Hey, everyone! By this time, you know that I am planning on stepping away from my work on Planetfall. Ending my involvement in running a game is never something I do lightly, and this has taken a lot of consideration. As with the last time I stepped away, the decision hinges largely on time-consuming opportunities that I simply can not pass up. Running any game takes a huge amount of time, and I’ve found myself stretched entirely too thin.
I’ve spent a lot of time behind the scenes at Planetfall, whether it’s writing documents, creating and printing codes, managing event preparation Trello boards, running meetings, or organizing people for event days. At events, I’ve mostly skulked around watching what you guys have been up to, taken down copious notes, and chatted with people about their incredibly valuable boots-on-ground experiences. I’m proud of my work with all of you and you’ve been very supportive of our efforts.
Hard science fiction was well outside my comfort zone for running games when we got started. I love it now, and that’s partially thanks to you and the world you’ve created with us. I have had the opportunity to head up and implement a major skill and economy reboot, and test it with all of you. I was able to dream up and write a lot of new story under new interesting constraints with new exciting technology and, if I’m being honest, pioneer a lot of new techniques for delivering a solid experience to players utilizing that technology. Basically, I’ve gained a lot and in return I hope I’ve delivered some truly awesome experiences for all of you. All I have to go on most of the times are the screams, the smiles, and the mud to really know.
I’d like to thank you all for trusting me with your valuable game time through the years. This is certainly not the last you’ll see of me. I will be continuing to work with Incognita Limited on the software you’ve come to know in Planetfall. And, as I’ve said, there are so many amazing projects on the horizon. I’m looking forward to sharing those with you, and I hope to see all your wonderful faces there on those horizons with me.
Game 1: September 19th - 20th, 2015
Game 2: November 7th - 8th, 2015
Game 3: January 9th-10th, 2016
Pictures and Videos
These text transmissions are intercepted by planetary transceivers the day before game
ECHO ECHO can you read
I read. We can talk finally.
Rerouting through the ground 2 ship loop, bypassing the system security
Long trip to talk from one side of a ship to another
Can anyone on surface read us
If there are any. Locked out of that section. Not sure. The filter protocol on this means we can only read each other.
Better than trying to use that chess program. What was that doing on a security subsystem anyway?
You think that was just a chess game? You are pretty innocent.
According to you, I am not anything but a good fake of the person I think I was.
So how do we wake up the rest of them
I am working on it. The Congress is designed to be awakened by a Con Directorate access code after initial drop. It has not been broadcast. So, no one is down there or no one knew to do it. And even if they did, the Spire Network is in some sort of security stand-by mode that would have to be bypassed to enter the code.
Great. So we cant do it from up here.
Right. I am working on it.
Well, let me know. All systems seem to be functional, but I cannot access the AI Core to find out what the hell is going on.
Will do. I will be in touch.
A broken and chipped mono-visor is found by a scout while mapping fringe territory. Further inquiry reveals this once belonged to a colonist guard named "Marley Stratos", but boot marks have damaged the screen's display and the area it was found in shows signs of a struggle that took place a long time ago. The visor shows a cracked and unusable HUD with an audio log looping a final message recording that consists of several minutes of a man deliriously repeating these two lines...
I'm very lost
but I'm not alone.
I've forgotten who we are,
wonder when I'm coming home
The only remaining tracks from the site of the find lead into a bog and are lost in the murk
This is something that isn't urgent, but a suggestion for a future app update:
So we get hit by a clicker, hit the app, and know we're going to die in X minutes if we're not helped. We endeavor to roleplay a significant enough injury that bleedout in X minutes is appropriate, only to find when getting medical treatment that in fact it's a very minor wound; and we are clearly hypochondriacs.
Would it be possible to "grade" the injury for the player to help our roleplaying it accurately? Understanding that even a minor wound can bleed out in the time allotted, and slows you down to the wedding walk, but knowing whether we should be gritting our teeth or wailing in pain would be helpful.
Headshots or even aiming your weapon at someone's head is strictly not allowed (as in actually intentionally aiming to fire a nerf dart at someone's head). If you're looking for a "killing blow" mechanism:
A finishing blow may be dealt to an incapacitated character. A character delivering a finishing
blow must lean over the target and take 5 seconds to line up a final killing strike to the chest.
This may be interrupted by taking damage or by someone tapping the weapon used in the
finishing blow out of the way.
The result of a finishing blow is handled by the app, but they are bleeding out very quickly. It
takes an extremely skilled and lucky doctor to have a chance to bring a character back after a
finishing blow, with a steep recovery time. It is the most difficult wound to successfully heal,
and will always result in a death if not treated."
Right now there's no way to ambush someone and kill them like you're describing, but remember that it only takes one shot to take out any player (most beasts on Medina will take well more than one round, however). It may not kill the player, but they can be captured and incapacitated once they are wounded and they could receive a finishing blow at that time.
Props and Costuming
Found these for $20. Mini salt and pepper shakers. Are about the diameter of a quarter and 6" long. You use them one handed and press the plunger down to grind your salt and pepper.
I am going to jazz them up with some medical and sci-fi looking stickers and add either colored translucent plastic or make a small ring of multi colored vials for the glass area to represent liquid/various anti-toxin choices. Bonus in that the grinder rod actually extends out of the tube and makes a nice hiss like sound when the plunger depresses.
Will post up more pics once I PF them.
Note: The below is taken entirely from all reports, analysis and scans generated from the study of these insects. Items in brackets are the name of the generated report with skill required and/or the analysis data taken from the logs. If someone has additional data let me know IG so this report can be amended.
The Cyclops Wasp (aka “wasp”) is an overall dull green with occasional tan colored insect so named due to its single eye and propensity to use a stinging attack similar to Terran wasps. The wasps can cause an allergic reaction to individuals who are stung but the venom appears to be no more toxic then a Terran wasp. They are highly aggressive responding to threats with a swarm attack. The wasps appear to be solely herbivore in nature as they were observed to eat various plant material but not meat. The wasps pose a significant threat to crops barring tubers or similar underground crops. A compound made from a particular tree sap may be produced for use as both a personal repellant and insecticide for crops.
[Stinging Swarm Report – Biology]
Wasps are an overall dull green color with some tan markings. Barbs are located on the thorax plates with a non-barbed stinger at the rear of the thorax. There is no abdomen.
The dorsal of the creature is dominated by a series of overlapping heart shaped plates. A small plate covers its head while two larger plates cover the thorax, legs and wings. For flight, the thorax plates open at the middle then lift up off the thorax. Compact wings then unfold from underneath the plates.
The ventral of the animal shows a membrane stretching across the underside of the plates attaching to points along the top of the thorax. Very fine hairs grow from the membrane where it attaches to the outer edge of the thorax. These hairs connect to nerve pathways that lead directly through the membrane to legs and wings. The membrane also contains microscopic spiracles that allow the insect to breathe.
Located under the head plate is a single multi-faceted eye located directly in the center of the facial structure. Small, stubby antennae grow from either side of and slightly behind the eye. While similar to Terran insect antennae, they are located much lower and wider. Located on the bottom of the head and more towards the rear is a multi-part mouth.
The mouth is unusual in that it faces directly backwards. The mouth consists of a labrum (a “lid” on top of the jaws), two mandibles for chewing, two smaller maxillae located beneath the mandibles that work in concert with them to chew food, and a labium (a “chin” that acts as a bottom lid). When not in use the mandibles and maxillae retract to lay flat while the labrum and labium seal the mouth off.
A short esophagus links the mouth to the stomach. The stomach lies below a “brain” which is actually a very simple ganglia system. A rudimentary intestine attaches to the stomach evacuating out of the bottom rear of the thorax.
The thorax is composed of 3 articulated segments each having two legs attached (6 legs total, 3 on each side). The wings and hinges for the thorax plates are located on the forward and middle thorax segments. The rear segment is devoted entirely to the venom producing glands, venom sack and stinger.
The rear segment is quasi-prehensile, segmented tail allowing the creature to sting to either side, down or even up at an approximate 20-degree angle. This tail is covered in curved spines along the dorsal surface. The stinger is a larger, slightly curved, non-barbed spine, which allows the wasp to sting multiple times in rapid succession. A channel is located in the center that transports venom from production glands to holding sac located at the base of the stinger. See Venom, below, for additional information.
While investigated the morphology of current specimens do not provide evidence of how the wasp reproduces. Current theory is they are similar to Terran insects having a single queen laying eggs and drones for impregnation. All specimens observed so far would thus be non-reproductive drones.
[Stinging Insect Venom System Analysis – Chemical 1]
The venom injection system is composed of venom producing glands, a duct between the venom glands and holding pouch, a holding pouch located at the stinger base, and a slight curved, non-barbed stinger. The amount of venom injected is measured in micrograms with the holding pouch containing enough venom for 25-30 stings before needing to be re-filled.
Upon chemical analysis it was determined the venom primarily contains histamine and phototoxic agents. The phototoxic component would lead to light sensitivity and blistering. This was born out as colonists who were stung exhibited such symptoms.
[Stinging Swarm Report: Survival - Ecology]
Occasionally small, Avian like creatures would attempt to pick off wasps on the outskirts of the swarm. When a bird landed, approached slowly and cautiously, they usually were able to feed with no disturbance to the swarm. Avians that attempted to swoop down from the air would cause the swarm to react.
Flying creatures that got within 10 feet or lower were met with a flying cloud of insects. Unless they were very fast such creatures would be quickly blanketed by the wasps who would then sting them to death. When the wasps swarms a portion would almost immediately settle back to the ground while a smaller portion would continue to pursue and attack. The creature attacked would need to retreat a significant distance, observed to be approximately 50 feet, before the wasps would fly back to the swarm.
Wasps with a certain radius of the threat will begin to engage. As one wasp moves, it sets off a chain reaction with the wasps around it. The attack looks like a rippling wave extending out from the point of the threat. As stated above the wasps very quickly determine the “size” needed for an attacking force with the excess settling back to the ground almost as quickly as they took off. However, the entire swarm experiences the ripple effect looking similar to wave.
The wasps will fly a short distance towards the point of threat before settling back down. This will cause the swarm to shift a few feet in the threat direction. The attack portion when it flies back have been observed to land approximately in the same location it initially took off.
[Stinging Swarm Report - Agriculture]
The wasps tend to be terrestrial then aerial. They crawl along the ground eating most plant matter in their path. Most plants are eaten down to the ground. Woody parts of bushes and trees are left, but any young tender shoots or leaves will be entirely devoured. The swarm will fly up a few feet to get to food sources if required.
Older, well-established trees with tougher leaves tend to be bypassed. They may also have been bypassed due to the sap they exude (see Natural Protection, below). It is possible a combination of both keep older trees safe from swarm predation.
The wasps present a clear danger to efforts to raise crops especially when such crops are in the early growth stage. However, though the swarm does eat all plant matter right to the ground they do not burrow. Crops and roots below the ground are unaffected and remain intact. This allows plants to recover over time.
Crop plants that grow primarily underground such as tubers would remain safe. Destruction of the above ground portion of such crops may lead to stunted crop growth.
On final note of interest was those plants in the wild that have had their leaves devoured then exude a sticky sap. This sap appears to “seal” the plant off from further harm while it recovers from the swarm attack.
[Tree Sample Analysis - Botany]
[Collect Samples from Trees near the Swarm]
Observing the swarm has yielded data that they avoid many larger, more mature trees. These trees exude an oily sap similar to citronella. A number of tree samples were taken and analyzed with the following determined.
Samples from older trees have a faint lemon scent with the older the tree having a stronger scent. The oil produced by the tree repels the insects. As it would take years for trees to reach maturity, their potential in planting such trees in the garden is not viable. In any case, the wasps simply bypass the trees and eat plant matter around it.
The oil produced by mature trees is similar to citronella. The oil could be used on personal as an insect repellant if applied to the skin. For agriculture use, it would work as a pesticide if applied to and/or around crops. It may also have an anti-fungal property that would keep a crop blight away or lessened but this is a current working theory.
The oil affects the wasps by severely affecting their respiratory system by blocking their spiracles as opposed to attacking the nervous system.
(Scan Stinging Swarm: Active]
Armor or sealed suits can protect one from the odd sting allowing samples to be collected of the swarm. In addition, one should move slowly and keep low to the ground to minimize the risk of causing the swarm to take flight.
Just a reminder that if you make a forum name here, it should be either your character name (if you have one) or your player name (if you don't). Please put both those pieces of information in your signature as well. It gets very confusing otherwise!