Dr. Kaii wrote:
I think the very best thing that can be added to Space Engine that can start very simple and shouldn't (in theory) be a huge project, would be simple base building. Something that can be expanded on and even handed largely over to a modding community. It would give us something to do with all the planets and stars! Other things involve so many intermingling concepts and projects and so much time, whereas a simple base/colony building and sharing mechanic would provide immediate stuff to do, immediate fun and would fit right in with the whole idea of Space Engine.
Don't get me wrong, I have a HUGE wish list and this isn't even at the top of my wish list, but when thinking what this one-man project could do to add some gameplay quickly, this is the first thing that comes to mind.
I think the three top things that should be added game-play wise are base/colony/city building, simple terraforming mechanics, and simple cosmic events. As you said it would have to start out small and simple and be built up over time, like the rest of the game was.
Like for barebones mechanics you could have things like colony upgrades, terriforming, object collisions and star expansion/novas happening instantaneously when they're triggered and then come back later on to add the graphic effects and extra mechanics.