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Realistic space sim idea

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TheThief    122
I'm designing a space sim/RPG along the lines of Elite or Solar Winds(Look it up, it's awesome game) and I wanted some feedback on the idea. I want this game to be as realistic as possible without taking away the fun. It's kinda hard to describe it, so I'll just describe the back story. (This might get kinda long.....) --------------------------------------------------------------- SPACE TRAVEL Let's say it's the year 2024, and scientists have built the first ship capable of travel at speeds faster than light. It's very big, completely un-maneuvarble and can only fly relatively short distances. After several years of innovation the scientific community sees two big problems with the classic space travel design(small thrusters for short distances, "hyperdrive" for light-speed and higher): 1. It's expensive 2. It's too slow The second problem is the most important. If mankind makes a spaceship capable of traveling 10 times the speed of light (9,460,800,000,000 km every 36 days), it will be able to get to Alpha Centauri(4.4 ly away) in 829 days or 2.2 YEARS. I hope you agree that this isn't practical. OK, fine, let's say we make a spaceship that can travel 100 times the speed of light. At this point, time starts to significantly change in respect to the spaceship. I don't know the formula, but the theory is that it will seem to the space travelers that they got to Alpha Centauri in 2 days, while the outside world will see the spaceship get there in the correct amount of time(8.2 days). This is for short distances too, what about distances of 10,000 light years or more? The solution: In the year 2054, people invent a machine that is capable of creating a wormhole in space. This reduces the distance from any two points in the universe to 0. This method has two important points: 1. You can't just feed in a location in (X,Y,Z) form to the machine and expect it to make a second wormhole there, so people sent out a whole lot of spaceships to land on strategic locations and establish RELAY stations there. When you want to get somewhere, you have to connect two relay stations together and then generate the wormholes. This seems to be a good(and realistic) solution to space travel. However, there is a second problem: 2. Relay stations only exist on a limited number of space stations in the universe, so if you want to get to a planet that's 100 light years from the nearest relay station, you have to get there using traditional means. 100 light years is a VERY long distance. So people mulled over that one when suddenly, they made contact with an alien race. Now, it's 2062 and this alien race has discovered our system of relay-travel. It turns out that they are almost on the same level of technological advancement with us, but, they've discovered a solution to the time warp problem of traditional space travel. So, mankind quickly adapts and develops a combination of travel methods: 1. relay-travel for long distances of > 10,000 light years 2. light-travel for distance of > 0.4 light years 3. thrusters for short distances/docking ---------------------------------------------------------------- ALIEN RACES mankind has established contact with five so far: 2062 - The Apsaa (planet: Apsna) 2120 - Inkurians (planet: Inkuria) 2131 - The Thyaf (planet: Fnarzuthyaf) 2143 - Xetharnags (planet: Xetha) 2257 - Hrushgarians (planet: Hgara) All of the races are friendly except for the Xetharnags who want to obliterate humans(don't know why yet) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EARTH In the years after interstellar travel has been established, the Earth has become overpopulated and diseased. Most humans much prefer life in the many big colony space ships orbiting earth and other planets. In 2089, a huge asteroid was detected on a collision course with Earth, so a weapon was sent into orbit to destroy it. It partially worked and split the rock into 6 pieces. They crashed in various places causing minor damage to cities, but causing the entire ecosystem of Earth to change. 3,000 species of plants and animals died and the weather changed significantly. Anyway, the current population on Earth has been approximated to 8,000,000,000 people which actually is just 2,000,000,000 over the current population, because of massive factories that produce various spaceship parts and systems. 3/4 of the workforce of mankind is in these factories. 10% are unemployed, 5% are criminals/rogues/mercenaries and everybody else works for the government. ---------------------------------------------------------------- GOVERNMENT Due to the fact that all of the alien races have completely different laws and customs, a 'galactic government' had to be established. It has a somewhat traditional pyramid structure with 'presidents' from each of the five races. Policing in space is very complex, so it was decided to implant an electronic 'tag' into EVERY person/being's brain at birth. It is impossible to remove/counterfeit and if somebody needs to be located, it is fairly easy to just use a special scanner found in every Police station. ---------------------------------------------------------------- THE PLAYER The game starts out with a cutscene of the PC working in a factory. The bell rings, and everybody goes to eat lunch. The camera zooms on the PC as he sits down with a sandwich(or something). He takes out a portable computer and logs in to his bank account. His face lights up, and you hear a voice-over/flashback describe how he has been saving money all his life for a light space ship so he can travel all over the galaxy and make tons of money. The screen fades to black and fades in on a really cool looking spaceship docked to a station orbiting Earth. The PC gets in, and the game starts............. --------------------------------------------------------------- GAMEPLAY Basically, the player flies around, talks to NPCs, and plays various quests. The initial goal of the player is just to make money, but eventually, he uncovers a a huge conspiracy involving the corruption of Earth government, and its alliance with the Apsaa. I'm not yet sure on how this part is going to work, and it's the area where I need the most help. --------------------------------------------------------------- Whew.... So, what do you guys think? TheThief "He almost danced to the fridge, found the three least hairy things in it, put them on a plate and watched them intently for two minutes. Since they made no attempt to move within that time he called them breakfast and ate them. Between them they killed a virulent space desease he''d picked up without knowing it in the Flargathon Gas Swamps a few days earlier, which otherwise would have killed off half the population of the Western Hemisphere, blinded the other half, and driven everyone else psychotic and sterile, so the Earth was lucky there." -HHGTTG(So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish) Edited by - TheThief on August 1, 2001 8:51:14 PM

