Shores of Hazeron
From FAS Virtual Worlds Almanac
|Use and Demographics|
|Primary use(s)||Community, Gaming|
|Target Audience(s)||Girls, Boys, Pre-teens, Teenagers, Students, Adults, Professionals|
|Level : Junior High School, Senior High School, Undergraduate, Graduate, Teacher|
Laws and Rights
Space and Seas
|Intellectual Property rights for content||Yes|
|Real Money Trading||Yes|
|Graphical and Content Features|
|Complex 3-D, such as a realistic human body||Yes|
|Scripting for objects||No|
|Duplication of content for multiple users||Yes|
|Object creation toolkit||No|
|Can block users in text chat||Yes|
|Management and Privacy|
|Code of Conduct||No|
|Moderators Always Online||No|
|Restricted Access in Designated Areas||No|
Shores of Hazeron is a massively multiplayer online game of interstellar war and science fiction adventure.
The Shores of Hazeron game universe is presented to each player in three-dimensional first-person perspective. Sizes and distances are scaled dramatically from reality whenever necessary for tolerable game play and limitations of computers. In other words it doesn't really take years to travel to another star, there are hundreds of stars in the sky at night instead of millions, and the nearby planets, moons, and suns appear huge and close in the sky with the unaided eye. Each player perceives the universe as if they were seeing and hearing it with their own eyes and ears. Players experience first-hand the most diverse and detailed three dimensional game universe that has ever been created.
Players join together to form empires. Empires are expanded by exploring and developing new solar systems and by conquering the solar systems developed by others. Empires are formed, conquer, and are conquered in a continuous struggle for dominance of the stars.
Players develop empires by building cities. Cities are built by constructing industries and roads. Roads expand the reach of a city. Industries are built next to roads. As cities grow, a population of citizens grows with them. Citizen populations construct buildings, manufacture commodities, and otherwise perform the everyday jobs of the city. Players must manage the challenges of growing population, morale and unemployment as they build homes and industries in their cities.
The game economy is based on commodities, such as stone, grain, wood, coal, etc. Industries manufacture commodities. Cities interconnect to trade commodities. Commodities are used to construct buildings and to manufacture other commodities, Commodities are also used to manufacture vehicles such as boats, aircraft, tanks, APCs, spacecraft, and all equipment used by players.
Spacecraft are designed by players in the game environment. The rooms of a spacecraft are "painted" into a grid that can be lowered and raised for decks below and above. The game creates a fully functional three dimensional model of a spacecraft from the design. Players earn in-game rewards when their spacecraft designs are manufactured, encouraging skilled spacecraft architects to share their designs with others. Once manufactured, spacecraft are used to explore the galaxy and to combat other spacecraft.
Unexplored worlds, interstellar wars and the politics of galactic empires form a rich environment for science fiction story telling. Contributing authors provide intriguing and thought-provoking story lines that progress with the participation of players. Set against the war torn backdrop of Hazeron, stories unfurl with the players filling the roles of the main characters.
There are countless combinations in Hazeron for the layouts and contents of sectors and solar systems, the terrain and weather of planets and moons, the DNA of plants and animals, the designs of starships, and the machinations of clever players. Three dimensional representations of plants and animals are synthesized from compact DNA data, not pregenerated models. With over 300 trillion times a trillion combinations of plant DNA and over 80 thousand trillion times a trillion times a trillion combinations of animal DNA, no two planets in Hazeron are likely to have the same plants and animals. Hazeron presents an exceptionally vast and varied galaxy for players to explore and conquer.
Hazeron is a two-armed spiral galaxy with a dense spherical core of stars at its center. The Hazeron galaxy is ten kiloparsecs diameter in the prime galactic plane, which equals about thirty-two thousand light years.
The galaxy is subdivided into cube shaped sectors that are 10x10x10 parsecs in size. The locations of sectors within the galaxy are expressed using the Cartesian coordinate system. An (X,Y,Z) coordinate specifies the location of a sector by its distance from the center of the galaxy, measured in sectors: positive X is east; negative X is west; positive Y is north; negative Y is south; positive Z is up; negative Z is down. For example, coordinate (312,-2,1) is 312 sectors east, then 2 sectors south, then 1 sector up from the center of the galaxy.
Sectors contain solar systems and large scale astronomical phenomena, such as nebulae. The number of solar systems in each sector is based on the star density at the sector's coordinate in the galaxy.
Solar systems contain one to three suns. The primary sun is at the center of the solar system. In a binary or trinary system, the secondary sun orbits the primary sun. In a trinary system, the tertiary sun may orbit the primary or it may orbit the secondary.
The primary sun has one or more wormholes in proximity to the sun. Wormholes connect nearby solar systems in a loose branching network. Starships use wormhole drives to travel instantly from one solar system to another through wormholes. Spacecraft can also travel directly through space to other solar systems. Light speed in Hazeron is ten minutes of "real world" time per parsec. A spacecraft designed with good acceleration could travel through space to a nearby star in less than half an hour of game time. Circumstances or strategies sometimes require the long haul through space. Wormholes are obviously the preferred method of star travel.
