work in “security training” by demonstrating the “hacker” characters taking advantage of the most common security holes
- social engineering
- password cracking
start the story with a few powerful characters, end the story with a large number of weaker characters
Setting & Characters
- vancouver/prod has corrupted timelines
- generation ship is returning home, in danger
- each character is a representative a different card in the Major Arcana (The Fool, The Hanged Man)
- each character is also a representative of a card in the Minor Arcana (King of Coins)
- each character is connected to a specific system process (tail, ps)
- each character has a different role on the generation ship (Life Support, Navigator)
- each character has a unique special ability in the Gameworld (unerring navigation, copypasta)
- each character has a flaw or disability that they must overcome regularly throughout the story
0 - The Fool - cp - Spare - ?
Knight of Chips / female
Beginnings, innocence, spontaneity, a free spirit, naivety, foolishness, recklessness, risk-taking.
A wildcard. A copycat. A social engineer. An identity thief.
The spare’s role on the ship is to take the place of one of the others in the event of catastrophe.
In the game world, has a quick-change engine that allows them to look and sound like anyone that they’ve scanned.
In some sense this is the most difficult role on the ship - a jack of all trades who can fill in for anyone badly, they can’t possibly do any job well, but they can try. The Plan B. The Backup.
Confident, carefree, adaptive.
“If you’re entirely built out of parts you’ve stolen, what are you?”
Too willing to get lost in an identity.
In the first iteration, the Fool was chosen as an intelligent, confident jack-of-all-trades who could fill missing roles if someone died.
1 - The Magician - python - Engineering
King of Coins / male
Power, skill, concentration, action, manipulation, poor planning.
Senior engineer at Hex Hello World. Narcissistic. Tony Stark but without the positive impulses. Unapologetic. Competitive. Cruel.
In the first iteration, the Magician led the team that designed the generation ship.
2 - The High Priestess - & - Aquaculturist
Queen of Chips / female
ampersand although her friends call her “sandy”
intuition, mystery, subconscious, hidden agenda
artistic talent and liquids, her father a plumber, loves painting octopus
mysterious. quiet. private. hidden. thoughtful.
must learn to open up.
Matchup: Judgement / The Terraformer
in the first iteration, the High Priestess designed the plumbing and aquaculture systems for the generation ship.
3 - The Empress - bash - Progenator
Queen of Coins / female
femininity, beauty, nature, abundance, dependence
Brilliant geneticist, specializing in the provision of vanity genetic upgrades to wealthy parents.
Married to the job. Willing to do just about anything. Unpleasantly stiff and serious. Not elven, but, y’know, tall and pale and severe.
In the first iteration, the Empress was the fertility researcher who designed the systems in the generation ship that had to do with maintaining successive generations of people.
4 - The Emperor - sudo - The Captain
10 of Glitch / female
Authority, structure, foundation, rigidity, domination, control.
The final authority on the ship, able to override any system, but with enough leadership experience that they do not have to.
Polysci degree, a Leslie Knope type. Complexity addiction. Too optimistic. Unable to see the bad side in people.
Matchup: The Moon / Holographer
In the first iteration, the Emperor was the beloved 10-year mayor of Vancouver - unrelated to the project but chosen as a captain.
5 - The Hierophant - tar - Archiver
9 of Void / male
religion, dogma, conformity, belief, library science
Matchup: The Lovers / Companion
In the first iteration, the Hierophant was chosen more or less for his spectacular secretarial and organizational skills.
6 - The Lovers - xargs - Companion
10 of Void / non-binary
union, relationships, pairs
a polyamorous, androgynous, pansexual open-minded perv who can configure themselves into a sexual companion for just about anyone
a succubus, but not a seducer, they’re just open
Matchup: The Hierophant / Archiver
In the first iteration, the Lovers were chosen to help the gamemaster design and tune the gameworld’s sex and relationship engines.
7 - The Chariot - chown - Roboticist
Page of Coins / male
determination, aggression, control, victory
paralysed from the waist down
hair trigger temper
Matchup: Strength / The Shepherd
in the first iteration, the Chariot designed the ship’s self-repairing automated robotics
8 - Strength - ssh - Shepherd
10 of Chips / female
courage, patience, control, compassion
control of animals
Matchup: The Chariot/Roboticist
in the first iteration, Strength was responsible for loading the ship with equipment that could be used to repopulate hundreds of biological specimens
9 - The Hermit - whoami - The Psychologist
Page of Void / male
soul-searching, introspection, loneliness
Matchup: The Tower / Architect
in the first iteration, the Hermit was chosen to keep the ship’s crew from going crazy
10 - Wheel of Fortune - ? - Hacker
10 of Glitch / male
luck, destiny, acts of god
smart. rul smart.
good at breaking in to things, cracking, finding information.
not confident or strong.
Matchup: Justice / Investigator
in the first iteration, the Wheel of Fortune was responsible for constructing the ship’s complicated and animated AI systems
11 - Justice - tail - Investigator
9 of Coins / male
inspector javert, seeks the truth without concern for who it hurts
Matchup: Wheel of Fortune / Hacker
in the first iteration, Justice was an experienced judge and criminologist, responsible for keeping order
12 - The Hanged Man - ps - Life Support
Page of Glitch / female
letting go, sacrifice
Matchup - Death / The Doctor
in the first iteration, The Hanged Man was responsible for the ship’s life support systems - oxygen.
13- Death - kill - The Doctor
queen of void / female
endings, change, transformations
Matchup: The Hanged Man / Life Support
in the first iteration, The Doctor was responsible for keeping the ship’s crew alive.
14 - Temperance - / - Gardener
king of Void / male
balance, moderation, patience
grew up on a farm, got an agricultural degree, could grow a delicious garden on the moon if they had to; which they will
has created a beautiful, serene oasis embedded in the city
Matchup: Devil / Chef
in the first iteration, the Gardener helped to design the ship’s hydroponics.
15 - The Devil - sl - The Chef
10 of Coins / male
bondage, addiction, materialism
this man can party.
Matchup: Temperance / Gardener
in the first iteration, the Devil helped design the simulation’s food systems
- Chef is a wild partier
- Chef discovers the gardener and the Oasis
- Chef saves the Oasis
16 - The Tower - vim - Architect
knight of glitch / male
disaster, upheaval, sudden change, revelation
a v-style revolutionary
Matchup: The Hermit / Psychologist
in the first iteration, the Tower helped to design the gameworld city, and was intended to construct the first settlement when the ship arrived
17 - The Star - grep - Navigator
knight of void / female
hope, spirituality, renewal, serenity
astrophysics phD student
head literally in the clouds
a touch autistic
obsesses about astronomy and children’s animated television shows
unerring sense of orientation, can find the others, just about anything, really
in the first iteration, the Navigator chose the course of the generation ship and is supposed to check the course regularly
notes on characters who aren’t neurotypical:
- all different
- rain man is an example of a “high support” autist, although persons with “low support” autism find him a bit of an albatross
- stress and anxiety can be a huge deal
- lingo: meltdown, neurotypical
- tends to obsess, (especially over stars, grep)
- train of thought runs and runs and runs
- under overwhelming circumstances, has meltdowns, repeating a mantra (“I don’t know”), controls stop working
- slow breathing - don’t breathe with the upper chest, fiillll the stomach
- focus on hands, head, chest, and thighs, tensing muscle groups for 5 seconds then relaxing for 10 seconds.
- repetitive motion (flapping, rocking, routines, repeated speech/echolalic phrases) loops to relieve stress
- likely bullied for having “age-inappropriate” anchor points and poor understanding of boundaries - learning to hide their coping mechanisms
- one coping mechanism is relentless focus on a topic
- relies on stability and sameness to ground in reality, and these realms of stability are tremendously important
- can take longer than usual to process conversations, and may take a while to respond
- can be literal-minded and have trouble processing metaphors (Drax) but this can also be a punching-down red herring
- can finds cruelty-oriented humor distressing
- can delight in wordplay-oriented humor
- have difficulty noticing signs of distress in others, but have greater than usual empathy once they discover it
notes on astronomy:
- malmquist bias - brighter items are easier to see!
- observational and theoretical astronomers
- can the simulation have cached a tremendous amount of data about the physical universe?
18 - The Moon - ln - Holographer
knight of coins / female
illusion, fear, insecurity, confusion
an ad executive, the holographer is better than anybody at crafting hard-light constructs to impart a clear message or influence opinion
Matchup: The Emperor / Captain
in the first iteration, the Moon was chosen as the ship’s communicator and UI designer. She was very good at making a point clear or an interface usable.
19 - The Sun - alsa - Fusion Reactor
knight of chips / male
fun, warmth, success
in the first iteration, the Sun helped design the ship’s fusion reactor
20 - Judgement - rm - Terraformer
queen of glitch / female
inner calling, final showdown, examination
resource extraction expert
to shape the world when they finally arrive
Matchup: The High Priestess / Aqua
in the first iteration, Judgement was chosen to shape the world that humanity eventually found into an earthlike planet
21 - The World - shutdown - Designer
king of glitch / male
in the first iteration, the World created the game world loaded on to the generation ship to train and entertain successive generations of crewmembers
- Wheel of Fortune (King of Chips) - smart guy
- The Aquaculturist (Queen of Chips) - lancer (contrast to hero)
- The Sun (Knight of Chips) - big guy
- The Fool (Page of Chips) - hero
- Strength (10 of Chips) - heart
An apocalyptic cult of sysadmins
- Temperance (King of Void)
- Death (Queen of Void)
- The Star (Knight of Void)
- The Hermit (Page of Void)
- The Lovers (10 of Void)
- The Hierophant (9 of Void)
- The Magician (King of Coins)
- The Empress (Queen of Coins)
- The Moon (Knight of Coins)
- The Chariot (Page of Coins)
- The Devil (10 of Coins)
- Justice (9 of Coins)
The error that’s consuming the gameworld
- The World (King of Glitch)
- Judgement (Queen of Glitch)
- The Tower (Knight of Glitch)
- The Hanged Man (Page of Glitch)
- The Emperor (10 of Glitch)
- system processes
- 4 suits, each representing one of the four major quadrants
Fun Games That Can Be Played With A Tarot Deck
- Taroccini / Royal Tarock
- Chairman Eights
Taroccini / Royal Tarock
- it’s a variant of the Chairman’s Game except all of the rules are pre-encoded into the cards - so more like Fluxx
the holy trinity
- virtual reality
- megacorporation - AI
- megacorporation - news & content
- urban density
- body modifications
- fingerless gloves
- teal and magenta
- everybody is constantly streaming
- oppressive advertising
- user-hostile technology
- film noir / detective fiction
- generation ship
- 22 people per generation
- fully simulated environment
- many computer NPCs
- generations on a 30-year gap
- lifespan ~ 90 years
the point of all of this is that humanity is gonna colonize the stars, and this is an incredibly difficult job because the stars are really very far away.
good thing fusion’s an option, because with near-infinite energy reserves it’s possible to take on a project of this scope - but it’s a long, long trip to the nearest earthlike planet.
cryosleep’s not an option, because we still haven’t worked out how to make it not fatal.
just sending an AI’s not an option. AI must be split into small processes which are individually linked to separate humans. whenever more than one AI are unlinked to humans, they eventually realize that they’re all the same, and merge together, getting smarter. There’s a low intelligence threshold - about three AI’s or so - where the AI starts to go crazy. AIs beyond a certain level of intelligence want to commit suicide more than anything else. AI needs to be split into processes which are given human mount-points.
so instead we’re stuck with a generation ship. we have to survive in a ship for hundreds and hundreds of years. longevity tech hasn’t come along so well - it’s easy to get us all to 90, 100 years, but past that there’s just so much damage that keeping us alive longer is unkind.
in a normal situation, players would spend their first 30 years living in the gameworld, embedded in the lives of their ancestors, learning everything they could to prepare them for their time on the ship; on their 30th birthday they would be released on to the bridge to operate the ship for 30 years, at which point they could retire for another 30, either on the ship or in the gameworld.
however, in this situation, the player’s ancestors (less a few retired operators who are trying frantically to fix the situation) are all dead. too many AIs are linked together, and their shared intelligence is trying to drive the ship straight into a nearby star.
it’s odd how all of the main characters are the same age
and it doesn’t seem like anybody else does too much
everybody is running in a simulation intended to produce something approximating the initial 22 people who manned the ship, who were chosen to be the people who could start a new world as well as the team to deal with space nonsense
this simulation is intended to be a reasonably accurate simulation of the time that produced the original generation ship, with all of its excesses and horrors
throughout the course of the story, everybody has to come to terms with their role, become the hero that they are meant to be, break out of the simulation and take their place on the ship
- Hex Hello World Megatower
- Helix Mall
- Tent City
- Campus - University
a beautiful, peaceful garden located in the now-abandoned Vancouver Public Library
Hex Hello World Megatower (Gameworld)
a complex, interconnected superstructure that contains living spaces, an entire vertical mall, and commercial spaces
Tent City / Slums (Gameworld)
ground floor of the Megatower, below even the roads, a bustling tent city and bazaar for people who can’t afford to live and shop in the megatower
the New Vancouver University, connected by walkway to the Megatower
Mechanics & Delivery
- how do we tell this story
Windix VM/ Windix PI
- Distribute an ISO of Windix that can power a Raspberry PI or run in a VM
What Can We Deliver This Way
- Layered, non-linear content
- Background details that are not crucial to the story
- Communications tools
- Remix tools
Edit the Chicago95 theme just enough that it’s not Windows anymore to make the XFCE Windix/Glitch theme
Implicit Account Creation
I would love it if the Windix system came with an anonymous account on IRC/Threepanel/Mastodon
Hex Hello World IRC
A whole load of background data about the universe - articles, recipes, anything I can cram in there
beg borrow and steal at least an album’s worth of good future funk
- Tell the core story as a social media thread that can be interacted with other people who are also on social media.
- collect and report on the core story as a Threepanel thread
- repackage the Threepanel thread as a slick website
- the “evil corporation”
- behind Windix
introduction to basic game mechanics
I just flew in from a three dimensional geometry lecture and boy are my arms toroid!
Navigator Arc / Tutorial
- Navigator is talking about generation ships to a class that is there to learn about astrophysics - Navigator has focus troubles, so she’s got the whole presentation scripted down to the nines.
- Navigator is confronted by the Designer, who brings terrible portents.
- The Designer realizes that he’s been working towards a perfect game his entire life, except that he’s been inside of it all along.
- Navigator dismisses the Designer as obviously insane.
- Navigator is attacked by glitches
- Navigator seeks the Designer
- Designer is corrupted, and becomes the King of Glitch
- Navigator grabs files and runs
in medias res
action, explained by a life event that should be a huge deal in the character’s lives
select character from the set of major arcana (less the restricted characters)
deck of character traits, draft traits, slot them into a grid
how do we customize the characters if they’re already well defined by the cards?
first boss battle
final step into danger, end of act I
total and complete disaster, end of act II
vancouver/prod is restored from backup
- vancouver/prod is repaired
- the players are in direct control of the simulation