Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Wanderers Animation Short By Erik Wernquist Narrated By Carl Sagan As Fodder For Your Old School Space Games

For any science fiction or space nerd  who grew up during the 80's Cosmos By Carl Sagan was a major influence on everything from science fiction to the space race and coloured our collective love of all things intergalactic and spoon fed a generation of scientists, engineers, and many more budding professionals.
Now with Interstellar blowing the doors and minds of movie goers , Erik Wernquist has created a new short video that echoes both hard science and a hopeful tribute of Dr. Sagan's endearing and entertaining work with the Wanderers short animation.
This is a three minute tour de force that has small slices of a series of possible future endeavors for mankind in the coming future.
With games such as X plorers, Stars Without Number, and other space based retroclones making the rounds this is a great video to really take a close look at because of the epic nature of the subject matter. Any of these futures, missions, and materials covered in the three minute video would make an excellent campaign jump off point or stepping stone.
Many of the pieces of animation echo such great space artists such as Ron Miller, Bob McCall, Vincent Di Fate, and many others from the 60's, 70's, and 80's the hey day of hard core space and science fiction art.
The message of hope and adventure is something that seems to get lost today but this short really echoes it. There are several back drop elements of technology such as the lighter then air exploration vechiles and space walks that really draw the view into a hopeful world of a possible future.
Dr. Carl Sagan's monologue really sums up the ideals of the video and matches bit by bit his message of hope for space that science fiction and hard science when married up offer: 
For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game—none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware. Your own life, or your band’s, or even your species’ might be owed to a restless few—drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds.
Herman Melville, in Moby Dick, spoke for wanderers in all epochs and meridians: “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas…”
Maybe it’s a little early. Maybe the time is not quite yet. But those other worlds— promising untold opportunities—beckon.
Silently, they orbit the Sun, waiting.
Its easy to forget that some of the simple adventures in space based games can easily come from real world science. The fact that this short pulls from a whole palette of real world source material is a great sign of the forbidden seas waiting for your PC's in far flung corners of the solar system and the galaxy.
 The only real issue I had with this video was that there was more of the breath taking vistas and views that were to be had here. Take a look draw some inspiration, and head toward the first star on the right with your party of adventurers! 


  1. Wow, that's an incredible video. It really gets the juices flowing for some old school sci-fi gaming.


  2. Thanks Ed.
    I'm glad you liked it and its certainly inspirational Edwarsblog, I've got more coming up and its given me a few ideas as far as getting some adventures going. Now to put something together based on this material..


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