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TPU's Space Sims Appreciation Thread

Kursah

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#1
Space sims are back! Well they have been for years if you enjoyed the X-series and Evochron, and a few other more arcade-ish releases in between. I wanted to create a thread where we can talk about ones we're playing, ones we love, hate, miss, what hardware we're using, what mods we're using, etc.

Please feel free to donate, but if you bring drama or plan to, don't post. Keep this thread positive please.


Evochron: Mercenary - 2010 (Update to 2.0 in 2012, Still frequently updated)

Price: $24.99
Homepage: http://www.starwraith.com/evochronmercenary/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/71000/

I'm a huge fan of Evochron, and the most recent of them, Mercenary. IMHO one of the best indie titles I've ever played...steep learning curve, great flight mechanics, a true challenge, seamless MP/SP and planet landings. Vice has done an excellent job and the updates keep on rolling, and he stays active with his community and gears his patches towards their needs. The community is amazing and will have anyone a pro-level pilot in no time. I've spent years in this game on and off...and for around $30 or so, it's worth every penny!

Sure it doesn't have the graphics or polish or details that others do, but what it does have to offer many other games can't touch or promise to later on. The install is tiny at less than 500MB iirc, it's amazing what this title is capable of and what you can be capable of within. Here's a couple of video links to take a look:

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=evochron+mercenary


Elite: Dangerous - 2014 (Updated regularly, and Seasons/Expansions/DLC)

Price: $44.99 (w/o Season Pass/Expansions)
Homepage: https://www.elitedangerous.com/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/359320/

Elite: Dangerous has been a blast through Beta, Gamma and December 2014's release and beyond. I honestly felt they released too soon and 1.3 should've been 1.0.

Elite as many know, has a TON of areas to explore and they're constantly adding more content and things to do. The flight model is good overall, even the gimped yaw fits with the game and how it was meant to be.

My current favorite for combat, be it in the main game or CQC (added in 1.4). 400 billion systems to explore, over a dozen ships to own with many more on the way, Horizon's bringing planetary landings, exploration and combat soon. The unfortunate thing with this title early on for many is running out of things to do, it is a mile wide and inch deep as many say.

I personally enjoy the combat and finding the next pirate or bounty or conflict zone. Trading turns into a grind, mining was a grind last I tried and was not fun, bounty hunting was exciting.

Combat in the main game is more methodical, where CQC is more like CoD/BF in space (reminds me of FDev's version of SC's Arena Commander module..). Overall, excellent sim that all should experience.

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=elite+dangerous


Star Citizen (Alpha 1.3 as of 10/2015, 2.0 coming soon...)

Price: $45.00+
Homepage: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/
Steam: N/A

Probably the most hyped and consumer funded game project ever, looks promising, but is kind of slow on development. Amazing tech and graphics, is trying to be the sci-fi jack of all trades.

I don't enjoy combat as much in this, the flight model is MUCH better versus Alpha .8 a year ago, but still not as good as EvoMerc or Elite Dangerous in my mind. Though the G-force effects are cool and frustrating.

Arena Commander is still good fun and it's cool when they unlock different ships to try out. For the price of admission, it is worth a go. And recently it was announced any owner can play the alpha, so no longer do you need to buy the extra "pass" to access early release content.

As it stands the game uses over 30GB of space, and has been projected to breach 100GB at release. Speaking of release dates, late 2016 or into 2017 has been projected, with some speculating a 2018 release.

I have high hopes for this one, but as it stands I don't enjoy it as much...setting controls is a pain, but once you're in and going it can be fun...just not as interesting as my other two favorites.

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=star+citizen


Infinity: Battlescape (Estimated release 9/2017, alpha 10/2016, beta 4/2017)

Price: $20+ (Kickstarter for actually owning a copy)
Homepage: https://www.inovaestudios.com/
Steam: Not yet, but will be according to them!

This one seems to offer some of the things people expected of Elite Dangerous, and looks very very very promising. Seems to be MP focused, and looks quite fun from the videos! Right now it is in kickstarter ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/309114309/infinity-battlescape ).

We shall see what becomes of this one, but from the prototype build streams, it checks off a lot of wants for me out of a modern space combat sim!

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=infinity+battlescape&page=&utm_source=opensearch


No Man's Sky (Not out as of 10/2015)

Price: N/A 10/2015
Homepage: http://www.no-mans-sky.com/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/275850/

Last, but not least...who is following No Man's Sky? This looks super promising too! If you haven't seen it, please watch this! I can't wait!

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=no+man's+sky


Freespace 2 (Open) (still being updated by community)

Price: $5-10
Homepage: http://scp.indiegames.us/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/273620/
GoG: http://www.gog.com/game/freespace_2

I don't think much needs said here, but one of the funnest space combat sims in the last 20 years. Mods are keeping it relevant, and the 2014 mod set was a huge update on all fronts. Works great with mouse + keyboard. Should be in everyone's collections!!!

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=freespace+2


Starpoint Gemini 2 (2014, patches and DLC still being released)

Price: $34.99
Homepage: http://starpointgemini.com/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/236150/

This is a 3rd person capitol ship commanding game, versus your first person perspectived sims. Has a lot to offer, and gains new patches and DLC regularly. Is more technical than others in the 3rd person cap ship style of games, the story is kind of weak but the action is good and supports modding through Steam as well. You can't go wrong with this one, though it can be a challenge to get into and some design options aren't the best. It is a lot of fun once you get the ball rolling and get into it.

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=starpoint+gemini+2


Rebel Galaxy (2015)

Price: $19.99
Homepage: http://rebel-galaxy.com/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/290300/

What if you could live in an alternate universe that was inspired by the likes of Firefly. A space western cap ship combat and trading game, that removes the Z-axis and uses ship battle broadside mechanics for big battles. Has a great level of polish, and is a lot of fun and really easy to get into.

This game is a good primer for getting into more challenging titles like SPG2 above. And at the price, this is a great value! Brought to you by the team that created the Torchlight series.

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rebel+galaxy


More coming soon...

Tie Fighter
X-Wing
X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter
Welcome back space sims! :toast:
 
Last edited:

Kursah

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#2
Well I've been reading some reviews that my Logitech Extreme 3D should work really well when properly setup with SC and Elite. I just need to dig it out of whatever box it's in (we moved last month). I still want that affordable HOTAS setup, but it doesn't seem as necessary if I can pull off what I need with this. We shall see.

What are the rest of you using?

Here is a great thread with videos showing folks using joysticks, HOTAS setups, Mouse +KB, and gamepads to control their ships to victory in SC's Drone Swarm challenge, they record and time how long it takes to get through the first 3 rounds. The thought here is to find the most efficient way to kill enemies.

https://forums.robertsspaceindustri...s-controller-post-your-best-time-and-video/p1
 
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#3
Logitech Extreme 3DFor me. So far it's worked good for SC. Plus voice attack.
 
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#4
Also check out Enemy Starfighter. Its another one I'm really excited for.
http://enemystarfighter.com/
It doesn't have pretty graphics but looks really fun over all. Its a little more on the arcade side but thats not bad even though some people make it out to be.
I have a modded x52 Pro with Combat pedals and TrackIR and just picked up the CH Fighterstick and throttle BUT I prefer to play with mouse and keyboard and Elite Dangerous so far has the best set up for that.
 

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#5
Well I'm on the road so I'm back to using my Dell 3540 and Logitech M325 mouse. I gotta say, personally, I feel that out of the three I am playing ATM...that being Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous and Evochron Mercenary....Evochron takes the cake on controls with KB + Mouse. ED takes 2nd place though. SC isn't quite the smoothest experience yet, but I am surprised how well it plays, honestly it hasn't been getting much attention because of the other two.

I think I'll stick with my Extreme 3D for now. Especially with the price hikes on the T.Flight HOTAS. I don't need a large throttle..yet.

I will check out Enemy Starfighter! My Wifi @ the hotel sucks! Right now TPU is my only working tab...the rest are loading lol! I took it as a sign.

Anyone else check out or is playing Starpoint: Gemini 2? The first one was rated so-so...I never did play it much. Both have pretty graphics, 2 is supposed to have a lot more complexity to it for a more arcade-style space sim. Looks promising for a fun blaster. They describe it as a "tactical space simulator with RPG elements".

http://store.steampowered.com/app/236150/



I just downloaded it..I forgot I even had purchased it on a steam sale a while back. I'll report back eventually. Off to do some races in Evochron...I'm trying to really improve my flight skills for multi-enemy combat missions.
 

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#6
Logitech Extreme 3D For me. So far it's worked good for SC. Plus voice attack.
So I got my Extreme 3D hooked up and setup in all 3 games last weekend. It is definitely an awesome experience! I wish the throttle was better, but it's actually not too shabby. I'm very happy overall. While Mouse and Keyboard are good, this Logitech Extreme 3D is more fun! Adds to the immersion of each game and makes piloting more challenging in some ways, but again totally a blast!

:toast:
 
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#7
Space sims are back! Well they have been for years if you enjoyed the X-series and Evochron, and a few other more arcade-ish releases in between. I wanted to create a thread where we can talk about ones we're playing, ones we love, hate, miss, what hardware we're using, what mods we're using, etc.

Please feel free to donate, but if you bring drama or plan to, don't post. Keep this thread positive please.


Below are my top 3 right now with a bonus video of a game I can't wait to try out! I am currently gaming on my main Haswell PC with GTX770 and my Dell 3450 with i5-4200u & AMD 8850m. I do have a Logitech 3D joystick I picked up from WalMart super cheap a couple of years ago...and it was OK...I am considering buying this:

Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS, that is when I can grab it in my budget of around $50. Right now I use KB + Mouse in all my current sims. And it works surprisingly well so don't be afraid to play these without a good joystick setup. You might be very surprised!


Evochron: Mercenary

I'm a huge fan of Evochron, and the most recent of them, Mercenary. IMHO one of the best indie titles I've ever played...steep learning curve, great flight mechanics, a true challenge, seamless MP/SP and planet landings. Vice has done an excellent job and the updates keep on rolling, and he stays active with his community and gears his patches towards their needs. The community is amazing and will have anyone a pro-level pilot in no time. I've spent years in this game on and off...and for around $30 or so, it's worth every penny!

Sure it doesn't have the graphics or polish or details that others do, but what it does have to offer many other games can't touch or promise to later on. The install is tiny at less than 500MB iirc, it's amazing what this title is capable of and what you can be capable of within. Here's a couple of video links to take a look:



Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous

I also am a backer of Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous. Both of those are panning out to be AMAZING. They each take different routes to their goals. But let's be clear, both of these titles are shaping up to give you truly amazing experiences.

Both utilize slightly different flight models, both plan on having plenty of action, both will utilize your CPU and GPU power. Here's a video comparing their flight models:


I started chatting it up in the Star Citizen Club thread and felt it was more appropriate to geek out in a dedicated more generalized thread so we can all share and enjoy what we have experienced, what we use and know.

>Star Citizen

Star Citizen has set records for crowd funding and promises so much it almost seems impossible. Built on the CryEngine 3, this space sim promises strong MP and SP, storylines, multi ships, tons of variation, dog fighting and much much much much much more. Chris Roberts, considered the godfather of the space sim has decided to come back to creating video games and has decided this is how he wants to accomplish that. Here's some video action:


>Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous was also crowd funded, but at a small fraction of what Star Citizen has accomplished. That does not mean there's any lack of talent, attention or planning for such a massive space sim. I don't believe there's a SP story but I could be mistaken. Ship's aren't as pretty as SC's, this game uses an engine proprietary to the developers iirc. This title is actually further along than SC and will be released this year and have updates/expansions/dlc later on that add extras and features. So far it's really, really good!



No Man's Sky

Last, but not least...who is following No Man's Sky? This looks super promising too! If you haven't seen it, please watch this! I can't wait!



And one more for good measure, that explains more about what this game really is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5FehgXeVPY


Other:

Here's a Top 10 Space Sims Upcoming from Nov 13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O_QR3Uxs2w

Gotta absolutely speak to Vice with Evochron Mercenary. I had an issue that I posted on the forums, basically blasting like a troll, the fact that with dual monitors, the mouse doesn't stay "focused" on the game window, but moves to the other screen. Now, with all the other games out there that handle this process just fine, I just couldn't comprehend this lack. I pitched a little drama fit, and within a few hours, Vice himself replied. Now, having just started the game, and really not knowing the community, I had seen his name in some guides, referencing his "other posts", so I just thought he was an active member. I replied with a little unintentional sarcasm, about feeling "Special" that Vice had noticed my little post, and further elaborated my complaint. He responded with the same basic replies about "Mouse Lock" and some other third party stuff, and I pretty much blew it off as a "Whatever". However, the next day, he responded that he would try to see how hard it would be to implement himself, as an option in settings, and PM'd me with links to an alpha update. At this point, I realized I was not only speaking to a developer, but the developer. Over the next couple of days, we messaged back and forth, tried a few iteration of the change, and he pushed it with the next patch. So, personal experience, very reactive to the community.
I, too, am backing Elite and Star Citizen. Got in early on the SC, and pledged ridonkulous amounts to the project, but couldn't bring myself to do the same with Elite, simply because of how high David placed the beta. I think if they had been a little closer to the base starting point to allow beta access, they would have done better. I know that I was absolutely not putting out that much money for just beta access. If you look at the two KS projects, and the "rewards" allotted at the different price points, it was apparent to me that you get so much more bang for the buck.
I've been keeping a random eye on NMS, but not really focused a lot. I think it's definitely got potential, and I like that there's going to be several different games back in the space genre, but not sure that it will be enough to keep me away from the others I have.
 

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#8
Ya Vice is a big reason I've supported Evochron for at least the last 5 years. For a 1-man team, and the price of the sim, it's a strong value, fun and has a very good community.

