Making that long-distance call in Xenovita…
After mapping the galaxy and figuring out a way to travel from one end of it to another, we settled down to figure out how to communicate across vast interstellar distances using a method with story-telling potential but also pinned to Xenovita’s other meta-mechanics so it would have a solid foundation.
Josh drove a lot of the development of communications in Xenovita, which was patterned on the structure of modern real-life communication infrastructure and technology. Coupled with a little Xenovita subspace magic, some good old-fashioned alien “whodunit,” and some imagination, the finalized interstellar communications network was formed.
The communication treatise is pretty long and has a bunch of charts, math, and actual potential usage data (the extrapolation was that thorough), but the basic gist of the galaxy-wide network is a decentralized system based on ancient alien technology that utilizes a specific layer of subspace to function.
At its core are the ancient alien communication devices that can transmit and receive copious amounts of data essentially anywhere in the galaxy instantaneously. The small transmission devices are pretty much everywhere and all Gen-7 species can manufacture new ones. Installed in ships, space stations, and on planets, the alien transmitters allow any communication device in range of one, like a personal communicator, to connect with other connected devices on the network. The transmitter’s one downside is their inability to work while physically in hyperspace. This means that ships traveling in FTL can’t use their transmitters. A second downside is that since data is transmitted in “the clear” encryption and decryption are incredibly important to secure important communications. If a player isn’t careful, others may be listening in on their conversations.
One of the many reasons why a decentralized system with no data limitations was created was so we could have a setting where players didn’t have to worry about communicating across vast distances in their games. GMs can have their players galavant all across the Varuna while still being able to access NPCs, data, or even other player characters no matter where they are. That said, there’s a lot of granularity built into the fictional infrastructure and setting equipment for GMs and players that want to make interstellar communication a bigger part of their games.
Later we’ll talk more about communication and the central role communication between different species and groups plays in Xenovita’s setting.