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Space Antics With Programmable Computers In 3001SQ

As someone who can’t program computers, online space colonisation game 3001SQ [official site] is awfully intimidating. Exploring the galaxy, building planetside industrial colonies, and hanging around space stations sound nice and all, but being able to write code for your in-game ship and devices is what overwhelms me. Playing the small tech demo released to support its Kickstarter campaign, I ended up rebooting my spaceship several times in the hope that its broken bits would just start working. Damned if I’m opening up the editor to fix it myself. But maybe you’re into that!

3001SQ sounds a bit like a genteel version of EVE Online, with a persistent world where spacemen can explore around, build space stations and colonies, make big spacebucks, and maybe fight a bit if they want – but it doesn’t seem combat is the main focus. Oh yeah, and you can write code for your stuff:

“3001SQ runs user-programmable virtual machines on your computer that control complex objects like spaceships and stations,” the devs explain. “The player’s input is thereby processed by applications and translated into control commands for display screens, thrusters and other (virtual) hardware devices.” Sensors inform your computer’s view of the world too, which means theoretically folks might write programs for everything from docking assistants to automated drones.

The current version of tech demo is only a singleplayer chunk set in one ship’s cockpit with most systems busted. At least, I think it’s meant to be that way. Like I say, I did reboot my spaceship a lot in the hope it’d magically start working.

Developers Société des Mondes Virtuels are looking for €85,000 (about £70k) on Kickstarter to fund development. As ever, be cautious and manage expectations before crowdfunding. Here’s the pitch video:

And yes, this does sound a bit like Minecraft fella Markus Persson’s old prototype 0x10c. Well, he’s not making it any more.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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