The most obvious difference when you enter The Void is the drag your ship experiences as it moves about. The drag increases as you speed up, thus limiting the maximum speed of your ship. Energy weapons also seem to be impacted by this strange phenomenon as energy dissipates quickly as it travels through space.
Not much is known about The Void, and your character will need to perform research to study it and unlock its secrets. In doing this, you may uncover properties of The Void that you can use to your advantage, allowing for inventions that will aid you in your survival. One day, your character may even discover a way to leave.
There are no NPCs in VoidSpace, instead, every man-made structure has to be built by a real player. There are circumstances that could occur to force players to leave an outpost they had constructed and for it to become abandoned permanently. This would allow other players to discover the abandoned facilities and begin to overtake and/or perform research on the technology the players created.
Certainly, one of the most powerful aspects of the game will be alliances made with other players. There is power in numbers. Discover other player outposts and possibly join another group in order to maintain your own security. Even if you don't want to join another group, having a safe place to trade goods can only help.
There are no maps given for the game, instead, players will be forced to create their own map of the area by exploring. Once an area has been explored, a player can then sell the map to another player, or share it freely. Established civilizations may want to make map sharing as part of their initiation process for new players.
In addition to being able to research and develop ships, equipment, base structures, and weapons, your character will be able to learn personal skills. For example, your character might learn the ability to hack certain types of equipment or base structures. This could be used to disable key base structures in preparation for an attack from the rest of the character's group.
It is for this reason that it is important to keep your character alive and share your skills with others. Characters that have been around for a while could focus on research to boost the character's aptitude for invention. The more a character knows, the better he will be at creating something new.
Players are able to form groups in order to better manage their social systems. Groups can be created within groups to create ranks.
There is no single leveling system in a Universe Project. Instead, characters become more skilled at certain tasks through practice, and can train themselves into improving a set of base stats. The only way to improve a particular skill is by practicing it, or by practicing something very similar to it.
When creating a new character, you will be able to choose the basic stats for your character. Depending on what you choose, you will be better at certain aspects of the game. For example, you might be better at coming up with ideas for skills or inventions, you might be better at developing a working prototype from an idea, or you might be better at manufacturing inventions, providing better and more consistent attributes.
Players will be given a number of options when spawning a new character. In general, the options will be as follows:
The spread of ideas, skill, and knowledge will be a very valuable concept within the game. It is very likely that players will create schools to educate and spread knowledge for money. Well established player groups may even provide education free-of-charge to new players in order to give their player-base an advantage in the world.
As players go about regular activities in the game, their character will come up with an "idea" for a new skill or invention. This will happen at random along with a number of other influential factors such as:
However for the most part, the best ideas come from more focused research which the character can engage in using a lab or research facility. Generalized experimentation with materials is the first step, and once the character has a certain level of understanding of various materials, he will start to get ideas for actual working inventions that use those materials. Once a character has an idea, he can use the lab to try to create a prototype.
The prototype stage is the stage in which the character is trying to turn an idea into a reproducible invention or skill. It may take many tries to get something working, and the difficulty of coming up with a working invention will depend on the following factors:
Once the character has successfully produced a skill or invention, he will be able to create or perform it at will. For objects or skills that are executed by the character himself (not by some completely automated, mechanical process) the result of the skill or invention will vary somewhat, and the character will get better at producing better and more consistent results through practice. For example, if a character is hacking a certain type of equipment, he will get faster and more accurate, and have fewer failures as he continues to perform that particular skill.
The player can then choose to create another prototype in order to get a better end product, by going through the very same process and hoping for a better result. For the most part, the resulting attributes of a skill or invention are random, but they will also be influenced by the 4 factors listed previously.
Ideas, skills, and inventions can all be shared freely or sold between characters.
In addition to skills and inventions, characters will be able to research concepts in order to open up to them more skills and inventions to be discovered. For example, The Void is a place where physics are different from the natural universe. Characters can use a lab in a research facility to concentrate their research on The Void itself in order to unlock certain concepts that allow for inventions that make use the discoveries made.
There is no centralized auction house which means the might a player possesses is really relative to his local area. One area might be lacking in ammunition production, so a player can take advantage of that and create the factories required to meet that local need. The alternative would be to have players trade ammunition brought in from the nearest manufacturing plant, which would raise the price of that commodity in the area.
Players will be able to rent out their manufacturing facilities to other players for profit. Some facilities will be very generalized, capable of creating a wide variety of objects. Renting another player's facility doesn't mean you need to give them the plans for your invention, you'll be able to produce your invention in their facility while keeping it private.
