The Result of all that Shipbuilding: Captain Forever

Sexy pink
I’ve been meaning to go back and prod at this determinedly some more for a while, but Brandon Boyer mentioning it in his round-up of Indie Hotness makes me think I should just plug it and then bully Quinns into having a nose when he comes over later. As it’s totally his sort of thing. Anyway, you know Farbs? Developer of the brilliant Rom Check Fail? Writer of the best I-quit statement in development history when he left 2K Australia? He’s just started betaing his first commercial game, Captain Forever which is basically Asteroids meets Gratuitous Space Battles (inspired by Battleships Forever, natch). You fly around, shooting things. With the things you shoot off, you stick to your ship and turn into an enormoship with hyperguns. Footage and more stuff beneath the cut…

A full trailer…

And a 15-second hypertrailer…

2D Boy are digging it. The other interesting thing is… well, Farbs is using a Mount&Blade-esque funding method, where you can pay 15 dollars and get Beta access immediately. When it comes out, it’ll be twenty dollars. Since there’s no demo yet, that strikes me as a lot to pay sight unseen – so we’ll definitely try to go back and have a proper nose as soon as possible. Because conceptually, this really is rather splendid.


  1. Vanlock says:

    Indeed, trailers make me want to play it, but i don’t feel like giving 15$ without knowing a little more and touching it!

  2. neems says:

    Wow, looks pretty groovy. Whether it’s worth the money remains to be seen though.

  3. Rich says:

    Asking $15 for an online game without the option to play a few minutes isn’t going to win me over. I’m not enough of a fan of this sort of game to pay anything without trying it first.
    Plus $15 is about a tenner, I could get a real game for that.

  4. RogB says:

    im struggling to see the point of that hypertrailer. wtf?

  5. Super Bladesman says:

    It does look very promising, but aye – is it worth a $15 gamble?

  6. Jon says:

    I’m with the people saying that $15 without getting to try it is too much. If it was a full downloadable game, I might let them off, but since updates aren’t that much hassle with a Flash game, there’s not much of an excuse not to provide a 10 minute trial or something.

  7. Turin Turambar says:

    This isn’t the Mount & Blade model. The M&B model was to give the demo (the full game for around 140 minutes) and convert it to full game when you preorder it. Where is the long demo here?

  8. Kieron Gillen says:

    The interesting part of the M&B model was funding via development giving access to the Beta for an essential pre-order at a lower price.

    I actually agree that 15 dollars on a dice-roll is a bit too much, at least yet.

    Yet is a key word. I suspect this is one worth watching.


  9. maple story hack says:

    Yes, it’s pretty strange that they are asking for $15 without giving at least one trial.

  10. Stuk says:

    OOooo, this looks amazing. I’ve always loved the idea of a customisable ship building game, awfully tempted to drop some money on this…

  11. Vanlock says:

    But won’t Farbs make the game/beta available also as an exe? Browser only is a bit weird for a game you have to pay in beta.

  12. Muzman says:

    I thought it might be like Tumiki Fighters, but no it’s way more detailed than that by the looks.
    And stylish; I love the seeing “your” reflection in the monitor thing.

  13. lobsterjohnson says:

    So like Armada on Dreamcast?

    If so sign me up!

    (Also glowy faux-retro vector graphics are always a plus.)

  14. David says:

    I’m into it. The trailers, the developer, the model, even the website has a neat groove going on. Buying it now.

  15. Lars BR says:

    I thought Morpheus (by Andrew Braybrook on the 64).

    • Nox says:

      @ Lars BR

      Wait, Andrew Braybrook of Paradroid fame, my favorite game on the C-64, followed by M.U.L.E. and Below the Root? Or am I misremembering? (I can’t be hassled with a quick Google search right now, apparently). What is the Morpheus of which you speak? With my memory and advanced years, I may have played it and simply forgotten since.

      Also, if this seems neat, look up an indie game circa 2003 called SpacePod. If I’m not mistaken, that may have been my first bonafide Internet purchase. The ship-building element is strikingly similar. The best part was that it had multiplayer. I’ve enjoyed many a LAN party shooting elements off of my enemies’ ships and grafting them onto mine, literally turning their own weapons against them.

      Not recently, though. It probably doesn’t even run in Windows 7. Or Vista, for that matter. If it’s still available for purchase some six years later and anyone reading this picks up a copy, I’ll dust off my serial key and try to get it working! If I remember correctly, it even had Gamespy support.

