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She cannae take any more captain!
October 27, 2010 6:27 AM   Subscribe

This is the videogame you didn't know you wanted to play until now. Artemis - The Spaceship Bridge simulator is possibly the nerdiest game ever invented. The players take on the roles of Engineering, Communication, Weapon Control, etc, while one player - The Captain - stands in front of a projection screen and barks orders.
posted by empath (117 comments total) 85 users marked this as a favorite

 
The only thing that could make this game more awesome would be if it came with a large, sand-colored set ready to simulate any planet and equipped with the makings for a gunpowder cannon.
posted by DU at 6:32 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yessssss. Always wanted to do something like this with that old EA game Sub Command, but could never find anyone willing and geeky enough.
posted by word_virus at 6:33 AM on October 27, 2010


This is, btw, how I picture MeFi HQ in my head.
posted by empath at 6:34 AM on October 27, 2010 [15 favorites]


This is what an MMO should be.
posted by aramaic at 6:35 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


This only makes the lack-of-friends-within-100-miles bit all the more acute.

Dammit.
posted by valkyryn at 6:37 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, Windows only = a Free alternative version in 5...4...3...
posted by DU at 6:38 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aw man...why do I always have to wear the red shirt!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:38 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Looks interesting but not something I'm willing to spend $60 on.
posted by LSK at 6:38 AM on October 27, 2010


Totally needs the add-on Jeffries Tube module (only $69.95)
posted by briank at 6:39 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Awesome. I hope they network it so multiple ships can maneuver in the same space. Then addition to the Captain, you'd get to have the Admiral who in classic Start Trek manner would be a talking head framed between two potted plants that occasionally comes on screen to explain the plot, a role I hereby call dibs on for the MeFleet.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:39 AM on October 27, 2010 [13 favorites]


"Start Trek"? Seriously. Spelling, you are my kobayashi maru.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:40 AM on October 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yeah, obviously you need video conferencing and network play.
posted by empath at 6:40 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is, btw, how I picture MeFi HQ in my head.

Especially the captain's hat.
posted by odinsdream at 6:42 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Captain really needs to work on Command Presence. It's a Starship Bridge simulator, not a Midlevel Committee with PowerPoint Simulator! And, no, I do not want to meet the people who want to spend their free time playing the second game.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:43 AM on October 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


Doritos. Cool Ranch. Room Temperature.

This is the videogame you didn't know you wanted to play until now.

What the hell are you talking about. I spent my formative Internet years in an AOL chatroom doing exactly this. Just with pretending instead of an engine behind it. Seriously, if anyone is getting a game of this together in NYC, I am so in.
posted by griphus at 6:45 AM on October 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


This has the potential to be something very cool. They keep mentioning "due South", which I suppose it because their map is a 2D plane, but come on... it's SPACE.
posted by yeti at 6:46 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The captain's hat totally makes it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:47 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Do you have to do the 'rock one way, camera goes the other' every time you are hit?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:48 AM on October 27, 2010


"Watch out for the minefield"

"Oh, there's a minefield?"


Yeah, this vid really makes me want to have my own crew.

That said: great concept, were it set in a 3d space. I look forward to the open source implementations.
posted by pompomtom at 6:51 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I'm just thinking that while we're here, it would be great to kill one ship at least."

Captain Picard never said stuff like that.
posted by yeti at 6:52 AM on October 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


I want to play this. Drunk.
posted by ixohoxi at 6:54 AM on October 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm wondering if this could finally justify the pile of P2s and CRTs in my shed...
posted by pompomtom at 6:56 AM on October 27, 2010


It's a Starship Bridge simulator, not a Midlevel Committee with PowerPoint Simulator!

Oddly enough, I'm playing the latter right now.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 7:07 AM on October 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


Captain Picard never said stuff like that.

No, but it's pretty much exactly what went through Kirk's head within the first five minutes of every episode. Right after "what's the most dramatic way I can violate the Prime Directive on this planet?"
posted by griphus at 7:07 AM on October 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


The captain in the video... he's not very captainlike, is he? "Why don't you point it due south?" You don't ask your crew to do shit. "No I'm not gonna point it due south, YOU point it due south." Also, "south"? In space?
posted by WalterMitty at 7:08 AM on October 27, 2010


I want to play this. Drunk.

Ditto. Knowing my friends, we'd probably just end up re-enacting this.

But really, where's the fun of being captain if there's no green-skinned chiquitas to dally with?
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:09 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod.

If I had three friends (or, um, even one friend) who would be at all interested in this, my life would be complete.
posted by kbanas at 7:15 AM on October 27, 2010


But... I don't have any... friends...

::snif::
posted by Splunge at 7:15 AM on October 27, 2010


If I had three friends (or, um, even one friend) who would be at all interested in this, my life would be complete.

Forever Alone
posted by empath at 7:17 AM on October 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


But... I don't have any... friends...

Yeah, to be fair, when I said, "If I had three friends who would be at all interested in this" what I meant was, "If I had three friends"
posted by kbanas at 7:17 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clearly we all need a way to make this happen via video conferencing, or even just with audio. Only on the Internet do I have enough friends (read MeFi) to engage in this sort of foolery.
posted by Inkoate at 7:18 AM on October 27, 2010


I work in an ISP NOC, and we have a projector. I'm pretty sure I can make this happen.
posted by empath at 7:18 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmmmm... I see a LAN Meetup in the future. Someone please make it so.
posted by Splunge at 7:19 AM on October 27, 2010


I work in an ISP NOC, and we have a projector. I'm pretty sure I can make this happen.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE I WILL DRIVE THERE.

Also, I don't want to be comms. Uhura never got to do a damn thing ever.
posted by kbanas at 7:20 AM on October 27, 2010


I have been dreaming of something like this for years. YEARS.

Also: They keep mentioning "due South", which I suppose it because their map is a 2D plane, but come on... it's SPACE.

Technically, the cardinal directions in space are relative to the rotation of a galaxy around its core. the direction of the rotation is Galactic East, and the others follow, so due south would be perpendicular to the rotation away from the core.

Anyway... NYC meetup?
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:21 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Technically, the cardinal directions in space are relative to the rotation of a galaxy around its core. the direction of the rotation is Galactic East, and the others follow, so due south would be perpendicular to the rotation away from the core.

I pick you for helmsman.
posted by kbanas at 7:23 AM on October 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


Remember, every game of Artemis has a redshirt. Look around the basement. If you don't see one, it's you.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:26 AM on October 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


How cool would it be if you could go online and get randomly paired against another similarly manned starship in a FIGHT TO THE DEATH?
posted by kbanas at 7:26 AM on October 27, 2010


Wow, these people have never been on an actual bridge before. I've spent over two years of my life at sea so it kind of pains me to watch them try to coordinate the individual stations. Just using some basic bearing terminology and knowing the difference between port and starboard would help.
posted by TheCoyote23 at 7:31 AM on October 27, 2010


If this had come out about five to ten years ago Channel 4 would have instantly made a game show out of it. Probably presented by Craig Charles or Robert Llewellyn.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:32 AM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is like that Time Commanders TV show, where a bunch of people would play Rome: Total War in the same sort of way as this. They'd have 2 commanders who would pass strategic orders to lieutenants, who would tell some people actually playing the game more specifically where to move the troops. It was a pretty terrible show but something of a guilty pleasure of mine.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:32 AM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Technically, the cardinal directions in space are relative to the rotation of a galaxy around its core. the direction of the rotation is Galactic East, and the others follow, so due south would be perpendicular to the rotation away from the core.

We are living on the 2D surface of the galaxy?

Galactic North is defined by where the Galactic North (Magnetic) Pole is (the other side has Galactic Penguins). Galactic East is a fixed but arbitrary vector at right angles to that and Galactic West is -1 * Galactic East.
posted by DU at 7:35 AM on October 27, 2010


How cool would it be if you could go online and get randomly paired against another similarly manned starship in a FIGHT TO THE DEATH?

That would be badass. I'm torn with how my crew would be dressed, though:

1) Everyone in black clothes with only the laptops and some red LED bulbs for lighting. A looped recording of clanging metal and distant shouts plays everytime the Captain goes onscreen with another ship. One member of the crew has an eyepatch and just sits through all com sessions, slowly sharpening a rusty machete while staring at the camera with her one good eye.

