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October 6, 2012

2

Gaming: Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator

by Michael Langlois

THIS IS NOW A SPACE DESK.

I firmly believe that this game was willed into being by the collective need of my people.  You know the ones, I don’t have to spell it out.  I could never really come to grips with the fact that something like this didn’t exist, and I can only imagine that its creator, Thom Robertson, was compelled to build it in order to set the universe right.

Artemis is  a starship bridge simulator.

There are five stations: helm, weapons, engineering, comms, and science.  You can man as many stations as you think you can handle, but the game really shines when people can focus on one or two.  Stations can get pretty busy, and nothing says derelict space wreck like real-time multitasking on the bridge.

There’s also a main viewscreen, which the helm and weapon stations can assign to different views.  Unlike the other players, the captain doesn’t have a dedicated station, so he relies on the main viewer plus his crew for information.   There is a sector map available for the captain if he likes, but it’s optional.

Ideally you play this together in a room, which allows for the kind of chaos and shouting that the best games bring out in people.  You can also play across the internet, spawning multiple versions of the main viewscreen so that all players can see it, but I haven’t tried that yet.  My guess is that it’s still a blast, providing you have voice communications to use.

The essence of this game is teamwork under pressure.  Few things are as satisfying as knowing that other people are depending on you, and then kicking ass when it counts.  Of course, the opposite is true, too.  Be prepared for thrown popcorn and a swift kick when you pilot the ship into that mine we warned you about.

In short, it’s everything you ever wanted in a non-holodeck-based fantasy about exploring the universe.  If you’ve ever wanted to man a station on the bridge of the Enterprise, then you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The Artemis Site

The Artemis Wiki (go here to learn your station if you’re not a fan of explosive decompression)

Read more from Blog Posts, Gaming

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