eXpanding the 4X strategy genre
Prologue: We’re part of the First Generation, the first group of races, to travel the stars in our young galaxy. Over millennia we progressed, always looking skyward dreaming of what awaited us when we reached the stars. Upon exploring the vastness of space we found it almost empty of other races comparable to our own. True, life was flourishing on many worlds but the vast majority of other species had not progressed to our level of technology. We encountered a few races who rivaled our own. The K’Linq and the Trancahta were the first. The K’Linq, a feline race, are very fast and maneuverable. Their ships match their agility and are armed with pulse weapons but have limited defenses. The Trancahta, sentient tortoises, are heavily armed and armored. Both civilized and reasonable but not interested in more than occasional trade and sharing of information. The Trancahta did warn us about the “Shadow”. Another species no one has seen because their ships employ cloaking technology and rarely leave survivors. The Shadow hunt in packs of smaller ships and demolish their targets with mass driver weaponry at close range. For several years our young galaxy was at relative peace as the First Generation began exploring. In Sector 32 a discovery was made that turned everything we thought we knew into chaos.
An advanced derelict ship of unknown origin was found while exploring a planet in sector 32. Testing proved it to be billions of years older than our home system’s star! It became clear however the ship and it’s power source were less than a decade old. Further study revealed this ship was comprised of elements native to our Galaxy but it was older than our Galaxy. The theory was leaked this ship originated from our galaxy in the distant future! The discovery sent shock waves throughout the First Generation. There were whispers and reports of other derelict artifacts scattered throughout known space but none of these were confirmed.
It was then we noticed a new species emerging from the fringes of explored space. They were relentless in their approach to Sector 32 refusing any attempts at communication. They devastated anyone who attempted contact with vastly superior firepower. We sent a fleet along with our now allies, the K’linq and the Trancahta, to protect the artifact and the planet. Communications from our fleets were jammed during the battle. From several observation points the various populations of the First Generation watched as during the battle the enemy ship fired a beam at the star. The entire system, the star, the planet, the derelict ship, along with all our fleets vanished! Sector 32 became known as the Lost Sector. Nothing remained, not even space dust. That region of space was completely empty as it if had just been created.
Some scout and colony ships of varying races began disappearing in other sectors. Garbled reports came in of possible findings of technology before communications were cut short. The First Generation began spying on each other desperate to get any information on the terrible new foe they faced. Some were exposed. Chaos ensued as the cooperation of the peaceful races of the First Generation fell apart into a cold war.
A new fervor of exploration has been embraced by the races of the First Generation. Except this time armed conflict is sure to follow. For the first time since leaving their home systems the races of the First Generation fear their extinction, or worse; never existing in the first place. An advanced race from billions of years in the future that has traveled to the past could do so again…at any time.
4X Space Time is in development
4X Space Time allows players to design their own races, ships, and galaxies!
Early Ship created with the Shipyard
Yellow Jacket fighter is shown below
A Short Lesson In Astronomy
The color of light a star gives off is related to its temperature. But there’s a catch. The color of light we observe from a star is also related to the speed and direction it is moving relative to our location.
With respect to a star’s temperature; blue stars are hottest and red stars are coolest. In other words the hotter the star the more blue it is and the cooler the star the more red it is.
However, the color we see a star as also depends on it’s speed and direction relative to our location. It’s called the “Doppler effect.” It’s similar to sound waves when a motorcycle passes you. But instead of sound waves we are now dealing with light waves from a star. In this case if the star is moving away from us it will appear more red. If the star is moving towards us it will appear more blue.
So how do you know what color a star truly is? It is possible to obtain that information but you need to understand and apply quantum mechanics and chemistry. Basically once you understand the chemical composition of a star you would expect it to be emitting light at a certain wavelength. However, because of the “Doppler Effect” or “Doppler Shift” that wavelength will be “off” by the “Doppler Shift” amount. It will be either more or less than expected. For example;
Once we know the composition of a star we’re observing we look at the wave length emitted from it’s elements. We’ll use hydrogen as an example. Hydrogen on the same planet with us isn’t going through a “Doppler Shift” because we are moving together in the same direction on the planet. We compare the wavelength emitted by the other star’s hydrogen to the hydrogen wavelength here. If it’s more than expected it’s red-shifted; if it’s less than expected it’s blue shifted. We then apply the amount of the “Doppler Shift” to add or subtract from the star’s overall light wave length we observe and we have our answer. That’s a very over simplified example.
A Brief Timeline of the Milky Way Galaxy:
Milky Way Galaxy formed – 13.51 billion years ago
Our Sun formed – 4.603 billion years ago
Our Solar System formed 4.571 billion years ago
Earth formed 4.543 billion years ago
Life first appeared on earth – According to fossils 3.465 billion years ago. The oceans formed on earth about 4.41 billion years ago.
Time of the Dinosaurs on Earth – about 245 million years ago until their extinction from a space rock smacking into the earth about 65.5 million years ago.
Humans on Earth – About two hundred thousand years ago to present.
Earth is late to the party. According to the fossil record life had formed on earth less than 1 billion years after formation. The Milky Way Galaxy is over 13 billion years old. Which means stars, planets, entire solar systems have come and gone before the earth existed. HIP 11952 is a solar system which is still around and is ancient. It is about 12.8 billion years old.
“In late March, 2012, European astronomers announced that they had discovered a planetary system around a metal-poor star, that is, a star containing mainly hydrogen and helium, the two ingredients thought to have been present at the Big Bang. In other words, this star and its two Jupiter-sized planets appear to be survivors from the extremely early universe.”(http://earthsky.org/space/how-and-when-did-the-first-planets-form-in-our-universe, accessed July 12, 2018)
Our Sun is a second or third generation star. Our bodies are comprised of heavier elements. This means our sun and solar system, and us, are made up from previous stars, solar systems, in our neighborhood going boom! Carbon based sentient life could have existed in the Milky Way Galaxy while earth was being formed. Using ourselves as a measuring stick Any sentient life will start to colonize other planets before a quarter of a billion years passes; if they don’t wipe themselves out or get wiped out. We went through two dark ages in which civilization went backward for hundreds of years each time. Although some argue they seemed to be necessary to spur advancement.
We haven’t been around for 250,000 years as a species and we are close to setting foot on Mars, and could have done so sooner.
Do you still think we are the only life in our Galaxy?
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