I am a second generation Trekkie. I love sci-fi series of all kinds. So when I heard about Redshirt, a new PC game that let people live the life of a space-faring lackey, I got excited. I ran to learn as much as possible, and ended up running right into a preview of the Redshirt alpha. I was pleased.
Then, during my first 15 minute runthrough, Jenni Lalla was a sick, miserable, lonely human who would probably spend the rest of her life as a Transporter Accident Cleanup Technition, Rank 0. (Not even a supervisor!) My attempt to fool around with the Redshirt left my Redshirt on the verge of death, and it was all my fault.
So, that attempt doesn’t count. This right here will be the story of the real life of Jen Lalla, an Emoid Transporter Accident Cleanup Technician.
Before I get into Jen’s life, let me explain how Redshirt works. It is a simulation game where every action of a character’s life is determined by what the player has him or her do through Spacebook. Which is, naturally, this station’s version of Facebook. You can post on peoples’ walls, add friends, send messages (pre-determined strings of conversation), see where people have checked in so you can “accidentally” run into them, attend events to determine your likes and skills, work and earn karma creds to spend on items. You get one action each day before work, and four after work. You can have six actions on weekends. The goal is to make your character happy, health and successful, perhaps while even completing aspirations.
It’s during this second run-through that I learned one thing I was doing wrong. Redshirt expects a player to feed their character every day, either by attending an event at a restaurant or buying something from the shop. So that’s one thing to keep in mind. People have to either go to an event with food every day, or buy food from the S.H.O.P. with creds. Good to know.
As for events, it’s actually a bit tricky. It’s most beneficial to do things with friends in Redshirt, as you can earn charisma, build bonds, get interests and improve skills all at once. I could take part in solo events, which would help as well, but I want Lalla to be a social butterfly. I attempted to use the check in panel to arrange incidental meetings, but found that to be a bit difficult during the Redshirt alpha. It wasn’t well explained, so it wasn’t until my second Saturday that I realized it is exploited by choosing the Walk Around the Station activity for 6 actions to see if I run into any of these people.
Anyways, let’s get into Jen Lalla’s life. She likes being around people, despite being an Emoid. (I think that’s like a goth-alien? It was never really explained.) She really enjoys S.H.O.P.-ing, Parties and Soirees and Games, which means lots of time spent hanging out in Crew Quarters, playing board games and hosting parties. Just because you’re an Emoid, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!
Lalla started her time on board the station with the usual aspirations. She wanted a better job, in particular a position as a Transporter Accident Cleanup Supervisor. (That’d be sweet.) She wanted friends to notice her, and to get to know people like Jila Goro, the Automated Door Grease Resource Management Officer. Most importantly, she wanted to know what love was. In particular, with Alec Linkovich. Alas, he’s a bit out of her league, so for most of her time on the station, she had to schmooze her way up the social ladder. Which, of course, means it’s time for partying.
Then, there was a yellow alert light and a 180 days indicator came up. That can’t be good. There wasn’t a lot of explanation as to what was going on, but I took it as an omen.
Sure enough, the next day, something with the potential to go bad happened. After messaging and getting flirty with Kamem Zara (Linkovich can wait!), Lalla was assigned to a compulsory away mission. Uh oh. Anyone knows, away missions and a Redshirt don’t go well together. Sure enough, Xaze Nacaseki and Zojo Gihudigo, a woman and man on Lalla’s Away Team, were vaporized. It was tragic. But, at least the event gave Lalla a chance to bond with Qaya Tavulivo! He immediately sent me a friend request after the tragic events!
Of course, I gained -80 happiness from witnessing the tragic deaths of my teammates, but stuff happens. I hoped a good meal with Qaya and a 20th Centery Earth Western Adventure on the Virtuo-Augment 0 Suites would help. It did, a bit, but it’s hard to bounce back from watching two people disappear forever in front of your eyes. I guess. I made her make good friends with her boss, Kylia Kesyk, to the point where Kesyk wanted to date Lalla. I figured that would be enough to schmooze my way into a better job for her, but alas. It was not.
After about an hour, however, I realized Lalla hadn’t come very far during my playing of Redshirt. I was enjoying myself, sure. and managed to get Qaya and Jen to hook up, but I didn’t meet any other objectives. I never learned how to get her assertiveness to level 1, so I could apply for the better job. A relationship with Linkovich wasn’t going to happen because he was at a higher rank. Jila didn’t want to be friends. The 169 days in, and she was only a little further than she had started.
Of course, this was just a preview build. And besides, no one said life as a Redshirt was easy. Perhaps, if I bide my time and learn the ins and outs of social networking, Jen Lalla will be a force to be reckoned with once Redshirt is finally released. We’ll have to wait and see. We’ll have to wait and see. Redshirt is in development and on its way to a PC near you. It is scheduled to be released before 2013 ends.