I really hate it when that happens, I realllllly realllllly do! :0) It's not as if I don't have anything better to do than sit in my little IRC channel waiting for people who aren't going to show up to...well, show up.
In any event, yesterday I took matters into my own hand. I've been wanting to create myself a new game for a while. Something of a mixture between Civilization II (awesome empire building game on da computer), Masters of Orion II (awesome empire-in-space building game on da computer), Birthright (TSR's best ever campaign world, and an experiment with players-as-kings), and various board games that are mostly formed by players interacting with each other rather than rules.
Thus..."RULES OF THE GALAXY!"
It's organized where each player designs his homeworld, his race, and his beginning empire. The empire is just on the cusp of FTL travel, having just recently discovered the technology to safely and cheaply explore and exploit his beginning Solar System. The players will expand their empire, and move out into the galaxy at large. They'll interact with each other, with their own citizens, with non-player empires, and with all manner of things that they have to face.
Just like a roleplaying game, it'll be very loose and player-based. What do you do with your galactic civilization? Whatever you want to! ;) Conquer the stars and grind them under your boots, create a benevolent utopia, or simply try to survive while doing as little as possible and manipulating others.
What rules I have for it so far are fairly loose, and are quite obviously organized around providing a framework for empire building, freeform roleplaying, and interaction with the other players and NPE (Non-Player Empires...hehe). But, hell, the main thing that makes RPGs fun for me is the interaction and the storytelling /anyway/. So, I'm not gonna worry so much about the rules.
Best of all, I can easily play it in a turn-based manner over the Internet via Email. So, I'm hoping I won't have many problems with player attendance. And, four players is a fairly good start, I believe.
Thus...I'm excited! :0) Yeah!