Author Topic: Best space game ever, lets hear em'!  (Read 35935 times)

Offline khallow

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1956
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 4
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

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 356
  • Liked: 31
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3068
  • Where Be Dragons
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 3
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

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2174
  • Merritt Island, FL
  • Liked: 230
  • Likes Given: 44
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

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
  • Norway
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • Liked: 19
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 212
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 159
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Member
  • Member
  • Posts: 40
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • PONTIFEX MAXIMVS
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1077
  • Virginia is for (space) lovers
  • Liked: 30
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32481
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11259
  • Likes Given: 333
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

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1235
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5155
  • Liked: 985
  • Likes Given: 343
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

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 428
  • Orion Fab Team
  • Colorado USA
  • Liked: 160
  • Likes Given: 114
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

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 273
  • Official Aerospace Engineer as of June 13th, 2009
  • Cincinnati
    • ProjectApollo/NASSP: Virtual Systems and Flight Simulation of the Apollo Program
  • Liked: 28
  • Likes Given: 16
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...

Offline notsorandom

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1721
  • Ohio
  • Liked: 418
  • Likes Given: 91
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

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1235
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
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

  • Armchair Astronaut
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 630
  • Baltimore, Md
    • Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 16
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

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 157
  • Manchester - England
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
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.

Tags: