Any Ideas for a Space Job Sim?

For years now, I've been wanting to make a game that could motivate me to be more productive IRL. I actually made a post here with a different account a while back about how to do a leveling system or something like that. The type of game I was trying to make was above my skill level at the time. Now that I'm more experienced I would like to try again by creating a sci-fi text adventure that mostly takes place in space. As I'm still in the planning phase, I'm posting to see if anyone has any ideas they would like to add.

The player starts off as a skill-less 20 year old who wants a space job, which requires graduating from a space academy. Upon graduation, the player is left to their own devices. This game will not have a main story (I'm not really a writer), instead I would like for it to be more of a systemic sandbox. Nonetheless, the game can still have lore so any ideas for that are welcome. I plan on including more than what I've listed below, it just represents things I want to implement first.

  • Job(s)
    • Delivery
  • Stat(s)
    • Pilot
    • Mechanic
  • Spacecraft Type(s)
    • Cargo
    • Personal

[Character Progression]
In other games the player character improves by performing in-game actions. The idea here is in order to progress in the game, the player has to make progress IRL. In this game, the player edits their character's stats by adding/subtracting points. This will allow the player to create their own system and change it as necessary.

For example, I may decide that for every task I complete, I get to add a point to one of my stats. Another player can use the same system, except they may want to also subtract a stat point for every uncompleted task.

[Space Academy]
The academy is mainly there to serve as a tutorial. The player chooses the type of job they would like training in. In order to graduate, the player must have the job's minimum stat requirements and pass the appropriate evaluations. For example, pilot students will have to take a test where they are given descriptions of different types of spacecraft and have to provide the correct model name. Aspiring mechanics will be tested on the function of each spacecraft part.

Employment options for delivery include contract work and regular employment. Contract work can be performed for individuals and organizations. This type of work requires the player have their own spacecraft. Contracts won't always be available and can have a wide pay range. If that's too risky, the player can become employed at a company where a spacecraft will be provided and work is consistent. The only downside is that the pay is much lower.

Technically any spacecraft can be used for delivery, but its best to use one designed for cargo transportation.

The player can name any owned spacecrafts but each will have a model name. I would like for there to be a systematic approach to model names but I haven't completely thought this out. I was thinking that model names could follow this pattern: [Purpose]-[Letter Modifier]-[# Modifier]. A cargo spacecraft's model name could be C-XYZ-1010, where 'C' stands for cargo. I don't know what the other name parts could signify yet.

The quality of parts the spacecraft is made out of will affect how it performs. Cheaper parts will require more maintenance and repair. How a spacecraft is constructed will change its model name. Other than propellers, which affect speed, I haven't come up with any specific parts yet. I haven't thought of any cool names for them either.

I don't think the Pilot stat will be that involved for the first version of the game as there won't be any combat. I was thinking that the bigger and faster the spacecraft is, the harder it is to pilot. If the player attempts to fly something that is above their skill level there's a chance that the craft will move in a random direction.

Mechanics will be tasked with repairing, maintaining, and upgrading the ship. How long it takes to perform each of these tasks will depend on the part's quality and how high the Mechanic stat is.

Players can hire NPCs who have the skills they may lack. If the player just wants to focus on piloting for a cargo contract, a NPC mechanic can be hired. The reverse can also happen where NPC pilots will offer to pay the player for their mechanic skills.

Other jobs:

Satellite placement
Satellite Repair
Scrap/debris collection
Passenger transport (between the planet and various stations, or station to station)

Anyway, there's some...

Thanks for your ideas!

You got your engineer, your scientist, your mechanic, your robot, a chef, and so on.

Thanks @jmnevil54, I made a note of your ideas also.

Not to rain on your parade... (AND, I do like your idea...)
I don't see Quest as a good platform for this, but I could be wrong.
Quest is more for "short" room to room adventures.
I see this as a larger game, multiple saves and reloads... days, or weeks, long of a game.
Quest does have a save/load function, and a game like this will need it IF you are going for the size that I would expect.
I would recommend practicing with that and see how well you can use it.

I am planning-working on something similar, and I am combining aspects from 3 or 4 spaceship battle games.
(Star Fire, Star Frontiers, Space Opera, and maybe Star Fleet Battles (Star Trek based))
You look like you are aiming for the character to be the main "character", and my focus would be more "the ship is the main character".
We could trade idea for ship identifiers.
I have my spaceship game here, with graphics, that was a test for the idea, but I may drop back to text descriptions.
Looking forward to see how yours will develop.

