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The Internet Is Full Of Screeps!

I’ve always dreamed of a truly real-time RTS MMO. Sure, there have been a few games to wear the badge, a few developers to make the claim, but no one has ever really hit the hammer on the head, so to speak. At the same time, I’ve always been interested in trying Dwarf Fortress, but I feel like that ship set sail a long time ago, and I showed up at the docks just a little too late (re: a lot too late).

Well, here I am on the ground floor of what looks like it could be that game. Screeps is a massively-multiplayer real-time strategy game that looks a little like Dwarf Fortress. It’s currently in development and on Steam Greenlight. And get this: it’s educational!

The core mechanic is directly programming unit AI. With all the attributes of a real strategy game, the player controls his colony by merely writing JavaScripts which operate 24/7 in the single persistent world filled by other players.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DtltU9ozHI

The game features units with AI you create using JavaScript. This JavaScript runs 24/7, even when you’re offline. Everything from offensive moves, defensive moves, trading, mining, and expanding is controlled via code. That means your units can defend themselves while you’re not there – or die a horrible death if you didn’t program them correctly. No word yet on whether or not you can exploit bugs in your enemies’ AI.

“The great war ended when the enemy unleashed his ultimate weapon: While (True) { console.log(" rekt "); }”
“The great war ended when the enemy unleashed his ultimate weapon: While (True) { console.log(” rekt “); }”

The game is built using an open-source server engine, and there’s an option to host local worlds and play with friends, meaning there’s sure to be plenty of unique additions to this game. According to the developers, Screeps was initially created as an engaging and deep educational experience to captivate professional programmers, as an alternative to the more common youth-focused educational games.

You can try the game out in its current state right inside your browser by following this link to the Screeps website.

Check it out on Steam Greenlight here.

And check out their Indiegogo campaign here.

Jake Carewick is Senior Editor, Indies for AYBOnline.com. His opinions are his own.

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