Simple Rockets Universe - A technical idea.
TLDR: An idea for a new multiplayer centric SR game utilizing cloud capabilities
General game experience starting point:
From a player perspective, consider the general functionality of SR2 as a start. Designing, flying, etc. all pretty much remains the same, but each of those experiences connected via a web based cloud interface rather than typical game menus.
Client <-> Server
All 'processing' of core physics related components/systems is run in the cloud.
ie: In the context of those systems(physics,time,collisions,etc.), the game client becomes a dummy client to the relevant configuration/state data streamed from the cloud.
All graphics local.
locally installed Designer can be launched via website/portal, but no real major difference otherwise (can be launched offline)
locally installed FlightView can be launched via website/portal, but receives state data from cloud server instance which provides the processing for the various systems being simulated in the cloud (physics,time,collision,etc.)
The server side software for the simulations (flight view) would be primarily GPU based cuda code, that can be easily instantiated and scaled in cloud GPU farms. This is only for simulations (ie: flight view)
This would be the main interface to all the experiences for the user.
Designing, Flying, Craft inventory, Shares, Forums, etc.
Given the general architecture above, streaming data to an additional client would be more or less trivial. The cloud server instance could dynamically scale its cuda resource usage to accept the additional clients and the load it puts on processing, to ensure a smooth user experience.
How would time be impacted with functionality like time warping? Well, this would have to be an area for a system to be implemented. Some form of checkin type system where all present players in a specific sim instance can agree for a time warp, or a similar form of gated control.
* Persistent instances:
This is what excites me the most, and what I feel most strongly about.
To have an 'always on' sim, hosted in the cloud. One where I could login to the site, design some rockets, and launch them in that instance, all while my friends can join in and do the same.
Here's the tricky bit. Due to the cloud nature of critical components of the game, there is no choice but to have a some kind of regular fee.
An initial, simplistic view, to help demonstrate the overall idea, would be to have 1 'persistent' slot per subscription. This slot would be an 'always on' simulation, which would continue to simulate while you were offline from the game. Think of it as a place where you can put a specific save game, and it would continue to run at whatever time pace you specify, whether you are online or not.
I do not have any numbers or estimates, so this is completely arbitrary at this point, but I would be more than comfortable to pay 5$ a month for everything that is described above. Even having an option to add in additional persistent slots if I wanted for an additional supplement to the monthly fee would be nice... Depending on the level of polish, and how well the portal integrates the various features/systems, I could see myself being comfortable paying up to about 10 USD / month.
This is just an idea, but one that has slowly been percolating in my mind for some time. Wanted to share on here, hopefully to inspire others