Interstellar Spacebiff: Salvation Prophecy

By Adam Smith on April 24th, 2012 at 8:30 pm.

How to describe what Salvation Prophecy might turn out to be? It’s tempting to invoke Space Rangers 2, with its simulated space sectors and changeable game world, as well as its clunky third person planetary assaults. Salvation Prophecy has four factions, space combat, planetside exploration and warfare, and what appears to be strategic fleet control. I’m not sure how freeform it is, the alien investigations in particular look like they are part of a rigid plot rather than an open galaxy strategy-RPG. Perhaps you’ll be able to discern more from the trailer below, which I thought was going to be artwork with stilted voiceover for a little while. And then the gameplay footage kicked in.

Several questions come to mind, the first of which is ‘why haven’t I heard of this before?’ Scanning Youtube with my space sensors brings evidence of previous videos and progress has clearly been made. In fact, attempting to buy the game from the website leads to a page that claims it’s finished and all that stands between us and it is a publisher deal.

There are a lot of elements at work and, as with Space Rangers, it’s perhaps inevitable that some will be implemented more successfully than others. On top of that, without playing it’s hard to know how much of the impressive space battles is scripting at work and how much is down to happenstance and artificial brain thoughts.

Whatever the case, it’s something that I didn’t know existed this morning and now, thanks to Indie Game Magazine, I do and I want to try it right now. That means it’s either quite a good trailer and feature list or I’m easily won over by potential follies of grand ambition and scope. Possibly both. I shall now prepare to launch myself at Firedance Games in an effort to board and discover more information.

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55 Comments »

  1. Hoaxfish says:

    Not to be confused with that other announcement today about Google & friends mining asteroids.

  2. psychoconductor says:

    Wallet cocked and loaded. I’m ready when they are.

  3. JaminBob says:

    This looks great. It looks like it should be an MMO… if only it was!

    We could all do with a decent space MMO that isn’t about spreadsheets (EVE) or a glorified single player RPG like Star Trek. :(

    • Muzman says:

      What? Hell no. The last thing we need now is more MMOs

      • wodin says:

        Please god no more MMO’s. Why anyone wants more of that drivel I’ve no idea.

        I see all MMO’s and wish they where single player. Thankgod this is SP. Yet we still have people wanting it to be an MMO. Haven’t you got enough of those now?

    • JaminBob says:

      Oh well fair enough… but do we have enough space MMOs? I don’t think so!

  4. Uglycat says:

    I’m vaguely reminded of The Precursors.

    • frightlever says:

      That’s exactly what I thought – the trailer makes me want to read a WIT or watch Youtube play-throughs, while failing to make me want to play the game at all. Looks like a glorious mess. Wario Party is the other game it reminds me of.

      • Jabberwocky says:

        Wario party is pretty much exactly what I was going for. It’s basically a clone. I was hoping nobody would notice. ;)

  5. Dominic White says:

    Reminds me of Sacrifice, which is not a bad thing at all to remind me of!

  6. mentor07825 says:

    Seems like an interesting game.

    On a side note, working late tonight?

  7. JarinArenos says:

    Exposing my ignorance for a moment… in an era or digital distribution, what does a publisher actually DO other than provide speculative capital to develop a game? What does a publisher offer to an indie studio that’s already got a (supposedly) completed game?

    • Jabberwocky says:

      This looks vaguely familiar… Oh wait, I know why.

      I made this game. ;)
      How wicked is that to see my fav gaming rag talking about it?

      You’re right Jarin, I don’t need a publisher, and I’m not actually looking for one. I’m going to go with digital distribution. But even that stuff takes some time to work out.

      • Firkragg says:

        I’m intrigued Mr. Jabberwocky, cannot wait to try this. I know this is probably a long shot, but any time estimates on when you’ll have the distribution side set up? The inner space child in me is all giddy after reading about Salvation Prophecy.

        • Jabberwocky says:

          I’m working on it, but the ball ain’t exactly in my court. When you’re indie, you just kinda toss emails and game submission forms into the black hole of digital distributor land, and hope something interesting happens.
          It’s kind of like poking a dark lump inside a log with a stick. It might be an angry badger, or a rucksack of hidden pirate doubloons.
          The game’s done though. I’ll get it up for sale one way or another, even if I have to hand deliver copies on my bike.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            In my case it’s always a rucksack full of angry badgers :(

          • JarinArenos says:

            So does offering direct sales and downloads from your website throw a wrench in the gears for getting on board with other digital distributors?

          • Jabberwocky says:

            I’ll sell it through the website if other things don’t take off. That plan does seem like playing with fire. I could imagine a distributor may be less interested in dealing with a released game. So it’s a last resort, for now.

      • Lemming says:

        Interesting. I always got the impression that if you crammed steamworks into it, then it’s just a case of filling in an online form to release on Steam?

        • trjp says:

          Oh no no no no – getting into Steam is really, really hard.

          Their process is obscure and can take a long time (months isn’t uncommon – during which time you’ll hear nothing).

          The people I’ve spoken to reckon that THE key element isn’t Steamworks or Cheevos or anything like that tho – it’s press buzz/hype/articles about your game

          and we’re in one so that’s a plus!!

          • trjp says:

            p.s. Desura and GamersGate are somewhat easier to get into but it’s still a job-and-a-half.

            You still need to build some anticipation for your game – you need attention because just putting it into a shop won’t sell it.

            Whilst you’re working with DD, there’s zero harm in selling the game direct to your fans tho (even if it is only 5 copies). Sell it as a beta to those who are superkeen because they’ll plug you game for you in other ways (and you can always convert beta players into Steam key holders if you get onto Steam anyway).

            Then there’s bundles – don’t forget bundles – they’ve launched more than 1 career and the income isn’t as bad as you might expect (depending on the bundle, obviously).

          • trjp says:

            also – send a copy to Total Biscuit – he might be that annoying nerd you cannot seem to shake-off in game stores/music stores/the pub but he has a following-and-a-half for this stuff.

          • Jabberwocky says:

            Hey trjp,

            I appreciate you dropping by and sharing what sounds like battle-forged wisdom.

            I really like both GamersGate and Desura – they both do a lot for smaller studios and indie devs. They’re part of the plan. And yes, Total Biscuit is going to be hand delivered a copy of my game, ideally by several scantily clad seductressess carrying a silver tray of payola. (joking) (maybe)

            I’ve been thinking about bundles. Most bundles contain more traditional indie games. I don’t think Salvation Prophecy would fit – it’s the wrong audience. I’ve been idly pondering some kind of space-bundle, if other spacey devs would be on board. But that’s just an idea for now, I haven’t talked to anyone about it yet.

          • trjp says:

            Space Bundle would be a neat idea but then you’re making competition (and limiting sales to space game types) for yourself at the same time, of course.

            The idea with bundles is that you benefit from sales to people who’d never have bought your game otherwise (because they like the other games or the range is appealing or the price just makes it a no-brainer!!)

            Don’t write-off selling it yourself either – it’s easy to do and even if it’s just a way of generating a bit of income and awareness and feedback it’s worthwhile (the actual money you make is a bonus). As you have a game to ‘sell’ you shouldn’t even fall foul of PayPal’s “we’re keeping your money” thing if you DIY it – but there are many shop solutions (Humble Bundle even offer one – Legend of Grimrock used it).

            Also – have you talked to Cliffski (Positech) here – he likes indie developers who do things properly – you’d probably get along!!

          • Jabberwocky says:

            That’s a great point about bundles and new audiences. Is the general idea of bundles to hold off on them, until after your initial sales start tailing off?

            I’ll look at the Humble Bundle buy setup. I’ve been itching to find time to have at Legend of Grimrock too.

            I haven’t spoken with Cliffski yet – but I follow him on twitter, and read his blog. Hi Cliffski, if you’re reading this. Because of Cliffski, I am now an expert at solar panel technology, since approximately 87.63% of Cliffski’s tweets are about that. ;)

      • Muzman says:

        Wait, you’re making this? Don’t you hang around here all the time?
        Good stuff sir.

    • Dominic White says:

      Launch a comparatively high-budget indie game like this into a vacuum without distributors and a couple of marketing people, and you’ll sell about five copies. This might be a golden age for indie games, but it’s quite possible for something to fail to sell altogether if you do things wrong. Re-launches seldom catch anyone’s attention either.

    • cliffski says:

      They promote the game (theoretically) and handle payments. promotion is tricky, and costs money. getting website traffic is very hard to do, especally in a cost-effective manner.

  8. mckertis says:

    So i dont get it, is it MMO or not ?
    These days people need to clarify it from the start if their game is specifically NOT an MMO. So few now are…

    Looks kinda like Giants + Wing Commander.

  9. Sardaukar says:

    Oh, look, another indie space game using that dropship model. The game looks interesting, but- and I know, this is a stupid thing to get worked up over- that model just makes me uneasy after seeing it so much. I’m just not sure why people keep using it after all these years- and for once, I can hope for a response as to why from the person making the game, hurray! I would be grateful if you indulged my pedantry.

    • Jabberwocky says:

      I live to indulge pedantry.
      I can say that with absolute certainly, despite having no idea what pedantry means. I’m a coder. We’re easily confused by anything other than 1′s and 0′s.

      Anyway, yeah. The dropship model. Here’s the answer.

      Game art is expensive.
      Each character you add to the game is going to run you multiple $1000s of dollars. Non-animated models are cheaper than animated ones, but still ain’t free.

      Salvation Prophecy uses a mix of custom models, and some non-custom stuff I bought online, because it’s about 10x cheaper than making it yourself. I blew my laughably dismal budget on the stuff I thought was more important, and the dropship wasn’t on the list, because you only watch it for a few seconds on the way down to the planet.

      I will gladly accept free donations of awesome dropship models, however. ;)

      Good luck with that pedantry. Hopefully the doctors can help you out.

      • Sardaukar says:

        Fair enough, I haven’t looked at the price on the model in years (maybe it’s free now) so I assumed it was still the silly-high price I remember it as (high for what it is, at least). That you don’t actually stare at it flying around in space all the spacelong spaceday is reassuring. Thanks!

        Also the illness is terminal.

      • Lemming says:

        Ever thought of Kickstarting some funds to get more individual art and get the animation a bit sexier? (I’m thinking of the character animation here, the space-combat stuff looks smooth

        • Jabberwocky says:

          I think kickstarter is one of the best things to happen to game devs in a long time.
          American game devs, that is.

          Eligibility requirements

          To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:
          You are 18 years of age or older.
          You are a permanent US resident with a Social Security Number (or EIN).
          You have a US address, US bank account, and US state-issued ID (driver’s license).
          You have a major US credit or debit card.

          My Canadian-ness makes me kickstarter unworthy. :(

          • Lemming says:

            That’s a shame :( How about indiegogo.com?

          • Jabberwocky says:

            indiegogo hasn’t really kicked onto my radar yet. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not sure it has enough visibility to cough out much funding. 3D games are expensive.

    • DarkFarmer says:

      It’s a stock model, so you might see it in various independent games. I can’t begin to tell you how expensive, difficult and frustrating acquiring art assets is if you’re an independent: if you can find cheap stock models and integrate them tastefully into your game, as this developer has done, it is a major win.

  10. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Always with the prophecies. Why do they even bother writing them if nobody pays enough attention for them to do any good?

    Hey guys, remember that prophecy that if we go to Za’Ha’Duum monsters will return from the stars to eat our brains?

    Well, lets go to Za’Ha’Duum.

    HELP WE WENT TO ZA’HA’DUUM AND MONSTERS HAVE RETURNED FROM THE STARS AND THEY’RE EATING OUR BRAINS WHY DID NOBODY WARN US?

    • Jabberwocky says:

      I should have gone with a game that had no aliens, war, battles, or conflict of any kind.
      That probably would have been much better. ;)

      I was ready for this though. The prophecy warned me of snarky anti-prophecy internet posts.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        I guess you’re right, heeded prophecies tend to lead to rather humdrum gaming worlds.

        “Hey guys, remember that prophecy that if we go to Za’Ha’Duum monsters will return from the stars to eat our brains?

        Well, lets not go to Za’Ha’Duum.

        So, anyone up for some Space Scrabble?

        Seriously, though, looking forward to hearing that the publishing deal is done so I can part with some of my pirate doubloons. Unless you accept angry badgers?

  11. Blackcompany says:

    So…where and how soon can I buy this, again? Because I cannot wait.

  12. DarkFarmer says:

    Looks great, Jabberwocky. Good luck acquiring distribution.

  13. caddyB says:

    Wow, looks like it might be something I like! Gonna buy it when it comes out.

  14. Jayson82 says:

    Hay Jabberwocky why not check out other indi games that are selling it themselves or are doing pre orders, the cash part and setting up for accounts and downloads are the important part and ask how they did it quite a few will answer you.

    Try asking these guys http://fractalsoftworks.com/ with there game starfarer, its not even finished yet but there taking preorders where you can buy the game and then download the latest build for preordering it. Ask them how they set it up and who did they use and such, look around at other groups if you have no luck with these guys.

    Keep up with the digital distribution and don’t worry thinking that selling it yourself will put your chances with the distroputers off as i have seen games sold elsewhere appear on steam and other download services. Infact if you can make it popular yourself it has more of a chance of appearing on these services.

    btw I was wondering you said above that you made the game, was it just yourself or do you have a team?

    • Jabberwocky says:

      I wrote up a longer reply, but it got chewed up and spit out by the site. :(

      Short version:
      Thanks! Those are all great things to think about.
      I’m the only full-time guy. I used a bunch of contractors, mostly for art. They deserve huge credit. The code, design, and game content I did myself.

  15. Arglebargle says:

    Have to say, that space action reminded me of the good parts versions of the X-Wing vs Tie Fighter era. Definitely put this in the ‘plus’ column.

    • frightlever says:

      It does? Reminded me of an 80s shmup with all those piddly ships vanishing with a single shot, while you work away at the boss ship.

  16. lordfrikk says:

    Precursors 2, hello!

  17. RegisteredUser says:

    Jesus Christ, a mostly solo project.
    Imagine this had a 10+ person team on it.

    It already is pretty intriguing, despite moderate visuals. About the only thing I worry about is that some of the planet battles had very weak “pew pew” weapon sounds and didn’t fit the magnitude of battling HUEG SPIDERS at the time.
    Its weird; DOOM had the most fearsome, brutal sounding shotgun ever. 20+ years later there still is almost nothing that feels even remotely as powerful and “I-do-something -> shit happens on screen oh yea” like.

    Anyway. Bless your heart for going this thing alone; it seems huge.

  18. RegisteredUser says:

    This(Salvation Prophecy) is now released and in desperate need of attention.