Author Topic: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!  (Read 35847 times)

Offline Zoomer30

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Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« on: 05/13/2006 10:24 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Space_Station

Personally one of the best games period, space or otherwise, I have ever played, even to this day, is one from HesWare called "Project: Space Station".  Released on the Commodore 64 in 1987-88, the game finally gave you a sense of what it is like to run a space program.  You had to plan your budget, then buy your space station hardware, then plan your launch manifest, and place different payloads on each.  

You had a 2 shuttle fleet, Challenger and Atlantis.  You would launch, drop off your hard ware and land.  Depending on how good/bad your landing was, that would dictate how long the shuttle would be in for repairs.  Best you could do was a 7 day turn around, not sure what worst was, once had one that was over 50 days due to missing the runway (bad tile damage).  The launch screen (see screenshot below) would start at T-30 secs and go to liftoff.  You had to watch the weather, it would randomly change.  If at T-6 the wind was too high or there were thunderstorms, there would be a scrub.  With t he cursor bar, you could move it to HOLD if the weather got bad, and then go back to Go when it got better.  I know a few times it took me 3 or 4 attempts to get off the ground (makes me wonder if Mr Paper Bag Man was on board :) )

The game also had a huge database of fictional astronauts that you could pick and choose from to fly the missions and stay on the station.  At some point you would add a "lab module" to the station and be able to pick up projects (there were TONS of different projects).  Some paid more then others but also needed more power.  If I remember correctly each crew member on a project needed a "experiment pack" to use on the project.  That was one of the things you needed to bring up to the station.  Care needed to be taken in picking the people who would be on the project, if there were personality conflicts, the progress reports would be poor.  It was easy to fix though, just needed to read the "pyshe eval" on each person.  Would not want a neat freak with someone who was messy, that sorta thing.  And you also had to PAY these people, so you had to watch the bottom line.

Station construction was simple, an astronaut either from the shuttle or in the station would go out in a pod.  This was before I had ever seen 2001 Space Odyessy, once I did I saw where they got the pod from :) Another thing the pod was used for was for lauching communication sats.  These could be bought and brought up to orbit, to have ready in case an "order" for one was placed.  They could be lauched to LEO or GSO, the GSO ones needed a PAM, so they cost more but paid better.

The game was not without bugs.  After a few years of playing it (I dont normally look for bugs) I noticed that if you put all your starting money into one area (like Flight Ops) and then slowly started moving the bar back, when the number would try to go below 10,000M the game would for some reason give you and extra 1,000M.  Do that a few times and you can make a station that goes around the world (I did that :) )  Another small bug was that the shuttles had 30 days of life support.  If at the end of 30 game days there was anyone on that ship, they would die.  The trick was just to keep everyone on the station.   I used to keep one ship in orbit at all times just in case I needed for something.  Transfer a pilot and commander and land, did not matter that the life support was done.

One of the best space games ever.  With todays hardware its scary to think what they could do, but I doubt todays market would support something so nitche.

Online nacnud

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #1 on: 05/13/2006 11:30 PM »
Elite on the BBC B.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #2 on: 05/14/2006 12:24 AM »
Errrr, Halo 2 on the XBox? :)

Offline Bubbinski

Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #3 on: 05/14/2006 12:40 AM »
I loved that game, Zoomer 30.  Project Space Station was great, I only wish someone would modernize it.
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline Zoomer30

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #4 on: 05/14/2006 01:20 AM »
Heck, id play it NOW :)  In fact I used to have a C64 emulator that I had that game on, on my PC.  Problem is it ran WAY to fast.

Another good game, not quiet on par with PSS is Apollo 18 from Accolade I belive.  Very good Apollo simuator.

Offline hyper_snyper

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #5 on: 05/14/2006 01:33 AM »
I'm surprised no one has said Orbiter   yet.  It's more of a simulation than an actual game though.

Offline Jamie Young

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #6 on: 05/14/2006 01:43 AM »
Quote
hyper_snyper - 13/5/2006  8:20 PM

I'm surprised no one has said Orbiter   yet.  It's more of a simulation than an actual game though.

Yeah, it's not a space game although you need an IQ of 400 just to download it.

Offline imfan

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #7 on: 05/14/2006 10:07 AM »
its not that bad. It only requires more then one clik. wait a minute I ll try it......................... actually the whole action needs 4 mousecliks since getting to orbiter homepage. try harder and I believe U can do it  ;)

Offline Zoomer30

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #8 on: 05/14/2006 11:54 PM »
Orbiter is cool, kinda touchy however.  Sometimes I get add-ons that just refuse to work, for no reason.  I have messed with the shuttle flights on there.  I notice if you go into a scenario and change the "target heading" to something between 270 and 0 degrees it does NOT like it.  Ship will take off, do a a full 360 roll manuver, starting flying the right way (west if the heading is set to 270) then it freaks out and just starts to tumble.  

I know it should be able to fly to the west, would not make orbit (losing the eastward speed bonus).

The game is more a sandbox type of thing.  I personally would like a game where you can plan out your entire space program.  You pick the ships, the launch system, even devlop your own engines.  Could also have a ELV program where you could make money lauching payloads.  The game would never sell though, people are too "lazy" for a sim like that ;)  Not surprising that HesWare when out of business not long after PSS came out.  Just cant make enough money making cool games like that.

Offline zappafrank

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #9 on: 05/15/2006 02:39 AM »
I had that game, you could never make any money for NASA.

Prophetic!

Offline Zoomer30

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #10 on: 05/16/2006 01:16 AM »
It took me a few false starts, but I got quiet good at Project Space Station.  The game really never "ends" even though it says its a 15 year mission.  I played so much that I had a STS-00 since the game could not count over 99 for the missions.   It would be very cool to see a game like that again, but I just dont see the market for it  :(

Offline Rxke

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #11 on: 05/16/2006 08:22 AM »
Quote
nacnud - 14/5/2006  2:17 AM

Elite on the BBC B.

Then you will love Oolite: an Open version of Elite, cross platform, free and a great modding community : http://oolite.aegidian.org/

The only problem with it is, it's such a time-waster, before you know it, it's dark outside, 2AM, sigh...  ;)

Offline mike robel

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #12 on: 07/22/2006 09:20 PM »
Buzz Aldrin's Race to space.  You have to compete against other nations to get to the moon from nothing.  Different funding, payoff strategies, and so on.  There was also a board game version by task force games.

Offline PurduesUSAFguy

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #13 on: 07/22/2006 09:54 PM »
I always really like Sierra's Outpost. You had to pick the supplies you were going to take with you on a starship to colonize a distant world, and then build the colony turn by turn. Gotta love not-real-time strategy games.

Offline tycho

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #14 on: 07/23/2006 04:05 AM »
I am an hardcore gamer, i like everything about space, especially space-games.

but all best serious space-games is sadly old games, you can download them for free(its not illegal, its offically free) both games is not bigger then 15 MB.


