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Oct 19

Space Nerds in Space

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When Stephen Cameron joined up with TX/RX Labs, Houston’s Hackerspace he fired up development for Space Nerds in Space around October 2011. Stephen actually started prior to that in 2010 working on just the network functionality for about 2 months.

Space Nerds in Space is a game that is completely free and independent of a game budget, but also a game that has been built purely on the ethos of not attaining a profit during its inception. Which might appear at first to give it some disadvantage, but in reality it gives it a huge advantage. Forces of monetary expectation haven’t touched this gem of a person to person interactive multiplayer game. Often games get canceled, mothballed or hide behind a paywall of corporate money & expectations. Space Nerds in Space is not a game that could have been, It actually exists!

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Each player has a specific station they must control. So someone controls the Navigation to steer the ship, while someone controls the Weapons system to blast off lasers to defend the ship. Another person might be controlling the Engineering room while the person controlling the Science station looks for intel on planets, space stations, enemies, and the dreaded but fun Worm Hole. All of this is orchestrated by orders given out by the captain of the ship.

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Actually not knowing how to play is the funnest part, because I found myself waiting on my orders from my confused and multitasking captain who is trying to reign all the actions into order. (A feat not unlike herding cats.) It is best played with crew members who are sympathetic to your newness of the game and do not start warping into space or firing at everything right off the bat. Obey your captain! However when chaos does descend upon the group, that is when most of the laughs occur!

I really had a great time playing this. And I am all for Stephen’s master plan for the game… there isn’t one! He works on it when he feels there is a new idea he would like to implement. It almost seems as if game flaws become opportunities. The code and methods are shared and openly discussed around the lab, although don’t expect many comments in the code! But do expect more of the multiplayer vector goodness that is Space Nerds in Space!

Nothing more I can say can inform you better than watching the entertaining documentary, Space Nerds In Space.

I had a really a great time. If you’re ever at TX/RX Labs on the Open House Fridays, be sure to try and track down Stephen to ask him about this game. There might be enough brave people around to command a space ship for Space Nerds in Space!

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