RSG: No FTL travel
Because this is a Realistic space game, there is no faster-than-light travel. Because it's a 'persistent world' that people can join in and play at any time, this poses some interesting problems.
Here is what I propose:
There are two classes of people in the universe - and two classes of player to match:
- Mortals - just like you and me. Time passes for them in realtime. One day out here in the real world is one day in the game. There is no freezing of the world, there is no jumping of time. If it takes you three days to fly from here to there - then you'd better find something else to do while your ship goes from here to there. When you aren't playing, you're in your ship sleeping. If you get killed, you're dead and you have to start again with a new character. You can be killed in your ship while you're asleep. Life is tough...live with it.
- Immortals - when you have enough money (or maybe if you buy a paid subscription to the game!) you can choose to become immortal. Your brain is scanned by slicing it into 1/100th of a millimeter slices and the scans fed into a computer. Your psyche is now being simulated in a neural network computer - you have become software. This is interesting because now you can do the following very handy things:
- Make a backup of yourself. You can make a copy of your 'software brain' and store it somewhere in the game - on a well-defended ship. In a 'brain repository' on a well-defended planet. You can store it in multiple places. To avoid confusion, only one copy of your brain can be running at one time.
- If the computer you happen to be running on gets blown up - you are dead - just like before. Unless you have one or more backup copies. Then you can simply re-activate yourself from one of your backup copies. You can still be killed - forever - but only by having all of your backups blown up. Keep the location of your backups really secret and note that whenever your dying ship sends a message to the backup to tell it to wake up - that radio signal CAN be tracked!
- Transmit your software (at the speed of light) to another computer that you own. This allows you (in effect) to teleport between ships and into civilised societies that are prepared to accept you. The amount of time this takes depends on how far you are from the destination. If the destination is within a few thousand klicks - it's more or less instantaneous. If the target is halfway around the asteroid belt - it'll take many minutes...and you'll be sitting here in front of your computer waiting while that happens!
- Shut down and "sleep" in a safe place - even while your ship is slowly and painfully struggling over a gazillion miles of space.