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Universes Online

Universes Online, at http://universes.mygamesonline.org/ is another web-based Intergalactic Mining game similar to Galaxies Online.

Overall it seems to have ancestors in common with the scripts used for Galaxies Online but to be much more advanced and far less “buggy”.

It is using the 2moons scripts (http://code.google.com/p/2moons/), and after checking out both the stable version 1.61 and the SVN trunk, it was decided to proceed usign the trunk despite its offically “alpha” status because it does fix some actual bugs and the “problems” it exhibits seem to basically be cosmetic, being due to work being done on the internationalisation (translations) system.

Basically it has some ugliness in some of the help, including currently actually failing to output the actual help along with the ugliness in some cases; but it appears that it is actively being worked on so it was thought better to proceed with the improved actual functionality rather than make the mistake that was made with Galaxies Online, which was to pick the slickest-looking version rather than the most-functional version.

(Galaxies Online uses Xnova Redesigned, which is indeed quite pretty but turned out not to work in some important functions such as alliances and combat. As far as we know so far, Universes Online's alliances and combat routines work; also it features a whole further development of ships, even beyond those one finds in commercial offerings such as Zorg Empire.)

Like Galaxies Online, Universes Online has 500 galaxies each containing 500 systems with up to 15 planets per system and 100,000 units of distance (instead of the default 20,000) between galaxies. Like Galaxies Online this might necessitate an adjustment to the stats of the standard colony ship in order to ensure it can fly past one galaxy to reach the one beyond if it does so slowly to conserve fuel.

The default techtree of 2moons requires hyperspace technology of only 7 in order to create jump gates. Universes Online has upped this to 14 to match Galaxies Online.

It having already been empirically determined by Galaxies Online that allowing “random passers-by” to register to play just clutters up the universe with quitters, wasting expensive startup equipment on slackers who fail to make adequate use of it and thus default on their startup loans, Universe Online's registration is closed from the start.

The concept behind Universes Online and Galaxies Online is that we know from the existence of such games and the behaviors observed in the corporations, empires, guilds, alliances and so on encountered in such games that it will not do to assume typical intergalactic travel capable entities will be friendly civilised folk. Thus it behooves us to place far flung defenses in galaxies far far away in all directions.

Not only because Galaxies Online came first, but also because of its lack of combat, the galaxies portrayed in Galaxies Online are taken to be part of a less distant sphere of defenses than are those depicted in Universes Online. Since as far as we know combat does work in Universes Online we relate that to the idea that it is in outer shells of defense that active combat capabilities are most likely to be required, thus it is there that we wish to deploy our most puissant defense and offense platforms.

In case it is not clear by this point, Universe Online is thus part of the Galactic Milieu, and like Galaxies Online it represents far distant galaxies from the perspective of the “civilised” worlds we depict using Freeciv and where eventually we expect to be able to walk around in full immersion 3d virtual worlds such as OpenSimulator.

So far Universes Online is being used only for a SysAdmin test of the system; it is not expected to ever be opened to random new users, instead when users do some they will be coming in the form of colony ships sent out by the Galaxies Online wave of colonies. That will not happen until the colonies in the Galaxies Online system advance to the point of building the massive jump-gates that will be assumed to be the mechanism by means of which colony ships will be sent to the Universes Online collection of galaxies.

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