Monthly Archives: March 2013

Pictures of the battlestar (interior)

Pictures of the battlestar (exterior)

An idea on Cylons and Raiders

Cylon idea proposal

While sitting in my chem class, I was thinking about the nature of Cylon evolution (like one does in a class totally unrelated to BSG)
What we have as a vague outline for the Cylon motivations in Genesis could work to solve the issue of avatar design and fighter design.
Assuming we go with Venice’s idea, we have to assume the Cylons are purely mechanical at this point. The new model Raiders are/were partially biological in nature, which implies they would face the critical issue of aging.
We know the Raiders are vulnerable to disease, as was demonstrated in the episode where the Cylons contracted a virus/disease. We can reasonably assume the new model Centurions are also biological at some level, though that isnt a proven fact, admittedly there was no evidence to back that up, at least to my knowledge. But that isnt to say it is not in fact, possible or probable. That might be the key link to resurrection. If so, then it stands to reason, that after 150,000 years, the new models have long since died off, given the lack of resurrection ability, as well as lack of biological material from which to grow more versions.
Thus, we can explain away the lack of new models of Centurion and Raider, as merely an effect of time.
Now if we place emphasis upon the war the Cylons are having with their long lost biological based relatives, referenced by Venice in his idea for a third race, we have the impetus for making design changes to the Centurions.
If we consider the possibility of the Cylons seeking out their predecessors immediately, we can assume they would be quite methodical and efficient. Surely it would occur to them that the new Raiders are a vital tool in such a search, and one that they have limited time to employ.
We can say it could have taken them the better part of a century, say fifty or more years. The aging Raider fleet would be ill equipped for combat, useful only for their ability to FTL quickly and over great distances.
Finding the biological Cylons, they might well have been combat ineffective and many may have been lost in initial attacks.
The mechanical Cylons, seeing the lack of combat ability, and logically calculating the same lack of efficiency would befall whatever new model Centurions remain (this theory assumes not ALL new model Centurions and Raiders remain healthy and live long lives) would realize that they are most militarily capable with purely mechanical Cylons and would then focus on how best to employ them.
The biological Cylons, meanwhile, perhaps, are not limited in model versions unlike the 12 models that were referenced in the series.
Perhaps they are as varied and numerous as humans, given there was absolutely nothing stated to say there were ONLY 12 on the Cylon home world to begin with. In fact, the brief flashback by Ellen Tigh showed a bar filled with people that looked nothing like the 12 models, before it was destroyed and she was drowned. So the idea has some merit to it.
That being said, the mechanical Cylons would consider that an ideal option for infiltration of the biological Cylons home planet. However, the pure weight of an all metal chassis precludes that.
Thus, we come to the crux of this idea. What would prevent the mechanical Cylons from drawing upon the initial concepts of their origins, to begin building various shapes and sizes of chassis as well as replacing the heavy metal armor and supports with light weight carbide and poly-ceramics?
By lightening them, getting rid of metallic parts, and creating them as close to human like as possible (think Terminators without metal, instead they use ceramics and carbon variations like nano-tubes and carbides) the only distinguishing difference would be skin.
Growing flesh over metal is clearly an issue long ago, and quite effectively solved by the Cylons.
It stands to reason, they would have used this to infiltrate the biological Cylons, since only a full body scan would notice the difference, assuming they dont build the infiltrators to be basically like humans in skeletal structure, disguising the components internally by making them in the shapes of biological internal organs as well.
Thus, we have the concept of the perfect sleeper agents, any race, any gender, any apparent age, any shape…
If we continue with this reasoning, it would then be just a matter of time, before they simply discontinue the now obsolete metallic chassis entirely, in favor of the easily disguisable synthetics.
This of course, begs the question of, capabilities. I propose that they would give up some of the advantages of armor protection and strength for the advantage of disguise and ease of production. After all, it is inefficient to runs multiple assembly lines when a single production line can turn out the same basic parts with only a difference of size and perhaps some minor cosmetic differences.
The idea that a species would give up some natural advantages to gain other advantages is actually proven in biological science. Many species today have lost body parts in favor of developing others, such as birds losing their arms and hands in favor of wings.
So to that end, the Centurions become less combat effective in one way, but by being easily repairable and capable of being disguised in a biological skin, if needed, they in fact are more survivable on the battle field. Much like the Sherman tank prevailed against the superior Tiger tank, by being quicker, and easier to repair or replace. (Admittedly the analogy doesnt exactly work perfectly, but you get the idea)
But this would mean the need for replacement Raiders. The problem is easily solved as well. The Viper proved to be superior to even the New Raiders, so it stands to reason, the Cylons would desire a fighter that could stand toe to toe with a Viper.
Given that the Cylons are now engaged in a very protracted war, possibly spanning most or all of the 150,000 years, or that it has waged the war on and off much of it, they would likely be fighting primarily in atmosphere in and around the biological Cylons home planet for a great percentage of it.
So we assume the new Raider would take a basic delta shape of a Viper. It would be designed to have a synthetic design Centurion pilot, and be built to be just as effective in as outside the atmosphere that the biological Cylons require to live.
A reduced mass of a light weight pilot, a single pilot, to further reduce weight (a major consideration when designing aerospace craft) as well as taking advantage of the pilots eyes to scan the sky quickly, in addition to the crafts DRADIS, would hint at perhaps something along the lines of the F-16 or Mirage-2000 or even Euro Fighter Typhoon. Small, lightweight, fast, maneuverable and easily adapted to the purposes required.
With a propulsion system capable of space flight, DRADIS, a neural link to the pilots CPU, and excellent atmospheric flight ability, it would be most effective against likely similar fighters used by the biological Cylons.
So we end up with all three sides now fairly equal in abilities, equipment, and form. In short, they are all well matched, with smaller distinct strengths and weaknesses.
What do you think?

