Over the weekend I printed out the last version of the technology tree I was working on and put it through another couple revisions. Enough honestly, that to continue I’ll need to print out another one so I’m not trying to read through my handwritten corrections.

The tech tree looks more like a spell list, and is even organized into eight schools. The basic idea is to steal or research technology much as you would spells as a magic-user. (I wrote a blog post to that effect some time ago.)

So far I have two or three of the schools (or ‘branches’) complete to my satisfaction. Working at my current pace, I have no idea how long it’ll take for me to finish.

Right now my main problem is working out the progression of uh, hunting and forestry beyond the first few levels. I mean, not every branch necessarily falls within the same realm of science but I’m blocked for some reason.

I can’t say quite why. It’s just taking a long time. Update: I may have actually figured out the next step by blogging about it.

I originally thought something along the lines of a uh, I don’t know, cloning or weird… see, some of the tech mixed back and forth so I wasn’t sure which branches it was originally attached to… agriculture had grafting and medicine and I was thinking it might lead to cloning but I came up with something better.

Anyway, Alpha Centauri has these environmental technologies that improve efficiency of energy usage, and it occurred to me that it might fit really well here. I’m glad I played AC, it’s given me a lot of new concepts to pay around with.

Obviously I still need to work out all whatever I might have just thought up, but I scribbled a bunch more notes on my diagram and now I REALLY need to print out a new version to work on.

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I don’t recall if I’ve blogged about the use of the tech tree I’ve been working on: I have only rough ideas of how the mechanics work at the moment, in part because I wanted a complete rough draft of the technology to work with first.

Every ‘race’ had a free technology, which they presumably make use of, and every time that race (or culture, let’s be accurate here) ‘levels,’ it gains a new tech. They can also steal tech from other races or cultures.

Now, the technology by itself isn’t useless, but neither does it lead immediately to ray guns, robots, and space ships.

Instead, once you have a technology you need your culture’s sages to start banging rocks together to create inventions and innovations.

Generally speaking an invention is a random encounter within a single branch of technology that may or may not give you more XPs for the good stuff: innovations. Innovations are tasty combinations of two or more technologies that provide mechanical benefits.

Many of the technologies will have inherent bonuses that complement others. The development of philosophy for example, will help you develop sciences. Development of math helps basically everything bit also makes engineering way better. Stuff like that.

Technologies aren’t mutually exclusive, either! Nor is one dependent upon another. So in a way, it’s a really unconventional tech tree. But hopefully a lot more flexible for its differences.