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Video Game / Otherspace

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Created in 1998, Otherspace is a text-based, original-theme Space Opera MUSH produced by professional journalist and game designer Wes Platt.

Otherspace began in 1998, pulling influences from a variety of science fiction, including Star Wars, Star Trek, Farscape, Blade Runner, The Stainless Steel Rat series, the Lensman books, the Uplift Universe books and several others, and was heavily influenced by Babylon 5, adopting their Story Arc system for plotlines. Later influences would include Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Mass Effect.

Systems within the game include crafting, businesses, character organizations, and a space system with customizable ships for travel, exploration and combat.

Characters currently occupy a dimension separate from the one that contains Earth, as Earth's dimension (called Normalspace) is slowly breaking apart and rifting into a different one (called Hiverspace). Hiverspace is populated by a wide range of alien races, just coming off of the end of a millennia-long war. After only a few years of peace, however, the god-descended Aukami and their Nall, Opodian and Thul allies have banded together to put the Aukami back in their place as gods over all of Hiverspace, and have discovered technology for ships to enter alternate dimensions to help in this effort.

First-time players are encouraged to play a human from any era in history, ripped from their era via a rift and flung into the setting, so that the player can learn the setting as the character does.

Has its own Wiki here as well.

Tropes found in this game include:

  • Abusive Precursors: It would take less time to list precursors that weren't abusive, but the now extinct Kamir are the best known abusive precursors.
  • A Homeowner Is You: Characters can own their own housing.
  • Amusing Alien: Lotorians, Gankri, and Nemoni - among others - are designed specifically with humorous performances in mind.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: You can own your own business, and sell crafted items via your own vendor.
  • Anti-Magic: Human-derivatives called Laters from the planet La Terre developed abilities that prevent psionics from being used against their person, and sometimes, those immediately surrounding them.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The functionality of faster-than-light drives in OtherSpace falls under this trope, fueled by a volatile substance called polydenum and a generous helping of hand-waving.
  • Artificial Human: Specialists are genetically engineered and vat-grown humans put through intensive training to be extremely proficient at one task, and implanted with a remote-controlled killswitch in case they are defective and rebel. They are ready for use by their first birthday, but because of this accelerated growth, they only live for five years.
  • Automated Automobiles: Automated ferries and cabs help players move around on some worlds.
  • Bit Character: Some players only have minor roles, but participate when they can.
  • Beast Man: There are several zoomorphic animal-men races, including the cat-like Demarians and Lyiri, eagle-like Falari, kangaroo-platypus mix Gankri, lizard-like Grimlahdi and Zangali, badger-like Llivori, raccoon-lemur mix Lotorians, dalmatian-spotted panda-like Opodians and fox/wolf-like Pyracani.
  • Cap: Designer-imposed stat cap, allowing newbie skills to catch up with oldbie skills eventually, and forcing max-skilled oldbies to spend their xp on other forms of power, such as businesses, ships, item crafting, minions, favors, or recruiting the aforementioned newbies for their empire.
  • Cast Full of Writers: All players are basically collaborators in writing an evolving work of interactive science fiction.
  • Character Customization: Players choose a name, race, write the character's physical description and biography, and choose from a number of skills and specialties in a classless system.
  • Chase Scene: Some roleplaying events end in pursuit sequences, with players chasing or being chased.
  • Creator Cameo: The creator of OtherSpace occasionally shows up on the grid as one of his many characters to run events and interact with players.
  • Depending on the Writer: With so many people collaborating in the lore of the game, several groups, races, and in a couple cases, even characters, have notably different portrayals depending on who is writing the portrayal.
  • Dream Sequence: Some roleplaying events have taken place within the realm of the dream.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Some characters, such as Buteo Calabratrarios, are a menace to fellow travelers as they navigate their hovercars.
  • Energy Beings: The Riftwalkers are puppet-like manifestations of psionic energy, utilizing telekinesis to hold dust particles together in a physical shell.
  • Expansion Pack World: The game started with a core of more than a dozen worlds in Normalspace, but has expanded over the years to encompass a multiverse with new alien worlds and parallel versions of the original universe.
  • Fantastic Racism: Ranging from two different ethnic groups distrusting each other to genocide.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Characters pulled from the broad expanse of Earth history - Atlantis, the Wild West, the age of pirates on the Seven Seas - are examples of this trope.
  • Fish out of Water: Characters pulled from Normalspace to Hiverspace fall under this trope, exposed to a new and unusual universe.
  • Functional Magic: Psionics serve to explain several magic like phenomena.
  • Funny Animal: Several races simply look like animals, like the bear-like Castori, fish-like G'ahnli, velociraptor-like Nall, wasp-ant hybrid Odarites, bat-like Tupai, and salamander-like Ydahri.
  • Hulk Speak: Several of the massive humanoid iguanas known as Zangali utilize this manner of speaking.
