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 - Morts - normal people just like you and me - but with jetpacks and personal hovercraft.
- Immortals - I-morts - people who have been scanned into computers who could (in principle) live forever.
I-morts can (in effect) travel around at the speed of light. But only if they have access to a computer at the start and destination of their trip. This is nice because they still have to explore as normal. The fact that our game world is gigantic means that there is a speed-of-light delay of some seconds for very long jumps. This will be handy because we'll need a few seconds to scan the destination for 'blobs' and generate their content. Short jumps should be manageable without a delay.
The fact that Morts can't travel fast - and can die - is a strong incentive to either pay-to-play or to earn in-game cash to buy I-mort status. It also ensures that Morts will stay fairly close to their spawn point - which allows us to give them a 'tutorial level' - a small region of space where they can learn the ropes. We can dump a strong 'police presence' there to prevent more advanced players annoying them as they learn.