Ambrosia's space odyssey game, Escape Velocity, is shaping up nicely. Ambrosia has assembled a crack team of beta-testers to put this new project through the ringer. Not only does this shake the last few bugs out of a project, but it also is a tremendous source of feedback.
To give you an idea of how "deep" Escape velocity is (sometimes the artificial intelligence in this thing is just downright spooky, I don't know how Matt sleeps with it in his house at night...), here are some shots of a few option boxes that you will be running across on your travels.
Take a lesson from Bill Gates, if you're setting out on galactic conquest, you need to build up a huge war chest of funds. Hey, Starships don't come cheap you know. So you have to start out half space jockey, ruthless businessman, and half galactic hero. Judging from my handling of percentages, I'm not going too far.
The above picture shows the mission selection panel. Doing custom jobs like this pays well, but don't bite off more than you can chew -- traveling across the galaxy in a shuttle craft just to deliver some tourist group may not pay off.
Besides being an intergalactic taxi cab and courier, they're are more serious and sinister missions that are extremely lucrative.
If an honest days work is not your idea of excitement, you can always drift over to the dim side and become a space mugger. Piracy is the second oldest profession (we could not figure out how to work the first into the game...). Although less than honorable it can be exciting and extremely rewarding.
Above is the plunder panel. If you get to see this, than you have proven yourself in battle. Beating up on other ships is a good way to build cargo, fuel and cash reserves. But be quick about it, help for the victim is usually not far off.
The plunder panel is not reserved for rogues and buccaneers. If you succeed in capturing a ship in self defense or war, you're entitled to a little loot too.
Hauling a large wallet around space is not always the best idea. Mom always said to invest in your future, and in space your future may not last a nanosecond longer if your ship is not up to the job. Luckily, most planets have shipyards capable of outfitting your existing ship, or upgrading you to a new one.
Above is a small selection of after market accessories that you can equip your ship with. The Density Scanner comes in especially handy in picking out who is who before they are in weapons range. The external fuel tank is also valuable, 'cause in space there isn't any triple A or 24 hour tow trucks.
There is a wide range of weapons systems to choose from, but you are limited to what your ship has room for. Starting out in a basic shuttle craft your options are few and you are at the bottom of the food chain. Best to make a quick buck and invest in a new ship.
Of course all this planning and preparation pays off. Cruising around the galaxy in a well equipped ship, with a pocket full of change for the spaceport bars is very satisfying. And there also is the distinct advantage of pulling out a gun bigger than your opponents...
Space dust. That's all that is left of this turkey. He was messing with the wrong dude.
For more additional screen shots and more information about Escape Velocity, visit the "What's New" section at our World Wide Web site. Our Web site is at:
For our ftp site, the URL is: