The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

OA, ST and SW: The Big Three
(02-02-2017, 06:47 AM)Dfleymmes1134 Wrote: I like the sandbox idea. I know that writing a mid sized story using the technique of excuisite corpse (link) can definitely produce some uneaven results. But i'd still love to try it out. The biggest artistic barrier i can think of though is trying to find cohesion, writing a story as a group, and making sure the story doesn't feel like a bunch of checklists written by a comittee, which really, can only be avoided by going ahead and writing it. . And seeing how well it goes... And then definitely be willing to do multiple drafts.

I think one important task would be to try to only worldbuild as necessary- as happened with m.ellis's storytelling[/url] process, or emailin's process
Or when writing "dirty hands" which I think went really well.

Definitely, all the basic components could be collectively brainstormed, then plots and characters inviolving those components are brainstormed, then divide up the first few scenes, chapters and try to write?

Agreed on all points. We actually have a vast amount of already built world in the setting. So drawing on it, rather than creating more, would be a good thing - and in keeping with the original intent of OA.

On a different note - another few possible Sandbox settings:

a) Sol System - Before, during, or after the Technocalypse (so three different possible settings).

b) A starship (maybe a worldship or mobile hab) en route to some star system. The story would take place just within the ship.

c) Rak Mesba - perhaps as part of an expedition exploring that huge artifact - what happens when weird stuff is found or something goes wrong in some fashion.

d) A group of people from early in the timeline are lost in stasis/inert storage for a very long time and are rediscovered and rescued in Y11k.

Just some more thoughts,

Actually, I've been developing an idea for a Rak Mesba expedition tale - the idea being to illustrate OA technologies by their absence and the effects on characters who had grown dependent (or at least, used to relying) on those technologies. So far though, it has been slow going.

"I'd much rather see you on my side, than scattered into... atoms." Ming the Merciless, Ruler of the Universe
Nifty - Is there anything the group could do to help with the slow going bit? Another possible way to promote writing in the project is to have the group help (if possible) when an author gets stuck on something. So far the results seem to be generally positive.

Speaking more generally, are you thinking in terms of people being stuck in a 'stone ax and chisel' situation or more like the characters in Ringworld, with access to transport, comms, weapons, etc. - even if they don't have access to a spacecraft?

The members of the expedition who survive the crash of their spacecraft lose their A.I. pilot as well as the ship, and thus all infrastructure that relied on that A.I., such as smart matter, A.R. systems, and the like. The remaining technologies are damaged to one degree or another, and the survivors are ill-equipped to perform the necessary repairs, so a basic strategy is to "muddle through" with less-than-optimal equipment until it ceases to function, attempt to fix it with whatever lies to hand and, if repairs are unsuccessful, learn to cope without it.

A more immediate effect is the sense of isolation the survivors feel when the "voices" in their heads go silent, and they realize that there is nobody watching out for them, as was the case when they were in the midst of Terragen civilization.

Then, of course, there is the matter of the survivors having to contend with cold temperatures, a too-dense atmosphere, and other environmental hazards.

One question that comes to mind concerns DNIs: what are their capabilities if they are isolated from their supporting infrastructure? Are they primarily useful, under those circumstances, as a short-range communications device? I realize they can process whatever skill or data modules the user has previously uploaded, but does that capability extend to networking the modules of several individuals (who are in close proximity to one another) together?

Thanks in advance for your help!

"I'd much rather see you on my side, than scattered into... atoms." Ming the Merciless, Ruler of the Universe
Wouldn't anticipation of some types of low probability events (i.e. accidents) have been taken into account during the planning for the expedition? For example, it seems reasonable to me that the expedition's members would have been required to have one or more types of augmentations which would facilitate communication among isolated groups, and to have tested them at various times during their preparations.

Given the long history of catastrophes happening to explorers, I think it's likely that at least some types of incidents would have been provided for, even if not everyone was aware of that part of the planning. Of course, you (as author) have to be careful about what is revealed at which time in the story in order to avoid Deus ex Machina situations.
In this particular case, the expedition was not planned as such from the beginning; rather, a routine survey mission that happened to be both in transit at the time and in a position to be first to Rak Mesba was diverted to investigate the artifact. This decision also compromises the value of the "expedition," since it is focused more on planting a flag than on returning any useful data.

"I'd much rather see you on my side, than scattered into... atoms." Ming the Merciless, Ruler of the Universe

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