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Think Outside the Setting
Hey all,

So, since this potentially relates to the upcoming site redesign, I figured it would be good to post on it and get thoughts from folks.

As part of the 'what can we do better, what should we do different' thread, it was suggested that we develop some mechanism for presenting information about the OA universe that the EG, or maybe even Terragen civilization doesn't 'know'. From the suggestion given:

It might be nice to have a way of posting things that we know Out-of-Character but that can't be known or aren't known In Character in the setting.

My question for the group is: How might we go about doing this and what might it look like?

Coming at this from one direction, I can readily say that if someone wants to write a story (or even an EG type article/white paper) that includes information that the EG/Terragens don't 'know', that is certainly doable. Want to write a story set a million years in the OA past or future, or a billion light-years away from the Terragen Bubble? No problem. It would still need to have some elements to make it recognizably 'OA', but otherwise feel free to play. But what other options might we look at?

One thing I've been kicking around in my head is some sort of 'alternative publication' to the EG. Or maybe something like an expanded form of our Design Notes. Or something else. Basically a way to let an author talk about things in the OA verse that Terragen civ can't possibly know about (what is the Leviathan doing out at Triangulum 'right now'?). Maybe something like 'Orion's Arm: The Shadow Chronicles' or something?

Anyway, posting on this now because, depending on what form this might take, it may be something that we want to have its own particular 'look' separate from the EG and such. So it falls under the site redesign umbrella.

So - thoughts from the group on this? Should we do something beyond the level of V:FT and if so, what should it look like?

Personally I love this idea. It'd be great to flesh out some of the history of the setting and get a look at what's going on in the galactic neighborhood (perhaps a terragen equivalent in the Andromeda galaxy?)

One issue I think would be to limit it somewhat in scope. For example, having any information for the future would spoil certain developments in the current storyline, current or otherwise. "Oh we know X won't win in the end, because we know Y will be around like this in the future."

As for how it would be formatted, perhaps have it near the end of certain articles, changing the perspective and speaker. The EG is written impartially, but something like this could be in the form of a "lost diary" or snippet of an historical account written in the first person. An Eh'ern recording his first meeting with the Leviathan. One of the ancient Muuh thinking about the decline of their civilization. A veteran of the Andromedan wars lamenting his old life before the local archailects mysteriously disappeared.

It'd add a bit of a personal touch to the information and open a lot of things up for fan works as well.
Better to be insane than inane.
Having 10,000 years of history already written down means that some historical stories won't work- we know that humans never recapture Earth, for instance. But there are still lots of loopholes and grey areas to explore - and if a story is good enough we can sometimes rewrite canon somewhat.

Maybe an issue of V:FT dedicated to 'outside the Terragen sphere' stories; tales set outside the sphere of knowledge of the historians of Ken Ferjik, perhaps, or even outside the ken of the Archailects themselves.
We'd probably need to set up some guidelines similar to how we discourage too much detail in the earliest part of the timeline. Mainly for things taking place in the 'future' of the timeline and a few other items. Overall OA canon would still be in play, but since most of that is 'the laws of physics' that's not a hard lift. Overall, we could allow folks a lot of latitude and scope, I think. I'm thinking that we should add an 'Additional Information' 'tab' or option to site for various things such as links to stories, or articles such as this and such.

I also like the idea of a V:FT issue devoted to this. Currently thinking the third or fourth issue of the year. Will give this a bit more thought and come back with a more official date. I'll get back to y'all.

What do folks think of the above and any other ideas on how we might tackle this.


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