Playing while offline

Continuing the discussion from Project PewPew; a web-based space sim:

I had an idea the other day, kinda connected to PewPew: turn-based system jumps.

Say a day has a certain number of turns, like 4 or 12 or 24 (once an hour). You could plot out a jump route, and the distance between each system is a roughly one turn. When the turn happens, everyone jumps to their new system.

While in that system you can fly around, interact with planets and other ships, etc. If you are not online at that time, your data creates an NPC based on you (because there are a lot of people in the galaxy), and other players can trade, combat and engage with that NPC, per the defaults your ship has.

Folks could have a timer or whatever, to let them know when they had arrived to their destination system, so they can go and interact with it. Upgrades to the ship, crew and account allow them to automate certain systems, so eventually you could make a merchant run by refueling along the way, and trading with preferred merchants. But you may be complicated by events that happen based on how the NPC interacts with other characters in the game (including other NPCs… do you see where I am going here?!).

It needs fleshing out, but this would make for a varied and diverse space, which big space games can have an issue with. I can see players being on faction jobs, and hence their NPC will trigger certain events for the players in that system, while they are logged out. Maybe the results of such an event gives some kind of bonus or penalty to the player when they log back in. Maybe we call it a “complication”, something to overcome, in addition to surviving in the galaxy. :slight_smile:

This is the kind of stuff I cannot stop thinking about.

Have you read Neal Stephenson’s Reamde? I am reading it right now, and it’s perfect because one aspect of the story is an MMO. One of the neat aspects of it is exactly what you describe. Your character becomes an NPC when you log out, and does some simple tasks like mining, meditating, etc.

I definitely want the players ship / character to be busy while the player is not logged in. And the longer you are logged out, the more free its actions become.

Gah want to write more but I need to get back to work. I’ll keep thinking on this and write more later!