My old friend and longtime collaborator Albert Bailey will be working with me on In the Beginning, the solar system setting for StarCluster 3. Yay!
One of the things I am interested in exploring with In the Beginning is The Economics of Slow. In SF games, everyone is interested in Fast. There are many things which must be delivered quickly - humans for example. Yet many more things would be more advantageous to deliver slowly - metals, ceramics, manufactured items, etc. - because of the steep cost reduction slow delivery entails.
Let's say we have a refinery in the Belt, and a market on Mars. Flying a ship from the belt to mars and back would be hideously expensive. A better way might be to set up a cycle of robotic light sail craft - cheap to build, and cheaper to operate, with no consubables and no lie support. Each individual craft might take months to move between the endpoints of the route, but if you use a lot of them, a delivery will happen every few days either way. Say it takes six months, 180 days, between Mars and the Belt via light sail. If you have 25 craft, you will have a delivery every (180/25)= 7.2 days. If you have 50 craft, that's a delivery every 3.6 days. The more craft, the more it becomes a flow, a waterfall of refined metal.