The core idea is a radically social and organic game world, within an engaging, disbelief-suspending setting. This has several corollaries:
- NO RPG GIMMICKS. No stupid missions you have to do repeatedly to gain points, etc.
- We want players to do actually meaningful creative activities.
- Not lure them into some dopamine-generating loop.
- Intensive, simulation-based procedural generation to "fill out" the world
- Highly polycentric game infrastructure run by players
- Implies: everything open-source, no "anti-cheat"
- Implies: game mechanics must be designed around things like "aimbotting" being pervasive
- "Single shard" persistent world
- Detailed, handcrafted setting that nevertheless does not have a fixed storyline for the future
- See: Kaiserreich HOI4 mod, which does this beautifully
- Vast human-directed automation
- Basic model: a hierarchical "chain of command" ending in some sort of in-game sovereign polity. Every node in the CoC can either be AI-controlled or human-controlled.
- Orders are "mid-level", between grand strategy and RTS. HOI4 is again a good guide.
- AI units will blindly follow orders, modulo their own algorithms' calculations of how best to reach the goal.
- Humans see orders but may or may not follow them.
- First reason: nobody wants to do manual labor in a game
- Second reason: this fixes the false dichotomy between a rich, ordered world and a Second Life-style "real-life social media disguised as a RPG".
- See: Distant Worlds