In 3D Cockpit view?, CutterJohn posted the following interpretation of how the player would gain feedback about his surroundings while inside his vessel:
The last one - that the player is just a program uploaded onto the ship's computer - is probably the most realistic prediction of how humanity will travel between the stars in the distant future once mind uploading is cracked and if we somehow fail to destroy ourselves before the end of the century.CutterJohn wrote:The only cockpit I'd like to see is one that doesn't forget this is the future. It is maddening when sci fi can't even equal todays tech. You climb into a small cabin onboard the ship, strap into the pilots chair, and a visor lowers. It blinks on, giving you a multispectrum composite view gathered from the myriad sensors on your hull. And thats a low tech cockpit. High tech would involve you jacking in matrix style, literally becoming one with the ship. Higher tech than that would require players accepting that they are no longer a human in the game, and rather just an AI of one sort or another. I think it would be fun, but most players seem to want to be han solo or something.
I'd like to roll with the middle one, though - that the player's CNS is integrated with the ship's systems. This explains the third-person view of the vessel as there being many tiny camera drones around the ship through which the player can see. He controls everything through thought, and information is routed directly to and from his brain - visual data from sensors is fed through to his visual cortex, impacts on the shield and hull trigger nerve clusters in his sematosensory cortex, neural impulses from his motor cortex and frontal cortex are routed away from the rest of his body and instead interpreted as commands to be carried out by the ship. That's how EVE Online does it.
Like EVE Online, I'm wondering whether there's the possibility of being able to manufacture drugs and other chemical substances that can have an effect on the player's physiology and hence also on the behaviour and characteristics of the vessel. You can take drugs that might increase or decrease the player's perception of the passage of time (causing time dilation-like effects), you can have drugs that increase his pain threshold, effectively improving shield tolerances, you can have drugs that relax the player and help him manage the harmonics of his reactors, producing greater power output.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, drugs would be consumables stored within the cargohold of a vessel that produce enduring "buffs" and possibly "debuffs" for various characteristics of the player's vessel. Both the positive and negative effects would attenuate with the passage of time.
There's also be the matter of legality, with many types of drugs being illegal in certain regions of space, tying their transport along into the smuggling mechanic.
I'm not overly attached to the idea, but I'd thought I'd throw it out there just in case any of you want to take this anywhere.
Edit: This of course can be tied in with the infinite-variety crafting system proposed in Additional Thoughts on Research and Production where an agent can combine different simpler chemical compounds in different ways to produce drugs with different types of effects, magnitude of those effects and durations of those effects.