History of Overworld
In the year 4962, man first set foot on Acacia-6. The planet was a rarity, in that it was an Earthlike world on the fringe of known human space, far off established jump routes. The original intent was to utilize it as a central hub for that portion of the galaxy, setting it aside for colonization by chosen members of the Empire to eventually make it a jumping point for colonizing nearby systems. This intent changed as the colonists stumbled across a cache of lostech large than any encountered before.
Immediately, a quarantine was placed on the area of the find and a research team was sent to analyze the cache. Many discoveries were made and lost technology discovered, but the largest portion of it, an installation filled with computers and machinery, baffled the scientists. The brightest minds were placed on the project, but no significant process was made until three years later in the year 4965. A scientist by name of Rorschmann broke the encoding of the mathematical language the manuals were written in, enabling the further research of the cache. Even still, it took almost twenty years to decipher the workings of the machinery. Once he discovered their function, things became more muddled-not less.
The entire installation functioned to translate biological matter to an alternate place of existence that intersected our universe only on this planet at this point. Military applications of this technology were explored and discarded, as the powers that be were convinced that such a wondrous technology must have some sort of wartime use. After the military had applied their best to the problem, they relinquished it to the guilds.
From the most important to the least, the guilds progressively applied themselves to find an application of this unbelievable resource, but the biological and locational limitations of the technology frustrated them all. Finally, the Entertainment Guild had a chance to take a look at it.
Over the years, the Entertainment Guild had fallen onto hard times: it seemed that all of the ideas had been mined, and the public had tired of seeing the same rehashed plots over and over. Rorschmann had already done the analyses and knew where the future of the technology lay. Hiring himself out to the Entertainment Guild, their fortunes changed as they put full technical control in their savior's hands, and invested the future of the guild on the dream the scientist had shown them. Gambling on the prospectus that arose out of a creative think tank the guild purchased the rights to the device.
Combining existing technology with experimental techniques, they created a form of entertainment unlike anything ever seen before. For years, the guild had attempted to revitalize the industry with an organic implant known as the thoughtmitter device that let the audience experience firsthand the experiences of the actor. This resulted in a variety of programs, most notably a resurgence in the reality show. But without a new basis for productions, interest in this new form of entertainment quickly tailed off, creating only a niche market for certain unsavory applications.
Rorschmann's idea involved real adventures on the alternate world, a wild land stymied in the development of technology by the presence of real magical power; a world in the midst of its Dark Ages. Working with brilliant scientists and engineers, he was able to stabilize the signature of a human sent across, and learned to create "bubbles" of reality from the other world. This allowed actors to be trained before they crossed into the other world, and to preserve their "props" between adventures.
With these final obstacles out of the way, the Entertainment Guild opened Overworld Studios. There were stumbling blocks; the first actors sent across did not last long, and caused issues that almost closed the studio before it had truly begun. But a redefinition of what an actor was, Codes of Conduct, and psychological conditioning took care of those problems, and on the back of Overworld Studios, the Entertainment Guild again rose to prominence to regain their position as a major guild.
Today, Overworld is a household name, and its actors are the biggest stars in entertainment. Billions of Solaris are made off of first run productions, and including second-hand cubes and marketing, over a trillion Solaris flow through the Studio each year.
More importantly, Overworld is a potent pacification tool- one that the Empire makes full use of. For the most part, because of the massive power represented in Overworld, the government leaves the Entertainment Guild to their own devices. But through the Social Police, subtle influence has been known to be applied to the policies of Overworld studios.