Now on Marketplace: Space Battle Simulator
Qwerty talks about his amazing interstellar minigame!
Marketplace is new to Pocket and Windows 10 - for the first time it offers a way to browse, buy, download and play community content from within the game itself. Over the next few weeks we’ll be showcasing some of the cool stuff people have made for the launch! You can go check it out right now by clicking here!
QwertyuiopThePie is a name legendary among Minecraft creators, having authored a number of much-loved adventure maps and minigames, each built upon intricate redstone workings, and, more recently, command blocks. Qwerty, as he is more pronounceably known, has appeared on these pages before for his amazing team Capture The Flag map, Valley of Kings. Now he’s back, bringing another elaborate team deathmatch map to Pocket and Windows 10: Space Battle Simulator.
He broadly compares the concept of Space Battle Simulator to the game FTL - a ruthless spaceship management game, where you micromanage variously skilled crew members as they survive an onslaught of interstellar peril. Of course, here, each crew member is controlled by a separate player.
“The idea is that there’s two teams of players that are on these two battling spaceships,” says Qwerty. “They can use the spaceships’ systems to interact with the other spaceships - to do things like taking down the enemy’s shields, fire ship-to-ship weaponry, or beam onto the other ship and fight them hand-to-hand. The goal is to destroy the enemy’s spaceship.”
The ships are a mass of interacting systems, which have to be managed, protected or exploited to gain the advantage, as Qwerty explains: “You’ve got the ship’s weapons, a couple of minor systems like a couple that boost the weapons’ power, airlocks, a scanner system which shows you the state of things on your ship, shields, oxygen, the transporter room, repair room and then, the most important one: the Fusion Core. It takes five hits to destroy but once you destroy it, the ship blows up and you win. Either you destroy the Fusion Core or eliminate the enemy team.”
You’ll need keen coordination with your team to plan your attack, while intercepting and rebuffing the enemy’s strategy, though. An example Qwerty uses is to target the enemy’s oxygen supply.
“Teams rarely actually check to see if the oxygen system has been taken out,” says Qwerty, “If it’s out for more than five minutes they’ll run out of oxygen and lose, so it’s really a good starting point while you’re trying to distract them by taking down their shields and shooting up parts of their ship. Of course, you need to board the ship in order to take down their shields, but once the shields are down you can use your on-board weapons to shoot their oxygen system and take it down that way.”
Parts of the ship actually get destroyed by the ship-to-ship weapons, killing those within them, and disabling systems. “The room also gets sealed off, so you can’t use that as an access way,” says Qwerty. “So you can use your ship weapon to sort of strategically shut off hallways and cut off access to parts of their ship, which can be useful in some situations.”
And if you’re on the receiving end of such bombardment? “You’re going to want to repair your ship by using the repair room,” says Qwerty. “But that means the enemy is going to know that you’re going to want to repair your ship - so they’re going to be beaming in and trying to kill you and stop you from repairing it. So you have to defend the repair room until you’re in a situation where you can go on the offensive again.”
You can imagine that, with so many interrelated elements, there are many different strategies open to the player - but all require a fair bit of cooperation to be successful.
“You have to plan ahead of time,” agrees Qwerty. “A successful team will always have to communicate with each other. So if someone boards your ship, you know where the boarder is, you know how to intercept them, and what counter-strategy to use. I’d say five versus five is the ideal number of players for that sort of communication.”
Qwerty’s not done with the map, suggesting he’ll continue to improve it after launch. Nor is it the last thing we’ll see from him: he plans to bring an updated version of his classic Present Factory map to marketplace in the future.
“Command blocks are pretty new to Pocket Edition which means that you haven’t really seen that many maps of this kind of complexity until now - it should be interesting to see how the Pocket Edition community reacts to it!”