What is Space Station 13?
Space Station 13 (SS13) is a game with heavy elements of paranoia, confusion and chaos. Created by the CDC as an experimental means of observing autistic individuals interact with one another for purposes of study, SS13 is a complex, in-depth game sure to give you, the autistic guinea pig, many hours of enjoyment.
Playing the game effectively requires the player become adept at using the UI and remembering the many mechanics and possibilities of each new scenario that greets them. If you're here, you've probably heard about this game through greentexts or other such things. You might have an impression this game is really difficult and hard to get into, like Dwarf Fort. To be perfectly candid, it'll take you a few hours to get your bearings, but you'll be a part of the shift. You could be the difference between life and death for another spaceman. After that, it's accumulating knowledge, and learning nuances. It really isn't a hard game to get into.
From another anon's description of the game:
SS13 is an atmospheric simulator turned space station turned video game dating back to the early 2000s, duct-taped togethercoded in Build Your Own Net Dream, or BYOND, a DIY game engine dating to the late nineties and filled with shitty anime games. It's 2d, with entirely sprite-based graphics, but has an incredible depth not matched by anything else; Once you get a handle on the game's aging interface and start to figure out how everything fits together, the sky's the limit. Glass shard disposal cannons, station-melting plasma floods, instant death serums and pills that make people explode. Arms trading and black marketeering, kidnapping people into your forced sex-change dungeon. Mecha-fighting tournaments, holding the station hostage with a black hole generator. Or perhaps the simpler pleasures of growing space-weed and stealing the clown's shoes. I've been playing Space Station 13 for about two and a half years now, and I'm still learning something new every time I login.
It's a lot like a mashup of FTL and Dwarf Fortress, except you're the crewman. Or maybe it's like someone made a game out of Sealab 2021, complete with the inept drunken Captain. Or maybe it's just pure, concentrated autism.
Connecting to the server
Character setup is simple. When you join the server you're presented with a "New player options" window. At the top is "Setup Character", which when clicked should present something that looks like the image to the right. Customize the appearance of your character. The name is unimportant because our server(s) enforce random names. The blood type is also randomized. Of course, if you don't care what you look like you can always randomize the appearance as well. In the example shown I've given each "loadout" a name to identify them for my own use.
Once you're finished with your looks, you set your occupation preferences. Note: If you set assistant to yes, you are locked out of all other jobs. Otherwise, jobs work in an order of priority that dictate your chance of being assigned that job on shift start based on slot restrictions. Someone else may have the same job set to "high" priority, and it may be a job with only one slot, such as Chief Medical Officer.
The priorities are as follows:
- High: Only one job may have this and it will be your highest priority roll when you're assigned your job on shift start.
- Medium: Many jobs can share this priority.
- Low: Your lowest priority.
- Never: No priority.
This page gives in depth information as to how roles are selected.
Occupation preferences only apply at the start of the shift. If you're joining a shift after it starts, you'll simply be presented with a list of available jobs. If a job isn't on there, all the slots for it are filled up. It's advised that you view the crew manifest if you're latejoining to get an idea of what's needed.
ONCE YOU ARE DONE, CLICK "SAVE SETUP" OTHERWISE YOUR CHANGES WON'T APPLY.
This is where you toggle traitor options. The only option here of note is the option to change your UI style. Just about every other option can be toggled in-game under the "Preferences" tab. This is the best place to switch an antagonist option on or off before a shift begins.
- Text: Shows game log all the way up.
- Info: Opens the info-section with in-game tabs.
- Wiki: Opens the game wiki in your internet browser.
- Forum: Opens the game discussion forum in your internet browser.
- Rules: Opens the rules.
- Changelog: Opens the changelog.
- In-game tabs:
- Status: Lists various points of interest such as current intent, move mode, and oxygen tank statuses (if applicable).
- Admin: The first option in this tab, 'Adminhelp', is something that should always be remembered, adminhelp sends a direct message for questions pertaining gameplay. 'Adminnotice' displays admin notices. 'Adminwho', gives a list of in-game admins.
- IC: Gives a list of In-Character actions that can be done at the moment.
- OOC: Gives a list of Out-Of-Oharacter actions, which are anything outside of the current game.
- Object: Actions that can be done with objects current at hand.
- Preferences: Gives a list of toggleable out-of-character settings.
|Your inventory is along the bottom and lower left of the screen (yellow area on the first picture).
Commands are to the lower right corner, and your personal status is on the right edge of the screen (pink area on the first picture).
Useful shortcuts for using most of the HUD commands can be found on this very page..
Your Very First Shift
E.g. if you want to heal someone's bruise damage with a bruisepack, you first click on the bruisepack with an empty hand to pick it up and then click on the patient (make sure you have the injured limb selected!) with the bruise pack in your active hand.
Some items can hold more items, such as a backpack. To open it, simply click on it. If you wish to remove your backpack from your back (or any other wearable container item), click and drag it to an empty hand.
To drop an item, simply hit the Drop button (Q) with the item in your active hand.
First thing you do is press Tab. This enables hotkey mode. Only the clinically insane don't use hotkeys mode. This moves you to a WASD based movement system. Here are the essentials:
"I still don't get it": See this page. Has more in-depth information and some information for silicon shortcuts.
Upon joining your very first shift, it's a good idea to do the following:
- Wait until the shift starts, and then join. This is to avoid being an antagonist's target. Although, when shit gets real (it usually does) you'll probably die anyways.
- Join as an assistant
- Get used to the HUD, get used to the hotkeys especially
- Go through the learning exercises
- Communicate with your fellow crewmen.
- If someone asks you to do something, tell them it's you're very new to the station. Something along the lines of, "I'm new. It's my first shift," will suffice. SS13 contains high concentrate strains of autism but almost everyone is accommodating to new players on our server.
- Chaos may erupt. Someone may try to kill you. This is to be expected. Shit is gonna happen and you're not going to understand what it is or why it happened. This understanding will come with experience. If someone tries to kill you, you're probably better off running to safety, but who knows, maybe you can take 'em. Your first kill is going to be an exhilirating experience.
Two HOT tips to keep in mind:
- One very important thing to remember is if something happens to you, and you see an icon above your character sprite, don't ask in-game about it. Don't ask OOC about it. If you really want to know what it is, ask an admin (press F1 to ahelp). Seriously. Don't say shit about it because you will fuck the shift up for a lot of players.
- Don't share IC (in-character) information in the OOC channel, on IRC, board thread, etc etc. Only after the shift is it appropriate to talk about these things. As a general rule of thumb, if something strange happens to you, ask an admin about it, or if one isn't on, just roll with the punches as best you can.
So you've got a hang of the game. Now you need to graduate beyond assistant. Cargo Technician is highly recommended. It's a work environment which deals heavily in object interaction of various types, while being low responsibility. The cargo bay also has a neat maintenance area and all kinds of goodies for you to play with and learn about.
Aside from that, just go in whatever direction you prefer. Note: It is advised you learn how to use tools and the basics of medical treatment quickly. You may find yourself in which a crew member's life depends on you knowing how to heal them. Healing is not a difficult process, unless if the situation is dire. Refer to this difficulty scale to help you choose:
Don't worry about being an antagonist. Almost every role typically requires knowledge of a variety of departments. That being said, when you feel like you could take on an antagonist role, you should jump in with both feet. Playing an antagonist will greatly accelerate your learning of the game and probably give you a heart attack from your first thrills. Educate yourself on what the antagonists are so you can identify them in-game!
Slow shift? Not much happening? Acquaint yourself with the station. Our server uses the Metastation map. It might look like a lot but you'll know where everything is in no time. In the meantime, it's highly recommended you use the quickmap to aid you in getting around.
- Port = West
- Fore = North
- Starboard = East
- Aft = South
So when you hear someone say "Aft Primary Hallway", they mean that long hallway passing chemistry and robotics that leads down to departures.