1 SPACE SHUTTLE SIMULATOR(distrubtor VIRGIN, who dont know this company? :) )

ultra-realistic but old(ugly graphic, learn to live with it,but only cockpit view is nice) space simulator.
when i was young, about 12 year old, I played this game a lot, over and over.
Near every buttons of space shuttle cockpits(front, underdeck, back cockpit) in this game works!

this game is for my taste 100 times better then Orbiter, because
its space shuttle only game, you dont just keep pressing + for launch, this is using real launch shemes,
you have to input launch plan code into your shuttle-computer and such more for to preparation of shuttle launch, all much more realistic and real atmosphere.
Orbiter makers can learn and copy a lot from this game.

some screens here;

http://www.abandonia.com/games/547/download/images/games/Shuttle1.png" />
http://www.abandonia.com/games/547/download/images/games/Shuttle2.png" />
http://www.abandonia.com/games/547/download/images/games/Shuttle3.png" />
http://www.abandonia.com/games/547/download/images/games/Shuttle8.png" />

download link;
http://www.abandonia.com/games/547/download/Shuttle



2 BUZZ ALDRIN'S RACE INTO SPACE.

very fun and educational turn-based space sim/strategy game. you'll be suprised how realistic this is, space business and history together, you even can find some authenic scrubbed plans/draws of spacecraft/moonlander(there is true alternative bigger moonplan, that one bigger moonlander was named Jupiter) , with this game you can launch them!!
its very funny game but an big disappoint is that its too difficult game, i never succees to be first on the moon. USSR or USA computerplayer always is faster and before  then you.

some screens;

http://www.abandonia.com/games/183/images/games/Buzz%20Aldrins%20Race%20into%20Space2.png" />
http://www.abandonia.com/games/183/images/games/Buzz%20Aldrins%20Race%20into%20Space4.png" />
http://www.abandonia.com/games/183/images/games/Buzz%20Aldrins%20Race%20into%20Space1.png" />

download link;
http://www.abandonia.com/games/183/5

I wish I  can program my own nice 3d games like as Orbiter, then i should remake this game!!+ after moon history and future like as race to mars, add ESA and China players.
(if you like my plan, and you can help me, please pm me :) )







"We have lingered for too long on the shores of the cosmic ocean; it's time to set sail for the stars."
Carl Sagan

Offline Jim

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #15 on: 07/23/2006 04:15 AM »
Quote
tycho - 22/7/2006  11:52 PM

I
this game is for my taste 100 times better then Orbiter, because
its space shuttle only game, you dont just keep pressing + for launch, this is using real launch shemes,
you have to input launch plan code into your shuttle-computer and such more for to preparation of shuttle launch, all much more realistic and real atmosphere.
Orbiter makers can learn and copy a lot from this game.


Orbiter is not a game.  It is a simulation and not just for the shuttle.  Per your other post about not knowing much about space.  You should use Orbiter more and learn.  Orbiter is one of the best sim around and it is free.

Offline tycho

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #16 on: 07/23/2006 04:28 AM »
Quote
Jim - 22/7/2006  11:02 PM

Quote
tycho - 22/7/2006  11:52 PM

I
this game is for my taste 100 times better then Orbiter, because
its space shuttle only game, you dont just keep pressing + for launch, this is using real launch shemes,
you have to input launch plan code into your shuttle-computer and such more for to preparation of shuttle launch, all much more realistic and real atmosphere.
Orbiter makers can learn and copy a lot from this game.


Orbiter is not a game.  It is a simulation and not just for the shuttle.  Per your other post about not knowing much about space.  You should use Orbiter more and learn.  Orbiter is one of the best sim around and it is free.

i know orbiter is not a game but that space shuttle simulator is not just a game too.
space shuttle simulator is far more realistic too, because you can/need to push buttons for to operate your shuttle, you have to communicate with control room too, from beginning of transport crawl and fueling till back to earth landing.
do yourself fun, try ride the space shuttle whitout helps/advice of computer.

Orbiter is a good and realistic game but its not focused on space shuttle spacecraft and a little lesser realistic for space shuttle
(automatic launch or that sort kind things)
"We have lingered for too long on the shores of the cosmic ocean; it's time to set sail for the stars."
Carl Sagan

Offline kneecaps

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #17 on: 07/23/2006 11:15 AM »
Quote

Orbiter is not a game.  It is a simulation and not just for the shuttle.  Per your other post about not knowing much about space.  You should use Orbiter more and learn.  Orbiter is one of the best sim around and it is free.

The orbital mechanics etc etc are fantastic in orbiter, and the atmospheric model has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years. However what hasn't (as far as I can see), is the shuttle in orbiter, its still totally devoid of any systems whatsoever. Compare this to the likes of Apollo in orbiter, due to the fantastic work of NASSP team provides a nearly 100% immersive experience!

You have the fantastic Mercury addons, Gemini was making some progress when I last checked and the brilliant X-15 addon must be flown simply for the thrill of putting that think down on the dry lake :D.

It seems odd that such progress has not been made on the Shuttle side of things (of course I know, there are no paid developers and people do what they like), this is not a 'knock' on orbiter at all as its one of my favourite programs.

This is the reason many shuttle fans are not / will not (although they should), pay orbiter any attention when it comes to the shuttle, there is more to the shuttle than aerodynamics, we want systems ;D

Allow subject to scream. In space no one will hear.

Offline Jim

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #18 on: 07/23/2006 01:03 PM »
Systems?   Who cares if the waterspray boilers are on or off.  Most sims are for flying not toggling a fake switch to see a fake light come on.

Offline cabbage

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #19 on: 07/23/2006 02:36 PM »
I think that depends on your mindset. I'm not a pilot, I'm a systems engineer by trade and playing system simulations is great fun (IMO!).

I remember playing a Shuttle Simulator (could have been that one) on the Mac in 88. I quite liked having to do "OPS 101 PRO" etc - it had a variety of missions, including MMU EVAs - though they didn't like you going too far away because this shuttle used to have random fires on board...

My understanding of orbital mechanics was very poor back then[*]- I was interested to try a manual re-entry, but all my attempts to point my nose at Earth and fire the OMS didn't work :)

EDIT: I realise that the program's orbital mechanics might not have been great either - I have no idea.

[*] It may not be much better now...

Offline tycho

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #20 on: 07/23/2006 03:57 PM »
Quote
cabbage - 23/7/2006  9:23 AM

I think that depends on your mindset. I'm not a pilot, I'm a systems engineer by trade and playing system simulations is great fun (IMO!).

I remember playing a Shuttle Simulator (could have been that one) on the Mac in 88. I quite liked having to do "OPS 101 PRO" etc - it had a variety of missions, including MMU EVAs - though they didn't like you going too far away because this shuttle used to have random fires on board...

My understanding of orbital mechanics was very poor back then[*]- I was interested to try a manual re-entry, but all my attempts to point my nose at Earth and fire the OMS didn't work :)

EDIT: I realise that the program's orbital mechanics might not have been great either - I have no idea.

[*] It may not be much better now...


when I was 12 year young, I can handle shuttle very easy, from launch to orbit with payload as satelite, now I cannot handle it as I did  :o

I think childerens is sometime very cleve.

"We have lingered for too long on the shores of the cosmic ocean; it's time to set sail for the stars."
Carl Sagan

Offline elmarko

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #21 on: 07/24/2006 02:17 PM »
The Shuttle that comes with Orbiter is naff. The one you can download, created by a few people together, is great. Systems? There are a lot of extra things you can do than just fly. Things to be turned on and off, and jettisoned, and opened, etc etc.

The problem with the old Virgin simulator (and something that plagues that new S3 sim - www.shuttlesim.be ) is that you cant take control of the orbiter and fly it wherever you want. There is NO manual control. You are following a script.

