Mark (and heck anybody),
If that’s my single gripe with Artemis, it’s that to play from home…you pretty much need more than one monitor and/or computer for half stuff. At least, to be ‘effective’.
Take Engineering: No situational awareness about what is going on if that’s your only screen. You have to hope people are talking to prepare. Which, in a group like this, they readily do.
Sci-Comms: I love Science myself. But I can’t play with communications because of my lack of um…tech. And comms by itself is horrible, as you also have no situational awareness, a half-arsed screen of blocks that just pop in and out, and no one usually calls out anything relevant for you (or are forgotten?). Basically it’s the step-child of the positions. So, combining them is a good thing for your game.
One positive thought for Union (or even Artemis?): Electronic warfare! Imagine what sci/comms could do with jamming, ecm/eccm, etc. Expanding the roles might be possible for almost anything, if they feel short on usefulness.
Technical concern: You’ve got poor buggers like myself on a hanging-by-a-thread laptop that can only handle one instance of the game, let alone attempting windowed mode or split-screen. Heck I can’t even host a game on this thing, meaning I’m reliant on someone else.
(What, I live off of $950 US a month!) I hope sometime next year I’ll have enough saved up to get a new laptop…but still won’t have these multi-moitor/cpu gadgets that my betters have.
That’s probably the physical ‘niche’ about this type of game, beyond the abstract liking a space crew setting. I feel like a lower-class player online because of my lack of uber-versatility and hardware at home.
Still love doing this though, don’t get me wrong. (Not a gripe to TSN! You all are patient and brilliant.)
Mind you, I’ve never played at a convention, (no one does this in Seattle!) and I hear those are much better, with a large main screen for everyone to sit in front of, and be hands-on like a crew. That’s an excellent way to present your game to people, when you’re able to. I’d love to see videos of UNION with a group gaming together on it.