A few weeks ago, I was in the mood for a new game and thought, I'd like a starship bridge simulator, one where you play at one console and play with others. I really wasn't expecting to find it, but of course, here it is! I immediately downloaded the demo and played with a friend who was over that night. We had such a blast just playing helm and weapons, we called over a friend across the street and he played captain. Even more fun!
I have a group I've been DM'ing D&D with for the last year and figured they would all have a good time playing. We swapped our last D&D session for Artemis--we had better attendance than any previous D&D session! We even picked up a few guest players.
For the first half, we had an extra player, so I played XO, helping the others who had played yet with their consoles. We rotated stations each mission--I didn't want players to attach to a console immediately and never find out they liked some other station better.
It was the most nerd-fun any of us had had in our lives. One players said, "that was the fastest I've ever had a half hour go by in my life". As I'm sure many have noticed, this game is so faithful to sci-fi starship combat, you immediately get into the role and you're spouting off the jargon like a pro. At one point, I told the crew to do something stupid and as soon as I realized it I said, "Belay that order," and they all got a good laugh out of that. There was lots of giggling like school-girls.
We played for about three hours. Everyone got to be captain except the one ultra-introvert who refused to captain. I should mention, we're all 30-40-somethings, but that day we all lived out our junior-high fantasies. There's no question we'll be playing again. I'm actually a bit concerned it will take over D&D!
On the technical side, we had a few lockups on the more underpowered netbooks. We did play at very low latency (50ms), so that might make a difference. The new engineering layout was confusing at first (coolant especially, but expected since we didn't bother reading instructions), but it definitely made engineering feel useful.
The satisfaction of watching a ship explode is priceless!
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