Space Race: Starlight Inception’s A Kickstarter Space Sim

By Craig Pearson on April 5th, 2012 at 1:30 pm.

I'd have called it 'Lady Gaga's Twilight Inception', and reaped the SEO benefits
I’m amazed that no-one’s managed to really nail the space combat genre since Freelancer. Ships and explosions, then more and bigger ships and bigger explosions. It’s not astrophysics… okay, a bit of it is astrophysics. So hire an astrophysicist, but one that allows you to have fiery explosions and lasers. Sheesh. Newly Kickstartered space combat sim Starlight Inception probably doesn’t have an astrophysicist working on it, and for that we’ll have to give it some slack. But at least it has a heart-shaped crosshair pointed at all the right inspirations: Freelancer, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter. The now traditional self-deprecating Kickstarter pitch is hovering below.


It has potential, and you can see the twin towers of Freelancer and X-Wing vs TIE Fighter poking up. I’m starting to wonder about Kickstarter: is it the game or the people behind it that gets you interested? Garry’s pitch relies heavily on his Lucasarts past, but I’m only really interested in the ideas present in the game. I’d give money to anyone capable of pulling off a decent space blaster with a bit more to it than holding down the laser button. Do the developers even need to tell you if they’re new or old, or do they just need to have a workable concept and smart ideas? Tim Schafer is a bit of a combo-breaker in this line of thought: it was all about him and his studio, no?

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96 Comments »

  1. Grygus says:

    Ideas are common; pretty much every gamer has an idea for at least one great game. What’s rare is the ability to finish a project on budget.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Yes, this. To me, the value of an established name pitching a Kickstarter project is that this person has experience managing a project from inception to completion.

      • TailSwallower says:

        [...]this person has experience managing a project from Starlight Inception to Starlight Completion.

        Fixed.

  2. mckertis says:

    “nail the space combat genre since Freelancer.”

    Very flammmable statement.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The X series did it well, but its not as easy or fun to jump into as Freelancer and they’re pretty much the same.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        I still can’t understand the widespread love for Freelancer. It did exactly one thing notably well: mouse control of space combat.

        On every other front, there are far superior games. If you have a basic joystick. TIE Fighter for combat and storytelling, Privateer and myriad others for Elite-style sandboxes.

        • AmateurScience says:

          I actually thought the universe in Freelancer was pretty amazing, the big problem was the lack of things to do outside the main storyline.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Yeah, I have to agree. Freelancer was easy to play with a mouse but on the whole it felt very casual and shallow to me.

          In my opinion no one has really nailed space combat period. Frontier Elite II, X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Freespace and I-War 2 all contain most of the ingredients separately, while X 3: Albion Prelude does a pretty good job on scale and big battles.

          Freelancer doesn’t even get near the top of the list for me

          • Crimsoneer says:

            Starlancer, however, was made of awesome and win.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Oooo! I Forgot about starlancer. That was really good! I also played it a bit MP but I sucked!!

          • frenz0rz says:

            Damnit. Reinstalling Starlancer.

          • MrMud says:

            Freelancer and starlancer were shit.
            No one has made a good space game since Freespace 2, end of story.

          • Lambchops says:

            Freelancer got repetitive in the demo, I definitely couldn’t have taken that over the whole game.

            Starlance on the other hand, once excellent. It’s the popcorn action film of the space series, with all the hammy accents to go with it but delivered some reall solid combat that while not up there with Freespace 2 was much more fun than some of the more fiddly/in depth (delete depending on preference) games in the genre.

          • Odog4ever says:

            In for: “Freespace 2 was the pinnacle of the genre and has not since been replicated”

          • Milkthistle says:

            I heartily agree that no game has touched Freespace 2 in sheer enormity and emotional reaction. I miss that game!

        • Napalm Sushi says:

          I had fun with Freelancer, but two things put me off in the end:

          1) The glass ceiling of never being able to rise above the status of Derek Trotter in space no matter how much money you made.

          2) The wierd, Saturday-morning-cartoonish portrayal of space, where gas giants were the size of Anglesey and star systems no broader than the Channel. It worked OK for practicality’s sake, but it also prevented me from achieving anything approaching immersion at any point, and whenever I flew from one side of a planet to another in 10 seconds at the kind of speed my dad’s Ka can manage, I couldn’t help but think back to Frontier’s to-scale worlds and seamless atmospheric entries.

        • Dreforian says:

          I think there are a few big elements that can split the community of space sim appreciators. Controls are definitely one of them. This is the first time I’ve heard Freelancer had mouse control and I’m much more interested for it. Dark Star One and Aquanox both did this to my great satisfaction. Both games also had degrees of in-combat ship management that were meaningful without being too complex. DSO even managed some scale based immersion. My ideal space sim would likely include these elements, more ship building (not just customization), variety in stellar environments and a plot that never hints at “destiny” or “fate”. I’d love a choice in whether or not I’m saving the galaxy from war, winning said war, or just trying to get by (I love mercenary based games). Some people live and die by economy and trading. It doesn’t bother me but I wouldn’t want it as a main focus or an interference to other spheres of play. Give me trade missions or make mining a highlight of exploration. Don’t make me farm asteroids or plumb spreadsheets.

        • Werthead says:

          FREELANCER had some fun elements but it was very shallow, badly-written (especially the optional missions, which were stupefyingly awful) and ludicrously easy. It was enjoyable (John Rhys-Davies voice-overs are always fun), but dumbed down to a massive degree.

          One thing it should have made more of was having a Dyson Sphere in the game, but it appears in one mission and is then unreachable. A shame as that would have been an interesting thing to develop further.

      • mckertis says:

        “and they’re pretty much the same.”

        They’re not bloody same, one is hardcore trading sim, the other is a casual romp. It had health potions, for zeus’s sake ! HEALTH POTIONS !!!

        • SanguineAngel says:

          So what, I always carry a few health potions with me, just in case y’know? never know when you’re gunna trip up a curb, cut yourself shaving or get missiles fired into your flimsy hull…..

    • Khalan says:

      It’s possible he meant Freespace 2 rather than Freelancer, that I’d agree with – though I did enjoy Freelancer as well.

    • frightlever says:

      It wasn’t my cup of tea but why does it seem like space sim fans seem to be willfully unaware of the Evochron series of games?

      • Zenicetus says:

        Maybe because Evochron just doesn’t bring anything all that new or interesting to the genre. The one big thing in the game is being able to fly into atmosphere, but there just isn’t that much to do in that mode (at least in the last version I tried).

        The rest of the game is just a boring re-hash of ideas from all the previous games of this type, together with the natural limitations of a one-man studio. Although that wouldn’t matter so much, if there were more original ideas in the game.

    • sqparadox says:

      How does Freelancer even fall space into the space combat genre? It’s the difference between Wing Commander and Privateer: one is a space combat game, the other is a space trader (or Elite style game, or whatever label you want to use).

      Space traders may have combat, they may have a lot of it and it may be very good, but I certainly would not lump them together with games like X-Wing/Tie Fighter, Wing Commander, Freespace, or Starlancer. Those are space combat games, Freelancer is not; and for that matter I can’t see any way in which Freelancer was a better space combat game then Starlancer save Freelancer’s excellent mouse control.

      You picked the game where every ship is limited to the same top speed as your example of the zenith of space combat? I’m very confused by this.

    • cliffski says:

      indeed.
      http://www.starwraith.com/evochronmercenary/index.htm
      Awesome indie space sim, looks amazingly good.

      • Professor Paul1290 says:

        The expansion is going to add bigger and better planets with more interesting terrain, “terrain walkers” to stomp around in and explore the planets with, bigger stations, and a better weapon customization.

  3. Goomich says:

    I hope that guys from Nexus 2 try crowdfunding again.

    • Jayson82 says:

      There not an american company sadly, when kickstarter goes international then maybe.

      • mckertis says:

        I cant find a clause on kickstarter site where it forbids starting projects outside USA. Can you link to it ?

        • backlash says:

          Kickstarter uses Amazon Payments for paying out money and Amazon Payments only gives out money to American bank accounts.

  4. Njordsk says:

    Are you guys going to list every KS project here?

    I don’t mean to be rude, but making article about “concept-game to be financed” seems very redundant those days.

    Games we MIGHT see in a few years if everything goes fine.

    • Nick says:

      I’m glad they are, seeing genres I love being made by people who made great games from the genre makes me more excited than latest triple a snooze fest.

    • phlebas says:

      I’d have said they were pretty picky about which projects they write about – there generally needs to be something playable and/or a developer with a track record. It’s just that there are a lot of higher-profile KS projects popping up at the moment.
      This one is a space game being made by someone who worked on Star Wars games at Lucasarts. It’s an interesting one.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Feckin hell, the RPS guys have repeatedly said that they will post things they find interesting. This is a kickstarter for a game in one of the classic PC genres that has fallen by the wayside in recent years. I wish everyone would quit trying to be the fuckin the amateur editor of this site. Why not report this stuff? Brain incapable of taking in multiple posts in a day or something?The more people know about it the more chance it has to succeed. Now back in your hole.

    • Njordsk says:

      Relax, I didn’t mean to be offensive, no need to be agressive.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Njordsk, there are quite a few trolls who have picked this or that subject as their favorite thing to heckle RPS about only because it’s a thing that RPS reports on more than a couple times. One dude will always accuse RPS of taking bribes whenever Minecraft is brought up, someone else will always try to say that Steam is worse than [whichever DRM is being discussed], and there are quite a few who will always try to tell RPS to cover something less.

        You just happened to come off as one of those guys.

        (A few of the trolls I suspect of being the guys who are working on the game(s) in question and are heckling ironically, but most seem to be obsessive loonies who have no idea how unreasonable their point of view is.)

        Here’s my answer to your original question, though: RPS doesn’t report on hardly any of the Kickstarter projects. Individual writers sometimes point out projects they are interested in, but there are a LOT more KS projects that succeed and even more that fail without any mention on this site. And I’m just talking about the last month or so.

        There are a huge amount of Kickstarter projects, and virtually all of the ones in the Video Game category are PC games or have a PC version planned, so it would be foolish of RPS to ignore all of them. But the fact is that there are a ton more that RPS doesn’t cover at all.

      • Mad Hamish says:

        Sorry, it’s just in every post there seems to be people moaning about a)”this isn’t news” b)”are you going to make a post about every kickstarter/bundle/thing Notch says” c)”why isn’t RPS exactly how I picture it in my mind”

        But how you didn’t see the relevance of this particular Kickstarter being reported here is beyond me and I think you were just looking for something to moan about.

    • JB says:

      No-one forces you to read every RPS post, I certainly skip any I don’t like the look of.

  5. DogKiller says:

    But would it be better than Freespace 2?

    Edit: What happens when these Kickstarter projects go over budget?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Over-budget ones, at least the recent ones, tend to push up what they’re going to do.

      More platforms (PC, adding iOS, Mac, Linux, etc), more languages (English, then German, etc), more content (bigger world etc)…

      I think this is mostly limited to gaming though, since there is no additional material costs if you have more backers. Other more “physical” projects probably drop a lot of that “over budget” on actual materials to deliver the backer rewards.

    • mouton says:

      Well, once they secure kickstarter money, it is much easier for them to get more from other sources, like loans or publishers, I suppose.

      Anyway, it is part of the risk – give money not only to people who have a great idea, but who have the managing skills to pull it off.

    • frightlever says:

      I assume he means, what happens when they spend all the money that’s pledged but they haven’t finished the game – presumably they have to go “cap in hand” looking for money somewhere else – perhaps to an established group of Kickstarter angel investors who’ve already made a profit off their Kickstarted game.

      But really who knows? There’s noting to say a game that gets the required funding, or more, will ever get made. With the best of intentions projects fail all the time. There’s nothing guaranteed about Kickstarter beyond the promise they’ll do their best.

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    I think Double Fine was a “good thing” since it is the same studio that still puts out good games (costume quest recently, psychonauts), in addition to the “talent”.

    A lot of the other ones rely on “talent” alone. Those ones, when you look at their current company’s output, are much less impressive.

    The studio doing the Shadowrun kickstarter, turns out I’ve read about them before… as the people accused of ripping off Steam Birds.

    “no Talent” kickstarters, like the FTL, actually put together a lot of good promotional stuff, showing actual development (FTL even had a demo on Onlive)… I think those ones deserve to thrive, with the “star developers” coming down to that level.

    This specific Kickstarter? Looks bad, in that I could just go and play Freelancer or Edge of Chaos, etc, and have the same graphical quality… especially with a PS Vita release? Obviously it’s an initial concept, but that’s basically all they have.

  7. Zakski says:

    Its a pity Futuremark got bought out by the angry bird lot and cancelled their space game

    • Njordsk says:

      But we’ve got Angry Birds Space now eh !

      • devlocke says:

        Is that a game? I saw “Angry Birds Space” fruit-snacks in Walmart yesterday, and cringed, while wondering why they made the fruit-snacks for space, instead of just being like the game. I figured it was to appeal to kids. Knowing that it’s a game makes it a smidge better. I think. Sort of.

  8. 2late2die says:

    Personally for me there’s a bit of a kickstarter fatigue setting in. Although I’m sure it might also have something to do with making significant pledges for both Double Fine’s and inXile’s projects. Still, even if I were only pledging smaller amounts I can’t help but feel like a lot of these projects are trying to “get in on the action”. Which, to some extent I understand, but it also does rub me the wrong way a bit.

    In this specific case there’s also honestly the matter of the budget. Double Fine and inXile’s projects are both something that I do think can be done well for the money they asked for. A space combat sim – that’s the kinda game where I want to see really big budget. I want great graphics, I want long campaign, tons of side missions, full VO, and so on and so on. And $150k just ain’t gonna cut it.

    Of course to get AAA game level budgets you need a publisher, and to get them interested you need projects like these to succeed. So in short, I’m still undecided but I’ll definitely look into pledging for this one as well.

    • Kolchak says:

      I completely agree. I mean damn I just pledged for Shadowrun. Give my wallet some room to breath please.

  9. Lambchops says:

    “Do the developers even need to tell you if they’re new or old, or do they just need to have a workable concept and smart ideas? Tim Schafer is a bit of a combo-breaker in this line of thought: it was all about him and his studio, no?”

    Pedigree is an important factor but not the be all and end all. However I’d be exceptionally unlikely to put money towards a Kickstarter from an unproven team unless they have strong evidence that they are going to deliver a good game (see FTL’s demo). Whereas if you have several successful projects behind you (Doble Fine) then I’m willing just to back an idea.

    So while something like Starlight Inception does appeal to me, I’m happy enough to wait for a finished product and support it then, I’m just a little loathe to throw money at it straight away.

    • AmateurScience says:

      The other thing is that the FTL team didn’t really ask for much: $10,000, plus had a lot of content already. In that case I didn’t hesitate.

      This one…

      This one I’m really not sure about. Space-sims are my favorite genre, and I want them back in the mainstream, but I just don’t know about this project, and I’ve got 4 projects in kickstarter already. I will watch and wait.

  10. S Jay says:

    Go play EVE…

    • frenz0rz says:

      Sure, because EVE is an excellent twitch-based dogfighting space sim.

    • immerc says:

      Eve is to dogfighting space combat games as Football Manager is to FIFA.

      Yes, a lot of the same elements are there. You can manage ships systems, you can choose weapons, you can upgrade to bigger, better ships, but the key, defining element isn’t there: you don’t actually get to fly the ships. Flying spaceships while attempting to shoot weapons down a boresight is fun!

      What I want to play is a game that combines:

      * The space dogfighting of the X-Wing or Wing Commander series
      * The sandbox of Eve Online or the X universe
      * The ship/weapon customization and management of X-Wing or Interstate 76
      * The writing of Mass Effect or Deus Ex

      And the one I haven’t seen yet:

      * The option to man multiple stations in a big plane/ship you get from B-17 Flying Fortress or Silent Hunter (because does it really make sense that a dreadnought needs more than 1 person to operate)

      I want to be able to pilot ships and aim turrets. I want to be able to divert power from weapons to the engine to be able to flee. I want to be able to choose from dozens of ships, and to pick from dozens of different types of turret weapons, boresight weapons, missiles, etc. I want to be able to choose to try to make money by either hauling legal cargo, smuggling illegal cargo, protecting cargo routes, or raiding them. I’d love a reason to be doing all this, with an evolving universe around me, where there was a war raging and I could choose to do my small part in it.

      The thing I’d like to see that would be really interesting: I’d love a game where my space frigate had say 12 crew stations and those stations could be either manned by friends (in multiplayer) or by AI “bots” in singleplayer. If my frigate took a missile hit that punched a small hole in the hull, it would be awesome to have to choose which crew station to leave empty while someone repaired the hole in the hull. Or, imagine you and a friend took the two seats in a bomber plane, your friend juked around the incoming fire while you tried to get the aim perfect on your “bombs” so you could take out the dreadnought’s engines.

      Unfortunately, I don’t know if there’s a market for a game that does all of that. It they did it, I might be the only person who would buy it.

      • Sardaukar says:

        You just described Independence War 2. It’s on GOG.com and very wonderful.

        • immerc says:

          Really? I’ll check it out. Thanks.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I think Independence War 2 is the closest we’ve come to the perfect synthesis, mainly because the space flight model, star system size and combat tactics aren’t completely dumbed down. But it misses a few of those bullet points.

          There’s no real sandbox, aside from hanging around the jump points and doing a little freelance pirating between story missions. There is no larger universe to explore outside the story, and the missions progress in a linear fashion to the end. No branching, no choices.

          The first game in the series did make a nod to letting you jump to different crew positions, but it was just a different console view; you couldn’t walk around inside the ship. The second game integrated everything into a single cockpit/command module, so you couldn’t even do that much. The final and best I-War2 ships you get are technically cruiser or frigate class, but it’s all commanded from your little control module.

          There are a few RPG-ish conversations and a group of friends/fellow mercs you’re supposed to care about, but the interaction is really minimal. Certainly nothing like Mass Effect. Still, the spaceflight and combat model redeems it, in my view, as the best of the cockpit-level space sims (so far).

          • immerc says:

            Ah, that’s too bad.

            It would be really cool to have a multiplayer game with space combat, where:

            Fighter: you’re on your own, most weapons are boresight, you dogfight to kill enemies.

            Fighter-Bomber: two-seater, a pilot flies toward the target capital ship, evading defensive turret fire, a bombardier handles a rear turret then switches to a bomb-sight when in range

            Dreadnought: dozens of crew stations, pilot, navigator, defensive anti-fighter turret operators, offensive anti-capital-ship crews, even obscure stations like RADAR/LIDAR operators, engine room techs…

            Even if you just grafted on boarding parties, player-aimable turrets and multiple crew stations on capital ships onto a game like Eve, I think it would add a lot, and attract a different kind of player.

            You could assign AI crewmembers to man the stations you weren’t interested in if you were in single-player, or even multi-player, or people could hop into the stations that interested them, if they thought they could do better than the computer.

            Even more interesting, tie it to an FPS like Eve Dust 514 and have FPS players on boarding pods fight their way through the corridors of capital ships being defended by other FPS players…

      • Werthead says:

        “* The ship/weapon customization and management of X-Wing and afros of Interstate 76″

        Amended.

        Now I can’t get the phrase INTERSTATE ’76 BUT IN SPACE out of my head. I would Kickstart the hell out of that.

        • immerc says:

          Or the music of Interstate ’76. Unfortunately that music wouldn’t really work in a space game… but it would be great to have a game pay as much attention to story, characters, and music as Interstate ’76.

  11. Gap Gen says:

    Sure, hire an astrophysicist if you like trolling astrophysicists.
    “OK, we’re going to have a huge explosion which goes BOOM in space here. Also, the ships should be functionally identical to WWII fighter planes. Oh, and it’s set in an alternate future where unmanned aerial vehicles don’t exist.”

    • Gap Gen says:

      Although, an astrophysicist could be handy for certain phenomena. In the late stages of the evolution of massive stars, a huge, rapidly-expanding bubble will form around the star, which will eventually burst and be destroyed in the subsequent supernova explosion. This is analogous to the Kickstarter phenomenon, in which anyone with experience in the industry and a cool idea can get hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding. This bubble will be rapidly fuelled by growing feedback in consumer interest, but will eventually be destroyed when the first massive project explodes spectacularly, sweeping out a volume of space and preventing the formation of new projects in the same way. See also Indie Game Bundles et al (2011).

      • Danny252 says:

        As an astrophysicist™, I would like point out that it isn’t just high-mass stars that give off material in their later stages; that it’s not really possible to burst a bubble in space; and that supernova remnants are actually fairly gassy and bubbly.

        I thank you for your understanding.

    • Goomich says:

      Who needs unmanned aerial vehicles in space? :P

      • Gap Gen says:

        Well, my point is that stuffing people into metal tubes to fly around and shoot things will be obsolete within the next few decades, is my guess. But anyway – I have nothing against unrealistic space shooters; they’re good fun. But you don’t need to hire a physicist to make one.

        • Joshua says:

          I think you want to keep all your fighters manned unless you want them to get hacked Cylon style.

          • immerc says:

            The clever games explain that away by saying “we don’t trust AI too much because when it gets too smart it turns against us”.

        • westyfield says:

          Plus after any decent manoeuvring in space the pilot would probably end up a red smear on the cockpit floor. And walls. And ceiling.

          • Brun says:

            Indeed. Use of unmanned systems in space – especially for something analogous to a fighter craft – would make a lot of sense. Even in modern fighter aircraft, maneuvering capability is typically limited by the g-forces the pilot can endure without passing out, not by the structural strength of the airframe. You would also save a lot of weight by not having to incorporate things like life support or escape systems. Less weight (or mass, since we’re in space) means more delta-v for the same amount of thrust, which means you can make more radical (and efficient) maneuvers.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I’ve always felt that hiring an astrophysicist could be the key to a really good space game, breaking out of the WWII fighter mold. I mean really… does that have to be the ONLY way we fight in space?

          My version of the “game we’ve always been designing in our heads” includes very fast speeds and very long distances, so relativistic effects = cloaking. You can’t shoot at what you can’t see, due to lightspeed delay. You’d have to throw in a little magic to allow maneuvering at those speeds without turning human pilots into a red paste, but it does bring in a reason to have humans in the cockpit instead of AI… the idea of making a best guess of your enemy’s intentions and tactics, when you have no reliable sensor data. More of a submarine-type game, I guess.

          Anyway, that could be combined with fighters for the close-range visceral stuff. There are so many good ideas in sci-fi books that have never been tapped for a space combat game. I think the reason this is a “dead” genre is just that there’s only so much you can do with it, if you insist on the main concept being based on George Lucas and his WWII fighters in space. And we’ve already seen the best iterations of that. Give us something new, and better. Quit trying to re-make the old games.

    • frightlever says:

      That and the SHOCKWAVE from the exploding capital ship. Pfft, physics.

  12. Lobotomist says:

    Jeez, this guy gives a good pitch. I really feel i want to help him make the game of his dreams.

    Problem is Kickstarter does not accept paypal :S

  13. EscapeHatchEntertainment says:

    Hi – this is Melissa, VP of Escape Hatch Entertainment, the company developing Starlight Inception. Thank you for your comments and for discussing Starlight Inception. We welcome your thoughts and want to answer any questions you may have.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      I would think that the phrase “launch DLC” might put some people off

      • LTK says:

        Same question. Please elaborate on that. I find it hard to believe that an independent studio looking for funding would touch on the subject of ‘launch DLC’. That right there is suicidal to your project.

  14. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    The problem I am having with all these kickstarters now is that there’s not really all that much they are offering the backers.

    The doublefine one, to my knowledge, was the only one that offered a “behind-the-scenes” look at the development process at the lowest tier. That alone made it worth backing, regardless of who it was making it or what they were going to make.

    Unfortunately the tendency for every kickstarter since has been to provide you with a copy of the game on release. So, it’s not really that much different from placing a pre-order, only with less knowledge about what you’re getting, and more hope that you will.

    That and there is less accountability for the people you are giving your money to. Who are these people? What kind of background checks have been done on any of them? Have they even produced a (viable) business plan? Have they raised any money so far? How is the budget broken down? And so on.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that this forum exists, but this whole thing is becoming a bit too cynical.

    • mckertis says:

      ““behind-the-scenes” look at the development process.

      I’m not sure why you would want that. Elaborate please, will you ?

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        You’re not sure why I would want to get a behind the scenes look at the development process?

        Um, well because I find it interesting, and it’s not something I’d otherwise be exposed to.

        • mckertis says:

          Well, what exactly are you interested in, specifically ? I’m more interested in having an actual input into the process, even if its something as low as beta-testing. To not have an input, but just observe – i dont see the point. You can, for example, find videos on yt, or even streams, of people conjuring up game logic before your very eyes. Its a very specialized form of spectacle, i’d think. Art creation process isnt even worth mentioning, so much of it is available out there. What’s left ? Pure game design process ? Most game devs share that readily enough on their own, without anyone prodding them or enticing with money.

        • frightlever says:

          I like sausage rolls, but I don’t think I’d enjoy viewing the entire development process.

          • andytt66 says:

            “You know how they say you don’t wanna see how the sausage gets made? We are gonna show you how the sausage gets made. We are gonna take our sausage and shove it in your face, warts and all.”

            - Tim Schafer

    • Strange_guy says:

      While it wasn’t a big reason I backed it, it is still interesting how the DFA was about both the game and the documentary on making it, and despite it inspiring a ton more kickstarters none have copied that.

  15. Wolfman says:

    Looks a little … naff to me, those ship designs are pretty bland.

    People should check out “I’ve Found Her’, its a free space game set in the Babylon 5 universe, its pretty good and getting improved all the time. And if you don’t like it you’ve only wasted a little bandwidth.

    • Chaz says:

      My thoughts exactly. Very dull pedestrian concept design for the space ships. They look like an odd mashup of Star Trek the movie and the 70′s Battle Star Galactica designs.

  16. Dizzard says:

    I haven’t funded a kickstarter project yet, but the closest I came to doing so was for Saturday Morning RPG.

    For me having a company that has a history is all well and good but if I’m ever going to take a chance I would rather take a chance on an idea I really loved rather than just saying “oh well I know these guys will come through for me” That’s just my personal take on it.

  17. carn1x says:

    In the absence of a Freespace 3 kickstarter, this is getting my dollars.

    • frightlever says:

      Give it five minutes…

    • Werthead says:

      Problems with a Freespace 3 Kickstarter:

      Original developers Volition are owned by THQ whilst the Freespace IP is owned by Interplay. This creates some issues if we want the original creators to make it (though a few of them have since left Volition and may be recruitable to the project). Not to mention that Volition are already committed to SAINT’S ROW 4 and likely wouldn’t be able to spare the time. Some randoms could make it (and would only need to talk to Interplay) but I’m not sure if that’s the best idea UNLESS they are the people involved in the ongoing development of the FS2 Open Source project. If those guys did the project with the FS2 writer, they’d be onto a winner.

      However, we heavily run the risk of any such game being called “3space” which must be avoided at all costs.

      On the plus side, the FS2 Open Source upgraded engine could do most of the legwork (no real need to develop a new engine from scratch). That would result in the project being done quite cheaply. The main expenses would be in cut scenes, professional writers and VOs. You could probably do it for less than either the DoubleFine or WASTELAND 2 Kickstarters. I think the important thing would be to not try to explain the origins and backstory of the Shivans, which would dilute their menace.

  18. JackDandy says:

    This really doesn’t look too good to me. And the pitcher guy simply doesn’t have that great of a track record.
    Also, there are still some pretty great, modern space sims around.

  19. LuNatic says:

    I notice that his Lucasarts past doesn’t actually involve working on any of the X-Wing/Tie Fighter games.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, that too. Also, I think it would have helped if, instead of saying “Wing Commander and Tie Fighter were great!”, he had said what ideas he had for making a better game. Instead of just being one among many who seem content to re-make these old games, without any fresh ideas. Aside from his pitch, there is just nothing new in those animations. And they look worse than the best of the original games, so this pitch isn’t even “we’ll give you the old game you loved with better eye candy.”.

      This seems to be a recurring theme for many of these KIckstarter things — “we’ll remake some older game you liked.” Which is okay, except in a genre like this that badly needs new ideas.

  20. Ultra-Humanite says:

    I enjoyed Freelancer immensely but if you think there hasn’t been better space combat since Freelancer you need to play more games.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Off the top of my head, I can recall a fair few games, but none which stood out as being particularly better than Freelancer. Darkstar One was crap, SpaceForce too, X3′s not a combat game as much as singleplayer EVE, Black Prophecy’s plagued by antiquated MMO mechanics, Evochron’s probably the closest to it but some of the stuff in there feels rather bland and uninspired. Really, the best space sim stuff since Freelancer came out has been Freespace 2 and Freelancer mods, not new games.

  21. Fox89 says:

    For me a Kickstarter I’ll back is half and half. If it was all about the game itself I’d have put my own RPG project up there already! I’m sure “Basically it’s like Final Fantasy IX” would have been pretty popular. But as someone with no proven experience, I doubt anyone would trust me and so wouldn’t give me money, even if they love the idea.

    I sure know I wouldn’t in their shoes!

    Simply put, I love all these Kickstarters coming out. Interesting game ideas being proposed by reasonably experienced people is what I require to pledge my money.

  22. thebigJ_A says:

    X3:TC is all the space game I need. Till the next X game, anyway. Haven’t bothered with Albion Prelude yet, though. It was on sale yesterday, but I can’t tell if it’s got enough new stuff to be worth it.

  23. Brian Rubin says:

    Freelancer is less a “space sim” and more of an “RPG wherein your avatar is a space ship”, but it doesn’t matter because it’s still fucking awesome. I’m excited that Kickstarter is getting more folks to pony up ideas for space games. We so need more space games.

  24. Werthead says:

    What would be great for a Kickstarter is HOMEWORLD 3. Relic want to make it and even talked THQ into buying the rights for it, so they’re set on that score, but apparently fears over market responses and the existing games’ ‘complex’ interface (note: not actually that complex) has put those plans on ice. Using Kickstarter as a way of demonstrating interest and investment in the project could work quite well.

    I’m not sure if people would be as willing to pay up for a project from a professional team and a big publisher that should probably be paying it for themselves though. Certainly could be an interesting idea though.