Space Free For All: Stellar Impact

By Jim Rossignol on October 12th, 2011 at 2:17 pm.

Space for free. Free. Space.
If you were brave/lucky enough to attend our Indie Arcade at the Eurogamer Expo then you might have noticed the quietly majestic Stellar Impact, which is a rather accomplished-looking PvP starship combat game. It’s really quite the thing: somewhere between MOBA-style play and classic ship-to-ship naval warfare, with you having out-manoeuvre your opponent, bring a broadside to bear, and so on. What’s more is that it has a sort of infinite demo, whereby you can play the game for free, but can’t level up your stuff without the full version. Neat! I’ve posted the trailer and also Total Biscuit’s blathering about it below. Go take a look!

UPDATE: Sigh, looks like their site broke as I posted this.

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43 Comments »

  1. Axyl says:

    This game is amazing. I cannot recommend it enough. Was lucky enough to team up with TB for a game the other day, which you can see the Footage of in The Mailbox video from TB dated 11/10/11 (name Axyl).
    I normally suck at MOBAs. Not so with this one. There’s something about the Sci Fi setting and Naval Warfare-esque combat that really clicks with me.
    The Free Account isn’t particularly limiting, but does prevent you from Leveling up until buying a full account.
    However, don’t mistake Leveling up for the only way to increase your power.
    Leveling up is just one of the ways you can customise your ship. Item drops can be added to your ship for various stat boosts, as well as picking the actual Hull and Abilities you want.

    tl;dr – PLAY THIS THING! :)

    *edit* This was a bad idea, so i have removed the stoopid “first” comment. Thank you and sorry. :)

    Also, the site seems to be working fine again now. :)

    • arienette says:

      Poor form sir. I rue the day when ‘First’ enters the common parlance in this small part of the internet.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      “First” you say? Down with this sort of thing.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Quite so, and you run the risk of your entire comment being utterly obliterised if the Hivemind notice and are in a particularly foul mood today. You will find no honour in first-ness here. Indeed, observe how no-one has even referenced the main body of your comment!

    • Thermal Ions says:

      I thought he was indicating that he’d won (come first in) the game with TB. There couldn’t be any other reason to say “first” in an RPS comment.

    • Axyl says:

      Cool. Noted and edited to remove the First.
      Thank you gentlemen for pointing out my enthusiastic error. It shan’t happen again. :)

      On a lighter note, however.. Play Stellar Impact cos it’s utterly brilliant. <3

    • tstapp1026 says:

      Please allow me to say, with an unsurprising lack of couth: I fucking LOVE the RPS community and how well (and with a certain amount of tough love) you govern each other.

      Well played on the calling out of the dreaded “first” comment, and to the credit of the original poster, the humility to realize he had indeed erred in his ways.

      Much love to you all… oh and this game looks amazing!

    • Axyl says:

      That’s why I retracted my comment and apologised. :)
      On any other website, I probably wouldn’t have cared, instead getting defensive or just not replying at all..
      Not so here on RPS however. This is a great community, and when members of it speak about a certain topic, in this case the dreadest “First”.. We should take heed. :)
      Just glad that everyone pulled me up on it, rather than flaming the crap outta me. hehe :D

      And yes, the game really is fantastic. Play it, OMG play it now. :)

    • Durkonkell says:

      Ah, outstanding. We won’t have to fight a duel after all which is good because last time the blood went simply everywhere. It was my fault really, as when my opponent asked me to choose my weapon, I chose Hypervelocity Rotary Evicerator-blades. I suppose we all make mistakes at some point…

      Regardless, I’ve played and enjoyed a little bit of LoL and being a big fan of both science fiction and naval warfare, I believe I’ll have to give this a try. I tend to be better at space-naval stuff than at anything else actually. And in the game (etc.).

  2. mondomau says:

    Had a quick look at this at Eurogamer this year, didn’t hang around to play as it was mid-afternoon and the um, atmosphere in the Arcade was a little thick* . Had a chat with the Dev and it looked great, shame it’s pvp only, but I’m still game.

    *Seriously, next year? Bigger space please – it was one of my favourite parts of the show but the whole thing was boxed in with TONS of floor space going unused all around it. Made it a.) difficult to see anything b.) a bit of a squeeze when you actually got to play something and c.) an excellent advert for deodorant and bodywash.

  3. Chris England says:

    I was very impressed with this at the Expo. The devs were very entertaining too.

