December 20th 2013
Hello everyone. Welcome to another installment of LORE BUILDER, where we flesh out the Star Citizen universe with you, the community. As always, if you’re new to this feature and would like to participate, you should check out the caveats and background reading described at the beginning of the first issue.
In the previous issues, we’ve been creating a sport from scratch, but this week, we’re going to do something a little different and introduce a second topic to discuss alongside Sataball. Hopefully, this will appeal to those whose interests lie elsewhere.
So let’s jump into the new topic first:
What’s in a name? This question has been asked several times on my Ask A Dev thread, and this seemed like a great venue to create a system for numbering the various squadrons in the UEE military.
Again, this is a pretty sizeable topic to tackle. Let’s start by quickly going over what we already know and the parameters we’ve got to work with:
1. Squadron 42 is the name of the game. Literally. We can’t change that, so any system that we come up with has to account for the existence of a Squadron 42. I know it sounds obvious, but we need to keep it in mind. Moving on …
2. This is a retcon from earlier answers given by me indicating that squadrons were going to be of a much larger size. Sorry, that was my mistake. I will invoke my caveats. Anyway, in the current discussions we are using the RAF structure, as illustrated here:
Unfortunately, additional information might spoil aspects of the game, so that’s all we’re going to start with. Please feel free to explore potential numbering systems in the comments below. You can mirror realistic flight/squadron designations, build a unique and original system since it’s the future, or come up with a hybrid of the two.
Now, on to topic number two:
Continuing our discussion from last week, you all made some excellent points advocating each field style and goal type, making me realizing that I probably should have done a survey. Personally, I feel like the floor generators for the various fields make the most sense as the corresponding ceiling generator felt too constrictive on the playing field.
We’re going to move on and bring the players and game dynamics into the mix. Hopefully that discussion will help narrow the decision for the other aspects.
Keeping the teams smaller feels like it lends itself to a faster paced, higher-scoring game. So for a starting discussion, say there are six players per team on the field. We could take a page from baseball’s rules, add another ten on the bench and that could comprise the active roster. Major league players could then be pulled up from or sent down to the Sataball team’s minor league system.
This question becomes tied into the type of goal we have. A classic rectangular goal would almost require a goalie. Now whether that’s a specified position or if any team member could step into that role could be an interesting question.
Uniforms: Light pads incorporated into the uniforms to allow for protection without sacrificing flexibility.
Helmets: Zan’s original write-up gave the helmets the ability to “predict ball/player trajectories, identify team members/opponents and visualize magnetic barriers/fields,” but I prefer for the helmets to function strictly as a protective/aesthetic accessory. If we have the color-coded barriers, players won’t need special optics to identify them; let’s keep the uniforms simple and let the players’ intuition and skill in the game dictate their actions, rather than being assisted by a computer.
SataGlove: A large type of glove made out of a hard, inflexible material worn on the player’s dominant hand (think a crossover between a baseball glove and a saucer) which allows players to hold/catch the ball without making it possible for them to grip it. The other hand has to be tied in a closed fist. This description reminded me also of the cesta baskets of Jai Alai.
The Ball: 16”/41cm circumference (roughly the size of a 16-inch softball) but made out of an elastic polymer hull, necessary to create a ricochet effect.
Here is Zan’s explanation of how he sees the game being played:
My view on Sataball was a game in which athleticism and quick passing/shooting were more important than holding onto the ball and tackling …based on the idea that you can use hands and feet to move the ball around, but are not allowed to hold it. While AFL does it with Umpires and rules, my idea was to make it impossible for the player to really grab the ball using the Sataglove.
That sounded good to me. So to combine elements of Zan’s idea with Australian Rules Football:
Play begins at the center of the field when the ball is launched via eject barrier in center field and each team’s center try to snatch the ball. Once in possession, the ball can be propelled in any direction by way of a foot, clenched fist (called a handball or handpass) or Sataglove pass/throw.
What about player movement when in possession of the Sataball; are they limited in steps, can they move freely, or can they not move at all?
We’re going to stop here for discussion. Feel free to work on fleshing out the specific rules, but it’s more important that we get the broad aspects of the game to provide a working foundation of the sport to incorporate into the Lore of the universe.
The office will be closed next week for the holidays, but we will have at least one more Lore Builder when we come back to review the Fleet Numbering Systems and wrap up Sataball before launching into a brand new serial.
As always, please submit your ideas and comments below. Have a wonderful holiday and New Year.