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.