Space... the final frontier.
Fans of space operas and dramas such as Star Trek
, Battlestar Galactica
, and the like have wanted to actually step onto The Bridge
of one of those starships since about 5 minutes after the first episode started. Now, with Artemis, we can.
Artemis is a LAN-based computer game in which players take on the roles of the bridge crew members of a Terran Space Navy starship. Each player sets up his computer to represent one of five bridge consoles on the ship, while the sixth plays the Captain and directs the action. The ship patrols an area of space, exploring for anomalies and protecting allied ships and starbases from attacks by four hostile alien races: the Kraliens, Arvonians, Torgoth, and Skaraan.
The positions into which a player can step are:
- Helm: Controls the ship's movements and monitors some ship resources, such as torpedo and energy stores. Helm and Weapons share main viewscreen control and responsibility for raising and lowering shields.
- Weapons: Controls the ship's weaponry, loading the torpedo tubes with various kinds of ordinance and firing the beam weapons in manual mode.
- Science: Performs scans, determining the identity and weaknesses of enemy ships and locating anomalies to replenish energy.
- Comms: Communicates with NPC (and, optionally, other PC) ships: relaying advice and orders to allied ships, requesting supplies from starbases, communicating missions to the captain and crew, and activating Red Alert. In games with multiple crews playing at once, the Communications officer generally relays orders from the Admiral.
- Engineering: Distributes extra power to improve system effectiveness, allocates coolant to systems to prevent overheating (and subsequent spectacular failure), and dispatches and organizes damage control teams to repair damage taken in battle.
- Captain: The only core crewmember without his own dedicated station, though a "captain's map" setting grants a tactical map. The captain takes charge, parsing information gained from his other crewmembers and directing the action of the ship. The captain requires a cool head and keen tactical awareness.
- Admiral: An optional position for games in which three or more player-controlled ships are cooperating on a mission. The Admiral organizes the ships as a fleet, making overriding strategic and tactical decisions.
You can download the game from the official website here
, also available on Steam
Tropes appearing in Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator include:
- Absolute Xenophobe: The player - well, given that every alien ship that appears does its best to destroy you.
- Aliens Are Bastards: At least, all the alien species who appear in the game are inherently hostile.
- Alien Invasion: You're defending a sector of space from the invading alien ships in a modified Type-1 scenario.
- Aliens Speaking English: Unless there's some form of Translator Microbe at work — you can get an alien ship to attack you by saying that (and I quote) their "Matriarchal leader wears combat boots"
- Anti-Human Alliance: As noted, every alien species in the game wants you dead.
- Arbitrary Maximum Range: On your scanners and your sensors.
- Asteroid Thicket: These can show up, scattered through the quadrant.
- Badass Crew: You and your friends!
- Battle Theme Music: The game has a dynamic soundtrack
- Beeping Computers: Whenever you click a control.
- The Bridge: You're a crew member there!
- Competitive Multiplayer: With version 1.1, multiple player ships can fight against one another.
- Co-Op Multiplayer: Up to six players work together to run each ship.
- Death Ray: The beam weapons
- Deflector Shields: Controlled by the Helm and Weapons, with power allocation by Engineering.
- Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Well, depending on your difficulty level
- Everything Sensor: The same scan that identifies the make, model, and (sometimes) name of another starship can help you locate anomalies to help power the ship.
- Explosions in Space: Whenever a ship or station is destroyed.
- Explosive Overclocking: There's a sequence of actions you can take to result in the detonation of your warp core.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Implied by the warp and jump drives, though distances and speeds are rather vague.
- Interface Screw: In recent versions of the game, severe damage to your ship is indicated by static and other visual glitches appearing on the displays.
- When engaging a hyperspace jump (for ships not equipped with warp drives), the actual jump itself is symbolized by all the players' screens going blank for a split second.
- Old-School Dogfight: The most common mode of battle for the more maneuverable ships, such as scouts and light cruisers.
- Real Time: There's no indication in the game that time is compressed at all.
- Red Alert: The comms officer can sound an annoying alarm, and it changes certain colors on the displays, but otherwise doesn't do anything.
- Space Navy: The Terran Space Navy, to be precise.
- Space Whale: They show up — though you can't really do much with/to them.
- Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: Destroyers (similar in some ways to a Patrol Boat) and Transports wander around, and Starbases offer resupply. The players get to choose between a Scout (something like a Cutter), a Light Cruiser, a Missile Cruiser, a Battleship, and a Dreadnought.
- Standard Starship Scuffle: The common mode of battle for the less maneuverable, tougher ships.
- Star Trek Shake: Given the modding community, some of whom go pretty all-out in order to make realistic bridge sets for their game, it's only a matter of time before someone introduces this. This also tends to make an appearance in gameplay videos.
- Stealth in Space: Some enemy ships can cloak.
- Techno Babble: In woefully short supply, even on the Science and Weapons stations.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The Jump Drive, allowing the teleportation of the entire ship. Also resupply when docked, since no physical contact is made between the ship and the station.
- Tim Taylor Technology: All of the ship's systems are improved in some way when given increased power.
- Tractor Beam: How the starship docks with Starbases.
- 2-D Space: At least until 3D is supported.
- Up to Eleven: The highest difficulty level available.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: It gets you nothing, but you can attack the Space Whales with beams and torpedos. You can also nuke your own allied ships and stations and destroy surrendered vessels.
- Your Matriarchal Leader: Saying that an alien captain's wears combat boots is one of the phrases the comm officer can use to draw aggro.