Click on "Contact" below to ask for additional information.
The original play test went 15 years and over 2300 turns! It only ended because of a natural disaster.
Each player is a new space captain, given an old and failing starship by mysterious aliens with which to make a name for herself. Local space is a cluster of a hundred stars or so, containing about fifteen hundred assorted locations of interest. No other stars are accessible yet. A typical turn consists of having the four officers do things. The science officer might go net running in the old Empire's computers, the weaponry officer may hunt criminals, and the engineer might raise cash by asteroid mining. A turn can include exploring for hidden opportunities or possibly a battle with another player or an alien. It often ends with a jump to a different star for the adventures of the following turn.
TBG is an open-ended game that imposes no goals. Players choose what they want to achieve and play until they've had enough, or die in the attempt. There are many routes for advancement in power, knowledge, wealth and skill, with balancing features to prevent any being "best". For example, a trader may make large profits by buying and selling between worlds, if they can beat rivals to the best priced markets and avoid or buy off the inevitable pirate players. An adventurer may explore ancient civilizations to find exotic technology and to learn of leads to new finds, while an empire-builder may work up to intimidate alien home worlds into paying for "protection."
Results are put on a web server as soon as each turn runs (Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 11pm UTC). The results contain a form for choosing the next turn's actions, heavily customized to the player's current position so that only legal actions can be chosen, mostly selected from menus, i.e. there are no syntax or keyboard entry errors because there's no keyboard! Having selected all the actions they want for the next turn, the player clicks the "Make It So" button and orders are sent to the adjudication program. At the deadline, all players' orders are combined with other events and new sets of results mailed out. Here's an example turn.
A newsletter is generated each turn from player contributions, plus mostly true information produced during adjudication. Players also put a lot of information (or disinformation) on their player pages, stored on the server and linked from the game results.
TBG is run free and ad free by Chris Babcock, who has the time to do so because he lives on disability income. Please feel free to make a donation:
For more information, please visit the donor page.
First read the rules. (I'll wait here for you...)
If you want to join, just use this form and a turn will be emailed to you when the next turn runs. Don't try to cheat by starting multiple ships in the names of your cats, spouses, imaginary friends, etc. They're much easier to spot than people think.
(All these naughtinesses have been done at least once)
Here are forms for sending mail to other players addressed by ship name, and for having your last set of results or orders sent to you.
Player ships have "flags" which may contain HTML and/or images. A variety of free services are available to help. Both Pizap (online) and GIMP (a free program) - available for both Linux and Windows - are good for making GIFs while Imageshack is as good place as any to host images.
For any problems which can't be solved by reading the web pages and filling in online forms, email Chris Babcock.