Offline tycho

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #22 on: 07/24/2006 02:49 PM »
Quote
elmarko - 24/7/2006  9:04 AM

The Shuttle that comes with Orbiter is naff. The one you can download, created by a few people together, is great. Systems? There are a lot of extra things you can do than just fly. Things to be turned on and off, and jettisoned, and opened, etc etc.

The problem with the old Virgin simulator (and something that plagues that new S3 sim - www.shuttlesim.be ) is that you cant take control of the orbiter and fly it wherever you want. There is NO manual control. You are following a script.

wrong, you really can control space shuttle, even let it explode if you want by pressing very very wrong button. its not really script too, but you have to follow it to success the mission. (there is one mission you can choose, for free-play)

remind it too that is classic game, very professional, from crawl till back to earth landing, and everything into ONE 1,4 discfloppy!


"We have lingered for too long on the shores of the cosmic ocean; it's time to set sail for the stars."
Carl Sagan

Offline elmarko

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #23 on: 07/25/2006 12:20 PM »
Well that's a good point about older computers in general, nothing really specific to that game. :)

Offline Jim

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #24 on: 10/11/2007 07:14 PM »
New game soon to be available

http://www.space-shuttle-mission.com/

Offline stockman

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #25 on: 10/11/2007 07:41 PM »
Quote
Jim - 11/10/2007  3:14 PM

New game soon to be available

http://www.space-shuttle-mission.com/
 


That looks great!!!  what is that puppy likely to cost once released???
One Percent for Space!!!

Offline Gary

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #26 on: 10/11/2007 07:53 PM »
Quote
kneecaps - 23/7/2006  12:15 PM

Quote

Orbiter is not a game.  It is a simulation and not just for the shuttle.  Per your other post about not knowing much about space.  You should use Orbiter more and learn.  Orbiter is one of the best sim around and it is free.

The orbital mechanics etc etc are fantastic in orbiter, and the atmospheric model has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years. However what hasn't (as far as I can see), is the shuttle in orbiter, its still totally devoid of any systems whatsoever. Compare this to the likes of Apollo in orbiter, due to the fantastic work of NASSP team provides a nearly 100% immersive experience!

You have the fantastic Mercury addons, Gemini was making some progress when I last checked and the brilliant X-15 addon must be flown simply for the thrill of putting that think down on the dry lake :D.

It seems odd that such progress has not been made on the Shuttle side of things (of course I know, there are no paid developers and people do what they like), this is not a 'knock' on orbiter at all as its one of my favourite programs.

This is the reason many shuttle fans are not / will not (although they should), pay orbiter any attention when it comes to the shuttle, there is more to the shuttle than aerodynamics, we want systems ;D


Orbiter is easily my favourite because it's open ended. I can plan missions to the planets or ISS. I can fly to the moon, I can land the shuttle, build a space station or fly a T-38 from Ellington to KSC.

How can you NOT love a system that is so open?

Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #27 on: 10/11/2007 07:58 PM »
Quote
tycho - 22/7/2006  12:05 AM

 


1 SPACE SHUTTLE SIMULATOR(distrubtor VIRGIN, who dont know this company? :) )

ultra-realistic but old(ugly graphic, learn to live with it,but only cockpit view is nice) space simulator.
when i was young, about 12 year old, I played this game a lot, over and over.

Wow, blast from the past!  :laugh:  I had this game back when I was probably a freshman or sophomore in high school, when I had my ultra powerful 386 SX 16 MHz machine with 2 MB of RAM and a rather generous (for its day) 80 MB hard drive!   :)

Offline starbird

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #28 on: 10/11/2007 07:58 PM »
Project: Space Station was one of my favorites on the C64.

Offline mike robel

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #29 on: 10/11/2007 08:01 PM »
1.  Buzz Aldrin's Race to Space
2.  Task Force Games' Lift Off (Also makers of Star Fleet Battles)
3.  Microsoft Space Simulator.

Every now and then I sit and doodle out a game desing for "West to Mars - Manifest Destiny in the 21st Century"


Offline Jester

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #30 on: 10/11/2007 08:16 PM »
We're talking game ? not sim ? why not have a little fun and play the space quest series from Sierra On-line, brings back memories....Roger wilco ;)

Offline hawkeye9797

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #31 on: 10/11/2007 08:24 PM »
This will by far be the best shuttle game

 http://www.space-shuttle-mission.com/

If you don't believe me, download the 2 year old version from www.shuttlesim.be. Even this old version is great.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #32 on: 10/11/2007 08:26 PM »
Best space simulator: Orbiter.

Best space simulator GAME: S3.  It's a game because it tells you what to do to launch into orbit, and orbit ops and stuff, but it's also a simulator, because if you don't do this, or don't do that, ops won't work, and various other things.  Screenshots'll come when I get home (I'm STILL at school!)


EDIT:  Just got beat to the link of S3.  It's a fantastic game, though!


EDIT2:  Pictures!  

Pic 1: External view of Endeavour on the launchpad.
Pic 2: APU/HYD switch panel.

Offline josh_simonson

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #33 on: 10/11/2007 08:26 PM »
Orbiter is sort of game-like in that you can build a scenario (or download one) and attempt to accomplish the mission within arbitrary time/fuel constraints.  It is kind of twitchy though, always a bummer to accidentally leave the spacecraft stabilized by RCS and fast forward the clock and run out of fuel...  Ooops...

It's also nice for testing out ideas for rockets by tweaking the parameters on generic SSTO or TSTO LVs to see what kind of capabilities such a craft may have.

Offline josh_simonson

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #34 on: 10/11/2007 08:29 PM »
Oh, spending a few evenings tinkering with orbiter also provides enough insight to orbital dynamics to prevent embarrassing stupid questions here - which is a big plus.  ;)

Offline Jim

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #35 on: 10/11/2007 08:35 PM »
Quote
hawkeye9797 - 11/10/2007  4:24 PM

This will by far be the best shuttle game

 http://www.space-shuttle-mission.com/

If you don't believe me, download the 2 year old version from www.shuttlesim.be. Even this old version is great.

read what revived the thread

Offline j2_

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #36 on: 10/11/2007 08:37 PM »
I recently tried the old virgin space shuttle game by running it in DOSbox. However, going through the launch scenario didn't make much sense. None of the gages (height and velocity tapes) on the screen moved correctly. MECO happened at something like 12 minutes after main engine start.

It seemed pretty cool at first, but after playing around with it for a while, it didn't seem to match up to reality at all. Perhaps it just doesn't work in DOSbox very well.


Offline Andy_Small

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #37 on: 10/11/2007 08:44 PM »
I like Orbiter.  I'm not any good at it and feel stupid when using it

But I still like i. :)

Offline Zoomer30

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #38 on: 10/12/2007 12:38 AM »
The Virgin space game is way to old to play on current PCs.  I remember playing that game in the dorm PC lab at school in 1994 and noticed how far off the MET clock got.  Just a case of the PC being too "fast" for the game (it was a 486/33 Mhz HP) :D

Offline Zoomer30

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #39 on: 10/12/2007 12:40 AM »
That S3 game is cool, it shows ALL the steps before launch, even shows the wings moving in the test and the SSME nozzles moving.  It was this game that pointed out to me that after the SSME test pattern the engines move to far outer positions so that at start up the bells dont "clang" together.

