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.

General Concept:
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.

Clients:
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.)

Servers:
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)

Website/Portal:
This would be the main interface to all the experiences for the user.
Designing, Flying, Craft inventory, Shares, Forums, etc.

Multiplayer:
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.

* Time:
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.

* Cost
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

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14 Comments

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    135 DrewG

    Definitely a cool concept neth, although I believe that having all of the physics running in the cloud would not be ideal as the control latency would make things unplayable. Might I suggest that it could be better for the client to process the physics locally only for the craft that the client is controlling at that time.

    2.0 years ago
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    I fully approve of this idea. This is a amazing idea and should totally be in the game.

    2.0 years ago
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    I would be fine with this as long as the people who paid didn’t get special parts or anything. I have always liked that SR2 has been a one time purchase. I don’t want to pay for multiplayer (in which I am not extremely excited about) just to get special parts. But I know other people want this so I wouldn’t mind it. Although X-Plane has always somehow kept a free two player thing. Even if just for local. That is something I would be happy to do. I don’t want multiplayer for myself though because of griefers. They exist everywhere that there is multiplayer and I would like my stations to be left alone.

    +1 2.0 years ago
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    That's take a thousand lines of code X)

    2.2 years ago
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    7,152 Nethereal

    just want to point out that running programs in the cloud has a cost attached to it. As for what that cost could be in the concept above, i'd imagine something like 3-5$ a month... Bear in mind that with the structure above, the possibilities in terms of multiplayer are quite wide and could even approach the scale of MMOs, which almost always have a monthly fee for (and usually much higher than a few dollars a month)

    2.2 years ago
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    multiplayer would be nice, but i don’t really agree with the paying aspect of the game

    2.2 years ago
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    7,152 Nethereal

    The main server side concept here is scalable use of cuda cores. This could potentially be done but would likely demand a dedicated GPU which would have a relation to the multiplayer capacity.

    2.2 years ago
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    Oh, and for money? It's long time that Jundroo started selling more than just copies of video games. They could EASILY be selling merch by now and people would definitely buy it.
    Otherwise, selling 3D models for peeps that don't have 3D printers and want a physical copy of their build? (that was a feature in SP but subcontracted to a 3D printing firm)
    And possibly selling the software for creating a server.
    those are a couple that I thought of

    2.2 years ago
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    I was also brainstorming a similar idea, however more like simpleplanes than SR2 (coz it's just simpler)...
    However, I hadn't thought of the cloud server system as I doubt that it is $ viable and that many people would use it. t could also lead to pandemonium if people did and servers would have to be pretty powerful -> high cost pro internet services or expensive initial investment/gamble.


    I was thinking to do it more along the lines of how it is in DCS where people can own and configure their own servers (taking the GrimReapers for example) while also providing a Jundroo server (maybe for community events)


    People could also be able to host on their machine within a LAN like in Minecraft


    The persistent instance could also lead to moderation and/or performance problems if everyone just defaults to using that. But I do see how it ties in nicely with the cloud hosting...


    The time warp is also a problem, give different permission levels? (again simpler in SP)


    The designer should be client side


    The NET access would preferably be from the game that you install


    I am currently a bit of a noob at gamedev (or any deving for that matter) as I'm an aerospace student, not CS. Though I would consider myself as intermediate in python and C# and am currently learning C++, openGL and asio...
    Again, engineering is the focus, not gamedev... However I will be trying to do this on the side when I feel ready so yeah...

    2.2 years ago
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    7,152 Nethereal

    The subscription is to cover the costs of running processing in the cloud. Could you design a game with local servers like minecraft? Sure, but that’s not the idea here

    2.2 years ago
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    Mod Mostly

    Not a fan of the subscription aspect of the game, since SR2 capitalizes on being affordable with plenty of content. I'd be more fond of a slight increase of the base price of the game to give everyone who can afford the game an opportunity to use all the content available in the game. This is an awesome concept though.

    +3 2.3 years ago
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    This is literal rocket science to me, I don’t know a thing about SR or the website lol. I’m from SimplePlanes.

    2.3 years ago
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    11.3k Chtite451SR2

    hmm... could be an interesting thing to see in SR2...

    +3 2.3 years ago
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    685 Ardee

    This is very far off in the future, but a great idea nonetheless

    +1 2.3 years ago

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