October 10th 2014
Hello and welcome back to LORE BUILDER, where we work with you, the community, to help flesh out the unexplored corners of the Star Citizen universe. If you are new to this feature, we would highly recommend going back and reviewing our revised caveats and background reading outlined in the fourteenth issue to give you an understanding of what’s already been established.
With that out of the way, let’s get started.
Last week, we asked you for ideas about the various departments and agencies that fall under the control of the Senate, as well as ideas on how these various bureaus would be structured under the control of the Senate.
As with Lore Builders of the past, you all did not disappoint. A few brave souls took on the task of hierarchy and structure, like Yco, Quatrain, and Azrael Domonov. Really interesting stuff and tons of great detail. (A special shout out to Womby the Repair Wombat for presenting his as a school report!) The rest offered up suggestions for the various departments and we definitely got a sense of what you thought seemed most relevant to this universe: we received an abundance of transportation, economics/trade, xeno, health, and intelligence committees that we can use to build a really interesting government.
Unfortunately, that made it incredibly difficult to pick just one to post as an example, so here are a couple interesting ones that caught our eye:
We had a bunch of great write-ups about disease. BearSquish created a great post about the EDCD, a medical division that handles treatment for known diseases and sets the standard for vaccinations and xeno-virological research as well as devising response protocols for potential pandemic scenarios. Chaucer had another good one for the Department of Epidemic Control, which is a sub-division of the Department of Health of Safety. Charles also threw his hat in the viral arena with the Center for Health Awareness and Development. These write-ups offered great approaches into one of the areas that we have yet to develop in the UEE’s infrastructure: emergency response. Plus, quarantines are always fun to mine for potential stories.
From Chico we had the Xeno-Agricultural & Foodstuff Administration, which would help keep an eye on all the new edible plants and animals that are introduced into the UEE. Between alien species and new planets being discovered, we liked the idea that this was enough of a concern to have to create a special group to monitor the situation (especially after the “Chicken of the Stars” incident).
Symos brought up the idea of a Committee for Unrepresented Colonies which would handle and investigate issues and concerns facing Human colonies that do not currently have representation. It makes sense that the Senate would want to keep an eye on these worlds either to help them transition to full representation or to make sure that they don’t become problems …
Grisha and Dutch had similar thoughts and told us about the Bureau of Stellar Cartography and Maps and the Astrographic Organization respectively. These would be committees in charge of all official public and military star charts. As a society that is actively exploring and discovering new locales all the time, it would be very important to have up-to-date map information that you could depend upon.
To all of you not mentioned specifically, don’t be disheartened! As many of you noted when we initially presented this topic, this is a huge subject and one that will have massive implications on the Human government in the game, so we’re going to take some time to review and consider everything you all have submitted and work out a rough proposal of how we could string it all together.
For this week’s topic, we’re going to stay with government. Specifically:
We’re not talking war here. In Star Citizen, the UEE is responsible for governing dozens of planets (some represented, some not) with untold numbers of people. We have established that the planets still have their own leadership in place, most often in the form of a Governors Council. But how involved is the UEE in the daily life of the average Citizen/Civilian?
We have been operating under the notion that the UEE primarily exists to provide health infrastructure (a terraformed planet that’s habitable for instance), levels of standards when it comes to ships and structural stability, regulate commerce and protection from Alien powers and inter-system crime. So where exactly does that division of responsibility lie?
For a real life example, Amendment 21 of the U.S. Constitution gives states control over alcoholic beverages. Because of this, when the federal government wanted to change the legal drinking age to 21, they couldn’t just pass a law to do so without having to repeal part of the Constitution. Instead, they passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 which would withhold federal funding on highways from states that did not comply.
While this is more of a discussion about where we can establish that line, if you feel like brainstorming ideas, you could present a topic (piloting age, for example) and discuss how it’s handled and by whom.
One more thing that’s important to remember is this excerpt for the ‘character’ of the current government, outlined in the Writer’s Guide:
When thinking of how the current UEE administration would react to a problem, it’s better to think of it as a single entity and a political spectrum with bureaucracy and autocracy.
The early UPE was mired deep in the bureaucracy side; capitalizing on that public disgust with political stagnation was how Ivar Messer was able to consolidate power. During the Messer Era, the UEE then swung too far in the opposite direction, becoming the stereotypical ruthless fascist government that seized land, power, and might.
When the Messer Era collapsed the UEE swung back and by the game start has ultimately settled in the middle. The government became fixated on making amends for the awfulness it committed for hundreds of years. The UEE now is a mixture of everything. There are good people doing good things, bad people doing bad things and every combination in between. There are seasoned politicos, idealist do-gooders, the palm-greasers, and crusaders.
So, to use an acting term, the UEE’s motivation is to make amends. Most of its behavior (from the Ark to the Synthworld) are simply extensions of that need. It’s trying (too hard according to some) to appear progressive and totally not evil any more. Seriously, we’re really sorry about that and we’re better, trust us. Joking aside, the UEE is not insincere about this sentiment. It just might be going a little overboard.
It’s also important to reiterate that diversity is good. This is not a simple black-or-white government (i.e., Empire = evil, Rebel Alliance = good). There are all types operating in every facet and on every level of the SC Universe. So, odds are, there’s a place for whatever kind of character you’re creating.
Next week, we’ll review some of the talking points that came up in the comments and present a new subject to let you take a crack at.