Suns usually have planets orbiting them. Solar output based on the spectral classification and magnitude of each sun determines the radius at which habitable worlds may occur. Not all worlds are habitable. Not all solar systems contain habitable worlds. Some solar systems have no planetary bodies at all.
Planetary orbits are categorized by zone, which is based on the solar radiation level at the orbit distance from the sun. The orbit zone of a planet is based on the sun it orbits. The affect of other stars in binary and trinary systems is ignored within the scope of the game. Multiple suns illuminate the bodies in the solar system properly; they just don't affect the zone. The ecosystem of a body is based on its zone, not on the actual solar radiation that strikes its surface.
There are five orbit zones.
- Inferno: Molten. Too hot for water or hydrocarbons in the environment. Seas of magma prevail.
- Inner: Hot. Planets may have seas of water and breathable atmospheres. Inner planets may host primitive plant and animal life near the seas. Can be readily colonized.
- Habitable: Warm. Solar output is just right for plants and animals to flourish. Habitable planets host an ecosystem of plant and animal life that is unique to the planet.
- Outer: Cold. Planets may have pronounced polar ice caps but seas will remain liquid near the equator. Outer planets may host primitive plant and sea life. Can be readily colonized.
- Frigid: Frozen. Extremely cold. Seas of frozen and semi-frozen gases prevail.
Planets often have atmospheres. Atmosphere content and density determine whether the air is breathable by people and animals. Density is expressed as a percentage value from 0 to 100%. Atmosphere density between 15 and 85 percent can be breathed; below 15% animals cannot draw enough air into their lungs; above 85% animals cannot force the air out of their lungs.
Atmospheric content is classified into categories.
- Standard: Atmosphere is a good mix of breathable gases with few impurities.
- Tainted: Atmosphere is a tolerable mix of gases to breath. Air may contain visible levels of impurities.
- Exotic: Atmosphere is poisonous to people and animals but may host plant life. Environment suit required.
- Corrosive: Atmosphere is poisonous to all plant and animal life. Corrosive to all equipment.
- Insidious: Atmosphere is extremely poisonous to all plant and animal life. Extremely corrosive to all equipment.
Moons or rocky rings orbit many planets. Planets and moons provide vast amounts of terrain on which players build cities, explore, hunt, and otherwise use for whatever purpose necessary to play the game. Some very large planets are made up mostly of liquids and compressed gases. These are called gas giants. No spacecraft can survive deep penetration into the dense high-pressure atmosphere of a gas giant. Even if there was a solid core, you could not survive to witness it. Gas giants may have planet-sized moons orbiting them.
The time scale of the game is twenty-eight game-universe days per real-world day, about a game month per real day, thirteen real days per game year. One day in the game-universe passes in slightly less than an hour.
Could Shores of Hazeron be the first massively multiuser online CAD system? It is certainly the first one integrated into an online game.
Shores of Hazeron enables players to design the deck plans of their spacecraft right in the game environment. Then players take those deck plans to a spacecraft factory to manufacture the spacecraft for their use in the game. Players even earn income when their designs are manufactured by other players.
Spacecraft are designed inside a Design Studio. Each story of a Design Studio enables a separate studio instance for players to design spacecraft.
Players may work together in the same studio to develop a spacecraft design. In this case, the first player to enter the vacant studio is registered as the architect and owner of the design.
Rooms are painted into the deck design grid cells like a paint program. The design grid may be moved up and down to work on higher and lower decks.
Details are added to rooms by clicking on their location on the floor. Details such as power plant and engine units determine the overall capabilities of the spacecraft.
Boundless Game Board
Strategic war games are traditionally played out on a two-dimensional game board. The game board is a finite surface area bounded by impenetrable barriers at the edges. The edges invariably become part of the terrain. The winner is the player who takes control of the entire game board.
Shores of Hazeron presents a war game space that is effectively infinite. There are no edges or boundaries. The winner in this game will be the player able to organize and manage the largest region of space; they will not be restricted by the edges of the universe in that effort.
A science-fiction adventure game must have a believable setting. In fantasy, it is acceptable to kill random monsters for gold pieces and magic items; it fits with the genre. A universe of science fiction needs to be more believable than that.
To achieve a grand scale of believable interstellar civilization, the development of Shores of Hazeron is progressing in two main phases.
Phase one is the empire building space war game aspect of Shores of Hazeron. In phase one, the players themselves develop the fabric of civilization in the Hazeron galaxy. Phase one is designed to create the setting for phase two.
Phase two ushers in the science fiction adventure aspect of Shores of Hazeron. This is the ultimate goal of the game. The completion of phase two will enable players to participate in science fiction adventures set in a believable and unpredictable backdrop of interstellar war and politics.
I love science fiction. I wish I could take a ride on a space ship but there's a long line of people ahead of me. The only way I'll ever get there is to tell the story myself; I hope you enjoy my notion of what it might be like.
My greatest hope is that someone will be inspired by my work to reach harder for the possible. Someone get us off this planet. There is so much more to life than the petty squabbles of our crowded world.