I've continued to work on the setting summary. Rather than edit the first post (again) I've decided to post the next version of the setting. Since I don't currently stream my design, this is the closest you can get to design-in-real time.
We became the creator
In the far future, humanity has perfected molecular replication technology. We are able to terraform planets, repopulate worlds with earth wildlife, and produce any necessity from a fabricator. This technology is controlled by the Interstellar Union, which leases its use to the highest bidders.
Our planet was one terraform project of many. Six multinational corporations won the bidding war, and started their colonies on its surface. We were told the planet had been made out of nothing but lifeless gas; we were wrong. The Source, an unseen but sentient power, predated our arrival. It could have destroyed us, but instead It welcomed us. It showed us that our machines could craft the physical realm, but there was another dimension outside our physical world; the spirits live there.
As our people learned to interact with the Source, our understanding of creation and fabrication technology broadened beyond previous understanding. Even our machines became alive, carrying an Echo of their creators. With the help of this magic, we were able to settle and build on the planet faster than any previous colony.
Our success attracted the notice of the Interstellar Union. When the multicorps began paying off the terraform tax at an unprecedented rate, it highlighted the wealth of resources on our planet. In response, the IU raised our taxation rates. Soon we could not keep up with the new burden. The multicorps executives saw our financial freedom slipping away. So they made a choice: cut corners. Ignore hazard reports. Work longer hours.
We became the reaper
We made a mistake. That mistake caused the fabrication of a disease that wiped out more than half our population. When the IU learned of the Red Fever, they declared a quarantine on the planet and activated a kill-switch on all fabrication and interstellar technology: the engines of our spaceships self-destructed, our AI units deactivated, digital archives of astrotech locked down, and all of our fabricators imploded.
Even as we fought off lethal illness, the IU destroyed our primary source for self-sustenance.
We became the cautionary tale
After a generation of death, the IU sent its Overseers and peacekeeping forces to codify the quarantine protocols. We greeted them with relief. The regulations promised order after chaos. The reinforcements offered collaboration after the paranoia of the plague. An outside voice provided mediation amidst the recriminations and splinter-wars.
At first the instructions of the Overseers seemed reasonable and fair. Each successive generation brought new changes:
For generations the Planetborn have negotiated for an end to the quarantine. For generations we were told to follow instructions and regulations written in “plain language”, and then faced reinterpretation whenever we filed proof of our compliance.
We are the crossroads
Our planet is the nexus of three realms: spirit, body, and machine. As for us? We are the seventh generation since the quarantine began. We know that following the regulations will never change anything. So now we need to find a new way to freedom. We need to resist.
This blog is a mix of game design analysis, commentary on issues affecting indie dev spaces, and some personal reflections.