Lucky For Some: Space Station 13 Remake

Like rumbling, fume-farting modes of public transport, space station catastrophe simulators keep a man waiting for ages and then two arrive at the same time. I’ve never actually met anyone who admires Space Station 13’s tile-based terrorism and farce quite as much as I do, but I was pleased to hear that Dean Hall is a devotee. That makes sense. There’s a clear throughline from the emergent antics of SS 13’s improvised chaos to Day Z’s tension and distrust. Both games provide players with a tools and systems that allow for interactions both kind and cruel, and often lead to unexpected outcomes. They’re also both in the process of being remade – Day Z as a standalone, SS 13 in a new engine, with an improved interface.

Here’s a feature list:

Our objective is to implement all of the features and improvements listed below:

Atmospheric gas system
Dynamic Lighting
Totally overhauled interface and GUI
Fully destructible station
Realistic organ based health simulation
Individual job based player objectives
Robust combat system (2.0)
Jobs: AI / Captain / Head of Personnel / Security / Geneticist / Engineer / Atmospheric Technician / Medical / Chemist / Toxin Scientist / Roboticist / Janitor / Assistant /(Other jobs pending confirmation)
Game Modes: Traitor / Nuclear / Revolution / Malfunction / Science & Industry

All of that is on top of the original game’s enormous bag of tricks, which involve more sticky ends than [snip].


  1. Skeletor68 says:


  2. Cinek says:

    “There is no ETA on the first public beta as of yet.”

  3. supernorn says:

    I wasn’t expecting to see this on here! This is a small project being developed by myself and a few veteran SS13 developers, with the backing of the game’s original creator, (Exadv1). We’ve still got work to do, but we’re currently working towards releasing some form of playable alpha – I’m personally excited to get something playable into people’s hands!

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      Best of luck! I’d love to try out spacestation 13 but the interface terrifies me, it’d be great to play a more polished version.

    • Quasar says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed every second of time I’ve ever spent on the station, but the clunky interface does get in the way sometimes.

      My proudest moment – starting as the revolutionary leader, I got myself promoted to chief engineer by the time-honoured method of pushing the previous chief engineer out of a window, then claiming he tried to attack me. Got so close to taking down the captain, but couldn’t quite manage it.

      So many good memories. Hope to see something awesome come out of this!

      EDIT: Also, Supernorn from the #naturalselection IRC channel? Like, back in the early 2000’s?

      • supernorn says:

        Hey Quasar, you’re correct! I’m also a playtester for Natural Selection 2 and, perhaps embarassingly, still idle in #naturalselection after all these years.

    • nimzy says:

      Open source I hope.

    • Phantoon says:

      I’m not… holding my breath, but remember how bare bones SS13 used to be when you launch your alpha. As long as it runs well, people will probably switch over immediately.

    • Durrok says:

      supernorn – Once you a decently stable release you should toss it over to some youtubers to give it a spin. I know plumphelmetpunk and jefmajor are both big fans of the game and have put up many videos/streams of the previous version.

      Best of luck on your project, look forward to playing the release!

      • supernorn says:

        I love plumphelmetpunk! his SS13 LPs are quite relaxing to watch.

  4. Tei says:

    SS13 sounds like some anime super saijan level to me.

    Apparently, this is a game about clowns sabotaging the oxygen generator of the station to kill all the aliens infiltrators, and then replace it by Nitrous Oxide (NO2). But also, apparently, every different server can be modded to do unique things, so you don’t really know what you are playing.

    I hope for this new version put a lot more focus on usability. So we, mere mortals, can play it.

    • Phantoon says:

      Nah. The aliens don’t need atmos to survive or breed. And clowns tend to grief on a far more personal level than that. Not that you can’t replace all the air with plasma or NO2. The game has a ridiculous amount of possibilities.

  5. Jenks says:

    Would prefer a remake of The Bearded Men of Space Station 11.

  6. imgay999 says:

    for those confused about what ss13 is, imagine a top-down, multiplayer cross between trouble in terrorist town, the ship, and dwarf fortress, but in space. it’s definitely worth checking out even in its current byond-bound iteration

    • Teovald says:

      As someone that confused it with Space Channel 5, the article was a pretty weird read.

    • spindaden says:

      Adam really should have linked to Quinns’ diary to explain the game for those unfamiliar:
      link to

      Or remind people like me who enjoyed the diary and the concept, but never actually bothered to play the thing.

      (Edit: Quinns != Adam, no matter the similarities)

  7. Dingbatwhirr says:

    As an avid SS13 fan, I’ve been following this project for a while, with steadily increasing levels of excitement. The current Byond-based version is, for some inexplicable reason, utterly addictive and time absorbing.
    On paper it seems terrible: a crappy engine, ready-made griefer tools, inexhaustible opportunities to meta-game and an utter dependency on competent players. Yet, despite it all, it is certainly more than the sum of its parts – I dread to think of how many hours I’ve spent enjoying its sandboxey goodness. I hope this remake will improve on the formula even more!
    If you haven’t played it, I’d recommend you give the Byond version a go. But choose one of the RP servers. They seem to have a much more mature playerbase in my experience.

    • Stuart Walton says:

      I like to just spectate, but will jump into a role sometimes.

      Pick the assistant class, opt to not get any objectives and potter about. Eventually things will take a turn for the worse:

      Space Bees
      Mutant Attack Spiders
      Toxins in the air
      Rogue Androids

      Sometimes just surviving is game enough.

      I once worked in the stores. People kept coming and asking for materials. I was so bad at it and I may have even been giving stuff to people wishing to use it for ill. Did I have to check credentials? No time, I have a backlog, just give it to them anyway. What’s the worst that can happen?

      • Dingbatwhirr says:

        Ah, yes, playing as quartermaster is always fun. The chaplain wants a toolkit to ‘do some maintenance’? Why not? He seems like a nice fellow and there’s a massive queue.

        A few minutes later: “Help!! Security to bridge. Chaplain is attempting to break in. He’s attacking me!”

        Quartermaster grins and shuffles feet nervously…

  8. Phantoon says:

    This will never happen. It’s exciting to hope for, but they’ll run out of energy for the project before they finish anything presentable, and their code will probably be even harder to work with than tg’s build.

    • nimzy says:

      That’s impossible. It’s a miracle /tg/’s build even works at all.

    • supernorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Phantoon! we hope to make you eat them on release :P

  9. Calaros says:

    I’m still super excited about the SS13 remake. I played the hell out of /tg/station’s code a while back for a good few months, it’s an incredibly fun game in a very unique way. It would be very nice to see SS13’s game design brought to a more stable, optimized engine, but I really sincerely hope that the devs don’t go the route that /tg/ did and try to turn it into a super-balanced streamlined competitive game – because that just isn’t what SS13 is.

    SS13’s greatness for me – and a lot of people – lies in the semi-anarchic expanse of possibilities that are available to a player, in addition to the rampant silliness that makes so many rounds hilarious and memorable. To me, ‘streamlining’ is a word that shouldn’t be found in this remake’s game design, as that entails sacrificing the ridiculous depth that makes the game great. (The exception being in regards to the UI, which is absolutely horrible in vanilla SS13)

  10. Iskariot says:

    I am especially interested in the “Atmospheric gas system”.

  11. HothMonster says:

    Super excited about this and Centration. If both get finished I will probably die malnourished with bloodclots in my legs.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      Just hope that the medtechs know what they’re doing. And that the cook doesn’t find you first…

  12. MOKKA says:

    I remember the short diary Quinns wrote about this game being the first thing I ever read on RPS.

  13. Farsearcher says:

    I had many great times on the Baystation 12 server of ss13 (RP was much more strongly enforced than on most of the other servers).

    Playing the traitor and knocking out the head of personnel, dragging him to an airlock (past a security team that I persuaded I was dragging him to the medlab) and finishing him off, stealing his ID card. Me and the other traitor almost won that round, I only needed to finish off the head of security but as I lay in wait for him in garbage disposal ready to strike a meteor hit and I was flung into space.

