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PULSAR: Lost Colony, the starship crew sim is closing in on release

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For those who've always wanted to be a living member of a starship crew, PULSAR: Lost Colony is a reasonably good pick and it's nearing release.

Just recently, they put out Beta 21 which includes some more end-game content for the Colonial Union faction. They say the next major updates will focus on end-game content for the W.D. Corporation and Alliance of Gentlemen factions.

The rest shouldn't take as long, as while they were building this lot they say they've created a set of tools to allow them to do it quicker which sounds interesting. That's all that's in, there's quite a bit more exciting additions included in Beta 21. They've included new weapons, a new enemy spawning and respawning system to make exploring planets more interesting, a new system is in for special timed missions to add a bit of tension, there's five new creatures to find and so on.

You can see their latest development video below:

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I've played it personally a few times and it is quite interesting. It has a lot of fun ideas and a vast amount more content since I last played it properly so it's likely even more fun now. There's really not many games like it supported on Linux!

The game itself can be picked up from Humble Store or Steam.

3 Likes, Who?
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11 comments
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TheSHEEEP 7 January 2019 at 4:56 pm UTC
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This looks like it could rock my boat starship. Not usually going for early access titles, though, so this will have to wait a bit.
pageround 8 January 2019 at 2:29 am UTC
This game is highly enhanced with a few buddies. Recommend getting copies for yourself and a couple friends crew!


Last edited by pageround at 8 January 2019 at 2:29 am UTC
Fictionbrain 8 January 2019 at 8:22 am UTC
I would be interested if I could play it in VR - but as it is so often the case, I have to search the forums to find out that VR is not implemented in the Linux version.

Why is this still the case with so many games? At the very least it should say on the Store page (which shows support for both Linux and VR) that it's not working in Linux.

I know that Liam isn't interested in VR, which is of course fair enough - but when recommending a game like this I think it's relevant to mention that Linux users are buying the game with less features than the Windows version has - at the same price.

I can understand if they're using an older version of Unity that didn't support VR in Linux, but they should care enough about it to at least let us know about it up front.
Instead, they don't even bother to reply when asked directly in the forums.
liamdawe 8 January 2019 at 11:22 am UTC
FictionbrainI would be interested if I could play it in VR - but as it is so often the case, I have to search the forums to find out that VR is not implemented in the Linux version.

Why is this still the case with so many games? At the very least it should say on the Store page (which shows support for both Linux and VR) that it's not working in Linux.

I know that Liam isn't interested in VR, which is of course fair enough - but when recommending a game like this I think it's relevant to mention that Linux users are buying the game with less features than the Windows version has - at the same price.

I can understand if they're using an older version of Unity that didn't support VR in Linux, but they should care enough about it to at least let us know about it up front.
Instead, they don't even bother to reply when asked directly in the forums.
I am very much interested in VR, I've said so many times. It's the price that is currently keeping me away from it. Since I don't have a headset, I can't test and verify anything on it.
Fictionbrain 8 January 2019 at 12:42 pm UTC
liamdaweI am very much interested in VR, I've said so many times. It's the price that is currently keeping me away from it. Since I don't have a headset, I can't test and verify anything on it.

Oh ok.. sorry.. I just remember you saying you weren't interested a while ago (or I'm confusing you with someone else). I'm glad if that's not the case now. I think VR is important for Linux.

My comment wasn't meant as a critique of your work. It came out wrong - sorry about that. It does however bug me when devs completely ignore this (or any other) feature in their Linux builds - so much that they don't even care to let us know what we're actually getting if we buy it. I've had several devs tell me "I don't know if it works in Linux; Buy the game and try it" when asked about VR support. Even more devs simply ignore the question.

In my opinion, those devs are NOT providing good Linux support, even if the normal 2D version of their game works fine. I don't necessarily expect VR to work, since support for Linux in the different engines are only now starting to get good, but I do expect them to at least test if it does work - or if it can be made to work.