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Crydee    122
No farming or fishing on your Earth? How do people get food?

Apart from that the scenario is plausible. The real question is motivation. Why is the government corrupt? What do the Aspaa have to offer?

Also why does it matter? The hero should do something that matters not just to him but his world. Thus does the corruption mean that an area of earth will be given over to the Aspaa, sacrificing say 2 billion human lives?

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rouli    122
reminds me of earth:final conflict, where earth''s government is corrupt, and there is a conspiracy involving the alien race (whose name I can''t remember, say T). The T are in war with another alien race the (say) D. When T encounters humanity it gives earth wonderful techs, however, earth government lets the T perform genetic experiements on humans. The deal is that the T are too peaceful to fight with the D, so they are looking to make humans the perfect soldiers in what they call the enemies of the universe, but as the series evolves, it becomes unclear who is worse, T or D. (hope it helps you in some way )

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WarMage    122
Hey, why not caboose on the same thing that impacts every OTHER advanced race - Artifacts!!!

Examples:
The Atmospheric Generator in We Can Remember it for You Wholesale / Total Recall

The Desert Hulk in Homeworld

The Antarctic Spacecraft in John Carpenter''s The Thing

The Stargate in Stargate

-
The travel procedure The Theif describes is very much like Dickson''s "No-Time" theory where two distant locations synchronize a machine that oscillates a portal of "no-time"; ssentially absolute zero provides an interface to a common wormhole-like phenomenon.

It would be very easy to have a faction of one race (and I say faction because no government is perfect and should always have an atni-faction or counterculture) find an Artifact that yet again revolutionizes travel and trade.

---------------
-WarMage
...beautiful idea though!

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TheThief    122
Thanks for the replies...

I had most of the trouble with the gameplay. I figured out the whole technological back-story of it, but I''m not really sure what the player''s goal is. I like both WarMage/Rouli ideas, but I''m not sure how to make something interesting/mysterious/believable. The other thing is, I want to involve all five races into the story, but I don''t know if I can do it without getting people confused.

Hmmm.....

TheThief

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WarMage    122
You already GAVE us the player-driven part! PROFIT! and secondarily, travel.

Sounds like you have two distinct possibiities already...

Option 1) The PC is a magnanimous, universally friendly type - he chooses to expose the subterfuge and uses the friends and contacts he makes in various spaceports / governments / shops, whatever to achieve the PC''s goal of Stopping The Evil.

Option 2) The PC is like Nick Korso from Titan AE - He''s gonna sell out everyone he can to make sure he gets his cut.

And that''s only in the first thirty seconds I thought about it

-----------
-WarMage
"You were not put on this earth to ''get it'' , Mister Burton." - David Lo Pan

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TheThief    122
Well, at first, the general idea should be to make money, and just find out information(with the 'quests'). I'm looking for some big plot point that the player exposes. Hey, I just got an idea! What if the Apsaa enslaved the Inkurians eons ago and they want to do the same to the humans so they could be the most powerful of the three remaining races, and it turns out that the Xetharnags aren't strong enough to destroy the Apsaa, so they go after the humans instead in order to stop the Apsaa from enlarging their forces. Does that make sense?
EDIT:
Also, the Apsaa are corrupting the government by bribing officials of other races so they won't expose the plan to the humans.