2) Everyone in straw hats and Hawaiian shirts. Bright lights and fake palm trees abound. There is clearly a hula dashboard figure mounted to the helm station. Jimmy Buffet plays in the background. Whenever the other captain says 'the word of the day' the entire crew yells "Social!" and hoists oversized frosty margaritas.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:36 AM on October 27, 2010 [33 favorites]


Increase Mind-Screen Engery and deploy tinfoil hats, The EndsOfInvention is breaking through!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:38 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seems like this needs a corner at every local megalan and two at the next Sci Fi convention. The dev is presently giving full versions out in exchange for a short You Tube vid of a demo-version session in action. The FAQ suggests some obviously common questions (the Six Nerd issue, the WAN issue, the PVP issue) that suggest the developer has A Vision which he appears locked into. Some of this is scope (just one dude, wants to do his one thing) but statements like "2 groups of 6 players in one space (plus computers and two big screens) is gonna be a big challenge for anyone, right?" seem like he's unable to see larger possibilities.

I mean, honestly, how hard is it to imagine a convention center hall filled with simulation booths and nerdly screams of anguish and triumph filling the halls as ships go down at each other's hands.

I'd code that way, alls I'm saying. Also, given the creativity of MeFi, I'd be sorely disappointed if we couldn't produce a properly tense video. Step one: remove the curio cabinet. A couple of cameras; a little acting; proper lighting; uniforms, damnit; guys who don't even have workstations ("Bones"); a crew member flung over the railing with a Wilhelm scream.

It could be The Best Demo Ever. Get on it, people.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 7:40 AM on October 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


So it's like a version of Independence War that you can actually play?
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 7:46 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is cool. It's also an excellent example of why it sometimes takes 20-50 years for the more interesting uses of new technology to make themselves widespread. The author states he had this idea back in the C64 days... so here we are 30 years later seeing it implemented.

That's about the same amount of time the bitgrid idea's been bouncing around in my head. Things are about to get quite interesting as everyone finally has enough skills and resources to get their ideas reified. (I love that word)
posted by MikeWarot at 7:46 AM on October 27, 2010


In the words of Ogre...

NERRRRRRRRRRDS!
posted by cman at 7:50 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


They should use Chatroulette for the on-screen alien encounters.
posted by zippy at 7:56 AM on October 27, 2010 [30 favorites]


Now I wish I was a teacher so I could make my students be my starship crew.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:57 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is actually very similar to the way ship combat works in a lot of the Star Trek themed MU*s... just it's all in text or ansi. Multiple "ships" in "space," which each "ship" having individual consoles controlling engineering, navigation, etc run by individual players while one is in the captain's chair. Some of the consoles, like weapons, were pretty easy.. press fire, wait. press fire. But navigation was something different, requiring the pilot to think in 3D and envision what shield was facing which way in order to avoid getting a hull hit by another player. It really was pretty amazing.

Here's the "space guide" info from TOS TrekMUSE which I think is still going strong. I used to play TNG TrekMUSE which died off a while ago.

The fact that someone made a real life version of this fills me with intense glee. The possibility of somehow getting groups of people doing this gives me shivers.

And tribbles.
posted by tittergrrl at 7:59 AM on October 27, 2010


At Oakland California's KublaCon (annual gaming convention) a couple people used to put on a Star Trek LARP for bridge crew. Including closed-circuit television using those Fisher Price "toy" videocameras that recorded on cassette tape for ship-to-ship comms on the viewscreen, a children's tube-tunnel for Jeffries Tube repairs, and confetti poppers to simulate consoles exploding. And shirts, of course (participants were asked to wear their own black pants).

I played once, as weapons officer (in a red shirt).
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 8:03 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


They should use Chatroulette for the on-screen alien encounters.

Sir, we have a hailing frequency from from Qok'Dhong of the Phallus Nebula
posted by griphus at 8:04 AM on October 27, 2010 [18 favorites]


JASON
Do we have a replacement Beryllium sphere onboard?

GWEN
Computer, do we have a replacement Beryllium sphere onboard?

COMPUTER
Negative, no reserve Beryllium sphere exists onboard.

GWEN
No, we don't have an extra Beryllium sphere.

TOMMY
You know, that's really getting annoying.

