On the whole, an uneventful day. Due to lack of sleep caused by indigestion overnight the trip to Truro was abandoned.
All we did really was watch both Spiderman films and the “Remember the Secret Policeman’s Ball” on BBC2.
However, I did think up what I believe would be the ultimate on-line game…
Take the Half-Life 2 engine and Steam, add an Elite style space craft type travel, a complete internal trading system, a political system, a military and two opposing factions and real estate ownership and management. Ie. Combine RPG, FPS, strategy gaming, trading and chat rooms all into one open ended game where those playing generate the continued plot. Players would not pay a monthly fee, however, all in game transactions would incur a sales/registration tax, like VAT.
Another inovation would be that the gaming universe would be created on the fly by the central servers when the first player viewed the area. The level of detail created would depend upon the distance the player was from the objects. Eg. To begin with, other than the core planetary systems and the home city areas on those home planets, there would merely be a finite, small galactic map of stars. When a player enters a system for the first time the cetral servers would generate the general descritpions of the planets etc. As a player came closer to a planet more and more detail would be created. Ultimately, if a player landed on a planet the visibale local area would be created. All this detail would be stored on the central servers and added to as players explored.
Many of the online RPG’s have had problems of people buying and selling stuff on eBay. To make this not a problem bring eBay in as the transaction handing company in game. Remember that the money being harvested from the players is basically a real world currency transaction charge so people buying and selling stuff outside the game isn’t a problem with the revenue stream. It could be made into a feature by people being able to buy game currency credits by exchanging their own cash.
Those looking for cheap gaming with an FPS type game could join the military. The initial game set-up could include a border dispute. Add the ability of rising through the ranks or joining as an officer and getting higher in the ranks and becoming more of a tactical office would allow the strategy gamers.
People could also choose to become politicians and influence the development of the game.
Explorers could journey the universe creating it as they go. A virtual strong anthropic principle. They could mine resources, return it to the core systems and sell it to the mega corps for credits.
Then add bars, being able to buy “land” and build on it what you want and fully customisable “avatars.” plus allow voice transmission, mixed so that everyone can hear everything locally but with the volume decreasing the further away the source of the sound is.
The main problem with all virtual environments is when the player disconnects. My idea is that the player’s avatar becomes a “ghost” which drifts towards a local “hostel” where it’s “stored.”
Through the magic of infinate “clones” death of a character doesn’t become a problem. Upon death a new clone gets activated at their original clone bank. Any funds and property which are logged as being static reserves in the bank etc. Get transfered to the new clone. However, personal items which are held by the avatar may be lost. It depends upon the nature of the death and where it occurs. Eg. If death occurs on an inhabited planet with a link to the core systems it’s likely that the items (and the body) will be retrieved. However, if it happens on a remote, uninhabited world then everything will be lost unless you manage to get to the goods before they’re salvaged by the next person to happen upon them. Unless a body is retrieved it will become part of the local scenery.
Basically, it’s a virtual universe and from what I can see realistically doable with today’s technology and also likely to be financially viable as well. (Yes, Snowcrashish)
Update: This entry is the length it is because I discovered the limit of the Palm Memo Pad application’s entry size, 4K. By “Snowcrashish” I meant “Sounds a lot like the Metaverse in the book Snowcrash.”