Space! Battles! Gratuitousness!

In space, no-one can hear you be gratuitous.

Space is gratuitous. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly gratuitous it is.

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Gratuitous.

Ack, it’s no good. I just can’t decide which stereotypical sci-fi quote to tiresomely rip-off. Instead, just watch this video of Cliffski ‘Gets A Bit Feisty’ Harris’ new’un. BOOM.

A pretty apt demonstration of the hard split between scheming and smashing, no? Also: I can’t help but dig the John Williams-esque score.

Very much looking forward to this one – but if it isn’t at least 84% gratuitous, I’m going to kick the ear off a man so hard that it hits a planet three solar systems away and makes a sun explode while 12,000 naked girls dance in celebration and a 399,996,534 foot slug sings La Cucaracha. And then spontaneously combusts. GRATUITOUS.


  1. Jimi! says:

    Jimi says you can’t complain about angry internet men and simultaneously bait them with every other post. Come on!!!! Come on! !!! There’s a game?! CLIFFSKI. Say what you like, I thought unreal tournement was worth our time. I remember… PAYING FOR IT. Of course man, you know me.

  2. Meatloaf says:

    How Gratuitous.

  3. Alec Meer says:

    Oh Jimi, dear, there’s more than one man called Cliff in the world.

  4. panik says:

    sheer gratuity rules

  5. Bret says:

    Needs more GRATUITOUSnessosity.

    Otherwise, looks fun.

  6. Empyreal says:

    The only thing I don’t like is how the ships flash red when damages. It takes away from the whole thing, which otherwise is relatively atmospheric. Besides that, looks amazing.

  7. AndrewC says:

    So is there any player control at all once the space battles start happening?

  8. Empyreal says:

    Er. Damaged, not damages. Sorry.

  9. The_B says:

    @Alec For a minute, I thought this was from Dance artist Calvin Harris, who was going to employ Dizzee Rascal to invite us to ‘Blast Into Space With Me’.

  10. Dizet Sma says:

    Experiencing A Significant Gratuitous Shortfall


    What Are The Civilian Applications?

  11. Pags says:

    @The_B And for another minute, I thought it might be Cliff Richard going all viral to promote his next christmas single (albeit in July).

    This looks pretty excellent though.

  12. Nakki says:

    Looks cool, but if it doesn’t have multiplayer I doubt it’ll be worth buying unless it’s really cheap.

  13. Nakki says:

    Oh yeah, and by multiplayer I definately mean more than one player per side.

  14. Fat says:

    Are you guy gonna do a piece on Trine? It came out yesterday on Steam. Demo was pretty fun, think i might wait for an ‘offer’ weekend or something to get it though.

    Fun or not, £20 is a bit steep for what sounds like quite a short game, being a student and all.

  15. MA6200 says:

    Looks pretty cool. Not a big fan of the red flashing either, but everything else looks very nice – the explosions are really well done, and I like how the pace of the game looks. The beginning mentions tower defense – anyone know how much control you have of your ships?

    Any plans to put this on Steam?

  16. yutt says:

    Oh goodness, that battle layout looks like Star Control 2. I’m sold.

  17. pirate0r says:

    Do you know what this game reminds me of? A 2D version of nexus: the Jupiter incident.

    Cliffski, you had me at Gratuitous.

    Will there me any type of extended single player? Like a campaign set in an entire solar system where I get to tell ships where to go and fight?

  18. Rhooke says:

    @Dizet Banks’ ship names are fantastic. I’d probably try and come up with similarly awesome ones for my fleet… except I get the feeling that I shouldn’t grow to attached to anything in this game.

  19. Marcin says:

    That is a yummeh trailer. It has gratuitous, and space, and battles.

    That’s all I got.

    Oh okay, one more thing. Sold!

  20. Caiman says:

    Looking much better than the last trailer, it’s definitely on the radar now. If there’s no control in the battles (classic tower defence) then I hope they up the gratuitousness a bit more – ships exploding into discrete pieces, pieces hitting other ships and damaging them, internal fires causes explosions, even random comets and meteorites. One of my favourite space battle games was Haegemonia – this looks like it could get a similar feel going.

    But Plants vs. Zombies has spoiled us in terms of “interactive tower defence”. I hope there’s at least something to do during the battles, because it’s what made me buy PvZ and leave, say, Defence Grid: The Awakening on the virtual shelf.

  21. Tyler says:


  22. The Unshaven says:

    @Caiman: I actually found Defence Grid good on that score. It’s quite dynamic, in terms of being able to shape enemy paths as they move by building new towers, and timing whether you want to upgrade towers or get more interest from leaving money in the bank…

    Overall, this does look fun. But I too think the ships flashing red looks a bit arcadey to me.

    – The Unshaven.

  23. Al3xand3r says:

    Tower Defense? Interest went from over 9000 to -10…

  24. Al3xand3r says:

    I would have preffered a larger scale, prettier, Return to Infinite Space as it seemed to be at first. Focused on the combat aspect only of course. It even has a similar interface for outfitting weapons and gear to your ships.

    link to

    link to

  25. Skye Nathaniel says:

    This is looking really awesome. Now that footage of the interface has been shown, my imagination is running. I just need to know that there are things to be done during battle, that it’s not just pump-and-fire. Some tech trees and support role ships would be cool. I’m looking to this game to scratch every sci-fi itch I can find through my pilot suit.

  26. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    This continues to look (gratuitously) marvelous.

  27. Jezebeau says:

    Reminds me of Battleships Forever .

  28. greenB says:

    What’s that make us?
    Big damn gratuitous, sir!

  29. Larington says:

    Might I suggest (Assuming this doesn’t have technical issues), that instead of representing ship damage with red flashes you have little explosions that turn into space-borne fires… The more the ship is in flames, the heavier the damage. It seems to me to be a far more natural way of representing the condition of your (And enemies) fleet that comes complete with it’s own coolness factor.

  30. Larington says:

    Also, possibly, very heavily damaged ships could suicide ram a nearby enemy ship if the opportunity presents itself, for massive damage.

  31. sigma83 says:

    Very awesome

  32. cliffski says:

    Thanks for everyone’s comments. The ‘non-interactive’ bit is a design decision because of the way the ‘play-by-email’ style challenges work (you can send your fleet to another player to act as his opponent). That’s not to say there are any technical limitations engine-wise to me adding an interactive element at a later stage.

    Enough people have mentioned the red flashing that I need to fix it. Basically that is armour absorbing impacts, as opposed to the explosions, which indicate actual hull damage (after the armour is blasted-through).

    I’ll come up with something better for the armour effect…

  33. Baka says:

    This could be my kind of fun.

  34. EyeMessiah says:

    Looks rocking. Any thoughts on the pricepoint yet Cliffski?

  35. Fat Zombie says:

    See, I’m not really a fan of strategy games. Or Tower Defence.

    But THIS looks like awesome on toast. Space! Explosions! Giant, slow-moving leviathan starships fighting shooty lasers at each other! PEW PEW PEW etc.

    See, I think I’d actually prefer the non-interactive battles. I find that most strategy games have you concentrating too much to enjoy the ‘splodes. So this looks goooood.

  36. cliffski says:

    You can also slow down speed up and pause, then zoom and scroll around, so you get to zip through the battles if you just want results and no eye candy, or you can observe each laser blast impact in detail if you like that sort of thing. (I do :D)

  37. Magnus says:

    Looks very impressive! Seven shades of impressive even!

    Haven’t played a space-strategy game in ages, may have to pick this up.

  38. arqueturus says:

    Do want!

    I can see the Eve influences all over this cliffski, would that I had any programming ability whatsoever and I might have come up with something similar myself.

    I know you do a demo but consider me sold, the only thing that I feel I even need the demo for is to see if the ‘non-interactive’ aspect of the game is acceptable to my pallete.

    I’ve always considered the ability to play an instrument well as something special and I’ve long wondered if musicians find it fantastic to be able to play music that they want to listen too. You’re doing the same thing with games you jammy devil :)

  39. Homunculus says:

    I’m imagining this married with Star Control 2’s exploratory aspects and it’s making me slightly a-quiver.

    Is there going to be some sort of pre-battle random text generation of ludicrous reasons why the sides are going to war?

  40. dejay says:

    I think the red flashing is meant to indicate a shield strike, as ships do appear to be on fire and thus heavily damaged during the video.

  41. dejay says:

    Oops, missed cliffski’s comments earlier.

  42. Myros says:

    Sorry to be so OT, but why is RPS the only site on the internet I go to that crashes my IE7 browser, about 80% of the time? Just started a couple weeks back ..what yas change?

    Anyway, game looks cool … would love it if the was a rpg/strategic level to it in the vein of 4x.

  43. cliffski says:

    I had thought about a system where all of the battles had some incredibly silly original justification such as an argument about hover-car parking spaces that escalates into intergalactic megadeath, but I haven’t actually done it yet :D

  44. PC Monster says:

    An interesting beast. I don’t like Tower defence games at all, and yet I’m sorely tempted to pick this one up. The battles look amazing and I’m moderately moistened by the idea of meticulously planning my loadouts and tactics before sitting back to watch the show….and yes, the ability to slow down and focus on certain things could be fun!

  45. tapanister says:

    Just wanted to say that I found the red circle shield thing pretty obvious and just saying, I don’t think it needs to be changed. Then again I just woke up, so I might have missed something.

  46. Cigol says:

    Looking good.

    Maybe the red shield thing could be a pulsing gradient emanating from where it was hit – as opposed to just the whole of the ship.

  47. Cooper says:

    I like the idea of this, and, yes, does remind me of battleships forever too. Which is no bad thing, as that was an excellent game that just needed a bit more felshing out. But the ship designer was the best bit about that game.

    It’s not clear from the video, but are the ship structures pre-determined – it looked like you slot items onto slots of pre-figured ships. It’d be very nice to have a ship design systm a la battleships forever or GalCiv…

  48. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    “over-the-top explodiness”

    Sold :)

  49. DrazharLn says:

    @Dizet Sma

    If this game includes a culture style ship name generator, then I’d buy it just for that.

    Then again, I’m a Banksonian (I may have just made that word up)

  50. Gurrah says:

    Uhhhh, I’m liking it! Looks very much like an updated version of Weird World: Return to infinite space’s sandbox-mode. Colour me interested.