Battlestar Galactica Online Is Coming

By Jim Rossignol on March 9th, 2010 at 8:57 pm.


Oh no! RPS’s TV-news champion John Walker is unavailable to post this news because he is stricken with gut-horror and must away to bed. The more mite! RPS readership, please use your psychic powers en masse to make him better. Anyway, German browser-MMO types Bigpoint are making a Battlestar game. It’s being developed in the Unity engine as a browser-embedded 3D game, seemingly to be available for a limited time only. Also this stuff: “Players will be able to choose to play as cylons or humans in a constant struggle to control the universe or just survive its perils. A blend of tactical space combat, exploration, and mission-based gameplay will provide a diverse experience. The dramatic missions will define the game’s overall storyline, enabling the player to delve into mysteries of the Battlestar universe.”

And teaser website here. Full press release below.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The global market leader in browser-based Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG), Bigpoint, (http://bigpoint.com) will be demonstrating the next generation of client-free PC gaming at Game Developers Conference 2010. Leading its product slate for 2010 will be Battlestar Galactica Online, a tactical space combat and adventure MMOG based upon Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica series. The MMOG, inspired by one of the most popular science fiction series in television history, will launch worldwide exclusively this fall on Syfy.com for a 30 day period. The Unity co-developed MMOG will offer state of the art graphics that can be played directly in an Internet browser. The teaser website for Battlestar Galactica Online is available at http://www.bgo.bigpoint.com and Bigpoint will be discussing this announcement at booth 2038 at Game Developers Conference, March 9th-12th. Battlestar Galactica Online is licensed through Universal Partnerships & Licensing, on behalf of the NBC Universal Television Consumer Products Group.

Battlestar Galactica is the gripping saga of humanity’s last remnants and their struggle to find a new home while fleeing from their deadly Cylon enemies. Redefining the space opera with its gritty realism, Galactica’s intensity, issues-driven topicality, and command performances have garnered it numerous awards, including three Emmy(R) Awards and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. The show was recognized by the American Film Institute (AFI) as one of the most outstanding programs of the year two years running. The series was produced by Universal Cable Productions and executive produced by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick. The outstanding ensemble cast was led by Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer and Grace Park.

“Battlestar Galactica is a supremely gameable intellectual property, with compelling character classes, a fantastic array of ships and weaponry, multiple worlds, and a dramatic storyline,” said Bill Kispert, VP & GM, Digital Platforms, Universal Partnerships & Licensing. ” We are excited to work with Bigpoint – and our partners at Universal Cable Productions and Syfy – to bring an epic, accessible, and ‘always on’ BSG experience to fans of the franchise and online gamers alike.”

“Cooperation between Bigpoint and NBC Universal is a very important strategic step for us,” explains Heiko Hubertz, CEO and founder of Bigpoint. “Battlestar Galactica has a huge and passionate fan base. We are proud to be able to publish such an internationally famous title as one of our online games. For the first time ever, we’re relying completely on Unity in order to offer our users fantastic game graphics right in their browsers.”

Battlestar Galactica Online is the first game inspired by a blockbuster Hollywood franchise to be fully developed on Unity technology for MMO audiences. This platform independent engine makes it possible to produce real-time 3D applications such as MMO games with exceptionally high quality graphics without having to download a client.

Players will be able to choose to play as cylons or humans in a constant struggle to control the universe or just survive its perils. A blend of tactical space combat, exploration, and mission-based gameplay will provide a diverse experience. The dramatic missions will define the game’s overall storyline, enabling the player to delve into mysteries of the Battlestar universe. Battlestar Galactica Online will create a new standard for web games, with beautiful 3d graphics and innovative game mechanics bringing a new level of game play to browser based MMOG. Assets from the television production will be integrated into the game to deliver an even more authentic experience.

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57 Comments »

  1. amishmonster says:

    Of all the Sci-Fi universes out there, Battlestar seems like the least-adaptable to the MMO format. I hate to go into something so skeptical; maybe they’ll pull off an amazing concept that fits the show nicely. But in terms of mainstream MMO mechanics or conventions, there’s not a lot of Battlestar’s key aspects that could be translated over.

