[GAME] EmptyEpsilon

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  • edited September 2019
    I had forgotten I switched to the old video driver. The default with buster on an rpi 4 is the opengl driver. Switched it back to the default at it works ok!

    So there was 8 of us today. We hadn't played artemis in something like 4 years and we never played EE before. This was just a lets have drinks and snacks and blow things up type of session, not really any sort of role playing. We played by committee instead of having an official captain role. Both games we did the basic, standard scenarios. Here are our collective observations:

    Artemis -- we have familiarity with it so it was real easy to hop in and start playing --- with some humorous mishaps of running into our own mines. The addition of the fighters was nice for the extra people, although controls are impossible with laptop keyboards. My nine year old son sometimes feels excluded when it is a bunch of us grownups playing games at an adult level, but he very much made killing shots in the fighter and was very pleased that he was contributing. Blackjack was comical, "There is BLACKJACK now?!" I could not figure out how to spawn an extra ship for the extra people to crew while a match was running.

    EE -- My husband and I prefer the look of EE (although the lack of directional lighting does make the 3D views look flat and from the 90s). Ship stations felt less polished, but that could also be our lack of familiarity with EE. Space felt much bigger, but it was hard to know what was in the universe -- how many friendly stations were there? Where were the bad guys? If there was a full map that would just display the basic terrain and friendly stations it would of felt less overwhelming.

    It was very easy for me to figure out how to spawn more ships. So we had the default ship with 5 crews, and my husband and I did the 3 player stations for another ship. We did a big ship but for some reason we just lost power, then it dissapeared from the ship list in the selection screen, but it wasn't actually destroyed. We were quite confused to what was actually going on so I spawned a new ship for us. We also tried fighters but it was really hard for us to figure out how they worked. We had a few drinks at this point so that could be a contributing factor. I really like how easy it was to adjust the ships and stations as people came and went from the party, although I wish the ship/station selection screen didn't unselect your existing placement when we backed out into it.

    EDIT: I was engineering + and... ops? Sensors? The game loop for me wasn't very exciting. I moved some people around on a ship map (the repair crews? wasn't obvious) and moved power and coolant up and down a few times.
  • edited September 2019
    @croxis Good to hear that you had fun, and least it sounds like it - sort of ;-)

    Some general comment at first, because it seems you haven't done it before: With the whole crew new, I'd recommend that some of you should play through the tutorials at first, that should have cleared up some of your questions.
    The addition of the fighters was nice for the extra people, although controls are impossible with laptop keyboards.
    Not sure what do you mean by that. The keys on the single pilot station are the same as on the corresponding controls on the normal stations. If there are overlappings, you can rebind them in options.ini in the game folder (or in .emptyepsilon on linux). Or of course use the mouse, if one is connected.
    If there was a full map that would just display the basic terrain and friendly stations it would of felt less overwhelming.
    That is basically the view of the relay station on the 5/6 crew setup.
    I could not figure out how to spawn an extra ship for the extra people to crew while a match was running.
    You have to be on the server computer, than just log out of the station (Escape), spawn a ship, then log back in.
    We did a big ship but for some reason we just lost power, then it dissapeared from the ship list in the selection screen, but it wasn't actually destroyed.
    Hm.. that sounds like a strange bug. And the stations were still operational (besides the power drop)?
    I was engineering + and... ops? Sensors? The game loop for me wasn't very exciting. I moved some people around on a ship map (the repair crews? wasn't obvious) and moved power and coolant up and down a few times.
    Yes, that's repair crew. And with engineering + and Ops you should usually be kept pretty busy between handling those both screens.
    Even engineering alone can almost always something do to contribute. Outside a fight, you can boost the reactor to prevent running out of energy, boosting traveling speed and so on. And on ops you are the eyes and ears of the ship, providing the crew with valuable tactical information about the scanned ships (you can get pretty comprehensive data about it if you perform a harder deep scan, by scanning a second time). Also, while being rather advanced stuff and needs a bit practice, the colored rings around you radar screens give you clues about what is beyond you visible screen.
  • I just wanted to say Thank You for the Android Client. It made my games here viable, and it's feckin' awesome, running smoothly even on my old Galaxy II tablet. Thanks for turning my basement a bit more into the bridge of the Rocinante.
  • With the whole crew new, I'd recommend that some of you should play through the tutorials at first, that should have cleared up some of your questions.

