You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Short post since I have a raging headache right now.

There's an event coming up just before school starts up for the new students and the IT department was asked to participate. Its a 4 day event and we're part of two of them (Tuesday and Thursday I think). Basically groups of 25 to 30 students go about the campus to different events for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes and they do some kind of activity or something.

Boss man wanted it to be... educational... but who wants to listen to us talk tech! I can see their eyes glazing over! Thankfully he was persuaded by something much better! It's a game called Artemis and it's basically like a Star Trek type game, designed as a LAN based game. Essentially you're on a ship's bridge with various stations that would be manned by one person plus there's the captain. I think it's 6 stations and 7 with the Captain shouting at you!

The theme is teamwork and since it's a game that utilizes technology and it's a pretty funky setup we get the tech side in there as well. Games are fun and if you put enough energy into it then people who wouldn't normally try something like this might be caught up in that energy.

The setup involves one computer running the server and also acts as the main view screen that would be projected on a TV or large projection screen. Then you would have the rest of the computers connect their game clients to the IP of the computer acting as the server. Players choose their station and say they're ready to play and the server starts the game (someone has to say Start Game). Then, you're on a ship in space!

Weapons and Helm are necessary to play the game! The rest are optional but are helpful. Part of the server setup includes selecting the difficulty, how much terrain there is (asteroid fields and stuff), number of anomalies, enemy ships, monsters and friendly ships. You can play solo (one ship), player vs player, or co-op.

Basically you fly around and complete missions as they come and destroy enemy ships. The game can end because you've run out of time (if that was set on the server) or if all enemy ships have been destroyed.

I've played with a group twice now, to test it out. Oddly enough the hardest role is the Captain. People, especially nerds and very independent individuals, don't listen. As the Captain you're trying to guide your crew through the game and you're trying to make sure everyone is playing some role. Today I was the Captain.

I called upon my Comms officer to tell me if we had any missions, then I'd turn to the Science officer to find the ship or station we needed to go to and give us a heading. With the heading I would tell the Helmsman what course to take and if we went to warp or when we dropped out. The Engineering officer kept an eye on power levels and coolant and he could raise or lower the power of shields, weapons, warp drive, sensors, etc. When we got into a fight my Weapons officer would listen to when I said he could fire and if we fired a nuke or homing torpedoes (I'd ask the Science officer to scan for a shield frequency so the phasers would be more effective).

The biggest problem I'd have is my Helmsman randomly taking off in some direction or my Weapons officer shooting when I never asked him to. In addition I found that while some didn't listen, others would not do anything unless I told them to. The challenge for the crew is to know that there are some things they should do without being told to. As an example...

When I say we're going to a space station, I shouldn't have to tell the comm's officer to send a request to the station to have docking crews waiting, nor should I have to tell the helmsman to dock when he's within range. As for my Science officer, I expect them to be scanning everything! And Engineering... knowing that when you're in a fight you need power to weapons and shields and you don't needs as much power in sensors or warp unless you're going to warp away suddenly!

It was tough but I asserted my control over the group and mostly had them doing what I wanted. I made the suggestion that everyone take a turn at being the Captain because it's not that easy.

That being said, I can say that any student that tries to take on Captain may be easily discouraged. Since we don't have a lot of time with each group it's hard to tell them enough about good teamwork before or after the session. It might be something that could be worked into the session while the game is being played so you can point out these things. Depending on how things work out we're hoping to have some of the staff who have been testing things out in these two sessions to be present during the event to help the students out. None of them will have played this game and it takes a moment to get into it. They'll need someone to guide them in the actual game play mechanics.

I really love this idea and I really want to be a part of it and I will be crushed if I'm not!

Anyways, here's a screenshot of the game I played by myself. I was able to run the server and the client on my laptop at the same time (the game didn't get angry at two instances of the same thing!). I managed all the highlighted stations! I flew around with the helm controls, I checked the Comms for missions and requested docking crews. I managed the Science station when I needed a heading and when I had to scan a ship. I also managed weapons when I was fighting (I was able to steer a little bit while in the weapons interface).

4 blog comments below

Looks like a great game. I hope you find the right combination of reality and simplicity to interest the students.

I downloaded the demo and it seems to run well using wine, although I only went far enough to move about a little and observe my ship with the camera. I thought I selected a 'single computer' mode to get the simplest setup, but I had to start a second task and connect to the server. Perhaps the 'single computer' mode works only in the full version.

I don't know if the demo version can handle the story-like scenarios, but if they provided it with a basic tutorial with one or two optional missions, I think they could sell more copies.
SonLight on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:53 am
Short post? with headache no less. I do hope that has gone away.
Looks like an interesting game however I think you might have problems considering the short amount of time with students and getting them to 'team' so quickly.

Anyway, beam me up!!
standready on Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:27 am
Yea, 45 minutes isn't long enough. I wish we could have more time. If we keep the difficulty low that will help. Server options exist to make the enemy shields lower so they won't be at 100% and might be able to lower their overall health. It could mean that we get more games starting, we can rotate them faster. We can also pretend that if they get hit we can be like "oh no! The comms station just shorted out and the officer has been killed! Quick, someone needs to take over!"
TheGremlyn on Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:10 am
Really interesting game!
It's pity that the time is too short.
The crews were not familiar the game and had to do so many things in the 45 minutes.
Maybe it will become a routine class to make students gain more benefits from this team work training.
The team members have to rotate jobs every several classes, so they could learn how to put themselves in others' shoes.
rx9876 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:14 am

© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.