  2. Shon says:

    After three years of playing, your human character has a 5% chance of being a secret Cyclon all along.

  3. 678 says:

    Browser-based ? Sounds like casual. And LOL at the tag

  4. GT3000 says:

    I’d bang a cyclon. Yeah. Even in robot destroyer mode. Wanna fight about it?

  5. Thirith says:

    This is about as likely to happen as that Firefly MMO, I’d wager.

  6. mcwizardry says:

    Feel better, John Walker !

  7. Vinraith says:

    May John’s recovery be swift, and his fever dreams Longest Journey related.

  8. amishmonster says:

    Yes John, use Cylon Projection to feel better! It’s the power of the mind.

    Psst everyone, now we can find out if John’s a Cylon or not. Get the airlock ready.

  9. Plagiarism says:

    News = interesting.

    Tags = hilarious.

    Unity impresses me more with each web-based game that comes out on it (the recent interstellar marines especially) so I’m keen to see what they can produce.

    Oh, and cheap shot, but you could while away the hours waiting for Ubisoft’s severs to recover from their ‘attacks’ with some cylon action. (hur hur?)

  10. Tom O'Bedlam says:

    *jaw drops*

    A time limited MMO set in the BGS universe? Oh my… What an interesting idea. I was recently discussing this sort of idea with a friend. My opinion was that the BSG universe couldn’t function in a traditional MMO due to the constraints of travelling in the fleet and there being an eventual destination. Obviously that suggests that open ended wouldn’t work particularly well and that there would be an extremely limited selection of maps that the action could take place on. Also, unless combat was massively sidelined to make way for more dialogue heavy plots it would seem to require the player to be a Viper pilot or a marine (though there’s an interesting possibility for some players to RTS while others FPS/space sim, like the guys suggested in the latest Wireless show), or for the universe to be made a lot more directly aggressive than the show presents.
    However, if the story only takes place over 30 days of real time that gets rid of one of my objections…

    Personally, I’d really like to see a single player RPG in the universe, perhaps with the main character being a civilian at the time of the Cylon attack on Caprica, then being recruited into the Marines or as a nugget. That could prove very interesting.

    • Tom O'Bedlam says:

      I realise that the classes I want in single player are what I just complained about in MMO. I’m mercurial.

      And stupid.

  11. Rosti says:

    I don’t often say this about entities I adore, but the Battlestar Galatasaray board game is all the BSG game I need. Not that I won’t poke my nose in, just that I’m not going to hold my breath.
    Equally, it’s past the window of being actively relevant for cash-in purposes so maybe they’ve got some clever ideas.

    More importantly: Get well sooner, John.

    • Tom O'Bedlam says:

      the BSG boardgame is easily the best £50 i spent last year. I’ve not yet got the expansion, have you played it?

    • amishmonster says:

      Pegasus is a pretty strong addition – the Pegasus board especially (Airlocking!) My group is torn on the New Caprica phase (which kind of extends the end game). Overall it seems to balance things a bit more and provide more options.

    • Rosti says:

      @ Tom O’Bedlam: I’ve only just picked up Pegasus, so I’m yet to play with any of the components. My gut feeling is that the new skill cards & treachery deck add a good breadth of actions/choices to the game (not to mention making the ‘Sorry, I didn’t draw that card type. Gah!’ line more believable), but I’d have to see the other rules in action to judge ‘em fairly.
      In any case, each component is highly modular, so whilst I doubt I’ll like them all I’ll certainly use most with players who’ve seen the base game before. I don’t know if it was ‘worth it’ yet, but if you enjoyed the original there’s likely to be a lot you like in there – it’s just not ‘necessary’.

      Incidentally, board games have ISBNs, so you can use Book Butler to find the least expensive copy online, if that’s of interest (Pegasus is 1589946782).

    • sigma83 says:

      As co-operative board games go, howzit?

    • Rosti says:

      @sigma83: I love it, though it does come in two distinct phases. Initially, it’s a game of trust – when Team Human aren’t forced to make lose-lose decisions between their various resources, they’re faced with the fact that the ‘optimum’ solution to any problem relies on the players working together. Which doesn’t always end well.
      As an example, there’s a card that can be played to exchange your action for the turn to give another player 2 actions (or a move & action). It’s strictly more efficient but playing it on an hidden Cylon player at a pivotal moment can be devastating.

      Once all the traitors have been revealed it does settle into a properly cooperative game, although the secrecy rule remain in effect to stop each team acting ‘perfectly’. For the Humans that generally means damage control, with an excellent feeling of just scraping along when the game is working properly. For the Cylons, the aim is simply to throw as much poo at the fleet as possible. In either case, the trick is applying resources cleverly and the last few turns aren’t comfortable for anyone if the game goes the distance.

    • Rosti says:

      @sigma83: Oh, and if you are considering it, Fantasy Flight have put the rule books online here, though I’d still recommend tracking down a copy to try it before investing in it.

      And of course, none of the above is a properly though out review, just some thoughts. And I’m *hugely* biased by quite liking the series.

    • sigma83 says:

      ZOMG THANKS.

      *will devour rules as soon as is ables*

      I love show toos.

  12. MWoody says:

    My guess: it will be a BSG-branded version of Werewolf/Mafia.

    • Dean says:

      That’s not far off the board game really. A load of board game style mechanics layered on top of it but it really is a social game at heart.

    • Rosti says:

      @ MWoody: That’s pretty much how I sell the game to friends. Unlike Mafia/Werewolf, it *nearly* works with the social bit, but that’s definitely the core. Unlike chuffin’ Ludo.

  13. Tom OBedlam says:

    This gives me an excuse to post an image I made a while back…

  14. CalebArchon says:

    For some reason this reminds me of the Sopranos themed pinball machine.

  15. PC Monster says:

    I’m sure the MMO will have all the religious themes, nuanced emotional interplays and clever social commentary of the recent series the press release is taking great pains to associate itself with….

    …not.

    “a fantastic array of ships and weaponry”

    Ships, yes, but most of them were civilian. Weaponry? Vipers = machine guns and missiles. Battlestars / Cylon Base-stars = bigger missiles and flak guns. Cylon Raiders = machine guns, missiles and the occassional radiological nuke. Hardly the widest array of weaponry ever assembled.

    Talk about square peg, round hole. I predict still-birth.

  16. Leelad says:

    <—- Want to play as, Thanks!!

  17. Fitz says:

    Well, at least this time there’ll be an excuse for all the characters looking identical.

  18. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    What are the chances Bigpoint might create anything inspired?

    None. Expect micropayments.

  19. Mackay says:

    Whoever you play, whatever you do, whichever choices you make, it won’t make any difference because it’s all God’s Plan anyway.

  20. Fitz says:

    Oh. And Walker? Get well soon.

  21. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Syfy! Also, SOLID! And…yeah, get well John….

    …SYFY!

  22. DanPryce says:

    I’m going to be keeping a very close eye on this one. I’m expecting the worst – Battlestar’s last foray into games was shocking to say the least and nothing thus far is giving me any great hope about this project. But I desperately want to be proved wrong.

  23. Seth says:

    http://www.diaspora-game.com

    Good time to plug that, methinks. It is what Beyond the Red Line became.

  24. AlexW says:

    I call dibs on God.

  25. the wiseass says:

    If this game will be anything like the series, this is how it will turn out:

    Beginning: Off to a promising start. Nice effects, funky storyline, decent boobage, good action, slightly confusing.

    Midgame: More confusing, leaving open story ends left and right mixed with a rising feeling of “what the fuck is going on here”.

    Endgame: Everything is completely falling apart, nothing makes sense anymore. All your ingame achievements will be hurled into the sun and your character turns into a religious Luddite. Game over!

    • Vinraith says:

      @the wiseass

      You forgot the part at the very end where you have sex with an entire population of early hominids and are then attacked by an army of toy robots.

  26. TheApologist says:

    Pretty disappointing, huh?

  27. Ginger Yellow says:

    Hmm. If any IP could get me to invest in an MMO, it’s this one (well, this and Firefly, but we all know how that turned out). But as mentioned above, it would make much more sense as an RPG. And what I really want is a computer version of the board game.

  28. Breaker Morant's Ghost says:

    Tedious Filler and a Shit End: The Game

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Honestly, as much as I’ve enjoyed Firefly, Farscape, Babylon 5 and – the best if you ask me, who really cares about fancy effects – Blake’s 7, BSG ended up eating it’s own arse from the inside.

      Politics, stereotypes, grit, grit, and more grit. Characters with so many shades of gray to them, they just became totally un-fucking-likeable. But then I can imagine that many, many Americans would lap this shit up. The utter raping of All Along The Watchtower was the final nail in the coffin for me.

      As for the game, how likely is it that it’ll be EVE Online with less space battles, more bitching over territory and who God is supposed to be, because there is one, right?

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Honestly, BSG ended up eating its own arse from the inside. Politics, stereotypes, grit, grit, and more grit. Characters with so many shades of gray to them, they just became totally un-fucking-likeable. But then I can imagine that many, many Americans would lap this shit up. The utter raping of All Along The Watchtower was the final nail in the coffin for me.

      As for the game, how likely is it that it’ll be EVE Online with less space battles, more bitching over territory and who God is supposed to be, because there is one, right?

      Disclaimer: I enjoyed Firefly, Blake’s 7 and Babylon 5.

    • Resin says:

      I loved the beginning of this series so much, it made the painful decline and crap ending just that much harder to bear. 0 interest in an MMO for this series.

  29. Elt says:

    Browser-based? No thanks. I have yet to see a single browser-based game that was capable of holding my attention for more than 5 seconds.

    Wish they were making a REAL game out of it. With real graphics, and real controls.

    Web browsers are for browsing. Not playing.

  30. _Nocturnal says:

    I’m… I… Wha….

    Anyone remember that Xbox Live Arcade game from a couple of years back?
    It’s also on PC, and I like it very much actually.
    This though? Even stranger.

  31. Ballisticsfood says:

    Well, If they can manage decent inertial space combat it might just grab my attention. That’s the only feature that might grab my attention though. Graphics and reliability go straight out of the window with the word ‘browser’, and as for story…

  32. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    But I’ll get to frak some toasters, right?

  33. Wooly says:

    Syfy sounds like Syphilils…

    That is to say, awful.

  34. Bret says:

    Wooly said:
    Syfy sounds like Syphilils…

    That is to say, awful.

    Accurate, but it’s been said before.

  35. Dante says:

    I’ve never really gotten the love for Battlestar Galactica, it’s just so relentlessly dark you end up not really giving a damn what happens to anyone. It amazes me that so many Star Trek fans seem to have migrated there, considering it seems the polar opposite in attitude.

  36. Rinox says:

    <——— wants to play as

  37. bill says:

    You spelled sci-fi wrong.

  38. Ginger Yellow says:

    “I’ve never really gotten the love for Battlestar Galactica, it’s just so relentlessly dark ”

    I think you’ve answered your own question there. Some of us like our sci-fi dark. That said, you’ve got a point about Star Trek fans – I’ve never got along with that show precisely because of its abundant optimism and do-gooderism.

    • amishmonster says:

      I’ve always been happy with both – they fill entirely separate niches in my entertainment consumption, though. And then there’s the happy middle-ground of Babylon 5, which I would argue is the most ripe for a video game. Though you’d probably run into some of the same issues; i.e. it’s ultimately character-driven and the fight scenes, while awesome, are kind of a backstage to politicking and character growth.

  39. pagad says:

    BSG Fleet Commander already exists. This is pointless.

    http://battlestarmod.com/

    After the colossal pile of shit that was the series ending, this consists of the only part of the series worth revisiting (read: the space battles)

  40. paulselnd says:

    hope you know they say FREE but to play it you will have to put a MIN of £500
    to build up your ship to make it even slightly playable..

    plus you will be dealing with the Rudest non English speaking
    company EVER who ban,steal,delete accounts
    on a daily basis an hire “Mods” aka ‘Players’ to spy on you

    Bigpoints have a lovely little rule that if you dont play your account for more than 4 weeks then can delete it, even if you have put around £2000 on it!! happens all the time… what a terrible company Bigpoints is)

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