Videos to potentially mine for ideas in Homemade Settings, World Building & Galaxy Construction
cobalt_phoenix Jun 15 2017, 13:38 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
A couple of months ago, I came across a Youtube channel that has some potential for idea mining for Alternity. While I don't know if anyone else has come across it, the channel can be found here: Isaac Arthur. So far, I've watched quite a few of his videos, and it has already got me thinking about potential ways to incorporate the concepts into a campaign.

(A word of warning: he does have a speech impediment, but not one I find overly problematic, specifically that he has trouble pronouncing the letter "r". He recommends you turn on the closed captions, but so far I haven't had need to.)

Some potential videos:

Water Worlds and Ocean planets
A number of planet types that are covered in water, how likely they are have native life, and how to colonize them.

"World Cities", complete with some concepts as to how to build them and how many people you can fit on Earth using them (spoiler: well over a trillion).

Some interesting ideas, including replacing all of the bones in a human body with metallic bones that contain not only tissue to produce red blood cells, but also other electronics or other tissues to boost humans in some way. This could prove interesting for the mechalus.

Stupid Aliens
The first of a series on intelligent life, this one made me laugh.

Terraforming Techniques
An interesting look at terraforming. One idea I liked was that he points out the problems with heating and restarting the core of Mars (it would take a lot of nuclear warheads to pull it off). Instead, he proposes using satellites generating a magnetic field to deflect solar wind and other stellar radiation.

I will also say that he spends a lot of time discussing megastructures, including orbital rings, mass accelerators miles long, space elevators, and similar works. Again, it is interesting, and he does touch on some ideas from science fiction but intends to use more down-to-earth work on how some of this can be accomplished, and does include links to research papers he refers to. I will also note that he does have the degrees to backup his concepts.

The actual specific description for the channel: "This channel focuses on exploring concepts in science with an emphasis on futurism and space exploration, along with a healthy dose of science fiction. While we explore many concepts and technologies that are far beyond us now, we try to keep everything inside the bounds of known science or major theories."

Does anyone know of any other potential video mines for campaign ideas? In this regard, it does not need to be a full movie, but perhaps just keep it to Youtube videos or similar works.
derek_holland Jun 21 2017, 19:37 Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation Quote Post
University of California TV (UCTV) has many science based videos of varying levels of usefulness. My favorite is still (Mapping the Future)

And thank you for providing all these links!
cobalt_phoenix Jun 30 2017, 17:03 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
Issac released another video this week, and I think it could prove interesting to future settings (including S*D):

Orbital Rings

While I would encourage people here to watch it, the basic premise is that you can put up one or more rings in orbit of a planet where the net mass of the ring spins at appropriate orbital velocity, but not all of it. The rings he talks about have a core composed of basic metal wires (specifically ferrous metals, such as iron or nickel) that spin at or above normal orbital speeds for its height. Around this core is a fixed structure which does not spin and is actually anchored to the ground at numerous spots with simple tethers (serving as cables for single cars or even entire trains).

The fixed structures actually do have gravity (though the amount would depend on the distance from the surface) and would be above the majority of the atmosphere. In essence, you can have people shuttle up from Los Angeles, catch a train to Tokyo, and be able to do that at hypersonic speeds. The best part is that this doesn't require fuel, only electrical power, which could be provided by fusion generators on the ground.

He also notes that you can build multiple rings all across the planet, and even ever widening circles of rings to connect the Earth to the moon via connecting tethers. As the distances involved are not that far (relatively speaking), these things could be built with current materials and not super materials like carbon nanotubes, graphene, or diamond nanothreads.

And thank you for providing all these links!

My pleasure, Derek. And if you haven't already, check out his video on Arcologies. I think you would find it interesting, and I should have included it before. You could also potentially use it for that idea you had a while back about a single ship arriving on a planet and using the local materials to build a colony (it gives you at least a good general idea as to how big such a colony may be for 5,000 people).

This post has been edited by cobalt_phoenix on Jun 30 2017, 17:08
cobalt_phoenix Nov 4 2017, 04:32 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
Another video I meant to post about when it first came out: Colonizing Titan.

This is also from Isaac Arthur, so it is based on hard science, but it also provides an interesting idea for Alternity: use cold worlds with atmospheres for increased efficiency.

The concept is that the laws of thermodynamics use the following equation for efficiency of a heat engine: E = 1 - T© / T(h), where E is efficiency, T© is the temp of the cold reservoir, and T(h) is the temperature of the hot reservoir. On earth, the average temp is about 16 C. On Titan, the average temp is -97 C. While you need to convert that to Kelvin to do the math, that is still a jump of roughly 113 C, and only based on the planetary averages (which means specific area conditions can be dramatically different). These cold temperatures actually help to decrease the amount of power needed to run computers and machines due to the increased efficiency.

So, using that as the basis, you can take a cold world (including moons) with an atmosphere and transform them into giant heat sinks for data processing and manufacturing. The atmosphere makes it easier to cool the systems and allows the planet to adequately radiate the excess heat away better than with a solid vacuum. If cold liquid bodies exist (which they do on Titan), you can also use those to help cool the equipment and keep the units buried underground. Smaller worlds with less gravity will also allow for an easier time getting the completed goods off of the planet.

For another kicker, this could be mined as an idea for creating massive AI computers. While I always hated the idea of VoidCorp being controlled by an AI in S*D, imagine if said AI was almost impossible to find because it was actually a massive city-sized computer buried under the surface of a cold moon like Titan.

This post has been edited by cobalt_phoenix on Nov 4 2017, 04:36
cobalt_phoenix Dec 24 2017, 05:48 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
Another interesting video from Isaac Arthur: Interstellar Empires.

While he is mostly talking about non-FTL, he does make mention of some FTL standards and how they would function within a multi-system culture.

One part I particularly like is that he refers to the fact that most such fictional empires would actually fit into just a small portion of a single K2 civilization. More interestingly, a likely real interstellar empire would likely be composed of a number of K2 star systems or colonies working to build them.

This actually makes me wonder about the Solar Union in S*D. The tech of the Gravity Age is such that it should be able to tear apart planets, moons, and asteroids relatively quickly, refine the materials into usable form, and then allow for large-scale production. The stellar nations actually should have hundreds of thousands of ships in each system, with the most mundane rocky world being inviting for use, and the Sol system (which has had more access to such tech for longer than any other location) likely having a population in the hundreds of billions if not more. While I would doubt that humanity has turn Sol into a true K2 system by the 26th century, it should be well on the way, with thousands of large habitats build from resources harvested from Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter (not to mention all of the moons and asteroids) with plenty of material left for the ultimate construction of a trillion total habitats and quadrillions of citizens.

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