I have big hopes for the finished products of both Elite and SC, but honestly part of me hopes that Vice continues pushing forward and keeps taking the steps he has and creates something that the other two can't match and matter less than fancy graphics.

I hope NMS plays out nicely...but we shall see. I'm too busy with the big three I play now to really have time for anything else with my limited play time lol!
 

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#9
I don't really like space sims, but Freelancer is one of the best games I've played. I just want the feeling of open space and exploration without being encumbered with controls and shit. What is closest to that these days?
 

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#10
No love for Space Engineers?
 

Kursah

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#11
I don't really like space sims, but Freelancer is one of the best games I've played. I just want the feeling of open space and exploration without being encumbered with controls and shit. What is closest to that these days?
Well mouse and keyboard in Evo Merc, SC and Elite is pretty damn easy man. Out of all of them, Evochrom Mercenary is by far the most open and free to do whatever the hell you want, whereever the hell you want kind of sim. But it's got newtonian physics so you slide around more than flying on rails like Freespace 2. You might consider Freespace 2 Open as well.

It's really either open sims all with varying levels of newtonian physics or arcade shooters really.

:toast:

No love for Space Engineers?
I own it but haven't dedicated much time to it. Post your thoughts here about it! That's what this thread is about, share videos, your thoughts, issues, etc.
 
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#12
I'm waiting for my card to come back so using IGPU atm. Only thing I can run is Empire at war which I am loving
 

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#13
You could run EvoMerc too. Ran great on my i5 4200u's HD4400 and on my A8-4600 7660G APU. :toast:

E@W rocks by the way!
 
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#14
Yeah at full FPS/settings? I will give it a try. I'm not gaming much as it's a new pc I am saving it for when she's complete
 

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#15
I ran 1300x768 on the APU which ran silky smooth...and the HD4400 runs it at 1080P without skipping a beat. Evo merc looks pretty good but isn't super taxing on hardware. Excellent for laptop space sim fans as-well-as gaming towers.
 
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#16
I don't really like space sims, but Freelancer is one of the best games I've played. I just want the feeling of open space and exploration without being encumbered with controls and shit. What is closest to that these days?
Check out Limit Theory. Thats another one I forgot to mention.
Sounds like No Mans Sky and Limit Theory would be ones you might enjoy.
 
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#17
Well, Elite has a pretty simple control scheme right now. I don't know how complex they expect it to be. But that is coming from someone with a hotas setup. I don't know how it handles keyboard/mouse-wise.

Voice Attack is a pretty useful/immersive tool to add to the experience of any spacesim. Plus it has the added benefits of simplifying inputs, although my girl still looks at me like I'm a dork when I utter "deploy landing gear!"...

As for controls, I'm running with the Thrustmaster Warthog.

Loving the flexibility of that beast.
 

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#18
ED works well with an Xbox 360 controller too. I just set my targeting to the D Pad, the pips to the arrow keys and I have roll/yaw toggle when I push the left stick in. I plan on getting a hotas once the game is fully released.
 

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#19
I own it but haven't dedicated much time to it. Post your thoughts here about it! That's what this thread is about, share videos, your thoughts, issues, etc.
You can make some crazy things in it because it is a physics playhouse. I've put 70 hours into it and almost all of that was experimenting with various designs for a tunnel boring machine. There's a few things I don't like: can't play online with a host that has 384 kbps upload, the maximum velocity is 104-111 m/s, and survival mode doesn't come across as very fun yet.
 
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#20
I am surprised no one has mentioned the ground breaking space simulator that is Moon Base Alpha.
 
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#21
Thats why Elite is looking so good. They nailed controls for everyone.
They all feel the same and one scheme isn't "OP" or better than the other ones.

I've tried M/K, Joystick, Xbox One controller and they feel like they are on a level playing field.
If anything maybe the game pad (xbox one controller) was the best but I don't like game pads. If it was better it wasn't by much.
In the end its whatever you like to use.
For me its M/K, TrackIR and sometime flight pedals if I'm in the mood to use them and once in a while my Hotas.
 

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#22
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#23
A new trailer for Enemy Starfighter.

 
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#24
Well I wanted Capital Ships


 
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#25
That's a new one....

edit:

so, watched the second video, gameplay, and basically it's like Quake with spaceships. Just put as many guns as you can on futuristic looking ships, then add some more, make them all articulate, rotate, and look as cool as hell!, and then ignore physics, and a plot. Put them all in the middle of the sky, and let them shoot at each other.... Meh. looks nice, and looks like a "Quick, jump on the space game bandwagon!! We can beat them out, and don't worry about longevity, just sell sell sell!!"
 
Last edited: