What do you like in a Sci-Fi setting?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Minibit, Jan 9, 2015.

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  1. What makes a scifi setting stand out among other scifi settings to you? Are there certain elements of the setting you find fun to play with, or fascinating to explore? Share them!

    I like "space journey" type scifi settings; it's the trekkie in me! I love being able to make up lots of different planets, aliens, cultures and technologies as the story grows, so moving settings are really appealing in a setting where there's lots of accessible unknowns. If not in a spaceship, then through time travel, dimension hopping, or some other way!
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  2. I enjoy settings that force your character to have to adapt and have some sense of mystery. If an environment can make a character of mines fear whats around the corner or keep him on his toes I can easily get into a writing flow.
  3. So what in sci fi makes this happen for you?
  4. Most of the t
    Most of the time alien planet locations/Abandoned or abnormal futuristic cites/human settlements.
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  5. My favorite "setting" has always been First Contact. Two species meeting each other for the first time, no matter where it might happen.
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  6. I love a more mundane sci-fi setting, like in Firefly/Serenity. It feels more realistic and gritty to me. There are just as many problems in the 'verse as there are now, perhaps even more so. Not everyone has super high-tech gadgets, not everyone has money and a fantastic AI ship; most of them are just average people trying to survive. I also love the idea of sky/space pirates: the haphazard band of not-so-heroic heroes traveling the universe, stumbling from one adventure to the next.
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  7. yup, same here. Nothing known about the place? Great. It's deadly? Even better.
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  8. Science fiction and fantasy are my things for the same reason. Both allow for settings wherein the characters are completely, hopelessly, indisputably out of their depth.

    ...Which is fun.
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  9. The question is how many of you have some of those already read for some "sploring?"
  10. A sci-fi setting that makes full use of the tech it has and generally avoids making use of magic, not for realism, but out of personal preference. I like devices much more than super powers, to say the least. I also like it when the alien designs actually are consistent with the world they come from and at least try to make them distinct, when the setting takes actual inspiration from exoplanets and astronomy in general and lacking space elf or a alien who looks completely like a human without any justification being a major plus in my book.

    Other than that, I consider myself pretty open minded to sci-fi settings ranging from space opera to rock hard space exploration or even a mars mission. Issue is people keep putting magic in their sci-fi, which is like putting salt on the jello.

    Exploration wise I like as you might have guessed, however I like to explore certain areas in-depth more than jump from place to place. Thing for me is that there's so many places, so little time! Alien species probably have all mannerisms of cultures like humans for instance, and jumping from species to species feels so much like skimming the surface. As is the trouble of scale. I wonder how a sci-fi universe RP on this site would go given the truly vast amount of playing space.
    #10 Ixion, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2015
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  11. Science Fiction is a genre defined by possibility. Exploration is possible in any era, but it's teh technology or the future challenge that pushes this journey into a place humanity has never been. We know the 'New World' was not quite so new, and indeed already well-populated. That's no big news and given such hindsight such tales lose a bit of their edge. However, the story of a pilot searching for a planet, which may in fact not be -- or perhaps not be any more --, is something we have yet to experience as a species. How inspiring and captivating an idea.

    What draws me to the genre how humans change. When the world produced Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, we imagined worlds overcome by government control, emphasized with future technologies. The genre allows for a similar exploration into the individual -- good and bad. What happens when an individual is able to key into the world, say a hacker with a modded SmartWatch. What happens when an average person is faced with what would be considered a supernatural omnipresence, capable of hearing and seeing and, in fact, engaging with the whole world from a fixed place. Likewise, how does our thinking change when our bodies fail us and technology offers us the chance for normalcy. Does paraplegic veteran decline the chance to walk again because they're a technophobe, or do they embrace new technology and become someone not wholly human? How does this change humanity, and how far can we go before we're something new?

    Science Fiction is exciting for me as you can introduce a single idea. Smart prosthetics, for example. Implement that idea into the world and watch the ripples, big and small, then explore them in an individual character and the world around them. You thought up a thing likely to arise within a decade, but by introducing that one aspect to the world now, you've created an entirely new setting.
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  12. Science fiction roleplays that pay close attention to the consequence of certain technologies.

    A notable one is 'anti-gravity', which was a simple gimmick engineered by film makers to easily address concerns over the elevated CGI and prop costs that would come with generating realistic zero-G environments on the big screen. Nevertheless, it's still an article of groundbreaking technology that's freely featured in video games and numerous works of literature without any concern paid to the monumental impact that it would have on a fictional nation's society and its very understanding of the fundamental physical laws that govern our universe. Frictionless environments (which will undoubtedly result in perpetual motion machines that may yield an uninhibited amount of usable energy), planet-side zero-G manufacturing plants, reaction-less drives (dirt-cheap relativistic kill vehicles and relativistic engines that only require electricity to function), inertia dampeners (accelerating at hundreds--or even thousands--of Gs becomes doable without having to worry over the physical health of the ship's crew or the structural integrity of the ship itself; relativistic railguns instantly become possible and decelerating and accelerating instantaneously is now a thing), mass-lightening (or even blatant mass-negation), and protective energy fields that can block all incoming enemy fire are just some of the things that are possible with AG technology.

    AG would permit a faction to exercise unparalleled control over the universe around them.

    But the only thing most sci-fi writers use anti-gravity for is to make sure cosmonauts don't float about in a space-borne tin can.
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  13. Well, Science fiction is fun for me by allowing exploration into the unknown of the cosmos in role play. I have always wanted to become an astronaut in real life, which is part of the reason it is fun for me. I am human, as such I tend to like playing as human's because I know much more about them then I would about anything else.
  14. I'm also human, however, because I know much more about humans than anything else, I prefer to play aliens/critters, because then I have the freedom to create the knowledge, to make a character that allows the reader to see not just through another human's eyes, but through eyes strange and wondrous. Eyes that can look at humanity from an outside perspective.
  15. Interesting perspective at the least, but my choice is that of reason and logic for me. The known limitations allow me to become creative in how I deal with situations and choose options that many just do not see right away. Personally, I look at a situation as if I am there in the character's shoes. I try to make a situation work out by continually surveying the environment, analyzing the situation, then deciding on an action to go with.

    For example:

    I'm in space, my ship is damaged by space debris and the mechanic and engineer are both sick. Being the Captain, I have the medical officer put the two sick crew members in an isolated location within the medical bay for treatment, while having either the pilot or another mechanic to look at the damage, which entails them putting on space suites, getting the suites oxidized, then attaching a tether to the space suite which has a dual purpose of supplying air and keeping the person attached to the ship. Making sure the equipment is properly equipped, I would have them then enter the air lock, close the inner door, then depressurize the air lock. Attaching the tethers to their air nozzle and anchor points, the people would then space walk slowly around the ship to assess the damaged ship.

    I'm pretty sure there are other situations that knowing your set limitations and/or weaknesses can actually help you, depending on how you go about using them, and I'm pretty sure it would be hard to find one human that is fit enough and smart enough to be allowed into space that does not at least know their limitations or boundaries.

    To me, creating boundaries or limitations is the same with making anything really, but it becomes boring to me if I run into something that has no boundaries. Strange is good, and perspective can be awesome, but I personally believe that everything has a reason for why and how it is. I realize not every character would have knowledge of everything, but there are things one can infer. A burning demon could potentially be harmed by some sort of liquid, or at the least put out the immediate flames. Darker eyes reminds me of sunglasses, meaning UV protection. Such things almost anyone can do.

    Please forgive me if I happened to go too far. I was merely jotting down my thoughts.
  16. Not too far at all. From my perspective, and the way I like to create my critters, it's not that they're without boundaries, simply that their boundaries are not the same as a human's. Therefore, I get to play with those differences, to present an alien critter that may be able to do things humans can't, but conversely, may be unable to do things human can. Remember Data? As an android, he did not experience human emotions, though he strived to do so... to understand. And by so doing, he failed, more often than not. Though sometimes, by the very act of failing, he actually did end up gaining the understanding he sought. So, despite his superior strength, intellect, reflexes and durability... despite all the "gifts" his Creator gave him... he had his limitations. His faults.

    This is how I look at it. My alien critter may have "superior" physical and even mental capacities, but lack in some other area. Heh. My Nism, for instance... despite all their "gifts", they can't fart or burp or throw up, so... no fart jokes, no wordless commentary on the "quality" of their most recent meal, one way or the other. Just one small little detail, yeah. Perhaps not "important"... but it's there, just the same.

    So, I can write a passage just as detailed about one (or more) of my alien critters doing something that is to them, normal. Everyday. Even out of the ordinary, unexpected. Like crossing Threshhold, intent on arriving in a particular place, only to find themselves "not in Kansas anymore." Not where they planned to be. Involved in what to them would be an "awkward" situation. One of the fun things I've done in RPs. Nothing like having a furry alien critter finding himself suddenly over a lake, forced to walk to a nearby tavern, shaking off the wet, just so he can ask for a towel.
  17. As I said, interesting. I have never said you are wrong, just that I have a peculiar preference for playing as a human and why. The Nism you speak of sounds interesting. No expelled gasses after eating could mean that they just have a different digestive system, thus do things differently. What I meant by without boundaries are things conceived as deities. "Higher" beings that no one dares to fathom or go against because of some sort of consequences. I do not doubt your talents with creating or stitching the strands of a sentence together, and nor should I seeing as how I even criticize my own writing even before I send it. Thank you for your time.
  18. Forgive my simplistic answer. I love futuristic cities, cyberpunk, and have always been interested in traveling back in time.
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  19. Simplistic or not, it is an answer, and thus you do not need to be forgiven, but instead stand by it with pride as it is your choice. Thank you for your input on the matter! Each one of us is unique enough to have our own answers, so it would be weird if we all had exactly the same answers, as that would portray a narrow point of view.
  20. You're welcome. IDIC, and all that.
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