Around the middle of January, I wrote a post about Space Exploration: Serpens Sector. It is a role playing game based on Starflight and Star Control. It also has similarities to Master of Orion and Strange Adventures in Infinite Space. With various video game influences, it managed to be different in gameplay style and replay value. It is programmed in Java, making in compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Since January, David Stark has made many changes and revisions to his game. Players can choose to play a short or medium length game, the map can be scrolled with the mouse and the code has been cleaned up. David’s most favorite update is his change to the crew. Whenever the player starts a new game, a random set of crew is added to the ship with different skills. They also have morale which can be affected by events such as people being killed. Since each crew member has different skills, it will affect what the player is able to do such as having an engineer to repair a satellite and having combat-experienced people to capture creatures. Crew with a low morale can refuse to follow orders.
The names of the crew members are randomly chosen as well. Some names that I’ve seen include Joan Tuesday and Theodor Ulthar. It adds to the different play sessions and not only will the starmap change; so will the ship’s crew and the skills which alter what the player is capable of doing every single time.
In Star Control, when ships are in melee mode, the captain names are displayed on the right and usually follow a specific trend or pattern. For example, Earthling names include Adama (Battlestar Galactica), Kirk (Star Trek) and Ender (Ender’s Game). The Androsynth names are interesting too: 967-Kill, AK-47 and DOS-1.0. There’s a lot behind many of the captain names. Even though some races don’t have references to other sci-fi universes, they follow interesting patterns. For example, the Chenjesu have names with very few vowels which are hard to pronounce such as Pzkrakz. The Mmrnmhrm have names that have the letters M R N and H mixed up with a hyphen in the middle such as Rrma-hrn. When they combined to make the Chmmr, the name of their race was both of their race names combined. Their naming conventions also blended to make weird names such as Chzrmn and Zbzzn , although the hyphens are missing.
It’s definitely worth checking if you haven’t played it before; especially for people who love turn-based games and like short games that are randomly generated. It updates its original formula that changes the gameplay every time and has elements of a “choose your own path” book, where the reader can change the outcome depending on which pages are chosen.