Saturday, April 10, 2010

[Future Perfect] Core Concepts

The folks over at the Apathy Games blog had some nice things to say about my Future Perfect material... unfortunately they said it back in January and I only saw it last week. UGH!

Anyway, they commented that I never articulated Future Perfect's core concepts. And they were correct! I did no such thing. Why? Well, that's because this blog has been more of a design log, mostly notes and information as I get around to posting what I'm developing for my upcoming home campaign. However, I apologize to those few readers who may have wondered precisely what Future Perfect was supposed to be, aside from some flavor of Space Opera.

I gave the the Apathy Games crew a short answer:
Thanks for the positive comments about Future Perfect! I wish I'd seen this post back when it was posted! Since i'm the guy writing it, I'm happy to see that at least someone knows it exists. As for your comments... The blog is more design notes than a complete game; I've been developing the game to the point where I am about to playtest the first plotpoint campaign. The primary concept is effectively a dark space opera in which humanity itself -- scattered across space and connected (in part) only via stellar Gateways -- stands at the precipice of the future. Humanity's own past is a fabrication, individuals are poised at the brink of evolving past anything or anyone recognizably human, and the notion of identity itself has become something fluid and possibly meaningless. In short, the game is post-cyberpunk, trans-humanist, and focuses on attitude and character development. Unlike many space opera settings, every "race" is human -- or at least, once was human. A lot of material explaining these core concepts should filter into the blogger site soon enough.

That got me thinking, so I went ahead and posted a slightly more explicit Introduction to Future Perfect's core concepts over at the Obsidian Portal site, but I'm going to reprint it here:

At its core, Future Perfect is a darkly trans-human space opera with overt cyber/biopunk and post-cyberpunk trappings. It is a game where players take the roles of individuals whose very nature and identity may be as fluid as they want or need them to be. The very nature of personhood, of individual identity is questioned by the universe at large. Most every benchmark for denoting the conditions of individual and social identities have been rendered obsolete or revealed as falsehood and fabrication. Like the Nietzschean superman, character’s in Future Perfect must create their own values, questioning and transcending the limits of morality in the persuit of their own personal evolution. They stand at the brink of the abyss and must create their own measure of self, or be consumed as so many others have been.

Alright, now what the hell does this all mean?

Lets break it down. We can note three defining conceits and a clear statement of game genre.

Future Perfect is a Space Opera, a dramatic science fiction adventure set in faraway space. It is action oriented, with a grand sweeping plot, and follows the activities of a handful of larger than life characters who are, at least vaguely, sympathetic despite their flaws.

Future Perfect is dark, it presents a universe where daily life can tend toward the horrific, despite all the technological advances that have, supposedly, improved people’s lives. Nothing is quite what it seems, and nearly anything of value has been built upon the suffering of others.

Future Perfect is transhumanist, depicting a world where humanity has become enhanced through it’s own efforts, science and technology having provided the tools not only to extend their own intrinsic capacities, but to overcome fundamental aspects of the human condition—such as disease, disability, and even death.

Future Perfect is postcyberpunk, a world in which information is ubiquitous, surrounding everyone in a nearly omnipresent datasphere. Furthermore, it holds as paramount the often tense relationship between man and technology, wherein the continued integration of the technological into one’s pysical being runs the risk of eroding the nature of the human. However, that same technology is essential to the progress of daily life. Thus, it maintains many elements of traditional cyberpunk, but it’s vision is not wholly dystopic. Not all Future Perfect characters have to be gritty loners living on the fringes of society, but they can be if they want to…

1 comment:

Tyson said...

I was happy to create the words, your setting was by far one of the more interesting ones I had found when researching the article. I'm glad to see you working on it again. I'm looking forward to poking around your wiki and getting a better idea of what your working with.