The Art of Space Travel

We are gliding across the world in total silence, with absolute smoothness; a motion of stately grace which makes me feel godlike as I stand erect in my sideways chariot, cruising the night sky.
– Michael Collins (astronaut)

Outer Space and Beauty have always been two concepts that often find a great kinship in each other, both in the stunning visuals of the universe around us but also through the lenses of our own imaginations. While Tau Station will always strive to harness the boundless creativity of your own imagination through engaging narrative and an immersive universe, we are just as committed to presenting you with stunning visuals crafted by the deft fingers of our talented artists.

This week, we would like to present you with various images inspired by the concept of travel within the Tau Station Universe.

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Mission Dispatches : Chapter Two

We love great stories! It’s something we simply cannot overstate. A couple of months ago we brought you our first batch of Mission Dispatches.  Our narrative designers have been busy crafting tales and stations, and while we sometimes find ourselves wondering about the worrying giggles emanating from their brainstorming sessions, we feel it’s time to bring you another glimpse into some of Tau Station’s upcoming stories!

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Tau Station and the Art of Storytelling

At the heart of the Tau Station Universe is the wonderful belief that we are all creators and collaborators in the narrative of life. Carl Sagan, the astronomer and popular evangelist of science education, once said “We are made of star stuff.” We are also made of story stuff.  From the beginnings of humanity, from the moment we gazed deeply into the night sky, we began to ask questions about our place in this greater universe.  And out of this wonderment, this awesome and even frightening sense of the immensity spread out before us, we began to pull down the stars, to hold them within, and to struggle with the hopelessness of our own insignificance.  We began to create stories as a way to give the world around us structure, meaning, and answers. The stories we created offered us a way to become active participants rather than blind, passive victims of circumstance. The stories placed value and meaning in our existence. Through the act of sharing, stories affirmed the commonality of our experiences and relationships. Stories allowed us to bond, to face the darkness together, to communicate, and to give us a sense of continuity as a species.

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The Inventory Story

Recently, we’ve been hard at work developing the inventory system’s UI and UX with added focus on accessibility for vision or motor impaired adventurers. Read on below for a look into our on-going process as we develop your inventory, one of the staples of every great adventure.

Obligatory disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress and is subject to change and any weapons or items on the screens below are placeholders.

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Mission Dispatches

As we’ve mentioned before, there’s nothing we love quite so much as a great story. We love telling them, reading them, and living them. To us, a perfect tale is one which captures our imagination and takes us on an adventure, one that engages us and allows us to glimpse some of the mysteries of the universe. This is what we hope to bring to you through Tau Station’s missions.

As it happens, it’s time for another update on the missions we’ve been working on, so here’s a peek at three more of the stories you may encounter as you explore Tau Station’s universe.

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Missions – Your Window Into Tau Station’s Universe

We love a good story. The art of storytelling predates even that of the written word, and we’re pretty sure humanity’s tales will be here long after we’re gone, possibly for some alien race to pore over and ponder what kind of weird and wonderful creatures we once were.

More specifically, the narrative is one of the core pillars of Tau Station and we consider it in every aspect of game development and universe building. Through Tau Station’s missions you’ll discover the stories of its universe – its histories, its people; the living, breathing, and evolving culture of a human civilization on life support. Below, we’ll give you a peek at three of these missions that deal with different aspects of a galactic post-apocalyptic society.

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The Tau Station Universe: Accessibility

We’ve always envisioned the Tau Station Universe as a place of escape and adventure, somewhere you can go when you want to step away from the world for a time. It’s important to us that we create it in such a way that everyone who wants to can explore and enjoy the universe with us. We’re doing our best to build a user interface that is accessible to as many people as possible, and in today’s post we’re going to share a little bit about the technical work that goes into that.

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The Tau Station Universe: Setting

For us, the dream of Tau Station has always been about creating a universe. A place we can escape to. A real universe that has depth, that we can immerse ourselves in and explore. We’re building a universe with words, and we’re excited to show it to you through this series of blog posts.

In many ways, we’ve been pretty traditional in our approach to building this universe. We started with the theme and the physical characteristics of the setting. We considered the history and events that took place, and speculated about how they would shape the people and social organizations within it. We thought about the politics, the economy, and the customs and daily rituals. And then we added one more thing to the mix: the science of it all.

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Even Side Missions Should Provide Meaningful Choices

You’re exploring the shipyard of København Station when you bump into Kane, the distraught owner of Citizen Shipbuilders. He’s recently challenged his rival, Chamberlain, to a contest to prove who can build the fastest ship, but now the day of the race has come and he knows he’s going to lose. He doesn’t really care how you do it, but he needs you to get the race called off and will pay you a reward to make it happen.

As you navigate Tau Station, your character will be offered missions. There’s nothing really unusual there; missions are pretty common in MMOs. A non-player character (NPC) has a problem and hires you to solve it. You do the work, get your pay and experience points, and move on. But we see every mission, even the short ones, as a chance for the player to interact with the game world and make meaningful choices through their character.

A mission is a story, and Tau Station is a game built around stories.

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Developing Tau Station’s Mission Builder

Mission Builder is one of the most important components of Tau Station and yet, ironically, it’s one that not a single player will be directly exposed to at any point in time. So what is Mission Builder, and what makes it such a valuable part of Tau Station? It’s the most heavily used content creation tool in the game, used by our narrative designers to create jobs, missions, NPC dialogues, and more. While Mission Builder isn’t quite one-stop shopping for the narrative team, it’s the equivalent of a Swiss Army chainsaw hanging in the team’s toolshed.

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