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March 13, 2011

Spaceship spotting

by Game designer

When you create a new character, you can choose a hobby for him. Why don’t you pick out spaceships spotting as a hobby ? The name sounds pretty cool but you probably don’t know anything about it. So, first, we’re going to describe this interesting pastime. Next, we’re going to discuss the main benefits and requirements of this activity. After reading this article, I hope you will surely want to choose spaceship spotting as a new hobby for your character.

Shortly speaking, spaceship spotting is the observation and logging of the registration numbers of different space ships : passenger or cargo vessels, tankers, high speed spaceship,  yacht… and all the others types.

When spotting a spaceship, the character  notice its key attributes. He may notice a distinctive noise from its space engine or the number of luminous trails it is leaving in atmospheric transition. He will assess the size of the spaceship and the number, type and position of its engines. He can spot any visible custom work.  Exotic spaceships, like antique ones or extra-light spaceships, might have a special design which are especially interesting for him.

He can notice other features include the speed, cockpit placement, colour scheme or special equipment that changes the silhouette of the spaceship. Taken together these clues will enable the identification of a spaceship. If the character is familiar with the spaceport being used by the vessel and its normal traffic patterns, he or she is more likely to leap quickly to a decision about the spaceship’s identity – he may have seen the same type of spaceship from the same angle many times.

All spotters will note and compile the markings, national insignia or space line livery or logo perhaps, squadron badge or code letters in the case of a military vessels. He always carry a lot of published manuals which allow him more information to be deduced, such as the delivery date or the manufacturer’s construction number. Camouflage markings differ, depending on the surroundings in which that spaceship is expected to operate.

The hobbyist might travel long distances to visit a different space port from their usual one, to see an unusual vessel or to view the remains of spaceship withdrawn from use. Some spaceships may be placed in the care of museums, or perhaps be cannibalised in order to repair a similar vessel already preserved.

In terms of game, the character gain a strong knowledge of space ships design, so he can can see the card of the spaceship he’s spotting. He always carry three slates full of specialized manual – registrations, engine design… –  and his special login software. He also carry special radio scanner to viewing holo traffic transmissions.

The character MUST pass thirty minutes per day in an intergalactic space port, whatever his engagement. When he travel, he barely manage to sleep because he always try to spot or monitoring to holo traffic…. He must report every week to the ISSG, the intergalactic Spacechips Spotter Group and pay his monthly fee of 10.000 Galacs.

The character gains a phenomenal knowledge of the spaceships movement in the known space –understand on traditionally lanes. So he can deduce if a pilot has gone free style. Moreover, due to his connection with the ISSG, find where is a specified stardship in a known location is very easy for him.

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