Artemis: The Ships Bridge Simulator - call for crew!

So, right off the bat, this is fun. It's rough, a little unpolished, but there's some real potential here. Not unlike minecraft in it's early days.

Initial brain dump:

  • Doing this at a lan party would be a blast.
  • Having a good crew is fun.
  • I'm not sure captain is essential in this game. I played a game similar to this in the past, and the captain was almost always helmsman, with an engineer and a weapons officer. This game seems similar.
  • I can't wait for cloaking, and trying to play with other, weaker ships that can't just go toe to toe with everything.

Other then the crashing, yeah that was a boat load of fun.

It was weird, it seemed multiple people could get in on science. Or maybe the captain had some control over it. Whenever I was trying to scan stuff it would switch targets and start scanning something across the map.

That was definitely a fun experiment. Having 12 people on two ships was a blast. There's a lot to build on, but its very very simple.

I kind of disagree about captain. Surely the captain being helmsman would be *efficient* but I also think it would miss the point. As much as anything, its really an exercise in communication more than anything. With 6 people all in front of a giant TV screen showing the main view, it would probably gain a lot. The weird sense of both omnipotence and total isolation as the captain is really interesting.

Expect more on this. Thanks to everyone who tried our few little shots across the romulan bow.

That was a heck of a lot of fun.

From my experience as engineer, a Captain isn't really required as long as everyone coordinates pretty well together. I felt like as long as I kept an eye on the situation and everyone announced what they were doing so that I could allocate power accordingly, everything worked pretty well.

Really fun stuff. I do think it would be possible to run a ship with as few as three people, although having a fourth seems like it would make a big difference.
I don't think we had the difficulty cranked very high. In looking at the wiki, there are two classes of enemy ships ranked higher (dreadnaughts and elites) which we did not face, and the dreadnaught class is specifically labeled as "you can't go toe-to-toe with this one"

I would join, but I think you all know what would happen as soon as I got my intellectually superior hands on a starship.

Montalban wrote:

I would join, but I think you all know what would happen as soon as I got my intellectually superior hands on a starship.

Yours... is... superior...
/dies

The Captain is absolutely required and performs the most difficult task of all: keeping the crew entertained. The Captain is responsible for calling red alert, coming up with crazy tactical maneuvers, distributing snacks (at in-person sessions), and reciting quotes from The Wrath of Khan. Basically, the Captain is a facilitator and central point of contact for the team. Sure, the other stations actually operate the ship, but the Captain's job is to operate the crew; do not underestimate the value of a good Captain.

Itsatrap wrote:

The Captain is absolutely required and performs the most difficult task of all: keeping the crew entertained. The Captain is responsible for calling red alert, coming up with crazy tactical maneuvers, distributing snacks (at in-person sessions), and reciting quotes from The Wrath of Khan. Basically, the Captain is a facilitator and central point of contact for the team. Sure, the other stations actually operate the ship, but the Captain's job is to operate the crew; do not underestimate the value of a good Captain.

Yeah, I mean, as a GAME to be WON its a thin endeavor. I'm dying to try some of the scripted stuff in person with a full crew.

I did something similar as part of a NASA/AMES research study, where we played a similar type game but each of the "officers" were in different rooms using communication gear. It was a study in communication and group dynamics, and was absolutely fascinating and one of my most favorite things I've ever done.

Only got to try a couple stations but man that was fun.

Yeah, I actually think in this case it would be even more interesting in person. On vent its actually TOO easy to communicate!

In-person does have one huge advantage: access to the main viewscreen. Well, and snacks*, so two huge advantages.

*"snacks" also includes tasty beverages

I don't know, it might be harder over the internet because you can just elect a person to hand out snacks at a lan. It's much more difficult if engineering goes afk to get a beer in the middle of a fight.

Montalban wrote:

I would join, but I think you all know what would happen as soon as I got my intellectually superior hands on a starship.

The game is 2d only ... so you might be right.

I need 3d!

I concur with the rest that this was a lot of fun. I stuck to fairly low impact stations (engineering and science). Engineering was particularly interesting in the way it feels isolated communications-wise from the rest of the crew. The tweaks the engineer can do are useful, but feel largely invisible to the rest of the crew. There's not a lot of communications bandwidth available to discuss them with the captain, so I found I was working pretty hard to infer what was needed for the situation based on the orders to the other crewmen, which was a fun little challenge. The goal is pretty much to be inconspicuous - make sure that when systems need power they have it, but try to limit overall energy consumption otherwise and don't accidentally cause something to explode. Science was kind of dull by comparison. Other than the shield frequency thing, I didn't feel like there was a lot I could contribute. I suspect it would be more involving in a higher difficulty scenario where target selection was more important.

Anyways, thanks for the fun everyone. It was a blast. We should do it again some time.

4dSwissCheese wrote:

The tweaks the engineer can do are useful, but feel largely invisible to the rest of the crew.

Oh, I don't know about that; the difference between powered systems and unpowered systems is very, very, VERY noticeable.

