Science Fiction Technology is all over the map, with lasers, plasma, phasers, and blasters taking the throne as ruling mediums of death in the future.
However, in games like Nation Creation, a sort of tier and use system has been applied to generic Science Fiction tech.
This article outlines these differences and how they are used. Remember, just because a video game makes something look cool and powerful, doesn't mean it is.
NOTE: Please contribute. These are merely my take on most of these, and could do to be improved upon.
This article is a sister article to the Tech Database, but displays the general technology in the genre instead of unique creations.
Artificial Intelligence Edit
All artificial intelligences are incredibly complex programs created in a massive variety of ways. In all cases of AI type or structure, they are unable to self-modify their basic functions. (The 'intelligence' that is their basic functions is a 'black box' so to speak.) All AI types can be copied, though they must be inactive during the copy process.
'Smart' AI are familiar to anyone who has spent time in Science Fiction. It's your Skynets, your Cortanas, your Datas, etc. These are human-like intelligences that are able to grow and learn over their lifetime. Much like a human, they have a lifespan over which they grow and gradually decline. 'Smart' AI are better than humans at running and managing mathematical models or other tasks well handled by computing hardware but are less able to make inductive and abductive leaps of logic.
'Smart' AI can be cloned/copied, though new copies will inherit the lifespan of the original. While it is possible to copy the only the memories of an AI, a new AI cannot integrate these memories into themselves without also aging themselves to mirror the original owner of the memories.
Specialized AI are programs which may, in some cases, act much like their 'Smart' counterparts, but are designed to perform a particular type of task and perform it well. Be that analysis of economic indicators, management of a starship, or even human behavior they are built for a specific purpose and they are unable to branch into other disciplines- but are significantly better than their cousins at doing their designated task unless the 'Smart' AI dedicates much of their lifespan to the same discipline. Specialized 'Dumb' AI do not have a hard lifespan, and are merely tied to whatever system they were written for- just like any software.
Augmented Infrantry Edit
"The only way that this is going to make sense is if you let me add Gundams" - DouchebagChocolat (aka Demo)
Future Warrior' SystemsEdit
(Wikipedia - because it's a real thing we've just not quite worked out yet.)
One of the costliest things to make, Antimatter is primarily good as a weapon, not being a very reliable energy source during the earliest years of development and use (Expensive, harder to maintain). However, more efficient ways of creating and using it can be made, making it, in effect, one of the most space-efficient energy storage technologies possible.
While the process to create Antimatter is costly and will always require more energy to create than it gives off upon annihilation (although the efficiency can be increased by research), the result is still a compact way to release a ton of energy. When Antimatter comes in contact with matter, the result is an annihilation which releases the mass directly as energy - convert this into a bomb, and you have an insane WMD. As a reinforcement for this, approximately 1 kg of Antimatter colliding with 1 kg of matter will produce an explosion that is roughly equivalent to 43 megatons of TNT. Compared to the Tsar bomb, this antimatter explosion is only slightly less explosive.
|Highly explosive, yet capable of being very compact||HIGHLY expensive, and requires tons of energy to create (During early stages)|
|Arguably more powerful than all nuclear weapon types, and many other forms of WMDs||Requires specialized methods to contain it|
A general name for a structure placed around a star with solar panels on the inside. There are two major types of Dyson Sphere, which can be further subdivided- the Swarm, which is smaller and almost as power-generating and is something to the effect of rotating solar panels capturing the star's entire output. The other is the Solid Sphere (do NOT call it the Dyson Ball,) which is solid sphere. As an energy source, this version is largely pointless, but it can be a habitat that can hold quadrillions of life forms, if not quintillions.
|Incredible energy output||Huge industrial cost|
|Type II can hold many, many life-forms.|
|Difficult engineering feat.|
Energy shielding is a broad category, and perhaps one of the most basic. Through the use of generators which can generate large amounts of energy at any given time, these shields seek to deflect or disrupt most ballistics, and even things like lasers. However, they are not very efficient in the early stages, requiring a lot of energy to even operate.