  4. James Allen says:

    My review, if interested.

    • Axyl says:

      great review. Very concise and accurate. I like the “out of 8″ twist as well.
      Would that be a subtle jab at the numerical scoring system used by many reviewers that doesn’t actual scale according to anything other than the writer’s personal tastes?
      If so, kudos on the subtle ribbing.
      If not, then ignore me cos I’ve obviously overthought it. lol :)

      However, if I may, I would like to mention that as of a few days ago, the game is pretty well populated for players, as well as having an “Infinite War” mode (still in beta, but active for all players) that does allow you to play the game without *needing* other players.
      Granted, it’s a little dull, but you can play the game, and even earn XP and Item Drops from it.

      I hope you don’t mind me mentioning this, but it seemed that the only major negative points about the game from your review have been addressed, so figured it might be worth bringing to your attention. :)

      If you’ve not played the game in a while, i’d recommend giving it a few more minutes of your time.
      I didn’t play it whilst it was dead, but in the last 3 or 4 days I have seen some very fun matches. :)

    • James Allen says:

      I reviewed it when it was a pay product, so the online population wasn’t so great.
      I was hoping they would make some improvements, as they responded to my review. I simply don’t have time to go back and re-review products as there are always new things coming out.

  5. TsunamiWombat says:

    God damnit stop finding things for me to buy you inconsiderate, i’m a UNI student for god sakes. How am I supposed to graduate at this rate?

  6. ShineDog says:

    Wondering what the hell MOBA was, I was led to the Museum of Bad Art. I am now amused and sated, yet I still don’t know what MOBA means in this context.

    • Axyl says:

      If memory serves, it stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. It’s basically Dota, Lol, HoN and that new F2P one on Steam, Rise of the Immortals or something like that. :)

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, a term coined by Riot or one of it’s founders I THINK (please no HoN flaming if it was someone over at Hon)

    • BurningPet says:

      It is a bad Term coined by a guy named “_Hunter”, Ex dota pro gaming league moderator, and a porn producer who basically vanished after being exposed as being allegedly pedofile. regardless of said accusations, the guy got kicked n’ banned out of LoL Beta for breaking the NDA and trash talking the game in favor of HoN. he then went and founded Honcast.com, a successful stream and VoD site for HoN professional gaming.

      He coined the term to try and “govern” all of the sudden rise in this genre by making a webpage that gather information about 4 of the genre games at the time. (Demigod, LoL, HoN, Dota) an attempt he abandoned after demigod launch fiasco, LoL banning fiasco and having bad reputation in the Dota pro scene.

  7. kael13 says:

    Seems like the Star Battle map on SC2 but with a lot more options. With some polish this could be amazing!

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      My thought exactly. Many times I have said to myself (and whatever unfortunate souls happen to be within transmission range) “star battle could be completely amazing if they developed the maneuevering and positioning a bit, introducing stuff like asteroids and broadsides. My prayers have been answered.

    • Melf_Himself says:

      It’s pronounced “positionment”.

  8. shagen454 says:

    Total Biscuit is the reason I get my ass handed to me in ways I never imagined in SC two. And hes never there to enjoy his influence.

  9. PatrickSwayze says:

    As much as I want to moan about the lack of a Z axis for movement, the game looks really neat.

    Though I did spy some particles from the explosions acting as if they were under gravity…

    Consider it tried.

  10. povu says:

    There’s nothing more devastating to an indie dev’s website than a simultaneous recommendation from both RPS and TB.

  11. Keith Nemitz says:

    Starship battles in Flatland. 2D tactics are an order of magnitude easier than 3D tactics. And they’re still pretty challenging. If this were a standalone game with AI opponents I would have loved to try it out.

    • Montoli says:

      If you are looking for starship battles in 3d, and haven’t checked it out yet, you probably owe it to yourself to go play Homeworld at some point. They made Homeworld 1 (good), along with an expansion, Cataclysm (very good) and a sequel. (Also very good) Full 3d definitely does interesting things to the strategy, just because it is much harder to actually block someone from going somewhere they want to go.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Agree, full 3d space lets you play tactics with smaller ships that otherwise would have no chance with larger classes in a 2d space. Picture 3 or 4 sets of pentagonal course plots (so momentum and acceleration is preserved for each group) each intersecting a capitol ship at wildly different angles/vectors. The speed of quick engagements allow the DPS of the small ships to mitigate that of the larger unless it gets a lucky hit.

    • zeroskill says:

      More complicated mechanics ≠ better competitive game. There are countless examples that proof this, Frozen Synapse comes to mind.

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      And Flotilla! Let’s not forget Flotilla!

  12. Unaco says:

    Did they have to use that song? It should only be listened to as part of the full cycle, dammit.

    As for the game… looks quite nice, but seems a little too fast paced for myself. Will maybe give it a spin sometime though.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Haha, a bit late to start complaining about that don’t you think? That piece has sat firmly in the realm of popular culture for ages. Besides, who are you to say it “should” be listened to in any way at all? Arias from various operas are performed in isolation daily, it is very common. Ouvertures appear quite often as standalone pieces. And by cycle, do you mean the opera, or the cycle of four operas? You make it sound like you’re talking about a song cycle – which is something completely different altogether. Completely meaningless “I know some facts about this thing and I’m going to raise myself above others and stuff it in their faces”.

      Dammit.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      On the other hand, it has certainly been done to death, and it’s use in the video is not very imaginative. But that’s a different thing.

  13. sabrage says:

    Game seems interesting, but yeah, I can’t play it because the site is down.

  14. porps says:

    looks good, if only it worked.

  15. ziusudra says:

    So the game has classical pieces for soundtrack? Because it would be Legend of the Galactic Heroes of awesome, and could make me try the game.

  16. AgamemnonV2 says:

    Why exactly does everyone follow along with the “space is an ocean” trope when it comes to fictional space warfare? Spacecraft and naval vessels are so unbelievably different it’s mind-boggling why in most science fiction stories/movies/games the people flying spacecraft are naval military. The navy knows JACK-ALL about space.

    It’s all in the Air Force, folks. The Air Force already handles all outer planet defenses, surveillance, and attack methods. Who do all the branches go to for intelligence? Who flies for NASA? Where does NASA recruit from? Who handles anything dealing with aerospace and outer space?

    Stargate: SG-1 did it best. It’s all about the Air Force.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Quite aside from the fact that NASA draws from USN and USMC personnel as well, the primary reason that most fictional space navies ARE space navies is not because all their personnel are taken from the “wet navy”, but because the structure of a naval force is more suited to the ‘warships in space’ model.

      Starships have Captains, Executive Officers and Helmsmen. Each ship is an independent command, just like warships in the sea.

      The USAF may be tasked with all the US’s aerospace defense currently, but in the event that a serious “space force” was assembled it would certainly be a different branch of the military – like the Royal Air Force isn’t part of the Army. If this future space force favoured large ships with lots of personnel and a captain, it would probably adopt a naval-style chain of command – the planet’s various Navies are the only forces with analogous units. The fact that the USN doesn’t know anything about space warfare is irrelevant as any theoretical space force would certainly take its personnel from multiple branches!

      Much like NASA.

    • AgamemnonV2 says:

      Your argument about “convenience” falls flat based on something you’ve conveniently missed: flight crews. The structure of command already exists in the Air Force in large enough birds as well (such as C-17s). And unlike the Navy, which deals with 2D battlefields (with the exception of their AIRCRAFT–hint, hint), the Air Force is all about 3D battlefields. They’ve already got people going on that whole “theoretical astrophysics” nonsense about how a “battle” would work out in space, a three-dimensional zero-gravity environment. It’s down-right ridiculous that anyone would think that anyone BUT the Air Force would be the branch that handles the inevitable space combat.

      Which, oops, it already does: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Superiority_Systems_Wing

      Also, NASA takes top pick from the Air Force or from Embry-Riddle grads. When they can’t find the cream of the crop, then they settle for less.

    • MisterT says:

      I logistics transports and small support craft are nothing like a warship, and unless you were to base a space force on almost entirely fighters which may use some other not significantly larger, low-to-no-crew spacecraft as support for rearm/refuel, then the naval analogy IS better for the purposes of fictional story.

      plus, going with a navy analogy works better on a conceptual level, and making the fiction easier for a reader to relate to with real-world systems, which allows one to focus more on other things, rather than having to create the systems from the ground up and fully explain them to the consumer.

      For example: fighting in vast spaces peppered with strategic features where bases can be built (island/planet) carrying some troops from a different military wing on board for fighting on said habitable areas of strategic worth (speesh marehen/marine)

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      Serious commenter is serious.

      Why? Because it is cooler that way.