You are the captain of a space ship in a fictional alternate dimension/universe. Originally from Earth, you came across documents produced by a theoretical physicist, Monk James, that let you to complete an experiment that whisked you off to this new alternate dimension.
This concept is actually part of several control panels used to handle different aspects of the controls for the ship. Using the standard default settings for the main engines will work but tends to use more resources than players will want to give up. So tuning parts of the engine can do a few things:
1- blow up the engine if you are too radical with the settings
2- over-clock parts of the engine, this can help if you need to escape a bad situation
3- perform must more efficiently, using less resources, travel slightly slower but is of great help if you are "running out of gas"