitrary universes in this great multiverse, not just ones that differ based on the outcome of a single event. These two universes may be very similar to each other or they may be extraordinarily different. If that is the case, then we get something like Flatfingers proposes here, where wormholes can connect between systems in different universes that have different laws of physics. Thinking of the LT universe as more of an infinite multiverse has interesting applications.
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#12
What if each universe's physics only affected that universe's matter? If so, mineral X from universe Y mighy have 20% more toughness, but takes three times longer to build anything out of it and requires very powerful construction drones. Or Mineral Z could be 20% lighter and 10% more brittle than the equivalent from your home universe.

This doesn't even cover enemy ships from that universe, which could be a powerful deterrent in the more useful universes.
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. - Oscar Wilde

We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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Re: Star Systems as Pocket Universes

#13
Kekasi wrote:What if each universe's physics only affected that universe's matter? If so, mineral X from universe Y mighy have 20% more toughness, but takes three times longer to build anything out of it and requires very powerful construction drones. Or Mineral Z could be 20% lighter and 10% more brittle than the equivalent from your home universe.
This would be really cool, since it would tie in with McDuff's (and now Josh's) idea of material classes, and would encourage exploration in order to find materials that are best suited to some application and cannot be found elsewhere.

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