GWEN
I have ONE job on this lousy ship. It's stupid, but I'm going to do it. GOT IT?
posted by schmod at 8:11 AM on October 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


With the general societal arc towards all things digital and nerdy over the past decade, it often seems that pretty much everyone is trending towards nerdism. However... this display is a whole new level of nerddom. Perhaps even a new species of nerd? This is refreshing.
posted by LakesideOrion at 8:13 AM on October 27, 2010


Thinking more about this concept, it would be great if there were more varieties in ships, so that way you could scale your vessel based on the number of local players (crew) you have.

So you could play a capital ship (Captain, Helm, Com, Engineering, Weapons, Science), a frigate (Captain, Helm, Weapons, Engineering), a carrier (Captain, Helm, Engineering, Wing Commander), or even just a fighter (Pilot). Each ship has a different role and different strengths and weaknesses. Ships could be different across the same class, too, so you'd end up with Bird of Prey-style cloaking frigates or Command Vessels with Admirals and the like. Add in an option for boarding actions, too, so there'd need to be a Security officer on some larger ships.

Each crew would need to be local to each other. I agree that the captain shoving aside the helm or something would be a vital element of the experience. Fighters could be played by yourself - you'd log on and get randomly assigned to an active carrier. Normally, the Wing Commander would be guiding computer-controlled fighters, but you'd get to operate with a bit more independence (and would have a rating that follows you to prevent griefing) and could do things that an AI fighter couldn't.

Set the whole shebang in a WWI-style space conflict with multiple factions. Players could spend their time hunting AI foes or facing off head to head, ala WoW.

So it'd be like an EVE that you can't doze off during.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:18 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


They'd have 2 commanders who would pass strategic orders to lieutenants, who would tell some people actually playing the game more specifically where to move the troops.

Or, more specifically, they'd have 2 commanders who would bicker endlessly about which way to move while the lieutenants rolled their eyes and actually got on with it, shortly before the computer brought up reinforcements where they least expected it. And then they got slaughtered in a death-or-glory run to try to assassinate the opposing leader.

Man, I loved that show.
posted by ZsigE at 8:20 AM on October 27, 2010


So it'd be like an EVE that you can't doze off during.

I lost two ships in EVE last night when I dozed off while still awake.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:35 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like a few others have said, there have been chat based versions of things like this for a long while now. A decade ago I would log on and play a science officer one night every week.

It was hella awesome. I would so play this game.
posted by oddman at 8:37 AM on October 27, 2010


How utterly fucking nerdy.

How utterly fucking awesome.
posted by Edison Carter at 8:38 AM on October 27, 2010


They should use Chatroulette for the on-screen alien encounters.

Captain's log, stardate 9522.6: I've never trusted Kingschlongs, and I never will. I could never forgive them for the death of my boy. It seems to me our mission to escort the Chancellor of the Kingschlong High Council to a peace summit is problematic at best. Cock says this could be an historic occasion, and I'd like to believe him, but how on earth can history get past people like me?
posted by Edison Carter at 8:43 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, I loved that show.

It was shout-at-tellytastic... "What the fuck are you doing with your cavalry you blithering idiots! Don't just stand there in arrow range!"
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:45 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Want to get the whole game free? It's simple!...Make a YouTube video of you enjoying Artemis, and I'll give you the full version."

I expect lots of people who aren't willing to drop $60 are willing to make a public spectacle of themselves...Look! It's a Nerd Herd!
posted by numbskeleton at 8:45 AM on October 27, 2010


The captain hat the dude's wearing both a) is awesome and b) makes me want to call him "Captain Pemulis."

hnnnng want to play this game why is it windows only whyyyyy
posted by pts at 8:46 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


They should use Chatroulette for the on-screen alien encounters.

Good thing I just bought a new bottle of glue and a bag of googly eyes.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:47 AM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Looks interesting but not something I'm willing to spend $60 on."

It's free with minimal effort at the moment.

TheCoyote23 writes "Wow, these people have never been on an actual bridge before. I've spent over two years of my life at sea so it kind of pains me to watch them try to coordinate the individual stations. Just using some basic bearing terminology and knowing the difference between port and starboard would help."

That's starting to sound a lot like work rather than fun.
posted by Mitheral at 8:49 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is the sort of game I've wanted to make for a long time.

This is Star Trek through the Rock Band filter. (RB and RB2, when you didn't have the option of real instruments.) You are playing together as if you were on a ship. Just like you can "Rock Bandify" your living room before playing, there is no reason why you couldn't "Starshipify" your living room before playing this game.

Now add multiplayer. Now add MASSIVE multiplayer. Now add resources and a social layer of political conflict.

Develop for 30 to 42 months, spending $20MM, release and pray. =)
posted by andreaazure at 8:50 AM on October 27, 2010


More evidence of neo-nerds.
posted by LakesideOrion at 8:53 AM on October 27, 2010


This has the potential to be something very cool. They keep mentioning "due South", which I suppose it because their map is a 2D plane, but come on... it's SPACE.

His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking.
posted by The Tensor at 9:08 AM on October 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


If anybody wants to organize this in Philadelphia, I am SO in.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:10 AM on October 27, 2010


That's starting to sound a lot like work rather than fun.

Speaking as someone who does dry-run "tabletop" simulations several times a year, that's exactly what it looked like to me. Needs more manuals and a whiteboard though. Also, there should be a big burly guy outside the door who confiscates your cell phone and escorts you to the bathroom on potty breaks.
posted by bonehead at 9:14 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Needs a holodeck interface.

Only mostly kidding. This is too freakin' cool.
posted by zarq at 9:19 AM on October 27, 2010


"Seriously, if anyone is getting a game of this together in NYC, I am so in."

"Anyway... NYC meetup?"


Call it! I'll have to borrow a spare laptop from someone, though, since mine is a macbook. (Don't look at me like that! I got if from jessamyn!)
posted by Eideteker at 9:33 AM on October 27, 2010


Now add multiplayer. Now add MASSIVE multiplayer. Now add resources and a social layer of political conflict.

Right on. I was thinking a massively multiplayer version of Escape Velocity.
posted by brundlefly at 9:35 AM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would like to have seen them invaded by another group of nerds playing some kind of shooter game.
posted by orme at 9:35 AM on October 27, 2010


Or I could just be a captain.

"Atermis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator isn’t officially Star Trek related, but it’s undeniably about the Kirk/Picard/the boring ones fantasy."

Screw you, article! Sisko was totally badass, even though they made him start out as a commander and didn't give him a real ship til later. It was like the Negro Leagues of Starfleet; doing more with less.
posted by Eideteker at 9:38 AM on October 27, 2010


On the one hand, that is kind of awesome in a dorktacular way.

On the other hand, I share TheCoyote23's cringing. To LOLCat it: "Communicashunz. Ur doing it wrong."
posted by Alterscape at 9:46 AM on October 27, 2010


Can't believe I was the first one to mention it, but I would totally be into this game if it were in the Ender's Game universe. Really.

Am I wrong to assume that there are enough fans that it would make a commercially viable MMOG?

The story I think leads itself better to this sort of idea. I'd be totally down to have levels of commanders like in this, but adopt all the terminology of Ansibles and Molecular Disruption devices and the whatnot.

Plus, when it gets really popular, a national past-time much like baseball or world of warcraft, we can harness the best players to defeat any potential aliens we might encounter.
posted by ejfox at 9:48 AM on October 27, 2010


Now I wish I was a teacher so I could make my students be my starship crew.

This, to the extent the system works at all, is why you are not a teacher.
posted by The Bellman at 9:57 AM on October 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


In my minds eye, I see a future version where the ship itself has a Dwarf Fortress level of complexity so you would want to recruit science members who knew how to reroute the antimatter stream through the main deflector array, comms crew who could make a convincing corbomite claim in native Romulan, science crew who can develop vaccines for reverse aging disease and First Officers with awesome facial hair to foil infiltration by other-dimensional dopplegangers.

We were able to do some pretty awesome unconventional things in multiline MBBS Tradewars 2002 as a Corp. All hands on deck planetary trading, mapping out deep deadends to exploit a fuel calculation rollover bug when warping from deadend to deadend. Guerilla warfare. Photon torpedo ambushes. Tracking foes with limpet mines and strategically placed single fighters. The best was when I destroyed the griefer who conned his way into a fully loaded Interdictor Cruiser. I was in a Scout Marauder, led him to a dead end and I landed on a planet, waited for him to attempt to land (which was dumb for him on so many levels -- interdictors can't land) and I blew up the planet during his attempt. And then I trapped his escape pod between two sets of fighters so he couldn't retreat without hitting the other fighters. Hehehe. Good times. (He's a successful doctor now and happily married to my one-time crush, so mad MBBS TW2002 skills might not actually translate to real life success.)
posted by Skwirl at 10:01 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Set the whole shebang in a WWI-style space conflict with multiple factions. Players could spend their time hunting AI foes or facing off head to head, ala WoW.