TheThief

Edited by - TheThief on August 1, 2001 8:27:13 PM

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WarMage    122
Now that''s an inspired twist, something along the lines of Harbinger ...

There''s no reason that shouldn''t work, although I imagine you would want make sure this is the only story you could engender through your game. Games are advanced enough that you should be able to embed several story arcs, perhaps intersecting, perhaps divergent...

Maybe the Apsaa have already overthrown or subjugated several other races to extinction - this could tie in again with Artifacts

Maybe the Xetharnag are a splinter or escapee race from the Apsaa''s previous exploits - Maybe left somewhere to die like the Slags, but were rescued by more beneficient races?

Maybe it would be easier to ally with the Apsaa and give them the keys to Earth in exchange for free transport somewhere?

I think it''s time to haul out some old Bab5 reruns and see what JMS put out there for us to forget about

---------------
-WarMage
...looks like somethin'' from the southern end of a northbound kangaroo... M. Quigley

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berserk    122
I''m also making a space simulation/RPG/strategy game. Only it is designed to be massive multiplayer, without single player mode.

Unlike your game, I don''t want to have realism and history of Earth. The setting is another universe, with physics slightly different than those of our universe, with different history of civilization.

----------------------------------------------
THE EMPIRES

There are two major civilizations, both human, but each follows its own religous belief. Their religious differences have caused many wars, in space and on planet surface.
Each empire has a feudal form of government. So there are many little kingdoms everwhere that are sort of allied to one central power. Each empire has a central cluster of colonized planets, their borders are close together and that''s where most of the fighting happens.

Then there''s a "neutral" human civilization, it also has a unique religious agenda. Its planets are relatively far from the 2 major empires and they are scattered all over the galaxy. There is no central governement, just many little kingdoms that try not to disturb the 2 major empires.

----------------------------------------------
GAMEPLAY

In the begining of the game the player chooses his "carrier", which only effects the starting conditions.
You can start as:
"fighter pilot". This puts you in one of the 2 major empires, player starts with default war ship.
"merchant". This gives you the default space ship suited for bulk trade, starting location on a "nuetral" planet (the 3rd civilization)
"Aggressive War Lord". This puts you in charge of a new little kingdom on one of the planets that belong to one of the 2 major empires. The "aggressive" setting puts your little kingdom close to enemy border, so wars happen there often. As leader of your little kingdom, the player can build new cities, build up an army and fight the other empire. The player also has to respect the central power of the friendly empire, which has partial control over his kingdom. Wars between members of the same empire are allowed, but there will be a special code of justice, regulated by the central government of the fuedal system.
"War Lord". Same as the above, only your little kingdom is set deep within your empire''s territory. That gives people more opportunity to build without having to maintain strong army as defense.

------------------------------------------------
OBJECT OF THE GAME

The main object of the game is to earn money, customize your private space ship with cool equipment, invenst in growth of your little kingdom. There''s going to be an elaborate economy model, plenty of room for people who like to trade and lead peaceful merchant life. People who like space combat will get plenty of action using a unique space combat model. All in 3D, 1st point of view. Players who are into empire building can focus on their little kingdom, they can build military units and capture territory, pretty much like in real time strategy games. Then there''s the opportunity to become member of the central government, each of the 2 empires have it. That gives the player certain control over the alliance of all the little kingdoms.
And for those who want real challange, they can try form a new empire by gaining independance from the strong grip of central government.

Overall they game focuses on strategy, plenty of opportunity to show off one''s military genius. heh

-----------------------------------------------------

I am currently writing design document, I have pretty much finished describing space combat model, still need to describe the political system and the RTS that happens on planet surface. If anyone interested in helping, email me.

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TheThief    122
Yeah, and this also ties in the other races because they could be attempting to help the humans because they want to defeat the Apsaa, so they give the player help, and new techs...