Offline khallow

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #40 on: 10/12/2007 01:13 AM »
In the "massive multiplayer online role playing games" (or MMORPG) genre, the only remotely spacelike game is Eve Online. I like the economics model, but the physics is weak. It's really boats in space. They use a sort of "water physics" (for example, your ship reaches a maximum speed and they bank and rock when you turn, I kid you not) and ships don't go very fast (usually around 100-500 m/s though the theoretical upper limit is 40 km/s for the fastest ships). The only way they ever get anywhere is that they can "warp" (move around a solar system from fixed point A to fixed point B at several AU/s) or "jump" (pop out of one star system and reappear in another). And there's a universal "up".

There's a host of other flaws. You never have binary stars. Nor do you have true asteroid "belts". All asteroids are small groups of tight clumps of boulders "orbiting" (though no planet, asteroid, moons, or star ever move) a planet. There's no gravity. All orbits are circular. Ships can fly though planets. Collisions are funny. Whether it's a huge asteroid or an itty bitty ship, the other ship bounces the same way. I've heard that you can warp into stars. Then your ship gets ejected at high speeds with no serious side effects (like getting vaporized or squished into jelly by the acceleration).

But you have the opportunity to trade with or get killed by strange people from other cultures. And as I mention, the economics model is better than the usual games of this scale.

Added: I forgot about the insurance. Almost all ships are insurable to an extent and it's easy to pick up a cheap ship and fully insure it. The insurance company will even give you a default "rookie" ship if you don't have one. This has got to be the most forgiving and deep-pocketed insurance agency in the universe. For 30% of the "price" of the ship, you can fully insure a large number of ships (most high tech or otherwise fancy ships insure for only a fraction of their value, but insurance still ends up being a good deal) for a period of three months. It's a poor player who can't break their ship before the insurance runs out. :laugh:
Karl Hallowell

Offline Oberon_Command

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #41 on: 10/12/2007 01:29 AM »
Quote
khallow - 11/10/2007  6:13 PM

In the "massive multiplayer online role playing games" (or MMORPG) genre, the only remotely spacelike game is Eve Online. I like the economics model, but the physics is weak. It's really boats in space. They use a sort of "water physics" (for example, your ship reaches a maximum speed and they bank and rock when you turn, I kid you not) and ships don't go very fast (usually around 100-500 m/s though the theoretical upper limit is 40 km/s for the fastest ships). The only way they ever get anywhere is that they can "warp" (move around a solar system from fixed point A to fixed point B at several AU/s) or "jump" (pop out of one star system and reappear in another). And there's a universal "up".

There's a host of other flaws. You never have binary stars. Nor do you have true asteroid "belts". All asteroids are small groups of tight clumps of boulders "orbiting" (though no planet, asteroid, moons, or star ever move) a planet. There's no gravity. All orbits are circular. Ships can fly though planets. Collisions are funny. Whether it's a huge asteroid or an itty bitty ship, the other ship bounces the same way. I've heard that you can warp into stars. Then your ship gets ejected at high speeds with no serious side effects (like getting vaporized or squished into jelly by the acceleration).

But you have the opportunity to trade with or get killed by strange people from other cultures. And as I mention, the economics model is better than the usual games of this scale.

Added: I forgot about the insurance. Almost all ships are insurable to an extent and it's easy to pick up a cheap ship and fully insure it. The insurance company will even give you a default "rookie" ship if you don't have one. This has got to be the most forgiving and deep-pocketed insurance agency in the universe. For 30% of the "price" of the ship, you can fully insure a large number of ships (most high tech or otherwise fancy ships insure for only a fraction of their value, but insurance still ends up being a good deal) for a period of three months. It's a poor player who can't break their ship before the insurance runs out. :laugh:

I think most of the "flaws" you've described are really features. Mostly because most people probably don't understand orbital mechanics very well. In addition, some of the more "down to earth" ones might get disoriented if there wasn't a universal "up".

I'm thinking of doing a game myself (I'm a coder) similar to an actual combat version of Orbiter. Maybe I'll make it extendable the way Orbiter is, so people can add custom spacecraft and such. I doubt I'll get around to writing it before summer, though. The International Baccalaureate takes up too much of my time to do any programming at all. :(

Offline meiza

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #42 on: 10/12/2007 10:11 AM »
There is a game project that aims to simulate a whole galaxy in a massive multiplayer style, Infinity:
http://www.fl-tw.com/
Now, many small project MMO:s fail because the amount of art assets that need to be created is just stupendous, and you need lots of artists which means lots of money. The trick with Infinity is that almost everything is procedurally generated!
It produces better looking stuff than you'd expect, just check out the development section of the forum. Planets are included with atmosphere models and you can land, but you can not see any individual trees, that's the level of detail where the technology cuts off.

Procedural generation for the intricate detail at such huge scales is practically the only way to do this as the amounts of data would be stupendous and there would be no way to load them up to the graphics card as you zip and zoom around, and even then only a small area could be stored before the hard disk would be full. Yet with the same seeds the procedures generate the exact same terrains, meaning other people see the same as you and you can also revisit areas yourself.

It aims to be much more realistic than Eve online although there are still many aspects that are for better gameplay instead of realism, but at the moment the gameplay is kind of in flux I think as the technical aspects are developed more.

Offline mike robel

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #43 on: 10/12/2007 10:17 AM »
The difference between a game and a simulation is not so much the level of detail or fidelity, but the absence or presence of a training objective.  Hence, orbiter without a training objective can be considered a game and Monopoly, with a properly constructed training objective, can be considered a simulation.

Offline kimmern123

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #44 on: 10/12/2007 10:40 AM »
Orbiter is clearly my favourite. I'm not very good at the on-orbit stuff yet, but I'm starting to get the hang of it using the new STS_payloads package. But one thing I'm really good at is shuttle landings! I don't know how many hundreds of approaches I've made the last year and a half, but now I have no trouble touching down at about 2500 feet down the runway at 195 knots, or any other target I'd like to try.

On the other hand S3 also is quite good, and I'm really looking forward to the new version Space Shuttle Mission 2007.

Another shuttle landing sim that's quite good is the old Precision Approach from 1993. I got it just the other day and despite the horrible graphics it's still very entertaining.

Offline MrTim

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #45 on: 10/12/2007 10:54 AM »
Don't know if any of you are aware of it, and not making ANY claims of how good it is, but the guys behind the X-Plane flight sim (which in many ways is better than MS Flight Sim), have a space combat game/sim that runs on Mac, Linux, and Windows... and it is FREE (as in beer). I presume the user interface is quirky (the X-Plane interface is, because it is custom-written and cross-platform) but if the vehicles behave as accurately as the planes in X-Plane do it ought to be quite good (X-Plane gets used by some actual aviation companies). For those interested, and willing to pay, the commercial X-Plane product (not the free space sim) does allow simulated flight into and back from space (and in the atmosphere of Mars).

http://x-plane.com/SpaceCombat.html

I make no claims or judgments about the space sim, because I have not taken the time to mess with it (this site gets my little spare time ;) ). Somebody here might give it a try and review it...

