What kind of syfy are you?

Seeing as we are all playing the most realistic syfy game out there. What is a Elite earth like world going to look like? whats going to look to fake. Thats the hard part for me when it comes to syfy are any of these worlds going to look passable I mean I have no frame of thought as to what another planet in another solar system we have never seen before is going to look like. should it look like Star Wars, Star Trek, No Mans sky. what will pass the it looks real test with this group. o7
If I cannot choose the Elite universe itself I'd say Hitchhikers.
I think there should be a H P Lovecraft dlc: you land near to the cursed city of Carcosa, Hastur boils up out of Lake Hali, you go mad and hightail it out of there, none of the other commanders believe your insane ravings, then more and more ships start disappearing in that system..... 👽
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Around 13k km diameter atmosphere roughly 20/80 oxygen/nitrogen the surface will be about 60-80% covered in water.
Orbit will be such that liquid water can exist on the surface for most if not all of the year.
There will be a spinning molten iron core producing a magnetic field.
There will be some life forms using either light or heat to provide energy used to extract nutrients from minerals which will free oxygen into the atmosphere, plant analogs, these will be both aquatic and land based.
There will probably be other life forms that get energy by consuming the plant analogs.
Sophistication and complexity of this ecosphere will depend on the age of the planet.
As a life long consumer of science fiction across a myriad of media, I am the kind that coils in revulsion at the use of syfy to describe it.
Assuming it’s a shortening of Symphonic Fybogel, or in other words, “musical laxative”, I’m going to go with:


...sets me off like a Saturn V on a moonshot.

To the OP: looking at ED’s concept art book, it looks to be leaning towards Mass Effect stylings for atmospherics. I quite liked how the recent Star Trek series did alien Earth-likes, you could see how it was different yet still familiar, like convergent evolution was going on.
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Science fiction, even hard science fiction in its main stream, got pretty uniform over the decades.

If we're talking authors and founding fathers angle, Elite has obviously a very rational, hard sci-fi tone to it, meaning its centred around technology, economy and loosely-agreed 'realism', echoing by it notes of such voices as Arthur Clarke or Stanislaw Lem, with just a touch of Frank Herbert/Issac Asimov's background space-opera politics added to the mix as a flavour (very rightly so on FD's part). The wild-west ruthlessness of the world also brings to mind William Gibson's dystopian cyber-punk tones.

Still, overall it seems to me that although the general tone is closest to Clarke's and Asimov's visions of the future, rationality prevailing over all else.

The Earth-like would be closer to a utopia than a dystopia, given how much space mankind was suddenly granted to combat overpopulation. With cheap fuel and widespread FSD technology, we are generally doing very well as a race and the Blade Runnery type of vibe would not make a lot of sense. Not that I wouldn't want to see it in Elite.

Perhaps a nice, procedural variation could be in place - on one hand a sprawling, overpopulated and overcrowded blade runner-like city in certain places (Federation?), and more utopian, clean and garden-like in others (Empire?).

Judging by Frontier's art direction, there's not much to worry about in that department, it's the gameplay mechanics and loops that are mostly troublesome.
Babylon Five, or maybe The Expanse.

However Elite with its cross the galaxy in about 30 hours real time flat out jumping has probably pushed beyond even the most absurd postulations of any sci-fi movie, TV show or book. If the technology levels in the game were reflected planetside, things would look and work far different to what we might think or expect.
Considering that you're asking about Earth-like worlds, I can only imagine that, based on the relatively realistic simulation of the planets and galaxy that we have, they will be like Earth.

What does that mean?
  • Liquid water
  • Same ground and soil colour variations
  • Similar, photosynthesising plant-life with minor variations on how they look. The chlorophyll would be green also, in the case of orbit around a sun-like star (G-class).
  • I'd also expect similar broad types of fauna to an extent - marine animals, insectoids, land animals, flying creatures, with interesting variants according to the relatively minor differences in chemical composition of the planet.

Wouldn't expect anything too "out there" though.
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