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I will kill the first person who mentions Ender's Game
July 15, 2011 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Fleet Commander. That is all.
posted by anigbrowl (50 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is it bad that I am physically angry that I did not have this as a kid?
posted by nathancaswell at 5:32 PM on July 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


Yes, this is the time for virtual anger.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:33 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


So it's a computer game where you really need a ladder to fully play it, eh?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:33 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of that book by that mormon fruitcake.
posted by Trochanter at 5:34 PM on July 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'd play it.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:34 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which one of those kids is Ender?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:41 PM on July 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Let's hope this gets Arthur laid.
posted by bardic at 5:43 PM on July 15, 2011


Reminds me of Gratuitous Space Battles also.
posted by mkb at 5:44 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of Gratuitous Space Battles also.

Ohh, yeah, totally. I wonder if anyone's made a Star Wars mod for that yet...
posted by adamdschneider at 5:46 PM on July 15, 2011


General Turgidson wishes he had one of these Big Boards. And one of them Doomsday machines.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:49 PM on July 15, 2011


++ Status report: Foci for Analysis upgraded to Foci for incoming n-dimensional plasma barrage ++
posted by anigbrowl at 5:53 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The gameplay looks pretty basic though. The movement mechanism is basically the same as Flight Control on an iPad. And space means there's no need for fancy-pants algorithms to navigate through terrain.

I mean, great idea, lots of fun, but really only interesting in terms of UI and physical size.
posted by GuyZero at 5:54 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


What loot does the galaxy drop?
posted by solistrato at 5:58 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was just thinking it'd be so cool if it could be a giant mat type thing where you could step (like those they have in some American shopping malls) and you had to run from place to place and step on certain things and crouch to use your hands too. I'd imagine that'd be quite the fun work out. Mighty expensive though...
posted by fantodstic at 6:04 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I could fit so many spreadsheets on that screen.
posted by ryanrs at 6:24 PM on July 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


Ender's Law: Any online discussion of science fiction will immediately be derailed by fervent fans of Ender's Game.

This thread was self-endered.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:24 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


A link to some of Card's other writing usually shuts them up.
posted by ryanrs at 6:27 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, it doesn't. Not in the least. It actually inflames them.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:28 PM on July 15, 2011


And here I thought they were future PreCrime cops in training.
posted by happyroach at 6:29 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Card wrote something else? Who knew?
posted by etc. at 6:35 PM on July 15, 2011


That's pretty cool. It'd be neat to have opposing factions working in different rooms with some sort of "fog of war" implementation.
posted by calamari kid at 6:45 PM on July 15, 2011


What about The Last Starfighter?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:50 PM on July 15, 2011


And here I thought they were future PreCrime cops in training.

Nah, they were making a long-distance phone call.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:21 PM on July 15, 2011


No, it doesn't. Not in the least. It actually inflames them.

Send them to me and I'll beat them with Arthur C. Clarke. I mean literally. I stole his corpse and mummified it into a robot a couple of years ago.

Crap, I'm contributing to the Orphan's Not Charred derail.


Yeah, I wish I had that as a kid. Man, think of the Battletech maps and all the collectively saved braincells not destroyed from huffing fumes while painting miniature robots.

However, what happens to the UI when a battle gets heated and people are trying to target and move through the same play area? You'll end up playing Twister or hockey or both. One of the major benefits of a non-physical interface is that two or more people can occupy the same virtual space without interfering with each others control surfaces in the game.

You could effectively change the interface to two wireless pointers for each player and still get the same control without having to touch the screen.

A turn-based strategy game would be awesome on that screen, though. You could run any number of RPG/TBS tabletop game engines on that thing and use it as a huge world or terrain map.
posted by loquacious at 7:24 PM on July 15, 2011


When I was a kid, I didn't want to be Luke, or Han, or Chewie, or Threepio, or Darth Vader.

I wanted to be Admiral Ackbar.

Because he was in charge of an armada, a whole fleet of starships: huge, ass-kicking space-ships with megablasters and turbolasers and fighter squadrons, that did what he told them to do, and would win or lose based on the decisions he made.

In my childhood daydreams, "It's a trap!" isn't a cry of dismay, it's a cheerful call to battle... I'd order the armada into battle formation, and have the carriers deploy their X and A wing squadrons to kick Tie-fighter ass, and use my Corellian corvettes to punch a hole for the B and Y-wings to kill Star Destroyers, backed up with the firepower of my Mon Calamari battlecruisers! Once Han Solo's team on Endor bring down the shield generators, we throw all of our small craft at the Death Star, capital ships blazing away at the Empire's fleet, distracting them juuuust long enough for a hot-rodded YT-class light freighter armed with contraband blaster arrays and engines big enough to push Tattoine from its orbit to get through...

This game?

This game is everything I ever wanted from life.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:29 PM on July 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


What kid wants to be Threepio?
posted by speedo at 7:52 PM on July 15, 2011


Judging by the Threepio-to-Chewbacca ratio of costumes, the vinyl smock and stiff-plastic-mask costume kits available at the K-Mart the day before Halloween, quite a few. You could get Yoda or Chewbacca costumes easy, Threepio was tough. This is because they didn't offer Artoo costume kits, or they would rule everything forever. Kids were Threepio in order to get closer to Artoo. Lots of kids.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:02 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wasn't Star Wars written by some Mormon freak?
posted by clvrmnky at 8:23 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


And sparkly vampires. Don't forget sparkly vampires.
posted by Trochanter at 8:47 PM on July 15, 2011


You people are way too easily impressed. That game looks like shit. Did you see the way you have to press and hold for like 1 second to get a menu? The interface is way to slow. It would probably be a pain in the ass to actually play.

