The initial 1981-85 story will be told in the style of Papers Please, pixel art cutscenes, simplistic, mostly for budget reasons. Maybe they can be viewed as slides in an old projector. The rest of the story will be told in news articles, news video recordings, audio logs, and text logs that Earth transmit to the ships. With these transmissions also come new technologies that pass beyond the 1980s. All transmissions are automatically recorded onto metal alloy media disks, or MADD.
As the transmissions get closer and closer to the 1,000 year mark, they will start to become more and more garbled, static, artifacting, glitching, etc. It can be fixed, but the method has yet to be determined. As the game continues development, more and more transmissions will be released. Most of these transmissions will be focused around lore and what happens to Earth.
There will need to be a way to encode and then a way for players to decode them. It'll probably be a key that needs to be solved by the players. The MADD disk will then need to be taken to the Archive, the place where decoded MADD disks are stored for viewing, listening and reading. In some releases, there will be new technologies attached to one or multiple MADDs. When taken to the archive, they can be pieced together to create schematics for new technologies. However, to get this technology, players must go to the Archive to get a copy or trade a copy from another player. The tech MADD disks might need to have a payment of in-game currency, that will be up for debate.
Tech from transmissions
The tech will become more and more advanced as time goes on. It will include various genetic sequences, including new animals and plants. Of course, there will also be schematics for cloning. Technology will eventually lead up to fabricators, which use raw elements to make other objects. Maybe in 2250 there will be a way to make full genetic sequencers, which are like fabricators, but create genetic data. With the help of fabricators, they can create embryos for meat or new plants.
The newer technology will be built off of the old technology, so the older technology MADD disks will need to be decoded and pieced together before some newer technologies can be used. Newer technology MADDs can be decoded before older technology MADDs, but it will be fairly useless until the older technologies are pieced together.
The year is 1985, the International Space Exploration Committee has come together to create Project Arrow, an international effort to explore space beyond the solar system.
The player character will start in 1981; applications for the Interstellar Exploratory Project (IEP) have opened. The application is requested over the phone and received through the mail. The player is required to fill out a bunch of forms and attach a full-body photo and a portrait of themselves. The photos will be a rendering of their body and face. The player will fill out their name. The player can then use sliders to change their height and build. There will a slider for various options for facial features. Once the forms are filled out, it is sent out and a reply is sent back a few months later.
The player is then taken to a training facility. This is where the tutorial begins. There is the basic movement and building tutorials as well as basic tool-material interactions. The training will take place during a 3 year time frame.
The player enters the colony ship and goes to his respective cryo cell and gets ready for cryo sleep. He watches as other people pass by and get into their cryo cell. Once everyone is in their cryo cell, the lights turn off and a small robotic voice comes in through a small speaker next to the player's head. The various processes of cryo sleep are completed. And the player closes their eyes and the spaceship launches.
Due to an error in the program controlling the cryo sleep, there is an endian error, instead of a 100,000 years of cryo sleep, it becomes trillions of years of cryo sleep. The ships are still in contact with Earth, after 1,000 years, they lose contact (WWIII, nuclear war?, up for discussion, up to the lore writers). The fate of Earth can be found out through the transmissions that Earth sends to the ships, including news articles, news video recordings, audio logs, text logs, and new technologies.
The emergency wake-up protocol fails on all ships, caused by an uncommented line of code.
After trillions of years of cryosleep, the memories of the passengers deteriorate. Soon, no memories of Earth remain. After the sleep timer runs out, people slowly come out of cryo sleep, their motor functions impaired and memory gone.
Original 0x10c Story
In 1988, a brand new deep sleep cell was released, compatible with all popular 16 bit computers. Unfortunately, it used big endian, whereas the DCPU-16 specifications called for little endian. This led to a severe bug in the included drivers, causing a requested sleep of 0x0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0x0001 0000 0000 0000 years.
It's now the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD, and the first lost people are starting to wake up to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy.
281,474,976,710,656 years = 8,882,492,329,259,289,280,512 seconds Speed of 1/4 c = 74948114.5 m/s
d = ut + (at2)/2
u = initial speed = 0 m/s
t = time = 74948.1145 s
a = acceleration = 1000 m/s2
d = (0 m)/sec * 74948.1145 s + 1/2 * (1000 m)/s2 * (74948.1154 s)2
d = (1000 m* (749481.1145 s)2)/2s2
d = 2808609933552.555125 m
2808609933552.555125 m travelled during acceleration
8882492329259289205563.8855 seconds left of entire trip
d = ut - (pt2)/2
u = initial speed = 74948114.5 m/s
t = time = 59958.4916 s
p = deceleration = 1250 m/s2
d= (74948114.5 m)/s*59958.4916 s - 1/2*(1250 m)/s2 *(59958.4916 s)2
d= 4493775893684.0882 m - (1250 m * (59958.4916 s)2)/(2s2 )
d= 4493775893684.0882 m - 2246887946842.0441 m
d= 2246887946842.0441 m
2246887946842.0441 m travelled during deceleration
8882492329259289145605.3939 seconds left of entire trip
d = vt
d = 74948114.5 m/s * 8882492329259289145605.3939 s
d = 665726052138696903073440233834.8 m
665726052138696903073440233834.8 m travelled during cruise period
665726052138696903073440233834.8 m + 2246887946842.0441 m + 2808609933552.555125 m = 665726052138696908128938114229.4 m travelled during whole trip
665726052138696908128938114229.4 m = 70367299234251.727104237148499886 light years (ly) = 21574737007521.470432626457431378 parsecs (pc)
21574737007521.470432626457431378 pc = 21574.737007521470432626457431378 Gpc
For comparison, the particle horizon, the boundary of the universe is about 14.0 Gpc (46 billion light-years). With the distance travelled, we could put 3,744,241,013,153,525,889,051,969,819 human beings end to end if each one was 5'10" (177.8 cm). That's 3 octillion! That's more than the the number of unique combinations of hands and shared cards in a 10-player game of Texas Hold'em, which is approximately 2.117×1028.