Starbound: Establishing Parameters

I'm working on gathering a list of things people want to see in a science fiction setting. Some of the things people want to see aren't possible for Starbound, or aren't desirable. That's going to happen anyway, I can't please everyone, and I'm not going to try. One of the things that I'm seeing a lot of requests for is a wide scope - both thematic and spatial. This fits well with the things I want to do, so I'm pleased to see it. As I do my research, I'm starting to see a division in existing science fiction, though, that I wasn't expecting. It seems that you can have "wide", or you can have "message", but you can't have both.

That's not entirely fair to writers like Vernor Vinge, who manage to combine strong thematic work with a very wide setting, but in general, you can divide the important books and TV series into one or other. Ender's Game - message. Hyperion - wide. Babylon 5 - message. Star Trek - wide. Firefly - message. Star Wars - wide. Forever War - message. And so on down the line. Most RPG settings, by necessity, fall on the "wide" side, and I think Starbound is going to have to do the same. Specific stories, campaigns or events will have their own themes, but it's futile and limiting to try to extend them across the whole setting.

Posted by Drew Shiel at March 1, 2006 10:27 AM

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