Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This: Sticks & Starships Trailer

By Graham Smith on April 8th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Sure, throw in Final Fantasy, why not.

Sometimes a game project seems too ambitious to post. How could this possibly ever be made? But then, there is a trailer, and there are screenshots, and it is nice to dream from time to time. Sticks & Starships has all the buzzwords du jour: it’s open-world, procedurally generated, about exploration and building, and uses voxels. It also pairs that Minecraft-y/Starbound-y core with a Civilization-style march through the history technological progress, as players begin with primitive tools (like Sticks) and build towards larger and more complicated machinery (like Starships).

So that’s No Man’s Sky meets Minecraft meets Civilization. Easy enough for its two-man indie team to produce? Stranger things have happened. The trailer below gives some reason to hope.

For all the doubt its ambition places in my mind, the trailer suggests progress has already been made. The website boasts, for example, of the ability to ride narwhals, and there they are swimming in the trailer. The website also lists giant centipedes and the ability to perform “freelance nuclear engineering”, rocket science, and to construct kilometer-long starships, which seem less present but, still, the video shows off large, moving machinery.

For more information/doubt, you can peruse the Kickstarter draft – yes, it’s going to be on Kickstarter – and find even more ambition and similarly more suggestions that work is well underway. There are a lot of screenshots of different creature models. There is a description of a music composition tool, and then a screenshot of that tool right there.

Maybe all things are possible now? Maybe a small team can craft a universe while no one is looking? Or maybe this is just an impossible idea and a video with some nice music. Make your own mind up.

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23 Comments »

  1. johnkillzyou says:

    Shores of Hazeron did this already, admittedly its a bit janky and really old looking, and that was just one guy.

    • Niko says:

      I imagine at the early stages of Minecraft development some people have been saying “Infiniminer did this already”.

    • Shodex says:

      My experience with Shores of Hazeron feels like a bad trip, I can barely remember the details as I had been very tired. All I know is it was dark, I was jumping around at a ridiculous height when I saw a creepy looking animal dude who I think was a player. I clawed his eyes out and continued jumping. I then saw what I guess was a small spaceship, got in it, crashed it seconds later and then my game itself crashed and I went to bed. I think something involving shooting acid out of mine or somebody else’s anus happened in the mean time.

      Honestly I don’t know how much of what I just said was true, I only just recently (months later) realized that this game actually exists and it wasn’t all some bizarre dream.

      • hungrycookpot says:

        If you can look past the terrible graphics and crappy movement controls, it is one of the most incredibly deep and satisfying MMO experiences I have literally ever had in my life. It’s kinda like that Dwarf Fortress feeling, how is this so cool???

    • hungrycookpot says:

      I’ve been waiting for a Shores remake for YEARS now and when I saw this post that was the first thing I thought of too… Could it be true???

  2. geldonyetich says:

    As far as, “Too good to be true” goes, that trailer was the textbook definition.

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    Anthile says:

    I hope the images on on the draft are but placeholders. It’s like anime-esque gone horribly wrong.
    Also, please write about the Staglands kickstarter. They even have gifs. Gifs!

    • Shodex says:

      It’s that terrifying thing that seems to happen when white people try to draw anime/manga.

  4. Unclepauly says:

    Yeah.. Ummm.. Nope…..

  5. Shodex says:

    One of those games that looks, on paper, incredible. But I’m having a hard time getting excited due to the recent trend of really good looking paper asking for a ton of cash, then producing really awful games.

    I’ll be very pleased if I’m proven wrong, but seeing is believing. These days the indie game market is flooded with good ideas and unfinished alphas.

  6. DrManhatten says:

    I wish people would just stop with this boring mindcraft type crafting and shit thing. This so far looks like an more epic fail than Spore ever had been. Over promise under deliver here I come!

    • Shodex says:

      It’s sad how cynical we’ve gotten in regards to indie gaming. It used to be our pride and joy, a Bastion of originality in an endless sea of cookie cutter AAA disappointments. Now every indie game seems to be an unfinished alpha for a Minecraft knock-off, a DayZ knock-off, a DayZ knock-off with Minecraft elements, a Minecraft knock-off with DayZ elements, or a retro style platformer that calls itself a rogue-like.

      • DrManhatten says:

        Well that’s how things are for one original idea there are always 100s of copycats. Indie game development isn’t that much better compared to AAA in this respect. Its the same in film, music. People just see what is successful and think hey I can do that too.

        • Shodex says:

          I guess it’s grown more obvious for me because now with Kickstarter and “Early Access” you can sell your game without even finishing it and then when you get all your money you can… well, not finish it. A cookie cutter indie game isn’t such a bad thing if it’s fun and made well. Unfinished crud used to just fade away unnoticed but now people are actually paying for it and getting all upset when it ends up crap, drawing attention.

          Of course, I’m not saying Sticks & Starships will be crud, it’s actually the kind of game that the child version of myself used to dream of. But dreams are one thing, an actual fun and working game is another. But these days I’d need a lot of convincing to be interested, and I’d probably need to be blackmailed or something to actually “Kickstart” an indie project this ambitious..

          • Baltech says:

            It all starts to remind me of the Half Life modding scene, only with real money involved. Sometimes, somethign amazing did come along but there were so many half and barely finished mods out there that, granted, were interesting but just… petered out.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Since you have no negative news to compare to the hype, I don’t know how you can assume it’s already a fail (on an epic Spore level no less)

      I’m reminded of what one dude did by himself in making Shores of Hazeron, and what he could have done with an art and asset team, especially building on a solid framework like Unity. I have hope for this game that it will be something like what they want it to be. It can be done, and I have faith that it might be!

  7. SuicideKing says:

    So that’s No Man’s Sky meets Minecraft meets Civilization

    …meets Star Forge?

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    Gap Gen says:

    I liked the line “irradiate your friends”

  9. Njordin says:

    For me it does not matter if this is minecrafty or not.

    It´s inspired by Tekkit / Gregs / FTB, which are Minecraft-Modpacks and made minecraft not only playable but absolutely addicting to me.
    It´s techy, it´s complex. i wish you the best Sticks & Starships – team.

  10. SillyWizard says:

    Yawn.

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    Henke says:

    I starred at that top screenshot for a long time trying to figure out what the character on the left was supposed to be before I figured out it’s actually TWO characters. A humanoid riding on the back of an armored ostrich, and they’re both looking backwards.