I've already got a pretty sweet Alien Space Admiral costume kicking around somewhere...
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:01 AM on October 27, 2010


Can you imagine if you can't fill out your whole crew? Maybe half a crew? Running back and forth between two computers (or just trying to operate two?)
posted by filmgeek at 10:02 AM on October 27, 2010


[re: nyc meetup] I'll Call it! I'll have to borrow a spare laptop from someone, though, since mine is a macbook. (Don't look at me like that! I got if from jessamyn!)

I'm in. Also, this might be the app that finally gets me to install windows as a dual-boot on my macbook. I think it's worth it.

I don't have the most adequate facilities, but i'll offer to host if nobody else will.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:10 AM on October 27, 2010


Holy shit. I just remembered that my apartment building has a small theater with a big projection screen in it! This will be perfect!
posted by brundlefly at 10:20 AM on October 27, 2010


Right on. I was thinking a massively multiplayer version of Escape Velocity.

This! THIS! OH GOD, A THOUSAND TIMES THIS!

Also, I'd settle for a new EV installment. Or Freespace 3. Or a MMO version of Freespace. Or Firefly Season 2.... It seems like I'm a glutton for having my dreams crushed...
posted by schmod at 10:26 AM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


> This, to the extent the system works at all, is why you are not a teacher.

But they would be learning teamwork and stuff!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:27 AM on October 27, 2010


Needs the soundtrack from STII to be playing. Then my nerdgasm would be complete.
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:46 AM on October 27, 2010


My wife's name is Artemis, and happens to have green skin. I can't begin to express how offensive this thread is.
posted by craniac at 10:48 AM on October 27, 2010


this is superawesome, but really should have a real-time or timed gameplay mode (doesnt look like it has one yet? maybe I missed something) . just normal turn-based takes away the potential thrills.
posted by Bwithh at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2010


This should be played at the next w00tstock. No, belay that.

This NEEDS to be played at the next w00tstock. Paul and Storm fighting over the helm. Adam Savage at weapons (of course.) And...

Captain Wil FUCKING Wheaton.
posted by m@f at 11:07 AM on October 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal dreamed So it's like a version of Independence War that you can actually play?

More like Rules of Engagement 2
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:22 AM on October 27, 2010


Can I man the 10-forward bar? Is that a plus-pack module I can add?
posted by bottlebrushtree at 11:24 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


As primitive as this setup is, it's closer to what Star Trek Online should have been than STO actually is. robocop is bleeding has some excellent ideas; I'd like to see the Punk Rock Crew (on board the USS A Cheap Holiday In Other People's Misery), the Planet Where Everybody Says Motherfucker At The End Of Every Sentence Crew (USS Galaxy Motherfucker), the Pulp Fiction Crew (USS Royale With Cheese), etc.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:41 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Commercial gaming: Call of Duty Medal of Honor Halo of War III.

Indie gaming: Run a fortress of dwarves! Build weird castles in 3D! Play Starship Band with your friends!

This brings particularly bright and piercing light to the failures of the game industry in particular, and our culture in general. (I'm not saying "capitalism" because two of these games could really be taken to be products of it. But it's true that big game companies are not producing the awesome ideas and experiences they should be.)
posted by JHarris at 11:59 AM on October 27, 2010 [11 favorites]


Fidgit is amused and charmed.
posted by christopherious at 12:19 PM on October 27, 2010


direction of the rotation is Galactic East, and the others follow

Direction of rotation is Spinward. As in Spinward Marches. Following that, you have (clockwise) Coreward, Trailing, and Rimward.

</Traveller nerd>
posted by moonbiter at 12:24 PM on October 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


They should use Chatroulette for the on-screen alien encounters.

"Captain, their weapons system appears to be armed."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:28 PM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would absolutely attend an NYC-area meetup where this was the theme. Just for the record.
posted by pts at 12:30 PM on October 27, 2010


I'm trying to get some of my Baltimore coworker-friends interested in playing this. I'll update to MetaTalk if it ever happens.
posted by kalessin at 12:35 PM on October 27, 2010


Lots of ponies here. Here's mine: I would love for this concept to be developed into a submarine simulator.

I would love to see something like this projected on the wall, and feel a room full of officers and enlisted geeks intentionally go silent.
posted by circular at 12:38 PM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


I would love to see something like this projected on the wall, and feel a room full of officers and enlisted geeks intentionally go silent.

If I had Photoshop skills, I would make the following image:

The view through a periscope, of the ocean, and sticking out of the ocean, another periscope, pointed directly at the viewer, and showing a visibile eyeball and superimposed reticule.

posted by zippy at 2:16 PM on October 27, 2010


schmod: "GWEN
I have ONE job on this lousy ship. It's stupid, but I'm going to do it. GOT IT?
"

"HELM! 108!!!"
posted by Rhaomi at 2:46 PM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hi, everyone, I'm the developer of Artemis. Thanks for all your positive comments and hilarious cracks. My wife is a regular MiFi reader, and got me reading years ago. It's tremendously flattering to be the subject of an FPP.

Like my website sez, I first had the idea for Artemis ages ago. My buddies and I had C64s, and I wanted to do it then, but didn't follow through. I honestly have no idea why my muse waited until now to force me to make it, but I'm glad everyone seems to "get it".

Part of my vision was for an LBE (Location Based Entertainment). I'd love to build out a full-sized bridge set with smoke machine, lighting, and thumping sound system. I've been discussing the economics of such an endeavor with my wife and some guys who run a Battletech Pod group, and so far it doesn't look very profitable. Which is why I'm selling the software off my website. Hopefully some Trek fans have already built a bridge in the garage, and were waiting for my software to complete it. :)

Artemis is being developed in regards one fact; the shows have already taught everyone how to play. Not the individual buttons, but the social aspect of working together as a bridge crew. None of my testers have had any problems fighting over who gets to be captain, or ignoring orders, or anything like that. BUT I've made several changes to the game (and will make more) because my testers simply assumed something could be done and ordered it so. The engineer can strengthen individual shields, or shut down all power to hide in nebulas, and the comms officer can demand surrender, only because one of my captains ordered it. :)

I'll second that Wootstock vote; watching those guys play Artemis is something I'd pay money for.

I'm in Cleveland, and I'd be happy to host a game of Artemis for the local get together. If you're interested, please post about it on my forums (or sidebar it), and we'll put something together.
posted by Techbear at 3:42 PM on October 27, 2010 [25 favorites]


One of my favorite board games, Space Alert, sounds very much like a non-computerized version of this game. Hilarity ensues. For folks who don't know Space Alert, it's kind of like cooperative RoboRally. For those who don't know RoboRally, well, I can't help that.
posted by dylanjames at 4:42 PM on October 27, 2010


Techbear, you're awesome! The observation that we all know how to play the game because we've seen it played is also awesome.

Being that you're in Cleveland, I could probably put you in touch with the Oberlin College Computer Science department, where I imagine many folks (both students and profs) would be super excited to help you code additional modules and protocols. Including (especially!) bridge-to-bridge combat. They could also throw the simulator up on one of the huge screens in a giant lecture hall.

MeMail me if you want more info.
posted by Jon_Evil at 4:58 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey Techbear! Congrats on the game and making the front page!

Anyone want to place bets that Techbear's comment will end up in the sidebar?
posted by JHarris at 5:39 PM on October 27, 2010


This strongly resembles the FASA Star Trek Combat Simulator. It was a mix of boardgame and RPG. It was designed so that the players could move from roleplaying their characters' actions to taking their various positions on the bridge of a Federation starship. It was also designed so that every position helped the ship as a whole -- even the communications officer. Yes, they actually found a way to make comms a useful position, something no other Star Trek franchise has done to my knowledge.

Adding computer displays and stuff could certainly make it more fun; the FASA game would certainly have benefited from computer moderation. But it also worked pretty well all by itself.
posted by jiawen at 6:25 PM on October 27, 2010


So, I don't understand. Do I deliver my passionate monologues into the comm microphone or the main screen?