Yeah, since my initial post I've been doing research and have come to the realization that Quest isn't the right system. I was actually about to make another post about that here. Thanks for confirming my suspicions, @DarkLizerd.

I've been working on an open-world ascii game with the same basic concept but with a fantasy setting. Its heavily inspired by the adventure mode from Dwarf Fortress. With that game, I've been doing everything from scratch using Python and Tkinter, which may not be the best tools but they get the job done. So far, there's basic world generation, player movement, npc movement, and a simple turn system. After running into memory issues, I'm starting over and using the shelve module so that I can save persistent objects to a file and initialize them later. Its do-able but its been wearing on my patience so I thought that I would try something different.

Before posting I had been looking through the Quest documentation and saw that I could use svg and javascript. Getting the svg to work would be very similar to how the graphics work in my other game so I wasn't worried about that. I was really hoping that I could write objects to a file and then initialize them later as needed to preserve memory. That's not the case apparently.

I have been thinking about making a game similar to The Pixie's Deeper. I would like for the dungeons to be more like the ones from TES:Daggerfall. Levers, secret rooms, traps, etc. I believe adding svg to the game would help to make range combat viable. I might work on that instead.

@DarkLizerd, what are your ideas for spaceship identifiers? I literally just went to the vehicles wikipedia page and started making up identifiers. It still isn't completely thought out though. The identifier structure is [Type]-[Sub Type]-[Sub Type of Sub Type]. For example, W-FA-001 stands for Wagon-Farm Wagon-Buckboard. A wagon is a spaceship whose locomotion is dependent on an alien creature instead of propellers. Farm wagon means that the spaceship is designed to transport items used for agriculture. Maybe Earth is over-crowded so colonies are being established on other planets and they need food? The 001 is just a numeric code for buckboard, which is a specific type of farm wagon.

Wagons in space... Propellers on spaceships... or animal powered...
Sounds like magic... heard of Spell Jammer?
Sounds like a retro-Sci-Fi... or steampunk...
Interesting idea...
For ships, I would start with class/size....
In star fire,, the simplest game I know (as in played)
Size: ES-Escort (Smallest)
Type: F- Freighter
Ship Name: (Player select or pre-named)
ES-F-1205 Cyclops

Space Opera:
is the most intensive Sci-Fi character generator I know, and is massive in playability... (But I never had a chance to play it)
It has many idea that you use for ideas.

[Size]-[Type]-[#] is definitely a better identification system. Its simple and efficient compared to what I was going to do.

I don't know anything about pen and paper rpgs but from what I can tell Spelljammer is science fantasy. Its hard to tell whether Space Opera is science fantasy or not (the Psionics are tripping me up). I was going for a straight science fiction game but I can still use both for inspiration. Thanks for putting me on to them.

I had a thought today...
Now that I have pointed you away from Quest for this, I may need to turn you around.
Your "wagons" in space powered by animals had me thinking...

Craft sizes:
Cart: 1 driver, 4 passengers, or 1 ton of cargo, or a mix
powered by 1 or 2 goats.
Each goat can pull 1 ton craft at 20 MPH

Wagon: 1 driver, 10 passengers, or 5 tons of cargo
Powered by 1 or 2 or 4 horses.
Each horse can pull 3 tons at 40 MPH

Larger the craft, larger the animals...
Different animals, different speed and pulling power.
Need fast, use a cheetah, top speed 60, pulling power 3 tones.
Need power, used an elephant, top speed 8 MPH, pull 30 tones.
If you mix animals, the top speed is still the slowest.
Now, these speeds will not work for for space travel but, attached to the front of the craft is a treadmill that the animal walks on.
(Ever watch Futurarama? Ever see the episode with the Amish?
Like this)

Spell Jammer is DnD in space, and magic is used to power the ships.
The treadmill powers the "magic" that moves the craft so that 1 MPH equals 1 LS/H or 186,000 MPH.
(May need to lower the speed some...)
If the animal can pull the weight, it can move a full speed, but over that weight, it slows down to 0 at 2x weight.
That's why you use more than one, but it can never move faster than it's max speed.

If you want to go with the "DnD in space" route...

The idea came while I was doing research and discovered that certain plant species could survive the hard vacuum of space. The original plan was to have humans depend on propellers and fuel for their spaceships while sentient alien species would depend on non-sentient aliens (what they would consider to be animals) found on their home planets. The non-sentient aliens would be outside of the spaceship as they could survive in outer space.

What you're describing could serve as a great alternative in a situation where propellers and fuel aren't available. Maybe its too pricey, there's a shortage, or whatever planet the player is currently on isn't as technologically advanced.

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