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Author Topic: The Lore Corner  (Read 176031 times)

Dohon

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The Lore Corner
« on: December 27, 2011, 06:26:05 AM »

I read through all the blog posts and I especially liked the lore post called "The State of Affairs". I'm an amateur writer and I always get excited when I read deeper into an intresting and intriguing universe. Starfarer looks to be gritty, dark and slowly slipping into damnation. Which is awesome. :) Now, the blog post got me all sallivating and I have some questions. So, I was wondering if me and the other dwellers could ask some lore questions in this thread? Unless the lore is still something to be kept under wraps for now, of course. :)
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Ivaylo

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 06:36:05 AM »

Please go ahead and ask, but we will have to clear responses with the High Hegemon's Sector Media office, and that can take a while.
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Dohon

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 05:35:17 AM »

Cheers! I have compiled a small batch. Well, not exactly small. Rather large actually. Huge even. Sorry about that. In return, I promise I'll write fanfiction in the near future. Promise!

Here goes:

  • How long is a sector cycle compared to a standard Terran year?
  • How do ships travel around the sector? Is there some kind of hyperdrive or is it all done at sub-light speeds and using cryogenics?
  • Is communication between planets instantaneaous? Or rather radio-wave speed?
  • Have there been attempts to seek out other sectors? Is that even high on the agenda of Starfarer's factions?
  • How big is the sector? Are there hundred of worlds? Or is more like dozens?
  • How many of those worlds are 'major worlds'?
  • How many worlds are under the control of the Hegemony? How do the other factions compare to that?
  • How long does it take on average to reach a nearby world?
  • What are the main factions? We know of the Hegemony, Tri-Tachyon and the Luddites. Are there other big league players?
  • Is the Selenius system still independent?
  • The Luddites abhor technology, yet are not afraid to use it. Do they consider using technology to be a temporary measure? Do they believe the sector can survive at all without UAC's and autofactories? Can their society function at this very moment? Or are they just some sort of 'terrorist group'?
  • Are there still worlds that are being actively terraformed? Or is terraforming considered to be Lost-tech?
  • Is there a standard template for an autofactory? Or do they differ in shapes and thus have hundreds of templates?
  • Are shipyards considered to be a massive autofactory?
  • Can new autofactories be constructed at all?
  • Are autofactories the only way to produce things or is the sector reverting back to old school manual labor?
  • Production is done by using templates provided by UAC's. How important are those to the 'tech level' of the sector? Is Tri-Tachyon doing research on its own for instance? Or are most technological innovations rediscovered instead of researched?
  • Since Inferium is the sole source of space fuel, what stops the hegemony from dominating its regulation? Or is the source of Infernium far more widespread, allowing other factions to gather their fill?
  • How is everyday power generated? Fusion, anti-matter? Do spaceships use the same powersource for everyday activity or is spacefuel the only thing that keeps a ship running?
  • How widespread is piracy? Are we talking the glory days of the buccaneers in the Caribbean? Or are the other factions capable of keeping their main lanes secure?
  • Are mercenaries organised in any way? Battletech for instance had Merc-Net, where everyone interested (and rich!) could hire a merc. Or is it more 'I know a guy' and visiting the seedier bars, thus making it more of a quest to find mercenaries?
  • Are there any notorious pirates or mercenaries? The IIS Black Star seems to be quite known for instance.
  • Do they still have beer in the far future? :)
  • Is there currency in the sector? Is it universal and thus accepted by everyone?
  • How is the chain command for the Hegemony? Do you have an admiral in charge? A leader? An oligarchy? Do they use contemporary military ranks?
  • Do the Tri-Tachyon or the Luddites use a similar chain of command?
  • How are ships piloted? Is it the same principle like a bridge in Star Trek? Or do the Tri-Tachyon for instance use more fancy stuff like advanced computer systems and holographics, allowing for smaller crews?
  • How are captains, officers and crew trained? I imagine the Hegemony uses an academy or something, perhaps even just conscripting crew from the 'undesirables' in society. Tri-Tachyon might do more headhunting, since I believe that not every scientists is as 'adventurous' as a ship's captain. The Luddites perhaps just make do with eager volunteers. Something along these lines?
  • How are marines armed? Do we have low-tech marines with ballistics, middle-tech with some laser weapon and high-tech marines covered in an exoskeleton? Or am I just going overboard? :)
  • Are planetary invasions commonplace?
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mendonca

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 10:36:14 AM »

Nice questions :)
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Alex

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 11:12:34 AM »

Cheers! I have compiled a small batch. Well, not exactly small. Rather large actually. Huge even. Sorry about that. In return, I promise I'll write fanfiction in the near future. Promise!

