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Monomolecular Edge
6th Jan, 2010

The first monomolecular edge blades turn up in the Stone Age as obsidian based prismatic blades, and later in the Atomic Age in glass scalpels used in cardiac surgery. While incredibly sharp, and even used by the Aztecs in construction of the Macuahuitl, they are ineffective at defeating metal based armours – let alone the advanced ceramics of the the 41st millennium. A sharp blade, even one a mere molecule wide at the cutting edge, can not cut through such tough materials.

The monomolecular edge really comes into it own with the development of phase field technologies and the ability to imbue phase into materials, to produce ‘phased materials’, also know as ‘exotics’. Using this technology an advanced ceramic blade, or a metal blade with bonded diamond edge, can be phased to imbue it with unearthly abilities. The most common imparted ability is a ‘power field’ effect seen in the far more advanced ‘power sword’ (dealt with below). The power field effect is a phenomena where a material touched by the outside of the field (the blade conducts the field to the surface) is ‘softened’ as the bonded between molecules are drastically weakened and even negated. This allows a relatively ‘fragile’ blade to cut through very tough materials with ease.

Read the rest of this entry »

3D Head Sculpt
7th Oct, 2009

This has been added to the 3D models page. This was a lot of fun to sculpt, especially shapes like the eyes, nose and ears. There were not crafted in a sculpting program like mudbox or zbrush but instead I crafted these by pushing vertexes about and cutting cut polygons – just to see if I could: and it turns out I could! The ear wire is interesting as a piece of sculpture in and of itself – I tried to keep it all quads like the rest of the sculpt, and in turned into a bit like a 3D puzzle. It does have some triangles in it, but wouldn’t take much to make it all quads (and port it over to something like zbrush to subdivide). It’s not perfect but not bad for a first attempt (first attempt of sculpting a head – not used the program!)

Over on  the Troll Forged Miniatures website there has been a lot of chatter about rapid prototyping, and I thought I would add this model to my site. I would be nice to have enough time to sculpt up some Space Marines heads, or AFG (Artificial Flesh Golem) heads, along with armour and such in 3D and rapid prototype them?

Marine Power Armour Stealth tech
30th Sep, 2009

This has been added to the Tactical Gear page of the main site. It details the marine’s steal technologies, both evasion and detection. I wanted to introduce some ideas for tactical options when out in the field, especially is caught in the open. Active camouflage is something modern militaries have been working on for a while, though how useful it would be against IR sensors etc. is debatable (hence I also threw in IR suppression tech.)

Active Camouflage

The armour is covered in coating which adapts its colour to it’s surroundings. Depending on the coating types the surface of the armour can alter it’s appearance, colour, luminance and reflective properties to allow the marine to blend into his surroundings. The camouflage is used by the marine when out in the open (not within STC like structures/ Ecorium) and allows them to close with enemies that may fee the Emperor’s justice.

  • Dark Age technomancy: A mythical cloaking device. A marine wearing this disappears and can not be detected.
  • ‘OLED’ based AC: The armour is coating in a form if ‘organic light emitting diodes’ only more complex and technically ‘alive’. The armour collects video data of the surroundings an maps it onto the surface of the armour, and can match most luminance levels. It is not perfect, the marines can still be seen, and any movement really gives the game away. If stationary the marine is practically invisible, though ‘unnoticeable’ would be a better description, especially in complex and detailed environments like jungle or rubble.
  • Pigment based AC: A simpler form of AC similar to ‘e-paper’. It lacks luminance, and can not match ambient light levels.
  • None: Some Chapters do not have this function, or refuse to use it. The armour is locked to chapter colours, or painted over.

Some radiation is harder to suppress like infra-red. To deal with this the armour’s cooling system is routed through heat exchangers to power up ‘Thermoelectric cells‘. The takes all heat and converts it to electricity and is mainly a power conservation system. Combined with the ceramite insulation properties of the armour, the conservation system as the side effect of dropping the IR signature of the marine to virtually nil. The marines can still be seen, the outline etc. but they blend in with the background temp perfectly. However if they stand in front of a heat source their body will block it and they can be seen. Positioning is important when utilizing IR ‘invisibility’.

