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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24)

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Author Topic: Starsector 0.96a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 313719 times)

David

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Re: Starsector 0.96a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1470 on: October 31, 2023, 06:43:24 AM »

*Ahem* hello.

So, yes, obviously the Church of Galactic Redemption et al is a commentary on/exploration of religion which borrows elements from many different, but mostly Christian, sources. This is due largely to me being more familiar with the aesthetics and history of Christianity rather than other religions due to growing up in North America.

There are a few very good reasons why the in-game Luddic religion is intentionally portrayed as a slightly kooky "scifi religion" which intentionally doesn't reference certain extremely contemporary real-world associations ie. Jesus Christ, or, for that matter Muhammad, or the actual Bible.

The reasons are:
  • People get really, really mad when they talk about real world religion (see: this thread; moderation note incoming). This is particularly bad in the context of videogames which tend to have unreasonably fractious and poorly managed communities, so these conflicts get ugly, fast.
  • To Histidine's point: Science fiction, as a genre, (whether it admits it or not) intentionally puts contemporary subjects into imaginary aesthetic wrapping to comment upon them with a certain subjective distance which allows them to be a little more accessible, or seen in a different light. This sort of conceit is absolutely standard-issue practice.
  • Also, sirs, this is a video game. It's built to be accessible to a general audience in a way, perhaps, a novel would not. It's not a game made for religious people, or one made for atheists. It's not a game that wants to convert anyone one way or the other. If certain players (named Megas) just want to blow up all the Luddic Church fleets, they can do that.
  • (Also, if I tried to actually tie this in strongly with real-world religions I'd have to do more research and that'd be a ton of work.)
All that said, the gaming audience traditionally comes from a certain viewpoint about religion that tends toward the negative and portrayals of religious factions in games tend toward the negative as well. The challenge I set out for myself several years ago was to offer a way for some (not all, obviously) people from that general audience to think about religion with a little more nuance. Is Starsector successful in this? I like to think it is, sometimes. I hope.

Neldonax, if I may: For the reasons above, it is not reasonable for us to put explicit references to Jesus Christ, etc., into the game, nor do I think it would serve the narrative or aesthetics. It'd probably just make a lot of people from every viewpoint really, really mad. There is a place in the world for a space game that is built from the ground up that specifically centers an exploration of Christianity in particular, but this is not that game.

From a moderation standpoint, I would ask that everyone be respectful here and keep it chill. We've got rules about no bigotry and no toxicity ie. don't be a huge jerk.
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Neldonax

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Re: Starsector 0.96a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1471 on: November 02, 2023, 06:33:29 AM »

i do see your point, but rustling jimmies is always part of good worldbuilding. I like the luddics, they're the only faction i really *get*, i mean how can i not? they are the only ones who make any normal sense to me, they ain't lying to themselves, they are living the truth while the rest of the sector is in denial. I just want to see them be fully realised, sure it doesn't have to have my main man JC, but i'd like it.
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Kubanka je zgodna

Network Pesci

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Literary Merit
« Reply #1472 on: November 02, 2023, 08:51:54 AM »

All that said, the gaming audience traditionally comes from a certain viewpoint about religion that tends toward the negative and portrayals of religious factions in games tend toward the negative as well. The challenge I set out for myself several years ago was to offer a way for some (not all, obviously) people from that general audience to think about religion with a little more nuance. Is Starsector successful in this? I like to think it is, sometimes. I hope.

Yeah, you succeeded.  When I plug StarSector to my online friends, I tell the more literary-minded ones that "The writing stands proudly in the same tier as Banks and Reynolds."  And I tell you, David, the fictional religion of the Luddic Church is the only video game religion that has ever altered my personal moral and philosophical structure in real life.  Like Fury Road or The Man Of Steel is to movies, StarSector is to video games.  I'm not joking when I say that if and when it is possible to read Brother Cotton's book in full like it was Morrowind, I'm gonna read that book cover to cover twice.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 09:21:02 PM by Network Pesci »
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David

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Re: Literary Merit
« Reply #1473 on: November 10, 2023, 05:15:59 AM »

Yeah, you succeeded.

(You are far too kind! I have no words, for once.)
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smithney

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Re: Starsector 0.96a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1474 on: November 10, 2023, 10:45:52 PM »

Having the luxury of engaging with Dune related media recently, I have no fear saying David's depiction of religion is on par with Frank Herbert's. Obviously on a much smaler scale. Except David's take is actually rather sympathetic, where Herbert gets pretty critical. What I mean is that so far, David has made a good job showing us the whole spectrum of religious characters. To an areligious theist like me who used to work in a Christian organisation, the experience has actually been rather realistic.
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pairedeciseaux

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Re: Starsector 0.96a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1475 on: November 11, 2023, 04:01:51 AM »

Fear is the mind killer.

Frank Herbert's Dune
Regarding Frank Herbert's original series, which spans from "Dune" (1965) to "Chapterhouse: Dune" (1985), one would be tempted to describe those novels as religious-themed books. I think this is not actually the case. Herbert painted ecosystems with environments, people as organisations, people as individuals, social interactions, humanity.

In this light, Herbert did a rather broad social commentary and/or maybe a bare fictional-not-so-fictional society depiction, showing how and why people act the way they do, also showing consequences. Feudalism, religious organisations, religious faith, non-religious organisations, non-religious aims and beliefs, family ties, loyalty, power struggles, survival, emotions, ... are all part of the recipe used by Herbert to create the Dune special sauce.

A great characteristic of Dune being, in my opinion, it is not science fiction. I mean it is not made of technological gimmicks used to justify and color boring stories already told a thousand times, ... rehashing preconceptions, prejudices, tainted views, propaganda.

An other interesting thing about Dune: it is told from various points of view, which reinforces its attempt at describing a society honestly and reduces the risk of filtering perspectives and motivations though a common-somewhat-neutral-but-actually-biased main lens.
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As David put it, he managed to put in more nuance writing Starsector than what typical entertainment offers, for what ultimately is the backdrop of an interactive space adventure with spaceships shooting at each other. And he did so not just for the religion-related bits. I wouldn't go as far to say that David has set Starsector players on the Golden Path (Dune reference), but still we should be thankfull to have good stuff in Starsector.
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