Style of Play
First run is just around the corner and here is finally the few key points about our vision. What style of play we hope you aim for and what we have tried to create. There is little bit of meta information about the game in this post, but we still strongly recommend everyone to read this!
Style of the game could be described ‘Hollywood drama’, we are not aiming on full realism but not to a comedy or farce either. We hope that you can experience really cool scenes but also live in the shoes of your character. So we hope minimum amount of offgaming during the game. If you want to have an out of character re-calibration talk with your contact please do it in the off-game room. Small offgame interactions in the game area, like setting up a scene are totally alright!
The larp is designed to be a tunnel not a sandbox, so although you have many decisions you can do completely independently there are few elements we hope that you follow as it gives you most to play with. We have tried to also give your characters ingame reasons to do this. So if you get a distress signal, go and save those in need! You can of course speculate with traps and all sort of foul play if you want, but don’t dismiss these sign signals on where the game should continue. The Old way prophecy is also written in many characters and into the back story and when all the signs start to point at it being true we hope that most of the characters consider it a sign (regardless if they believed Old ways before). You can play doubts and at times consider it to be a pointless goose chase but we hope that majority of the players considers it to be ‘our last best hope’ even though it is not much. The game relies rather heavily on solving the puzzles and completing the following land mission in timely manner, so this should be supported from the top as well.
We strongly encourage you all to play inclusively! If someone asks if they can help, consider it a request from a player to be included and if at all possible agree to include them. Human race is now in a situation where everyone should be useful. If someone doesn’t have any prior skills they should start learning some.
Play your character with it’s history and ambitions, hopes and flaws, and take it to the direction you want to go to on the level of intensity that pleases you. Take the character and make it yours. You can choose to focus on the themes that most speak to you, but we hope that you play all your plots and relationships. These are the two days to bring all the old wounds and family troubles to surface, because the world may end at any second and tomorrow may never come.
Our characters don’t have any preferred ends or destinies, so their fate is yours to shape - unless you have been informed otherwise already!
The larp’s ending isn’t set in stone either. We have a dramatic arc that leads to a few possible endings, but in the end what happens when the journey is completed is in your hands.
This is not a game to be hacked, won or overachieved. You will get so much out of the gameplay when you relax into the character and play to create experiences and emotions for yourself and for others. We are aiming for a lot of drama and you are encouraged to play it all out without resorting to comedy - even if all of it isn’t the most realistic stuff out there with all the lost loves and surprise relatives...
The style we hope is that of adventure, drama and tragedy. Give it your best and it will be awesome!
A Brief History of Time
This post explains the background of Ellarion Standard Time, the time system in use in the larp. The summary should be known by everyone. The rest is for geeks who want to understand why an exoplanet colony still uses a time system originating from ancient Babylonia.
TL;DR – The short version
All dates and times are written in Ellarion Standard Time (EST). Pretty much no-one except historians and enthusiasts know about earlier time systems.
In-game time will be the same as Finnish local time. Therefore any clock you see will most likely show the correct in-game time. 24-hour system is used, but don’t make a fuss if someone says “5 o’clock” instead of “17-hundred hours”.
A day is 24 hours, a week is 7 days, and a year is 52 weeks (364 days). Years are counted starting from when humans first arrived in Ellarion. The current year is 542 EST.
Years are no longer divided into months. “Month” is now a word meaning “approximately four weeks”, but January, February, etc. have no meaning.
Dates are indicated by appending the year by the day of year. The game will start at “542-155 18:00 EST” – i.e. day 155 of the 542nd year at Ellarion.
In space there are no seasons. During the generations-long voyage through space, months as indicators of time-of-year slowly started losing meaning. Years were still relevant as part of human life – the concept of “18 years old” still mattered – whereas January and June were identical. Many technical applications simply counted days since launch.
When the colony started settling on Ellarion, the problem of fitting the time system to the planet’s rotation arose. The first senate decided to establish a new time system, called Ellarion Standard Time.
Because the rotation time of Ellarion was close to 24 hours, instead of having everyone learn a new time system, they decided to slightly change the length of a second so that it matched the planet’s rotation. Thus the time system remained the same for all practical purposes.
Dates were simplified to be indicated by just the year and day-of-year. The day of first orbit around Ellarion was chosen to be day 1-001 (year 1, day 1). The length of a year was reduced by one day to be exactly 52 weeks. The axial tilt of Ellarion was so small that the planet had no seasons, and therefore there was no need to match the year to the orbital period of the planet.
As people spread across Ellarion, time zones were added to match local daylight hours. However, the majority of the Ellarion population still lived in the EST time zone, and the moons Osiris and Caelena also followed that time. Therefore, Ellarion Standard Time was commonly used everywhere in the system.
The reason for using regular 24-hour time in the larp is purely practical: having participants learn a new time system and wonder whether “20 o’clock” was late or not would not have provided any additional gameplay. It would also have caused additional work for the systems team, as time systems would have had to been rewritten and wrong clock displays hidden.
Similarly, we wanted to keep the definition of a year approximately the same, so that “40 years old” would still mean the same thing. The word for “month” is still understood, so that players don’t need to try to avoid using it.
Within these practical constraints, we still wanted to provide some clear distinction in the time system and distance players from the current world. The colonization of Ellarion was a new beginning, and deserved a clear cut from the past.
Welcome to the year 542, Ellarion Standard Time.
Sampo, System development team
Blog is written by several members of the production team.