It might seem shallow, yet it isn’t, languages, especially other non-earth based civilisations is going to be some challenge, whether it is purely for science, whether it is to make a TV-series look more realistic and acceptable (my reason) or for any other reason, there is a larger setting to find common ground. More importantly, how to go about it, in Keno Diastima, I am setting the premise by placing a modern form of the rosetta stone in the place that they are in. I considered how to go about it and weirdly enough, the Japanese solved the problem for me on our side. A setting that is a lot larger than any other country has at present, in this I grabbed a consideration from the movie Contact, there we hear (optionally pushed by Carl Sagan) “Mathematics is the only true universal language”, well, it fits because it is science, science can be replicated every single time under identical settings. So when we consider how a more advanced civilisation communicates with one less evolved, icons seem to bring the bacon to the party (even one with vegetarians).
That was the premise of the solution for the space station, one that had its controls reconfigured, every button has a transparent top with reflects the alien language, but the image is one of our own icons, so when we get the larger panels, we can introduce more elements, coffee, milk, sugar, cream, and in these combinations, we need to add numbers, as such, we need a larger setting and a rosette stone is the first hurdle aliens would give us, to consider and scan for comprehension, to scan for resolve and to see how the language was understood. That is seen in the basic rule of communication. “A says something to B, B gives a response, A communicates that there is comprehension”, we see to forget the basic rules and needs in the digital age, but that merely increases the level of confusion, and we really do not need more confusion.
As such, the stage we design is one that we need to be able to rely on, whether it is at the bottom of the ocean or in outer space, confusion starts with a lack of communication and if confusion creates chaos, what does the empty space in our mind create? That and more was considered, yet in this, the entire setting of a few hundred icons gave me some dread. In this we are consistent in what WE need, there are icons for bathrooms, buying tickets, hotels, restaurants, yet when we look at the icon for library and bookstore, how can we see one and the other? There is the idea to add colour to give meaning, or implied use of an icon, yet we see danger as red, what if black or green is their setting of danger? These are all matters that come to the forefront of the mind and in this My mind wandered towards a interactive rosette stone, one that changes as a linguistic side was chosen, as such the stone (touch sensitive perspex) gets a larger station in this story, we need to adapt the stone to the minimum level of any person, as such they are all fitted with bracelets, 8 couples, or 8 implied couples with 16 bracelets, each with multiple icons, a larger station where we see adaptation to a new environment and it has physical and psychological sides, so what happens to the fear levels when we realise that we might be scrutinised by aliens? More important, what if they get it wrong?
It is one of close to a dozen element I am playing with and even as I finished the (extremely) broad strokes, it is a familiar path, I reckon that every RPG went through similar strokes, a stage we do not always see that way. Well, only 2 hours until Monday morning, Yay!