Hardlife: The Rules

As usual, no exploits. Hardwar was remarkably robust even when released, before being patched up by its very dedicated design team, even after the company went under. However, the AI and game rules can still be exploited, notably in order to kill people without technically committing a hostile act, preventing reprisals. Trapping ships inside airlocks (causing the airlock’s defences to destroy them) is not allowed, nor are any of the other unfair tricks that depend on loopholes and the like.

I can, however, be a sneaky opportunistic bastard. Indeed, that’s half the fun of the game.

Though food, water, booze and narcotics are tradeable goods, there’s no practical way to make my character need to eat or drink, however I must rest periodically. This will mean sitting in a hangar for a few game hours, or I can use time spent in a lightwell (refuelling) to catch some ‘sleep’ – I imagine most people would rather than sit there doing nothing for hours.

I cannot use navigation and radar features untless I have the right equipment. Upgrades improve your capabilities, but there are long-range target lookup and tracking features that come as standard. To preserve a sense of amateurish muddling along, I will pretend this is not so, and have to rely on eyesight and memory alone, although probably not for very long. I’ll ‘add’ more features as I upgrade the relevant software.

Finally, and most importantly, no reloads. Barring major glitches, keyboard dropping incidents, and anything unfair enough to spoil the experience for us all, I must accept the consequences of my actions, first time. If I anger the gangs, I have to play on. If I run afoul of the police, I have to pay the fine or deal with their patrols. If I have a valuable cargo that I can’t defend, I have to let it go. If I die, I die.

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