"The ship had begun to fill with smoke. I did not know what to do."
January 31, 2014 2:34 PM   Subscribe

How to fly a British Space Caravan.
posted by Sebmojo (21 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hope they sell this ship in Star Citizen.
posted by hanoixan at 2:51 PM on January 31


I had no idea that the U.K. has local fried chicken franchises, in order to sponsor such a simulator.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:51 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


It looks like a Blue Midget/Starbug set from Red Dwarf... And I mean that in the best possible way.
posted by davros42 at 3:17 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Not sure how they posted this article without including the video of them playing it.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:22 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Had a lot of luck on Venus, we always had a ball on Mars..
posted by mediocre at 3:44 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Goddamn that looks fun.
posted by stenseng at 3:47 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I really wish this was an internationally traveling thing. Several of my friends would love to go play this with me, i'm sure.
posted by emptythought at 4:01 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Oh man. I just had an absolute blast playing Artemis with a big crew in person for the first time last weekend, so this is right up my alley at the moment.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:06 PM on January 31


Honestly, I don't ever plan to buy a house unless I can dedicate a room to something like this.
posted by destructive cactus at 4:21 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Now this is video games! I really do miss social gaming.
posted by rebent at 4:41 PM on January 31


Awesome!!!
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:05 PM on January 31


That reminds me of driving my old MG, complete with rewiring of the vehicle while actually in motion.

In the early '90s, my crew and I used to occasionally road trip to Chicago to do those climb in Mechwarrior plywood things.

This sounds like much more fun, I want one of these in my living room, so we can drink beer while we do it.

Wait a sec, they opened one of those BattleTech thingies in NE Mpls? 3 miles from my front door? Bravo Lance reporting for duty!
posted by Sphinx at 5:24 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


In the future, this will be a peripheral with full integration with EVE Online.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:08 PM on January 31


It's got the hector two roof lights, the stylish ash-framed furniture and the scatter cushions with the matching shag pile covering. Right. And she's terrible partial to the periwinkle blue blast shields, boys. Have I made myself clear, boss?


Sphinx, I was just thinking about those Battletech places. Why would that be lost tech? So weird. There's all these rinky-dink games at places like Dave and Busters and then you have immersive stuff like this which one would think would be easier to do as time goes on.
"(They have even developed the code as open source, available here for techies)."

I mean, what's the holdup? I'm not a business guy but you'd think this would be a gold mine.
Probably my favorite ride at Disney is the space mission ride and chunks of that have been repurposed since, what '75?
posted by Smedleyman at 7:14 PM on January 31


This is amazing!
posted by Xany at 7:38 PM on January 31


Smedleyman, I think they're using the LosTech name to avoid litigation from litigious FASA lawyers.

That being said, holy fucking moly those FASA sourcebooks are really a fun read.
posted by Sphinx at 7:39 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Please tell me that stepping up to red alert involves changing the lightbulb.
posted by Major Clanger at 12:59 AM on February 1


litigious FASA lawyers

In fairness, I think FASA ended up getting sued at least as much as they sued other parties.

Sure, they went after Playmates over the BattleTech mech designs that got ripped off for the ExoSquad toyline/cartoon, but that ended up bringing down the wrath of Harmony Gold over the Macross mech designs in BattleTech that they themselves only had a questionable sub-license to.

And then there's the fact that BattleTech wasn't even the original product name. They originally wanted to call it BattleDroids, until they got a call from Lucasfilm.

Now their other big franchise, Shadowrun, was a bit luckier with its questionable uses of other franchises' designs. It's no secret that Shadowrun's iconic heavy pistol, the Ares Predator, is merely RoboCop's Auto-9 design with a different name. They also borrowed Deckard's gun from Blade Runner to be the image for a hold-out pistol.

Early printings of the first edition of the Shadowrun core rules also featured a cyberdeck which was nothing more than an Apple ADB keyboard. I never heard if they were actually contacted by Apple over it, but that lineart was omitted from later printings.

Another change between the early and later printings of the first edition Shadowrun rulebook was a disclaimer about a piece of art featuring a headshot of an ork picking his nose with his middle finger in no way implied any relationship between FASA and the London gaming store The Orcs' Nest (who had a very similar orc head for their store logo, minus the booger digging).
posted by radwolf76 at 1:34 AM on February 1


It's a super-fun game, and not only did I get to play it at Wild Rumpus, but we survived - fuck yeah, team Six to Space!

I was pleasantly surprised by the hardware and atmosphere inside the the caravan; I was the engineer so I got to mess about with all the switches and dials. The engineer has to follow instructions displayed on a screen: switch intake A to ON, set turbo fans to 47, etc, similar to SpaceTeam in a way. Most of the challenge was locating the switches and not getting overwhelmed; luckily I got that shit down and so engineering was not a problem.

Judging by what I saw from other teams, the pilot station is actually quite difficult to play since you really are flying in 3D space, but we had a experienced player there. Tactical had a radar screen where they could query targets by punching in a series of digits and then fire (or not fire) weapons.

Predictably, the most exciting parts of the 20-30 minute experience were when things were all going wrong, such as when the drive failed and I had to tell tactical how to rewire a physical panel on the ceiling above him (kind of confusing because I thought I had to do it by flipping switches), and when an intruder beamed into the hull and we had to manually flush the airlock.

Much as I enjoyed the experience, I think it overly leans on the physical hardware and setting rather than the game design. Unlike SpaceTeam, if you had a crew that's good at flipping switches quickly, there's really no need for anyone to talk to each other. I also felt that playing the same station for a second or third time would get a little dull since you'd quickly master the challenge.

Those are fairly straightforward problems to solve, partly by an injection of SpaceTeam communication, and partly by further emphasising the unique aspects of the caravan; one can imagine having to talk to other ships, ST:VI-style.

Anyway, very fun, especially for a volunteer-run free game. I totally would have paid proper money to play.
posted by adrianhon at 2:50 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


radwolf76: "In fairness, I think FASA ended up getting sued at least as much as they sued other parties.."

Oh, I totally agree. I just remember it as Battletech sandtable fun, Battletech sandtable fun, roadtrip to Chitown for pizza and Battletech awesomeness, one last Battletech sandtable fun before college*, borrowing and reading the fantastic sourcebooks, gigantic lawsplosion, crickets.

I know I'm simplifying, but it kind of still ruffles my feathers that it all ended up this way. Maybe 'll change my mind if/when I get to that place on Taft.

*had to clear a year of cat poop out of the sandtable.
posted by Sphinx at 11:40 AM on February 1


There's actually an official free to play MechWarrior Online game out right now that is a little lacking in content (it's just a bunch of multiplayer maps) but absolutely nails the feel of giant stompy robots. It got crowdsourced and they've been dragging their feet on introducing new elements so there are a lot of bitter fans around, but given the price (you can spend money on buying hero mechs, but they're generally not better than the ones you can get through other means) it's very worth a look. I've been regularly playing with three friends for a few months now.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:13 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


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