Oooh, fan fiction! I'm excited. And that is a huge list. Let me answer a few of these now just to whet your appetite, and we'll get to the rest of them soon.


  • How long is a sector cycle compared to a standard Terran year?

The same. Within a cycle, standard Terran months and days are used.


  • How do ships travel around the sector? Is there some kind of hyperdrive or is it all done at sub-light speeds and using cryogenics?

Hyperdrive - ships enter an alternate dimension. Though there's still a bit of internal debate about the specifics :)


  • Is communication between planets instantaneaous? Or rather radio-wave speed?

Somewhere in-between - there are comm relays, and news can take days/weeks to get around.


  • Have there been attempts to seek out other sectors? Is that even high on the agenda of Starfarer's factions?

Unknown. Any such attempt *would* have to use cryogenics (in hyperspace) and would be extremely dangerous.

  • How big is the sector? Are there hundred of worlds? Or is more like dozens?

About 6 months to a year to traverse using hyperdrive. Aiming for ~1k star systems, but that could change appreciably in either direction.

  • How many of those worlds are 'major worlds'?

We're calling them "core worlds", and there are ~20. There's no colonization going on anymore - that's beyond human capability now. So any core world that's lost - whether due to the collapse of authority, war, or large-scale industrial sabotage - is a permanent blow against human civilization in the Sector.
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Zarcon

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 11:33:09 AM »

  • How big is the sector? Are there hundred of worlds? Or is more like dozens?

About 6 months to a year to traverse using hyperdrive. Aiming for ~1k star systems, but that could change appreciably in either direction.

  • How many of those worlds are 'major worlds'?

We're calling them "core worlds", and there are ~20. There's no colonization going on anymore - that's beyond human capability now. So any core world that's lost - whether due to the collapse of authority, war, or large-scale industrial sabotage - is a permanent blow against human civilization in the Sector.

Wow, about 1,000 star systems?   :o  That is making me rethink my limited understanding of how the campaign will eventually play out, very cool!  :)   

So, since there will only be about 20 core colonized planets, what will the other roughly 980 star-systems consist of?  Barren planets to be used as mineral deposits, or maybe set up with a space station for trade and refueling?  Just curious what there is to do out in the wide world, if the planets out there are not inhabited.  :) 

Or wait....you said beyond human capability.

Dun dun dun!   :o

Man I'm really getting excited to see 0.5 soon, good times indeed.







Also, Aliens are now confirmed to exist in Starfarer!   ;D
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Ivaylo

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 04:05:08 PM »

Ask, and ye shall receive. ;D




How many worlds are under the control of the Hegemony? How do the other factions compare to that?

The Hegemony all started with 5 core worlds, when it was established, and has grown a bit further since. I believe the exact number will actually be part of the begin-game randomizer.

How long does it take on average to reach a nearby world?

Well the distances vary wildly. It also depends on if the world is in the same star system or a different one. If one was travelling in a cruiser, on average it would take about five days to reach the nearest star with hyperdrive.

What are the main factions? We know of the Hegemony, Tri-Tachyon and the Luddites. Are there other big league players?

The Star Patrol, an elite group allied with the high echelons of the Hegemony, The Free Traders Guild, The League of Nonaligned Worlds, pirates, and so on :)

Is the Selenius system still independent?

This information is classified with a minimum rating of Planetary Clerk of Arms for view rights. Sorry!

The Luddites abhor technology, yet are not afraid to use it. Do they consider using technology to be a temporary measure? Do they believe the sector can survive at all without UAC's and autofactories? Can their society function at this very moment? Or are they just some sort of 'terrorist group'?

Use of technology is considered a necessary evil, and is only sanctioned by the Messiah, Hand of Lud or High Priests. According to their beliefs, the Sector will not only survive, but flourish if all technology is eliminated and humanity returns to an agrarian society. For proof that humans can function without the curse of technology, one need look no further than the Chronologicon, which describes a time of blissful utopia that existed on ancient Terra before the invention of space travel.

Are there still worlds that are being actively terraformed? Or is terraforming considered to be Lost-tech?

Terraforming is no longer taking place anywhere in the Sector, since the know-how has been lost. There are still some worlds that were being terraformed at the time of the Collapse, their biospheres being inundated with nanotechnology left without commands for hundreds of years.

