Obdormio.com Unwasted Hours

28 January, 2006

Hologram Simulation

Filed under: — Obdormio @ 16:20

For those of you coming in through searches about holograms, this is an article about the Red Dwarf roleplaying game, not real hologram technology. Specifically, it is an attempt to rewrite the rules for hologram simulation gear, in order to eliminate some of the contradictions and impossibilities of the original rules, while trying to keep with the progression of Rimmer in the show.

The poorly named Hologrammic Projection Box does not, in fact project a hologram. It is merely the interface between the more aptly named Hologram Projection Suite of a ship and the Personality Disk containing the hologram projected. The Personality Disk is inserted into the Hologrammic Projection Box, which then sends the necessary data to the Hologram Projection Suite. Using mind-numbingly large quantities of energy and processing power, a hologram is projected and simulated on board the ship in question. This projection is done by emitters placed in strategic locations throughout the ship. The hologram is made entirely of light, cannot touch anything, and can pass through walls if there are emitters on both sides. Should the hologram wish to leave the ship, a Hologrammic Projection Cage is required. This is the technology in use in the 23rd century, when the Red Dwarf first left the Solar System.

The invention of the light-bee in the 24th century eliminated the need for hundreds of emitters all over the ship. Though the energy and processing power still came from the ship, usually a very big one, the projection was handled by the small and handy light-bee, buzzing around inside the hologram. This form of projection no longer allows the hologram to walk through solid walls, as the light-bee needs to be able to move around any objects the hologram passes through, but it also made the simulated interaction between the hologram and surfaces like the floor or chairs much more realistic. Using a light-bee, a hologram could also travel outside the ship, but only very limited distances. To truly make the cumbersome Hologrammic Projection Cage obsolete, the Remote Projection Unit was invented. When installed in a light-bee, the hologram in question can travel much farther from the mothership.

Progress made in the next few decades enabled holograms to travel farther and farther from their power source, and have them demand less and less energy. Progressively smaller processors enabled the construction of the first true second generation of light-bees in the 26th century. The mark 2 light-bees simplified the hologram projection enormously, eliminating the need for a Hologrammic Projection Suite. The data on a Personality Disk was now transferred directly into the light-bee, which came pre-equipped with Remote Projection Units. In addition to projecting, all processing and simulation was now done in the light bee, but a ship was still needed for the power. The power needed was significantly less than what was required by holograms of old. Where you previously needed a Bloody Huge ship to sustain a single hologram, you could now install an energy emitter in any Medium-class ship and have it sustain a hologram by itself. The electric bill was still sky high. In addition, this light-bee carried a small emergency battery, giving the hologram about half an hour of emergency life should the main power source fail.

The Hard Light Drive, invented in the 28th century effectively updated any light-bee it was installed in to the third generation. Hard Light, though drastically increasing the energy requirement, made life for a hologram infinitely easier. No longer crippled by intangibility, they can live a normal and deathless life, as long as they don’t stray too far from a power source and make sure no bullets hit their light-bee.

Don’t worry about holoship-technology, it’s based on tachyons and matter/energy conversion technology from the 34th century,and there’s no way any player should ever be as advanced as that.

So, there are 4 ways to have a hologram:

1: Hologrammic Projection Box, Hologram Projection Suite and hundreds of emitters.
2: 1st generation light-bee, with or without Remote Projection Unit, and a Bloody Huge power source.
3: 2nd generation light-bee, with personality and simulation handed by the light-bee itself, and needing less power.
4: Hard Light, 3rd generation light-bee.

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