The player could also find out that the Earth government knew about the Apsaa''s plans all along, but they were paid off by the Apsaa so the rest of the human race doesn''t find out.

TheThief

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Jonathon    122
The Thief has arrived! Welcome to Gamedev. This sounds like a neat project. And I like Berzerk''s idea, too. The funny thing is that each time I try to imagine these games, I see Harrison Ford sitting in the cockpit....

As far as The Thief''s idea is concerned, what wouldn''t corrupt a miserable human? A brief look at human literature reveals many, many methods which could be employed. The thing to remember is that it is not the entire human species which must be corrupted, but a mere handful of individuals. And individuals are corrupted each and every day for a whole lot of reasons.

I really like the idea of the Assppa... (um, what was that name again?) planning to use the humans as soldiers. But this is the sort of thing which even the Earth''s leaders should be unaware of, of course. They aren''t bad people, not evil really. They just made the mistake of trusting devious ambassadors from another planet....

I''m wondering whether it is necessary to have a fixed storyline in these games. The Thief''s project sounds like a good candidate for playing from all sides, as in Starcraft. And Berzerk''s game seems very much conducive to this sort of play.

Perhaps the five races could function in a Scissors, Paper, Stone fashion, in which each species has certain natural advantages over some, but weaknesses against others?

I''m also wondering about the option in Berzerk''s game which allows the player to control an area within friendly territory. What would this be like, exactly? Would the player be able to undermine the positions of his "friendly" rivals? Or would that be too different to include in the game?

These both sound like very interesting games, and I hope to hear more about them. Good luck, folks!

Jonathon
quote:
"Mathematics are one of the fundamentaries of educationalizing our youths." -George W. Bush

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TheThief    122
Hmmm......StarCraft, eh?

It would be pretty interesting to view the story from...say... the Xatharnags'' point of view. Maybe they discovered humans much earlier than the Apsaa(They could be the Roswell aliens) and they''ve been monitoring our technological advancement, but when they saw that the Apsaa decided to take control, they had no choice but to destroy us. The player could be one of the soldiers sent to destroy Earth space stations, but then switched sides because he felt sorry for the humans....

Or, the player could be one of the Thyaf stealth storm troopers who has been sent to infilatrate the Apsaa motherships and disable them...

Or the player is one of the Inkurians who is fighting the Apsaa for freedom(they were enslaved, remember?

Or he''s one of the Hrushgarian secret order who are guarding various strategic locations in the galaxy to at least slow down the Apsaa from mowing down everybody....

---------------------------

Hey, this is starting to sound good! Thanks everybody!

TheThief

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berserk    122
"I'm also wondering about the option in Berzerk's game which allows the player to control an area within friendly territory. What would this be like, exactly? Would the player be able to undermine the positions of his "friendly" rivals? Or would that be too different to include in the game?"

I look at fuedalism as the perfect example of government in the game. There is one very strong "kingdom" that forms the central government. This kingdom is not controlled by the players, in the begining at least. If the central government sees that some player is undermining positions of allied kingdoms, that government may form a millitary force and eliminate the threat. The central government doesn't care much for well being of each and every friendly kingdom, it only worries about its own security. So, it may happen that some particular kingdom has a crappy leader, who can't contribute much to the great conflict of empires. In that case, the central government may allow some other friendly kingdom to take over the weak kingdom. In the end the central government benifits since the strong leader has more territory now and is able to contribute more. On the other hand, the central government doesn't want any single kingdom to become too powerful, as that would threaten to overthrow the central government of the main kingdom. Diplomacy is going to be an interesting part of the game.

Edited by - berserk on August 2, 2001 10:23:00 PM

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Wavinator    2017
Hey The Theif. I'm pretty deep into a design along these lines and have been discussing a lot of ideas here on the board wrt gameplay.

The three pillars I'm going with are trade, combat, and stealth; shipbuilding and some crew management are also going to play some role.

What did you have in mind for what the player does? There are a lot of refinements and cool things you can do even if you do nothing but combat.

PS: Search the Design forum for "Wavinator" if you want to see a half billion posts on this subject (heh, I'm obsessed)

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Edited by - Wavinator on August 3, 2001 5:48:26 AM

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TheThief    122
I was originally inspired by Solar Winds, so I was thinking of the player just flying around, upgrading his spaceship, meeting( and sometimes fighting) people until a mission/goal develops. The goal will be different dpending on what race you start out as. After that, the game will get a lot more focused, and the player's tasks will be more story oriented.

