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Post by Rapier » Sun, 20. Apr 08, 10:11

No need, I've already been doing some background work on how this might proceed. ;)

If you would like to suggest useful sites then do go ahead but bear in mind that we're looking at the back-story more than ship facts and figures. It's also worth trying to identify which sites focus on the game (and in which periods), and which on the novels.
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The Zig
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Post by The Zig » Mon, 21. Apr 08, 18:15

The best 2 sites I've seen are Argonopedia and the new X-wiki at TXU.

IMO the #1 site for X-Universe info is Argonopedia.

TXU Wiki has far more info on it, which is good, but my main criticism is that a lot of the info is totally new to me - and I've played every X game, and researched a couple of stories in the X universe. So I'm not sure where they're getting it all from, what their sources are, or how "canon" it all is (thus I don't know if it will help to "reduce the number of multiverses").

There is another X-Wiki here, but it's rather lacking in content, especially background/setting info. It seems to function mainly as a refuge for information that was hounded out of Wikipedia.
And one more site I found was here. This site has a cool X3 look, but I could find virtually no background/setting info. On the plus side, it gives extensive information about goods (example) and stations (example), which could be useful if a writer wants an accurate trade-related story setting, yet doesn't want to boot up the game and spend hours flying around finding stations. On the downside, it's X3 only.

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Post by gsheriston » Sun, 28. Jun 09, 18:58

Has anyone come across an X-Universe calendar? I'm not talking about a timeline like >this one<, I'm looking for a calendar along the lines of the names of tazuras, and mazuras - how many tazuras in each mazura? Is it regular and even, or mixed up like ours? Given that it's Teladi in origin, I'd expect it to be heavily slanted in the direction of profit-earning rather than rest, maybe a ten-day week (but still with only two days of 'weekend'). Anything along the lines of "thirty days hath September, April, June and November"?

The concept never occurred to me, until I tried to put a date on a headstone...

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Post by gsheriston » Tue, 30. Jun 09, 20:45

Thanks, Prof. X! While I'd got the names down, I'd forgotten that the conversion factors were kicking around too :oops: And, the notation system from Cantankerous' linked story is a fair ol' life-saver. That solves my immediate problem at least... Much appreciated.

Now, has anyone actually named the mazuras/tazuras? Or are they always just referred to by their numbers?

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Tenlar Scarflame
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Post by Tenlar Scarflame » Tue, 30. Jun 09, 23:02

Given that it's a Teladian time scale, they're probably referred to by their numbers. Any unprofitable hand-me-downs from their civilization's developmental stage would be quickly shed in the face of a host of alien clienteles. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. :P

Definitely helpful stuff, Prof X. It's worth noting that today's Zuran Timescale date is not the same as today's Earth Timescale date... so if TC is occurring in 768 Argon Era / 2938 Anno Domini, what is the date in Zuran time?

I guess we wouldn't know, because we don't know the "start date" for Zuran Time. I'd hazard a guess and say it starts at the first gate-swap that disconnected Ianamus Zura from Seizewell. I'd have to check Argonopedia to see "exactly" (:roll:) when that was, but if you know that date and you know the Years:Jazuras conversion ratio, you could calculate the date in Zuran time. :)
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The Zig
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Post by The Zig » Wed, 1. Jul 09, 00:47

This whole Zuran Time (ZT) thing only really came in with X2 IIRC. So settings prior to that can use hours, mins, etc. without apology.

And if you're dealing with humans, it's fair to say they'd take some time to adjust. Just look at British/American people and the kilogram/kilometre!

For Argon, I'd see the spacers being the earliest to adopt ZT, as they're forced to use it daily, and using just one measure is easiest to manage.
But even then, it's quite possible they'd still use the old 'Republic' measures among fellow Argon, especially in relaxed conversation and in idioms.
(I for one, would never say: "Scotland!? But that's kilometres away!" nor that two things are well matched "kilogram for kilogram", nor that we're gonna go "the whole nine metres!"... would an Argon really say - "Hang on a sezura"?! "I was kept waiting for stazuras"?!)

TBH I can't see planet dwellers adopting ZT at all. No way. Far more effort than it's worth. Especially when you consider that every clock/watch/independent computer system in the entire planet will have to be changed. Every working schedule will need to be replanned, including all transport, food delivery. Hourly pay rates will need to be worked out from scratch, along with rates of interest, mortgages. Financial systems will need a seamless transition through all this. Even worse, the length of a tazura may be entirely non-synchronous with the planet's night/day rotation.
If you start work at stazura 3, every tazura, that may be morning one day, and in the middle of the night a few tazuras later. How the hell would you know when to go to bed? When to send the kids to bed?! Could you go to bed with the noon sun blazing high, just because it's stazura 6 on the new time?! Given that the human body naturally uses light levels to trigger its sleep-wake cycle, what kind of physiolgical price would we pay for defying this?

Thinking it through, if any planet did try to inflict ZT on it's people, it would really be chaos, causing massive economic upheaval and huge social problems (including fatigue, stress, crime, etc.) for no perceivable benefit.

As for Terrans, they'll reject ZT out of sheer ballsy-ness. Can you see Earth with its killer tech taking on 'lizard time'?!? Nah!

In conclusion: I wouldn't worry about using Earth Time as the basis of your story - it's far kinder on your (human) reader! Just be aware that some of your characters may think differently - particularly Teladi, and other non-humans.

As a total tangent, perhaps Split, Boron and Paranid had their own former time measures?

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Tenlar Scarflame
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Post by Tenlar Scarflame » Wed, 1. Jul 09, 02:58

Indeed so... I was always under the impression that it was just the "space jockeys" that generally lived by Zuran time, the Terrans being the obvious exception (damn the vile Xenos and their heretical time scales. :twisted:) In fact we hear so little about life on the planets of the X-universe that I'm generally led to assume the Spacers and the Planetsiders don't see much of each other. So each planet would probably adopt a timescale loosely adapted from their homeworld's- I suppose a stazura on Seizewell is not a stazura on Ceo's Buckzoid, and neither of these stazuras equals the galactic standard stazura. Similarly, an hour on Argon Prime is probably not an hour on Earth, but they're both still called hours. :)

^--- basically what I'm saying is, each planet probably has its own timescales unique to that planet's day/night and seasonal cycle. But an Argon will still call a "day" on Argon Prime a "day," and a Teladi will still call a "tazura" on Ceo's Buckzoid a "tazura."

However, even planetsiders would probably want to keep track of the Galactic Standard year/jazura. They'd probably keep track of their own months/mazuras for the sake of tracking the seasons of their planet and other such things, but their own planet's year/jazura would be less meaningful to them than that of their homeworld and of the galactic community.

And it's probably fair to say that the Boron, Split, and Paranid have their own timescales that are never discussed in space- if all five races had to communicate with each other without a standardized set of timescales (or any standardized measures for that matter) it would most certainly lead to only one race left standing. :P So they'd agree on a timescale that's the most meaningful in their universe, but on their own planets they'd probably still run on their native scales.

This is all quite an interesting exercise in how frustrating the colonization of space can become. :D Especially when you factor in diplomacy with alien species. And we haven't even touched on language barriers, variable diets, differences in atmosphere/climate, alien pathogens... third genders...
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Post by SOTS » Wed, 1. Jul 09, 11:41

Someone should make an almanac ;)

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Post by Prof X » Fri, 16. Oct 09, 00:00

Apologies as it’s been a while since this was active, but I would like to echo and add to Zig and Tenlar’s comments about using Zuran time... that as the reader it’s about what comes naturally within the casual speech and idioms of each character, depending whether they are a more of a ‘space jockey’ or planet dweller. Consistency is the key within a story as a whole.

There have been some great story threads posted in this section that run to numerous pages and several have been recommended for inclusion in the Superbox. With this in mind perhaps I might suggest that the authors could check for timescale consistencies before submitting anything for publication; by seeking out any rogue “seconds/minutes/hours/weeks/months/years” that were not specifically intended to be included (using the “find” function would be one way of doing this ;) )
gsheriston wrote:Days. I’m planetside, it’s days again.
I like this idea as a good reason to explain the deliberate differences in some of the timescale related language throughout a story.

Posting the information that helped you continue writing really wasn't any trouble and your gushing appreciation wasn’t entirely necessary... but thank you anyway for the warm welcome to a newbie stranger :)

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