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Old 09-26-2013, 07:33 PM   #11
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

Are you using something standard for generating this information? Anyway, a few thoughts by information category:
Astronomy
It's fairly significant how axial tilt interacts with orbital eccentricity, and that information is missing.
Climate
Visible Illumination is a fairly useless level of detail, given that human vision is not appreciably affected by brightness until around 5% of normal sunlight (which will produce gradual loss of color distinction), and even 0.5% is plenty to have no effects that are particularly relevant in an RPG. Color balance would be somewhat more interesting, though given that human vision can decide that a tungsten bulb with a color temperature of 3,000K is white light, still not that big a deal unless the atmosphere is strongly colored by chemicals.
Oceans
Might be nice to know percentage of area that's relatively shallow (continental shelf, etc).
Atmosphere
Percentages of top gases?
Economy
I assume you're using 'Real GDP' instead of PPP for some reason?
Government
It's nice to have enough information to run a political plot, which means you need to know some details about lawmaking and succession. Also, corruption index?
Law and Enforcement
People tend to be quite interested in what is illegal.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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Are you using something standard for generating this information?
Bits of it are extracted from the Extended Hipparcos Catalogue, others are generated by an increasingly heavily-modified version of the GURPS Space advanced star system generation sequence. But basically no.

Quote:
Astronomy
It's fairly significant how axial tilt interacts with orbital eccentricity, and that information is missing.
Quote:
Climate
Visible Illumination is a fairly useless level of detail
It's important to agricultural productivity. Also, though illumination 47% as bright as sunlight on Shamballa is not noticeably dim, PCs probably want their Ray-Bans on Ardour, where the light is 180% as bright as on Earth.

Quote:
Oceans
Might be nice to know percentage of area that's relatively shallow (continental shelf, etc).
Atmosphere
Percentages of top gases?
Eh. If it were trivial to calculate, yes. But I'd have to come up with a method of randomly generating more detail. I think that the case is stronger for the boiling point of water at sea level and the scale height of the atmosphere.

Quote:
Economy
I assume you're using 'Real GDP' instead of PPP for some reason?
Purchasing Power Parity is a basis on which to make a comparison, it is not the value compared. GDP at PPP is real GDP. GDP/head at PPP is real GDP/head. The wage rate at PPP is the real wage rate.

Quote:
Government
It's nice to have enough information to run a political plot, which means you need to know some details about lawmaking and succession.
I cover succession. More detail, perhaps.

Quote:
Also, corruption index?
I'll put it back when I can come up with a meaningful scale and a way of generating the content that is consistent with the development-level. This may involve generating a number of hidden economic problems using the development level and the Anna Karenina Principle. Corruption is second only to recent war-fighting in the country for producing economic underdevelopment.

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Law and Enforcement
People tend to be quite interested in what is illegal.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:02 PM   #13
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It's important to agricultural productivity.
Not really. Photosynthesis maxes out at around 10% of full sunlight. Super-bright sunlight is an issue, but UV levels might matter more.
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Eh. If it were trivial to calculate, yes. But I'd have to come up with a method of randomly generating more detail. I think that the case is stronger for the boiling point of water at sea level and the scale height of the atmosphere.
It's probably constrained to something like 15-25% oxygen by fires; too low and biomass builds up because fires don't start, too high and you get uncontrolled fires.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:29 PM   #14
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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?
How about green for typically terrestrial range values, amber for dangerous extremes, and a red-orange for stuff that requires assisted living conditions.

Amber can also cover things like unusually long or short solar days that can disorient people's timesense, with red for values too short not to be immediately noticeable or so long that the time of "day" won't appreciably change during an earth day and it gobbers with the weather, and most people would need to use a day conversion app to plan events. Stuff that's not immediately dangerous but dangerous to remain complacent about, i.e. scenario hook.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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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?
A minor tangent, but some years ago, I did a tiny bit of worldbuilding for my space opera setting, and I arrived at the conclusion that for a Human-habitable planet orbiting an F-type star, i.e. radiating much more energy than our Sun and therefore needing the planet to orbit father away, it would create the effect of shadows being more sharply defined, less blurred.

That's a minor but interesting visual effect.

And it might have RPG implications too. For all I know, it might mean that it's easier to use a skill such as Disguise. Or it could beharder. I'm not able, at least right now, to fully visualize the consequences.

Also, of course, the mid day sun is punishing for Humans who don't have very dark skin, so buildings are often made tall, tower-like, not just "because we can" (gravity on that one planet might be a bit less than 1G) but also to provide shelter for the homeless or those who lost track of time and find themselves far from home. Tall buildings do nothing exactly at noon, but of course in the minutes before and after, the shadow they provide is very welcome.

That's just my take on it. A focus on the "what is it like"-aspect of things. What is it like being on this planet? What tells, signals, sensations, does the planet give me, as a visitor? What do I notice? What's unfamiliar? What creates a strong and powerful sense-of-place?

Maybe you can do that with coded tags, inventing convenient shorthand tags for whatever planteary features you deem to be sufficiently relevant?
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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A minor tangent, but some years ago, I did a tiny bit of worldbuilding for my space opera setting, and I arrived at the conclusion that for a Human-habitable planet orbiting an F-type star, i.e. radiating much more energy than our Sun and therefore needing the planet to orbit father away, it would create the effect of shadows being more sharply defined, less blurred.

That's a minor but interesting visual effect.
So it is. It depends on the apparent diameter of the sun, which I have included on the sheet.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:40 PM   #17
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How about green for typically terrestrial range values, amber for dangerous extremes, and a red-orange for stuff that requires assisted living conditions.
In other words, green. These are all shirtsleeve-habitable worlds.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:50 PM   #18
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In other words, green. These are all shirtsleeve-habitable worlds.
I beg your pardon? Toutatis' mean temperature varies seasonally from -42 C to 133 C. Are the shirtsleeves plaid with a dusting of blue oxhair?
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:01 AM   #19
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Default Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF

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I beg your pardon? Toutatis' mean temperature varies seasonally from -42 C to 133 C. Are the shirtsleeves plaid with a dusting of blue oxhair?
I guess they must be.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:04 AM   #20
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Not really. Photosynthesis maxes out at around 10% of full sunlight. Super-bright sunlight is an issue, but UV levels might matter more.
How about single digit log2 instead of percent? This lets things be green from 1 to -8, and is easy to convert to other bases for dieroll modifiers, like vision penalties.
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