Itsatrap wrote:
4dSwissCheese wrote:

The tweaks the engineer can do are useful, but feel largely invisible to the rest of the crew.

Oh, I don't know about that; the difference between powered systems and unpowered systems is very, very, VERY noticeable.

I suppose I should have added "when the engineer is doing their job well".

Itsatrap wrote:
4dSwissCheese wrote:

The tweaks the engineer can do are useful, but feel largely invisible to the rest of the crew.

Oh, I don't know about that; the difference between powered systems and unpowered systems is very, very, VERY noticeable.

That's his point, if everyone is doing their jobs "right" then that will never happen, so you would never even notice that the Engineer is there. In our first run out that happened a couple times, where someone would say "Um... why aren't we warping?" Or something like that, because I didn't realize that was a thing we were doing, so I had cut off power to that system.

The opposite effect, someone noticing that I did something they liked, only happened once. I switched from my "Location is good, just fight" power template (minimal engines and maneuvering, minimal power to rear shields, lots of power to front shields and tons of power to weapons) To my "General Combat" template (Slightly more power to rear shields, less power to front shields, normal power to weapons, extra power to Impulse and Maneuvering engines) because I saw that the enemy was successfully moving out of our firing arc and the helmsmen noticed. Arguably though, if I had been better and changed the settings earlier, the Helmsman wouldn't have noticed because the maneuvering characteristics of the ship wouldn't have changed drastically mid-maneuver.

I think there are really only two people that can ever see the effects of the Engineer directly, and they each only get a tiny subset of the true effects. The helm has the most opportunity to notice you. Three of your power systems: Maneuvering, Impulse, and Warp are dedicated to him. But he can really only tell if you are hampering him, or perhaps a little bit if you are helping him. But if you cut power to Warp right after he announces you've arrived, and turn it back on right before you start traveling again, no clue. The Weapons guy is next, with the Beam and Torpedo subsystems, but if you are using Auto Beam he may not even notice the beam fire rate changing, and like the Helmsman he doesn't know if you've cut off power to his systems when he's not using them. As long as you keep the scanners up the Science and Communications officers will never even know you exist, and while several people have Shield and Energy readouts, you will be the only person that really focuses on them.

Lastly, I don't think that a single other officer has any information on the temperature readings of each subsystem.

Edit: Tannhaseured, what are you doing up at 2:30 AM?

It was fun, but not so much for the gameplay than for the personal interaction. The ship stations seem to be very simplistic (though I only did weapons, science, and comms). I could see that a person could manage all of the stations by themeselves without much difficulty. But it was the interaction with the rest of the crew that was really fun, much like a boardgame.

The code is shaky though, it would crash quite a bit, especially on Comms. And it really needs better communication options.

I agree with Rabbit, that by essentially roleplaying each station, including the Captain, it seems to bring the game more to life than to simply "play the game". Also beer helps.

Sorry for my cold-riddled nasally voice. At least I muted when I had to blow my nose or cough.

I think it will be a lot different doing this in person with everyone seeing the front screen as well. As captain, knowing what the other stations CAN do seems like an important thing. Comms for instance, controls all the space stations, gets incoming missions, demands surrenders, goes to alert, and in more complex scenarios, basically controls allied ships. We also were playing on an easy difficulty level, so it was too easy to just sit there and beam enemies to death. There was little need for maneuvering and such.

With scripted scenarios, you apparently get much more interesting challenges, and more for some stations to do.

On engineering -- in one of the games we played last night, I think I kept engineering busy with requests for system modifications and whatnot, and it did make a huge difference.

Theres a huge amount of opportunity for depth here. I'm eager to try some of the scenarios.

Next time around, you really should just dive into the deep end and play some hard scenario. If it proves too difficult to be fun, dial it down a notch.

Oh man, if I hadn't had plans last night, I so would've wanted to join in on this. It's a nerd dream come true, and I mean that in a very good way!

Farscry wrote:

Oh man, if I hadn't had plans last night, I so would've wanted to join in on this. It's a nerd dream come true, and I mean that in a very good way! :D

Well, no, Felicia Day wasn't there to my knowledge.

Can I buy what we played last night? Does the $40 version of the game cover running a server with multiple ships?

Norfair wrote:
Montalban wrote:

I would join, but I think you all know what would happen as soon as I got my intellectually superior hands on a starship.

Yours... is... superior...
/dies

I will aveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenge you

That seems interesting.. I'll be the french player.. Guess I might not even comprehend everything I'm being told, and you guys won't understand what I say.. lol

but, this Star Trek Online game told me I was more a trekkie than I truly thought.. Guess it would be a game I would love.

Chalk me up as interested the next time you get one of these off the ground.

BadMojo wrote:

Can I buy what we played last night? Does the $40 version of the game cover running a server with multiple ships?

Right now it's on the honor system, and it's expected that you buy a license for every server you want to run. (One server can run multiple ships.) If you play a lot, consider throwing the creator an extra purchase or three.

If this becomes a weekly thing I'm sure I'll pick up a copy.