And even in the youtube video you could see the frame rate dropping when a lot of ships showed up on screen.
posted by delmoi at 9:03 PM on July 15, 2011


8 screen EVE multibox setup.
12 accounts = 12 times the fun (maybe)
posted by ryanrs at 9:27 PM on July 15, 2011


observe, closer...what do you see....younglings- practice tactics they must, face vader they will, no coin slots to confuse.
posted by clavdivs at 9:49 PM on July 15, 2011


You people are way too easily impressed. That game looks like shit. Did you see the way you have to press and hold for like 1 second to get a menu? The interface is way to slow. It would probably be a pain in the ass to actually play.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that. It's a neat idea and all, but I can't actually imagine wanting to play it. The framerate takes a serious dive and the menus look cumbersome (there's a reason RTS games have shortcut keys). Giant screens are good for some things. Running back and forth along a 10 foot monitor tapping my spaceships over and over isn't one of those things.
posted by menschlich at 9:57 PM on July 15, 2011


Giant touchscreen gaming will be seen as an evolutionary dead end once neural interfaces take off.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:05 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


What kid wants to be Threepio?

We made the girls (usually my sister) play Threepio or R2D2.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:20 PM on July 15, 2011


This looks like an awesome setup waiting for someone to design a game that really takes advantage of its potential. Fleet Commander doesn't look like that game, but it still looks like 100 times more fun than, say, all of those early Wii games with awkwardly shoehorned motion control mechanics. Give this guy some time.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 11:03 PM on July 15, 2011


What kid wants to be Threepio?

The tall, blond, well mannered, tidy kid?
posted by ODiV at 11:15 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


That game looks like shit. Did you see the way you have to press and hold for like 1 second to get a menu?

You mean you have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy!
posted by FJT at 11:16 PM on July 15, 2011


While this is neat, I'm completely sure I've seen another student project a few years back (maybe from DigiPen) doing huge space battles (or maybe something more abstract) with huge touch screens, but with adults instead of kids. And now it really annoys me that I can't remember what it's called, or figure out how to find it again.
posted by bjrn at 12:54 AM on July 16, 2011


Kids will physically fight each other to get to the critical parts of the screen. It will be like blocking triple word scores in scrabble except the blocking pieces in play will be bodies with fists and feet.
posted by srboisvert at 1:16 AM on July 16, 2011


This would be better if it were a top down view of a Naval fleet. you know, siince it's a 2D map and all that. Space battles, by the vary nature of space itself, should really be something you can view and manipulate in 3 dimensions. I'm not slogging the cool factor of the technology or the fact that they managed to get Lucas to let them use the Star Wars universe to make a tech demo, but really, this would be much more interesting as a Naval War exercise simulation. Imagine being the Admiral of a Navy, being able to see realtime satellite imagery of your fleet and your enemy and direct your warships in that kind of enviornment. That would be nifty.
posted by daq at 1:52 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


... backed up with the firepower of my Mon Calamari battlecruisers!

This is why I can treat anything in Star Wars world seriously. You name your killing machines after a down-market French seafood restaurant?
posted by benito.strauss at 5:36 AM on July 16, 2011


Um, that should read ".... can't treat ...."

(Amazing how quickly snark deflates when you leave out a negative.)
posted by benito.strauss at 6:09 AM on July 16, 2011


As others have stated, it's cool tech but the game is kind of lacking. I could really see it shining with a game like Flotilla or Frozen Synapse. More traditional turn-based strategy games would work well too, Civilization V or Galactic Civilizations 2 would be amazing on this thing.

Also if cool uses of big displays are your thing I suggest you check out the work of Stewart Smith, in particular Exit and Under Vine, the former of which will be showing at the MoMA in New York starting on the 24th.
posted by _frog at 6:42 AM on July 16, 2011


Before I got a NES, or C64, I would spend hours playing with the magnets on the refrigerator- making up games based on videogames I played at the arcade, cartoons, sci-fi, whatever. Star wars got used a lot- the H was a perfect tie-fighter shape, the X's and A's were Rebel fighters (sorry, no Y-wing love in my childhood), and the lower case I's a laser beam to drag back and forth with a "pew pew" sound. (Star Blazers aka Space Battleship Yamato was my other space obsession)

This game is my childhood in the touchscreen era.

I am pleased.
posted by yeloson at 8:10 AM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Want. That is all.
posted by Splunge at 1:13 PM on July 16, 2011


This should be an iPad game where everybody has their own control surface. I think I'll make that.
posted by LordSludge at 1:57 PM on July 16, 2011


How come none of these kids are even smiling? I'd have a permanent grin if I got to horse around on a touch screen that big. They all look bored.

I volunteer for the next round of testing, please.
posted by narwhal bacon at 9:24 PM on July 16, 2011


You know, I've been thinking about this game system.

When I was a kid, we used to draw a circle in the dirt and shoot marbles. Now we have the culmination of of billions of dollars of computer research and development, hundreds of thousands of dollars into a single multiscreen installation, and man-years of computer coding a single program, so kids can play what is basically a digital representation of shooting marbles.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:19 PM on July 16, 2011


When I saw this, all I could think about was Derek Smart and Battlecruiser 3000AD. I'm really happy that it had nothing to do with that at ALL.
posted by Vamier at 2:48 PM on July 18, 2011


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