8 years ago…
In the year 2059, Delta, a space program spear-headed by Wilson Dusk launched several hundred probes in the direction of all known exoplanets in a certain radius. Although this was seen as a brash decision, it was considered a necessary one, with humanity outgrowing their home world at an exponential rate. This new project was known as the Interstellar Exploration Program. The main goal of these expeditions would be to find another possible home for humanity.
There was one significant problem with this program, however. Each exoplanet is several light-years away. The trip from Earth would be extremely long, not to mention dangerous, making it near impossible for advanced lifeforms to make the journey. However, this minor setback was not enough to halt the project. Engineers and scientists from around the world joined forces and created the FASTR (Fully Automated Space Terrain Rover).
These were a breakthrough in the space industry, designed to have a rudimentary AI that would allow them to make decisions without human interference. This would be necessary when sending them several light-years from Earth, where conventional forms of communication would take several years to arrive at either end. The only interaction between the rovers and Earth would be occasional information sent back from the exoplanets. Once past the Oort cloud, all contact with the probes would be severed…
6 years ago…
It had been 2 years since the launch, and the Interstellar FASTR Probes had reached the outskirts of the solar system. By using a number of gravitational slingshots and new technology in spacecraft, the probes were able to leave the solar system at blinding speeds. Some were failures, most were extreme successes. In the last few months, communication between the probes and Earth had not yet ceased, but had greatly decreased down to the occasional recording or photo of a nearby planet.
Once the probes had left the solar system, all communication was cut, with the probes harvesting as much solar power as possible before deactivating all systems, leaving only their internal clocks running. The probes will reach their destinations in time, but for now, they travel through the cosmos in silence…
1 year ago…
It had been 7 years since IEP had commenced, and Interstellar FASTR Probe #113 had recently entered the sphere of influence around the Soror System. Completely removed from the rest of society and its sibling probes, the Interstellar FASTR Probe #113 booted up its systems with the little energy reserves it had while it re-adjusted its trajectory to create an orbit around the sun. Once stabilised, the probe opened its solar panels to charge for the rest of the journey.
Everything up until now had been carefully calculated from mission control, but dropping the rovers onto the planet will take extreme caution, and will be entirely up to the machine…
1 week ago…
Reaching its orbit around its destination, planet Cayopa, the FASTR probe had to run some final tests before dropping the rovers onto the planet’s surface. To make sure the mechanisms could unlock when the time was right, adjusting its rotation, quickly scanning the planet for possible locations, etc. The rovers won’t be awakened until right before it is time to drop them. For now, they sit in silence…
1 day ago…
In 24 hours, the FASTR probe will reach the ideal drop point in its orbit. After analysing the scan of Cayopa’s surface, several locations had been carefully considered. The only one deemed fit for landing was a large open desert in the middle of the planet’s largest continent. This site is flat and devoid of water, making it a fitting place to drop the rovers. With all tests completed, the only thing the probe can do now is wait…
You awaken in a small, dark capsule. You find it hard to move, and decide against trying to. There is a large window in front of you, and outside there is an enormous orange glare with white wisps streaked across it. Looking out, you feel small and insignificant. The gargantuan proportions of the orange body dwarfs you by comparison. Planet Cayopa. You spend what feels like hours soaking in the view. A loud buzzing sound startles you, as the capsule you are in begins to move. The mechanisms around you make loud metallic sounds. Your view of Cayopa begins to move as well. Your capsule grinds to a halt, and you sit there in eerie silence. The planet below, although now at a different angle, is still as majestic as before.
As the planet slowly rotates, you notice a large patch of yellow on a landmass below. You are almost directly above it now, and before long, you hear a metal lock release. Everything seems normal, until you realise that Cayopa is slowly covering your field of view. You feel a deep rumble outside your capsule, and red flames are flickering across your window. Outside, you can see other pods in the distance, speeding through the atmosphere like small comets. At blinding speeds you fly towards the planet, and you rock from side to side as fiery light engulfs your capsule…
Welcome to planet Cayopa, a wild and untamed world of danger and peril. In this forum game, you play as a rover that must make decisions that can affect the entire outcome of the mission. Sent here to map the planet and send back information, you get three actions per turn. You will encounter obstacles, some familiar, and some unplanned. You will be dropped alongside 5 other rovers, all sent with the same goal – explore and survive.
The FASTR rovers
The rover you play as is the size of small horse, with light tank-like treads, 2 fully manoeuvrable arms, a head that can swivel in any direction, deployable solar panels, a comms system and a small storage compartment. They are light grey in colour, and have lines across their chassis that can vary in colour.
How to make a turn
A die will be rolled for each action, impacting the outcome (1 – Horrific, 10 – Fantastic). Each action must be possible, (can’t jump over rock, fly over canyon).
Action 1: Relay information to probe
Action 2: Find shelter
Action 3: Charge solar panels
How to join
To join, you must make a turn like so:
Line Colour: -
And that’s it. You will be able to make your turn after the first scenario, because now you are sort of just landing on the planet.
Well, that’s just about all there is…
Unlike my last game, this one will continue on, as I have quite a few ideas and twists up my sleeve. I’ve always been more interested in a story-based game, so I hope you enjoy playing!
- PositiveTower (PSSR, Red)
- AgentTine (Agent Tine, Navy Blue)
- Askyw (Convalesce, Hot Pink)
- BowlDawg (Col. Sanders, White)
- Duncan (Grene, Grene)
- Evolution4Weak (Crest, Orange)