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How the Game Will Play

Starship Virtual Life simulates day to day life on board a starship designed and built by the players.

When a player starts the game they are given the choice of a number of different configurations of default starships (Defensive, Aggressive, Science etc.) or they can design their own from scratch. These configurations can be changed during the game by spending time and resources. Once they have chosen a configuration and named the ship it will appear in the rift (via the wormhole). The area near the wormhole is relatively safe due to the defense platforms. The player can then invite as many people as he/she wants to join them on the ship. I foresee typically between 3 and twenty people operating each ship. The balance of the crew is made up by up to 1,000 virtual crew members who can be assigned tasks.

Each player can walk through their ship as a complete 3-D model. When they click on any of the computer terminals littered throughout the ship they will be presented with the controls for the ship. In theory the ship can be controlled from anywhere. It is up to each captain how they want to organise their crew. Some may be assigned to oversee the ships repairs or upgrades; others could be involved in Stella cartography while another member might be in charge of controlling the various shuttles and sending them on missions (using the ship as a carrier base). Each ship will be incredibly complex with a huge variety of options for the players to use.

The internal layout of the ship can be reconfigured by the players by spending resources. All of the internal and external walls can be changed, new systems can be built to change the role of the ship and systems can be re-programmed.

This is not intended to be a game which can be picked up quickly and mastered within a day. This is a proper simulation of a fully-fledged starship. Part of the enjoyment in playing this game is immersing yourself into the ship and becoming part of her crew. Designing the ship that will suit your needs, working out what each system does and how to get the most out of it. Don’t worry, the area near the wormhole is pretty safe, but as you and your crew become more familiar with your ship you can venture further out and start exploring the galaxy.

We wanted this game to be fully open. Therefore each player can leave the ship whenever they want and explore alien vessels and starbases. This is a sandbox environment where there are as few restrictions as possible on the players. If you want to sneak on board an alien vessel and carry out sabotage that is quite acceptable. You can even take over the alien vessel and add it to your fleet.

Within their own ship the players can decorate it as they see fit to make it unique. Replicators can be used to create furniture and decorations which can be placed by the players. Extra internal defenses can be installed in case the ship is boarded. All of the existing ships systems can be repaired, upgraded or altered. This will take time, power and matter (mined from asteroids) but will allow each crew to evolve their starship to suit their own requirements.

Virtual crew members can be killed in action, however the player characters will not die. If they reach zero health they will be emergency beamed to sickbay where they can recover.

Likewise a ship will never be totally destroyed. It may be left crippled in space, little more than a floating husk, but it should always be possible for the players to repair it to the extent that they can limp it back to safety and carry out full repairs. In very drastic situations the Captain can order an evacuation which will cause the crew to be issued with a brand new ship (with existing upgrades) at the wormhole entrance.

The idea of the game is to immerse the players into this vision of the future. There is no winning in the game, players work towards a common goal, the exploration of the galaxy and the protection of Earth. Players may send their starship on solo missions or team up with other ships to take on larger missions. 

The crew for a starship might all be in the same room or spread out across the world, either way each starship is a forum for bringing people together and having them collaborate and live together in a virtual world.

Configuration of the starship is the key to earning more points. A ship with heavy shielding and poorer weapons is far more likely to succeed at diplomacy then a heavily armed cruiser. 

Once the player has familiarized themselves with the ship they can delve into programming the sub-systems using ladder-logic and structured programming. For example: The player might add a program to the emergency fusion reactor that switches it off when there is a power surplus and starts it up when the ship needs it.