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musings about a far-future solar system MMO
With High Frontier finally getting close to done, the boys and I have started thinking about what might come next.  This is all just speculation at this point, but it's fun speculation, so please join in!

So, what if we made a MMO (massively multiplayer online) space game set in the solar system of, say, 1000 years from now?  This would be a time when space colonies have proliferated, all the way from Mercury to the Kuiper belt.  Most of these would be free-floating orbital colonies, as in High Frontier, but it would also include a handful of terrestrial colonies (or in the case of Venus and the gas giants, floating cloud cities).

As a player, you'd be an individual in this universe, able to move around, explore the colonies at ground level, and purchase and operate a ship to fly from place to place.  There would be opportunities for missions and trade — colonies in the inner solar system are always hungry for light elements, and happy to trade the heavy elements which the outer solar system mostly lacks.  And then there would be plenty of NPCs (non-player characters) willing to pay for transport, etc.

We'd keep the scale and positions of everything as realistic as possible, but in order to make a decent game, I think we'd need to cheat on the travel.  Players aren't going to want to take months or weeks to get from point A to point B, and since it's an MMO, we can't just compress time while in transit.  So, we're thinking about having some sort of sub-light "warp drive" that lets you go up to, say, 0.9 c, without experiencing any acceleration (i.e. you don't get smushed into a thin film on the back wall).  At that speed, you could go from Earth to Pluto in about 5 hours (depending on their relative positions), which seems pretty reasonable for such a long trip.

(Actually, maybe we should set the game in the year 2494, when the outer planets are all clustered on one side of the sun, like this:
[Image: main-qimg-78c1d1be6baacc61f3b4cef761f4af..._webp=true]
...though who knows where Pluto and other major Kuiper built objects would be at that point.)

Any thoughts?

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier

...or if that seems too soon, there's another alignment in the year 3031 (pay attention only to the outer planets... the inner ones will obviously be whizzing around multiple times, even in the time it takes to develop a game like this!).

[Image: Solar?di=5B2B6B3163FA72FF8B69BDE4BE445CA...C548AFFE7B]

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier


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