Use of this AC function allows marines to suddenly appear from nowhere and get into the thick of melee causing havoc (and uses the local enemy as a ‘meat shield’). Once in close the armour flashes to their Chapter colours as they butcher the enemy. If the enemy is ruthless and fires on their own kind in an attempt to kill the marines they find that marines are quite hard to kill and such actions can be detrimental to morale. This ‘sneak and explode’ style of combat is the hall mark of marines, but they also use sniper tactics and will often take out artillery and other snipers before getting into the thick of it (they do not assume the enemy command will respect the lives of their own side). The marines are less famous for this tactic but only because they are so good at it – as often the enemy has a clue where or who the sniper is.

Eye system

The auto-sense system includes two front mounted (stereoscopic) vid-sensors in the helmet. These sensors are surface mounted into a recesses, so that behind the eye is solid armour. The sensors are linked to the Convent, which in turn is linked directly into the marines’s visual cortex. The auto-sense system bypasses the marine’s natural eyes. The eye sensor has a number of interesting technologies.

  • Wide spectrum: The sensors can detect a wide spectrum of radiation, including infra-red and ultraviolet (black light). All the information is processed by the Covenet to render the image the marines will see. Often non-visible light is used by the Covenet to figure out what object are, and outline and mark them with icons.
  • Non-stick: The eye lens of the auto-sense system is hydrophobic and naturally resists water, and other fluids. It is a form of non-stick surface, like Polyester (teflon), only better. Fluid and gore may simply not stick and is repelled.
  • Eyelid: In reality the non-stick coating is not 100%, and some sticking occurs; scratches or acid damage would give some purchase. It is almost impossible for the marine to use his armoured gauntlets to wipe his eyes as they are too hard, even the padded grip tips do no yield enough due to their solid backing. To clear the lens of contamination a mechanical lid, made of a tough transparent membrane, is used. It is housed in the upper part of the eye armour.

Trial of Fear – Update
16th Sep, 2009

This has been added to the Space Marine Creation page on the main website. It is a reworking of the trail of fear and incorporates some ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while. I was reminded of it when posting on WarSeer abut marines. There are a lot of things that need updating and bring into line with the background (or explaining the loop holes better 😉 )

A full battle brother’s blood and bodily fluids contains potent genetic maintenance agents that if ingested by a normal human will alter their genetic structure. This agent is the basis of the marines acidic and poisonous spit, and the ingestion of this is fundamental first step in altering a human into a marine. All chapters require the recruit to drink the blood of the chapter from the chapter’s grail. The grail ritual appears in all the chapters, and in all cases it includes the drinking of the blood of full marines and in some cases the blood of the Primarch!

Once these agents are ingested the effects on the body are traumatic and pronounced and many recruits will not survive. The Space Wolves ‘Canis Helix’ is probably the strongest of these agents and many die in the ice fields of Fenris screaming in pain. The Blood Angel’s seems just as virulent and perhaps produce the greatest physical changes, those mutants who survive the blood of Sanguinius and the sarcophagus emerge as a vision of their Primarch.

Genetic Alterations: As the agent invades the body now produces a range of hormones and proteins that are mostly completely useless to the normal human body, and in many cases harmful to the human body. As the recruit endures the levels of these new hormones and chemicals rise and induce great pain and madness. The perceptions of the initiate so they see things that aren’t there and are prone to suggestion. This is the time when the Chapter moulds the core mind on the future marine. Working with the sickness induced by the new hormones, the initiate is put through the ringer of madness until utterly broken. Then they are rebuilt and taught how focus, how to deal with pain. As they learn these lessons they are injected with geneseeds, which as they grow, the use the hormones and this in turn lifts the madness, restoring metal functioning. The initiate is then thrown into the Trial of Solitude.

