Hello!! Are you all still open to new folks joining and suggesting stuffs??
I have been pondering/planning (simmering on the backburner) a very similar idea for nearly a year now.
I would love to participate! Honestly though, I am in it for the worldbuilding more than anything else...
Anyways, if you'll have me, here are my thoughts on this:
I think itd be best to keep the world simple, but flexible.
A central world at the hub of a multiverse (perhaps the whole thing is virtual to make lore/physics/magic play together nicely).
Everyone starts from their own corner of the world (or in the main part, your choice).
But if you start from your own world, your story would thus include the experience of transitioning between your reality and that of the hub world.
The hub world itself allows for all realities and things to coexist, as it is in between them all. But they cannot interact.. they just coexist, almost like in their own (invisible) bubbles. This keeps unintended and uncontrollable stuff from happening, but still retains the quirkyness of having scifi and fantasy together...
The story would thus be adventuring from your home world to the hub world, or reverse, or really anything in between...
However, I dont mind just picking from what is there too.
I personally like the Multiverse Ship the most, both because of its ability to actually tie this whole storyverse up with any later storyverses (via some epic easter eggs in our personal stories). But also because it provides that structure.
I would change the premise a bit to be more solid and accommodating.
1) Put all the ideas together...
The Ship is generational, everyone can thus do with the ship what they want in their generation. Perhaps the crew was full of riffraff and barbarians, perhaps you moored in a city the whole time, perhaps you lived a long life of capitalistic merchandising, perhaps you chanced into a hellish 'verse... whatever. This will keep all the things folks want while maintaining structure and scope.
And you can take the Star Trek creed to the next level:
"Reality, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Mverse Enterprise. Its fiscal-year mission: to explore strange new 'verses, to seek out new profits and new opportunities, to boldly go where no company has gone before."
Furthermore, the ship can be lost in space/time due to one generation unmooring themselves from their base universe in order to maximize profits. So you also have that 'drifting' feel as well as the ability and cause to become a 'legend' amongst the various places you visit.
2) Reverse Hyperion...
Make the ship a universe/multiverse in and of itself; so each story either takes place in a part of the ship, or as a denizen traveling from one part of the ship to another (and thus through different universes) in some kind of rite of passage. This both limits the scope while still keeping it flexible for everyone to write their own stories.
Plus is a very unique and interesting premise, if I do say so myself
The 'why and how' of this verse-sized ship is our own reality...in a way, our body, planet, solar system, galaxy, and likely universe each are ships carrying its crew through space and time. Ships are the natural order of things.
Just like how humans will probably take control of our evolution to (re)engineer our bodies, the same will happen to our planet (terra forming) and then solar system (dyson sphere), and then galaxy (intergalactic wormholes), and universe (interdimensional gateways)... So its not too hard to imagine an interdimensional species that either turned its multiverse into a ship, or put multiple pocket dimensions in their ship...
In both of these, there is no need for an 'introduction story' if you dont want it. Because the very action of creating this storyverse is what will set the tone and direction (if needed) through solid worldbuilding.
Feedback/discussion welcome... thanks for reading and for starting this!
Am I cool now!? Can I haz place here??