101 simulspaces

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Pyrite Pyrite's picture
101 simulspaces

It seems obvious to me that a huge portion of people in the transhumanist future of Eclipse Phase will spend a significant amount of time in simulspace, and at least a significant fraction will likely never want to leave their virtual worlds. Given that, let's come up with some ideas of what sort of simulspaces people spend their time in.

I'll start us off:

1: Twisted Matrices. Inspired by The Matrix trilogy, this ironic simulspace contains three layers: A post apocalyptic rebel group of humans fights against the machine intelligence that has taken over the world by hacking in to the VR program to which most humans have been forcibly uploaded. Within that simulspace, a shadow war is fought over corporations that have developed their own virtual reality simulations. Accessing these simulations dumps you into other popular simulspaces, or in at least one case, simply logs you out of the simulspaces and dumps you back into your own body, with the implication that your reality itself might be a simulspace.

2: Up the beanstalk: players find themselves in a castle of long-dead giants, which they explore and colonize, fighting off oversized vermin and overcoming engineering difficulties like how to open a seventy foot tall door.

'No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.' --J.R.R. Tolkien

Jetpack Jetpack's picture
3. Oregon Trail - players

3. Oregon Trail - players will be colonists heading West in a fictionalized version of the settlement of the Western United States.

Mostly though, they will make jokes about dying of dysentery.

4. Tokyo Online.

Players will protect Tokyo from Giant monsters, while dating wide-eyed girls, who occasionally will turn into Giant monsters, continuing the cycle of life.

5. SimuCat

Players will spend their time petting and feeding a VR cat, who mostly ignore them while looking superior.

Darkening Kaos Darkening Kaos's picture
Obligatory....

6. Dwarf Fortress.

You arrive at a newly established fortress as a Migrant Dwarf; subject yourself to scrutiny and try to avoid the ignominy of being a Fish Cleaner/Cheese Maker. Alternatively, you could arrive as a pet cat with the sole task of causing the demise of the fortress through any number of means, more points/rewards for creativity.

7. Bollywood X-Treme.

You arrive in the simulated city as a lowly accountant/help-desk/clerk, but strange and wonderous things happen to you on a daily basis - largely involving impromptu song and dance numbers involving a greater number of people as the simulation steamrolls along.

Your definition of horror is meaningless to me.......
I. Am. A Bay12'er.

slickMundane slickMundane's picture
something funny

8. Game of houses - A medieval period sim where you must forge alliances and deal in subtle treachery to rise to power in the mythical lands of Akima Adilay. No one says what they mean or means what they say in Akima and there is always a mask behind the mask, a veil underneath the veil. Do you have what it takes to rise to power and maintain your seat at the head of the most cunning house? Marry you daughter off to forge new bonds, hire assassins to kill your daughter, and invade the country taking it for your very own. "Make Machiavelli proud!"

Armoured Armoured's picture
Simulspaces for the simul-god!

I suspect this thread would be better off in the Homebrew section, being a fan-produced list of ideas. In any case, here are a few more, "inspired" by current online communities and pieces of media.

9. Tabula Rasa servers

This is a term used to describe simulspaces with largely user-developed content. A favourite of artists and creative types, they range from sprawling virtual art galleries to fantastical cityscapes. Most Tabula Rasas require a a verification process for a user to be given access to the virtual editing tools, but some allow open access and treat the chaos which usually results as its own art form.

10. Storyworld

Virtual worlds were popular for children before the fall, and are even more in demand after it due to the large number of instantiated, but not legally adult, egos of children uploaded during the evacuation of Earth. Storyworld is a collection of linked simulspaces, based on beloved children's stories and governed by caretaker AIs.

Allowing children access to simulspaces has come under much criticism after the failure of the Futura Project, but Storyworld remains active due to the difficulty in caring for children in AF10. Rumours abound that several sub-worlds of the simulspace were acquired from Cognite cheaply after the Futura project shutdown, but remain unproven.

11. Andromeda Eternis

Andromeda is a large-scale space empire sim. Players control fleets of ships and form large alliances and coalitions, trading resources and vying for control of territory with each other. While it has been criticized as having the making space battles dry and uninteresting, it enjoys a large fanbase.

