Sci-Fi World Building: Cruisers

A Cruiser is a relatively fast warship larger than a destroyer and less heavily armed than a battleship. This is its naval definition, but the same basic idea applies in Science Fiction.

Mostly, Cruisers are used for battle but can also be utilized as transport vessels. They can carry much cargo but are not as big as Freighters.

Cruisers tend to venture out into the front line of space battles, where they can board enemy ships and open fire on the opponent. A bad thing to do is to put cruisers at the back, as their intermediate weapons will not reach their targets and most likely be useless to the war effort.

Cruisers are also often used for defensive purposes, and can be tactically placed around important capital ships and space stations. They can also be positioned above planets, waiting to bombard the enemy’s land base.

Cruisers make good bombers because they are not easily stopped and their huge hulls can carry a large amount of weaponry, such as homing missiles and warheads.

Smaller cruisers are sometimes used as shuttles to transport platoons of soldiers to waiting ships above. This, however, makes them vulnerable to enemy attack from ground forces, which can include cannons and missile launchers.

Cruisers are usually equipped with basic weaponry such as surface turrets and AA guns.

The next post will be about Capital ships and Dreadnoughts.

Bye 🙂


Sci-Fi World Building: Shuttles

A shuttle is a form of transport that travels regularly between two places. This can be a shuttle bus or a ferry, but in Sci-Fi, a shuttle is usually a small vehicle used for planet-to-planet transportation.

Usually, it fits a pilot and a few passengers but you can make them however big you want. Remember though, shuttles are typically not designed for battle and should really only be fitted with minor weaponry.

Like yesterday, I will give you an example to refer back to when you start designing your own.

The Epsilon-M6 Authority Shuttle can fit a pilot, three passengers and some small cargo. It is armed with small Ion turrets and a weak tractor beam.

It does not have a shield, but two starfighters accompany and protect it wherever it goes. It has 360 degree proton scanners and an inbuilt autopilot.

The Ship does not have much weaponry, because it was designed only to be a transport vessel. In real life, we don’t equip buses or trains with cannons or guns because it is simply not viable and unnecessary.

Only vehicles that are guaranteed to get attacked, such as military vehicles, are armed, and even then, they are not fully armed with six guns and seven turrets on each side.

This will be a short post because I couldn’t think of any more to say on the subject, and I hope the next post will offer more.

The next post will be about Cruisers, medium-sized warships often equipped with heavy weapons and defense forces.

Please leave any suggestions on the “suggestions” post if you have any.

Bye 🙂

Sci-Fi World Building: Starfighters

Starfighters are spacecraft intended to be used like warplanes in outer space.

They are often equipped with light weaponry and minimal defense so to lower the overall cost of mass production. They are also usually quite agile, able to turn and roll flexibly and easily.

However, they are not typically fitted with hyper drives, jump drives, or warp drives. Their engines are fast enough for what they are and often have low fuel reserves.

It is important you don’t make your fighters all too powerful as this can affect how powerful or intimidating your capital ships or dreadnoughts are.

Today I will discuss one of my own designs, the IU-Class Invader Fighter, and how it works.

The IU-Class is a small ship, holding one pilot and a life support machine. It consists of a metal wire frame sphere filled with glass, and two wings jutting out either side. It is highly maneuverable and can fit through small crevices and holes.

It is equipped with two basic missile launchers (non-homing) and a Ion micro-torpedo cannon, which can fire a torpedo once every 30 seconds.

The ship has a basic shield which is easily penetrated and 360 degree object detectors.

Its top speed is 598 mph and can be used in space and in atmospheres.

It is not heavily armored with top-of-the-range defense systems or weaponry, but it is cheap and easy to produce.

A common thing to do with starfighters is to make up different variants for different purposes. You could have a bomber, a reconnaissance transport, a heavy weapons ship, etc.

This will make it seem like your starfighter lacks a lot of things the variants make up for.

Starfighters are the “infantry” in space battles, compared to the bigger ships, which may be classed as “cavalry” or “artillery”.

Starfighters are usually expendable so you don’t need to describe every one’s destruction. They are also good to use in battle, as they can make the screen seem a little more crowded, hence making the fight look bigger.

