More and more games have been building up the space simulation, RTS, and RPG genre overall. More games have been taking the concept of exploring the depths of space however they choose, sometimes engaging in wars, other times simply there for the ride and story content. Starfall Tactics just recently launched its campaign on Kickstarter, introducing itself to the space genre with some unique game mechanics for the RTS/wargame crowd to love.
Space, Gotta Go to Space!
It started with a problem the team noticed:
“… the problem is that they usually tend to lean heavily toward one side or the other. One game might have an expansive universe and complex empire management, but primitive combat. Another might have a deep combat system, but there’s nothing else besides fighting.”
So, Snowforged wanted to take both and find the perfect, well balanced marriage of the two. RTS elements and tactical compact combined with a large universe to explore. About eight months ago, the team went to work creating Starfall Tactics in Unreal Engine 4. After having an small playthrough text and receiving tremendously positive feedback, it was evident the team had a big idea on their hands and this game needed more love and development. Snowforged had big plans of turning Starfall Tactics into a massive multiplayer tactical space game with an expansive galaxy to explore and for that, they turned to Kickstarter to fund the remainder of development to make it as awesome as they envision.
A Fleet? For Me?
You’re not just a pilot making the way in the universe, you now own a fleet. A fleet you have complete customization over, I stress. When playing Starfall Tactics, players have their own fleet to customize, command, do just about whatever they dream of. All of the crafting, however, for the fleet is done through blueprints which can be acquired through battling, purchased with game money, real money, etc. With these blueprints, the ship designs have unlimited potential (both in appearance and structure).
In the universe of Starfall Tactics, it’s awfully hostile out there. The most important aspect of Starfall Tactic’s gameplay is the tactical system which really shines during combat. As mentioned before, the fully customized fleets’ ship components are designed with specific weaponry to control during battles, some offering advantages and disadvantages over each over, specifically placed in sections of the ship. Each vessel has a module where a skill or utility can be added to further customize the ship by determining it’s duty or “build.” So, players are given a lot of creative options when it comes to designing the fleet.
As an example, as mentioned on the Kickstarter page to give you an idea:
“Take, for example, two modules: Cloak System that grants invisibility, and the self-explanatory Self-Destruction. Load them up into a couple of smaller, low-cost ships — and voilà! You now have a team of invisible kamikaze bombers.”
The ships themselves are comprised of three important sections: energy shields, armor, and the structure. When the ship actually takes damage, the ship itself is visually imaged and its structure warped. The distance the enemy is from the players ships will impact the amount of damage their capable of causing, so players must be tactful in their positioning and weaponry usage in battle.
Aside from the tactical combat aspect of gameplay, players have a massive galaxy to explore, filled with various activities to pursue (chasing pirates, trade, exploration). On a more multiplayer scale, there’s three different factions to choose from in Starfall Tactics: Vanguard, Eclipse, and Deprived. Players can pick a faction or create a clan of their own with other players and own a specific section of the galaxy, fending off those who dare tread into your territory (how dare they!). Players have options to pursue both ranked and quick game PVP battles or take the PVE route and do some missions, expand your fleet, and even create new factions.
On May 4th, Snowforged launched Starfall Tactics on Kickstarter, hoping to raise $45,000 by June 11th. Additionally, they launched a Steam Greenlight campaign which is still taking votes. Snowforged has a huge vision for Starfall Tactics that looks amazing. Without the funds from Kickstarter, the team is perfectly capable of finishing the game but it’ll be nowhere near the epic level they have in mind. With the Kickstarter funds, Snowforged will be able to hire on additional people to make it just as they envision. Snowforged is also participating in the Kicking it Forward Kickstarter trend where project runners will contribute 5% of the money they earn off their project after it’s released to other Kickstarter projects.
Thus far $7,754 has been raised thanks to 176 backers.
Among the Stars
Starfall Tactics will technically be a free to play game, available on PC (with Mac and Linux in mind down the line). Booster packs will be available for players to purchase (filled with blueprints) but this doesn’t limit the player in what they can do in Starfall Tactics. More information about this is explained in a recent Kickstarter update.
Favorite game(s): Gone Home, Life is Strange, Back to Bed, Transistor
Non-indie: Mafia II, L.A. Noire, Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle), The Assassin's Creed Series (mainly Brotherhood and Black Flag)
Worked for Cliqist.com from Jan 2013 to Februrary 2014.
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