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Video Game: After Protocol
Originally known as Beyond Protocol, After Protocol is a rare example of an MMORTS, a Massively Multiplayer Online Real Time Strategy. Released as Beyond Protocol in November 2008 as a subscription based game, Beyond Protocol never gained the popularity that other MMO games had at the time. The result was the original game being shut down in April 2011. For a while, all hope seemed lost, but after the game's source was publicly released by the former developer, a new developer seized the opportunity to rescue the fallen game. The game was renamed After Protocol, the monthly fee was dropped (the game is now completely free to play), and the former players (and a large amount of new ones, helped the fact that the game is now free) joined to build their empires.

While somewhat lacking in terms of plot, After Protocol more than makes up for this with its unique gameplay. Each player is the leader of their own galactic empire, but unfortunately your empire only consists of a single colony on a planet with several other colonies on it. Everything from that point forward is up to the player. Do want you wage war on your planetary neighbours in an attempt for planetary domination? Go for it; the game is entirely Pv P. Or perhaps you'd rather team up and extend your alliance's reach throughout the galaxy? Want to get involved in wars, but don't want to fight? Supply your guild with resources and weaopns or develop new technologies. Any way you could possibly want to play, After Protocol allows it.

Seriously, the game is basically an empire simulator. Things like war, unemployment, and poor living conditions affect the morale of your colonists. If morale gets too low, the colonists will begin to leave. If too many people leave, the colony can no longer sustain itself and collapses. Conversly, high morale attracts colonists, allowing your colony to produce more money. But more colonists means you need more jobs for them to work at, more buildings for them to live in, and more power plants for the buildings. Not being able to provide those can result in a drop in morale (and therefore colonists), until eventually the whole thing reaches an equilibrium.

Other things like interplanetary trade, resource management, research and design, and scientific research are all important parts of building a successful empire, but research and design is the most important by far. This is where things get crazy. Every unit (or building) worth using has to be designed from the ground up by the player. How something is designed greatly affects the final performance of the unit. For every unit you make you have to design the components for it. If you want it to be able to attack, you'll need at least one weapon. If you want it to be able to see, you'll need a radar. If you don't want it to be completely flimsy, you'll need to provide it with armour. The engine (which is needed to move) provides the power for all of these components, and it has to provide enough for all systems to work. But wait, you can't just design a part, you have to design the materials that the part is made from. And even then, you need enough hull space for the parts. Amazingly, that's just the start of it. Things like Deflector Shields, Invisibility Cloaks and other crazy gadgets can also be be designed, but require higher Technology Levels to access. In other words, there is a lot of customization.

The game can be found here.

After Protocol provides examples of:

  • Arms Dealer: Weapons can be sold to your allies.
  • Design It Yourself Equipment: Of all the aspects of your empire, research and design is the most important by far. This is where things get crazy. Every unit or building worth using has to be designed from the ground up by the player. How something is designed greatly affects the final performance of the unit. For every unit you make you have to design the components for it. If you want it to be able to attack, you\'ll need at least one weapon. If you want it to be able to see, you\'ll need a radar. If you don\'t want it to be completely flimsy, you\'ll need to provide it with armour. The engine (which is needed to move) provides the power for all of these components, and it has to provide enough for all systems to work. But wait, you can\'t just design a part, you have to design the materials that the part is made from. And even then, you need enough hull space for the parts. Amazingly, that\'s just the start of it. Things like Deflector Shields, Invisibility Cloaks and other crazy gadgets can also be be designed, but require higher Technology Levels to access. In other words, there is a lot of customization.
  • Dying Town: When your colonists abandon ship.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When morale drops too low your colonists will leave.
  • Technical Pacifist: You can be involved in war without the wetwork by selling weapons to allies.


AetoliaMassively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing GameAge of Conan
Act of WarReal-Time StrategyAirMech

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