by David Allen
When gaming I've found that it's really great to have a good group of friends, whether I know them in real life, or met them in-game. It makes your gaming experience all the more enjoyable, and sometimes they show you games you hadn't been aware of.
This week I was introduced to StarMade, a game similar to Minecraft in the sense that you use a block-building system. But besides that it is much different – instead of being limited to one world, to digging down, you're set free into an open-universe style sandbox.
The game was created by Schine led by designer Robin Promesberger who announced that thet had started the project back in 2010. The game was also announced to be Greenlit by Steam so it will be available in the Steam store once StarMade is out of Alpha stage.
Now to the game, you're given a very in-depth crafting system that you can use to create factories to fabricate more advanced parts and materials for your ship. The possibilities are nearly endless with the ways you can build and design your own spacecraft. Or maybe not a spacecraft! Fly down to a nearby planet and build a base, or a space station!
You can literally build anything you want, I've seen 1:1 scale replicas of Star Wars destroyers and even the Star Trek Enterprise.
For those of us who sometimes have a hard time creating a ship from scratch (me, a lot of the time), you can download and spawn a ship made by someone else. The game's website has a whole section devoted to sharing people's creations for everyone to enjoy and marvel at. You can build onto these ships and modify them as you see fit, or fly around in your very own X-wing.
The game randomly generates worlds and space stations that serve as stores for you to buy from the Trading Guild. While the worlds are merely flat disks with someone the size of a small town on top, the nuumber of them more than makes up for their size.
Be careful while you explore though, because pirates, and if you're online perhaps other players, will attack you and your ship. To deal with these threats the game has a very well laid-out combat system that allows you to fine tune your weapons systems to arm your ships.
So yeah, this game gives you a chance to take your imagination out for a test drive and then blast apart a Halo warship all in one day.
The game is available on Windows, Mac, Linux and is free at star-made.org. Since some of the features are complicated (It is in Alpha stage) be sure to check the forums to answer your questions; the community is very helpful.
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