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Old 09-26-2013, 03:44 AM   #1
Agemegos
 
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Default Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

I'm working on a procedure to generate world data sheets for my perennial SF setting, FLAT BLACK. I have procedures for the physical description of the world, the population and economic statistics, the spaceport &c. down pat. Before I move on to the characteristics of the government and society I want to make sure that I have everything covered at an appropriate level of detail.

So here's an example world information sheet. Only about half the entries were automatically generated; I'd like advice on the format, scope, and level of detail.

It needs a map.
It needs a gazetteer with brief entries on a dozen cities and other locations.
It needs a unit of currency, titles for the senior government officials.

Apart from that, what does it need?
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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Only about half the entries were automatically generated; I'd like advice on the format, scope, and level of detail.
"Hyperlink blue" is a distracting text color.

You use underlined text for links. I am accustomed to color codes instead.

A lot of the details are more dry and scientific than immediately useful for RPG play. I realize a lot of it is direct parameters from the system generation model, but from a "What does my PC care about?" perspective average planetary density is of low value, especially when surface gravity is right there.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

Some GMs use planetary density as a rough guide to the abundance of interesting minerals.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

What does illumination 101% mean here? Flux per unit area in the visible spectrum + IR + UV frequency band at ground level?
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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What does illumination 101% mean here? Flux per unit area in the visible spectrum + IR + UV frequency band at ground level?
It's meant to be flux per unit area in the visible band at ground level, but in fact I didn't make the correction for scattering, haze, and cloud cover. So it's actually flux per unit area in the visible band at the top of the atmosphere, wearing a false nose.

Would "visual illumination" be sufficiently explicit?
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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"Hyperlink blue" is a distracting text color.
I want data to be quite distinct from formatting, labels, and keys. Could I use a dark green? Other green?
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Last edited by Agemegos; 09-26-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

Background (and perhaps an abstract, if possible)
Geology
- Elevation extremes
Population
- Birth/death/immigration/emigration/net growth rates
- age distribution
- urbanization
Economy
- natural resources
- notable products
- imports/exports
Society (maybe Government)
- current issues
Interstellar
- relationships with other worlds (rival, ally, colony of, parent of, etc)
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:53 PM   #8
jeff_wilson
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
It's meant to be flux per unit area in the visible band at ground level, but in fact I didn't make the correction for scattering, haze, and cloud cover. So it's actually flux per unit area in the visible band at the top of the atmosphere, wearing a false nose.

Would "visual illumination" be sufficiently explicit?
Sure, and you could break out the atmospheric and ground albedos where appropriate.

Ah, I think a planet-wide comparison or prevaling conditions could have a better name than "Climate". Terrestriality, or just, "Weather". Also, I believe typical daily variation ranges for seasonal extremes and medians would be more useful than single figures for orbital cardinal points.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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I want data to be quite distinct from formatting, labels, and keys. Could I use a dark green? Other green?
Both are fine. It's just the particular shade of blue on question that is a problem.

I'd also avoid "followed link purple."
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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Sure, and you could break out the atmospheric and ground albedos where appropriate.

Ah, I think a planet-wide comparison or prevaling conditions could have a better name than "Climate". Terrestriality, or just, "Weather". Also, I believe typical daily variation ranges for seasonal extremes and medians would be more useful than single figures for orbital cardinal points.
Unfortunately annual and diurnal temperature variation, windiness, and storminess are things I find it difficult to come to grips with, and I'm positively afraid that if I calculate the boiling point of water it'll often come out below equatorial (or even average) surface temperature. The inclusion of a small number of tide-locked and orbitally-resonant inhabited worlds makes it tricky.

You would be more excited about the range of temperature from aphelion to perihelion if you lived on Toutatis. The GURPS Space system generator tosses large values for orbital eccentricity around like tinsel at Christmas, and takes no account of their effect on habitability.
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Last edited by Agemegos; 09-26-2013 at 07:19 PM.
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