Voyageur » Devlogs » 5. Planets

2016.7.1

5. Planets

Welcome back to Voyageur dev diaries. This time: Planets.

I talked about text generation in a previous dev diary; this one is a tour of things you can expect to find in the Voyageur galaxy. It’s not comprehensive – I’m keeping some things secret for now. So I’m going to be generating five worlds and talking about them at length.

Tiersen’s World

Frozen desert worlds like this one are similar to Mars; they have a thin atmosphere that can’t hold heat or support life. There’s maybe some frozen surface water, and a lot of dead dust. This one is Chrysalis-aligned, a mining colony formed out of repurposed spaceship husks.

Planets like this one are good places to buy rare minerals and ores, and perhaps to meet some rough characters who might join your crew to get away from the doldrums of colonial life.

Bulwark

A heavy-atmosphere world similar to Venus. While it has a rocky core, it’s buried under layers of compressed and corrosive gases. The upper reaches of planets like this one are actually some of the most earthlike places in the universe, with temperatures and pressures that are downright comfortable. Cities filled with earthlike air actually float in the heavy atmosphere, and those aerostats are the only habitations possible on worlds like these.

This is a Dome-aligned one, with an industrialized economy. Using a lightweight, pressurized wingsuit, human beings can actually fly by going a little lower into the atmosphere; a popular sport in many worlds like this one, though the Dome locals will only do it with a safety net.

Kmoch’s Folly

A city-world, urbanized until it’s no longer recognizable as anything else. Covered completely in skyscrapers and arcologies, city-worlds are usually great places to unload your cargo at a high price, but this one seems to be facing tough times economically. Ladder-aligned, it’s probably still a hub for advanced robotics; maybe a good place to get that broken android you found fixed.

City worlds are also a good place to pick up passengers, people looking to get away to a frontier planet and return to nature.

New Lichuan

An arid planet; it supports life, but there’s little surface moisture, and most of the surface is desert or rocky badlands. Life-supporting worlds like this one sometimes have strange alien life living there, rather than an imported earthling biosphere. Biological institutes are often set up to study those alien environments, and they’re very interested in collating data from other similar research done across the galaxy.

Lucy

The most common planets in the galaxy are icy bodies like this one, iceteroids big enough to be rounded out by their gravity. They’re often mined by volatiles, but rarely house anything like a permanent settlement worth visiting.

This world houses a small population of microgravity fabrication workers, though closer inspection might show that the real lifeblood of the settlement is piracy on a nearby Alcubierre lane…

This is only a glimpse; there are a lot of strange things to find in Voyageur: Arcologies that look like gigantic cathedrals, carbon worlds with seas of liquid methane, gaia worlds overgrown with hypertrophic life, and much more.

Join me next week when I talk about trading: How to make money, and what money is for.