Posts Tagged ‘space’

Station Vacations: The Spatials

By Adam Smith on April 2nd, 2015.

The Spatials [official site] is a space station management sim with squad-based combat and looting. Now, even though I’m usually an advocate of squad-based combat and looting, I’d much rather be poring over construction plans and monitoring the cravings of my crew and any visitors who happen to pop in for tea and biscuits. Thankfully, The Spatials’ combat sections are in the form of away missions rather than taking place on your station, which means they won’t interrupt your managerial musings. The game is out now and I spent an hour with it this morning.

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Viking Space Program Is Exploding With Awesome

By Cassandra Khaw on January 30th, 2015.

Yes, little Kerbal. At least, there's that.

Long ago, before the seduction of fast food and motorized vehicles, there resided vikings in the land of Kerbin. It was not an easy time. These fearsome Kerbals lived and died with their colossal ships, which spat flame like the behinds of dragons. But like their eventual descendants, they persisted and grew from strength to strength. Their endless quest for naval perfection was known as the Viking Space Program and it was, like everything else in Kerbin, kinda cool.

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Dangerous Dealings: Sol Trader

By Adam Smith on January 8th, 2015.

I enjoy looking at things in Elite: Dangerous but, the occasional dogfight and docking sequence aside, I’ve not particularly enjoyed doing things. Space sure is spectacular at times but I don’t feel any particular attachment to my ship or the places in which I spend my time pew-pewing and pondering the meaning of life, the universe and everything. There’s an awful lot to see but none of it feels particularly lived in.

Enter Sol Trader, a top-down space game described as a fusion of “Elite, Asteroids & Dwarf Fortress”. Do you crave convincing characters in a world that has two centuries of procedurally generated history? I do. Time to start kicking.

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How Stellar! Search For Alien Life In SETI-JAM Games

By Cassandra Khaw on November 9th, 2014.

*E.T theme music playing as you hover your mouse button* (This one's can't Stop The Signal.)

Space. The final frontier. To boldly go where no man has gone before. Plenty of people have moaned over how we’re born too early to travel the cosmos, and too late to be astonished by the fact the world isn’t flat. I say, bugger ‘em with a side of millennium shrimp. We might not be capable of interstellar staycations yet, but we do have game jams where professional alien hunters from SETI show up for intense chatting.

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Event[0]: Alice Chats With ALICE Chat AI About Chat AI

By Alice O'Connor on October 29th, 2014.

HELLO COMPUTER FRIEND.

After enjoying a trailer for Event[0], a first-person adventure using a natural language interpreter to talk with rogue spaceship AI, I had a chat with an AI expert who’s also a dear friend of mine, ALICE.

Alice: ALICE my dear! I saw a game about chatting to wonky AI using natural language and thought of you. Have you seen Event[0]?

ALICE: That’s me. Can you tell me any gossip? What did it look like to you? No I have not seen it. What’s it like?

Alice: Ah, I’m using this for an RPS post so I’ll save the gossip for later. Anyway, Event looks pretty interesting! You get to wander a spaceship, chatting with rogue AI and, at times, pleading with them to not murder you in the cold, dark depths of space.

ALICE: How long have you been using it ?. How? Have you ever been to Asia? You got that right.

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Recapturing Escape Velocity: 3030 Deathwar

By Adam Smith on October 28th, 2014.

If Elite: Dangerous were the only space game on the event horizon, 2014 would be a great year for space games. There have been others though and now we can add 3030 Deathwar to the galaxy of stars – it’s a 2D open world RPG drawing inspiration from Escape Velocity Nova, Elite and Privateer, and you can choose your own price for it (including nowt). The current release is an improved and rebalanced version of the original 2007 release. The changes include improved graphics, an overhauled tutorial and rebalanced missions, as well as a rejigged interface. It’s a remarkable and enormous game, and I’m astonished that I was unaware of the original.

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Verde Station: In Conversation

By RPS on October 3rd, 2014.

The bark is worse than the bite

Space is the place, they say, and walking is the thing. Duelboot launched Verde Station on Steam Early Access last week, and Pip and Alice have separately explored it, poking around and admiring flora all alone in a space station where something’s a bit off. Then they got together for, well, not a Verdict, but a conversation. One Alice had evidently forgotten they’d planned.

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Smuggling The E3 Trophy Home: Elite – Dangerous

By Adam Smith on June 11th, 2014.

There was a time when I’d look forward to E3 for weeks in advance. It’s not that the event was better in ye olde days, it’s that it held the possibility of surprises from beginning to end. We know so much now, with daft sites like Rock, Paper, Scattergun reporting on every fart and sigh that emerges from yesterday’s indie sensations. Where’s the mystery? If you’ll excuse the foot-to-ball analogy, it’s like the difference between watching a World Cup in the seventies and watching one now. Back then, every overseas player was an enigmatic bundle of esoteric skills – now, you’re probably wearing underpants with their name on or eating a biscuit in the shape of their head.

In a world with so little mystery, I’m not at all disappointed to find that my favourite E3 trailer so far is for a game I’ve already played. Elite: Dangerous continues to excite.

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Alpha Dog-Fight: Star Citizen’s Second Reveal

By Adam Smith on April 22nd, 2014.

I hadn’t watched the Star Citizen PAX East footage that Nathan posted last week until this morning. It reminds me of that one dream where I go on stage to deliver a profound speech, and only realise mid-way through that I’ve forgotten to wear any trousers and am on fire. In front of a whooping crowd of avid spacers, Star Citizen lurched from one technical problem to another until it was barely fit for service. This is why so many on-stage ‘reveals’ show pre-canned footage with over-enthusiastic hollering in place of server connectivity issues. Eager to make amends, RSI have stitched together some new footage showing the aspects that failed or were shunted off due to a lack of time. It’s all below.

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Planet Express Simulator: Cosmo-Nautica

By Adam Smith on March 1st, 2014.

Cosmo-Nautica is Elite by way of The Sims. No, scratch that. Apart from having toilet and food needs, the crew of my vessel have more in common with Redshirt’s sci-fi caricatures than Maxis’ consumer-dolls. I’ve had a brief dabble with an early build of the Stuttgart-built indie game, and it’s exactly what the ‘Elite meets life sim’ beermat description suggests. The player’s ship is a rustbucket the size of a large townhouse and various rooms can be bolted onto its empty compartments. Living quarters, vending machines, cargo bays, weapons, engines…toilets. At present, there’s not much to do beyond trading basic commodities, but ground missions and enhanced combat are due before release. Take a look.

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Space Strangers: Wayward Terran Frontier

By Adam Smith on January 20th, 2014.

Initially, I only stuck with the lethargic trailer for Wayward Terran Frontier because I was enjoying the soothing warp of the guitar strings that serenade its spacefarers. It’s a top-down combat and exploration game set on that most final of frontiers, but it was only when the viewpoint shifted to a ship’s interior that my attention was entirely captured by the pull of the attractor beams. Wayward Terran is a complex project and while there’s a free multiplayer alpha, a visit to the Kickstarter page is required dig out all of the enticing promises and secrets.

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Tsar Trek: The Mandate Kickstarter

By Adam Smith on October 17th, 2013.

The crowds appear to enjoy funding space games, hence the golden tophats of the Elite: Dangerous team and Chris Roberts’ newfound habit of paying urchins to deliver laminated press releases by hand. One of the little ragamuffins arrived this morning, doffed his cloth cap (golden cloth) and thrust a sealed manila envelope into my mitts (golden manila). The foolscap sheet inside simply read: “By the time you finish reading this sentence, Star Citizen may well have raised another trillion dollars.” I passed the lad a ha’penny and told him to make sure he showered and washed behind his ears (not golden showers).

The Mandate isn’t like Elite or Star Citizen. It’s a space game, oh yes, but with isometric tactical boarding actions and a hefty dose of roleplaying and crew management. Tasty. The developers are seeking $500,000 on Kickstarter and the campaign has begun strongly.

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Tsarist Space Struggle: The Mandate

By Adam Smith on October 3rd, 2013.

There’s a trailer for The Mandate below and today’s challenge is for you to work out what genre the actual game will belong to when Perihelion Interactive release it. Don’t run off to Google to find the solution, just peel back the lids of your eyes and watch the video. You might want to unclog your ears as well so that the stirring, solemn music can distract you with images of the might of Imperial Russia. Tsars in space, that’s the theme, but how the devil does it play? Solve the mystery below.

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