Geneseeds: These new proteins and hormones are designed to support and feed ‘geneseeds’. Geneseeds cultivated chimera stem cells that under the influence of the new hormones and proteins flourish into new organs that further modify the initiate’s body. The geneseeds are invasive and can cannibalise surrounding tissue and convert them, they act like targeted cancer. As geneseeds are added they absorb the new hormones, and they absorb a lot when growing. New geneseeds have to be added at regular intervals to balance the system, and the penultimate geneseed of the Progenoids which regulate the whole system. The Progenoids can not go in until all the other implants are in place.

The first implant results in a major cardiovascular alteration often referred to as ‘a second heart’ but that is a gross simplification. This is sometime accompanied with corrective surgery, though many Chapters will leave a recruit experiencing complications to die.

Implants: Secondary ‘Heart’ geneseed implanted, Ossmodula geneseed implanted.

Psalm Verse: Text II

Thoughts of Grimdark…
25th Aug, 2009

In the original discussions of WarSpike the idea of a 40K mod came up. It was one of the ideas Malika came up with, and the reason there is a WarSpike forum over on Anargo. Great system ideas are easy to come up with, and they seem airtight when musing about them, but no idea survives contact with paper. This what happened with WarSpike, and in writing it up it snowballed into a thousand variables that all needed to be sorted out. All while keeping on track. Suffice to say, it took longer than I thought to get the framework done, and the 40K mod on Anargo has revived little attention these past few months.

Now wounds are going in, and the arms and armour are going to get a brush up may thoughts of a 40K mod are starting come to the fore. With the new Space Hulk the idea of a WarSpike ‘Space Hulk’ mod, and 40K mod seems very appealing. In further daydreams of the mod, and pondering copyright issues, my mind turned to a satirical take on Grimdark.

Grimdark

The idea is to make a Sciror setting that is ‘grimdark’ and a parody of 40K. This means ramping up the grimdark to new levels. I am reminded of discussions on the old Black Library forums were my discussion of ‘Philverse’ often brought exclamations of horror and disturbance. It seems the greater ‘reality’ of Philverse has a greater power to induce ‘grimdark’. This is to be more grimdark by using Philverse (which Sciror basically is) to ramp up the logic and explanation of ’40K’ and hence contrast with the madness (because fact is stranger than fiction – unless you have my brain!). The madness comes from the thoughts and concepts of Philverse taken to their logical conclusion.

Armed with this new idea I popped off to grab ‘grimdark.com’ but obviously someone has already grabbed that, and so I had to come up with another…

Stare into the Abyss

Yep, that is what I came up with: ‘stareintotheabyss.com’. Not perfect, and it’s a bit of am mouthful (SitA), but it taps into a popular meme about madness and nihilism and seems like a good place to start. Next up was to come up with the setting, or which bit to rip off, but then it occurred to me why not go full Philverse? I thought it should to analogous to the fall of mankind in 40k, and the beginning of the age of strife, as there is very little detail for GW and I filled in all the blanks. This is easy to do with Sciror as all the explanations of the setting are in place. All it required is dropping the threshold for psionic manefestion and the result is basically a scenario where the vanilla Sciror setting goes tit’s up. This would be along the lines of the ‘psyker epidemic’ of 40K, except here it is brought about by latent psionic powers combining due to population density. Along with this we can chuck in the withdraw of the Artilects from the Mars Accord and the loss of all advanced technology, and to top it off the loss of billions of colonies and the death of untold trillion, upon trillions, of humans.

Colour Text: This is the end of a civilization…

The war is over. We lost. Mankind is extinct. Only the bio-construct remain, mere echoes of humanity, built for war. This is their story, their fight for survival, and their search of the Venus Bluegenes, Battle Nuns, Sisters of Sin, Amazons of Isha, Sirens of the Core, to continue their species. Their inability to form lasting relationships…  (OK, that end bit went too far!  :P)

40K?

Anyway, the idea being that all the characters and troops types in grimdark, I mean; ‘Stare Into The Abyss’, would be place-holders/ stand ins for other Sci-Fi games, like 40K or AT-43.

So a ‘armoured flesh golem’ = 40K space marine, whereas ‘Humo-Exo-Suit’ = AT-43 UNA TacArms (or Tau Battle Suit).

It means new designs for all the characters but the archetypes would be preserved. They would be similar to other games (as all these games are very similar). I may change the weapons for the ‘default’ but a weapon upgrade would bring them into line. So the Armoured Flesh Golem (AFG?) would use SSG (Steaming Stun Gun) but could upgrade to ‘auto gyro-jet launcher’ which would basically be my version of the bolter (with modal bolts).

I have some ideas for the space marines – AFG – that are more like plate armour in look but use the newt suit joints. They originate from corporate ‘paradise’ worlds, are made by humans not machines, are compliant with the dictates of the Mars Accord, and used to kidnap/ fight between corporation houses, and also used to raid off-world Ecorium (flesh harvest for organs, DNA etc?) Therefore their design in ‘logical’ to the setting.

Your thoughts?

Troll Forged Miniatures forum thread here: Thoughts of Grimdark

New TFM website
14th Aug, 2009

TFM_logoTroll Forged Miniatures (TFM) is a wonderful project and company started by Ed Fortae. It is one of those flash of inspiration ideas, combined with his hard work and strong vision, he has grown the project and attracted a great and very supportive community. TFM is simple at it’s core: Sculptors send their greens to Ed, Ed cast them up and sell them in the TFM store and the sculptor receives a royalty for each sale. This gives the sculptor and ongoing revenue stream from their work rather than a one off payment. It also seems that the sculptors are investing in TFM and want it to succeed just as much as Ed!

I have been spending a lot of time there of late, originally for WarSpike discussion, but in my spare time I have be busying myself with updating the TFM website, and working on the infrastructure of this unique project. One of my aims was to keep cost down to a minimum, as this is a start-up, and so I wanted to leverage new technology – i.e. make use of free online tools like blogs hosted on wordpress.com. The idea was to take those free tools and style them into a brand, but wordpress.com has some serious limitations, so the idea was to use the blog for what it does well; an interactive front end/ news page, and the hosted website as a static html website to handle orders (along with the PayPal cart system Ed set up). The two would then be blended together so it is hard to tell were one starts and the other ends.

All that was then needed was a way to tie them all together, so I used the theme for the blog and ported it over to the store too (with a bit of hacking!). Thinking ahead, and the need for access and easy to understand code layout – I put it into ‘blocks’ for easy cut and past to update. All in all it seems to work well, and keeps costs down. It also allows Ed to update his website much faster.

There results: The TFM Store | The TFM Blog | The TFM Forum*

* the forum looks nothing like the other two, but in a few years this may be updated and styled up too!

Anyway, I shall now go back to pondering the nature of WarSpike, and reading medical accounts of wounds!

Philip

BuddyPress – Spheres of War
1st Jul, 2009

I’ve been pondering social networks and online communities and how to take best advantage of these system to help development of Philverse ideas (get feedback) and work up the development of WarSpike. After reading this post: Use of internet to promote TFM and Warspike? by malika over on Troll Forged I thought about it and while looking as the functions of BuddyPress had an epiphany. We are all wanting the same thing, and this is how we can do it. I’m also reminded of discussions with Kage and the nature of community, I think the last one was on Anargo: Bloggarizing a forum.

However this idea is a bit of an expansion to what I previously thought was possible with my skills and only really sunk in looking at BuddyPress and the way it works. I was considering the main blog of BuddyPress would be for all things WarSpike, the main official blog for big news. Then (working) ‘groups’ could be made, each with their own group forums for each of the Spheres:  Technical, Tactical, Strategical, and Political. Simple enough, but then we could have groups for combinations like Technical-Political to form an RPG, and onto of that we could have groups for Augments. But this is missing the power of BuddyPress and what is can do, the WordPress.com which is based on WordPress MU (Multi-User) install and runs millions of pages.

Then my brain went ape shit as the possibilities flooded my mind. What if Troll Forged made a group?

Troll Forged could make a group, and that group could have a dedicated forum for the Troll Forged group, it could have a full WordPress blog to run as it’s main website with a news blog and static pages, just as I am using for this blog and the WarSpike blog. Not only that but the TF group would have the wire, where all members of the group can post news and links, and all while being signed in to this BuddyPress install.

In that instance, I thought to myself, what if Blood Moon (on the TF forums) had a group, or Anargo?

A full BuddyPress install could handle hundreds of groups, hundreds of forums all while linked together, each member can have a full  blog.

With ‘Spheres of War’ being used only for the combined edition (all four Spheres) of WarSpike on POD, I was thinking I could set it up under Spheres of War. I could move the Philverse (this blog) over to Spheres of War. All linked together with everything else.

In regards to WarSpike, the main rules and Augments could be held within Spheres of War along with miniature companies that use the WarSpike rule set (they could set up an Augment group too).

Makes me wonder if it should be done…

What are you thoughts?

Sciror: Background Meta-Framework
29th Jun, 2009

A meta what now? A background meta-framework is really just a whole bunch of descriptions of how things in the game world ‘works’. It describes mundane technologies, but how all the fantastical elements come about and function, an outline of what can be done with them, and the elements that are already assumed to exist within the game world. It is the base concept underpinnings of a full background. The foundations of the background onto which all else can be (quickly) built as all the heavy work is done.

Sciror: The meta-framework I am putting together is called ‘Sciror‘. It is basically all the concepts I came up with for explaining 40K technology and magic, ripping out all GW references, and re-purposing the remaining (original) writing for Sciror. Sciror is effectively ‘Philverse’ without any GW IP.

Once all the core concepts are shifted over, I will put together some example empires, factions and even isolated fantasy worlds are an example of what can be built with Sciror. The idea is to make world creation simple and allow for many genre without having to worry too much about how it all works, and all the while keeping all the Sciror based universes compatible and all ticking along under WarSpike ruleset.

More on the Sciror website

Sciror Forums over on Troll Forged

Google Adsense 40K style
24th Jun, 2009

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Well there’s nothing to really like about Ads, they usually annoy more than inform, especially when you are concentrating on something else. This presented a bit of a problem as I wanted to add some ads to my sites to see if it would generate some income. I tried to make them subtle at first, but they still stood out like a soar thumb. In the end I decided the only way out was to theme it in some way, and let me tell you the Adsense palette and controls are a wee bit limited. I wanted to blend in with the general 40K theme of the site.

I wanted something that that I could attach to the side of the main content. I didn’t want to put the ads in with the content as they generally pisses me off and I don’t want to do that to others. By putting the ads at the side, in the black space, if you really hate ads this would allow you to resize the window and cut the ads of the side completely. Seemed like a good compromise if not ideal.

I first thought of a scruffy billboard or notice board, themed to look like it might belong in some hive, and make a feature out of the ads in a tongue in cheek way, but Google dose not let you mess with the ad placement (and you can’t really twist them) and so it didn’t look right. It would also be too large and distracting, even if you could cut them off, I needed something narrower.

The ‘purity seals’ popped into my mind – 40K is covered in them!

Thus was born the concept of a ‘Adsense purity seal’. I always wondered what was written on them. I have a feeling it’s not really an advert, but there again the Imperium is really religious and maybe ads have to be officially sanctioned? The Ad-Mec make stuff and that would be ‘holy’ to them so why not a purity seal?

Anyway, I hope that it makes a feature of the Ads and makes them more acceptable in some way (I may be going too far in justifying this! But one look at my 40K Concepts Page and you know I also go ‘too far’ 😀 ).

