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Old 07-09-2014, 07:53 PM   #1
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  • Jul 2013
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Post-Apocalyptic Myths Busted. Part II.
Hi guys,

As many of you already knows, recently, in my work designing and analyzing concepts for another weapon from our game, I heard that there hasn't yet been a hard science fiction video game. In complete disbelief, I checked the Internet and Wikipedia. It's hard to imagine my surprise when I came up empty handed.

Yes, the international gaming community has industry standard space operas (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, etc.); space westerns (are you waiting for Firefly too?); purely apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic games (Fallout, Metro, etc.); cyberpunk (Deus Ex, Syndicate, etc.); steampunk (Arcanum, Dishonored etc.); alternate history games (Command and Conquer) and more.

But it turns out that no one has yet made a completely hard science fiction game, despite the fact that since the time of H. G. Wells, it has been considered the original science fiction genre. The difference lies in its strict adherence to scientific laws firmly established at the time of writing. What really made these books stand out was their detailed scientific and technical basis and their realistic extrapolation from that.

It turns out that the relentlessly scientific approach that we've been building into every nook and cranny of our setting since the beginning has the potential to make After Reset RPG the first hard science fiction video game in history.

After discussing this discovery with our team and gaming journalists, I decided to summarize and share some of the most enduring classic myths about life after the apocalypse that we intend to do away with in our game. I remind you that this is intended for an adult audience, and in order to convince that audience of the reality and authenticity of our game, and by the same token to allow the game to really let the players immerse themselves in their characters – it needs to be truly scientifically convincing as well as being based on facts and real world experience.

Well, what are we waiting for? Pour yourself a glass of something cold, lean back in your chair and let's keep busting those classic movie and video game myths about life after the end of the world.

You can read the first part here: Post-Apocalyptic Myths Busted. Part I.


Myth: Year after year you and your friendly band of courageous survivors search abandoned houses for canned goods. Of course, sooner or later you find these delicacies, and feast around the fire remembering the world before the apocalypse.

Reality: The good news is that ideally selected, sterilized food in a hermetically sealed container can be stored practically forever if kept at a low enough temperature. The bad news is that cans have two weak points: the packaging is susceptible to destruction and the environment can be a destructive influence. The true expiration date of canned food that you read on the can is not the time when the contents of the can will spoil, but the time when the metal of the can will corrode to the point of having holes if the protective coating is scratched away. Beyond that, the processes of conserving food for home storage (probably not long, 1-2 years) and for long term storage (50-100 years) are very different. So, first of all most packaged products left in homes will be destroyed by rodents (as well as the package); and secondly, what remains even after 5-7 years is unlikely to be edible. Of course, this does not apply in arctic zones where the constantly frozen climate helps protect food products both from decomposition and rodents.

In After Reset RPG: In some places in the expanses of the Great Desert or the State of Eagle, 123 years after the Reset you can still dig up some kinds of long-storage cans (mostly from the US Army) produced even before the United Governments came to be. But before slurping down the contents of the can, make sure to study the can for bulges, check it with the Geiger counter, and pray.


Myth: World's gone to pot? No problem! You and your group can set off into the ruined cities and dig up some radical laser Gatling guns. You can pick up some Power Armor from abandoned military bases. Reprogram abandoned robots. And just start technologically dominating in general, forming your own technocratic Empire on the ruins of the old world.

Reality: Due to the fact that an EMP is one of the surprising effects of a nuclear explosion, all electrical equipment not specially shielded in the blast zone will be instantly and irreversibly damaged. The basic mechanism of action of EMP is called the Compton Effect. Gamma rays force fast (Compton) electrons to come out of the atoms at very sharp angles from the vector of the gamma rays that knocked them out of place, instantly creating powerful currents and a radial electric field. These fast electrons in their turn ionize atoms in the surrounding area (a cascade ionization) as a result of which orders of magnitude more slow ions appear, which move in the direction of the force lines of the radial field, creating a conduction current in that area. As a result unprotected electronics are permanently and irreversibly burnt out.

In After Reset RPG: Setting off the United Government's nuclear arsenal actually had little to do with the EMP apocalypse because most strategic nuclear units (those that were not destroyed as a result of the formation of the United Governments) were located up high, not exceeding 10 km above sea level. Most of the EMP destruction was caused by resonant impulses, emanating from the alien artifacts over the last ten minutes before the Reset. As a matter of fact it was this that served as the trigger for the nuclear reaction on the part of the UG which resulted in the Reset. All this means that most of the Past Era gadgets you can find on the earth's surface in 132 A.R. (those that by some miracle have not yet turned to dust after a hundred years of corrosion) will be simply unusable and irreparable. This is a new world, a new civilization in which the relics of the past are well and truly rare artifacts. The origin and existence of all of these artifacts is accounted for in detail from a scientific viewpoint.


Myth: You often come across gangs, raiders and just armed groups of people in general dressed in massive pieces of defensive material originally made as padding for American football with cool trapezoidal shapes, stylish shoulder pads, knee pads, helmets, masks and other impressive "found armor."

Reality: Football pads? Lineman shoulder pads? Hockey helmets? Iron masks? Guys, are you serious? Even if we overlook their unwieldiness and the discomfort of constantly wearing sham props from classic post-apocalyptic films, the fact is this sport equipment's real protective ability is laughable. Your appearance will be fear-inducing, but you'll die from one bullet, knife jab or even just a simple hammer strike. There is one small exception related to improving the wearer's mobility – trainers. that is why Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan and professional mercenaries in Iraq would often carry trainers, and change into them, preferring them to standard issue military boots.

In After Reset RPG: You'll hardly be likely to run into people in sports pads and idiotic unwieldy masks carrying hockey sticks and the like. Most things from the Past Era not made of synthetic materials have turned to dust or rags. The new civilization that lived through the Reset on the surface has already been making its own clothes, armor and weaponry for decades. However, as was already noted above, most things from the Past Era, even those without a functional application, are perceived as rare artifacts in societies capable of satisfying basic human needs. There are even whole groups completely devoted to seeking out, identifying, selling and reselling such artifacts.


Myth: Those who lived through the End of the World, as predicted by all major world religions, have been plunged back into the Dark Ages, full of strange cults and witch-hunts. There are cargo cults and other fanatics everywhere.

Reality: Sociological studies of the change in level of religious adherence among the populations of European countries before and after the First and Second World Wars have shown the opposite reaction. Rejecting the possibility that the Creator could allow such cataclysms, the number of atheists among survivors of those wars and among the following generations leapt from 1-3% before to 20-50% after. Of course there are always the crazies, but there's no reason to expect any kind of religious domination of society.

In After Reset RPG: Among the survivors of the Reset on the surface, there are many atheists. However you can find the echoes of the major world religions everywhere. Traveling through the Great Desert and the State of Eagle you can come across some cults and acquaint yourself with the huge, stable religious society The Indian Alliance, and small churches in the New Confederacy.

* * *

Keeping drooling? :)

Then support us and stay tuned for more!


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