Simple way to imitate a persistent Universe
Both DS and shared universe approaches has their own advantages in space-based games. I think we could introduce a kind of imitation of a shared universe into SE, too, following steps below.
- When a server is created the created world receives kind of global coordinates in a universe from a backend service running on a Keen server or somewhere in the cloud. The global coordinates can be generated by the Universe service randomly kind of an imitation of the process of discovering the galaxy or specified by the server owner if he/she wants. We can also use RL Milky Way as a pattern to a map servers to stars if desire for that exists.
- Simplest way to allow players jumping between the 'solar systems' would be via bringing the Join Server Screen in-game. Later devs or modders can add in-game portals for fun.
- The solar system represented by your server can have a name generated by default when the server it is created. By default it can be of the format currently being used in astronomy HD + a number. The name of course can be customized by the server owner, or an user friendly alias name can be added.
- Later the Join Server screen can have a graphical version, kind of a map of the Universe with servers displayed as solar systems. An advanced version would be a zoom in/out version of the map, possibly by listing a simple diagram of solar systems specifying planets existing in that system.
The universe service at the minimum can be a light application kind of a simple database holding server id, steam id of owner, global coordinates, system name and that is. Thumbnail image of the system, date of last run, maybe an optional journal as history of the system etc can be added. The entire universe service can be kept lightweight and cheap in this approach.
Thx for reading!