BTW: I have NO connection to these people (this is not a stealth ad)

Offline PhalanxTX

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #46 on: 10/12/2007 12:56 PM »
If we're talking straight-up games and not sims, my favorite would have to be Mission Critical.  You get to solve puzzles, contemplate the questions of existence, and there's an awesome starship combat mini-game where you take control of battle drones to fight the UNSEC forces.  The starship design was incredibly well done, too.

[img=http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/screenshots/0/9560/missionc_screen004.jpg]

If we're talking cinematic sims, the Wing Commander series.  I still remember getting shivers as a kid from hearing the Kilrathi while playing Wing Commander II at night.  It was one of the first to have realistic voice packages that I remember.

[img=http://kotaku.com/assets/resources/2007/02/kilrathi.jpg]

If we're talking realistic sims, Orbiter, hands down.  X-Plane is definitely better for aviation (and is what we used for simulated flight tests in my Flight Test Mechanics class at Rice University this spring), but Orbiter is what we used for simulated spaceflight and launch tests in school.
"The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program, and if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right!"

-- Larry Niven, quoted by Arthur Clarke in interview at Space.com, 2001

One Percent for Space!

Offline Celeritas

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #47 on: 10/12/2007 01:44 PM »
"Stars!"

A Galactic Civilization game from the late 90s.  Rudimentary graphics.  Tons and tons of options.  Overwhelming learning curve.  Overly complex research and development trees.  Mass driver bombardments.  Terraforming.  Star drives.  The ability to stripmine a planet to the core.  Develop your own galactic race from scratch and then commit xenocide on any other races you run into.

I wasted several months of my life playing this silly game . . . And I don't regret it one bit!

Offline Adama

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #48 on: 10/12/2007 03:28 PM »
Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Final Unity


The best Star Trek game ever. It really feels like being in a long multipart episode.
Even if we forget Star Trek stuff and real cast voice-overs, it's pretty decent space adventure game by itself.

Too bad no emulator can run it properly on newer computers, it's very kinky game that way.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation:_A_Final_Unity

http://www.startrek-gamers.com/afu.htm


[img=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/58/Sttngafu008.jpg]

[img=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b4/Sttngafu002.jpg]

Offline simonbp

RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #49 on: 10/12/2007 03:51 PM »
Honestly surprised noone mentioned it: Apollo 18!

http://www.abandonia.com/games/en/1039/images/games/Apollo%2018%20Mission%20to%20the%20Moon1.png">

http://www.abandonia.com/games/en/1039/images/games/Apollo%2018%20Mission%20to%20the%20Moon6.png">

http://www.abandonia.com/games/en/1039/Apollo18MissiontoMoon.htm

You got to launch the Saturn, dock the CSM to the LEM, land the LEM, land the CM, and so on! All with shockingly good (for 1988) graphics...

Simon ;)

Offline antonioe

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #50 on: 10/12/2007 06:19 PM »

Quote
Zoomer30 - 13/5/2006 5:24 ...the game finally gave you a sense of what it is like to run a space program. You had to plan your budget, then buy your space station hardware, then plan your launch manifest, and place different payloads on each.

You call that a GAME???!!! I would call it CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT!!! 

P.S. I remember playing "Wing Commander" - I liked it, but it got a little too much "shoot-'em" for my taste.  And I tried Orbiter, but my knowledge of ascent trajectory profiles and orbital dynamics is grossly insufficient for it...

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Jim

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RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #51 on: 10/12/2007 07:19 PM »
Quote
antonioe - 12/10/2007  2:19 PM

Quote
Zoomer30 - 13/5/2006 5:24 ...the game finally gave you a sense of what it is like to run a space program. You had to plan your budget, then buy your space station hardware, then plan your launch manifest, and place different payloads on each.

You call that a GAME???!!! I would call it CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT!!!


I call that Work not play

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #52 on: 11/21/2010 07:25 PM »
Neat thread. I should do random searches more often.

Homeworld 1 & 2 hands down.

 - the only RTS games I'm aware of that allow the player to issue 3D move orders.
 - Homeworld 1 has outstanding music and even though it's superior to the score of 2, the one in 2 is still good.
 - Good story and cool ship design.

Some random vids:
HW

HW2:


Only bad thing is that the developers didn't have enough time to finish an interesting game play mechanic in HW2. It would have allowed the player to secure various bits of gigantic ancient starships, that were destroyed in some unknown conflict and their remains litter the galaxy.

Someone who's familiar with these two games will probably notice I didn't mention Cataclysm. It's not that it's bad or anything, I just don't feel like it's a spiritual successor to the first one. It almost felt like a completely different game. Less of an epic space war for survival of an entire people and more of a space survival-horror-strategy if that makes any sense. Also the mothership in that one was really fugly.
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline savuporo

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #53 on: 11/21/2010 10:59 PM »
Um.

Freespace 2 ( i mean, .. it rocks )
Privateer ( and to a lesser extent, other Wing Commander games )
TIE-Fighter
Tachyon the Fringe
Master of Orion ( the original )
Star Control 2 ( now UrQuan masters ) used to be fun, too.

The entire list is more than 10 years old ..

EDIT: oh and a good number of these are available these days for $5 to pick up, for some good nostalgia
« Last Edit: 11/21/2010 11:29 PM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline AS-503

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #54 on: 11/22/2010 01:47 AM »
Lucas Arts Tie Fighter (on 6 floppy discs) from 1994 was a good flight simulator set in space.

I love playing video games, particularly any type that get you fully immersed.

I usually play every game on the highest difficulty setting.

To this day Tie Fighter is one of the only games I have not been able to play through until the end on the hardest difficulty setting.

As a side note, I am an electrical engineering student and would like to hear from folks about their hardware.

1984-1987 Commodore 64
1989-1994 Commodore Amiga
1994-1996 Intel 486 DX2
1996-1999 Intel Pentium 1 266 mhz (AGP video card)
1999-2003 Intel Pentium 1 533 mhz
2003-2004 AMD Athlon 1.1 ghz
2004-2005 AMD Athlon XP 1.8 ghz
2005-2006 AMD Athlon XP 2.2 (last of the X86 architecture)
2007 Intel Core2 (Conroe) 2.4 ghz (PCI-e x2 video cards SLI)
2008 Intel Core2 (Wolfdale) 2.5 ghz
2010 Intel core2 (Wolfdale E8400) 

The 486 was a generic "IBM clone". Memory was $100 for 4 megabytes. First machine with a Sound Blaster sound card. I remember how incredible playing Doom was on that machine.
OS was Windows 3.11

The first Pentium (think 586) machine was running Windows 95. All of the games I had back then were DOS. Including Quake, which still ran slow on that machine. NEW AGP port VOODOO graphics card. Anyone have the original 3DFX VOODOO (this company became nVidia)?

The 533mhz pentium machine from 1999 was running Win98. By this time hardware was getting better and cheaper. Sound cards, memory, motheboards, CPUs... all much better and much cheaper (less expensive).

Current machine is...

XFX 790i motherboard.
Intel E8400 Wolfdale dual core 3 ghz
4 gb ram running with linked-synced front side bus @ 1333 mhz
2 (SLI) nVidia 9800gt 1gb PCI-e x16 video cards
Windows 7 Pro 64bit
Auzentech Bravura sound card
5 terabytes of storage
2 terabytes dedicated to movies (LOTS of Space films).
1 terabyte dedicated to music concerts, documentary and 24 bit DVD-Audio
1 terabyte dedicated to uncompressed CD audio (and a mirror in 320kbps mp3)
1 terabyte dedicated to redundant back up of the most crucial data and the OS partition.

