Slaves To The Rhthym: Galactic Princess Kickstarter

By Alec Meer on February 18th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Space smuggler sim/adventure/ship-builder/I don’t really know Galactic Princess drew a salute of admiration from Craig late last year, and now it hopes to inspire a similar reaction from a few thousand people as it tries to obtain £20,000 without the Spacecops noticing. Er, by which I mean that it’s on Kickstarter, not that it’s stealing cash.

It’s a lovely looking (and sounding) thing, like FTL and Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery threw a 1980s-themed party. Modular ship building, pew-pew party combat, Eliteish choice of what sort of space-type you want to be – a diplomatic sort, an honest trader, an arms dealer, even a slaver. Ick.

I think there might even be a touch of X-COM in there too, in the ship/base management aspect. If I’m honest though, there’s so much described that I don’t have the foggiest how it’ll actually play – sounds like a sackful of great ideas, and very much my sort of thing, on paper, but whether it’ll all coalesce into something slick and coherent I don’t know.

I adore the art though, even if Capy/Superbrothers are owed something of a debt. Though the debt is perhaps more to the old Delphine adventure games, such as Future Wars. I loved the bejeesus out of that at the time, even though it mad and frustrating and insanely punitive and I’d surely loathe it now. Anyway, Space Princess looks like a hyper-detailed take on that stuff, with a rather more wry sense of retro-futurism and Star Wars nods.

That music.

Again: I have no sense of at all of whether this is any good, but I’m tempted to back it just to get one of the mugs. Then I realise I’d be paying 90 euros primarily for a mug, which I’d probably have to wait months for, so perhaps I should take a screenshot on a USB key to Boots and make myself an unofficial Galactic Princess mug for eight quid right now.

Enough of my coffee receptacle dilemma, though. If you want to back Galactic Princess, it’s here and currently has about £12k of its desired 20k.

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40 Comments »

  1. Prolar Bear says:

    The characters REALLY look like the ones in Superbrothers.

    • alms says:

      That screenshot easily reminds of the concert in Sword & Sworcery, which is probably why it was picked in the first play – but watching the video, they look the same only from a distance, Superbrothers’ character design has a few key, distinctive features that are conspicuously absent here.

  2. Wulfram says:

    Gah, why do interesting games have to adopt horrible art styles.

    • ZethJack says:

      Because some games put the actual gameplay over the looks.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Hell no. This is an intentional decision to ape that particular god-awful style, not one of art-budget necessity. There are many other ways to quickly draw a little pixel dude on a tight time and skill budget.

        • Kestrel says:

          …I like the style :(

          • Red Tonic says:

            I think it’s gorgeous and has a great deal of character. The style, and pixel art like this in general, puts the lie to the push for ever more powerful graphics processors.

            But in the end, there’s no arguing over matters of taste. (Okay, that’s a lie–there’s plenty of argument, but it’s just not very productive.)

          • Wulfram says:

            I think the superiority of Lords of Midnight on the Spectrum to this gives the lie to the push for ever more powerful graphics processors

          • LionsPhil says:

            Sure, if you like it, like it.

            But, man, this isn’t a case of “gameplay over graphics” at all. That’s DF. Here, time was spent intentionally on creating these graphics. It’s the difference between a five-minute bored biro scrawl and a meticulous oil painting of Jeremy Beadle’s left ear. However you may choose to interpret and defend such a crime against canvas, have you a positive or negative preference for the lobes of deceased clip show presenters, “it wasn’t a significant part of the creator’s work” isn’t a valid answer.

          • Wisq says:

            Care to supply counter-examples? It’s difficult to rationally discuss this otherwise.

            What I’ll say for now is, low res pixelated art styles make it easy to disguise a low art budget across the board. Compare Minecraft to CastleMinerZ. Cube game (inherently lo-fi) with low res textures = cute, retro. Cube game with photorealistic textures = incongruous, cheap. As soon as you upgrade one aspect, you need to do them all.

