“We remember, love, and respect old games such as ‘Star Control’, ‘Elite’, ‘Master of Orion’, ‘Homeworld’, ‘Space Rangers’. These games were made in the era of lack of complicated special effects or impressive graphics, but they are at least as entertaining as the most up-to-date ones.”
‐ Dodo Games, Kickstarter.com
Yes, Kickstarter is starting to boom! I recently discovered another project that Star Control fans will definitely enjoy. This a video game called “Divine Space” from Russian developer, Dodo Games. It will be first released for Apple’s iOS/Android and a PC/Mac/Linux version will be released in the future.
Divine Space will be a 3D space action/adventure/RPG that is based on real-world astronomical data, easy-to-learn controls and a real-time combat system. It will also be a form of hard science fiction, meaning the game will stick to accurate scientific facts and details.
Although not too many details have been given to the plot, it is based on a real-life scientific discovery of a star system with the possibility of a planet that can be inhabited by humans:
“The plot of the game begins at one of those stars - Gliese 581, which is very important for modern research programs: scientists have discovered exoplanets there, where alien life is possible.
DARPA, NASA, ESA, Roscosmos - all are looking for ways to colonize such planets. We anticipate that by 2045 the solution will be found, since now, in the world where we live, the rate of technological change doubles every decade. This is where the story of Divine Space begins.”
“…Suffice it to say, together we will look at how humanity might evolve after the establishment of the US colonial base near the exoplanet Gliese 581 g.”
Here are a few things that Star Control fans may find familiar:
- The player's ship can be fully customized by mixing and matching various components.
- Search and gather resources such as precious metals and trade them for profit
- There is a 3D starmap like Star Control 1. The starmap is searchable!
One thing that I like about this game is that it shares similarities with Star Control, is completely different from other mainstream games such as Mass Effect and gives a unique experience that immerses the player with controlling the ship directly.
If Divine Space reaches its $100,000 goal, the game will be free for everyone to play. Players can pay through microtransactions to play through the game faster with stats bonuses and item discounts. However, it is possible to play through the entire game start to finish without spending a cent and still have a complete experience.
It’s nice to see that Kickstarter is becoming synonymous with “independent development”. I believe it gives smaller projects the opportunity to present themselves online and avoid the cliché announcing your project online and hoping to “get discovered” by a friendly publisher.* Don’t get me wrong, if it works for them, congratulations! It’s just that Kickstarter at least allows people to choose how to contribute.
Dodo Games will be accepting pledges until November 23, 9 AM EST. If you can afford to support them and enjoy Science Fiction, I highly recommend supporting Divine Space. The game will be available to mobile and PC platforms for free and this project can be used as an example that sci-fi games that place an emphasis on spaceship control and customization can be successful. The more independent sci-fi hits are out there, the more likely that publishers will take Star Control seriously.
What do you think of Divine Space and its integration with scientific facts?
- Edit: Speaking of “getting discovered”, did you know that actress Natalie Portman was discovered at a Pizza Parlor at the age of 9?