Game Structure and Design
Ideally, the game will be structured as shown in this flowchart. The main UI for playing the game will be a window that shows the participating characters, a map, an chat window, a "dice roller", and the Game Master.
The GM will have control of all NPC's (such as enemy characters, aliens, colonists, etc.), the map generator, and the game's "chat room". Prior to playing, the GM will prepare the known NPC's and create character sheets for them as necessary and create the map that will be used for the gaming session. He will also establish the chat room that will be used for conducting the game.
Each player will have one or more character sheets, depending on how many characters he desires to play. One IM client will be used for each player regardless of the number of characters he controls.
The map generator will be used by the GM to create the initial map and will be updated by the GM as the game progresses. A map client will be visible to each player but cannot be modified by them.
The dice roller application will be used by everyone throughout the game. Initial character and NPC creation will use it to determine skill and attribute levels. During the game, skill and attribute rolls, combat, and other randomly determined outcomes will be made using the dice roller.
Instant Messaging application
The standard interface for game communication for the players and the GM.