Wednesday, January 28, 2015

28. Crusoe

Currently the most popular member of a venerable genre of interactive entertainment, Crusoe is an open source simulspace game challenging players to survive and build in simulated environments.

A new player will find themselves on an earth-like planet with a multi-tool and engineering and gardening hives. Players looking for a specific challenge can adjust their beginning states with custom morphs, equipment and environments. Common challenges include surviving as a splicer in an old-earth wilderness with no equipment, starting as a synth with only wrist-mounted tools and building your way up to a fusion reactor, and team games challenging players to defend against waves of hostile beings.

Because of the accuracy of the simulation, most things invented in Crusoe can also be built in real life. Crusoe has therefore attracted the attentions of some Argonaut researchers, who have begun a project collecting useful designs and turning them into real gear. Similarly Crusoe is of interest to social scientists, who have run experiments exploring how technology effects social structures and how populations respond to controlled stresses. Gatecrashers have used Crusoe simulations to experiment with approaches for exploration of various alien environments and to test new equipment, and there was a brief fad of Titanian microcorps holding team-building exercises in the game.

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