You All Have The Bridge: Artemis 1.5

By Richard Cobbett on July 21st, 2011 at 11:21 am.

Surprising nobody, the girls are playing Science Officer and Communications Officer. But that's not actually mandatory until someone makes a Galaxy Quest mod.

Artemis Bridge Simulator, everyone’s favourite get-your-friends-round-and-play-Star-Trek-crew game just got a galaxy-sized* update. As well as a general polish, there’s a new mission scripting system lets you create your own heroic adventures from scratch, plus test your collective wits against new space monsters, black holes, and elite ships with teleporters and cloaking devices. You also get a ship editor to put your own stamp on the universe, and even a few neutral ships and friendly destroyers to make the universe a slightly less lonely place.

If you haven’t played Artemis before, the idea is that you and between 2-6 friends hook up your PCs or laptops in a single room, and each of you gets a specific station – Helm, Communications, Engineering, Science and Weapon Control. Everyone has to work together, giving and taking orders, just like in a Star Trek episode, except without the exploding consoles and sexy green women – at least unless you have some very willing friends who enjoy a bit of cosplay. Check out Alec’s interview with creator Thom Robertson here.

A demo is available, and if you’re not camera-shy, can earn you a copy of the full $40 version. All you have to do is set up a camera while you play, and upload the footage to YouTube. Costumes and bad accents are optional, but obviously highly recommended.

*A relatively small galaxy. The one on the cat’s collar from Men In Black, perhaps.

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70 Comments »

  1. Inigo says:

    Oh dear.

    • Zebbedee says:

      Captain – Let’s find this.. where’s the.. where is it? Adjust..
      Hot crew member – Adjusting..

      lol

  2. President Weasel says:

    The whole concept is gloriously, wonderfully insane. I am glad I live in a world where a thing like this can be.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Ditto. Well done these nerds.

      Is that guy second from left looking so nervous because he’s wearing a red shirt?

    • TeraTelnet says:

      Yes, he’s already had a look at the next page of the script.

    • Jac says:

      Agreed. I have no interest in star trek but somehow this makes the world a better place.

  3. Ultra Superior says:

    Is that a music from new DEUS EX ?

  4. Duffin says:

    Communications officer, a word in the ready room. Right now.

  5. Zarunil says:

    Ensign Crusher, to the air-lock, please. I mean, bridge!

  6. kutkh says:

    Brilliant. Until now I had no idea how important it is for a space captain to not sound like he’s loudly troubleshooting someone’s printer.

  7. Dlarit says:

    The latest Startrek reboot isnt looking good…

  8. westyfield says:

    My favourite bit is when he dramatically yells “FIRE EVERYTHING!” and the tiniest pew-pew laser briefly lights up the enemy ship. Glorious.

    • McDan says:

      You’ve got to have that moment in the game, wehn we tried it nothing happened because we were so inept. We died, but died hating each other which is the main thing.

  9. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Does it run on netbooks? that way it would be easier to get a proper crowd together AND it would raise the probability of some female officers on the bridge.

    beautiful concept

    • jon_hill987 says:

      I don’t see why the client wouldn’t run on a netbook.
      The server that runs the whole simulation will likely need something more powerful though.

    • steviesteveo says:

      This is fascinating. Do netbooks attract women?

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      I tip my hat to this comment.

      What i was trying to say was that women tend (TEND) to have less gaming-capable portable PCs. I’ll let this statement sit in the room for a while.

    • Wulf says:

      So, funny thing. I’m gender queer and I despise desktops. How does that work? I’m just adding my own amusement to this section of a pretty good comments thread.

      But yes, I have a netbook, a tablet, and a beefy gaming laptop. But no desktops. I refuse to be chained. >:| I go wherever my mood takes me! I am as free as the wind! Or something. Does anyone really still like desktops these days? The notion is baffling to me. It’s like having an 11in cathode ray tube television and somehow honestly believing that it’s better than a good LED television of a ludicrous size.

    • Ericisapixy says:

      Ever tried to upgrade a laptop?

    • cjlr says:

      Thing is, a ‘gaming’ laptop is never going to be as powerful as a real desktop, because you cannot get the same amount of cooling out of it. It’s also not as portable as all that; I can prop a netbook on my knee and use it comfortably, but a 19 inch monster is going to take a big ol’ flat surface to use, especially if you’re mousing it up (and you should be, in any game where precision and timing are a factor). And you’re not going to get one much bigger than that, and certainly not the 24″+ a respectable monitor would give you. Third, it’s going to draw power like nobody’s business if you’re running it hot, thus you’ll probably need to plug it in, which makes you tethered to an outlet anyway.

      But of course, that is only my opinion. To each their own. I love me my netbook, but that’s because it is a portable computer which maximizes portability. For power I’ll take the desktop – not least because of the massive savings of building it myself.

      Oh, and last, while the LED-LCD is a far better TV, you can do a hell of a lot more cool things with a cathode ray tube.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      @Wulf

      Does anyone really still like desktops these days? The notion is baffling to me. It’s like having an 11in cathode ray tube television and somehow honestly believing that it’s better than a good LED television of a ludicrous size.

      You realize some people need computers for more than web browsing and word processing, right? For some of the things people need computers for, no amount of power or ram will ever be too much, and laptops are not a serious alternative. No matter how powerful they ever get, a desktop will always have more potential for people that need that power.

      Also, your television analogy is a bit off, considering desktops are generally much more likely to *have* an LED/LCD monitor or television of ludicrous size, rather than the comparatively smaller laptop screen. They might have more than one.

    • Nallen says:

      Does anyone really still like desktops these days? The notion is baffling to me. It’s like having an 11in cathode ray tube television and somehow honestly believing that it’s better than a good LED television of a ludicrous size.

      That’s the frickin’ total opposite of what it’s like. I couldn’t think of a worse example.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      “Does anyone really still like desktops these days? The notion is baffling to me. It’s like having an 11in cathode ray tube television and somehow honestly believing that it’s better than a good LED television of a ludicrous size.”

      No, it’s like saying does anyone use 42″ 1080p LCD TVs and BlueRay these days? I can watch TV on my iPhone.

  10. Harlander says:

    There were rumblings of trying to get an over-the-net version of this going last time it was mentioned. Did that get anywhere?

    • westyfield says:

      “V1.1 optimized the network code, and a server option that lets you adjust the network update speed, so Artemis plays across the internet just fine.”
      From http://artemis.eochu.com/faq.html

      Edit: Oh, I just realised that you might have meant ‘did RPS ever get a game of this going?’, to which my reply is “no idea”.

    • Harlander says:

      Yeah, the latter. When I said ‘version’ I didn’t really mean ‘version’. Not sure why I chose that word, to be honest.

  11. Khann says:

    God this makes me wish I had friends as nerdy as me.

  12. IDtenT says:

    It’s things like this that makes me nerdy heart skip a beat.

  13. Abundant_Suede says:

    I ran screaming from the site after about a third of the “Red Son-Artemis Bridge Simulator demo.avi” on the media page. Like LARPing, some things are just meant to be done, and never, ever witnessed.

    I do confess to be curious as to how they made any sort of game out of the Communications console. Helm, Tactical, and even Engineering I can see, but not comms. Perhaps the mini game consists of saying, “hailing frequencies open”, once an hour, or just repeating everything the computer says. Maybe you have to tough it out in Comms to get to be the ass barking out orders during the next game.

    • Zenicetus says:

      They could use the Galaxy Quest solution. Make the Comms officer the only one who can speak to the ship’s computer.

      http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2625634841/

    • Dozer says:

      The Comms officer role has scope to be interesting if your ship is cooperating with a squadron of other ships. The comms officers can connect each room full of netbook-owning nerds to the other rooms full of netbook-owning nerds!

  14. Lambchops says:

    The alt text, the wonderful third tag, Cobbett – you know you belong here!

    Mandatory RPS needs more Cobbett comment aside, this is gloriousy bonkers. You’d have to fuel me up with copious quantities of booze to ever get me to play it (I could be an alcoholic Scottish engineer!) but just its existence is enough to make me smile.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Back when I was captain all I asked from my men was their complete loyalty. If I had that, then for all I cared they could sit around the whole day drinking beer in their underpants.

  15. Big Murray says:

    All us lesser nerds without the courage to commit social suicide look on with the greenest of envy.

  16. Ross Angus says:

    Excited by the new tag: spaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

  17. Tuan says:

    Ok that is pretty cool, downloading the demo as soon as I get home!

    Does anyone think my wife, newborn, and cat will try it out with me tonight? If not I’m going to be multi-boxing. Maybe that’s even better, I can pretend to be the borg handling everything with a single consciousness.

    • Ondrej says:

      Cats dig these sort of games, by expressing their absolute ignorance. You’re going to have a blast.

    • tikey says:

      If you’re playing alone it’s very important that you give orders to yourself and reply using different voices.

      The perfect game for schizophrenics

  18. techbear says:

    Hi, All. I’m the creator of this game. Thanks for all your positive comments.

    I do confess to be curious as to how they made any sort of game out of the Communications console. Helm, Tactical, and even Engineering I can see, but not comms. Perhaps the mini game consists of saying, “hailing frequencies open”, once an hour, or just repeating everything the computer says. Maybe you have to tough it out in Comms to get to be the ass barking out orders during the next game.

    I’ve worked hard to make Comms an enjoyable and useful station. Initially it was just a text scroll for the comms officer to read, but now she can also TELL things what to do. She can taunt enemies and ask them to surrender, tell stations what torpedoes to build, tell friendly ships where to go and what to do, and send messages to other player ships (in multi-ship games).

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      It’s great that “she” is going to be the pronoun forever associated with that particular position.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Good to see you, sir :-)

    • mejoff says:

      @Abundant_Suede

      If you look at the site, Techbear use ‘she’ more than ‘he’ to refer to any player. It’s refreshing actually.

  19. mejoff says:

    Mentioned this on google +, had a demo crew within 3 minutes and enough to get the most out of the full game in 5. We’ll be all over this :)

    Incidentally, since TechBear is here and replying to comments. Is there any way to play without our own ship onscreen? It’s not a dealbreaker, but it would be nice to see the game from the ship, as opposed to seeing the ship from the game.

  20. bokkibear says:

    Looks like great fun, but I get the sense from the project page that it’s pretty much restricted to combat simulation, which is a bit of waste of having everyone in the same room. I’d be far more interested if there were a problem-solving and diplomacy element, which was always my favourite part of the show – perhaps a facility for another person to act as a sort of “GM”, do transmissions to the ship using a webcam, etc. You could even use real-time compositing to give them an appropriate background.

    • Fumarole says:

      I’d be far more interested if there were a problem-solving and diplomacy element, which was always my favourite part of the show – perhaps a facility for another person to act as a sort of “GM”

      This is what you want.

  21. Bursar says:

    For proper authenticity you should use one of those Sony laptops with the dodgy battery that sometimes catches fire to simulate the lack of fuses.

  22. Abundant_Suede says:

    Not to be a buzzkill here, and at the risk of venturing off topic, but this concept does make me take note of how anachronistic the whole Star Trek combat experience actually is.

    By the time we might ever actually be cruising around in armed space vessels, even assuming a magical FTL engine that lets the crew be awake and about, I cant imagine doing something so suicidal as to allow combat to depend on glacial human brains acting on orders second-hand, from other slowpoke humans. Meaningful combat in that situation is going to be over before any human could even think to say ,”raise shields”, even if the missiles haven’t all struck home yet. Combat will be about the power of your computers, and the quality of your AI, not your command crew. It would be suicidal to even wait for them to give the *order* to attack.

    This line of thought is ruining all the space opera dogfight scenes I’ve ever loved. I’m going to go play something more realistic with magic swords and dragons, and try not to think about it.

  23. techbear says:

    it would be nice to see the game from the ship, as opposed to seeing the ship from the game.

    People have been asking for that, and I intend to add it. It was lower on the list than lots of things, though, but I’ll add it soon. Meanwhile, players have succeeded in changing a value in the artemis.ini file to get that effect.

    I get the sense from the project page that it’s pretty much restricted to combat simulation

    That was true of earlier versions, but with the scripting system, you could easily make a mission with no combat at all, or add SOME combat to an exploration-heavy mission. I agree that Star Trek TV wasn’t really about the space combat, and I always wanted to give the players more than a combat sim, but beyond a certain point I can’t program a sandy planet and a grumpy Gorn.

    Please please please download the demo and give it a try with just one buddy. Playing will answer so many more questions than a forum thread. :)

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      I agree that Star Trek TV wasn’t really about the space combat, and I always wanted to give the players more than a combat sim, but beyond a certain point I can’t program a sandy planet and a grumpy Gorn.

      Shaka, when the walls fell… :(

    • mejoff says:

      That’s great news, don’t suppose you could let me know that stopgap .ini tweak though?

      As far as away team missions go, all the people I’ll be playing with are LARPers, so I’m sure we’ll manage to combine the two somehow!

  24. Dozer says:

    I’m one of eighty young nerds on temporary contracts helping a hospital transition to a new computer system. Each ward tends to have a nursing station with a small cluster of PCs, and as of today one or two tablet PCs as well. Great scope for setting up a hospital-wide Artemis game, one ship in each ward, office, training room… just need to get rid of all the patients.

  25. The Dark One says:

    I am disappointed that no one so far had linked to the music video for Starship Edelweiss.

  26. ceb says:

    @ anyonewithhalfabrain

    plunging head first into stupid waters .. Can anyone help me understand this :

    “it would be nice to see the game from the ship, as opposed to seeing the ship from the game.”

    much love

    • mejoff says:

      See the game from the ship (see things on the ship’s screen as they would be seen from the ship) as opposed to seeing the ship from the game (the view from a disembodied camera, representing nothing but the point of view of the rendering engine, of our ship).

    • ceb says:

      Naturally! You Sir are clearely one with half a brain, wheres I obviously have none.

      My thanks

  27. v_ware says:

    Again.

    Slow news week…