The next post will be about Shuttles, and I once again will be sharing an example with you for reference.

Please post any suggestions you have for this series or the site as a whole on the “Suggestions” post.

Bye 🙂

Sci-Fi World Building: Governments

A government is the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office.

Most governments in real life are somewhat corrupt, but we do not see it. Governments usually have members that exploit their power to get what they desire, but no-one complains because it is not against the law.

If you want to include governments into your Universe, then I will advise you on a few things:

  1. Never make your governments “good”. This means you should never have a government without its flaws. If you do not follow this rule, you may end up creating a group which seems unrealistic. However, you may want this to happen so later on you can reveal than in fact it is not as good as it seems. Just never make them all good.
  2. Don’t create too many evil governments. If you do this, your reader/moviegoer/player will start to get confused with all the different villains. Create one primary villainous organisation, and focus on them. That way you can move their story on faster to keep your audience interested.
  3. Don’t give your governments unlimited money. This one isn’t a major problem, it’s just something to be wary of. If you create a government who rules a single planet, it is probably unsuitable to give them 100 fleets with 3 Dreadnoughts in each one. Keep their military under control and don’t let it get out of hand. Also, be careful of their power. If you have a single planet government, don’t give them too much power, because you want to save that for the intergalactic governments. e.g. If you give the single planet government a 60km long Star Dreadnought, then for the intergalactic government, you will have to create an even bigger one, which is just ridiculous.
  4. Do not create fanatical governments. This is a big one. Lots of people do it, which is okay, but just be very cautious. No government in real life wants to take over Earth for the heck of it. They’d do it for the money and rewards. For example, in Star Wars, the Emperor takes over the entire galaxy, and for what? What is his goal? None of the films ever tell us why he did it. For power, and… that’s it.

If you follow these guidelines, you will most likely create a realistic government with interesting ideas and views. If you choose not to follow the guidelines, then it really doesn’t matter. If it seems good to you, then it probably is good.

The next few posts will be about something I generally find more fun. I have decided not to do monarchies because I didn’t see it as important enough. I have decided to base the next few posts on Star-ships, which are a signature icon of Science Fiction. I will also be analyzing different movies’ and TV series’ ships to discover their flaws and their weaknesses, so you can try to avoid them.

The next post specifically will be about Starfighters and the most common errors World builders make when designing them.

Bye 🙂

Sci-Fi World Building: Nations

A Nation is a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory.

In Science Fiction, a Nation is usually depicted as the leading power of one planet, who unite with other Nations to form a League or Empire, etc.

A good example of a Nation would be a wealthy government located at the Heart or Capital of a planet.

A bad example would be a small committee of inferior life forms (in your universe) who live in a small apartment.

Usually, Nations will have their own military. This is often to keep order and peace in their lands, and to stop uprisings and revolts, but can also be used as a galactic fighting force to defend or attack.

They may also possess a fleet of warships to protect themselves from enemies or to assist in their allies’ struggles or fights.

Nations are often inferior to their League and do not create rules for their own planet. It is usually said that an Empire owns the land of the Nations included in the Empire. This would mean the Nation was inferior to the Empire and have to follow its rules.

Most Nations are named after their planets, but you can name them what you like, as long as there is some context surrounding the name. You wouldn’t call a Nation which occupies a dark, dreary waste planet The Nation of the Sun.

Nations overall don’t require a lot of planning or thinking, mainly because they are usually overshadowed by their intergalactic cousins. You really only need to focus on a select few. These will be situated on the planets your characters visit for a long period of time, or they will be significant to your plot.

This is a short post because I honestly ran out of things to say. The next post will be about Governments, which I think will be more enlightening.

I am also thinking about expanding the Planets post as I now see it is rather short for such an important aspect of Science Fiction.

Please let me know if you have any requests for Sci-Fi World Building, or if you want any other topics. I will be happy to include your suggestions as I feel it is important to involve the community.

Bye 🙂

Sci-Fi World Building: Civilizations

If you desire to add sentient, living creatures to your planets, you should realize that most beings like us live together amongst one another. e.g. A herd of Buffalo, a murder of crows.