      Anyway, I’ve purchased games before sight-unseen (most recently, Overgrowth) as sometimes I find myself enamored with a concept or simply eager to contribute to what I hope will end up being a unique and entertaining title. Heck, I bought Savage 2 and Heroes of Newerth based on my experiences with the original Savage alone, and I’ll probably never play either of them.

      I’m giving this one serious consideration.

    • Stu says:

      Morpheus was what sprang to mind for me as well, along with X-Out to a certain degree. (and, more recently, Upgrade Complete.)

  16. RogB says:

    didnt M&B start at something like $5 though? so for not much game you payed ‘not much’. this seems to be almost final retail price already though.

  17. Po0py says:

    I’d love to see the end game. I’m assuming you will eventually control giant uber-powerful ship and there will be GeometryWars style lazers and debris flying everywhere. Definatly one to watch.

  18. Columbus007 says:

    Is it just me, or is there a faint “reflection” of a Tie-fighter-esque pilot in those trailers? That’s a neat touch.

    • Stu says:

      Even better, apparently the game can use a webcam to show your face as the reflection.

    • Stu says:

      (Um, I mean the face of the player; I’m not suggesting we all get to see your face.)

  19. Tei says:

    This look like Spore. I spore where in space, and done better :-)

  20. Farbs says:

    Cheers for the plug Kieron. For those worried about the price, it helps to think about it as a series of games. The first one is finished and currently available to supporters. Once I finish the second game it’ll also be available to the supporters, and the first game will be made available to everyone else for free. So long as there’s enough support I’ll keep making games in the series, and for the cost of one supporter fee you’d get access to all of them. It’s really nice that some people are supporting the game already, but I totally understand that most people will want to play the free game first. Hell I’m sure I would.

    TLDR: There’s a free game coming. If you like it you might want to buy the non-free stuff. You might not. Either way, free game!

  21. Stense says:

    Its a neat concept thats for sure. But I think I’ll wait for a review of some sort or maybe a demo.

  22. Garg says:

    I love the reflection of your helmet in the display (at least I assume what it is?). Coupled with the cool retro style; looks great.

  23. radomaj says:

    What Garg loves and Columbus thinks of as “a neat touch”, I think of as “creeping me the hell out”. I’m hoping for an option to turn it off.

  24. Fuu says:

    Holy Jesus. Holy Jesus.

  25. Diji says:

    You already can turn off the reflection.

  26. Dave says:

    Bubble Tanks meets Lego, maybe? Could be fun.

  27. th15 says:

    Wootay, you go farbs!

  28. FernandoDANTE says:

    I like everything but the soundtrack.

  29. qrter says:

    Oh.. I’d actually support this, but it seems it’s Paypal only. I’d do it if there was a more direct way to pay, say through something like Plimus, which a lot of indie companies use.

    I sound like a shill for Plimus now. Oh well. ;)

  30. Dominic White says:

    Ironic. I find Plimus a pain in the arse because they make payments through Paypal so slow. Go figure.

  31. qrter says:

    Plimus (and other services, btw) allow you to make direct transfers, which are instant like Paypal but directly from your bank account. Much easier, I feel.

    • phuzz says:

      You can give paypal a bank account to take money out of instead of a card (if you trust ’em), and that always seems pretty quick to me.

  32. EyeMessiah says:

    Haha HyperTrailer is HYPERAWESOME.

  33. Jarmo says:

    I felt compelled to become a supporter. I wonder what class girder I am.

  34. Irria says:

    Sort of a reverse version of this, looks like.

  35. DrazharLn says:

    I spent my $15 on it. It’s a fun browser game, but I believe it’s essentially a prototype for the final release.

    It’s cool, well presented and beautiful in it’s simplicity. There are problems with the prototype/first game, however. The most annoying one is that you can’t take the time to refit your ship as you get better parts, someone comes along and starts shooting you.

    A solution to this problem for me was to build a big scoop into the front of my ship, I’d dodge round the back of a foe and blow him up while preserving whichever parts I wanted and then just fly into the parts and run away until I had some more space to refit.

    I also found it annoying when a neutral ship suddenly started firing on me after another AI hit it and wipes out all my good stuff.

    Protip (It’s ok! I’m being ironic!): if you value speed, you can protect your thrusters by putting them inside the ship

    Yeah, good game. The initial offering probably isn’t worth $15 on its own, but farbs promises sequels, so it’s all good.

  36. DrazharLn says:

    Woah! My page refreshes with the comment and everything’s gone… different

    Still no edit button though.

  37. J.J. Hudson says:

    Is “natch” back in vogue, Kieron?

    (Which begs the question, was it ever out?)