I'm not yet sure of the look and feel of the game, but I want it to be mostly action with a bit of trading, ship management, and NPC interaction tossed in. Currently, I'm working on a 3D engine for it, and figuring out some of the details.

TheThief

Edited by - TheThief on August 3, 2001 2:58:39 PM

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Dauntless    314

As for the space conundrum, I think it depends on how you define your interstellar space travel capacity. In other words, does the vessel physically go faster than the speed of light? If so, then you can encounter some relativistc effects.

Now that I''ve said that, there are some very interesting and bizarre things that quantum physics has discovered. First of all, for the most part, Einstein''s theory of relativity is falling apart at the seams from what I understand. In a laboratory exercise designed to prove the EPR (Einstein Podalsky Rosenburg) argument, Bell was able to determine that there was indeed SOMETHING that went faster than the speed of light. What this thing was is totally unknown however, for it was neither matter nor energy...thereby saving Einstein''s realitivity theory...at least by pure definition.

However, the mroe theoretical physicists ponder the universe, the more Einstein''s theories don''t seem to be holding water. In fact, the EPR argument was developed by Einstein because he couldn''t accept that "God doesn''t play dice with the universe".

So, when you really get down to it, if you are looking for a "realistic" or "plausible" explanation for FTL travel, then I''d suggest reading some laymen''s books on Theoretical physics. The classic is of course the Stephen Hawkings stuff, but there''s also good books by Alan Wolf, and a book called The Emperor''s New Mind. I think they are FAR more intriguing than any sci-fi book (even by the greats like Asimov, Clarke, Dick, or Herbert).

As for the Aliens, I think the key is "Alien". They shouldn''t be rubber suit men. In many ways, all you have to do is look at other cultures, make it a little more extreme, and you have a good basis for an Alien society. Think other cultures aren''t Alien? Well, the Pueblo indians have no words for our concepts likie "Coerce, negotiate, persuade" etc. Think about that for a moment. Imagine something as simple as taking away key parts of our vocabulary and imagine the effect it would have on a culture.

And speaking of culture, how would the Alien visitation effect humanity? Would it send us reeling in shock? Would it disrupt our economy? Would we go into xenophobia mode if the Aliens are icky looking bugs (that happen to have hearts of gold)? How we react to this monumental act is very overlooked in most sci-fi settings. Imagine for a second if you turned on the TV, and you saw on the news incontrovertible evidence of intelligent life that was here visiting us on Earth. How would you feel? Heck, how would you feel if you saw on TV that the face on Mars was indeed an artificial construct?

I''ll throw out another bite for you to digest....you mention a Galatic government, but how many people would realistically go along with something like this? Look at the UN, many see it as a straw tiger, and even then lots of Americans can''t stand the idea of doing something that the UN tells them to do. I find it highly ironic that for a country that holds democracy in the highest esteem, we thumb our noses when the democracy of the world tells us something we should be doing. So, how did the Galatic government come into being? Is there a "leader among equals" like the humans in the Federation of Planets for Star Trek? Or is it more like a confederacy like the United Nations on Earth today?

In a nutshell, I think most sci-fi stories don''t dig past the surface and are instead about the flash. The cool spaceships, the neat aliens, the tricked out guns, etc. I don''t think sci-fi settings really extrapolate what might happen and how it would change society. Just think for a second how different our lifestyle is now compared to 1976. Imagine what all of these things would do to the world in this timeframe. If you consider all of these things I think it will make for a far more immersive world and will make it far more unique.

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TheThief    122
Dauntless:
I definitely agree with you. I don''t think most Sci-Fi space stories even come close to being realistic. Star Trek really springs to mind. But then again, if I were to try and consider all of those factors, the game would stop being fun. That''s why I said at the beginning of my first post, that I want my game/story to be as realistic as possible without taking away the "fun" element. I don''t know enough about quantum physics to create something that would be possible in the future, so I''m just trying to think logically instead of thinking about what would be "cool".

Government.... I had trouble imagining that too, and I even thought of doing something like in "The Hitchhiker''s Guide to the Galaxy" where the leader of the entire galactic government is the person who imo thinks in the most abstract terms possible, and can''t make a coherent decision about anything that happens in the galaxy. This is the part that is neglected most in movies/tv shows and games. I realize that most people/aliens wouldn''t trust this government because the process of getting anything actually done is so complex(it has to go through the branch of each race) that it''s easy to sabotage it. But how else could it happen? Could these races REALLY co-exist without some kind of system to arrange treaties, territory, and whatever else?

I hope that when we make first contact, most people will act sane. I''m guessing that lots of religious groups will start to speak out, and some will resort to violence, but remember, the story occurs about 250 years after first contact...

Bug-looking aliens with hearts of gold....
That is a possibility, but why should we expect that we even come in contact with them? If these aliens breathe..say...methane, and the pressure on their homeworld is 3,000 times Earth''s, then, we couldn''t even be close enough to touch these things, much less hurt them. If rogue groups(of humans) start trying to kill the aliens, who says that they could be physically killed? What if they function like the Protoss from StarCraft(or the Borg), and there aren''t any individuals, just a collective hive mind that decides things, and the physical manifestations act on its decisions? Would it matter if we killed 5,10,100 of them?

Anyway, there''s tons of things I could think of to make it seem more believable. Anything specific you were wondering about?

TheThief

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parklife    132
Nothing can move faster that light. nothing.

"The second problem is the most important. If mankind makes a spaceship capable of traveling 10 times the speed of light (9,460,800,000,000 km every 36 days), it will be able to get to Alpha Centauri(4.4 ly away) in 829 days or 2.2 YEARS. I hope you agree that this isn't practical. OK, fine, let's say we make a spaceship that can travel 100 times the speed of light. At this point, time starts to significantly change in respect to the spaceship. I don't know the formula, but the theory is that it will seem to the space travelers that they got to Alpha Centauri in 2 days, while the outside world will see the spaceship get there in the correct amount of time(8.2 days). This is for short distances too, what about distances of 10,000 light years or more?"

Let us rethink this. Well, since nothing can move faster than light - ever - we will have to reduce this speed. Let's say this craft will be able to travel at exactly 0.99% the speed of light. It will then take 22 years to travel to Alpha Centauri - at least in the eyes of the inhabitants of earth or alpha centauri. The actual time experienced by the travellers is: 22=x/sqrt(1-0.99^2) which equals 3.10 years. This means, the people on this starship will think it's been 3 years to trip from earth to alpha centauri. The rest of the world will however think they've travelled for 22 years. The wierd thing is that they only have aged 3.10 years, whilst the rest of the world have aged all 22 years. Relativity is wierd, i know.

-/john
--------------------------

Edited by - parklife on August 6, 2001 1:48:31 PM

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TheThief    122
Yeah, that''s what I was trying to say, and that''s why an alternative has to be invented like the relay-travel that I was describing.

TheThief

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kerryl    122
One thing I find kinda frustrating about games of this nature are the lack of believable backstory that can be used to enhance the state of the game.

A common example is the "lone space trader" cliche. It seems that you could sell the idea if you made it higher up...corporate. After all, even in the year 2200, I would bet it''s going to be damn expensive for me to buy a merchant vessel. So now instead of the United Nations of Earth, you''d have the United Corporations of Earth...the UCE. [insert favorite backstory about how the UCE bailed out the UN one too many times]

"That''s cute and all but what''s it good for?"

Stepping up from a single person to an entity such as corporations and the UCE, you can weave in political situations and missions.

Bioweapons: Sure it''s on your tech tree but if you ever use, rather than just investigate, you could be listed as a rogue corporation.

Allied Forces: Members in good standing in the UCE could ban together to wipe out "rogue corporations".

Bioethics: Drones are cheaper than humans, but where does the UCE stand on the cloning of genetically crippled brains for insertion into drones whose only mission is to work in hazardous environments.

Membership: New corporations can''t become members of the UCE until they...

Priveleges: Membership has it''s priveleges...as a member, you''ll enjoy a 5% discount at all starports on ships, cargo, etc.

Responsibility: As a member of the UCE, you''re required to respond to distress calls of technically inferior nations within x parsecs of your territory. So if Bob is new and under attack, as a UCE member, you have to respond and aid Bob. This helps balance play and prevent predator/prey mentality.

Transport: You might be required to transport a dignitary from x to y to attend a conference, settle a dispute, etc. Hold him for too long and you look inept. Hold him for really long and you''ve taken a hostage.

Just rambling...

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TheThief    122
I see where you''re going with that. Lone space traders are pretty cliched, but there have been some good games on the subject! Besides, I''m going for originality in the overall theme, not the genre. I mean, the back-stories of FPS''s are pretty cliched too, right? So why does everyone keep on making them? Because some of them are really fun to play! So...yeah.

Your idea is interesting, but a bit of a different genre. You''re talking about a futuristic management sim with analogies to the lone-space-trader cliche, while I''m just going for a space combat sim with some RPG elements thrown in.

TheThief

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Dauntless    314
Parklife,

You and TheThief might find the following interesting. Actually there IS something faster than the speed of light, but it''s no known form of energy or matter. Some call it information, some call it influence, but the fact remains that whatever it is, something goes faster than the speed of light. In fact, more importantly it disproves another of Einstein''s basic tenets....locality. but I''ll let the quote explain. However, I really recommend looking up Bell''s Theorem on google.com. I''d also look up stuff on Niels Bohr, who in my opinion, was a greater genius than Einstein. (Einstein''s famous quote was, "God does not play dice with the universe" to which Niels Bohr replied, "Stop telling God what to do!"). Einstein''s theories are slowly fading while Quantum theory (backed by Bohr) is withstanding the rigors of time. Indeed, the only thing saving the Theory of relativity is that there is no matter or energy in Bell''s theorem...a technicality that has saved Relativity for the time being.

From;
http://www2.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/kenny/papers/bell.html

"In this paper I am going to discuss one of those results, called nonlocality. Its converse, locality, is the principle that an event which happens at one place can''t instantaneously affect an event someplace else. For example: if a distant star were to suddenly blow up tomorrow, the principle of locality says that there is no way we could know about this event or be affected by it until something, e.g. a light beam, had time to travel from that star to Earth. Aside from being intuitive, locality seems to be necessary for relativity theory, which predicts that no signal can propagate faster than the speed of light.
In 1935, several years after quantum mechanics had been developed, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen published a paper which showed that under certain circumstances quantum mechanics predicted a breakdown of locality. Specifically they showed that according to the theory I could put a particle in a measuring device at one location and, simply by doing that, instantly influence another particle arbitrarily far away. They refused to believe that this effect, which Einstein later called "spooky action at a distance," could really happen, and thus viewed it as evidence that quantum mechanics was incomplete.
Almost thirty years later J.S. Bell proved that the results predicted by quantum mechanics could not be explained by any theory which preserved locality. In other words, if you set up an experiment like that described by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen, and you get the results predicted by quantum mechanics, then there is no way that locality could be true. Years later the experiments were done, and the predictions of quantum mechanics proved to be accurate. In short, locality is dead."

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kerryl    122
quote:
Original post by TheThief
Your idea is interesting, but a bit of a different genre. You''re talking about a futuristic management sim with analogies to the lone-space-trader cliche, while I''m just going for a space combat sim with some RPG elements thrown in.

Gotcha. I guess it''s hard to be truly original. After all, my "idea" isn''t really mine at all. It''s a combination of TradeWars, Civ, and an old table top game called Warp Wars.

Anyway, it sounds like you''ve got a pretty good backstory. At least you''ve avoided "it''s just that way" as an explanation for the mechanics of your universe.

Good luck and keep us posted, would ya?

PS - Apologies for my CRLFs and

in my last post...

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TheThief    122
Dauntless:

That is interesting, but a bit out of my scope.
I also just realized that my relay-travel idea is impossible too. If you have to establish contact between the two stations, you have to send a signal of some sort, and that signal can''t go the speed of light anyway, so the whole thing is pointless! Arrgh, I hate that damn theory....

TheThief

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theropod    122
sound very good, both ideas.

its really about time someone developed an rpg-style game in that kind of setting. but how open-ended is it possible to be?

i think we then run into the infinite possibilities = infinite data problem. hdd''s aren''t quite that big yet...neighter are dev. schedules.

just a thought.
btw, if anyone wants actually implement any of this, i''d be glad to help...