Rogue System Is A “Hardcore” Space Combat Sim

By Jim Rossignol on February 18th, 2013 at 9:00 am.


Space Combat is all very simple isn’t it? Grab a game pad, pull the trigger, remember there’s no up and down, except when there is, and chocks away, eh? But it’s not necessarily like that. Rogue System developers DCI explain: “Rogue System also gives a nod to both classic and modern hardcore combat flight-sims by introducing fully integrated ship systems and the click-able cockpit to control them. Not only will you have to fly and fight, but you will also have to manage your ship and its functions to get the most out of it at all times.” Yep, that means keeping an eye on more subsystems than a game of FTL, as you can see in the video below. Sounds fancy, and it looks like DCI have made some serious progress with this project, but they’re also aiming for Kickstarter, so that’ll be interesting to watch.

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72 Comments »

  1. P7uen says:

    I quite fancy this, although I hoped it was randomly generated, roguelikey bits, from the title. Seems it is not.

    I’ll sub them 10 quid anyway just so they can get a decent writer for their trailers.

    • JabbleWok says:

      AFAIK the initial module (for primary KS goal) is a combat sim with dynamic story-based missions within a precedurally-generated galaxy. The stretch goals include sandbox modules for those who want to become freelance traders, pirates, explorers, etc.

      I think the designer want to make it a fully-featured galaxy sim, but is implementing it one step at a time – hence using KS to get funding for the first step. I’m seeing parallels with DCS world, where additional modules are extending the game world and functionality as well as adding playable craft.

  2. Armante says:

    all the space sims!

    Rogue System, limit theory, squadron 42/space citizen, and elite.
    good times :)

    • Taidan says:

      Like buses…

    • bikkebakke says:

      *Infinity the quest for earth (though I dare say infinity is not just following the trend, it’s been in development for quite some time)

      If you don’t know what it is you can just wait a few hours, they will be releasing a new retrospective for this year wich will have screenshots and stuff, they will also release a kickstarter campaign. It’s worth checking out, trust me.

      • islisis says:

        Yes! Fluid transitions from space to atmosphere! 3 years old and still one of the best tech demos I’ve seen yet…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrcEUO7TC28#t=5m38s

        • Armante says:

          beautiful. why can’t all these guys get together and make one uber-game? :)

        • SuicideKing says:

          Neat!

          Apparently volition wanted to do something similar for FS2 back in 1999 but they wouldn’t have had the time to finish it…

      • AaronLee says:

        Thanks for mentioning Infinity. I used to frequent their IRC and follow the devlogs avidly. They’ve been going for a while and they check back in rarely but each tim they do the result makes you feel insignificant and awed :D

    • Hanban says:

      And Enemy Starfighter!

    • SuicideKing says:

      and still volition remains ignorant to the cries of fans longing for FreeSpace 3…

    • Artist says:

      Add “X: Rebirth” to the fray! Yes, thats a wonderful shopping list…!

    • kraken says:

      Kinetic Void also.

  3. Chalk says:

    This looks great! And Kickstarter is damn awesome!!

    BUT, one of the biggest problems I have with recent Kickstarters is that they all want $20+ (usually $25 or $30) for the “Get the Game” tier.

    Whatever happened to the $10 to $15 days?

    • Entitled says:

      It’s a rational move, most people will just automatically click on the “get the game” tier anyways, so doubling the price can almost double the backer money.

      • Prime says:

        Don’t be daft. People aren’t unthinking robots. If there were any kind of automatic clicking happening there’d be nothing to stop Kickstarters setting their ‘get the game’ targets at $50 or $100 and just raking it in.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          yeah, I don’t think I’d consider donating to a KS that didn’t promise me the game for my “donation.” Unless a friend was running it or something.
          $10-$15 is nice, but there must be a line there, because $20 makes me think “wow you are too proud of your unfinished game.” Not sure why there’s an arbitrary line there, probably because I lack excessive funds myself.

  4. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Taking shape, Ready for the womb. Where more taking shape.. takes shape. Or something.

    • Scythe says:

      Yes. I get the distinct impression that english was not their first language. They went for grandeur but ended up with chinese restaurant name.

      I’m dubious about this game. There was some discussion about it on the ED/DCS forums. One hopes the cockpit clickery isn’t just meaningless busywork, and can actually be used to effect in the game.

  5. crinkles esq. says:

    Hmm. I think the developer needs a trailer better showing off control of systems. I see a bunch of icons being clicked, but have no idea how they relate to gameplay. My immediate inclination is that such in-depth control is better suited for capital ships. When I’m dogfighting, I don’t want things getting too fiddly.

  6. Gap Gen says:

    Ah, but do they include magnetic fields?

    • yurusei says:

      With the $60 bundle option, you’ll get implemented Alpha versions of magnetic fields for free!

      We’ll throw in Quantum Physics as well, for good measure.

      • Gap Gen says:

        (Note: “do you include magnetic fields” is a stock question to ask people who do simulations in astrophysics, because the answer is usually no and you can sound [clever/like a smart arse] having asked it).

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          Z-particles
          Satori experiences

          Please include these, developers. Thank you.

    • Dozer says:

      Is it so you can say ‘We’re passing through the magnetic field!’ and all the ships in the formation bump around a bit?

  7. mikmanner says:

    Looks great, not sure about the Final Fantasy sounding music though. Orchestral faff in space doesn’t seem to fit for me. This makes me think of Crimson Skies, maybe that’s what they’re going for but in spaace.

    I love the clicking on the panels, more games should have panels to click on.

    • maninahat says:

      Crimson Skies was a lot more simple and brash – which suited the diesel punk, two fisted tale theme they were going for. Plus, that theme tune went “DAAA duh, duh duh, Deee Duh Duh Duuuuh”! I enjoyed the music for all of thirty seconds before turning it off.

      I’d love to hear an unusual genre used for a space game, like Cowboy Bebop’s jazz/big band, or Firefly’s folk music. Space bluegrass would go down a treat. The thing with space games is that they tend not to pick any particular theme to their story or setting, so they end up like the X series; utterly bland and without any identity or personality whatsoever.

      • mikmanner says:

        Yes I fully agree, it’s like space games aren’t allowed to have any personality. I think it’s because there’s not enough depth to the different races / characters in most space combat games. Races rarely go as deep as ‘Tribal &, aggressive’ or ‘Peaceful & intelligent.’ – if this was taken a step further then maybe musical identities can come from it.

      • AaronLee says:

        I was thinking about using bluegrass and blues for my martain trucker game. After all there’s nothing really working class and folksy about the usual um-tis space techno.

  8. Risingson says:

    Again with Combat Space Sims: I don’t need that. I need good storytelling.

    And BTW, in their site
    “Unlike the recent string of more arcade-like space shooters however”

    Sorry? I though nearly every space game out there tries to be yet another sandbox game…

    • Armante says:

      Strike Suit Zero? Which is the 1st game of the various kickstarters I backed to come out, and damn fun :)

    • plugmonkey says:

      Indeed. What recent string of arcade space shooters? All the ones I see are like this – realistic trading markets and Newtonian flight models.

      That’s why everyone is so excited about Chris Roberts getting back in the game. I really don’t require my space ‘sims’ to be any more factually accurate than Star Wars or Firefly. Less science, more fiction.

      • mickygor says:

        Aside from atmospheric flight… which may or may not be accurate, Firefly was a pretty decent model of what space flight might entail.

      • Nemises says:

        I think he means arcade flight and system models..

        for eg (and not to bag it, because it looks awesome, but…)..Star Citizen ..designed to be flown on an XBox controller…that’s a very simplified (you could say arcady!) approach

        RogSys looks to be a hands down HOTAS, keyboard and mouse clicks button fest … trackir mandatory ;)

        He’s said that some of it is scalable, so people without full-on setups can still play..but, is aiming for DCS in space, and if you’ve flown the A10 or KA50 in DCS, you know the score..

  9. OMGBEES says:

    I love the idea of this, but that UI is godawful.

    • Nemises says:

      Heres the UI in action..actually, I don’t mind it.
      I would prefer a more concise version, and maybe values rather than fill bars, but…looking really really good:

  10. FurryLippedSquid says:

    That 20 year old game, Tie Fighter, used pretty much every key on the keyboard.

  11. Sc0r says:

    Looks nice! I like the idea of actually using your ship, instead of just emulating the controls with your keyboard.
    But I won’t buy another space sim until they give me satisfying damage systems and combat realism. BamNG is doing that for cars, Men of War did that somewhat for tanks, I want that for space-ships.
    Ships colliding, denting, losing systems, repairing systems, and most of all… no frackin’ healthbars with explosions at 0.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      It doesn’t actually come with a spaceship, you will be using your keyboard to emulate your virtual ship’s controls.

    • Nemises says:

      here’s a bunch of WIP vids from over the last year…in a few of them he explains some of the system integration (how degradation of one system can have knock on effects to others…) …
      Definitely not healthbars at dawn!
      There is an example of one of the weapons overheating (due to the cutoff override for it being enabled) and the weapon cooks off….taking with it some of the other systems located in that part of the ship.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZOwZNvOhP4&list=PLmfwphtkQOc64s6uyIhBBMNRZo4Oqa8TN

      Anyway, you’ll see him doing a startup in a couple of them…pretty involved stuff, though still pretty WIP

  12. ukpanik says:

    I’m going for the pledge that has the “Ready for the Womb” T-shirt.

  13. jrodman says:

    When are we going to get games describing themselves as softcore?

  14. RakeShark says:

    “What is that, yoga?”

    “Mmm, it increases the chance of conception.”

  15. wodin says:

    Out of all the recent Space Sims being announced this one intrigues me the most as it’s going for flight sim depth..

  16. crazygeneral23 says:

    so DCS:X-Wing Vs Tiefighter, which might be the best combination of anything ever.

  17. squareking says:

    That is a HUD.

  18. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Is this Newtonian physics and all I-War / I-War 2 like? Please, please, please.

  19. MJuliano says:

    Hi all, just wanted to take a moment to respond to a couple items here.

    One, no, no health bars. Systems can be damaged independently; and can adversely affect other systems that depend on them to function properly. Systems can also be damaged in a variety of ways, such as electrically or mechanically, to name a couple.

    Yes, newtonian physics with systems to provide a more atmospheric feel. Some of these are either on or off, while others can be adjusted for various “feels”. In some cases you MUST use newtonian flight, such as take-off and landing where you have to stay oriented with the ship you’re docking with (think landing on an aircraft carrier where both ship and plane are moving independently).

    When that “arcade” text thing was written about a year ago the only titles that had recently released were a couple of 3rd person arcade shooters (forget the names off the top of my head). Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve changed the text to reflect the current state of things.

    For music–it will change with the action going on (if you have music enabled). One idea I had was to allow you to use your own music as well. It would take some investigating, but wouldn’t be impossible. Obviously I can’t please everyone, so this might be a good alternative.

    A “ready for the womb” t-shirt–that’s not a bad idea at all :D

    Cheers all. Any other questions, please feel free to ask. I have a chatroll running, which you can easily hook up to from the “Contact DCI” section of the roguesystemsim.com website. You can also contact my via email at sjuliano@roguesystemsim.com. Always happy to answer questions…

    • Armante says:

      Hi Michael – thanks for popping by. I really like the ideas you’re going for here, and I hope it turns into a successful kickstarter for you :)

  20. Deadly Habit says:

    Seems like a more combat focused Evochron, which could be cool.

  21. Tuco says:

    This looks gorgeous.

  22. Phendron says:

    They’re asking for $300,000…seems a bit steep for a ‘hardcore’ game that will probably deter a lot of kickstarter window shoppers.

    • MJuliano says:

      at first glance, you’re correct. But think that the average salary for an experienced artist is around 60K, while for a programmer it is even higher–somewhere in the 70K to 80K range (acutally, these average rates are about 10K lower than reported in a survey done by Game Developer, and that was back in 2011). A mid-range artist for two years will eat up about 100K or so, plus my salary, and that leaves enough for taxes, Kickstarter and Amazon fees, etc.

      $300K is really the minimum to make this thing work. This is why the stretch goals are all about adding more talent to be able to include more elements.

  23. MJuliano says:

    There is a new video out, first in a series of three–no music or any jazz like that. Just me talking through a manual start-up sequence and discussing a few of the core ship systems. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nohF6uLkvvQ

  24. MJuliano says:

    Just a head’s up–the second vid in this series has been posted. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF2cW7ovAdU

    Cheers…

  25. MJuliano says:

    Video 3 is up: