Astronomy Lab Concept with New Role: Astronomer

Google Drive link to full document

This is a bit more than just ‘pls give thing’. I may not be an artist or programmer, but I am working on a concept for a new type of wing of R&D: the Astronomy Lab. From the ‘astrolab’, players scan the sky for star systems, learning as much about them as possible then using probes to scan the surface of planets, mine for resources, or even make first contact. The idea of the document is to do as much of the conceptual and mechanical design as possible because I am not an artist or programmer. I will need the help of others to get the actual programming and art assets done, so I want to do the most I possibly can to hopefully make bringing the concept to life relatively straightforward. I have recently updated this document and will continue to do so later on. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from the doc:

Tangent - Exploring Astronomy’s Effect on the Game

When I originally authored this document, I hadn’t really considered the effect it would have on everybody on the server. Now that I have revisited the concept to update it, something has occurred to me: this could dramatically enhance the experience.

Remember away missions? It seems like something that periodically comes up for SS13 only for it to fall flat. The astronomy lab may give away missions the springboard they need to really take off. It provides the possibility for numerous types of areas to visit, a wide array of mission types and a huge potential for great stories to be told. Astronomy labs don’t need away missions to be useful to the station in ways beyond research points, of course. Each station is an economy; whether the astrolab adds to the supply or the demand is up to the astronomers. Because probes aren’t free, the lab presents a recurrent cost to the station by using materials and energy. (It could be said the labs main source of power is wireless, being beamed to it from engineering by slapping on some sort of transmitter to the outside and maybe another terminal inside. Strategy may become needed to balance what it’s getting with what it’s giving.)

The lab creates opportunities for new event types, new antagonists, new roles and a ton of new stories to tell. It could mean longer rounds that haven’t been ravaged by antags stay fun for longer. Hell, reporting on what happens in the astrolab could put some new life into the newscaster for all we know. The possibilities are profound and provide a gateway (oh shit you could build gateways on other planets found by Astro) to SS13 becoming something more without removing or significantly altering the core experience should players shy away from it.

4 Likes

Cargo has a very very simple version of this where you can send out exploration drones and find resources and random encounters. I’d love to see this kind of concept fleshed out more though seeing as how simple it currently is.

2 Likes

:eyes: ooooh

2 Likes

astrology is awesome bro, what’s your sign i can only +1 this if we’re compatible

1 Like

I died because of this

1 Like

+1 I love the idea.

1 Like

+1 sounds interesting and fleshes out those cargo drones everyone forgets about

Edit: oh this was 5 months ago…

1 Like

actually sounds cool ngl

1 Like

+1 Seems like a neat idea.

1 Like

+1 cool

2 Likes

Oh wow, I had completely forgotten about this over the past year. Sorry about that! Not much longer after I wrote this, my fiance broke up with me (looking back, she was def cheating on me) and I was forced to uproot my life again and return to my home state. Naturally, this fucked me right up.

I’m still putting my life back together, but I’m doing a lot better. I’d like to return to this concept and continue to flesh it out more. I don’t know that I’ll ever actually build it myself (though did learn some C# and helped out the Unitystation guys for a bit), partly because I’m having to learn a lot of new things as I prepare to accelerate my career path in IT and whatever language BYOND uses isn’t worth trying to learn for me since it won’t be useful in my job.

I’ll try to work on the document some more! Maybe one day some talented fella will see the concept and decide to put it together. I’d help where I could but frankly it’d mostly be writing story or flavor blurbs for the various discoveries in the Astronomy system. I’m also trying to do as much of the conceptual legwork as possible to hopefully streamline development. I found it was a lot easier to work on code when you knew what goal you had to accomplish and already had ideas for how to do it. Seeing that this has gotten a positive response I’m hoping this idea could actually get off the ground someday.

4 Likes

DOCUMENT HAS BEEN UPDATED!

I was not expecting to all but finish the thing today but....here we are! Basically finished with a bunch of little details to still work out...oh and develop the thing but that's outta my wheelhouse for now.
3 Likes

+1, hope to see this in game soon, and sorry about your situation. Hope things get better for you soon