Notable for having exactingly detailed realistic space combat as is currently possible by transhumanity, with the addition of faster-than-light travel. Particularly interesting tactics or in-game admirals are observed with interest by several military groups in the real world.

12. Adventures of Distant Suns

AoDS is a beloved, long-running adventure/drama simulspace. It presents a science fantasy setting, with multiple humanoid alien races, which users may play as. Major events are guided by a creative team, but players may be involved in adventures, political scheming, betrayal or be caught up in the complex relationships between factions.

13. EduNet servers

In AF10, education is highly sought after. Millions of Fall evacuees constantly need to learn new skills, and even with forking, there are never enough educators. EduNet is a sprawling, basic interface for education simulspaces built and maintained by the Argonauts. Licenced (freely) versions exist on almost every major population center's mesh, and usually have custom environments which replace the default beige lecture rooms of the basic system.

Even the Planetary Consortium provides EduNet for free to its citizens, though they tend to not allow them to be run on accelerated time servers; private companies provide accelerated education for a fee. Basic teaching is provided by carefully edited delta forks of many respected experts in various fields or skillsoft-equipped AI, while tools are included for professionals to teach other people.

14. Edens

Eden simulspaces are high-fidelity representations of gardens and other natural settings. Several are reproductions of famous places and parks on Earth, painstakingly reconstructed from records and memories after the Fall. Almost all are freely accessible, and they are highly valued in psychological care work.

15. Niceville

This surprisingly popular simulspace is a reproduction of a town in the United States in the mid-twentieth century. Usually the simulspace is run with its colours in greyscale as a homage to historical media technology. Much of the amusement is in the form of farcical miscommunication or "hyjinks" between players and AI NPCs. Notably these servers tend to be run with extremely strict filters on strong language or risque behaviour, though finding new ways to slip suggestive material past the filters is a time-honoured tradition.

Edit: fixed numbering

Rehab Rehab's picture
Depression Epoch

16. Walk me back

Descended from an interactive media series first created before the advent of widespread uploading and resleeving, users take the role of a fictional department of public servants; suicide prevention officers, or Spotters. Called to the scene of suicide threats and trained to recognize the signs of poor mental health, in particular pre-suicide "cries for help." Single-user modes include a continually updated storyline where the user goes through the daily routine of life in the Spotters alongside a cast of shifting characters, as well as an "arcade mode" which filters users directly from encounter to encounter with suicide-threat and other mental health crises constructed from the details of actual cases and studies.
Multiuser modes involve collaborative lay efforts to discuss and contribute to current issues in mental health, as well as larger-scale mental health crisis scenarios harkening back to the MMOs of old, requiring the collaboration of many users at once.
Originally a contributor to a particular cultural movement pushing for higher public acceptance and awareness of mental illness and suicide, the series' central themes have shifted since technology allowing for the decoupling of consciousness from physical bodies became more widely available. However, as mental health is now a more potent public concern than ever for transhumanity, the sims have likewise been catapulted from cult followings to ubiquity.

17. ID, Please.

A thinly veiled satire of customs hell in PC and especially Jovian space. Users take the role of either detainees presented with elaborate Catch-22's in increasingly absurd ID/brainprint prompts and form-completion requirements, or of a lowly customs officer charged with keeping track of it all.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Final Destination: A flat

Final Destination: A flat rectangle made from a slightly yielding gripping material. It moves through simple virtual space in a vaguely horizontal manner, generating a strong breeze across it. This simulspace is a popular locale for virtual martial arts, as there is no favorable asymmetry for any fighter, leaving combat to a matchup of only skill.

xXx420BLAZIT.SOTYEDITION.MLG2PRO4U.69XxX: Beginning pre-fall as a stabilizing memeplex of various self-referential internet memes X420X for short has evolved into a complete sensory overload simulator. It has long passed any rational point of enjoyment or art. The actual simulspace is a simple grid of rooms through which the player walks. There are technically enemies to fight, but only the most strong minded of viewees can find them in the screaming mist of unaltered X420X. It is rumored that both Direct Action and Medusan Shield have used sudden injections of X420X visual effects into training simulspace environments as a drill for dealing with sudden sensory overload.

Greenery: An endless sheet of natural environments, procedurally generated in part by the mindset of the user. People entering Greenery project a zone of control around themselves which matches their current mood. Greenery is especially common, as many people use it as a reflective place to cool emotions. The comparitive simplicity of Greenery compared to many other simulspaces allows for less hardware to run a higher speed inside, making the cooldown time worth more in the real world.

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
Everyone Knows Eve Online

Everyone Knows Eve Online Shall survive :P

Lord Koniu Lord Koniu's picture
18. Urban Survivalists

18. Urban Survivalists
Players are dumped into a 21st century version of one of the earthly slums. They are given twenty dollars and a set of clothing and are tasked to survive for a period of time predetermined before logging in. If they fail, they respawn buried alive for the duration of their remaining stay. This simulspace is particularly popular among decadent artists, wanabe social workers searching for a "poverty simulator" and extremely rich CEOs and celebrities wanting to taste something new and exotic to them.

19.Snowy Solitude
Players are spawned in a buddhist monastery at the top of a mountain somewhere in the Himalays. In this remote location they can taste a simple and refreshing life of a hard, but fruitful labor, meditation and prayers. If they wish, they can talk to one of the very sophisticated AIs to discuss topics like theology, philosophy and art. Rumor has it, that this simulspace is frequently used as a meeting place for members of various clandestine groups, from Project Ozma to the triads,

slickMundane slickMundane's picture
20. All Worlds

20. All Worlds
Sim space allows uses to choose between any of the major planetary domes and habs including Sol. Basic gravity and atmospheric conditions are accurate to give people an opportunity to acclimate before traveling to a new area - particularly useful for egocasting. Different layers of detail can be included down to fairly up to date schematics of public areas. Private areas have been finished in to varying levels of clarity with some shops only showing the public reception areas with others having fully detailed layouts. Considered by many to be a security concern, consultants are often hired to monitor the sim space and alert local businesses when their design security has been compromised.

21. Alien vs Predator
Based on old archives of the popular film series, the AvP sim allows users to choose sides and fight in ultra violent contests to show their superiority. Different battle modes include King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, and Death Match both solo or with a team. Players can also choose to play against other players or against various skill levels of AI. Some contestants choose to pit themselves against ever growing hoards in a show of their battle prowess while others choose to form elite kill squads to hone their cooperative techniques. In reality, this sim was created by the Ultimates and they monitor for particularly skillful warriors and adept leaders able to coordinate their attacks against the unlimited waves of ever changing xenobeasts.

consumerdestroyer consumerdestroyer's picture
1. Whiskey Gardens

1. Whiskey Gardens
A forgettable, flash-in-the-pan homesteading simulation called Green Gardens peaked in users around mid-A.F. 2, but by the close of A.F. 3 the Venusian startup which created Green Gardens had folded. Green Gardens didn't have enough dedicated fans to do anything more than the odd take over and maintenance of the local shard where interest was strong enough, and as better sims came out even these largely shut down as players moved on to greener pastures (and gardens). But out at the edge of the solar system, a dedicated group of 50 players from a variety of factions and walks of life happened to include a re-instantiated horticultural expert turned drug dealer and her partner, a half-decent hacker and excellent programmer who loved logging in to Green Gardens with her after a long day to see that smile seen nowhere else since leaving behind their patch of land in India during the Fall. Whiskey Gardens might not have the big budget polish of some of the newer fare (and indeed, many games released in the last 5 years where gardening isn't the focus have functionality for farming and gardening far exceeding Green Gardens' unmodified content), the quality and regularity of the unofficial updates has swelled over five times the original 50 (plus or minus those who've left Whiskey or died without insurance) to over 2% of Whiskey's population, and made Whiskey Gardens the longest-running shard of a homesteading sim in the solar system. Nothing says dedication like Boulanger Family muscle spending their free time playing farmhands on an ID Crew-led farm year after year, although all such in-game relationships are kept from higher-ups on Whiskey (and never mentioned on Guanxi, just in case). The main shard on Mars is back online running Whiskey Gardens' updates as of last year, and Martian mesh forum buzz indicates that people nostalgic for the early days of trying desperately to distract themselves from the fresh horrors of the Fall seem to be driving the resurgence on Mars. This (and the uptick in Lunar traffic on said Martian mesh buzz) may point to Whiskey Gardens making a minor splash other places in the system soon.

2. Sync-Up Tactics
Everyone knows you can only play real-time with other players in your small patch of the solar system due to time lags, no matter how identical the versions of a VR world are between habs. Outer system types that were tired of ripping off the newest major studio release to play in a huge gameworld that is vastly more populated on the Venusian or Martian shards came up with a game collaboratively, swapping time-lagged communiques between wandering Scum, intrepid Skimmers, eccentric Ringers and other isolated or far-flung programmers as they built a single-shard tactical experience so massively multiplayer that you can find Sifters at war with Out'sters! The game is effectively localized slices of real time gameplay and territory management that contribute to a solar system-wide turn order that sets up the next round of real time gameplay. The turn information from the real time slices takes 48 hours from the beginning of collection to the new turn's beginning, and an AI (whose priorities you can modify) takes turns for you in your absence to keep the game moving. Set on an alien world roughly 1.5 times the size of Earth, you can customize the appearance and abilities of your unique alien race (or use someone else's creation if you prefer) and the game randomly allots you a starter nation of land and a timer to build yourself up and ping your neighbours to feel out potential truces, alliances or conflicts ahead. The devs say the issue of existing users claiming "unclaimed" land to allot to new users may eventually become an issue and are hard at work designing a second planet.

Wikrin Wikrin's picture
Yet more:

#24. What Serenity Comes (/Happy Places)
A collection of doors, through which instanced nature scenes can be accessed. They present Earth not just before the Fall, but before the rise of man. Everything from a cliff overlooking the ocean, to a field of volcanic run-off. Though everything moves more slowly than normal, the simulation itself is wildly accelerated; it is sold primarily as a place in which people can take a break, even when they have little time to spare. Popular among those with high-stress lifestyles.

#25: The Colony
Take on the role of one of the thousands of ants tasked with maintaining a colony. Be a worker, and ensure the queen is fed! Be a soldier, and ensure the colony is safe! Scout for food in a giant Pre-Fall Earth park! Picnic baskets are like gold! (And keep your eyes open for the upcoming sequel, The Hive!)

Evilnerf Evilnerf's picture
#26 Under The Sea

#26 Under The Sea
A simulation of Earth's ocean marketed to uplifts. Allows you to become whatever form you please, and swim through the ocean's depths. This seemingly innocuous Sim world has a dark secret though. The settings can be tweaked just right so as to simulate drowning to awaken primal terrors in land dwelling species.

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
Open Source?

What open-source games are currently available, and liable to be continually upgraded through the next 50-90-ish years?

As much as I'd love to play Warframe as a simulspace, I can't see that happening. At the very least, it's both too on-point, as well as too effective a combat-training sim for most polities to be comfortable with it. The use of skillsofts - "stance mods" is integral to the game, and brutally carving your way through hordes of augmented space marines is a topic that might worry certain factions, as I mentioned *cough-PC-cough-Jovians-cough*. I suppose that since "murder simulator addict" is a perk to be picked up, such things probably do exist. But as DE is a Terran company, they probably didn't survive the Fall anyway. What would?

#27: Warsow

A murder-simulator originally written in the waning years of the 20th century, Warsow distinguishes itself with its finely-tuned gameplay, exaggerated, cartoony graphics, and similarly exaggerated and cartoony physics engine that gives all players superhuman athletic prowess and fleetness of foot… and hoof. Warsow experienced a lull in popularity during the mid-21st century, but was re-popularized after it was discovered by porcine uplifts, who found the series' mascot - an uplifted pig, anticipated decades before it was technically feasible - incredibly easy to fall into and control, and the series' comedic ultraviolence just as cathartic as any other well-tuned murder simulator. The current version, Warsow X, (Yes, that's an A.F. dating scheme, in roman numerals) maintains its open-source roots, and deeply customized versions are found everywhere from Mercury to Pluto, several exoplanets, and everywhere between. Several other uplift groups contributed code between Warsow VI and Warsow X to make characters portable from one variant of the game to another without engine changes, but the game-balance implications of avian and cetacean avatars make the choice of physics ruleset occasionally contentious. Many other games come and go; the series freedom and ubiquity keep it from fading away, however, and those visiting distant portions of Sol continue to occasionally discover that Warsow is the only game they have in common with their new acquaintances.