Of Universes, Galaxies and Worlds

3 views
Skip to first unread message

Al

unread,
May 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/26/98
to

I have heard that the "Zork" series is referred to as a "universe"
When one is going about writing a series devoted
to an area (such as I am in Kingdom of Amphibia)

does one want to refer to it as a universe,world, or galaxy.

Naturally the "universe" is all encompassing, with a "galaxy" second
and a "world" taking the bottom spot.

How big do you want your "universe" "galaxy" or "world" to be
and by what criteria does one set about when one is writing
a text adventure that will encompass more than one general
location.

Comments and suggestions please.


andreww

unread,
May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
to

Al <rad...@qadas.com> wrote in article <356B7C64...@qadas.com>...

> I have heard that the "Zork" series is referred to as a "universe"
> When one is going about writing a series devoted
> to an area (such as I am in Kingdom of Amphibia)
> does one want to refer to it as a universe,world, or galaxy.
>
> Naturally the "universe" is all encompassing, with a "galaxy" second
> and a "world" taking the bottom spot.

I've heard the terms "world" and "universe" used in this context before,
but not "galaxy"! Such terms are used to describe a 'system' which is more
than just the geographical locations: it encompasses such things as
history, animals and plants, mythology, units of currency, etc.

For example, the Diskworld "universe" is not merely a set of locations
which include the Unseen University and the Mended Drum, it also includes
the political systems of various regions (such as that of the Patrician in
Ankh-Morpork), organisations (eg, the Guilds), etc etc.

<Actually, I could have made a better example with the Star Trek
"universe", but I do not like ST at all>


> How big do you want your "universe" "galaxy" or "world" to be
> and by what criteria does one set about when one is writing
> a text adventure that will encompass more than one general
> location.

What does "one general location: mean - a town, a country, a planet? The
Star Wars "universe", for example contains many planets, many races, many
cultures, etc. And because of the concept encapsulated/expressed by these
terms, I think that you could say "In the world of 'Star Wars'....", and
get your meaning across, without contradiction from the overly pedantic.
In this case "universe" and "world" do not refer to physical localities,
but, as I said, an entire 'system'.

In one sense it is a flag to all that you create all the rules about this
place, and people shouldn't take anything for granted (that it's set on
Earth, that Clinton became President, that the telephone has been invented,
etc) until you make a concrete statement (or some reliable hint) that they
can believe that fact X is true.

Andrew.

Lucian Paul Smith

unread,
May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
to

Al (rad...@qadas.com) wrote:
: I have heard that the "Zork" series is referred to as a "universe"

: When one is going about writing a series devoted
: to an area (such as I am in Kingdom of Amphibia)
: does one want to refer to it as a universe,world, or galaxy.

Well, it probably makes little difference, although if you have a game set
on more than one planet, you should probably use 'universe' (I haven't
heard of anyone using 'galaxy' in this context).

: How big do you want your "universe" "galaxy" or "world" to be


: and by what criteria does one set about when one is writing
: a text adventure that will encompass more than one general
: location.

I'd say that the defined universe for your work should be at least
slightly larger than the bits of it the player sees. In this way, the
player never gets to push the limits of what you've set up, and is more
likely to feel fully immersed. The players should get the sense that
there is more to the world than the bit they experience in any particular
episode, whether this be in the areas of history, geography, physics, or
character.

-Lucian

Jonadab

unread,
May 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/28/98
to

Al <rad...@qadas.com> wrote in article <356B7C64...@qadas.com>...

> I have heard that the "Zork" series is referred to as a "universe"
> When one is going about writing a series devoted
> to an area (such as I am in Kingdom of Amphibia)
>
> does one want to refer to it as a universe,world, or galaxy.
>

> Naturally the "universe" is all encompassing, with a "galaxy" second
> and a "world" taking the bottom spot.

"universe" is used normally to refer to a fictitious state of the universe
used in a certain series, genre, or whatever. For example, all Star Trek
events occur in the "Star Trek Universe", and all of Spider Man's
adventures occur in the "Marvel Universe". (It is "Marvel", isn't it?)

I would think that "world" would imply that there might be other worlds in
the same universe that could thus share certain things with eachother.
They would share the same laws of physics, for example. (Thus, whether in
TNG or in Voyager, all parts of the Star Trek universe have the same
"subspace", etc.) Characters could also cross over from time to time.

I have seen written somewhere that any game which features grues must me in
the Zork universe, since that is the only place they reside.



> How big do you want your "universe" "galaxy" or "world" to be
> and by what criteria does one set about when one is writing
> a text adventure that will encompass more than one general
> location.

If you are keeping the standard laws of physics but inventing your own
geography, then your world could be in the standard "fantasy" universe. If
you start mucking about with the laws of physics then you'll probably want
your own universe. Of course, the game doesn't necessarily need to point
this out to the player.

> Comments and suggestions please.
>
>
>
>

--
From 501 uses for peanut butter:
408. Talking to peanut butter for at least 20 minutes
three times a week will improve your IQ.

My Current Quote: http://www.bright.net/~jonadab/

"I" /\ \I /\ I\ /\ I) /\ I) I) 1 /_ II "I" \I [" "I"
\I \/ I\ II I/ II I) \a I) I\ 1 \/ TT I o I\ [_ I

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages