Seedship: Help the remnants of humanity found a new colony

I have spent a large portion of the last two days playing Seedship by Scifi author John Ayliff. In this game, you play as the AI of a spaceship, with the last 1000 humans onboard, charged with ferrying them through the void, and ensuring that they are able to thrive. It’s a generative, text based game, and it’s super engrossing.

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The game is deceptively simple, with small decisions playing out in massive scale over a span of thousands of years. There are constraints to fight against (your resources are limited: wait too long for the perfect planet and you may lose your scientific database. Forget to send down a surface probe, and you may lose 600 colonists to unstable geology.) and they pair nicely with the Randomized elements of the gameplay. Some of the random events are particularly neat, and they play out differently each time you encounter them.

Ultimately, you’re scored on the quality of your planet, and the quality of the society your humans manage to build. Will you have a post-singularity theocracy? A corrupt capitalist industrial era society? A perfect utopia on an airless rock? The combinations, and their causes, are surprising and facinating, and the writing is honestly superb.

I really love the game, and I think it’s well worth playing over and over again.

5 stars. Highly recomended.


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Written on March 30, 2017