FORWARD MOTION

What follows is a letter/note card that I received from Krislynn Pennell.  The contents make me hopefull that we can put the past behind us and try our best to press onward for the sake of the Players and all of those BSG lovers out there. It is clear that she has some reservations, but I feel that if we all work together to foster a healthy building/work environment then we can put some fears to rest, heal old wounds, find forgiveness and perhaps even a little understanding and respect for each other.

Krislynn has been a close SL friend of mine for a very long time and she can bring a lot of energy and ingenuity to the table. In time, I think we can make Kris feel comfortable again, despite the rocky past of the last attempted unification/collaboration. Things have been done and said by all sides, things that cannot be undone or unsaid. But, we are a small community of people that all share a love of sci-fi and a love for the BSG series. We must rise above the past or we will find ourselves drug down into another mire of our own making. We have seen it happen again and again. We all know it can be avoided, but we are human, and sometimes we act impulsively with our emotions. We take things out of context, and we make mountains out of mole hills. We need to see it for what it is (or what it was), and move past it.

I am re-posting her letter to me below, with her permission, so that you all can see that she is extending us an olive branch, with some reservations, but reservations that we can easily work with until she is comfortable with us again. We have a chance at being able to make much more rapid progress. Lets not screw it up…….. And, if we are lucky, perhaps Hanna will also return and assist.

Chris

Xavier Pomegranate

 

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I was approached by Xavier Pomegranate and asked for assistance in finishing the Battlestar build he is working on. Based on past experiences with the BSG-21 staff and it’s ownership, I will only do so if the following conditions are met.

1) I want it made clear to the BSG-21 “admins” that my work will solely be centered on the battlestar itself. I refuse to invest my time, lindens or effort on anything else related to the sim until such time I feel comfortable with the working conditions.

2) Said work will be my property or the property of Xavier Pomegranate alone. I do not agree to simply hand over any work or ideas to the above mentioned “admins”.

3) I will agree to ignore any past ill will as long as the above mentioned “admins” agree to the same. If there is any unfair or negative actions made towards myself in any way because of past events I will immediately take my work and leave.

These above conditions are not meant to invoke any ill feelings. They are also subject to change depending on how my work with Xavier goes. At this time my trust extends to Xavier alone due to past circumstances but I’m willing to see how things go. I put my heart and soul into that sim once and in the end everything I worked for went to hell. However if this collaboration works and I feel comfortable with the situation my involvement may expand.

Krislynn Pennell

Story event timeline

As Im trying, between work, classrs, and finding a few minutes to eat or even sleep, Im still working over the event timeline of the game. Im curious what ratio of action/combat to roleplay/problem and puzzle solving people prefer. The decisions will eliminate some events, enable others and generally determine the overall environment of the game. With a small player base, I can write events that focus entirely upon us. Thats the beauty of a smaller player base. Its more like the series with everyone having a major role.

Or, I can instead have a NPC command element, for example, an Earth based HQ that calls the shots, we all are more like the team assigned to perform tasks we may not understand, till later as the story unfolds.

If we decide to play a more combat oriented game I would encourage the use of alternate characters as a means to have meaningful deaths. That would be permanent death. But to tell a good action storyline, characters we come to love must die in order to draw the emotional immersion that keeps us coming back. It also means that anyone is a candidate for death. Up to you.

Finally, if all goes as planned, in a month or so ( end of April’ish) I can participate more after classes let out for the summer.  I have given myself two weeks to really begin to harden up the many many ideas gloating around in my head, but I want the final schedule of events to be what everyone is excited about.

 

What I can guarantee, right now, is that this storyline will take several turns nobody is expecting, and Im not overstating that. If this game goes to its conclusion, I think it may just be the greatest work Ive ever written and I cant wait to share it.

 

Lindsay

Progress and RP

Hello everyone! If you havn’t seen the notice i have  the application/landing zone area nearly built. I am also working on furnishing the surface so we can start RP soon. I have come up with a basic premise RP until we get the vipers and battlestar finished. We also have our first member! The sim actually does get a fair amount of traffic people just dont know what the sim is for when they run into it. I put together a military starter kit and everything! Going to work on it tomorrow night as well. I work late tonight so i cant work to long when i get home. If anyone has ANY battlestar related building items (objects, scripts, textures, uniforms, etc.) I could really use them so i can start wrapping up some areas so we can start roleplaying! Let me know in game if you have any suggestions at all!

