The Dawn Star is a game in the Captain Forever series focusing on long term gameplay instead of short one off games. You can explore space and find space stations, sell parts for money, and upgrade your ship.
The Dawn Star is the sequel to Captain Successor. Only supporters, who have donated, can play this game. This chapter adds a persistent single player world, various space stations, meteor fields, money and oxygen use.
The game is still in Alpha (currently reeboot build 8), and the content and rules of the game may change over time.
The controls for The Dawn Star are the same as those for all the other games in the series.
- The mouse is used to drag modules through space, as well as to attach and detach them from the player's ship.
- The mouse wheel zooms the player's view in and out.
- W moves the player forwards.
- A turns the player to the left.
- S moves the player backwards.
- D turns the player to the right.
- Q makes the player strafe (move sideways) to the left.
- E makes the player strafe to the right.
- Space bar fires all attached weapons that aren't reloading. Holding it down will fire all weapons at their maximum possible fire rates.
- R zooms the player's view in one level.
- F zooms the player's view out one level.
- F1-F6, 1-6, and Numpad 1-6 use the matching VMEDS functions in the menus. Escape does the same thing as F1 or 1.
- Shift activates cruise control, blurring the player's view and speeding up the passage of time by a factor of three. All other controls are still functional while it is in effect. The exact behavior of cruise control can be customized in the options menu.
Note that depending on the player's ship design, the movement keys may not exactly have their intended effect. For example, if a ship has more thrusters on its right than its left, it won't move perfectly forwards when the player presses W, and will instead stray to the left.
The gameplay of The Dawn Star is quite complicated and it will take players quite some time to finish the game. The ultimate goal (the player's mission) is to reach the Dawn Star sector and activate the Peacekeeper beacon located on the edge of the sector.
To accomplish this, the player must explore the different sectors, discovering and liberating progressively higher-tier sets of stations from Guardians and destroying any pirates, booters, or jackers that get in his or her way. Along the journey, the player will be constantly upgrading his or her ship so that it may face the new and tougher challenges the sectors bring.
If the player's command module's health reaches zero or the player runs out of oxygen, his or her ship is destroyed. The player will start a new game with a lone Command Module in the starting sector. All previously freed stations and Atmosphere Stations have to be have to be reactivated but all parts and credits stored in stations will stay put.
Stations in The Dawn Star are found in groups of the same tier. To unlock any set of stations besides the starting area, a Guardian of the same tier as the station set must be destroyed. Once the stations are unlocked they can be used and (if there is one) an Amosphere Station will emit an oxygen field around them, for 20 credits, that will recharge the player's oxygen tanks.
Guardians are very large ships that, as their name implies, guard sets of inactive stations. Guardians have very large command modules that sport signal jammers, which will interfere with the player's view when he or she is near one and cause static.
If a Guardian goes offscreen (for example, if the player runs away from a fight with one), it regenerates completely and all damage done to it is repaired. This, along with the fact that the player must fight Guardians outside of oxygen fields, prevents the player from defeating them with a "death of a thousand cuts" method.
Unlike all the previous games in the Captain Forever series, which the player can drift forever in space, The Dawn Star adds oxygen to the ship. Oxygen depletes fairly quickly when not in a Atmosphere Station's atmosphere, and recovers when within one. The player is alerted when his or her oxygen supplies reach 50%, and further warned if oxygen levels falls below 5%. If the player's oxygen supplies empty completely the player "dies". Interestingly enough, cruise control, which triples the passage of time, does not increase oxygen consumption; this means cruise control is extremely useful for traversing between large areas.
Credits act as money and have several functions in the game. Credits can be earned by selling modules at Scrapyards or minerals at Refineries. Credits are necessary for progression in the game, as they are used to activate Atmosphere Stations. Credits can also be used to buy modules from Factories, repair them at Repair Stations, upgrade them at Upgrade Stations.
As of build 0.5.1 players can mine asteroids by shooting them with weapons, which causes them to break apart. Small asteroids are relatively easy to break apart while larger ones can take hours without proper weaponry. "Hot" asteroids, those that flash orange and spout explosions, cannot be mined and are invulnerable. These asteroids will also severely damage any ship that touches them.
When they break apart, Asteroids drop minerals. There are three minerals currently in Captain Jameson:
- Rocks: Dull gray, large and not valuable
- Iron Ore: Not as large, denser than rocks, and more valuable. Glows orange.
- Silicates: Very small, and the most valuable. Glows white.
Minerals do not attach like modules, and therefore must be pushed manually by the player's ship. As a result, it is helpful to make a bucket-like attachment in order to transport minerals more easily.
All asteroids in a field contain roughly the same minerals, so it is wise to "prospect" by breaking the smaller asteroids in the field, seeing what drops, and then choosing whether or not to spend the time destroying the larger ones.
Except for the stations in the starting area, all stations in the game start inactive (gray). Sets of inactive stations must be liberated (and thus activated) by destroying the Guardian that protects them before the player may use their services. Active Atmosphere Stations emit oxygen fields that will replenish the player's oxygen tanks.
