Contested Space

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Contested Space

Postby Theblackdog » Wed May 21, 2014 5:00 pm

Contested Space is an online space simulator that lets you build your own spaceships and then destroy them in glorious combat. It's pretty much Brikspace: the game, and once you get used to the controls it's pretty fun. They have a playable demo for PC, Mac, and Linux, but be warned - this is a pre-alpha and it's full of bugs.

Advice on getting the stupid thing to work:
--So far the worst bugs I've seen have just caused the game to freeze or glitch, you won't have to worry about losing files or other stuff on your computer.
--Play it in windowed mode rather than fullscreen so you can force quit if needed. There's one annoying bug that disables the HUD and won't let you pause and quit the game.
--If you use the ship designer, quit and reopen before you play the actual game. This will reduce the chance of the aforementioned bug happening.
--Don't be surprised if your ship (and other players' ships) look like green boxes for a few seconds after you spawn. This is normal, and goes away after a few seconds. It also lasts longer the first time you enter the game.
--You can't switch the type of turret on a ship after you use it in the game. Whichever type of gun turret the ship has when you first play it, that's the only one it can use. If you try to switch gun types, the new guns won't do any damage.
--They warn you about using "add layer" in the ship designer, but the worst that's happened to me when I used it was that the ship's colors got weird afterwards. Just close the design file and open it again and you should be fine.

Advice on actually playing the game
--In theory the three different sides have access to the same types of parts, but the default ships for each faction have different characteristics. In particular, the default ships for the black team use lasers, which are ridiculously OP right now. I usually join black so I don't have to deal with being lasered by a battleship before I can even get into range.
--Put as many missile launchers on your ships as you can. The more missile launchers you can have, the faster you can launch missiles.
--The more bricks you use, the tougher your ship will be; however, it will also lose some agility.
--that said, there is such a thing as too much missile spam. If you fire off too many missiles at once, they'll collide with one another and explode. If this happens too close to your ship, you'll be caught in the blast radius and take damage. Generally the best way to use missiles is to spam them at an enemy while you fly away from them.
--The three ship types have a somewhat pronounced rock-paper-scissors dynamic: Cruisers beat frigates, battleships beat cruisers, frigates beat battleships.
--More specifically:
Cruisers have powerful guns and missiles; in addition, their missiles actually send frigates tumbling out of control if they hit, providing you with an opening to shoot them down.
Battleships have even more powerful missiles (although some of the stock ones have no missiles whatsoever), and their guns have a much longer range than cruiser or frigate mounted weapons and can kill a cruiser in a matter of seconds. A battleship can destroy an entire squad of cruisers before they even get in range to shoot back. That said, their gun turrets are slow-moving and have a low rate of fire so they're not very effective against fast targets at close range, and they can't take as much damage as you'd think.
Frigates are fast and agile enough to dodge battleship weaponry (except for lasers, which is the main reason why they're OP). They're also small enough that even if you do fly straight into a battleship salvo, only one round will actually hit your ship. It takes practice, but you can usually fly a frigate straight towards a battleship, jink around their fire, then circle them at close range and either shoot or spam missiles until they're dead. This doesn't work as well against cruisers, because their turrets can rotate faster and fire more rapidly.
Last edited by Theblackdog on Thu May 29, 2014 10:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Contested Space

Postby Silverdream » Thu May 22, 2014 12:02 am

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Re: Contested Space

Postby dilanski » Thu May 22, 2014 12:37 pm

Is this running with a subscription fee at the moment, or is it in free Alpha?
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Re: Contested Space

Postby Silverdream » Thu May 22, 2014 12:49 pm

dilanski wrote:Is this running with a subscription fee at the moment, or is it in free Alpha?


Free alpha.

When it comes out, it'll most likely be $5/Month.
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Re: Contested Space

Postby Theblackdog » Thu May 22, 2014 1:03 pm

Yeah, but even "alpha" is a pretty generous term given the bugs I've seen so far. I'm not sure whether I'd be willing to pay for it when the time comes - it depends on how much stuff they add.

Anyway, my ships:
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My first decent custom ship, simply called the Blue Gunship.

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A blue laser frigate called the Thanatos (I pretty much name them whatever pops into my head at the time). Probably my first really good design, with a workable distribution of maneuvering jets, turrets, and missile launchers. You want a full 4 turrets and multiple missile launchers so that you can fire in every direction easily.

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My favorite design, a black laser frigate called the Queen Bee. The back half is based on one of the default black frigates. The front is probably the sleekest shape I've been able to achieve with the limited parts available.

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And the Naked Sun, a black battleship with a full array of guns.
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Re: Contested Space

Postby dilanski » Thu May 22, 2014 1:19 pm

Welp, even the signup is buggy. Once more unto the breach this is Alpha games.
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Re: Contested Space

Postby Silverdream » Thu May 22, 2014 4:42 pm

The Naked Sun is really cool.

Also, I was wondering how to fire weapons other than the laser? Is there a full list of controls somewhere?

Here are my other ships:

Punisher Cross

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Toucan Black

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Noblesse Oblige

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Re: Contested Space

Postby Theblackdog » Thu May 22, 2014 7:24 pm

There should have been a list of controls on the download screen. I'm reposting it here.

WASD Move forward, left, backward, and right

Space, Alt Move up and down

Q, E Rotate camera

Shift Hold to strafe

R Target nearest enemy, or target enemy under cursor

Left click Fire turrets

Right click Fire missile at target

Designer Controls
Left click Add block, drag to rotate
Right click Remove block
Ctrl + Left click Add layer of blocks (dangerous)
Alt + Left click Drag to rotate camera
Middle click Drag to pan camera
Mouse wheel Zoom camera

The Toucan looks cool. You should definitely expand on it- I think that there's some correlation between the number of bricks you use (though the number is capped) and how much damage your ship can take. There's definitely a correlation between the number of launchers your ship has and how rapidly it can fire missiles, at least for frigates.

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The Killer Bee, another black laser frigate based on one of the default ships.
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Re: Contested Space

Postby Theblackdog » Thu May 22, 2014 11:39 pm

Finally finished a cruiser to round out my black alliance fleet.

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Also, apparently there was an update, and now all ship classes can pump out enough missiles to fill a three-ring Itano circus if they have a large number of launchers (This thing has about thirty, the Naked Sun has 14, and most of my frigates have somewhere between 10 and 16). The main problem with missiles is the same one Dilanski is familiar with: they take a long time to reach their target, and meanwhile the target is shooting at you.
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Re: Contested Space

Postby Theblackdog » Mon May 26, 2014 4:05 pm

Welp, they failed their kickstarter, and now the servers are pretty much empty. He says he'll continue developing it though.
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Re: Contested Space

Postby Theblackdog » Fri May 30, 2014 12:18 am

NEVERMIND THEY'RE FULL AGAIN, and the guy says he's still working on the game.

Moar ships!

Blue Empire
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The Hermes-class frigate was designed by the Blue Empire as a lightweight interceptor, able to outmaneuver enemy frigates and eliminate them with accurate laser fire. It succeeded in this role, and skilled pilots found that it was also a highly capable assault ship, able to evade enemy fire and destroy capital ships at close range.

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The Thanatos-class frigate is a mainstay of Blue Empire fleets. It is well-liked by pilots due to its heavy armor and 10 missile launchers, which are distributed evenly around the ship to deter attacks from every direction.

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The Nike-class cruiser is an advanced prototype armed with a heavy battery of missile launchers in each wing. Extra points to whoever guesses what inspired it.

Red Union

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A tried and true design, the Blossom-class frigate is named for the pattern produced when missiles are fired from all 19 of its launchers.

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The sleek lines of the Victor are feared by enemy pilots everywhere. Its eleven missile launchers and four laser turrets are arrayed to concentrate most of its firepower ahead, allowing it to deliver devastating frontal assaults.
Black Republic

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The Paper Wasp was designed as a command frigate. Its three tactical officers command a frigate squadron, while its accelerator cannons and thirteen missile launchers keep enemies at a distance.

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The Killer Bee was the first frigate to effectively integrate lasers and missiles in a single combat platform, and is still feared throughout the galaxy as a lethal fast-attack vessel. Its incredible array of 19 missile launchers are aimed primarily behind and below the ship to discourage pursuit while its high-powered beam cannons eliminate targets.

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The Queen Bee is an advanced fast attack cruiser equipped with oversized maneuvering and retro thrusters granting it agility on par with a frigate. Over sixty missile launchers cover every approach to the ship, while its eight laser turrets are oriented forward to provide a massive offensive punch.
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