The Sundew Framework refers to any decentralized virtual worlds that use the standardized family of Sundew programming languages, also known as S languages. Worlds that run on the Sundew Engine allow for easy cross compatibility with virtual worlds from derivative engines as well as optimized utilization of the FTL communication, allowing users to make use of avatars that will work in almost any world. The corporation that curates and maintains the servers that run off Sundew is known as the Sundew Foundation. In addition, other organizations such as the Archaeology Guild have sought to retrofit defunct non-Sundew worlds to have universal compatibility.
With the aid of AI generation, users can create massive, customizable virtual worlds. Anyone using avatars within a Sundew-based world is also able to use special virtual-reality abilities, though proper use of them requires extensive training. Practitioners can spend years learning how to control the AI functions to create a variety of different effects and abilities.
Sundew also allows for projection into the real world through the use of augmented reality, meaning that an avatar can interact almost seamlessly with a person in the real world.
The Sundew Foundation originally started off as a non-profit organization funded by the Federation of Stellar Systems. With the collapse of the Federation, the Sundew Foundation has struggled to keep their research funded, and they have been approached multiple times by Virtuoso who offered to buy them. Every time, they have refused, but with the rise of crime across the galaxy, the offer has appeared more tempting to them.
The Sundew Framework makes use of quantum computing servers which are located in planetary satellites, space stations and megastructures. They are located away from most human settlements due to the massive amount of heat generated from the vast processing power. They interface with quantum entanglement relays to allow for real-time communication across the galaxy.
The Sundew Engine renders with atoms rather than polygons, allowing for the creation of virtual worlds with levels of details matching the real world. However, in the events of low latency, the engine has the capability of virtualizing levels of detail to fill in missing data and to save on performance.
Much of the virtual worlds are maintained by a procedural AI which automatically addresses low level issues with its code and manages its memory use accordingly. It can also procedurally generate new virtual worlds on its own by simulating programs that make use of evolutionary, adaptable algorithms - essentially a digital version of Darwinian evolution. As a result, this has occasionally resulted in the creation of sentient minds known as virtual life forms. These virtual life forms live in a digital ecosystem, and some are intelligent enough to operate in a society parallel to humans.
Because the original Sundew AI was written thousands of years ago, much of the original documentation on how it works is lost. As such, while an extensive, customizable API is available to the public, the majority of the low level source code of Sundew is unavailable. Theoretically, if one were to learn how to jailbreak Sundew, one could effectively acquire god-like powers within the virtual realm. However, this is rumored to be nearly impossible as the Sundew AI has evolved to safeguard itself by automatically patching out potential security vulnerabilities.
In the time of the Federation, there were strict regulations on how realistic VR worlds could be. Hyper realistic worlds were mandated to have an easy way of escape to mitigate cases of virtual dissociation, a mental illness where a person can no longer distinguish between the real and virtual worlds. With the collapse of the Federation, this law is no longer strictly enforced. These hyper realistic worlds are often sold on the black market and are occasionally used as weapons of psychological manipulation by nefarious parties.
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