Happy Natopia Day
The Butter Bull says: Happy Natopia Day! :natopia: Please enjoy your juice of preference, and a buttered, toasted bagel too. Today, Natopia can drive. It is 16 years old, and in reaching that milestone, has now been in existence for 53% of its founder's lifetime. :pale:

VBN - Micras Edition
  • [CBC NEWS] IOP/CBC Pre-Election Poll, General Election 1665
  • [CBC News] "Reporting From Zalae" Episode I
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  • Malarbor Says
  • Meta-Thread for the Favored

    Meta-Thread for the Favored

    Postby Harvey » Tue May 31, 2011 6:48 pm

    For all the “behind the scenes” stuff that I’m thinking about with this statelet. Ideas and thoughts of the Favored that I may or may not successfully be portraying.


    The major themes with this statelet are uncertainty and a lack of specific direction. I said that my statelet would be sort of meta when I created it and it really is taking that roll. Much like I am not quite sure which direction I want to take the Favored in, the Favored themselves aren’t quite sure which direction they are going. They represent potential for great things, refined and intelligent but largely untapped. They remind me of children like that, even though they are a society of adults.

    I want there to be a certain amount of uncertainty about AURA. I don’t want AURA to be some sort of evil Matrix-esque computer system that is using humans for evil. On the other hand, I don’t want it to be a kind, gentle, understanding mother. I want there to be shades of grey, good and bad, but more that there is a plan with it all. Is it a good plan that will lead the Favored to what they want? Is it a plan that will lead them somewhere else? Or maybe the Favored themselves are just tools in whatever scheme AURA is working on but not telling them. That is the question, that is the basis, and that is the thing that keeps some of the more paranoid Favored citizens up at nights.

    I wrote my SMAC faction specifically so that AURA represented something that could be turned on and off like this. The major bonus of that faction is having access to the Cybernetics future state. The rest of the bonuses and penalties are rather mild, kind of vanilla. Cybernetics represents AURA’s influence over society – less destruction of the environment, higher research and efficiency, and yes, even the police penalty. Not everyone is totally comfortable with machines running the country, after all. If the player wants, they can simply not enable this social engineering, which would represent the Favored society without AURA functioning – probably not strong enough to be competitive. You can play it both ways, and both ways represent a path the Favored may take.

    One of the best things about SMAC, which I’m using as a big inspiration for the Favored and micronationalism in general and I know I’m not alone on, was that it divided people by ideology rather than race. None of the factions are particularly “evil.” You could make a case that Yang’s culture of reducing people to soulless cogs in the machine is dehumanizing, or that Miriam’s violent conversion of everyone to Christianity is oppressive, but all of the factions have their dark sides like this, and they all have their light as well. Humans are like that, after all. The ideologies were really well defined. This was also one of the reasons that the SMAX factions were less appealing – not because the aliens were there, but because all the really good ideologies were taken at that point, so the new human factions were less fundamental and more based on the circumstances and technology of Planet.

    The Favored may seem closest to the Cybernetic Consciousness as far as SMAC factions go, but I personally see them as far closer to the Spartans. They have a very survivalist government. Yes, it’s run by a big, somewhat sentient computer, but it’s that attitude that matters, the ideology, and the thoughts that fill the Favored are those of needing to work together in a ruined world against the darkness of life dying forever. It’s an unstable government, and one that’s likely to get violent if their situation gets too comfortable, but that’s okay – I consider adopting something else later part of that untapped potential thing.
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    Re: Meta-Thread for the Favored

    Postby Scott Alexander » Tue May 31, 2011 7:24 pm

    I think this is wise.

    One of the reasons I freaked out so much when I realized Archipelago wasn't going to be on Micras was that I don't really know if people can come up with good ideas for constructed societies in a couple of days. I was hoping to solve that problem by importing them wholesale - Nelaga, for example. There's some of that going around: our most active statelet right now is Aryasht, which is pretty much the same theme Aryeztur has been working for years now - but in general that didn't work out, and I am sort of skeptical of what's going to happen to a lot of places without a whole lot of soul-searching.

    Shireroth went from a pacifist democratic center of science to an absolutist pyromaniac feudal monarchy over a couple of years; Hyperborea went from some kind of bland pacifist monk-type people through a Norse phase and eventually into a weird sort of technocracy. And Babkha went from an enlightened Persian multiparty state into a parody of corrupt dictatorships the world over. I think it's hard to find the niche you want and that this sort of evolution might be harder in a situation like this with only one person per country.

    I've already mentioned I'm going to destroy Drachumve once the RP finishes up, because it turns out that I don't feel as much of a connection with them as I thought. Their replacement is I hope something I've had a lot longer to reflect upon and will be genuinely interested in. I totally encourage anyone else who changes their mind about where they want to go with a statelet to do the same.

    So basically I think what you're doing with the Favored is a good idea and I wish you luck with it.
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    Re: Meta-Thread for the Favored

    Postby ari » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:13 pm

    I suspect evolving a statelet into something very different from how it was originally planned is actually easier if it's just one guy doing it, or at least just one guy at the helm. Straylight went from DOLPHINS DOLPHINS EVERYWHERE to ENGINEERS ENGINEERS EVERYWHERE a fairly long time ago (and then stopped going anywhere aside that because one, I'm lazy, and two, there actually was enough material in that concept to actually spend a couple of years studying it), and I'm pretty sure that that kind of major change wouldn't have taken if somebody else had invested into it already at that point. It's not like I'd toss Lightwave out after Ryan contributed a threadful of work into it, for instance. The sweet spot for taking a good concept and actually exploring it, rather than wildly changing it, probably is more than one member, though.
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