It would be cool to see a type of this game, but where the different bridge consoles require different types of gaming skills, like engineering could be a bunch of puzzle games to make repairs, some stations could be a rhythm game, there could be a button mashing station, a station that someone has to constantly adjust, one could use LSAT style logic for the comm, and if you incorporated a hacked wii-remote you could even need someone with steady hands.

That way, people could say things like "with all due respect captain, if you think you can do better, you're welcome try" or "I can't push the button any faster! my spacebar's gonna break!" if you made it a drinking game, you could say things like "captain, may I speak with you... in private?" "come to my ready-room (ready-room sold separately)... what is it number one?" "you've got to take fuq off the helm. He almost flew us into that black hole" "...." "captain?" "He stays on. get back to your station."

I remember doing something similar to this as a young child at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC. It was a, education-experience type thing that was less Starfleet and more NASA but there were many bridge stations. I was life support, and I mostly stood around thinking that this was boring and only the cool kids were getting to do anything, somebody got to play with a robotic arm, but at least it was nice and cool. Wait, the air vents just went off, OH SHIT EMERGENCY ALARM RED ALERT GOTTA FIX LIFE SUPPORT! I got to pull off a panel and reroute life support and the air came back on. That was the day I knew I had to go to Starfleet Academy.

Also: Techbear, you should recommend in the FAQ that a bridge councilor be available on the bridge.
posted by fuq at 6:54 PM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


1) Everyone in black clothes with only the laptops and some red LED bulbs for lighting. A looped recording of clanging metal and distant shouts plays everytime the Captain goes onscreen with another ship. One member of the crew has an eyepatch and just sits through all com sessions, slowly sharpening a rusty machete while staring at the camera with her one good eye.

Meanwhile, the other ship is outfitted with exploding consoles and a crew that has practiced pratfalling in the same general direction.
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:02 PM on October 27, 2010


It would be cool to see a type of this game, but where the different bridge consoles require different types of gaming skills

Look into Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates.

Me, I'm glad that this doesn't add in too much arbitrary gamish stuff, which IMO computer game design is drowning in right now.
posted by JHarris at 8:28 PM on October 27, 2010


This needs to integrate the Tricorder android app, maybe even develop a iphone/android communicator. You could "beam down" into your basement and have an off-ship adventure or go to a local park/natural area. I'd also like an update after today's exposure here in a couple weeks or months. This is a really fun idea and more accessible than dungeons and dragons (no character creation or learning curve).
posted by thylacine at 10:59 PM on October 27, 2010


I'd love to build out a full-sized bridge set with smoke machine, lighting, and thumping sound system. I've been discussing the economics of such an endeavor with my wife and some guys who run a Battletech Pod group, and so far it doesn't look very profitable. Which is why I'm selling the software off my website. Hopefully some Trek fans have already built a bridge in the garage, and were waiting for my software to complete it. :)

It may not be profitable, but it shouldn't be very expensive. Some Arduino boards, led lights and smoke machines. I'd bet maybe a few thousand dollars at most. (aside from the cost of the computers and projectors)
posted by empath at 5:28 AM on October 28, 2010


You could "beam down" into your basement

You mean you could "beam down" up from in your basement.
posted by DU at 5:51 AM on October 28, 2010


I can see the attraction of this, but it seems perilously close to Real Life Navy Simulator 2011 in which you lock yourself in a small windowless cubby and do personnel paperwork for ten hours.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:06 AM on October 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


You could "beam down" into your basement and have an off-ship adventure

Most participants will be beaming up from the basement.
posted by zippy at 5:05 PM on October 28, 2010


DU, curse you and your cloaking device / time machine!
posted by zippy at 12:59 PM on October 29, 2010


How cool would it be if you could go online and get randomly paired against another similarly manned starship in a FIGHT TO THE DEATH?

kbanas:FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITY-FAVORITE FAVORITE!



Now I wish I was a teacher so I could make my students be my starship crew.

This, to the extent the system works at all, is why you are not a teacher.


The Bellman, were you homeschooled? If not, please let me know where you went to school, in case I ever raise kids. I'll move thousands of miles to give them your school experience.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:55 AM on October 31, 2010


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