The purity seal at the moment is a basic mock up. I’m thinking of further theming it with some Imperial icons, but not official Games Workshop icons as this would be going too far and I’m sure it would breach their IP (or at least they would be very unhappy about it). I thinking 40K-esque, or Imperial-esque, perhaps Russian double headed eagles and such (or perhaps Roman icons) to replace the little knight fella.

The seal may also benefit from a metal icon or end to the parchment to give it a bit of weight and round it off nicely. Maybe a skull imprint in the seal and a double headed eagle at the end of the parchment would look good, but I am getting ahead of myself. First things first, should I even be doing this, is it too over the top, and would dark grey text on black be less of an eye soar?

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this type of Ad disguise, and can it be improved?

Please comment, even if brief,  and thanks in advance for any input.

Philip

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Lasgun concept (peace keeping)
29th Dec, 2008

The ubiquitous Lasgun is the primary weapon of the IG. It is basically a streaming stun gun, delivering an incapacitating shock to insurgents to enable capture and later interrogation by the Inquisition. The Lasgun is designed with peace keeping in mind, but even peace keepers have to kill. The Lasgun has a secondary mode that is a lethal high energy ‘pulse’ setting that packs quite a punch. The electroshock is about 30W and good enough to stop the heart of most humans, and the ‘exotic’ laser can defeat lesser armours to deliver the shock. The extreme wavelength of the laser gives it unusual penetrative powers, and can create an ionisation tunnel thorough armour to deliver the shock. It can also super-heat the water in the body to cause an explosive expansion of stream. This can cause serious wounds (combined with the electroshock can hurl targets quite a distance).

The last mode of the Lasgun is a low power ‘laser disrupter’ mode. This is use to mess with the vision of a charging enemy protected from the stun effect (i.e. inside a car etc.). The prime use of this is to stop vehicles are road blocks.

All these modes allow the IG to be far more decisive in scenarios where civilians are involved. It has also lead to the IG view that it is better to ‘stun first and ask questions later’, the concept expanded to the ‘stun everyone and let the Emperor sort them out’ ethos of crowd control. However, the stun effect can be lethal to children and the elderly, and trigger happy Troopers have caused incidents where the vulnerable have perished to the shock effect even on the non-lethal setting. Lasguns have also be used in war crimes, torture and abuse. The most notable is the practice of ‘execute and revive’, and the use by ‘gangs’ (rogue element within the IG, or AWOL) to capture victims at long range.

The Lasgun is seen as a weapon of Imperial oppression and the preeminent weapon in psychological warfare. It causes great fear among civilians; who often see the IG as having no impediment to using it. The IG are quick to stun even over minor infractions, and some seem to enjoy it and are looking for an excuse to use the weapon.

Note: Some Lasgun have the pulse mode disabled due to excessive civilian deaths. Without the pulse setting the Lasgun can be ineffective against determined or protected enemy combatants.

Tech note: The Lasgun may use electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate and be based on a ‘graser/ gaser’, (a gamma ray laser), x-ray laser or ultraviolet laser as an ionising medium. If so, this is why it will penetrate armour, go through mirrors etc. Running with this idea, I would speculate that in strict STC designs the graser is not powerful enough to debilitate a target immediately on it’s own, it is the electroshock that stuns and stops the target dead in their tracks. It would cause ionisation damage at higher energy levels, but this could be somewhat mitigated due to the secondary shock effect and the associated lower energy level needed to pull it off. In this concept the Lasgun is a relatively low power weapon compared to regular laser weapons that used brute force photon energy to destroy targets. It only takes around 25W of electroshock to stop the human heart.

Wounds: Even peripheral strikes to limbs from a Lasgun will stun and take a person down. On the pulse setting a strike would stop the heart and render the person disabled via spasm; locked up in excruciating pain before loosing consciousness and dying. High powered Lasgun (hot shot?) may cause explosions of super heated steam to erupt from the strike zone creating large ragged holes in the flesh of the target, and induce radiation sickness. This is not a ‘humane’ weapon.

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