    Excellent fun.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I read things like this, but I do wonder how people actually manage to do in-character conversation at the speed the game moves? I mean in the time it takes to type even the briefest of sentences, you can drag someone the length of a corridor and ’round a corner.

      And I have no idea how anyone actually manages being AI, trying to be a perfect, immortal machine while meatbags make feverent demands of you, especially given how clunky and slow the interface is.

      • Abi79 says:

        Well, in the case of people beating on each other, some servers enfource/encourage antagonists to roleplay with their target before killing them. Otherwise, after some time spent playing SS13, you end up knowing when someone wants to talk to you on the hallways, because they stop moving when they see you. So you stop moving too out of… reflex, maybe, you wait a couple of seconds, and if nothing gets typed, you awkwardly continue to your destination. :P

  14. DrScuttles says:

    It’s probably more due to my relative lack of knowledge in the MMORPG (does SS13 justify the first M?) space, but I always liked how SS13 emphasised the actual role-play. In my experience, most players would chat in character and do their job… to an extent. There was always some anarchy; that was pretty much the point.

  15. Ganjatron says:

    I need to get back into the Goon IRC.

    • atomicthumbs says:

      The one for the non-remake is #goonstation on We’d be happy to have you (unless we banned you for some reason)!

  16. Cloudiest Nights says:

    Hey supernorn, I’m not sure if you’ve said, but what state is the game currently in? On your website the most recent prealpha screenshots are 2 years old. I was just wondering in any news would be coming out about this remake soonish.

    • supernorn says:

      Yes unfortunately the website could do with some more attention, our twitter and facebook feeds are often updated with info on what we’re working on – but these smaller bits of info don’t always make it to the site. I’d like to probably relaunch it at some point and have things like the twitter feed integrated onto the front page.

      At the time of writing, we have a bunch of systems in place: Atmospherics is in and functional, you can expose the station to space and gas will rush out into the vacuum, taking anything not bolted down along with it. Along with that we’ve got health implemented along with bleeding, bandaging etc. Our Inventory and interface is in and working, Our lobby system works and you can select jobs to spawn in as, we’ve got a lovely lighting system, wall construction and destruction is in, round functionality is progressing well, ingame chat and multiplayer support is in.. We’re getting there!

  17. Randomer says:

    This sounds really cool! Can anyone link to some resources to help a person get started with the BYOND version? Is this game like Dwarf Fortress, where all how-to guides are hopelessly outdated after a year or so?

    • Aklyon says:

      No, but you have to pay attention to WHICH guide you’re looking at. /tg/station wiki (nanotrasen) is not the same as autistic powers (goonstation wiki), although afaik the two are relatively updated. Pick one (or the other, or both!), look at the wiki. Mess around as assistant. Pick a simpler job. Pick a more difficult one. Get murdered for being a useless captain. Get attacked by traitors eventually anyway for being some other kind of captain. Punch the clown a bit. As long as you don’t screw things up completely (unless you got an objective to do something like that), you’ll be fine. Probably.

    • HothMonster says:

      It’s not that they are outdated its that the code is open source with a lot of branches. Mechanics and controls are pretty much the same but ship layout, available game modes ect, ect, will vary from branch to branch and even server to server.

      The wikis, at least the fuller more complete ones, are largely all copies of an original source with edits for their branch. Start with a basic guide like this to get started. But if you don’t get a baystation12 server don’t be surprised if things look a little off. Controls should be the same, but interface and other things will vary.

      Most of the starter things are the same. Most servers will like to their own forums and/or wiki or at least the one for the branch they started with.

      Maps/layouts will vary greatly. Mouse over doors to learn area names.

  18. MadJax says:

    [quote] I’ve never actually met anyone who admires Space Station 13′s tile-based terrorism and farce quite as much as I do[/quote]

    I do (barely) remember a drunken conversation at Rezzed where we both shared our love for SS13 in equal measure Mr. Smith. :P

    But yeah, been following the remake for a bit now, looking forward to force feeding feces to people and causing accidental havoc in the remake :)

  19. Nevard says:

    Much more excited for this than Centration