The player must create the noble and the away team as an intial step before the game begins properly. Crew members are created using a family tree type structure wherein the player chooses the ancestors of each character in turn. Traits are passed down from the parents to their children instead of merely rolling virtual dice or assigning points to attributes. The player steers the crew member towards a desired outcome by choosing from existing crew members to build the family tree. The character being created is from the generation ship which, thanks to sub-light speed travel, takes so long to get to the nearest star that multiple generations of crew live and die aboard the vessel.
There are six basic traits which are inheritable through generations which a player will be playing special attention to. Each is rated using a percentile system where 100% is the highest that a crew member can ever achieve. The 100% level is possible to attain in any attribute, but unlikely. The lowest possible score is 16% (not 0%) and is extremely rare. The six basic traits which crew members are rated for and can inherit are empathy, musculature, influence, balance, intellect and endurance. Each is explained in more detail below.
Empathy - All crew members on board the starship undergo extensive psyche evaluations while in the academy and rated for empathy. Empathy helps with teamwork, team based sports and generally getting along with others. Crew members with high empathy are expected to go into the Medical Officer profession, where they can put it to , but this is by no means guaranteed.
Musculature is effectively how much muscle mass the crew member has on their body. A high musculature percentage leads to very powered melee attacks, both when armed with force weapons and when striking with no weapon. Nobles tend to have good musculature due to their propensity for training for and entering Zero-G Boxing contests - a popular pastime amongst these high ranking families.
Influence - Cadets at the academy are tested for influence in a variety of circumstances, determining how effective they are at influencing others to their way of thinking. Influence is helpful for any member of the crew, especially when dealing with other species or unknown parties. There are multiple alien species on board the Generation starship, not all of which thinks the same way by default.
Balance - The ability to remain upright while in challenging gravitational situations or when engaged in physical hand to hand combat can be very important, but also hand to eye coordination is considered as part of a crew member's overall rating. Crew members with a high balance tend to be good shots with phasers and heavier weaponry. Engineers especially are favoured for balance due to the weird n dimensional Escherist nature of ship engine compartments.
Intellect - All cadets learn, and are tested on, Stellar and Quantum physics. Their intellect rating reflects their test scores amalgamated with a general IQ test. Crew members with very high intellects are often recruited into the creed of the Technomonks, a semi-religious mystery sect that strives to discover the purity of knowledge.
Endurance - The rigours of space travel and walking upon alien planet surfaces require crew members to be fit and healthy. Endurance is a trait which benefits all crew members of any profession or type. The higher this is the more ability a crew member has to withstand adversity over long periods of time.
The sex of the crew member has no effect on these traits, so there is no inherent advantage to being male or female in the game. The type or profession of the crew member, however, does. So for instance, Medical Officers will tend towards good empathy, as noted earlier. Alien who are allied with the Galactic Monarchy and are available on the generation ship, such as the mighty Klarvian will tend towards a good endurance score, and so forth.
The challenge for the player will be to put these elements together in order to make an effective away team which will explore an alien planet and (no doubt, if diplomacy fails) engage in strategic combat with unknown hostile life forms...