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jsnead

Social Justice Dragon
Validated User
Eclipse Phase in the later stages of development, and I wrote 30,000 words for it. It's very cool, and is both substantially different from GURPS: Transhuman Space, and IMHO considerably better (in a wide variety of ways). Eclipse Phase and Dreams of the First Age for Exalted are two of the coolest projects I've ever worked on, and if you like Transhuman SF of the sort that Ken MacLeod or Alastair Reynolds writes, you'll love Eclipse Phase.
 
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Colin Fredericks

Dorkasaurus Rex
Validated User
I will have to read up on this one. Always good to know about the competition. :) And read it and play it, of course.
 

robboyle

New member
Hey everyone, just wanted to pop my head in and provide some extra info on the upcoming Eclipse Phase game. This is a game that I've actually had in the works for awhile (over 2 years) but that has just come into active development in the past half-year. We're still in the final draft, playtesting, and dev-editing stage, but it will be out later this year.

The game has a post-apocalyptic, post-singularity transhumanist setting. It's influenced a lot by sci-fi by authors like Richard Morgan, Charlie Stross, Ken Macleod, Alistair Reynolds, Bruce Sterling, and Peter Hamilton. It's a bit darker than Transhuman Space, and while we do try and stick close to a hard science approach, it does include things like psi and wormhole gates. It takes place primarily in the Solar system, with a few extrasolar colonies and opportunities to explore beyond via wormholes gates.

There's an emphasis on backing up your mind and downloading into new bodies of different types (biological, synthetic, or mixed), allowing for character "save points" as well as optimizing your character's abilities for specific missions.

Here's some of the sell sheet text:

Humanity stands on the cusp of a new age, with accelerated technological growth converging toward a singularity point, promising an undreamt-of future. Despite the ecopocalypse and social upheavals on Earth, humanity has conquered the solar system and partially terraformed Mars. Advancements in biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and cognitive science have transformed our lives. Everyone is wirelessly networked with the world around them, AIs process vast amounts of information, and nano-fabrication enables people to “print” complex devices from the molecular level—at home. Biotechnology allows people to genefix, enhance, and clone their bodies, while others pursue body modifications to adapt to new environments or make themselves into something no longer quite human. People’s minds and memories can be digitized, uploaded, transferred over long distances, and downloaded into new bodies (biological or synthetic). Death has been defeated—for those who can afford it.

From within, disaster struck. Transhumanity reaped the rewards of its arrogance when a group of military AIs known as TITANS achieved full sentience, autonomy, and rapidly began exponentially incrementing their own intellectual growth. The AI intelligences spawned by this hard-takeoff singularity quickly turned against transhumanity, enveloping the system in unprecedented levels of violence, disaster, and warfare. What began as a struggle between man and machine escalated into a whirlwind of conflict between political factions, revolutionaries, and hypercorps.

In less than a year, transhumanity was nearly wiped out with nuclear strikes, biowarfare plagues, destructive nanoswarms, infowar attacks, mass uploads, and other unexplained singularity events, ripping the superpowers of old to pieces. Our planetary home—Earth—was transformed into a toxic and strange hellhole, while many major habitats were left frozen sarcophagi in the vacuum of space. Just as quickly as they came, the TITANS disappeared, taking millions of uploaded minds with them, leaving behind a network of wormhole gateways. Known as Pandora Gates, these poorly-understood devices allow instantaneous teleportation to distant star systems—often one-way and/or fatal. Though only a handful of Pandora Gates are known to exist—each highly contested—the foolish, brave, curious, and desperate are already risking certain death to enter and explore what lies beyond.

In the aftermath of the Fall, transhumanity lives on, divided into a patchwork of hypercorp combines, survivalist stations, transhuman faction species, and city-state habitats. Under the oppressive police states of immortal inner-system oligarchies, advanced technologies remain highly restricted, and refugee infomorphs are held in virtual slavery or resleeved in robotic bodies and forced into indentured labor. In the outer system, rebel transhuman scientists and techno-anarchists struggle to maintain a new society—from each according to their imagination and to each according to their need. And on the fringes and in the niches lurk networked tribes of political extremists, religious fanatics, criminal entrepreneurs, and bizarre posthumans, among other, stranger, and more alien things ...

Though most claim the Fall was carefully orchestrated by the out-of-control TITANS, others whisper that the driving powers behind the wars—both AI and transhuman—were infected by a mutating virus with multiple infection vectors—biological, information, nano—dubbed the Exsurgent virus. Whatever its source, this virus has been known to sometimes transform its victims into something unexplainable ... something monstrous and reality-altering. Whatever the truth, the remnants of the TITANS and this virus were left to the desolated ruins or driven to the edges of the system, where they remain hidden away in dark corners, quietly waiting to infect the minds of the scavengers and explorers who find them ...
The game system is a simple d100 variant, optimized for quick resolution so people can focus on the setting more than mechanics.

We'll have a website up soon at http://eclipsephase.com. Feel free to post questions, but I may wait to answer them over at the forums we'll have on the website.
 

Codename: Omega

New member
Banned
Sounds pretty interesting, but I'm not sure if it's accurate to call it "post-singularity" if that writeup is anything to go by (for something like that, look at the Orion's Arm website).
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
Sounds interesting, although personally I am glad Transhuman Space didn't use the "Rogue AIs Want To Destroy All Fleshlings" trope... ;)
 

robboyle

New member
I'm not sure if it's accurate to call it "post-singularity"
True, I had meant to put "(in a sense)" after that. I should also be clear that I'm using the term "singularity" in the "takeoff of seed AI" sense, rather than the "change occurs so rapidly we can't predict what would happen beyond" sense.

Sounds interesting, although personally I am glad Transhuman Space didn't use the "Rogue AIs Want To Destroy All Fleshlings" trope...
Let's just say there's more to it than that :)
 

Kylleran

Retired User
Damn, Rob is faster than me, but yeah to echo what he said it's post-singularity more in the Ken MacLeod Newton's Wake sense and hateful AIs are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to threats for transhumanity.
 
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