Is there a standard template for an autofactory? Or do they differ in shapes and thus have hundreds of templates?

Not sure what you mean by a standard template here. But, in any case, the core component of the autofactory is the UAC interface which is able to somehow decode the data within and execute commands into the hardware servos.

Are shipyards considered to be a massive autofactory?

They are very similar, but naturally, the orbital shipyards are setup in a specific way to deal with the vacuum of space and with mainly producing ship's hulls.

Can new autofactories be constructed at all?

While it is possible to construct an autofactory doing so is a difficult task. Furthermore, the limiting factors for construction are usually the lack of raw resources required, and often, the lack of required blueprints.

Are autofactories the only way to produce things or is the sector reverting back to old school manual labor?

All manufacturing is centered around the autofactory model. This does not at all eliminate manual labor. Even within the manufacturing process, many laborers are involved with completing tasks that do not require advanced technology to complete. Like buffing.

Production is done by using templates provided by UAC's. How important are those to the 'tech level' of the sector? Is Tri-Tachyon doing research on its own for instance? Or are most technological innovations rediscovered instead of researched?

Research has a different meaning than the word as it is known to us today. Research, the one done by Tri-Tachyon and others, is a process that involves a couple of things. First, techmining, or retrieving Domain artifacts to locate blueprints or working components. Second, analysis deconstruction and\or integration. Lastly, potential blueprints extraction. That last step is extremely rare though.

Since Inferium is the sole source of space fuel, what stops the hegemony from dominating its regulation? Or is the source of Infernium far more widespread, allowing other factions to gather their fill?

Infernium occurs naturally in almost all matter, but the refining process is extremely difficult and time consuming. Hence, the Hegemony does not dominate this resource.

How is everyday power generated? Fusion, anti-matter? Do spaceships use the same powersource for everyday activity or is spacefuel the only thing that keeps a ship running?

Various power plant types exist. Which is in use depends on many factors, such as the technical support structure present, power plant blueprint availability, and market forces. The Chronologicon on the Epochs of Man, a definitive historical text, relates: "... power was produced differently during the Four Epochs, starting with chemical, fission, fusion, then advancing to plasma and eventually matter-antimatter plants."

How widespread is piracy? Are we talking the glory days of the buccaneers in the Caribbean? Or are the other factions capable of keeping their main lanes secure?

Piracy is pretty widespread. The only way we know to stop it is to humbly not include an extremely invasive DRM scheme, and thereby shame all potential pirates into actually buying the game, which will of ... WAIT THOSE KIND OF PIRATES!!! Hm, OK, still pretty widespread. ;D

Are mercenaries organised in any way? Battletech for instance had Merc-Net, where everyone interested (and rich!) could hire a merc. Or is it more 'I know a guy' and visiting the seedier bars, thus making it more of a quest to find mercenaries?

Mercenary outfits exist, but it’s not as widespread. The reason here is that it takes a lot to run an entire fleet of ships.

Are there any notorious pirates or mercenaries? The IIS Black Star seems to be quite known for instance.

One of the most infamous is the dread pirate Kalgar Thrax, a cruel warlord known for his methodical extermination of captured crews not eligible for ransom. Another example, while not a mercenary, is Admiral Sonnel, a famous Hegemony flag officer and hero of many battles, most notably the epic, defining battle fought at the midpoint between the three star systems Fal, Gal and Tar near the Mediosolar Expanse.

Do they still have beer in the far future? :)

Humanity has been fermenting sugars for thousands of years. There is absolutely no reason Sector brewers would all of a sudden abandon their ancient and noble vocation. Cheers.

Is there currency in the sector? Is it universal and thus accepted by everyone?

The Sector-wide currency is the Domain Credit, or just credit for short. In the times of the Domain it was backed by the universal authority of the Second Economic Dictatum, which served to create the universal currency amongst other things. Post-Collapse, the Sector has failed to produce a financial authority that supercedes that of the Domain.

How is the chain command for the Hegemony? Do you have an admiral in charge? A leader? An oligarchy? Do they use contemporary military ranks?

The Hegemony features one of the most rigorously administered chains of command in the history of humanity, too complex to list here. As such there are many organizations within the all-encompassing Hegemony, such as the Administratum, the Engineer Concilium, and the Military. All of these are of course subservient to the High Hegemon-Administrator. As far as ranks, they mostly follow standard military ranks of today. The main division is the one between officers and men, with non-commissioned officers serving as well. Thus, an officer with the rank Commander may sometimes be the senior commanding officer on a ship (especially frigates).

