Before you go getting weird on me, like I'm scribbling in the holy bible of Nova here, hear me out. Since mods are fully allowed for Nova, as is evident in this forum, does that include minor additions to the game's programming, as long as it remains for non-profit, user community enjoyment purposes? My reason for asking is because of a little idea I came up with recently, and the fact that I may know somebody with the brains to make it work.
- Nova SIMULATED Networking -
Although the prospect of an EVNMMORPG (wow) is impossible with the limitations of the engine and the fact that Matt Burch has locked the code vaults on the EV series, a slightly different, semi-networked option isn't too far out of the field of possibility. One of EVN's biggest issues that would be encountered with a networked environment is how do you overcome the issue of people jumping from system to system at different speeds? Theoretically, people would end up in different time periods entirely in the space of a couple of weeks in-game.
However, here's a novel concept. If a little bit of extra code was added into the game engine, it could be set to generate what is really just a data output log, detailing all the player's actions each day he's in the game. If this log were then used to correspond with client computers running the "Networked Nova" game, a player whose jumps take three days could receive a simple report when entering the system that details the simple actions taken by the other players in the time he was in hyperspace. Although players would indeed get "left behind" in the timestream by those who take only a day to jump, the faster ones would essentially write the timeline ahead of their other counterparts, encouraging them to get faster ships. Perhaps a small storyline could even be scripted in which time travel plays a major element. Essentially, this log file could also be put to use generating random dude resources in the game, up to a maximum of whatever, simulating players actually encountering each other, the dude resources calculated using the output files of the other players, creating ships that match their combat statistics (weapons, shields, etc), and would fight if such is their nature. A player who does more trading missions than anything else would appear under the "trader" government to others, even though its just a simulated version of him/her, and alternatively, the dude resource of a player who on average blows up every ship in the system in a matter of minutes would automatically gain the "xenophobic" tag, and assault any other player who crosses their path. All the while, players receive brief informational dialogs when entering each system, telling them what planets have changed hands, and who is now a most wanted criminal and such. In theory, players who play notoriously could and would appear as bounty ships to the others, if their wanted level was high enough in the systems they frequent. Likewise, players who routinely blast apart these bounty targets would have rather merciless dude resources to any other players with wanted ratings.
And all this done with just a few log files, in theory.
It'd take quite a bit of work, and it depends on whether or not my friend (who would program it) moves away at the end of this summer, but if not, it could be done, assuming the community would condone and benefit from it, that is.
In essense, it wouldn't really be a networked version of Nova, but rather, an automatically user-contributing form of such, making it SEEM like a networked version, through just a simple form of networking (just log file transfer), nothing overly complicated, aside from adding code into the engine via plug or direct hack.
Tell me what you think! I cannot make any promises though, just to warn you.