Continuum is a two-dimensional space shooter computer game. This freeware game incorporates quasi-realistic zero-gravity into a massively multiplayer online game. The action is viewed from above (aerial view), which presents challenges very different from those of a three-dimensional game. The game has no built-in story or set of goals; players may enter a variety of servers, each of which have differing objectives, levels, sounds, and graphics.
Continuum was originally known as Subspace when public beta testing began in 1996. It was released commercially in 1998 with a list price of US$30 for unlimited play. It required no monthly or hourly fees. The game was developed by the United States branch of now-defunct Virgin Interactive (abbreviated VIE, for Virgin Interactive Entertainment). The very early versions of Subspace were called Sniper. While in the beginning the game only offered four playable ships, a couple of servers, and limited numbers of maps, during a costly and extensive testing period the game developed depth and replay ability unrivaled by many games before and since. When the game was eventually officially released, it was not a commercial success due to poor marketing and the relative newness of the massively multiplayer online genre. In addition, after two years of playing for free, many core players were so addicted that when the beta ended, they refused to pay for a game that they had beta tested for two years and instead developed software cracks to bypass the CD check. The server software had been distributed with the commercial release, so a few independent servers not run by VIE appeared and gathered a small following. With the demise of VIE, commercially hosted servers were gone, and independent servers were the only choices. The community lost a lot of players, but continued to survive.
Within a short amount of time, cheats such as the Twister hack appeared, forcing a player named PriitK (who also happens to be one of the creators of Kazaa) to reverse-engineer and clone the client while adding lots of anti-cheating features. The client he created, named Continuum, is now the only client allowed to connect to most servers. In addition to the security improvements, Continuum added increased visual and gameplay capabilities. Continuum is not open source; PriitK will not release its source code for security reasons. The newest version of the Continuum client, Continuum 0.40 (which is only a 7.83MB download), can be downloaded here.
I have quite a personal history with Subspace/Continuum as well. I started playing the game in 1995 when I was 11 years old. I became a moderator in my favorite zone called Devastation in 2000. After our zone experienced downtime in 2004/2005, in late 2005 several others and myself-as co-owner, co-system-op, and head of staff-decided to revive it. Since then, my Continuum zone has underwent several server moves and tons of active development by many, but has still survived and is up as SSCX Devastation. I have a great desire for others to play and enjoy the game I grew up playing and loving, especially my zone in which I have fostered zone and community development for all these years. Thus, this [guide] will serve as an intro/overview to the game of Subspace/Continuum and my zone, SSCX Devastation, covering the game's different zones (including mine), ships and items, and some gameplay overview and videos.