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Federation II is an online text-based game also known as Federation 2 or Fed2. It was designed and programmed by Alan Lenton and developed by IBGames. It centers on the intergalactic trade and economy in the distant future. 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 and America Online. 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++.
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, a player types "SAY <message>," which would produce the following output:
You say, "<message>"
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.
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.
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". In a survey later that year of science fiction gamesthe magazine gave the game three-plus stars of five.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- Wilson, Johnny L. (August 1992). "Genie's Federation II". pp. 98–99. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- Brooks, M. Evan (November 1992). "Strategy & Wargames: The Future (2000-....)". Computer Gaming World. p. 99. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Federation II - The official site with news, downloads, maps, manuals, and a list of upcoming events.