VR is awesome. I hope you'll be able to get a HMD at some point. It would be great to get your views on the VR implementations included in your reviews.
TheSHEEEP 8 January 2019 at 5:56 pm UTC
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While I don't care in the slightest about the VR gimmick, I agree with @Fictionbrain that the port is at the very least incomplete. If they plan to add that support to their Linux version (if possible with their engine & libs), given that they are still in early access, then I don't see much of a problem with it for the moment, though.
bubexel 9 January 2019 at 12:31 am UTC
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TheSHEEEPWhile I don't care in the slightest about the VR gimmick, I agree with @Fictionbrain that the port is at the very least incomplete. If they plan to add that support to their Linux version (if possible with their engine & libs), given that they are still in early access, then I don't see much of a problem with it for the moment, though.

Gimmick? it's absurd say that, its the same as say a monitor is gimmick. It's just other way to display the game but 10 times more inmersive than a monitor.
RanceJustice 9 January 2019 at 7:25 am UTC
This is definitely one of the more interesting sim titles out there! The developers have been hard at work expanding not only the gameplay features and depth since the title entered Early Access, but have consistently supported Linux and deserve our support in return!

For those who ever enjoyed the idea of serving at duty stations on a starship, Star Trek style, Pulsar: Lost Colony is your game! Unlike the officially licensed and Windows only Star Trek : Bridge Commander, Pulsar extends beyond the bridge itself with duty stations throughout your ship (Yes, down in Engineering you can in fact eject the warp core if it is about to go critical!) and the potential for first-person away team missions. They've added quite a few various factions, ships, equipment, and missions and it seems they're settling the late-game content now. The game is best played with players in every crew role (or at least the core ones), and no matter what your job might be you'll have a very different and important role to fill onboard. Working in harmony will lead to your success where failure to communicate can be hilarious or horrid; LAN or online play, complete with VOIP will make it easier to bark orders or respond that you can't do what the captain requests because you don't have enough power!

While your initial faction and ship will guide your game experience, it isn't set in stone and you can transition to others but be careful about stabbing competing interests in the back! The Colonial Union is the closest "Starfleet" analog, the W.D. Corporation a powerful mercantile behemoth, the Alliance of Gentlemen is an association of pirates, smugglers, and the like where their ships are known for their hacking, cloaking, and ability to conceal contraband. Notably different from all the others is the "Fluffy Biscuit Company" and its certainly Futurama inspired ship, which has a different gameplay loop entirely based around your ship and crew becoming the best in the company in slinging your product around the galaxy! They've added a fair bit of unlockable cosmetics as well for achieving various in-game milestones as well as a degree of persistent progression bonuses too!

Overall this is certainly a passion project worth supporting if the concept is of interest. I look forward to their release and future patches/expansions of content!

Edit: I'm not familiar with any potential VR issues as I do not at current have a VR rig (though I may purchase the updated Vive Pro w/Eye Tracking or Vive Cosmos), but I would contact the developers is there is any issue of feature parity. In the event that the Vive headset series and SteamVR are supported in Linux to the extent they are in Windows, I expect that Pulsar's developers should add support in kind.


Last edited by RanceJustice at 9 January 2019 at 7:31 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
TheSHEEEP 10 January 2019 at 10:22 am UTC
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bubexel
TheSHEEEPWhile I don't care in the slightest about the VR gimmick, I agree with @Fictionbrain that the port is at the very least incomplete. If they plan to add that support to their Linux version (if possible with their engine & libs), given that they are still in early access, then I don't see much of a problem with it for the moment, though.

Gimmick? it's absurd say that, its the same as say a monitor is gimmick. It's just other way to display the game but 10 times more inmersive than a monitor.
If you are easily impressionable by the fact that "woooahhh, I can turn my heeaaaadd", sure.
I tried. I'm just not that easily impressed. Did nothing for me other than becoming bothersome after a while due to the weight, cables around my head, etc.

It was fun for a while, as gimmicks tend to be.
Went back to monitor after and never felt the need to do VR again.
So, yeah, a gimmick.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 10 January 2019 at 10:23 am UTC
Fictionbrain 10 January 2019 at 2:02 pm UTC
TheSHEEEPIf you are easily impressionable by the fact that "woooahhh, I can turn my heeaaaadd", sure.
I tried. I'm just not that easily impressed. Did nothing for me other than becoming bothersome after a while due to the weight, cables around my head, etc.

It was fun for a while, as gimmicks tend to be.
Went back to monitor after and never felt the need to do VR again.
So, yeah, a gimmick.

"gimmick"
/ˈɡɪmɪk/
noun
Something that TheSHEEP doesn't find interesting or understands the value of
:-)
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