Scrapyard (SCR) (S-)Edit
Scrapyards will buy unwanted modules. To sell modules, drag them into the enclosed area and contact the Scrapyard via Telnet. The Scrapyard cannot process modules of a higher tier, and will ask the player to remove these modules if they are in its selling zone.
Additionally, the player may request a detailed breakdown of the scrap they wish to sell. This will create a table of every individual module and the price it would be sold for.
Factory (FAC) (F-)Edit
Factories sell modules to the player for credits. Only one type of module is available at each factory, but an unlimited quantity of that module can be bought.
Factories, with the exception of Juliet-tier ones, sell modules of one tier higher than theirs. Factories can sell all but the following modules:
- Command Module
- Chrono Gear
- Auxiliary Oxygen Tank
Navigation stations provide players with access to a map of the area surrounding that station. You always spawn docked to one emiting an atmosphere, which is normaly exclusiveto Atmoshpere Stations, in the centre of each new sector.
Navigation stations gain no advantages from being a higher tier.
Bank (BAN) (B-)Edit
Banks store money to use as a backup in case of ship loss. Players can deposit or withdraw credits by connecting to the Bank with Telnet. Each Bank has a separate accounting system, so money stored in one will not be available in another.
Higher-tier Banks can store more credits.
Repair (REP) (R-)Edit
Repair stations will repair modules attached to the player's ship for credits. Repairs can be ordered via an ASCII representation of the player's ship in the VMEDS interface. Repair stations cannot repair modules of a higher tier than their own, but players may still use the station to repair their lower-tier modules.
Higher-tier modules cost more to repair than lower-tier ones, but higher-tier Repair stations will not charge the player more to repair lower-tier modules.
Refinery (REF) (I-)Edit
Refineries look and work in a manner similar to Scrapyards, but rather than buying modules, they will pay for minerals in their processing zone. These minerals must be pushed in manually, as they cannot be dragged with the mouse.
Higher-tier Refineries have larger gates and processing areas, allowing the player to sell larger mineral chunks.
Upgrade (UPG) (U-)Edit
Upgrade stations are very rare and will upgrade individual modules attached to player ships for a considerable amount of credits. Upgrades can be ordered via an ASCII representation of the player's ship in the VMEDS interface. Upgrade stations will upgrade modules to the tier of the station and no higher, and can only upgrade modules of a lower tier than their own.
Upgrading a module will also heal it fully. The Command Module cannot be upgraded.
Warehouse (WAR) (W-)Edit
Warehouses allow players to store individual modules for later use. Players may drop modules in the designated area, contact the station via Telnet, then store those modules in any of the unused storage slots. Warehouses can hold 15 modules at a time. Players may also retrieve modules from the Warehouse with the VMEDS interface. Warehouses can only store modules of their tier or below.
Beacon (BEA) (XJ)Edit
Beacons have no function in the current version of Captain Jameson, but activating all three of them is the goal of the game.
Currently Beacons can only be found at Juliet-tier.
The modules found in The Dawn Star include all modules found in Captain Successor, with the following changes and additions:
- Auxiliary Oxygen Tanks: Each of these modules adds 5 more liters to your maximum oxygen, allowing you to travel farther without needing to refill. Auxiliary Oxygen Tanks provide the same 5 liters regardless of tier, although the higher-tier ones have more health.
- Bubble Shields: These modules now produce a shield in the shape of an octagon rather than a perfect circle.
- Planck Shields: These modules produce a shield in a line rather than an octagon. Other than weighing significantly less than Bubble Shields, they have nearly the exact same performance statistics.
- Blurst Shields: These modules have had their appearance changed. Their functionality remains the same as in Captain Successor.
- Sprinklers: The swivel angle of Sprinklers in The Dawn Star has been decreased to 45 degrees, making them much less self-destructive.
- Chrono Gears: These modules have been changed in shape and speedup ratio. Captain Successor Chrono Gears speedup connected modules by 1.5 : 1 whereas The Dawn Star Chrono Gears speedup connected modules by 1.25 : 1. Higher-tiered modules have have more mass and can take more damage.
Unlike in Captain Successor, The Dawn Star features pooled shield health. If one shield on a ship goes down, every shield goes down. This makes the old tactic of shield-stacking ineffective.
The interface in The Dawn Star is based on an antiquated computer interface called MEDS (Multifunction Electronic Display Subsystem), most notably included in United States space shuttles. It uses an ascii interface and the function or top row number keys of the operator's keyboard (F1-F6/1-6). Each menu option is marked either in the main portion of the interface as a line of text with corresponding F-key, or in many cases, only along the ever present row of abbreviated key symbols along the bottom row of the interface. F1 will usually move up one nesting to the previous menu screen. The functions for the other keys vary, but F2 will always bring up the Map or function of the station you're currenty docked to.