Do the Tri-Tachyon or the Luddites use a similar chain of command?

The Ludii do not actually have a chain of command at all, just the Messiah and various High Priests. Tri-Tachyon on the other hand, is highly regimented, if not as sprawling as the Hegemony. The Tri-Tachyon military is commanded by the Chief Strategy Officer, who reports directly to the Vice President of War.

How are ships piloted? Is it the same principle like a bridge in Star Trek? Or do the Tri-Tachyon for instance use more fancy stuff like advanced computer systems and holographics, allowing for smaller crews?

None of the ships feature bridges like those found in Star Trek. Ship tech level is actually the determining factor, and the "how" varies considerably. After all, some of the ships flying together now were designed during different Epochs of the Domain, hundreds, sometimes thousands of years apart. A Mastery Epoch ship bridge has more the feel of a World War I submarine, cramped and utilitarian, even claustrophobic. Crew comforts obviously improved with subsequent Epochs, but it was never a huge design priority. Remember, only one of the ships currently in the game has an exploratory role, the Apogee-class. In Star Trek, Starfleet ships are mostly exploration ships, not warships (with the exceptions of ships like the Defiant-class).

How are captains, officers and crew trained? I imagine the Hegemony uses an academy or something, perhaps even just conscripting crew from the 'undesirables' in society. Tri-Tachyon might do more headhunting, since I believe that not every scientists is as 'adventurous' as a ship's captain. The Luddites perhaps just make do with eager volunteers. Something along these lines?

It varies considerably, as you might guess. Typically, core worlds that belong to a faction will serve as their primary recruiting grounds. For example, Hasteus Prime serves that role for the Hegemony, as well as being its capital.

How are marines armed? Do we have low-tech marines with ballistics, middle-tech with some laser weapon and high-tech marines covered in an exoskeleton? Or am I just going overboard? :)

Usually powered armor, with an extremely wide variety of personal sidearms and equipment.

Are planetary invasions commonplace?

They are rare nowadays, since the amount of resources required is so vast, and usually, there is so little to gain. Raids on shipping and planet-bound supplies are far more common.




EDIT: BTW, standard disclaimer on my answers above. Some of what I've said may change, specifically things related to gameplay. I am sure you guys are aware that it is still under development. Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 04:40:02 PM by Ivaylo »
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Dohon

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 12:11:52 AM »

Ivaylo and Alex, thank you both! Not only have you guys answered each question, but you have done so in less than 24 hours! You guys are amazing and awesome. So are the answers too! It should get me started on my little story. Well, my interpretation of little anyway. :p I'll be sure to pester you guys with more questions in the future as they pop up while I'm writing.


Wow, about 1,000 star systems?   :o  That is making me rethink my limited understanding of how the campaign will eventually play out, very cool!  :)   

So, since there will only be about 20 core colonized planets, what will the other roughly 980 star-systems consist of?  Barren planets to be used as mineral deposits, or maybe set up with a space station for trade and refueling?  Just curious what there is to do out in the wide world, if the planets out there are not inhabited.  :) 

Or wait....you said beyond human capability.

Dun dun dun!   :o

Man I'm really getting excited to see 0.5 soon, good times indeed.

Also, Aliens are now confirmed to exist in Starfarer!   ;D

I don't think that all of those worlds are uninhabited. I can imagine mining posts, trade posts, a few prison worlds, listening posts, weapon testing facilities, even a few space-monasteries perhaps. While those worlds might just consist of a large base, 'domed over' to protect them from less than ideal atmostpheric conditions, there is life there. It's only the core worlds that are fully terraformed and have sufficient population and industry to be considered powerhouses.

Now, what to do when you suddenly stumble upon an alien outpost ... :)
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Thana

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2011, 12:30:51 AM »

I do think that if there are aliens, I hope they can be turned off in the campaign settings or that they're an optional/endgame element. I'd be quite happy, for once, not to deal with aliens taking over the show in a space scifi game.
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ollobrains

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 04:15:33 AM »

If this is a sandbox then plenty of scope for maybe colonization or exploration and expansion packs and other content as u go along
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Alchenar

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2011, 07:41:22 AM »

If this is a sandbox then plenty of scope for maybe colonization or exploration and expansion packs and other content as u go along

Well this is a big problem that Mount and Blade had; in the initial version there was very little to actually do with the sandbox.

It's telling that the major mods and expansions for M&B all added two things to the game:

1) The ability to form your own kingdom

2) Strong, neutral themed armies that were distinct to the main factions.

I'm kind of taking it for granted that at some point planetary conquest will be an endgame option in Starfarer (although not necessarily; there are plenty of directions the game can be taken where it wouldn't feel like it was missing).  I'm also hoping that there will be some form of endgame antagonist challenge that will be optional but also fun and rewarding to go after and alien incursions are a nice easy way to do that (but again, hardly the only option)
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Alex

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2011, 05:29:15 PM »

It should get me started on my little story. Well, my interpretation of little anyway. :p I'll be sure to pester you guys with more questions in the future as they pop up while I'm writing.

Looking forward to it :)


Wow, about 1,000 star systems?   :o  That is making me rethink my limited understanding of how the campaign will eventually play out, very cool!  :)   

So, since there will only be about 20 core colonized planets, what will the other roughly 980 star-systems consist of?  Barren planets to be used as mineral deposits, or maybe set up with a space station for trade and refueling?  Just curious what there is to do out in the wide world, if the planets out there are not inhabited.  :) 

I don't think that all of those worlds are uninhabited. I can imagine mining posts, trade posts, a few prison worlds, listening posts, weapon testing facilities, even a few space-monasteries perhaps. While those worlds might just consist of a large base, 'domed over' to protect them from less than ideal atmostpheric conditions, there is life there. It's only the core worlds that are fully terraformed and have sufficient population and industry to be considered powerhouses.

Yep. There's a hard line between "core world" and "outpost" in my mind. The latter can still be established without too much effort and still play a significant role in the economy. Finding a good spot to establish one, both in terms of available resources, location, and security is going to be the tricky part.
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ollobrains

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2011, 11:28:00 PM »

so how much of a breathing living unverse outside of the core worlds is being planned at least on the inital realise or will it be empty lawless space and later expansions or patches may add further things to do and gameplay elements
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Dohon

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2012, 03:43:18 AM »

Here's another batch of questions. On the bright side, I have written a few chapters down for my story. They should be up in the none too distant future. :)

****

I know the specifics are still being discussed, but what is Hyperspace? Is it just another dimension, largely similar to ours? Or is it similar to the Warp in Warhammer, with its own denizens and such?

Is there such a thing as a 'standard' autofactory? Or do they all vary in size and shape?

How advanced is computer AI? Do we even have independent AI's or is it all still user-centered? Does it depend on the ship and the world's tech level?

How advanced is medical technnology? Can we cure cancer for instance?

Are bionics and cybernetics commonplace? Or is it something rare and reserved for the rich and famous?

Ships don't have windows, right? Or is there some kind of alloy that allows both protection from vacuum and being transparant at the same time?

How many 'epochs' are there and what do they signify? There is a Master Epoch for instance. What does master mean in this case?

Are ships capable atmospheric craft? Can a frigate land on a planet and are the larger ships bound to remain space-side?

Do civilian craft outnumber military ships? Or are ships so rare that you seldomly see them in private hands? Would an individual be considered very fortunate if he had a lowly shuttle for instance?

Are there 'ship graveyards' where you have dozens of wrecks floating around? Or are wrecks quickly salvaged because ships are so damn rare?

Can one Domain credit get you alot or do you need several credits to get a loaf of bread?

What is the basic social unit? A family? An extended family? A tribe even?

Is there a dominant religion? The Luddites have their own religion, but are there groups that actually believe in an otherwordly entity?

Is there a universal language?

How is transportation handled? Do we drive along in cars similar to our current ones? Or is it more hovercar and flying car?

Are there Space Elevators? Or do shuttles transport people and supplies from the surface into space?

Do we have droppods? Or are marines brought to a planet's surface using shuttles?

Is ship boarding limited to after-combat or is it feasible to send over marines to a fully functional ship? How do marines board? Space-walking, boarding pod/shuttle, transporters even?

What would be the most iconic battle that has happend in the Sector?
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Alex

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Re: The Lore Corner
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2012, 02:08:21 PM »

Hmm. Most of these questions aren't something that is going to be answered directly in the lore. My view on it is that part of the game's job is to give the player's imagination room to work, which means leaving lots of little questions unanswered.

Some of questions have gameplay implications, so can't yet be answered for that reason.

I can, however, confirm that spaceships have windows :)
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