My perfect GSB (that can never be)


I ran into an old favorite game of mine recently. Its a very old game, freeware, runs on DOS, uses text and ascii graphics. It occurred to me today that if somehow these two little indie games could get together and have some sort of bastard child, that might well be the most perfect game I have ever imagined playing. The two would compliment each other so well.

In this game, you had ships that fought in space, much like GSB (but with terribly nostalgic ascii graphics). The combat is fairly simple. You have weapons and shields and hull points, and as you get hit, various systems get damaged. GSB can provide a much better, more immersive combat experience. GSB has better weapons, a wide variety of modules, more complex orders, more gratuitous and destructive use of weapons fire, and way better graphics and sound.

Unlike GSB, you make decisions throughout the game while you watch the battle and issue new orders. This game doesn’t give you control of your ships, per se – not like an RTS or something. Like GSB, you just sit back and kind of watch the battle, but at any time, you may pause the game and issue new orders to your ship. Orders mostly have to do with redistributing energy from various systems such as shields, engines, and weapon recharging. The more energy a weapon or shield has built up in its capacitors, the more effective it is when used. You can also order your ship to travel in a new direction or to fire on an enemy ship. The game is paused while you issue orders. For the orders to take effect, you must resume the game again, and sit back and watch. You can also assign computer control to a ship if you don’t feel like issuing any orders, or if your fleet is too large and you are only interested in ordering a command ship or something.

You can choose for each ship whether or not the AI can make decisions for your ship while the battle is going on or if it must wait for your order, and you can change your mind at any time. You can set an allegiance to be computer or human controlled, and can have up to 8 different allegiances in a battle. (Can you picture 8 different races fighting in a GSB battle?!? Oh, yes!!!) You can even add ships in mid-battle as reinforcements. The winner in the end was the last allegiance left and score was determined by how much crew survived.

I would love it if I had this kind of “pause and issue new orders” pseudo-control in GSB. A hybrid of these two games would be awesome, and I feel like each game specializes in an element that the other is completely lacking.


That DOS game looks interresting. What is it ?