This page contains some ideas for the game part and thoughts about the gameplay. They are early thoughts, as of now, next to nothing is implemeted.

Last Update: Nov 6th 2008 - three points added

  • Players can leave behind navigation beacons that serve as "bookmarks" for interesting or valuable places far away. They could be set as private or public so that other players could use them too. The ships would be capable to jump right next to the beacons, so returning to distant locations would be extremely easy. There would probably be limited number of them for each player to avoid flooding the space with them.
  • The ships can also jump across the galaxy using the galactic map, but those jumps can't take them everywhere in the starmap, so it is necessary to travel in the starmap also (if there aren't suitable nav-beacons). Short distance jumps (like moving, say, 50 tiles at once instead of 1) could be implemented to speed that up.
  • In addition to jumping using nav-beacons, the players could also save their current location (multiple coordinates could be stored as well), and then later come back there using an auto-pilot device. That wouldn't be a jump, rather an as fast regular journey that is possible using almost all of the ships fuel reserves (it assumes that more fuel is harvested from the destination for the return trip).
  • Ships would require some kind of fuel (anti-matter?) to move them, so it must be collected somehow from the universe, or traded with other players.
  • Players would be able to construct houses and small bases for themselves.
  • The multiplayer socialization and trading would propably center in one or few systems where cities an stuff would be generated.
  • When players enter a planet from the solar system view, they are still in a ship (perhaps a landing craft) flying over the surface (planet view). That allows for a fairly quick travelling around the surface. When a player wishes to explore places in more detail, he can land the craft and continue on foot (detail view), but in order to go back to the general planet view, he must go back to landing craft.
  • Players can deploy automated mineral extractors on the planet surfaces. They slowly produce mineral (or something) and the owner can every now and then go and collect the profit. However, other players are also able to steal the harvest, if they should find the extractor.
  • 6th view level: An intermediate between solar systems and planets. Planets are shown about screen size. This allows players to have more control over where on a planet they want to land. It can also be used to show how many players there are orbiting the planet. This could also be achieved by increasing the scale of solar system view, so that planets would be bigger, but we'll see.
  • 7th, auxiliary, view level: This view level is for places like space stations or caves that don't have their own.
  • Own starship! Players would be able to walk inside their starships through the auxiliary view level.
  • Context help: When player presses the help key (F1) the help displays only commands that are available in the current view level, e.g. it won't display main thurster control keys when walking on a planet surface. In addition, there will be some map legend to help identify what different ascii character mean in the current level.

Some technical notes:

  • Most of the simulation and other stuff is handled by the client, leaving the server to only transfer data between the players and store the possible player-made changes in the world.
  • An auto-updater that automatically downloads latest client patches will be very important, especially in public beta stage.