Federation II

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Federation II is an online text-based game also known as Federation 2 or Fed2, designed and programmed by Alan Lenton and developed by IBGames that centers on the intergalactic trade and economy in the distant future.[1] The game was originally launched in 2003, but started attracting larger crowds upon abolishing the subscription fee in January 2005. Players are still encouraged to purchase "slithies," a special currency that can only be acquired by donating real money to the developers, which can be used to purchase special items and abilities. Slithies are occasionally given freely to players in connection with special events run throughout each week.

The game is a sequel to the award-winning game, Federation, which originally premiered on Compunet in 1988, but went on to bounce back and forth between other online mediums, such as GEnie[2] and America Online.[3] It was originally billed as an "adult space fantasy," with roleplay that often went R-rated, but the tagline has long since been abandoned.

The game staff releases a weekly online publication called the Fed News, a newspaper for players of the game. Not only does it detail upcoming in-game events and updates, but also interesting real world news, editorials, and other interesting articles.

It is coded in C++.

Gameplay[edit]

Federation II can be described as a MUD. It has a very similar system of gameplay, whereby users enter various commands into the client, which are met with descriptions of the actions they have just commanded. For instance, to say something to the other players in the room, you type "SAY <message>," which would produce the following output:

You say, "<message>"

Social[edit]

While many other online games focus around fighting and skill-building, Federation II is a much more social game. Though spaceship lasers and various other weapons are there at the player's disposal, making friends with people in higher places is ultimately a much more beneficial endeavor.

As such, there are numerous features programmed into the game to support the game's highly social nature. For instance, a good way for new players to break the ice with the game's veterans is to visit a popular bar and buy a round of the local specialty brew.

Progress[edit]

Progress in the game centers on completing a series of requirements to move on to the next rank, and, at the new rank, the player will be met with a new facet of gameplay with all sorts of new experiences and challenges.

  • GroundHog - Everyone has got to start somewhere, and that somewhere happens to be without a spaceship, status, or money. In order to make your dream of flying into space a reality, you must acquire a spaceship permit and take out a loan to finance your first ship.
  • Commander - At Commander, you're almost completely at the behest of the bank from which you financed the loan. Fearing you might try to escape and never return, the bank will instruct the intergalactic police not to let you stray out of the solar system. To progress, you'll have to get the bank off your back by paying off your loan, making money by doing menial cargo hauling jobs through the company Armstrong Cuthbert.
  • Captain - With the bank off your back, you're free to explore into the deepest reaches of space, but you still lack the status to impress any of the higher-ups in this futuristic world. Perhaps if you complete some more cargo hauling jobs, you might turn some heads at Armstrong Cuthbert.
  • Adventurer - Having proved your worth, the execs at Armstrong Cuthbert let you into their elite Akaturi division, a special high class delivery service, which requires you to travel to the client, pick up the package, and drop it off at its final destination. Despite the clout, it's no glamour job, but it's no secret that the illustrious Trading Guild has a few contacts in the Akaturi division looking for people with talent to do something a bit more. Complete 200 jobs, amass some money for the enormous membership fee, and if you're lucky, you'll become a...
  • Merchant - Now you have a bit more freedom. Instead of being assigned specific hauling jobs, you're now free to go into the stock exchanges and trade freely on the commodities market. Prove your worth as a commodities trader by making successful trades, because the brokers "Messrs, Trumble, Cruikshank and Bone" are always looking for new hires.
  • Trader - At Trader, you're allowed to take a quick break from commodities trading and enter the futures market. Prove your proficiency at finding good contracts, and then maybe you'll be able to get a few other executives to rally behind you, so that you may start your own company.
  • Industrialist - This rank places you at the helm of your very own manufacturing company. Purchase factories and depots on various planets, hire workers, manage supplies and production, and prove that you can make a profit.
  • Manufacturer - After a few weeks, the proverbial "training wheels" come off, and things like maintenance and shareholder happiness start becoming major issues. Pay for regular maintenance jobs, or find your factories falling into disarray or even collapsing, and, without the occasional dividend, you'll find the shareholders rebelling against you.
  • Financier - Provided that angry shareholders and unrepaired factories don't drive your company into bankruptcy, after a few more weeks, you'll be able to make your next step toward something bigger and better, conglomeration! Research into other companies, find ones that show potential, and buy shares of their stock.
  • Founder - Players get to design and build their own planet! As a founder, your planetary economy focuses on Agricultural commodities in which your planet produces for sale on the planetary exchange. You can improve your planetary exchange and benefit its population with a range of various builds that can help production of certain commodities on your exchange as well as the efficiency in which these commodities are produced.
  • Engineer - Once you have improved the infrastructure in different areas of the economy, a total of 30 is needed with 2 of these being for schools to educate your population, you can promote your planet to the Engineer rank. This rank focuses your planetary economy in the range of Resource commodities produced for sale on the planetary exchange. There are infrastructural improvements you can build that are designed especially for this rank.
  • Mogul - Continue to improve the infrastructure more, a total of 70 builds is required to get to this rank. At this rank you are allowed to write a second planet and have it added to your system.
  • Technocrat - Continue to improve the infrastructure more, a total of 125 builds is required to get to this rank.
  • Gengineer - Continue to improve the infrastructure more, a total of 200 builds is required to get to this rank. At this rank you are able to write and add a new planet with a biological economy.
  • Magnate - Continue to improve the infrastructure more, a total of 265 builds is required on your technological planet to get to this rank.
  • Plutocrat - Continue to improve the infrastructure more, a total of 335 builds and at least 2 other planets in your system is required to get to this rank. At this rank you are able to have other systems join your cartel. you are able to tax any commods coming into the cartel, and start building graving docks and blish cities.

Reception[edit]

Computer Gaming World in 1992 praised the social aspects of Federation II, stating that "the real center of the Federation universe is ... Chez Diesel". The magazine concluded that the game was "a marvelous social environment that uses simple, text-based game mechanics as an excuse to have an on-line party ... it's a cyburb where I wouldn't mind living".[4] In a survey later that year of science fiction gamesthe magazine gave the game three-plus stars of five.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bartle, Richard (2003). Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders. p. 8. ISBN 0-13-101816-7. "A programmer at CompuNet, Alan Lenton, was moved to write his own virtual world, Federation II, which has the distinction of being the first MUD to have a non-Fantasy setting (it was Science Fiction)." 
  2. ^ Bartle, Richard (2003). Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders. p. 14. ISBN 0-13-101816-7. "GEnie was the launch point for many classic online games, including two very important virtual worlds: Gemstone II in 1988 and Dragon's Gate in 1990 (a year in which earlier U.K. favorite Federation II made it to GEnie)." 
  3. ^ Bartle, Richard (2003). Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders. p. 15. ISBN 0-13-101816-7. "AOL went for the throat and signed up Gemstone III, Dragon's Gate, and Federation II (it already had Neverwinter Nights)." 
  4. ^ Wilson, Johnny L. (1992-08). "Genie's Federation II". pp. 98–99. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Brooks, M. Evan (1992-11). "Strategy & Wargames: The Future (2000-....)". Computer Gaming World. p. 99. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Federation II - The official site with news, downloads, maps, manuals, and a list of upcoming events.