Okay, what can I say.
Vex is.... awesome =) The game is really starting to feel like a game. And it's at least a little bit fun, even though there isn't much to do (except explore).
Right now, the save system is in and working very very nicely. So is character generation. I've implemented a super session as well. Session stores all the "savegame"-ey type of stuff, e.g., the player name, ship stats, elapsed time, and so on. Super session stores more of the savegame, but on a game-world level. What this all means is basically that session is for each character, and super session is for the world. Time elapses in realtime, i.e., when I wake up and start up vex tommorow, the planets will have continued in their orbits. This isn't all perfectly tested but it seems to work. There doesn't seem to be a problem switching between players, and this is important because when it comes time to implement network play, I am going to be building on the game's ability to have characters and a game world, and to have a global savestate for the game world as well as local save states for the characters.
First networked code will essentially keep the global savestate in synch, which means that everybody's planets should be on the same orbit cycle (within a few seconds of lag, I guess). Beyond that, I don't think there will be much else. The next stage will be to allow you to see other players, both in the flight scene and when you enter buildings. At this point, other game variables may be synchronized, too. Finally, I will look at synchronizing enemies, so you and your buddies can go hunting together if you so choose. This is the most messy/difficult one, and the one I'll leave until the last.
What else? Oh yes, in character generation, you are also given a ship. There isn't really any differentiation in terms of ship types right now, but in the end there definitely will be. Certain character classes will be given different types of ships.
So, I'm putting together the next demo right now, or I should say, really I'll be doing it tommorow. I'm testing this one LOTS more, it was a real disappointment last time when stuff wouldn't load properly. This should fix that.
What I'm most impressed with, is the game seems to have just this sense of fun, simplicity, and coolness. The graphics won't compete with Doom3 (though they might come close to competing with War3, which is actually nicer as far as I'm concerned). The dialog and story won't be a final fantasy, and the animation isn't going to be ratchet and clank (not that I've played that game....) The gameplay depth isn't going to be mario 64 or zelda 64. The online component isn't going to be everquest. But the unified WHOLE, the oneness of it, the overarching simplicity and coolness of it, it will be WONDERFUL.
The network play (and job/charachter system, really), were the final pieces to the gameplay puzzle.