I know I rarely post here, but given that I've playing the game in the title of this post for awhile now with fellow Aetolians, Emelle believed that I should share the game with everyone as well given how fun (and free) it is.What is it?
To quote one of the servers hosting the game, Space Station 13 is "a paranoia-laden roleplaying game set against the backdrop of a nonsensical, metal death trap masquerading as a space station". This pretty much summarizes it fairly well, but to go into further detail, I would compare it to a more detailed and advanced game of Mafia or like playing an episode of Sealab 2021/Archer.
Basically, everyone on the station is a player and employee of capitalist corporate overlord company Nanotrasen and has a role from Captain, the station's AI, security guard, chef, janitor, and even clown (don't ask why). These roles determine your purpose on the station, what you do, and your varying levels of access. Example: a station engineer is responsible for keeping the station powered via the solar energy collectors, the singularity engine, and also responsible for repairing the damage that is caused by other members of the crew within five minutes of the round starting (you will ultimately fail).Is that it? What's special about it?
Well, that's the summary. However, not all is well in space. Each round (which last roughly around 45 minutes to an hour and a half) has a mode associated with it. The game modes determine the antagonists (also players) on the ship that will inevitably be trying to murder everyone (or pursuing some kind of objective). It's worth noting that the game mode is kept a secret, so no one knows who or what the antagonists are. There is a variety of game modes selected at random before each round and every server has different game modes. The common ones are:
1.) Traitor. Other players on the ship are traitors. They'll start with normal jobs like everyone else, but are secretly a part of an organization called the Syndicate. Their PDA allows them to call forth a limited number of overt or covert tools and weaponry to achieve individual objectives that range from grand theft, assassination, or just being a general nuisance.
2.) Nuke Ops. Sort of like the above, but a team of heavily armed Syndicate operatives board the station and try to blow it up. They can be covert about it, but nine times out of ten, they're pretty much trying to kill everyone on their way to activating the station's self-destruct protocol or booting up the nuke that they bring along.
3.) Changeling. Sometimes combined with Traitor mode above. Basically, one or many of the folks on the ships are an alien race called the Changeling (think the Thing) and can become anyone they absorb the DNA of. They have their own objectives similar to the traitors, but these usually involve fatally absorbing the DNA of other players, specific players, or stealing some player's brain.
4.) Malfunctioning AI. The AI of the ship (again, also a player) is malfunctioning and has pretty much decided that he doesn't like being told what to do by a bunch of ignorant meatbags. The AI can act overtly about revealing that they're malfunctioning, but this generally leads to them being shut down pretty quickly. Their goal is obtain control over enough parts of the station while eluding the crew's attempts to deactivate them. If the AI gets enough control, they can either activate the station self-destruct to take everyone with them or let the human meatbags live in peace. You can guess what happens though in every round that the AI is triumphant though.
There are many other modes though, like dealing with xenomorphs on the station a la Alien, space wizards on the station murdering everyone, gang wars, revolutionaries, or a biological blob organism trying to consume the station. Each game tends to play differently and usually, if half of the station isn't destroyed and most of the station's population isn't hilariously dead by the end of the round, it was a calm round.Sounds interesting, how do I play?
The game is free. I state again: the game is free to play and try. You need only download the BYOND client and start playing SS13. I will say that the game has a moderate learning curve and the inventory/interaction system takes a bit of getting used to. Each server that hosts the game generally uses a modified version of three primary codebases as well. Each server also differs in whether or not they are high RP, medium RP, or low RP environments. High RP is about what you'd expect. Medium RP generally eschews RP in favor of action, but you're still someone in a role and it's expected of you to stay in character for the most part. Low RP is pretty much all silliness.
You can download BYOND here: http://www.byond.com/download/
Once downloaded, just join a server. You can ask questions to folks using MENTORHELP. Here's another good resource for players from the TGStation wiki. TGstation uses the most common codebase around, so it's a good all-around source of information: http://www.ss13.eu/wiki/index.php/New_Players
There's a handful of Aetolians that play or have played already. Myself, Emelle, Missari, and Lin is an admin on one of the high RP servers. It's a fun game and worth at least checking out. If we garner enough interest, I'm also willing to host a server for us IRE folks. The SS13 community can be a little abrasive at times (putting it mildly) depending on which server you're on, but ignoring that, the game is great. If you have any questions, feel free to post them.