    We've played Artemis before, so we had a general gist. We are the jump-in-and-figure-it-out-as-we-go-and-read-the-manual-later type. I think the last tutorial I played was Civilization II back in 1998.
    The addition of the fighters was nice for the extra people, although controls are impossible with laptop keyboards.
    Not sure what do you mean by that.
    I was talking about the fighters in Artemis.
    If there was a full map that would just display the basic terrain and friendly stations it would of felt less overwhelming.

    That is basically the view of the relay station on the 5/6 crew setup.
    Cool. We were running two ships. I was on the small ship and didn't have that view.
    I could not figure out how to spawn an extra ship for the extra people to crew while a match was running.


    You have to be on the server computer, than just log out of the station (Escape), spawn a ship, then log back in.
    I was referring to Artemis. I figured it out with EE.
    We did a big ship but for some reason we just lost power, then it dissapeared from the ship list in the selection screen, but it wasn't actually destroyed.

    Hm.. that sounds like a strange bug. And the stations were still operational (besides the power drop)?
    Correct. I just spawned a new ship and we hopped into that one.
    I was engineering + and... ops? Sensors? The game loop for me wasn't very exciting. I moved some people around on a ship map (the repair crews? wasn't obvious) and moved power and coolant up and down a few times.
    Yes, that's repair crew. And with engineering + and Ops you should usually be kept pretty busy between handling those both screens.
    Even engineering alone can almost always something do to contribute. Outside a fight, you can boost the reactor to prevent running out of energy, boosting traveling speed and so on. And on ops you are the eyes and ears of the ship, providing the crew with valuable tactical information about the scanned ships (you can get pretty comprehensive data about it if you perform a harder deep scan, by scanning a second time). Also, while being rather advanced stuff and needs a bit practice, the colored rings around you radar screens give you clues about what is beyond you visible screen.

    Right. I was doing a bit of power control and coolant, but once I got things "just so" for a particular situation I didn't need to do much else.

    Like I said I was in a two player ship game. Mine was a small ship (no ftl!) crewed by two. The "flag ship" was crewed by five, and we were fighting in a pack. The flagship was calling targets and were doing the scans. The difficulty was probably too low for two player ships.

  • Aah, you played both Artemis and EE, did not get that, sorry. Now that makes sense, was wondering about some seemingly contradictive sentences ^^. Should have read more carefully.

    To add to my prevoius post:
    croxis said:

    We also tried fighters but it was really hard for us to figure out how they worked.

    Can you elaborate that? There is no fundamental difference play-wise between fighters and bigger ships. They are just (usually) smaller, weaker and faster. You could even play a fighter with a full crew of five, if you like to. Or was it something about the single pilot station?
  • That fighters function the same as big ships is actually most likely the issue. As you also need engineering then.


    As for engineering. I've stated this before, but if it didn't kept you busy, you didn't do it very well. A good engineer is always busy, and makes a ship run like 250% efficient. Our primary engineer is insane, we're used to systems reporting no power and overheating all the time and knowing that he is on it and that system simply does not have priority.
    During combat, it's pretty much "warning lights everywhere" and people acting "nah, it is fine".


    But if you run a smaller crew on a 2nd support ship, I recommend having helms and weapons, and then the other stations on a 3th person or as "extra" stations for the helms and weapons. After all, you are just support for the primary ship. And then helms and weapons are your important stations.


    That also hits a "core" thing of EE. It's not a finished "game" as you would expect from most quality games. It's more an "engine" where you need to find your own game in. So some parts aren't well explained or require some setup fiddling to get the experience you want. I understand that this can make you feel a bit "lost", which is most likely what happened to @croxis
    And it's a bad thing about EE for new people picking it up. Especially if you don't have the "intended" 5 station setup. It gives a lot of flexibility for more experienced players, and the LARPs that are using it. But it makes casually picking it up harder.

    So I'm well aware of the issue. But it's also quite a bit of work to fix it. And honesty, don't want to invest the time at the moment.
    The fix would be to provide more preconfigured setups for people to pick it up, and make the current setup the more "custom mode".


    However, remember, that EE was build as a step up from Artemis, so for people that where already experienced with Artemis and wanted more, better, more flexibility.
  • I have some friends coming over to play EE this Friday. Any chance a new release could be made since the September version? I think there are some good updates since then on GitHub or is it fine using the latest release?
  • kyle said:

    I have some friends coming over to play EE this Friday. Any chance a new release could be made since the September version? I think there are some good updates since then on GitHub or is it fine using the latest release?

    Sure, releases are 1 button press away again.
  • edited October 2019
    Is this new version built without crash logger? As custom build versions of 2019-09-10 with crash logging off seemed to solve (well, at least work around) the dll-problems several windows users reported, as you predicted.
  • edited October 2019
    The new version of EE has an error in Windows of "Invalid Entry Point" for one of my friends. Any advice to overcome it?

    Also when I play the game and spawn a ship I click to add the main screen and the game crashes and the log says:

    Error occurred on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 15:48:32.

    EmptyEpsilon.exe caused an Access Violation at location 005443EE in module EmptyEpsilon.exe Writing to location 6E00004C.

    Registers:
    eax=6e000000 ebx=00000001 ecx=6e000000 edx=00000000 esi=0146e5c0 edi=0146fae0
    eip=005443ee esp=0146e390 ebp=0146e398 iopl=0 nv up ei pl nz na po nc
    cs=0023 ss=002b ds=002b es=002b fs=0053 gs=002b efl=00010206

    .... etc
  • I need the contents of the crash report file, it's located next to the exe, with a rpt extension.
  • edited October 2019
    Well I reinstalled on another PC and it works fine. So I will leave it for now.

    On another topic, I am having some friends over this Friday to play a 4 man crew. I briefly saw the already loaded scenarios that come with the game. For an intermediate skill group of 4 crew is there a particular scenario that anyone recommends for some good mission-based scenarios that are rewarding and well put together?

    This same group played EE together roughly two years ago.
  • I recommend starting with a round of "Basic" or "Quick Basic" to get the bearings again.


    Then for more story based missions, "Beacon of light series" and "Birth of the Atlantis" are both made by me.
    The beacon of light saw the most testing and should be pretty bug free, and not that hard to follow as long as you a smart person on comms.

    "Birth of the Atlantis" has a few problems, especially after the first half. So I would avoid that, unless you are willing to deal with it.

    No idea for the other missions, most where contributed.
  • I also recommend "Borderline Fever" written by Xansta. Pretty involved escalating boarder war scenario.
  • You can set a timer and/or the difficulty level on Borderline Fever. You'll need to spawn a player ship, though. Borderline Fever will change each time it's played, so you can't use terrain knowledge from a previous game to improve your play the next time. For an intermediately experienced crew, I think this scenario at normal difficulty or with a timer is a good start. For a 4 person crew, I suggest one of these console combinations:
    * Tactical (helm and weapons), Science, Engineering, Relay/Captain or
    * Helm, Weapons, Engineering/Science, Relay/Captain

    Birth of Atlantis is a pretty good introduction. All the stations are exercised in the context of the maiden voyage of the Atlantis class ship, then the crew gets to go on a mission. Obviously, the script spawns an Atlantis class ship for the crew to use. Even a moderately experienced crew will enjoy this scenario the first time out.

  • @daid - btw, I meant to say thanks for fixing the .dll issue and for the new release. Issue went away!
  • @daid - btw, I meant to say thanks for fixing the .dll issue and for the new release. Issue went away!

    Good to know, nobody confirmed that it went away with the downgrade. Which is always a bit of a "is it solved now or not?"
  • Hey there.

    Just wanted to give a big thanks to everyone who contributed to EE recently. That's a covid-19-free virtual high five to you @daid, @Xansta , @oznogon , @Jonathan Levi, aBlueShadow and everyone else. You are great and your work is highly appreciated!

    I'm really overwhelmed by the rate of the changes recently and it's hard to keep track of them. :D

  • Thanks, @xopn. I agree, EmptyEpsilon has seen some new love in the last month or two. It's been great. @Kilted-Klingon has also done some good work, though not on the code, himself.

  • I join the thanks for all the recents contributors, your PR are very appreciated ! I love to see that EE is still getting bigger.

  • Thanks from me as well. I can barely keep up with the new versions. ☺

  • @xopn @el.tito @Terandir - Yes, it's been very exciting seeing all the creative energy pouring into EE! And yes, it has been hard keeping up with all the changes! (Thanks also to @Jonathan Levi for the kind reference! 🙂)

    Just wanted to let everyone know to please stay tuned, and that I'm planning a big EE event for later on in the summer once we get post pandemic and things get back to normal. I'm going to be doing another collocated multi-ship event with our local Scouts, but this time we're going to add in ship crews from the online community! We're going for fleets here! It's gonna be awesome.

    So please stay tuned and be ready to sign up individually or with your whole crew. More to follow!

  • Hi, thank you for such a great game. I can't believe I'm just now discovering it! I am a beginner and I am trying to plan a virtual birthday party this weekend (May 9 2020) featuring Empty Epsilon. There will be 8-9 players, most of whom are at least somewhat familiar with Artemis (but still probably beginner level). I have been playing around with EE and trying to do some research, but I was hoping for some advice. My test group (read: family) and I have been able to start a server and play the Basic scenario with no issues.

    My concerns are

    1) how/what to play with 8 people

    2) choosing scenarios: some of the scenarios we tried seemed either broken or maybe we just weren't experienced enough to figure out what the heck we were supposed to do

    I saw above that Beacon of Light and Borderline Fever might be good ones to start with after the Basic scenario, but can they be played with 2 ships? If so, do you usually put each "ship" of players in separate communication channels?

    Any advice for choosing scenarios and for how to play with a group of 8 would be much appreciated! Since I am trying to run this as a party for someone else, I am really hoping I can work out a plan beforehand.

    Thank you again to the developer and everyone who has put time and energy into this great game.

  • Borderline Fever is based around the idea of killing more of the enemy than they kill of you.

    Defender Hunter on a "Timed Defender" variation is anther good one, and simpler. The Defender Hunter, "Hunter" variations, I have never fully played through. The "Timed Defender" variations have you defend a base, and keep it alive for 30 minutes.

    Basic is just a simple shoot a few bad guys, which can be useful for learning the game, but lacks the strategy found in Defender Hunter or Borderline Fever.

    Beacon of Light is a short story driven one, if my memory serves me.

    There are a few other good ones, but I am not familiar enough with them to give a review.

  • edited May 6

    Could you name the scenarios that you are consider as broken? So someone could look at it, and either confirm/maybe fix it or explain how it is played.

    Beacon of light is a pretty nice scenario. Although it is meant to be played with a single ship, I see 2 possible variations:

    1. play with a support ship anyways. This probably makes the scenario quite a bit easier. You have more ships, and the second ship won't be affected by scenario restrictions (there is a part where the main ship gets some limitations). So you might want to use a weaker ship as support.
    2. cram all 8 into a single ship. you can split engineering in damcontrol and power management, and the strategic map serves as a second relay without comms (e.G. for dedicated hacking). In this scenario, that many stations are not really needed, so that is probably only an option if there are some players that don't want to get involved too deep, and are happy to just watch the others player sometimes. In that case, you might even consider to appoint a dedicated main screen officer.