|Can absorb most DEW attacks||Heavy demand for energy - as it is hit, it begins consuming energy|
|Fairly easy to design and create||Highly susceptible to failing from the generator being exhausted|
In essence, the use of magnetic fields to trap layers of superdense plasma to absorb radiowaves and stop ballistics. Unfortunately, the density of the molecules leads to massive heatbuildup that complicates operating and lowering the shields.
|First shielding available||High energy cost to early versions|
|Significantly mitigates particle weapon's ability to strike a target by pulling it off course||Can fail catastrophically (the superheated plasma is released into space) if temperature fluctuate too much|
|Disrupts Radio Waves||Disrupts Radio Waves|
|Highly effective against torpedoes/missiles||Takes a long time to lower|
Deflector shields are the preferred choice to handle kinetic styles of weapons, with powerful deceleration fields staggered from each other so as to bend the trajectory of the projectile away from the vessel.
|Works very well against most ballistic attacks||Constant (but high) energy use|
|No control of where deflected shots go- could be deflected into friendlies|
|Difficult to design and create|
Many weapon types exist in the world of Futuristic Technology, with many varying choices, which one is really viable?
There are two major types of weapons, Directed Energy Weapons (Or DEW's), and Kinetic Weapons.(KIN)
Don't get your hopes up. Lasers are not the be all end all sci fi weapons(At least, especially if they're only IR or visual spectrum light). They are beam weapons which are useful in space where ships are firing great distances, but they are conceptually the easiest DEW to mitigate with shielding or specialized armor.
Laser weapons work through projecting focused light through a lasing medium. Lasing mediums range from series of lenses or mirrors, gases, plasmas, or even semi-fluids made up of electrons. They are probably the most widely used of the futuristic weapons known to the genre, and are the earliest available.
|Available early in the game||Easily diffused with reflective surfaces|
|Not overly complicated||VERY energy demanding in order to do anything powerful.|
'Radiation' entails weapons that use the Laser concept/design, but apply higher energy EM waves (X-Ray, Gamma) instead of the visual spectrum.
|Highly efficient energy transmission.||Costs a lot to develop.|
|Can overload energy and plasma shields.||High energy cost.|
|Devastating against infantry.||Radiation poisoning can occur.|
Thanks to games like HALO, Plasma has quickly become a very popular weapon technology. While this is better than Lasers, it has its own issues thanks to the neccessary containment or generation of plasma, and its difficulty in projecting over great distances.
Plasma is basically ionized gas fired in 'blobs' from a weapon, with a lot of its energy being lost through heat.
|Works in space||Early versions overheat easily|
|Is highly effective against lightly armored units.||Most armor systems can negate a great part of plasma's energy and heat.|
|Works decently in pre-space opera levels as an artillery or heavy weapon.||PlasmaWeaponsEssay|
|Moderately cheap to use||Plasma Containment can be volatile|
|Effectiveness decreases with range|
Particle weapons are basically taking a particle or molecule, and making it go REALLY FAST. This type of weapon is usually very large, but there are ways to scale it down to small arms in later eras.
|VERY powerful penetration||Very energy intensive, and often unstable|
|Pinpoint precision||Low stopping power|
Good ole metal and gunpowder... or steel and magnets. This section is for your weapons like conventional guns, coilguns, railguns, and the like.
In terms of magnetically propelled kinetic weapons relative to each other- Railguns are lower complexity but lower velocity weapons. This means they're easier and cheaper to manufacture, are lighter but achieve lower muzzle velocities and require rails to be replaced. On the other hand, coilguns are harder to produce and maintain, have issues with heat dissipation and are heavier but they can achieve higher muzzle velocities and don't require replacement rails.
|Considered the most efficient of weapons.||Shields can often negate much of their usefulness.|
|Highly versatile.||Most effected by improvements in armor material/design|
|Greatest variety of payloads.|
|Simple and cheap to improve|
|Easy to scale up or down|
Anti-armor weapons that "disrupt" matter like disintegration rays in the old cartoons. May be explained by negating or weakening the forces of matter that hold it together or extreme levels of anti-gravity technology.
|Great anti-armor weapon||Takes considerable technology to make|
|VERY destructive||Largely useless against shields unless specifically made to do such|
|Terror Weapon||Terror Weapon|