Ascii Sector

    Privateer: Ascii Sector, is a absolutely amazing game. All of the graphics are composed of standard keyboard characters, which geeks like myself refer to as Ascii characters. Being a game-ish type of geek, I have had a fair amount of exposure to games, but this is by far the best game I have ever played. You just can't help but love it. As I mentioned before, the graphics are very cleverly composed of Ascii characters (hence the name Ascii Sector), and the gameplay is unlike anything I have ever previously seen.

Setup: what you need to do to get going

    Setup here is extremely simple. First, keep in mind that you don't need to "install" this game. Those of you who use Windows computers know that "installing" a program is this big, scary thing that nobody knows much about. Either it works or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, there isn't really anything you can do about it. However, no fear, because you don't need to install Ascii Sector to play it.

    Ok, first step: Download Ascii Sector from this link:

    Step two: Unzip the file that you just downloaded. If you use Linux or Mac, you already know how to do this. On Windows, right click on the file, and in the menu that appears click on "Extract all" this opens a Windows wizard. All you have to do now is click the "Next" button twice. This unzips the file into a folder. If you are using Windows, I would highly recommend putting this folder on your desktop.

    Step three: Open the folder (double click on it) and on Windows, double click on asciisec.exe. This will run the game. On Linux, I recommend running Ascii Sector from a console window. On Mac, don't ask me. I've never tried it with Mac.

    Note: Linux users will need to install SDL, SDL_mixer, and smpeg.
How to play: a tutorial for new players

  The first point on the gameplay is, there are no levels. This is a role playing game. You are a privateer, you have a spaceship, you live in a sector of a galaxy where a war is raging. There are several main political parties (factions) involved in this war, the Confeds and Militia, the Pirates, the Kilrathi, and the Retros. There are also Bounty Hunters and Merchants.The confeds, militia, bounty hunters, and merchants are allies, while the pirates, kilrathi, and retros are all embattled enemies against each other and anyone else. Of course, each group has a certain attitude towards you, which is affected by your behavior in the game. When the game starts, confeds, militia, bounty hunters, and merchants all have a neutral attitude towards you. This means that they aren't friendly persay, but they don't attack you unless you provoke them. The pirates and kilrathi have a slightly hostile attitude towards you, while the retros have a very hostile attitude towards you at the beginning of the game. As you play, your actions will change the attitudes that these groups have towards you, and consequently their actions. For instance, a ship from a faction that you are on friendly terms with will aid you in a fight, whereas a ship from a hostile faction will attack you. This is all you need to know about factions.

    The next subject is character combat. When you are on a base or planet, at any time you like you may attack one of the computer controlled characters, also known as NPC's. There are several ways you can attack. You can walk up and punch or kick them, or you can use a weapon. Weapons can be acquired at an equipment shop. If you are on a base or planet and you do not see an equipment shop, or some other building that you may have seen somewhere else, this is simply because not all bases have the same buildings.
For more information on character combat, please consult the Ascii Sector manual. The manual is located in the folder with the rest of the game.


More coming soon.