All machines from 1994 to present built by me.
ALL cases and interface panels from 2005 to present hand built by me.

Offline Swatch

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #55 on: 11/22/2010 03:02 AM »
There's no SpaceSim but Orbiter...There's no SpaceSim but Orbiter...There's no SpaceSim but Orbiter...There's no SpaceSim but Orbiter...  :)

But if we're talking space game.... Freespace/Freespace2... hands down.
A smart AI, 'fun' dynamics, an enthrawling story, 10 yr old graphics that can almost stand up to today.
Ex-Rocket Scientist in Training, now Rocket Scientist!
M-F trying to make the world of the future a smaller place through expanding horizons...

Online notsorandom

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #56 on: 11/22/2010 04:29 AM »
Two more games I haven't seen mentioned here are the free Bayblon 5 game I've Found Her and X-Com Ufo Defense. The physics in IFH are probably the most realistic in any space game. None of that flying around like a fighter jet like in the Star Wars games. Although X-Com is pretty old these days, its a classic.

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #57 on: 11/22/2010 07:08 AM »
As a side note, I am an electrical engineering student and would like to hear from folks about their hardware.

I haven't owned that many machines and I don't really write down the components of the ones I do get. Currently though I'm using an IBM Thinkpad T43 notebook. It's not exactly a powerhouse. The video card seems to be bugged and I had to tinker with Homeworld 2 a bit to remove a glitch that didn't render the ships in game. Gets the job done though.
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline Gene DiGennaro

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #58 on: 11/22/2010 01:00 PM »
I like the old quarter eating game called "Lunar Lander" by Atari.

Offline Mogster

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #59 on: 11/22/2010 03:26 PM »
I'm surprised there's not more love for the Freespace series, yes its arcade but those games are a lot of fun. Its a shame they didn't sell more copies, Volition gave up and turned to shooters instead.

Privateer and Privateer 2 were good space trading games in their time, I-War 2 could have been great but the dev's never finished it.

Mass effect has that Star Trek feel of exploration and a half decent story.

I liked Homeworld but couldn't get into the sequel.

Offline TexasRED

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #60 on: 11/22/2010 04:24 PM »
Two more games I haven't seen mentioned here are the free Bayblon 5 game I've Found Her and X-Com Ufo Defense. The physics in IFH are probably the most realistic in any space game. None of that flying around like a fighter jet like in the Star Wars games. Although X-Com is pretty old these days, its a classic.

Oh man I still play x-com via DosBox.  Though I noticed a time unit bug (that is already well known) so my soldiers have too many time units, and then it overflows and you only get the remainder so they have like 8 TU total haha. I need to install the patch...

I like the old quarter eating game called "Lunar Lander" by Atari.

Hell yeah! I played that a decent amount a couple of months ago at a local retro arcade. (Joystix)

Most of the classics I played have already been mentioned cept maybe DOOM. Not really a space game even though its on Phobos...but I've probably spent more time on DOOM than anything.

I'm still rocking an AGP desktop  :-\ so newer games are pretty much not an option for me on PC. This machine shall become the brains of a MAME cabinet one day.

For newer stuff, on xbox I've been playing Mass Effect and I like it a lot. That and the Soyuz launch level on the new COD is pretty cool.
« Last Edit: 11/22/2010 05:42 PM by TexasRED »

Offline manboy

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #61 on: 11/22/2010 10:54 PM »
I like the old quarter eating game called "Lunar Lander" by Atari.
I was wondering when someone was going to mention that.
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Offline jeklund

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #62 on: 11/23/2010 02:19 PM »
Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember when Space Invaders first came out.  In high school, spent alot of quarters and time on Asteroids.   Stilll have it on my PC. 

Offline MediumFidelity

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #63 on: 11/23/2010 09:51 PM »
I have fond memories of "Apollo 18" on my Commodore 64.



It was the first C64 game (that I owned/remember) that played back recorded voice.  Fancy stuff.

Later,
MF

Offline Pheogh

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #64 on: 11/23/2010 10:39 PM »
Tie Fighter or X-Wing for sure

Offline Cinder

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #65 on: 11/25/2010 05:22 AM »
Freespace 2, which btw is officially free for distribution IIRC.
Orbiter sure looks fun as far as hard physics realism goes, but the interface is such a buffer that it removes most of what little immersion the esthetics provide, for the space enthusiast that's only casually tech-savvy.

First computer IIRC was an Amstrad PC1512.

Mass effect has that Star Trek feel of exploration and a half decent story.
It had that single scene where you're pitched into catastrophic vacuum, and then absolutely nothing else that compares.  A real shame.
« Last Edit: 11/25/2010 05:25 AM by Cinder »
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Offline gomorrha

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #66 on: 11/25/2010 10:24 AM »
Best space game(s) ever?

1. Galaga
2. Xevious
3. Moon Patrol

Offline truth is life

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #67 on: 12/02/2010 11:40 PM »
It had that single scene where you're pitched into catastrophic vacuum, and then absolutely nothing else that compares.  A real shame.

Depends on what you're looking for, although that was a really good scene. Second game though, first didn't have anything like that (well, unless you count jumping out the Citadel elevators at the end...no spoilers there)

It's probably been mentioned, but my favorite (bar none) "space" game is Race Into Space, which is the Windows/Linux remake of the game "Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space". You are basically James Webb or Sergei Korolov (that's even "your" name), running NASA or (ahistorically but necessarily, given the state of knowledge when they came up with the game) the Soviet space program with the objective of landing on the Moon by 1969. It has...well, not *all* but definitely *many* of the actual programs and proposals there, all for you to play with. Great fun.

Offline pberrett

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #68 on: 12/03/2010 10:08 AM »
Hi all

I will second Galaga. Whenever I see a Galaga machine in a fish and chip shop I am still drawn to play it. It is as relevant today as it was 20-30 years ago.

That aside there is one other notable space game that stands out - no 1 for attitude



cheers Peter

 
« Last Edit: 12/03/2010 10:12 AM by pberrett »

Offline Cinder

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #69 on: 12/04/2010 01:54 PM »
It had that single scene where you're pitched into catastrophic vacuum, and then absolutely nothing else that compares.  A real shame.

Depends on what you're looking for, although that was a really good scene.
Ok, maybe my memory's no good.  What other space scene is there in the second game?  The only other segment I recall that's got you doing something nearly space-bound is when you dock with that nasty alien ship, with the party dressed like it's out clubbing.  Except for this crappy little hospital oxygen mask.   :P

There just isn't any game I can recall, recently, that exploits the sheer coolness of outer space.  Which is a real shame cause with today's hardware there's the means to really thrill anyone with even a little imagination.  Especially given that relatively long absence of any games really set in space.  Opposite this is the never-ending trend of WWII and zombie games and movies.

Games/Sims like Orbiter don't count.  They're only cool if you know the physics and other context of everything it offers.  Someone who doesn't have that understanding needs to have it made more accessible, more fundamentally demonstrated, to genuinely appreciate them.  Just like when you're a kid you learn the underlying workings of nature by seeing dead simple things like heat waves off turbines, or ground effect machines like Ekranoplan, or the first time you see separate explosive shockwaves for sound/earth/etc.  When you put these in a game with simplified esthetics like Orbiter, it's reduced to e.g. an Ekranoplan just rising from underwater without the exact visual of water's behavior that intuitively explains the fluid dynamics at work.

