Tsar Trek: The Mandate Kickstarter

By Adam Smith on October 17th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

The crowds appear to enjoy funding space games, hence the golden tophats of the Elite: Dangerous team and Chris Roberts’ newfound habit of paying urchins to deliver laminated press releases by hand. One of the little ragamuffins arrived this morning, doffed his cloth cap (golden cloth) and thrust a sealed manila envelope into my mitts (golden manila). The foolscap sheet inside simply read: “By the time you finish reading this sentence, Star Citizen may well have raised another trillion dollars.” I passed the lad a ha’penny and told him to make sure he showered and washed behind his ears (not golden showers).

The Mandate isn’t like Elite or Star Citizen. It’s a space game, oh yes, but with isometric tactical boarding actions and a hefty dose of roleplaying and crew management. Tasty. The developers are seeking $500,000 on Kickstarter and the campaign has begun strongly.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Elite and Star Citizen turn out, but The Mandate is more immediately appealing to me. Perihelion are promising freedom to explore procedurally generated space sectors, engaging in combat and conquest while managing the city-sized population of a modifiable ship. The relationships between crew members will have an impact on the game, although it’s not yet clear whether they’ll also lead to sexyfuntime cutscenes as so many conversations in space tend to.

Here’s a taster of the campaign’s scope:

As the captain of a ship, you’ll lead your men through battles, boarding operations, and space exploration through a hierarchy of officers, selected and honed by you.

You’ll explore your vessel isometrically, discovering the inner workings and day to day life of the officers and crew who serve under you. Invite dignitaries to your chamber, or defend your vessel from attack on foot (in the style of Jagged Alliance, X Com.)

As you lead your men to victory, yourself and officers who survive will have access to upgrades and talents, affecting gameplay and offering new tactical opportunities. Make the wrong decision, and expect to lose your officer for good with our rogue-like chain of command.

Read on for more details.

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52 Comments »

  1. RedViv says:

    This is too gorgeous and intriguing I CAN’T NOT BACK IT!

    • AngoraFish says:

      Everyone(tm) must back this game!

      • gi_ty says:

        I had to back this day one! They hit on so many perfect game play ideas that was was all to excited for day one of a sixty day kickstarter leading to an as yet undetermined development time (lots of helpless wanting ahead). THIS GAME MUST BE MADE!!

  2. Anthile says:

    I assumed the title for the inevitable article was going to be Tsarist Punk but that one’s actually a lot better.

  3. InternetBatman says:

    I’m certainly cool with more coverage for the Mandate, but why are you covering this again?

    • Voronwer says:

      Not sure why, but I missed it the first time so I’m glad I saw it now.

    • airmikee99 says:

      So I’m not the only one that thought it was Groundhogs Day when this appeared.

      Rats, I thought I was going senile already.

    • RedViv says:

      I think it had not received the Kickstartering treatment at that point, had it?

      • airmikee99 says:

        Kickstarter wasn’t mentioned in the first article, but it was mentioned in the comments, and the campaign started the same day the article was posted, so maybe Adam just forgot to add the KS bit in the first article.

        • Adam Smith says:

          Yeah – I hadn’t realised the Kickstarter was going live quite so soon when I wrote that first article and figured it was worth reminding people that the project existed and that there were more details now.

          • InternetBatman says:

            That’s fair. Either way it’s already gotten $100k, which is great.

          • Bugamn says:

            I would say that it has only gotten 100k, given that at this rate they will be dangerously close to their target according to Kicktraq.

          • airmikee99 says:

            Definitely appreciate the followup on this one, it looks amazing.

  4. Gap Gen says:

    Someone has paid 10k for this already.

  5. leeder krenon says:

    Can someone take me on a Man date?

  6. GameCat says:

    Space games are new zombies.

  7. Perjoss says:

    So glad there were subtitles for the story part of that Kickstarter video.

    • HallowedError says:

      I actually like the Spanish-like accent. I can’t recall ever hearing it in a space setting before. I even like that it was a little hard to understand because this person is talking 1500 years in the future.

      • Don Reba says:

        That’s actual Russian accent. Coincidentally, they also have a Spanish trailer, voiced by the same girl, and the pronunciation there is pretty terrible.

      • Tams80 says:

        I know recognising accents when someone is speaking English can be difficult for some people, but that was very clearly a Russian accent. Nothing like Spanish at all.

      • Meneldil says:

        Spanish, seriously?

        Dude, you just made me go through all the pain of remembering my RPS login and password just to give you a mandate-ory :facepalm:

  8. dagudman says:

    I would have never guessed Russians will control our galaxy in the future.

  9. Chiron says:

    True authority derives from a mandate from the masses, if I said I was emperor cos some watery bint threw a scimitar at me…

  10. Gap Gen says:

    Also, the finest title pun.

  11. Snidesworth says:

    I held off on backing this originally, but after playing with the ship building/exploding and character creation prototypes I jumped in. They’re both worth a poke and located on the game’s webpage.

    http://www.mandategame.com/

  12. wodin says:

    Me likes this!

  13. Moraven says:

    This seems like FTL 2.0, and that is a good thing.

    6 player co op? Hell yes.

    “One final point to make, if you inspect our reward tiers you will see that we do not have any physical rewards. ”

    And good amount of info on the Risk & Challenge part.

    Sold.

  14. ffordesoon says:

    God, I want to back this game so badly. As with Cosmic Star Heroine, it touches me in all my happy places. Actual Russian SF understandably tends toward post-apocalypse and grimy grimness, which can be quite arresting, but I’ve always wanted to see the Russian aesthetic applied to a space opera. That the game itself is basically a list of Things I Require In A Game.

    My only question is, can they deliver? I mean, Reborn ticks a lot of boxes for me too, but the KS page reeks of unchecked ambition brought on by inexperience. I haven’t looked at the KS page for this game yet, but I’ve never heard of Perihelion. Have they done any other games? Were they good?

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Never heard of them, but their ship designer thingie looks very well made which is promising regarding their programming abilities. And they hired a friggin orchestra already to make the trailer soundtrack, so it’s clear they’re serious about this project.

  15. Mr. Mister says:

    Uhm, the law of the strongest isn’t unviolable, you know. It’s preceded by the law of the most adapted.

  16. CraftyBanana says:

    This looks like it could be 40k Rogue Trader: the Video Game. And that is a thing I very much want.

  17. belgand says:

    This looks interesting, but $20 is a tad high for a game that’s still in pre-production. I’m also a little concerned by a number of different elements. Like, for example, how they have great lore, but then the game itself is procedural and doesn’t appear to contain a strong story.

    I really want to play a strategy game as that Empress though. While this looks cool I can’t help but think of how much fun that would be after watching the trailer.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      They need 500,000$. They’re not gonna reach that with 5$ contributions. You need to stop equating Kickstarter contributions with buying the game, whatever reward you get is only a motivation/thank you gesture for helping make the game happen.

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