Just saw this alpha footage from Space Engineers, an upcoming space construction game. At a glance, it looks like it's close to what I wanted (and didn't really feel like I got) from StarMade -- An open world space sandbox. I know, StarMade technically fits that description -- but it completely fails to get there for me. If they had made the slightest attempt to emulate any elements of an accurate physics model I may have been more impressed.
Unfortunately Space Engineers doesn't look perfect in this department either. I was dissapointed to read about the number of compromises they made in the interests of "intuitive gameplay." I'm tired of games treating me like an idiot - I'd really love to have Space Engineers' absolutely incredible looking collision modeling with Kerbal's accurate Newtonian physics. As it is we're getting what looks like a demolition derby in an immovable grid of asteroids with artificially imposed speed limits.
Granted - a space sandbox on anything approaching full-scale would be far too large for practical MP gaming (the Kerbal system is effectively a 1/6th scale approximation of our solar system, and interplanetary journeys can still take a year or more), but it would be fun to see something coming closer to realism. Newtonian physics (action / reaction & conservation of momentum), no speed limit besides lightspeed, microgravity from the asteroids and asteroids that actually float in space instead of being glued to an invisible grid -- Give me that and I would be in heaven. Update -- Reading their forums, it seems that they're implementing some Newtonian physics. For instance, if you jump out of your ship when it's on a collision course, then all you've done is step outside your ship, still on a collision course. Some of the collision reactions don't look Newtonian to me, but if the general flight model uses it -- We'll manage.
Even for it's faults, I'll probably give it a shot.