Earth’s Empires tech

While the technology exists, flying cars are a rarity on most worlds in most times in the setting. That said, the skies over the cities of humanity are not empty. In most places the air contains both government and civilian surveillance drones.

The civillian drones are semi-autonomous flyers that circle in great clouds above the buildings, searching both optical and radio frequencies, pattern matching inputs in hope of discovering news worthy stories. Occasionally one will alert its minder of a potential story and get the ok to investigate. When that happens, the graceful wing meshes that it used to stay afloat above the city collapse into a sleeker, high speed form that is used for close in reconnisance. From the cloud of flyers, first one will drop , then as confirmation of interest becomes stronger, more and more will follow until you have a score of surveillance vehicles or more scanning an area. Of course, high speed reconnisance is not now you develop a story, so there is a final deployment phase. The craft reforms itself one last time, baring recording and communication equipment, becoming once again a flying wing, and finally deploying a quad rotor system to enable quiet and stable recording as well as the ability to follow a subject closely.

A larger event, shots fired, a large accident, anything with a large visual or audio component can cause hundreds of camera drones to descend upon the region. It is often possible to reconstruct a complete record of events after the first fifteen to thirty seconds


Space Traders

          So one of my projects this term is a game where you fly a space ship from star to star trading goods. The game itself has no explicit goals. One of the key points of the game is that the economy shift as you trade. When you buy goods in a location the price there increases and when you sell them the price decreases in hat region. At the same time, other traders are wandering the galaxy performing their own trades, so some times you will get back from a long trade route and find that the price of  good has changed a lot while you were gone.
          One of the key aspects of the game is that each planet in the galaxy has its own image, all of which are procedurally generated… 

To do this, first I create an array of blank bitmaps to use as color fills in the draw circle function in AS. Then each bitmap is filled with pixel colors taken from an array. The arrays are each 100 entries long and the program takes a random walk through the array to select the colors. Every step through the array is used to set the color of two pixels, and the arrays are set up so that two adjacent positions are likely to have the same or similar colors. These two things combine to make sure that there are relatively large color features on the selected planets. If the walker gets to an end of the array, it is placed in a random position in the interior. My arrays aren’t perfect, but the better the array the more interesting the resulting planets. The more colors you have and the further those colors are from each other, the more likely the planet is to look like it is tv static. The format I’m using is:

[“array_name”, 0xFFFFFF, 0xFFFFFF, 0xFFFFFF, 0xFFFFFF, 0xFFFFFF, 0xFFFFFF, …, 0xCCCC00, 0xCCCC00]

With 100 hexadecimal entries defining that array’s pallet and the relative frequency of colors and the name in the zero position telling me what the goal for that array is.