  • Human Subspecies: Several groups of humanity left Earth to form their own planets, and have gained subtle differences in the few hundred years since their departure.
  • I Call It "Vera": The crafting system allows for named items to fit with the character.
  • Identity Amnesia: The Riftwalker race are psionic beings formed from the crystalized consciousnesses of sapient beings destroyed when their dimension was torn apart. While their frame of reference and known languages can often narrow down what planet they were from, they never recover any specific knowledge of their past, pre-crystalization.
  • In and Out of Character: Combat is run by refs like tabletop gaming, and there's often a lot of this.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Odarites, a mafia-like mercantile race of bipedal wasp-ants.
  • Lilliputians: The quarter-inch bright red humanoid Nemoni pilot micro-sized spacecraft as well as larger human-sized spacecraft such as the appropriately named NSF Colossus.
  • Lizard Folk: Partially subverted in the Zangali, a group of gigantic iguana-like beings with self-imposed vegetarianism, deep religious beliefs, and a strict honor code that occasionally delves into terrorism in the pursuit of noble goals.
  • Massive Race Selection: Over twenty available races.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Somebody's gotta play the bad guy.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The mechanoid Phyrrians are built in a wide variety of shapes and sizes dependent on their function. They are created by a central intelligence called the Overmind to gather information and/or spy, who in turn was created by an unknown long-gone civilization.
  • Mirror Universe: The rift situation has made it possible for multiple versions to exist of every character.
  • Mind Rape: Name dropped in universe to reference unwilling interference by a telepath.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The insectoid Odarites have four arms, and a double-batleth style weapon called a Dealbreaker that utilizes all of them.
  • Not Quite Human: Many of the descendants of the god-like Kamir, including the Aukami, Mystics, and Timonae, all look like skinny, seven foot tall humans with Mediterranean complexions, silver hair, opalescent eyes, and an extra joint in their fingers and toes.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Due to how the skill system works, many science focused characters end up as this.
  • Plant Aliens: The peaceful mercantile Muscipulans look remarkably similar to the mobile version of Audrey II.
  • Player Killing: It happens, but is pretty rare, and unheard of amongst non-combatants.
  • Point Build System: Characters start with 200 SP to allocate to whatever skills, specialties or traits that fit the character.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: It's had several over the years, including the noble felinoid Demarians, the proud class-divided satyr-like Hekayti, and the wolf-like libertarian paladins known as the Pyracani.
  • Psychic Powers: Different races exhibit different psionic abilities, including Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Precognition, Postcognition, Empathy, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Psychokinesis, and Teleportation.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Hekayti, seven foot tall hairless satyrs with black ram's horns and mottled skin in shades of green, yellow and brown.
  • Shapeshifting: The Yoridini are shapeshifting blobs, while the Riftwalkers also have minor shapeshifting abilities.
  • Space Clouds: The game uses a gigantic red and gold nebula called the Rigor Strand as a sort of close-by frontier area where rogues and adventurers hang out, due to the fact that the nebula's sensor-thwarting abilities make it nearly impossible to map out.
  • Space Cossacks: The Fringe was a tough area of space in which planetary governments agreed to do occasional favors for a crime boss in exchange for freedom from joining one of the two superpowers of the era.
  • Space Elves: Type II Space Elves are the god-descended psionic Aukami and Mystics. Type III Space Elves are the often psychologically damaged and fairy-like Riftwalkers.
  • Space Whale: Comorro, a central rp location since 2009, is a massive, intelligent organic ship, born before many planets first formed life.
  • Sssssnake Talk: The velociraptor-like Nall display a high level of sibilance in their speech.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Centaurans, a race of psionic, hovering crystalline jellyfish who require translation equipment, rebreather devices, and both light and silicon for sustenance. They reproduce asexually, and live for hundreds of years.
  • Story Arc: For its first ten years, Otherspace followed a series of story arcs, turning the universe on its head as it lead characters through each epic plotline.
  • Time Travel: Characters pulled through rifts are sometimes victims of time travel, leaving an earlier age in human history to end up in the 27th Century.
  • Translator Microbes: The living ship Comorro has a bio-psionic ability to translate various languages spoken within her confines.
  • Trapped in Another World: Many characters who started in Normalspace had to make the journey to Hiverspace, making them refugees in a strange universe.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: In past events, vehicles have been sabotaged so that they were rigged to explode, wreck, or run over innocent bystanders.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: The multiverse is often under threat from a variety of malicious forces, from psionic tears in the fabric of the multiverse to more mundane threats such as massive military conflicts.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Characters were pulled from their home dimension into a new one as the old one broke up into pieces.