Chat added to the website. Just click the bottom left hand corner to collaborate

Obviously I’m proud of the ongoing feature upgrade to the site.

I will continue to add features to make the pace easier to use and foster collaboration.

Genesis threads. The database.

< Loosely related to other posts. Creative ideas within the theme>

Steven Williams was 48 years old, with mostly dark thinning hair. He had been working various Information Technology contracts for the past dozen years. He had worked for the Pentagon before as well as the CIA, and the NSA.

This contract was open ended and required he pass another battery of background checks.

He had been given access to a vast database that had been obtained by NASA and quickly transferred into the intelligence community. He had known the hardware engineers who had worked on that side of the project. A large number of hard disks were recovered from a computer system that simply had not been compatible with anything on Earth.

The IT engineer, ran his hand through his hair, adjusted his glasses and continued to stare at the 27 inch screen on his desk. The hardware engineers had worked 21 months on their part of the project. Drives had been recovered, his friends said that they were from a dead technology stream dropped by a high tech start up a dozen years ago.

This lie was laughable. Everyone knew that the drives had been recovered from an alien space craft of massive proportions. Nobody was told where it was. Some said between moons of Jupiter, others moons of Saturn. It had been hidden away for many hundreds of thousands of years.

The engineering task was substantial. The drives had sat without power for many centuries. The vacuum seals on the platters had disintegrated, allowing just and debris onto the drive platters.

Each of the drives had been disassembled in a clean room, carefully cleaned and installed into custom drive containers built under a special contract between the DOD and Western Digital. It had taken months to make the drives work. There had been damage to many of the platters and the data was far from complete.

Still, thousands of drives had been recovered and rebuilt into new drive assemblies. Nobody knew what the system was for writing the data on the drives. Nobody had realized what they had until Williams had had a breakthrough some hours ago.

Based on the reports from the recovery crew they had extracted disk drives from a number of systems aboard the mysterious space ship wreck. The rebuild drive array had been networked and organized the way it had been recovered.

What Williams had discovered was that four of the drive sets were actually copies of one and other. Though there was damage to almost every platter, all the binary data was written to four places. So if it was missing in one place, the same data was available on one of the three redundant drive sets.

The problem of course was figuring out how the data was organized. Williams did not know the alient operating system. He saw binary data, most likely encrypted. Working for the US government however, he obtained a lot of time on a lot of supercomputers to test his theory.

The former hacker had written a custom program to analyze patterns. It had run for six weeks and detected what was most likely some kind of database. A dozen forms later he had copied the data to a modern disk array. It was the best EMC could provide.

Then Williams had to write a program to figure out how to read the database. That had taken 8 weeks and a lot of weekends. The divorced IT guru’s relationship with his current girlfriend had suffered. But he had gotten the job done.

He had requested and received photos of the ship wreck and run them through some language recognition algorithms developed at MIT. The name of the ship was Galactic or Galactica. The experts were not sure. The script looked like a combination of Greek and Hebrew.

It was 4 am and his program, borrowing time on a dozen different government funded computer arrays had hit pay dirt. Of course the language was not English, but he had the MIT code built into the interface.

On what looked like a really bad Windows smartphone interface, Williams poked and pecked at a touch screen. What he saw made his jaw drop.

Video log files. Williams knew these would not play. He would have to design a codec to properly decompress the data and show it on the screen.

Still there was a treasure trove of information.

History of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol

Specifications for for computer and information systems.

Specifications and maintenance manuals for a number of craft, one designated snake or viper, the other raptor.

Scientific Specifications for FTL, Faster Than Light jump propulsion systems.

Plans and designs for a Class Mercury Battlestar.

Williams clicked that. After a delay there were several graphic images and documents available. Roughly his database translator had made them into PDF files. He was looking at them on a powerful Linux based computer.

“Well how do you like that?” Williams mused. “I may not be able to build a death star, but it looks like with enough money we can build ourselves a battlestar.”

Williams yawned, sent an email to his supervisor, kicked a backup and walked out of his office. He needed a couple hours of sleep before the firestorm he had kicked up with his data recovery. On Monday he would have to write a CODEC to watch the video.

Meeting set: Friday 4 pm PST

There will be notices in world.

Just a get together to discuss getting this project rolling. Anax has agreed to take over storytelling and some day to day management tasks. He will be in transit but there is no reason not to meet.

Thinking about forums again

Well I put in bbpress, because it looked easy. I’ve also integrated twiter into the site.

If you post, we tweet. I will see about facebook integration as well. I’m on a roll

Original post below:

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I really like the wordpress site. It is simple to administer and allowed me to do a lot of visuals.

But we need forums:

Please read this article: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-wordpress-forum-plugins/

 

Please let me know what you think.

Any feature you think the site needs? If its free and its a plugin, I will give it to you.

Shmuel