Another example: NASA's moonbase alpha game.  There's no sense of the moon's gravity or vacuum.  Not even as a separate "realism mode".
« Last Edit: 12/04/2010 02:07 PM by Cinder »
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #70 on: 12/04/2010 10:51 PM »
There just isn't any game I can recall, recently, that exploits the sheer coolness of outer space.  Which is a real shame cause with today's hardware there's the means to really thrill anyone with even a little imagination.  Especially given that relatively long absence of any games really set in space.  Opposite this is the never-ending trend of WWII and zombie games and movies.

That's because that's what's popular. Big epic games are really costly to make and investors are willing to fund something, only if you can show it will succeed. That's why there's a never-ending precession of ripofs clogging mainstream gaming (and everything actually). Very few people are willing to give indie game designers serious cash, so they can't go nuts and experiment a lot. Almost everything is a remake, reboot, reimagining, regurgitation of previous ideas, because that's the formula for making easy money without much effort. Also, imo most designers just recreate memes that they grew up with and love, with only minor alterations. If space games feel stale, it's because no one is trying to break the mold. There's sound in space, spaceships behave like airplanes or sea ships, there's "artificial gravity" etc. in damn near every game out there, because again that's the familiar formula. It takes someone with a really unique mindset to come up with significant innovations, a genius if you will (or in George Lucas' case, dumb luck).
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Offline Cinder

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #71 on: 12/05/2010 09:45 AM »
Lucas' space ships make those rude flyby noises in vacuum, so he only puts realism to use when it suits his films.

I agree the movie and games industry's pretty lazy that way, but on the other hand I don't think it takes a fortune to give an authentic experience of space with today's hardware and software.  I think the main thing is that no one's daring enough to try it.

Computer will only get faster and cheaper in the future, so on the good side, it's probably just a matter of time.
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #72 on: 12/05/2010 11:26 AM »
Lucas' space ships make those rude flyby noises in vacuum, so he only puts realism to use when it suits his films.

I know, his contributions had more to do with characters and alien design. Also the jedi and sith - probably the most recognizable space wizards. The ships and space physics are pretty run of the mill and I didn't mention him, because of the realism in his stuff. I just like ripping on him :) One good joke I heard recently about him is "what George Lucas does isn't writing, it's more like vomiting through a pen". But I digress.

Quote
I agree the movie and games industry's pretty lazy that way, but on the other hand I don't think it takes a fortune to give an authentic experience of space with today's hardware and software.  I think the main thing is that no one's daring enough to try it.

By authentic I assume you mean that ships don't fly around like airplanes or float like sea ships in an invisible sea. This also puzzles me. Even in Homeworld, where you can issue 3 dimensional move orders, the ships still behave like they're floating on invisible water. Is it really so hard to simplify orbital trajectories and make the thing spin around a planet? Like you said, I think no one is trying, because they're sticking to what's familiar from previous sci-fi. Also it's probably a good idea not to make space too authentic, or you might end up boring people to death.

By the way, kinda unrelated to your point, but I just saw the trailer for Sword of the Stars II - Lords of Winter. Imo the two main things wrong with the first game are:
 - the random tech and research tree. Probably the most annoying game play mechanic ever conceived. Although I guess that's how it would work in real life, it's still frustrating and that's not what you want in a game.
Oh, joy, they're keeping it >:(
 - it uses the "sea ship in space" method of movement and star systems have only one planet, for some reason. The second one will have systems with more than one planet, but I don't know if they'll do anything about the movement.

Judging by the trailer According to the interview, they won't.
Also, ouch, ouch, OUCH, at the bad voice acting in the trailer!
Whatever happened to the good old days when they could produce cheesy, yet good vocals:
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
« Last Edit: 12/05/2010 01:46 PM by Cog_in_the_machine »
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Offline nickyp

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #73 on: 12/05/2010 02:26 PM »
Not really a ''game'', but Orbiter is a fantastic simulator, especially with the Apollo 12 soundpack for AMSO, its great fun just listening to Pete and the boys yak on about things :)

Offline Cinder

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #74 on: 12/05/2010 05:24 PM »
Yep authentic as in realistic physics.  Nowadays most other genres have moved pretty close to reality, anytime it matters.  E.G. in movies you don't have people jerking handguns with each shot as if they meant to add to each bullet's speed; the pornographic effect of firearms is mostly exhausted, now it's more important to actually do something cool with firearms.  Space needs that same treatment.  It's not just about gratuitous eye candy, it's about making the physics so clear and intuitive that they're palpable.  So that people really grok what space and being in space is like.

I haven't played too many games, incl SoS, so I can't comment.  I do remember one old game that had easily the best voice acting I've ever heard (and it's set in space as well): System Shock 2.

I remember Homeworld, and what it looked like is that they probably were concerned with keeping it accessible.  Newtonian physics and full six degrees of maneuvering freedom gets hairy real quick when you have to control more than a handful of combat units. 
« Last Edit: 12/05/2010 05:24 PM by Cinder »
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #75 on: 12/05/2010 05:50 PM »
So that people really grok what space and being in space is like.

Idk. I lean toward the opinion that nothing will get the message across, short of flying them there. That said though, games with less bad physics would be nice.

Quote
I haven't played too many games, incl SoS, so I can't comment.

Think of it this way: the development team could have chosen to revamp their game, say by adding more believable movement mechanics (and nuking the random research tree to hell). Instead what did they do? Upgraded graphics and added another biga$$ ship, because you know, Dreadnoughts with 20-something weapons just aren't huge enough. About the only innovative change seems to be creating more complex/realistic star systems.
It's a good example of repeating old memes, with minor tweaking so they can say the new game is better.

Quote
I do remember one old game that had easily the best voice acting I've ever heard (and it's set in space as well): System Shock 2.

Never played that. I hear it's like the cyberpunk predecessor to Bio Shock, only it's much harder. Anyway, I wouldn't have brought up the vocals if they didn't make me cringe so hard.

Quote
I remember Homeworld, and what it looked like is that they probably were concerned with keeping it accessible.  Newtonian physics and full six degrees of maneuvering freedom gets hairy real quick when you have to control more than a handful of combat units. 

Yeah, I don't fault them for that. It's still the best approximation for space movement I've seen, in an RTS, and hats of to the team for making it the way they did. And they did a really good job actually. Controlling units with Alt, Ctrl, Space, Shift, Mouse Scroll, LM $ RM buttons is really easy. No need for a physics Phd, like in Orbiter. Wish they'd make a 3rd game :(
« Last Edit: 12/05/2010 05:52 PM by Cog_in_the_machine »
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Offline Cinder

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #76 on: 12/05/2010 06:06 PM »
On the first point - I had more or less that opinion till I played that one part in ME2 where you walk thru a breached hull section.  It was just that cool.  It's just such an underexploited adventure potential...

On SoS: What can I say?  The games industry gets away with that sort of thing because these things are basically toys.  There's no pressure to make them into the works of art they could be, the way writers and movie makers are expected to.

SS2: It's worth trying.  It's about as enjoyable as a really good SF movie.
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #77 on: 12/05/2010 06:54 PM »
On the first point - I had more or less that opinion till I played that one part in ME2 where you walk thru a breached hull section.  It was just that cool.  It's just such an underexploited adventure potential...

