Comparison Info?

I'm surprised that I can't find a video for this (it seems there's a video for everything!), but does anyone have a link, article, or video that breaks down the various differences or pros/cons of each bridge sim?

I'm looking for a bridge sim that has "modern" graphics (I love Artemis, but the graphics were dated 5 years ago...and they haven't changed as near as I can tell), is actively being worked on, and most important of all: has the most user-friendly process for creating custom missions and/or game mastering. Can anyone provide a suggestion? I'll try them all if I have to, but the process for each--especially requiring multiple PCs--could be an enormous PITA. :-/

Thank you! :)


  • The only article I know of is this one: (scroll down to "Alternatives to Bridge Crew")

    I find that some time ago when I was looking for an overview myself.

  • [EmptyEpsilon - A word from the creator]

    I think EmptyEpsilon is "on par" graphics wise with Artemis, but it uses a bit more minimal look. It has never been a focal point for the development. As I also run it on low end machines. So fancy graphics have never been the focus. It is also easier to get people together with low/mid end machines then with all high end machines.

    I actively work on it on and off. So updates are a bit random. But other people contribute as well.

    But most important, a core part of EmptyEpsilon is high customization. You can change just about anything. Don't like the black star background? Change it to your own images. Don't like the style of the buttons? Change it. Ships? Can all be customized. Missions? Full scripting language available.

    Playing with a game-master? YES. The game master screen is only available on the server due to technical limitations. But it provides a lot of controls to play with. Creating ships, moving ships, customizing ships. Chatting with the comms officer. Ordering around AI ships. All possible without touching a single line of code.

    I sit behind these controls a LOT when we are playing. I know the game by hearth, so playing is a bit less fun for me. But tweaking a few enemies, adding unexpected encounters. Making the enemies use different tactics. Scaling difficulty up or down when the crew is having it too easy or hard.
    My favorite is distracting the comms officer with incoming chats just before they are docking. "Why didn't we stock up with Nukes?" must remain the best line ever from an experienced crew. But messages like "This is station DS-5, we are under heavy attack, need assistance now!" help in directing less experienced players in what needs to be done.

    The mission scripting tutorial goes into the basics of making your own mission:
    But, it's missing 1 detail that I added after writing that tutorial. And that is that in the Game master screen, you can press F5. And this places code on your clipboard that will setup the current world from a script, ready for you to paste in a mission script. Allowing you to setup a "world" before writing a single line of actual code. And then just add a few lines of code for the mission behavior.
    It's not the most user-friendly process you can get. But it is a powerful process.
  • edited February 2017
    I'll describe mine, Space Nerds In Space and let you decide if it sounds like it might be for you.

    First thing to get out of the way, it's for linux only, open source, and you have to compile it yourself.

    Still here?

    Some Features:

    * Proper 3D (you're free to fly any which way you like, yaw, pitch, roll, whatever.)
    * Reasonably modern graphics (not vulkan, but at least it uses shaders.) Some screenshots:
    * multiple bridges playing simultaneously is fine
    * Game is made for LAN rather than internet -- about 110kbytes per sec per client are transmitted from the server process via TCP, updates are at 10Hz, with interpolation smoothing to 30Hz on clients. Bandwidth can be reduced considerably by not having quite so many objects in a scenario.
    * Game Master screen is a bit rough around the edges but it's there.
    * Mission scripting is done with Lua, and will require some programming chops.
    * You can populate the universe with stuff in the game master screen, and then export to a Lua script file, similar to Empty Epsilon, but it saves it to a file on the server instead of putting it into the copy/paste buffer -- which is a neat idea that I may have to steal. That only gets you the initial setup though, any special features you'll have to program yourself.
    * Has speech recognition for the "Star Trek Computer" type experience -- sort of.

    Here's a video of a Lua scripted scenario:
    And here's the Lua script for that scenario:

    Here is documentation for the Lua API:

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