    In both cases, that scenario might become easier than intended. However, there is a serious difficulty spike in the middle, so a bit of mitigation might not be too bad for new players. Also, you could always ramp up the difficulty by using the GM screen and spawning additional enemies.

  • About communication channels, there is also a push to talk voice chat built in. Tilde[~] for ship wide and backspace for server-wide communication (though ~ can be tricky on non-us keyboards, but pressing the key on the left to the 1 key might work)

  • Thanks for the ideas. Basic and Defender Hunter: Timed Defender sound like a good place to start. I'd also like to try Beacon of Light with a support ship for the main event if we can figure it out.

    The in-game communication does seem like it would solve some problems if we want to talk just to 1 ship (without changing discord channels and such) so I will give that a try. I'm not sure how to spawn additional enemies, but I'd like to learn--that seems like it would be handy if we're finding things too simple.

    Now that I've learned more, I'm thinking most of our issues are user error/ignorance, but I would like to be able to make sure I can run some of these without our group hitting a bunch of dead-ends and getting frustrated. Are there maybe walk-thrus somewhere?

    After the tutorials we started with Quick Basic and we were just getting overwhelmed (3 beginners) and dying too fast to learn much. Once we switched to Basic, I think we had the time and space to figure out what we were doing. I imagine we could probably go back to Quick Basic now. We did Basic a few times with some variations and then we tried one of the straightforward ones (I think it was Waves) and that went fine.

    Then we tried Beacon of Light and we felt like we were getting it and doing well. We picked up the Diplomat and then . . . nothing. We tried everything we could think of on the screen--docking at each station, scanning everything, etc. and we could not figure out what to do next. So I guess we need some hints or directions if we're going to do that one.

    We also tried Escape. The ship started in very bad shape and we were never able to get it to a working level before we died.

    So honestly, after our trial run we were concerned that many of the scenarios are either broken or that we just didn't have enough information to know what to do. Even though we really liked the set-up of the game, I was worried about getting to dead-ends. However, after looking at this forum, I realize that there is quite a bit of variety in the scenarios and I now have more confidence that we can choose a solid scenario that our group will understand.

    When setting up a server, I feel like I have figured out most of the settings on the left side of the screen, but I am not sure what Beam/Shield Frequencies and Per System Damage does. I am guessing if I toggle off Beam/Shield frequencies off then we will no longer have to match the frequencies for maximum damage? Not sure about Per System damage. Is it how you damage the enemy ship and whether it involves the engineering areas?

    Thank you Jonathan Levi and Blueshadow for your help.

    More suggestions and advice will be very much appreciated!

  • Delta Quadrant Patrol Duty is fun with multiple ships. It's pretty straightforward in concept (patrol a loop around stations on the map by docking with them) but throws waves of enemies at you or the stations that makes it increasingly hectic over time. It has lots of variations, including four difficulty levels and optional time limits.

  • edited May 6

    if I toggle off Beam/Shield frequencies off then we will no longer have to match the frequencies for maximum damage?

    Correct.

    Not sure about Per System damage. Is it how you damage the enemy ship and whether it involves the engineering areas?

    If you target the hull, you're shooting beams to destroy the ship, which might damage other systems a little. If you target a specific system, you're shooting to disable only that system, and most of the damage is dealt to that system. So for instance, you can target a ship's engines to force it to stop, or target its weapons to disable its offensive capabilities, until they repair it.

    If you disable this setting on the server level, all your beam attacks do hull damage.

  • I'm not sure how to spawn additional enemies, but I'd like to learn--that seems like it would be handy if we're finding things too simple.

    The Game Master screen lets you manipulate the running scenario, like by adding and removing ships, stations, objects, etc. There are some details on the wiki, but the best way to learn how it works is to open it up while playing on your own, without the pressure of running a multiplayer game. Scenarios can add custom functions to that window, for example spawning waves of enemies or friendly ships in the Basic scenario by just clicking a button.

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