Empty Epsilon - Stardate ... erm ... yesterday

Hey peeps!

About ten years ago, I imagined how freaking rad it would be to play a game like this. No such thing existed at the time, so my dad and I started work on building one. Sadly, I'm lazy and can't code. And despite the fact dad can code, he's even more lazy than me.
So it never got past the drawing board phase.

Fast forward to the release of Artemis, and I was filled with joy at the fact I now didn't have to build it since someone else already had.
I bought Artemis last week in preparation for running a session, but found Empty Epsilon while digging around the inter-tubes.
Last night four friends and I decided to play EE instead of Artemis.

We started off with the tutorial, which took us about ten minutes or so. We laboured through a couple of technical issues, but we had a couple of tech geeks on hand so it wasn't a major hurdle.
We then played several attempts at the Basic mission, swapping stations so we'd all get to try them out.
As captain, I managed to botch our first attempt. Captain Gwyn then led us to a quick and fiery death "Fire Nukes! No, wait, we're too close!" "Too late Captain, Nukes away". Kaboom.
Captain Pip kept us alive for longer, but our fate was the same in the end.
Finally Captain Amy led us to a glorious victory against the villainous . Crewman of the match goes to my fiancee B, who manned the Science and Relay station with great skill, snapping out pertinent information quickly and smoothly.

From a technical standpoint, we had a couple of small gripes. We were unable to exit from the tutorial before it finished, so an "Exit Tutorial" button would be really good.
We also had problems running the 3/4 person crew stations. Several important functions didn't seem to even be available, and I suspect that contributed heavily to our swift and burning deaths in space.
Reputation wasn't visible, we couldn't request support/supplies from Stations, and there were some other things we only found out about once we ran the standard 5/6 console game. During our second game the Tactical console died and couldn't reconnect to the server.
I can't give full info on what we were missing, as we didn't know about several of them until our last game and we were too busy being awesome (in space!) by that point. So I didn't take notes on specific issues - we were there to play, not play-test.
I was impressed by the game overall though - we had the server running on a Mac (Windows 8), and a variety of other Windows boxes for Crew Consoles. We even had an Android phone running a backup console.

In the end though, a fun time was had by all, and we'll definitely be doing this again soon!
Thanks daid for building such an awesomely fun toy :)

Comments

  • Nukes have been the demise of many young and inexperienced captains. (I like it)

    The lack of an exit tutorial option was a oversight that slipped into the release. On the next release you can exit it with the escape and home keys. (escape is always "quit game" on my debug builds. So the "home" key is usually bound to the same things as escape)

    I'll have a look at what is missing from "operations", I think you missed the fact that it's the same as science, but it CAN open communications and thus request new missiles and supply drops. Giving it one of the most important basic tasks of the 5/6 player relay station.
    It cannot do probes. But I do not mind that less stations means a few less important features are not available.


    After a bit of experience, I recommend the "Waves" scenario if you want to random stuff to shoot. And the 3 after that are specific "role play"/"mission" scenarios, which are really cool if you have the basic controls under control with your crew.


    (I did not do this on my own. While I wrote most of the code. It wouldn't have been possible without many playtesting sessions at the Ultimaker office. Nallath for lots of input on game design. And a lot of people that donated some money for 3D models. And everyone here with new suggestions and improvements!)
  • Thanks for the feedback Daid, and thanks to everyone else who has contributed to the project :)

    Next session we'll try some of those other missions, although a third of the crew is returning to London soon (we're in Australia - a long way from there), so we may have to get some new recruits.

    The storyteller in me wants to play with some more role-playing elements, so once I've got enough crew to play I look forward to playing with the Game Master console.
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