Hmm, not familiar with that one. Don't even know what ME stands for. Was it anything like the zero-g sections in Dead Space? I really like how they muffled the surrounding sounds and made the character's breathing more audible. That's about as best that can be done to make the player aware of the vacuum, like you mentioned a while back.

Regarding games as an art form, let's not open that can of worms.

Quote
SS2: It's worth trying.  It's about as enjoyable as a really good SF movie.

Oh, make no mistake. SOTS was good and II will likely be as well, but it probably could have been more.
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Offline truth is life

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #78 on: 12/05/2010 10:05 PM »
Ok, maybe my memory's no good.  What other space scene is there in the second game?  The only other segment I recall that's got you doing something nearly space-bound is when you dock with that nasty alien ship, with the party dressed like it's out clubbing.  Except for this crappy little hospital oxygen mask.   :P

Oh, I think you misunderstood me. I was just saying that there were other good scenes, although not involving space, and the game itself was fun. As far as the Collector ship, you're absolutely right, people complain about it over on the Bioware forums, and I personally always have characters who don't do that (Garrus, Tali, for instance) because otherwise...yeah.

@Cog_in_the_machine: "ME" stands for "Mass Effect," the series of sci-fi video roleplaying games from Bioware. They did mute other sounds than the breathing of the character in that scene. (Then they went and ruined it by using the silliest-looking explosion animation they could find, apparently...)

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #79 on: 12/05/2010 10:39 PM »
@Cog_in_the_machine: "ME" stands for "Mass Effect,"

Ahh, I've played the first one. Started with a dude, but completed it as a woman :-*
Yyyeah, Dead Space's version of a vacuum and zero g environment is better imo. Better walking animations, you can jump from wall to wall, your oxygen is draining quickly and if you don't move it you end up watching your character screaming in agony as he floats away in space...
Good times.

LOL, this guy knows what I mean.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2010 10:48 PM by Cog_in_the_machine »
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Offline Sesquipedalian

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #80 on: 12/06/2010 11:19 PM »
Freespace 2, which btw is officially free for distribution IIRC.

Freespace is awesome, but not free.  You can get both FS and FS2 for $5 at Good Old Games.

I recommend also searching for Freespace Open for all the enhancements people have made to it since it was released.

Offline Cinder

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #81 on: 12/08/2010 12:12 AM »
I'm very certain I saw a specific section of the official EULA, or some legalese of that kind, that says it's free to distribute.  Not wanting to unduly further piracy I'm now going to go make sure that that's accurate.
Here's what looks like an accurate report.  An employee of the development studio confirms the "loophole".



Cog_in_the_machine: SS2 was too early to have that kind of immersive physics.  Recommendation stands :)  It's as good as reading a good SF book.

Ok on not opening cans o worms.  But can you say briefly, in one sentence why "games as art" is a can of worms?
« Last Edit: 12/08/2010 12:17 AM by Cinder »
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #82 on: 12/08/2010 01:25 AM »
Ok on not opening cans o worms.  But can you say briefly, in one sentence why "games as art" is a can of worms?

I don't know if that was the correct phrase to use, but I know that there are people who would argue that they aren't art and are basically just mindless violence. I don't really interact with many people in the game industry and I haven't argued with such people myself (not all that interested), but I've heard people who work in the industry say that a  significant number of people still view games as mere toys. Juvenile and incapable of exploring the human condition like an art form can. I have no idea how accurate this is, but it wouldn't surprise me if there are such folks out there.

Here's a video made by game designers about how games are perceived by certain people. It makes a rather good point about "Six Days in Fallujah", though it gets too melodramatic at the end for my taste.

They have a good series going on and they talk about other things like:
The word gamer
Free Speech and video games
Analysing the artistic merit in the God of War series

Perhaps you'll find their soapbox moments interesting and well reasoned. I do personally.
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Offline Sesquipedalian

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #83 on: 12/08/2010 06:06 AM »
I'm very certain I saw a specific section of the official EULA, or some legalese of that kind, that says it's free to distribute.  Not wanting to unduly further piracy I'm now going to go make sure that that's accurate.
Here's what looks like an accurate report.  An employee of the development studio confirms the "loophole".

Yeah, but you find this further down the thread: "The EULA, oddly enough, allows FS to be shared with friends. I don't think posting it on the internet counts as sharing it with "friends" though..."

This page looks like another good authority on the subject.

Offline Webhamster

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Re: RE: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #84 on: 12/08/2010 02:36 PM »
2 BUZZ ALDRIN'S RACE INTO SPACE.

very fun and educational turn-based space sim/strategy game. you'll be suprised how realistic this is, space business and history together, you even can find some authenic scrubbed plans/draws of spacecraft/moonlander(there is true alternative bigger moonplan, that one bigger moonlander was named Jupiter) , with this game you can launch them!!
its very funny game but an big disappoint is that its too difficult game, i never succees to be first on the moon. USSR or USA computerplayer always is faster and before  then you.

some screens;

<img width="320" height="200" border="0" src="http://www.abandonia.com/games/183/images/games/Buzz%20Aldrins%20Race%20into%20Space2.png" />
<img width="320" height="200" border="0" src="http://www.abandonia.com/games/183/images/games/Buzz%20Aldrins%20Race%20into%20Space4.png" />
<img width="320" height="200" border="0" src="http://www.abandonia.com/games/183/images/games/Buzz%20Aldrins%20Race%20into%20Space1.png" />

download link;
http://www.abandonia.com/games/183/5

I wish I  can program my own nice 3d games like as Orbiter, then i should remake this game!!+ after moon history and future like as race to mars, add ESA and China players.
(if you like my plan, and you can help me, please pm me :) )

There's a freeware version being worked on right now (with the full blessing and even help from the original programmer).  http://sourceforge.net/projects/raceintospace/

Right now it's mostly been focused on resolving long-standing bugs and making a few minor tweaks to what is basically a complete port of the old DOS game.  There are plans (if you visit the SourceForge forum) to eventually extend the game.  It's all about manpower right now.

Offline nickyp

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #85 on: 12/09/2010 12:47 PM »
The ISS got destroyed in Modern Warfare 2


« Last Edit: 12/09/2010 12:47 PM by nickyp »

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #86 on: 12/09/2010 01:51 PM »
That explosion didn't look realistic. Should fiery shock waves spread through a vacuum like that? I can understand if flying debris manage to destroy the station from such a distance, but really, flaming shock waves? The astronaut started flailigh around as if he was hit by a wall of compressed air.
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Offline truth is life

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Re: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!
« Reply #87 on: 12/09/2010 03:31 PM »
That explosion didn't look realistic. Should fiery shock waves spread through a vacuum like that? I can understand if flying debris manage to destroy the station from such a distance, but really, flaming shock waves? The astronaut started flailigh around as if he was hit by a wall of compressed air.

It's not. At that distance (several hundred kilometers or so) and in a vacuum, the only damage should be possibly from the EMP and from the prompt radiation. So the electronics might shut down, the outer hull might be fried some, and the astronauts might have a dramatically shorter life expectancy, but it shouldn't be blown apart like that, nor should the astronaut be tossed around like that.

It's the usual failure to understand how things blow up in space. You can see that in the horizontal blast ring as well.

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