We couldn't have a revival of ambitious and possibly-over-promising space sims without Derek Smart. Yes, yes, I'm sure you are enjoying Elite: Dangerous and your Star Citizen, but how many pages of documents did you have to read to make your ship go? Aren't they, y'know, for babies? How many keys on your keyboard aren't even used? To test whether you're a baby, Smart has released a free version of Universal Combat, the follow-up to his Battlecruiser 3000AD series. Warming folks up for a made-over version later this year, Universal Combat CE is free on Steam and contains oodles of missions from all UC and BC3K games.
Universal Combat's thing is capital ships, roaming around the galaxy with deep control of all your ship's systems and crew. Oh, and you can land and roam around planets. It's the sort of detail which takes 93 pages of documents and a 97-page tutorial. It's awfully ambitious and it suffers from trying to do so much, but my, doesn't it dream big!
Derek Smart's studio 3000AD plan to release a jazzed-up verison of this later this year as Universal Combat Advanced. It'll bring an engine overhaul, and borrow bits from their MMO Line of Defense to replace models and other art bits.
I've even maybe missed Derek Smart's grand statements:
"Like them or hate them, my games have come a long way. In an industry where most of the guys and games have come and gone, making it this far is testament to my vision of catering to and being focused on an exclusive and dedicated audience of like-minded gamers. I never set out to win them all; just the select few who liked these sort of high-end complex games. By releasing this compendium for free, now that space combat games are apparently making a comeback, my goal is to introduce a new generation to these highly advanced capital ship combat games which still have no equal. My games did it first; and they're still doing it"