Galactic Artifact

Alpha Release C (SVN Build 335)

by Trevor Bradley

1. Table of Contents

1. Table of Contents
2. Overview
3. Licensing and Distribution
4. Author's Notes
5. Files
6. Game Controls
7. Gameplay
8. New for Release C (SVN 335)
9. Known Bugs with Release C
10. Release D and beyond
11. Feedback
12. Thanks

2. Overview

Galactic Artifact is a real time, non-combat game of space exploration. Alien archaeologists are in search of a prized galactic artifact, hidden away somewhere amongst the stars, and have sent you on a quest to find it! You are in command of a star ship, ready to explore the galaxy, discovering hidden artifacts along the way and making a bit of profit on the side. You gather and these artifacts and sell them to the alien archaeologists for cash to upgrade your ship, or trade them for information that provide clues to help you complete your quest. As you accumulate more information, the region of the galaxy that need be explored is reduced, until the quest is completed and the prized artifact is found.

Galactic Artifact can be played as a single player race against the clock, or as a multiplayer race against other players.

Galactic Artifact is available for Windows and Linux, and will be ported to the Pandora console once it is released later this year.

Seven players race one another in a quest for the Galactic Artifact.

3. Licensing and Distribution

For details on licensing, please see the LICENSE file inlcuded with the game.

This game is an alpha release, and is not yet a completed game. The game has been released at this stage to gather feedback from the community, and to test the multiplayer aspect of the game. At present, the game is closed source, but may be released as open source at a later date. The game is free to play and will remain so after release.

Since I'm still piecing this game together, the licensing is a bit piecemeal:


The source code has been released under an "educational use only" license. You are free to examine, modify and compile the code for personal purposes, but you may not redistribute any portion of this code without the author's permission, nor redistribute binaries containing this code without the author's permission. The author reserves the right to change the game license at a later date.


Dynamic Libraries for SDL, SDL_gfx, SpriG, SDL_image, SDL_ttf, SDL_mixer and SDL_net distributed under the Lesser GNU Public License (LGPL)


Sounds for the game have been downloaded and licensed via Sounds may not be unbundled from the game as per the license. (Feel free to download them directly from


Heaven Gate by warg, licensed via This song may not be unbundled from the game as per the license. (Feel free to download this song directly from

ZeroG, Anti Gravity, Eta Carinae, Space Radio by Harmonics of Frequency Modulation and distributed under the Creative Commons License.


CargoHold.bmp, CargoIcons.bmp, Industrialist.bmp, Industrialist_face.bmp, Futurist.bmp, Futurist_jaw.bmp Copyright 2009 Pat Ferguson. These images may not be unbundled from the game, redistributed or ported without the author's permission.

Galaxy160.jpg, Galaxy480.jpg, Galaxy1440.jpg, Galaxy4320.jpg, and Galaxy12960s.jpg by Trevor Bradley, released under the Creative Commons License.

4. Author's Notes

This version, Release C (SVN Build 335), is a follow up to the pre-Alpha Release A (SVN Build 55) and Release B (SVN Build 234). Many additions have been made to the game in the past two weeks, most of them having to do with improved multiplayer stability.

As this game is an alpha release, it is not yet complete. Most of the user interface needs to be reworked. Most the graphics and text to the right of the galaxy screen have to be redone, though some are starting to take shape. There are many features I am working on for Alpha Release D, and many bugs I am already aware of. See the and Release D and beyond sections below for more information.

This game was coded in C++ using the SDL 2D graphics library. It makes use of SDL_ttf, SDL_gfx, SpriG, SDL_net, SDL_image, SDL_mixer libraries. The code was developed using Code::Blocks on Windows and KDevelop on Linux.

5. Files

GalacticArtifact0335.exe is a compiled version of the game for Windows. Dynamic libraries are included.

GalacticArtifact0335 is a dynamically compiled version of the game for 32-bit Linux.

The src directory contains the source for the game, released under an "educational only license". You are able to compile and run the game to create your own server and clients to connect to it for personal purposes. You are not permitted to re-distribute the source or binaries without the authors' permission. (But just ask, we'll probably say yes!).

NOTE! To curb cheating, you will not be able to connect to the main game server without using a pre-compiled binary. Compiling the game from source will only allow you to play a local single player game, or connect to your own server.

NOTE! I'm presently looking for someone who can help me compile 64-bit Linux and OSX versions of the game. If you're able to do this, please get in contact with me using the feedback form on the website.

The files in the Fonts, Music, Sheets, and Sounds directories are all required for the game to operate properly.

6. Game Controls

Either the numeric keypad or mouse can be used for game control.

Keyboard Control

Zoomed Out (Galaxy Levels 0 through 6)

0Zoom out
1-9Zoom in to sector 1-9
*/HOMEZoom in to ship location
CTRL+1-9Pan to neighbouring sector

Zoomed in (Galaxy Level 7)

0Zoom out
1-9Move cursor (5 tabs to next star)
ENTERTravel to star/Revisit Aliens
CTRL+1-9Pan to neighbouring sector

Alien Interface

8/2Move up/down
ENTERNext Screen/Select option
*/HOMECut communication

Global keys

ESCAPEQuits the game and returns to the main Menu.
MMutes sound.
PPause game (single player only).
TMultiplayer chat (new!)

NOTE! As per request on the forums, the keys QWEASDZXC also work for keypad navigation, which should allow laptop users to navigate more easily. Space or backspace can be used to back out of a sector. In addition, the arrow keys can work for navigation, but you may have difficulty navigating your ship in dense star clusters.

Mouse Control

Zoomed Out (Galaxy Levels 0 through 6)

Left Click or Mouse Wheel up on a sector to zoom in
Right click or Mouse wheel up on a sector to zoom out
Left Click and drag to pan to neighbouring sector

Zoomed in (Galaxy Level 7)

Left Click once to move cursor
Left Click twice to move ship
Left Click and drag to pan to a neighbouring sector
Right Click/Mouse Wheel down to zoom out

Alien/Menu Interface

Mouse wheel up/down to choose option
Left Click to select option

NOTE! Mouse interface is not yet completely implemented for the interface screens. You need to use a mouse wheel to select an option. Clicking anywhere on the screen selects an option in this release.

7. Gameplay:

Game Menu:

For Release C, the game menu is little more than a placeholder. It does allow you to select between a multiplayer network game and a more sedate single player game, as well as a new single player "Easy mode" where you start with a fully upgraded ship. Other features will be added to this menu in later releases.

The game menu is a placeholder for now, but allows
you to select between network and local games.
Note the new easy mode for local play.

The Galaxy:

Unlike the real Milky Way with it's 100 billion stars, the Galactic Artifact galaxy is a flat cross section made up of approximately 40 million stars. The stars can be found in the central core, in one of two major or two minor arms, or in the galactic halo.

The galaxy is divided up into about 4.7 million sectors. Each sector is designated by a seven digit number containing the digits 1 through 9. Each time you type in a sector digit, the galaxy map zooms into that part of the galaxy. Sector 555-5555 is in the exact center of the galaxy, and 111-1111 is a starless region on the very edge of galactic space.

The galaxy map is divided in 9, each region of the map labeled with a digit from 1 to 9.

Alien Races:

Galactic Artifact is a galaxy wide search for a special artifact. The galaxy is populated by three races of alien archaeologists, all keen to find evidence of past civilizations:

  • The Ancients are antiquarians, interested in artifacts from pre-industrial times: Pottery, stone tools, etc. Because these artifacts are so hard to find, the Ancients are also radar and computer experts, needing advanced technologies to find small untechnological artifacts from light years away.
  • The Industrialists are free roaming adventurers. They like the open road (or spaceway) and pine for the days when one could travel without worry about the price of fuel or how fast you were allowed to go. Industrialists are experts at improving you ship's speed and fuel tank capacity. They are the SUV drivers of the galactic age.
  • The Futurists are ecologically friendly, aware that even the galaxy is a closed system and that all that fuel will run out someday. They're masters of efficiency, the Futurists continue to search for ways to reduce sentient impact on the galactic environment. The Futurists can improve your ships drive efficiency and your cargo space through better miniaturization and packing techniques.

Movement and control:

When you start the game, your ship (denoted by a circular coloured cursor) is circling a random star on a minor spiral arm of the galaxy. Your ship has 40 liters of antimatter fuel, you have 100 Melnorme Spacebucks to your name, and your ship has no upgrades. Your ship will move very slowly and you will burn fuel very quickly.

Early going is hard. You ship is slow, burns fuel quickly, and your radar is so primitive
you can barely find an artifact! Best to upgrade your ship quickly before you run out of fuel.

To zoom into the galaxy and find your spaceship, you can either type in the sector number (note the small numbers at the corner of each of the nine blue squares) or press * (or HOME) to fast zoom to your ship's location. You can also use your mouse to click on your ship's location and zoom in.

The green selector cursor scans stars and allows you to navigate your ship. Moving the cursor with the keypad and hitting ENTER will allow you to travel to another star. CTRL+1-9 will allow you to pan to a neighbouring sector. You can also use the mouse: click on stars to move your cursor, double click to move your ship. Once your radar is upgraded, moving the cursor allows you to aim your radar in a particular direction.


At the start of the game, your ship is equipped with a primitive radar device for detecting alien worlds and worlds with artifacts on them. The radar's rotating arc will flash and make a noise if it has detected an artifact or alien world. A purple flash and high pitched radar noise indicates an alien homeworld is somewhere in the radar beam. A green flash and a low pitched radar noise indicate an artifact is somewhere in the radar beam.

At first, you can't even aim your radar. With radar upgrades
you can actually see the location, type of artifacts and alien
stars, and eventually artifact value. Omni-directional radar level 9
(shown above) lets you find artifacts in a sector very quickly.


A low value Ancient artifact,
a medium value industrialist artifact,
and a high value Futurist artifact.
Note the new graphics for Release C.

If you travel to a star system with an artifact, you will collect it. Artifacts are collected automatically and placed into your cargo hold if you have the space to carry them. Artifacts come in three types: red for Ancient, blue for Industrialist, and green for Futurist, and three values: $ for low value, $$ for medium value, and $$$ for high value. If you take an artifact to an alien world of the same type they will offer to take the artifact in exchange for information about your goal. Or you can sell the artifact for cash.

Talking to aliens:

When visiting a star system with an alien homeworld, you will be hailed. Aliens send greetings and offer to trade artifacts for information about your quest, and offer to purchase artifacts from you and upgrade your ship at the market.

Selling artifacts:

Early in the game, it's best to sell your artifacts for cash so that you can upgrade your ship. However, not all aliens pay the same price for an artifact: Aliens will pay triple for artifacts that interest them. It's best to be market savvy and sell to the highest bidder.

Market Value of Artifacts
Market ValueMarket Value to
interested aliens
$ Low ValueM$10M$30
$$ Medium ValueM$40M$120
$$$ High ValueM$70M$210

These artifacts can be sold for a lot of money.
You'll need all that cash for expensive ship upgrades.
Note that aliens pay triple for artifacts they're interested in.

NOTE! Artifacts are now colour coded on the market screen to let you know what type they are. This is an interim solution. A better market screen will be developed for a later release.


Upgrades are important. Without them,
you're not going to get very far.

There are six different upgrades you can purchase for your ship

  • Radar: (purchased from the Ancients) If you upgrade your radar at an Ancient homeworld, you'll be able to aim your radar with the cursor, your radar beam will narrow focus, and eventually you'll be able to detect the exact location and type of alien worlds and artifacts. At Radar Level 8 you'll be able to detect an artifacts value from a distance. At Radar Level 9 your radar becomes omni-directional. At Radar 10 you can actually zoom out a level to get "Super Radar", and scan 9 sectors at once.

NOTE! Radar only works if your ship is actually in a sector! You need to travel to new sectors to scan them.

  • Comp: (purchased from the Ancients) Computer upgrades are not implemented at this time. In future releases, the Computer upgrade will give info on enemy players positions and even allow you to intercept their transmissions or hack into their computers and steal their information!. For now, Comp has been upgraded to maximum by default (so you don't waste your money on an upgrade that doesn't exist yet).
  • Speed: (purchased from the Industrialists) The Speed upgrade exponentially increases the speed of your ship. Without a Speed upgrade, your ship will be very slow. Be sure to find an Industrialist homeworld for an upgrade as soon as possible. With a Speed of 10, you can travel halfway across the galaxy in seconds, if you have enough fuel on board.
  • Tank: (purchased from the Industrialists) The Tank upgrade increases the size of your fuel tank. With maximum Speed, Tank, and Drive upgrades, you can travel halfway across the galaxy in seconds!

NOTE! Watch your fuel carefully! Running out of fuel is the best way to lose in the early game. Later versions of the game will have an expensive rescue option for stranded players, as well as better indicators for low fuel.

  • Drive: (purchased from the Futurists) The Drive upgrade increases drive efficiency. Without this upgrade you will waste fuel at a tremendous rate. Fuel efficiency is critical for traveling long distances, and cost savings on fuel are huge, so this is a desirable early upgrade.
  • Cargo: (purchased from the Futurists) Cargo upgrades increase the number of artifacts you can carry at one time. Once an artifact is in your cargo hold, you can only extract it at an alien world, so having sufficient cargo space is essential.

NOTE! There is presently no way to discard cargo, or swap out cargo for a different artifact if your cargo holds are full, so be sure to empty your cargo holds frequently. The ability to flush cargo into space will be added in a future release.


Aliens will trade artifacts of interest to them for information about the location of the prize artifact. Information is the ultimate commodity of the game. It excludes a large portion of the galaxy from your search. With the right information you can find an artifact in a matter of minutes and win the game. Even with the best radar, a random search of the galaxy would take days or weeks!

NOTE! In the early game, you may not want to trade artifacts for information. Expensive artifacts can be sold for a lot of cash, and that money can be used to buy critical upgrades your ship. Be sure to sell artifacts to aliens who would be interested in them for a triple cash bonus!

Alien Archaeologists love to share information, but at a price.
Futurists give information about square sectors.
Note the excluded red region on the minimap.

Information takes the form of an excluded region of the galaxy map:

Ancients give circular information, about how far an artifact is from your present location.

Cheap ($) Ancient artifacts will buy information that the artifact is a circular area, between two distances a wide range apart.
Average ($$) Ancient artifacts will buy information that the artifact is in a circular area, between two distances a medium range apart.
Expensive ($$$) Ancient artifacts do both, and let you know the artifact is in a circular area, between two distances a narrow range apart..

NOTE! Ancient Artifact information has been changed for Release C. Now all artifacts give a range of two radii.

NOTE! Two expensive ancient artifacts can be used to triangulate artifact position!

Industrialists information gives a galactic compass direction to where the prize artifact can be found.

Cheap ($) Industrial artifacts will buy information that the artifact is NOT in a certain direction.
Average ($$) Industrial artifacts will buy information is in a certain direction (e.g. North)
Expensive ($$$) Industrial artifacts will buy information that an artifact is in a specific direction (e.g. due north-east) and exclude a larger area of the galaxy from your search.

NOTE! Aliens always give the same information for an artifact of a certain value. Two artifacts of the same value traded in for information at the same alien star will provide the same information, and be a waste of precious money! However, if there are two different worlds of aliens in the same sector, they will give different information.

Futurists give sector information, including or excluding map sectors from your search.

Cheap ($) futurist artifacts will buy information that the artifact is not in a nearby group of sectors.
Average ($$) futurist artifacts will buy information that the artifact is not in a larger area of sectors.
Expensive ($$$) futurist artifacts will buy information that the artifact is in a different sector.

NOTE! Futurist Artifact information has been changed for Release C. Artifact information now properly reflects exclusion from other sectors if you're close to the artifact. Even though Poor Futurist artifacts exclude a small region of the galaxy most of the time, if you are close to the artifact, they exclude a much larger area.

NOTE! Futurists correct map data. Futurists give their information by looking at your current sector location (e.g. 555-1341) and looking for digits out of place. If while trading an expensive Futurist artifact for information, if the prize artifact is in sector 431-4141, and you're in sector 555-5555, the Futurists will tell you it's in a sector with prefix 4. If you were instead in sector 431-6141, they'd tell you the artifact was in a sector starting with 431-4...

When you gather information, part of your map and your minimap will turn red. Red areas are areas of the galaxy where your artifact will NOT be found. Explore and search for information in the black areas of the map.

Combined Industrialist and Futurist information
exclude a large portion of the map.

User Interface:

The minimap gives an overview of your position in the galaxy, and will also display information received from aliens.

NOTE! The minimap will be upgraded in future releases to zoom in when a large area has been eliminated from your search.

The overview panel, to the left of the minimap, gives different information depending on what you're doing. Zoomed it, it shows how far away a star is, how much fuel it will take to get there, and how long it will take to get there. When zoomed out, the Overview panel gives information about the sector you're looking at.

NOTE! The Overview panel needs a major overhaul and will be upgraded in later releases. This panel will eventually show graphics of stars, aliens and artifacts.

Messages about your progress are displayed in the messages panel, below the minimap. Messages tell you which stars you have visited, the name of the artifact you have found, and in multiplayer about what your opponents are up to.

The cargo hold gives an iconic summary of artifacts you have collected. The names of the artifacts you find are displayed in the message area. The X's indicate the maximum size of your cargo hold, as determined by your cargo upgrade.


As you play you will initially gather artifacts to sell for cash to improve your ship, and later trade those artifacts for information. As you explore space, the region of space where the artifact must be will be narrowed down to a tiny strip. Sometimes there are a few aliens in this space who can help you, but once you narrowed down your search you may just have to move fast and scan those last few sectors yourself!

NOTE! The more space that is excluded, the harder it is to find good artifacts to trade for information. You may have to enter the red region of space to find the very best artifacts to sell for information. "Shopping trips" to the core are useful to pick up a wealth of artifacts to trade for information. Once your search is limited to just a few sectors, zooming out one level and using the powerful "Super Radar" (Radar Level 10) is also useful for finding that last artifact.

The more information you trade for, the smaller the space you need to explore
This player is almost there...

After gathering enough information and some determined searching, you will eventually find the artifact and be presented with a victory screen and a time of completion. (Hit ENTER to quit the game from the victory screen.) Or a multiplayer game, another player could find the artifact first. You'll see a consolation screen detailing the artifact you almost found, along with a cursor showing the artifact position. The network game will restart 30 seconds after the last artifact was found.

Victory at last! 31 minutes is a bit slow, but not if you're taking screenshots.


At present, multiplayer network play is much like single player local game. A color for your ship's cursor and a name will be assigned to you. You can see where your opponents ships are, and get some hints as to where they may be searching.

NOTE! At present, there is only one network server, which is configured for a maximum of 32 players. I have tested the game with 8 players on a local network and the server appears to work well. I've also tested the game over wireless to simulate a network connection and it also appears to work fine. 32 person multiplayer is untested, so please understand if there are server crashes or if the whole thing doesn't work. If the server goes down, please send me a message via the form on the web site.

In theory the game server should be able to take more players, but I have no idea what that would do for game balance. The maximum number of acceptable players will be fine tuned over the coming weeks.

8. New for Release C (SVN 335)

Release C focused on refining the multiplayer experience, but there were many other updates as well.

Here are all the changes that went into Release C:

  • Network code should be stable now. The addition of threaded network envelopes should prevent server hanging. Server messages are now properly detected and rapidly sent messages are no longer lost (thanks to zear for helping me test this).
  • New Cargo Icon graphics from Pat Ferguson.
  • New Animated Futurist Alien from Pat Ferguson.
  • Artifact naming for Ancient artifacts is completed.
  • Multiplayer chat has been added. Hit T to start a chat, Enter to send a message, ESC to abort a message. Foreign language characters should be supported. (Thank you Klaus!)
  • Fixed a bug where buying fuel at beginning of game would crash the game.
  • Fixed a bug where if you were visiting aliens, went to an empty sector and hit enter, you'd be talking to the aliens again.
  • Slowed maximum ship speed. Should slow down the endgame somewhat.
  • Futurist information now properly excludes sectors if you're closer to the artifact.
  • Ancient information is now always in a range, no matter what the value of the artifact. The delta of the range will decrease with more valuable artifacts.
  • Rare artifacts can now only be found 5% of the time (instead of 10)
  • Wrapped network send code in a threaded envelope. Should prevent server hangs.
  • Servers, clients now properly detect disconnection.
  • Huge improvements to rendering time for Radar Surface and Information surface. Testers are now reporting the game is playable in all region of the galaxy, even for slower computers.
  • Linux fps now improved so that 33fps is attainable. (Busy loop is the only practical way to do this in SDL, unfortunately)
  • Frame pan rate, cursor move rate now keyed to clock, not fps.
  • Fixed a networking bug where messages sent in rapid succession were lost. Messages should no longer be lost.
  • Artifacts on the Alien Interface are now colour coded so you can tell them apart.
  • User is now prompted if they want to quit if they hit escape.
  • Fixed a bug where it was possible on some interface screens to hide the cursor on the next interface screen page.
  • Increased key repeat speed (for chat).
  • Made "No" the default option when being offered to trade artifact for information.
  • Fixed a bug where high priced Industrialist artifacts didn't render their information properly at 22.5 degree angles.
  • Hopefully the Babababa bug is gone for good.
  • Fixed a bug where the mouse cursor occasionally dissapeared on zoom.
  • Fixed a but where if you mouse clicked at the edge of the screen while zooming into level 7, the screen would pan.
  • Removed system rand() calls, replacing with a new algorithm.
  • Fixed a bug where Industrialist artifact information would not show up properly on the minimap.
  • Added comments to code in preparation for public release.

9. Known Bugs with Release C

  • If you're traveling the HOME/* key will take you to your destination, not the location of your ship, which is annoying. You can still change direction mid flight.
  • Two cheap industrial artifacts cashed in the same sector but from different stars, that provide info offset by 90 degrees will give weird visual artifacts for the green line showing the border.
  • Galaxy graphics are being cut off in various sectors (e.g. 556)
  • Message and interface Scroll Rate should be keyed to time, not frame rate.
  • Some oddness with sector panning and the final position of stars. (e.g. Go to sector 275-4448, then pan left, then right. A star will be visible on the left side of the screen near the bottom which cannot be selected. The star is really in the sector to the left: 275-4447
  • Some oddness with star positioning. Sector 856-8351 has a star at the top left (Xefaxido) which allows you to scan this sector and the one to the left (856-8343)
  • Artifact sales screen can occasionally have so much text it goes off the bottom of the screen.
  • Angular Radar Wedge also suffers from integer degree stutter bug.

10. Release D and beyond

I need to take a break from this for a while, and won't be releasing debug/test versions for at least a week after release. Release D will arrive sometime around the end of February, and will add more features to the game. Where I focus my work will depend on the results of feedback from Release C. Release D will also be an alpha, incomplete release.

  • Computer upgrades: Memory of ship's path, memory of alien worlds, ship GPS, and others.
  • Ability to save/continue single player game.
  • Game scores (single and multiplayer)
  • Network chat admin features (Kick/Ban rowdy/cheating players)
  • Clickable mouse control for interfaces
  • Allow user to select name, ship color?
  • A way to dump cargo
  • Alert for low fuel
  • Emergency rescue for out of gas
  • Better ship cursor/traveling ship effect
  • Possible velocity/acceleration model for space travel.
  • Visual displayed fuel circle (for how far you can go without running out of fuel)
  • Minimap will zoom in when other surrounding sectors can be excluded.
  • Stellar distribution for Population II stars (core, popII halo cluster stars... PopI stars in the arms are already done, popII stars are older and don't have big giants in the core)
  • Artifact Naming needs to be completed.
  • Alien interface needs subtext talking about upgrades and what they do.
  • Alien Images for Ancients, Industrialists.
  • Sector Overview/Star Overview (to left of Minimap) needs massive improvements and new graphics.
  • Graphical ship information at bottom right.
  • Improved font for Interface options.
  • New sound effects and music for aliens, radar.
  • Intro screen Graphic
  • New Main Menu
  • Instructions
  • Game Options
  • Achievements/High Scores
  • Credits
  • Better ship cursor when traveling/orbiting
  • Redo Joystick interface for DPad (will need to press 4+Enter to sector navigate, as D-Pad doesn't have a center click)
  • Computer upgrades implemented
  • Ship Computer voice?
  • Alien Voices?

11. Feedback!

Thank you for taking the time to read this document! Please post your ideas for improving the game at the forums. Please report any bugs on the feedback form on the games' webpage.

12. Thanks

I have many people to thank in getting this game to this stage. GP32X's gp2x and Pandora developer forums have been a huge help getting me off the ground. Lazyfoo's SDL Tutorials have been invaluable getting me started with SDL.

Thanks also to the folks at #sdl and #c++ on, and to #gamedev on for answering multiple queries from a frustrated programmer at the oddest hours of the night. Thanks the members of the forums for many ideas and extensive testing of the game.

Thank you to Pat Ferguson, who has started work on the game graphics and music. Hopefully Galactic Artifact will have an even more polished work in the future.

My wife has played a crucial role in game testing and in selecting names for artifacts. My children have also playtested the game and have had a helpful hand in some of the interface design, choosing colours for the multiplayer spaceships.