          • Red Tonic says:

            I don’t see it as a gameplay versus graphics thing. I see it as an aesthetic preference. I enjoy this presentation, the art, for what it is–and there’s a market (of people like me!) for this sort of thing. That means that you don’t need to push the technological envelope with ever-more-realistic depictions of protag’s left buttcheek open comedone to get a healthy number of people interested in buying what you’re selling. Hence undermining the MORE POWER side. If you don’t like the art, you don’t like it–and that’s fine.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I should clarify that I am talking about this, to quote someone below, “long-legs-no-face “retro” style”, not pixelart in general. I mean, christ, look left at my Gravatar.

            (Although pixelart that doesn’t actually snap to a pixel grid? YOU GO THE FIRE.)

        • Phasma Felis says:

          It’s a perfectly legit style and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s good that there are devs out there playing with new, uncommon, or unusual art styles. They won’t always be to everyone’s tastes, but there’s plenty more games out there! Better that everyone get a chance at their favorite style than to lock everyone into just a few choices.

        • alms says:

          Frankly, the only godawful thing here is your taste.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      Super Eagle filter is a stretch goal.

    • Wisq says:

      Because some people enjoy art styles that other people consider horrible.

  3. Jams O'Donnell says:

    (I like the art style)

  4. Noviere says:

    I’ve been waiting for this Kickstarter ever since RPS teased the game a while back. I love the art(it is quite Super Brothers-y), and the game sounds great. /backed

  5. Lanfranc says:

    Seems a little vague on what you actually do beyond the pew-pew parts.

  6. Pich says:

    To be honest i’m getting a bit tired of this long-legs-no-face “retro” style. it’s starting to be the brown’n'bloom of indie games.

  7. ZIGS says:

    Someone will make a swastika-shaped ship. And also a penis

    • Wisq says:

      Since I see no mention of multiplayer, I guess that means they can make their rude ships all day long and not bother anyone.

  8. gwathdring says:

    I looks incredibly pretty and a lot of love has obviously gone into the art. However, I can’t for the life of me tell whether it would be any fun to actually play. It’s a wait-and-see for me.

  9. twaitsfan says:

    Future Wars, @alec Jebus bless you! I found that game in a bargain bin about 20 years ago and loved it. The James Bond that they did was OK and cruise for the corpse was beautiful but impossible, but Future Wars is a phenomenal game that nobody seems to have ever heard of.

    Oh yeah, and you’re right, this game DOES look like it!

  10. crowleyhammer says:

    Pixel Pirates in space, innit.

  11. BerthaCBowling says:

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    look at this website ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, http://www.Fizzjob.com

  12. Ralphomon says:

    Am I the only one who automatically follows the words ‘Galactic Princess’ with “BUS-TERRR” and the galaxy exploding?

  13. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    We at (shameless self promotion) Convoy Games decided that pixel art was the way to go for us. When we started, we knew we’d have about 7-9 months to complete our game without any budget. Using a/any form of non-pixel art means you also have to make “fancy” particle effects, explosions, animations, etc. These all take time.
    For example, we figured that we could draw a pixel art car in 3 hours. Any other kind of style would take at least twice that time. Add effects such as particles (where with pixel art you can get away with squares in various colours), you’d be talking about a lot more time.

    You can also more easily “copy” various images and they’ll still look ok. Pixel art definitely is a time saver!

    As for them copying the character style of Superbrothers, although it may not be the “good” thing to do, it does save some time in defining your own style. Plus, people are already familiar with it and fans Superbrothers might see it as a bonus.

    That, and what the comic above says. Nothing says “indie” like pixel art.

    One thing I’ve learned as a starting game developer is that making games really take a lot of time. We’d of course learned this in school where we’d made a few small games and all that, but now that that’s over, still it hit us hard. There is never enough time, and “cutting corners” is often the only option available.

    Edit – This was meant to be a reply to the second comment on this article…

  14. chrisbob says:

    Getting a serious Captain Forever vibe from from the gameplay.

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