You should also understand that a civilization is different from an Empire or a Kingdom. A civilization is, by definition, the stage of human (or other living creatures) social development and organization which is considered most advanced. This means that a civilization can only contain one species, which is important.

An Empire is an extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state. e.g. The British Empire.

A Kingdom is a country, state, or territory ruled by a king or queen. e.g. The United Kingdom.

An example of a civilization would be a tribe of cannibals ruled by a Shaman. It is not classed as an Empire because it is not a collective of states, and it is not classed as a Kingdom because there is no heir or monarch.

In Science Fiction, an Empire is a common addition, but Kingdom not so much. Usually, an Empire is a group of planets or systems ruled by an Emperor or a monarch. A Civilization is often situated on one planet and is smaller or more insignificant than the interplanetary rule.

Sometimes, you can create an Empire by combining several civilizations on different (or the same) planets to come together united. e.g. The Roman Empire consisted of many different civilizations which had been taken.

A civilization could also be a collection of minor Empires or Nations on one planet. e.g. The Human Civilization on Earth.

Often, a civilization could be a city or a town. You could create a planet covered in city and divide it into sectors. Each sector could be a civilization.

Civilizations, overall, are not that important (to me anyway), but I thought I would cover them before Governments or Nations because I think it is important to be able to distinguish one from another.

While we’re on the subject, the next post will be about (in more detail!) Nations.

I will probably do Governments or Monarchies after Nations but I will not be doing Aliens. This is mainly because I want to save them for later as I know it will be a very long posts (or posts). This is also because I feel that the creatures in your universe should be your idea, and no-one else’s. I don’t want to have to tell you what to do, so I will be covering them, just not now.

Bye 🙂

Sci-Fi World Building: Planets

I have been interested in creating a world/universe for a long time but never really got round to it. This may be because I don’t know where or when to start, or perhaps just because I am a heavy procrastinator.

Anyway, I decided to start this series of posts because I thought it would be nice to share some knowledge I already acquired about the subject. I have selected planets because they are the basis of all life. Without them, there would be nothing. I know I could’ve done stars or galaxies but I thought planets would be a simple, easy start.

A common theme in many Science Fiction themed movies or TV shows is to create planets which only have one ecosystem or biome. I generally believe that this can be effective but it should not by any circumstances be overused. Humans would not be able to survive on a desert wasteland planet or an ice planet. We would die of thirst, freeze or burn to death and be unable to sustain ourselves long enough to reproduce.

What I’m saying is if you decide to create a world covered in vast deserts or bleak, icy landscapes, try to inhabit the world with believable creatures and NOT humans. Only put humans on the planet if they have immigrated and possess technology which is able to support their biological demands.

However, you can design other aliens or animals to occupy the world. e.g. A scorpion creature might roam through the open deserts of your planet. An abominable snowman/bear hybrid could live in the ice caves of your planet.

Another popular design choice for planets is toxic wastelands or fiery hellholes. Immediately, it should be obvious that no life form could inhabit these kinds of world, but this doesn’t mean no-one is living there. You could build massive domed cities to keep the inhabitants same from the deadly fumes, or a labyrinth of interconnecting bubbles which come together to create a community.

You could also leave these planets uninhabited by humans or familiar organisms which appear elsewhere in your universe, but throw in a monstrous, highly dangerous alien which craves the meat of people. e.g. Alien.

The third common choice is city planets. These are planets totally covered in huge cities, usually at the seat of an empire or nation. There are several standard variants of this type such as the water-city planet (A planet covered in sea which supports an array of buildings, usually quite wealthy), the toxic-city planet (see paragraph 6) and factory planets. Of course there are endless possibilities, but these are some of the more frequent designs that I see regularly.

Finally, I thought the Jungle/Forest planets needed their own section because of their diversity. Jungle planets are most effective if you want a huge variety of colorful, weird creatures. There is also often a predator lurking in the bushes somewhere, but sometimes they just turn out to be little annoying bear things (Star Wars).

Overall, no-one can dictate how you make your worlds, and you can combine any of these or others to create a unique, fascinating planet for your characters to visit.

Check my blog tomorrow for another post about Civilizations.

Bye 🙂