The New Years Eve party I went to this year was also a gaming night. I spotted “Ticket to Ride”, “Puerto Rico”, and a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity (fully decked out with the Bigger Blacker Box and Crabs Adjust Humidity expansions), but what I was asked to bring was my copy of Artemis and all the accessories.
Once we got past local network issues (firewalls on the Cisco/Linksys WiFi router, and on the Hostess’ PC/Artemis server), we were off and running with DMX lights and a USB joystick for navigation. The one client wrinkle we had was, unbeknownst to me, Artemis pushed out the 2.0 mobile client upgrade two weeks ago, so people who arrived with tablets ready to play weren’t able to connect up to my “old” copy of 1.7 on the server. We had 2 laptops to handle the Navigation and Weapons stations, and I handed out the now-discontinued fan-written Unofficial Android Client to a couple of tablets for Comms and Captain’s Map, and it worked well. Some of the partygoers had seen or even played Artemis at conventions, but this was their first time seeing the DMX lights. They were a big hit.
We had time to get two games in before The Ball dropped: one training mission, and one “real” mission in a Very Interesting universe. I took the Captain’s role to help train and to keep the flow smooth, but the rest of the crew were all raw recruits except for the Navigation officer who had played once, over a year ago. The training mission did its job of getting everyone comfortable with their controls and used to the in-game dialog (“Red Alert! Shields up, and Helm, come about to 240!”) By the end, everyone was relaxed and comfortable at their posts which is exactly as it should be. The next time we all get together, we’ll have some experienced hands to help train the recruits.
Speaking of “next time”, I’m going to change two things: 1) upgrade my copy of Artemis to 2.0 so we can include tablets with the latest mobile client, and 2) bring along my own WiFi router running dd-wrt because it would have solved several problems to have an open WiFi network known to not restrict connectivity between clients (a trend I’m seeing on consumer-grade devices that are meant to be used where people are trying to connect to the Internet but not each other).