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Star Control DEV DIARY #1: Our little corner of the universe

Published on Monday, April 16, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

You know the phrase, “Space is big”.  Today, let’s walk through just how big space really is, and how its scale fits into the Star Control multiverse.

Star Control: Origins takes place in a sector that is 120 by 120 light years.  This is a staggeringly big area, but it is nothing compared to even our local super-cluster.

Let’s zoom out. Way…way out, and we get to Lanikea:

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Nature video has a fantastic segment outlining just how massive this super cluster is. It’s an absolute must watch. Those tiny dots are all galaxies, and our galaxy, the Milky Way, is just one among hundreds of thousands of dots.  Lanikea isn’t the known universe. Far from it.  But when Star Control talks about the Precursors and other ancient beings, it is worth bearing the sheer magnitude of the galactic space that they inhabited.

Now, let’s zoom in. If you zoom in to just our galaxy, you see this:

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The Milky Way

David Buter has an amazing video series that helps guide you through this immensity. The milky way is 100,000 light years wide with 6 billion stars in it.  6 billion stars.  Imagine setting up a map with all of those.  If you were able to visit each star for a second, it would take you 200 years to visit them all.  Thankfully, Star Control: Origins focuses on a mere fragment of this area called Orion’s Spur.

 

Orion’s Spur

Welcome to Orion’s Spur. 

This is where our adventure begins.  The Spur is 3,500 light years across and 10,000 light years long.  If this were the Star Trek universe, it would take 18 years for a ship traveling at Warp 5 to travel across it.  It’s both big and interesting.  Just as Europe makes for a very interesting setting due to its geography, the Spur is very interesting because it jets out from the Perseus arm of the galaxy.  We will be spending a great deal of time dealing with the hundreds of species that inhabit this area of space over the course of the Star Control series.

Orion’s Spur and the relative location of our sun.

Within the Orion’s Spur is the Scryve sector, which gets us to our 120x120 light year corner of the universe. One of the books that has been an inspiration of mine is the Bobiverse series.  Besides being a super enjoyable Sci-Fi book, the author tries to connect us with the stars.  

Within that sector is a small yellow-dwarf Star that we call the sun.

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Traveling through the home solar system

And orbiting this star is, of course, Earth, which is where our story begins in the year 2088.  In 2088, Earth has just managed to build an interplanetary ship that can travel across the solar system in a matter of weeks rather than years.  While impressive, it is still far from faster-than-light.  That is an issue we will discuss next…