Players will be able to create protected cargo containers that are difficult, if not impossible to open without destroying what is inside. They will be protected by permissions set up by the creator of the container. This will allow you to transport valuable commodities while keeping them very safe from pirates, and allow you to stage a recovery mission if your goods fall into the wrong hands. Some examples of particularly important cargo could be:
VoidSpace will have a fairly extensive set of hacking skills. Every time a new hacking skill is obtained, it will always be for a specific piece of equipment or ship. For example, a turret was perhaps invented by xTheManx, and some other character might get an idea (and develop it into a skill) for overriding the permissions on that turret. The skill will ONLY apply to that specific type of turret invented by the player character "xTheManx".
Now consider that there will be lots of freely available skills for creating certain inventions simply because people will release the skill to the general public (out of the goodness of their hearts, or for other more malicious reasons). This means that the permission hacking skill for those inventions will very likely also be very common!
Due to the commonness of hacking skills for inventions that are essentially public-domain, a very real need for proprietary inventions that serve the same purpose will be there. In other words, it will be worthwhile for people to research and manufacture their own versions of the same equipment, just to ensure that they remain unique and much more difficult to hack.
The game can undergo sweeping changes due to major player actions. Wars, for example, can change supply and demand of various goods and raw materials in an area. Traders not involved in the war could use it to their advantage by shipping goods to either side.
Long range shipping can be done if a player sets up a series of waypoints that his ship would navigate to automatically. Since there is no concept of "logging off", it is important for a player to prepare for a trip that could potentially be dangerous with pirates ready to intercept. Keeping with a caravan of other players, building defensive drones, and keeping the ships equipment up-to-date with the latest in offensive and defensive technology will go a long way to keeping a player safe on a long trip. If the player is offline when his ship is attacked, the players ship will automatically defend itself according to the rules the player has defined, or the default rules of engagement. If the player has VoidSpace as an app on his phone, he will receive a notification about activity in-game like attacks and chats.
You can trade more than just raw materials and equipment. Players will be able to sell the rights to buildings and even entire outposts, managed completely by the trade window in-game. Players will also be able to sell ideas, skills, and even maps.
There are so many businesses that can be created, so here are some examples to spur your imagination:
With the exception of real-money transactions, there will be no currency provided in the game world. Player groups will have to create their own in-game currencies in the same way they invent any other object. Just like in the real world, the larger player organizations with a stable government and a currency with wide utility and acceptance, will likely also have the strongest currency.
Players will also be able to optionally perform real-money transactions between each other in order to purchase goods or services. This will open up the possibilities for players to earn money from playing the game.
It is important to note a general rule of a Universe Project is that strength comes in numbers. Technology does play a significant role, but there is no greater power in the universe than when players unite with a single cause. The same goes for VoidSpace in every aspect, including combat. Traditional MMOs tend to have highly exaggerated levels of defense and offense, to the point where new characters are incapable of even touching even moderately high level characters.
There are going to be a large number of weapons, defensive equipment, and even special equipment. Here is a list of some samples:
Large scale battles will be able to be waged with the help of some in-game mechanics. Groups of players can be given waypoints by their commanding players. This will allow the commanding players to play the game like a real-time strategy, moving groups of units around the battlefield with relative ease.
Being destroyed during combat is not necessarily the end of the line for you. Players usually will survive the destruction of their vessel, and continue to survive in their space suit. A player's space suit can be upgraded, but is generally fairly helpless beyond some basic slow movement. However, while you are awaiting rescue, you could potentially hide within the wreckage of your ship, provided your opponent isn't interested in collecting a little extra metal. Players in space suits will not show up on radar, and will generally be difficult to spot, and hit.
The integration will be done in a number of ways. We will be creating an experimental MMO server that allows you to spawn a new character at the cost of some Dogecoins. The dogecoins you pay in will be randomly distributed throughout the game world as a mineable resource. Which means that you can actually make money by playing the game. Not only will you be able to mine Dogecoins in-game, but you will be able to trade them with other players, or even attack players and loot their coins.
We will also be allowing for custom servers to be created where all players who join the server have to pay a buy-in in Dogecoins, and the player who survives gets to keep the coins at the end of the game. We still plan on allowing players to simply buy in-game items from other players using Dogecoins without the need to mine them first, however the we will be going with the implementations I just mentioned for the immediate future.