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Our objective is to let you live your fantasy life out there among the stars.

Starship Virtual Life is a sand-box game environment where players design and build starships. The open ended game engine allows players to live a long-time virtual life aboard these starships and to invite friends to join them.

Individual players install the player client software and join the game server. This allows them to walk around the virtual reality starships and to pilot them through the galaxy.

Although players can participate fully using the provided game software, people are actively encouraged to adapt or re-write this software to provide their own unique interfaces. This player software is open source and all of the protocols used to communicate with the core game server are fully documented. 

It is hoped that Starship VL will become the hub in a thriving community of Sci-Fi enthusiasts who create their own visions of the future and discuss the issues posed by long term space travel. 

The level of technology is loosely based around the Star Trek: The Next Generation show, with some aspects from other shows (such as Star-Gates) mixed in. However, starting levels of technology can be restricted while installing the server software to give each simulation a unique flavor.

The players control every aspect of the ship, from raising shields, warping to distant stars, training crew members or upgrading ships systems. It is anticipated that between 3 and 20 people will live as a team on each starship.

Players can wander around the ships in 3-D, visiting every room in the vessel. Each ship is a fully destructible/constructible environment. The replicator can be used to create furniture to personalise the rooms of your ship.

Each virtual galaxy consists of some 100 Billion stars, each of which can be visited and mined for resources.

Players are free to leave their ship and explore other vessels and starbases - all of which are fully modeled. A disabled enemy ship may be taken over by crew members or plundered for technology and resources. 

For example: A player might design and build a shuttlecraft within their teams starship. Once finished, they hop into the shuttle and fly it to a nearby starbase. Here they sell the shuttle and purchase an alien freighter, with which they embark on their own career. 

This project is not intended as just a game but as a full blown simulation that allows players to immerse themselves into daily life in outer space. However, beyond this experience it also has a more important role to play. This simulation has been designed to get people interested in engineering, mathematics and the sciences.

Each starship is modeled using real world physics and simulated technology. Students start by manually controlling each of the ship functions to become familiar with the way they operate. Then piece by piece each of the ships functions can be automated using industry standard ladder logic or structured text programming. 

With the published communications protocols, developers can build their own interfaces. One example would be to build artificial intelligence programs in higher languages (such as C#) to automate the ship functions or even to run entire fleets of ships autonomously. The idea is that there is no limit to what this game will let you strive for.

Eventually we would like to run competitions for schools, colleges and individuals where their AI controlled ships compete in tasks and missions.

Students of design might use the simulation to develop new and wonderful interfaces for controlling the starships. 

Each virtual starship can become an engineering playground where skills grounded in real world physics, mathematics and engineering can be developed.

This is a work in progress, so most of the web pages are split into two halves. The left hand half contains the important design information about the game, the right hand half has developer notes outlining some of the reasons for these design decisions.

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