Into The Stars Is A Space Captain Sim On Kickstarter

The space game genre seemed to vanish around ten years ago. It returned in 2013, flourished last year, and is now reaching the point where it’s hard to continue describing “space” as a genre. Just like “forest” isn’t a genre, space is a setting, and one in which all kinds of games are now being made. Today’s take on inky blackness: Into The Stars, a Kickstarter project from former DICE and Capcom developers that aims to mix Oregon Trail and FTL to form a first-person space captain game.

Here’s the pitch video, scored with new music from Mass Effect’s composer:

For those who prefer written words: you’re the captain of a space ship on the run from aliens who destroyed your home world. From your bay of computer screens, you manage your ship’s resources, crew, exploration and combat, occasionally switching out to a third-person ship view to deal with the latter. Although first-person and open-world, it doesn’t seem like you’ll be getting up from your Captain’s chair and adventuring like Picard – it’s a game about the decisions you make from that chair, with permadeath one of the reasons to make them carefully.

It’s got 29 days to go and has promptly raised $25,507 of its $85,000 target, which sounds small for the kind of game they’re making. My hopes are buoyed by the above trailer and the other screenshots through on the Kickstarter page, which suggest a substantial amount of the game already exists.

$25/£16.38 will get you a digital copy of the game with a projected delivery date of July 2015.

36 Comments

  1. jezcentral says:

    I’m a bit suspicious of KS targets this small. It makes me think they have already secured funding from elsewhere and are just doing this for publicity.

    On the other hand, being already funded elsewhere, it makes the likelihood of the game coming out much greater, so that’s good.

    I’ll back it.

    EDIT: Interesting, the pitch makes it sound like FTL done in the Unreal Engine. Shiny.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, same thought, except the conclusion I draw is that Kickstarters with extra funding tend to be made of broken promises but will indeed probably get made anyway, so I can hold back and wait for a finished thing with reviews, sales, and maybe even a demo.

      • jezcentral says:

        Yes, I’ve backed games that had that problem, but these devs are showing enough gameplay footage to make me think that they have actually done the bulk of the work, and just want to sprinkle some Pixie Dust Of Polish on it, rather than limping over the release-date line.

        Also: Music by Mass Effect Composer!

    • Diziet Sma says:

      They explain this in the Kickstarter, admittedly right at the bottom in the click down FAQ.

  2. Asurmen says:

    Are space sims the new MOBA?

    • Cinek says:

      lol, wat?!

    • 0positivo says:

      I’m totally fine with that, you know

    • Evil Pancakes says:

      You mean in the way where everyone and their mum is making one now? Don’t think so, but would that really be so bad? I’d prefer more space games over more lane-pushers/hero-brawlers/dota-like/not-using-MOBA-because-its-a-stupid-acronym.
      Now if only I had some spare change to pledge, because this sounds like a really cool game that I want to see made.

      • Asurmen says:

        No, it wouldn’t be bad at all but it does amuse me that since SC we’ve got several on the go now.

        I can only hope for Freespace 3.

  3. amateurviking says:

    Sounds a lot like wot the FTL chaps did WRT funding. I shall watch with interest.

  4. Crimsoneer says:

    I can’t help but think their awards disincentivise supporting them. The only “the game” tier was limited, and now you have to pay an extras $10 to get it, including an art book nobody wants. It’s not very clear and it makes you feel like you’ve missed the window.

    • ikehaiku says:

      That’s a very good point. The $15 tier (aka “the game”) is marked as “all gone” – and I don’t see the point of an extra $10 for some random wallpapers

    • hannibal127 says:

      Same thought I had. I went to the page completely prepared to back them and now I’m probably not going to, because I just want the game, no extras. Too bad really.

    • Pantalaimon says:

      Yeah, this is my problem when developers do this ‘early bird’ routine on their Kickstarter. I missed out, and at £16, that doesn’t really represent value. I might as well now just wait, since I’m sure it will actually be discounted and available cheaper than that at release.

      If the entire point is a funding drive, a limited run of 1000 copies at the most attractive tier only gets them 5% of the way to their goal.

      edit: not to mention there have been a few games that looked very similar to Into The Stars that tried to run campaigns recently, and failed. Even though this is perhaps the most shiny, if less novel.

  5. Hedgeclipper says:

    Note to captains, don’t actually fly into the stars.

    • Turkey says:

      I flew into a star once, but by the time I got there it was gone. So many wasted light years.

  6. Maxheadroom says:

    It sounds a little like a PSI-5 Trading Company. Please let it be like PSI-5 Trading Company

    Been waiting 30 years for someone to remake that

    • ishepherd says:

      Thankyou!
      I loved this game 20 years ago – had more or less forgotten it – now playing it in DOSBOX :)

  7. DasBlob says:

    Why do they use only one popular setting when they could combine two? Let’s flee from zombies rather than aliens! A bandwagon train to the stars!
    That said: It looks and sounds nice.

  8. PixelsDontMove says:

    Just sayin’

    PULSAR: Lost Colony
    link to pulsarthegame.com

    A game made by two brothers, I’ve already supported them by buying a few copies.

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      Harlander says:

      I’ve been keeping a weather eye on this, too.

      Is it playable yet?

      • cpt_freakout says:

        I think there’s a closed Alpha going on right now, but from the last few KS updates it seems that the devs are advancing quite quickly on it, and it all sounds fantastic.

  9. Jac says:

    Really wanted a game like this since star trek: unity but kind of bummed that some cheeky ensign has thought it funny to apply super space super glue to the captains chair and/or captain buttcheeks.

  10. Sacarathe says:

    I was going to back it, but I am starting to get sick of the “sold out early birds” so often necessarily present, I hope I am not the only person put off by these. They are a frankly unnecessary psychological impetus to get people to pledge quickly and to raise initial capital against the total amount asked for. Though if that was totally true, why am I put off by it so strongly, I suppose why can’t everyone pay the same?

    Will wait till its $15 on steam, chances are EA or steam sales will get it there at some point, add to that i’ve been burned* more than a few times to have to pay more for titles on kickstarter than they were available for on steam 6months after release.

    *Only ftl was good enough for me to not care :D

    Game looks awesome, will wait for steam.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I think the early birds are manipulative but I would argue that they are very important, if not strictly necessary. They provide groundswell for a project that gives it the impetus it will probably need to see through a funding campaign.

      • jezcentral says:

        I don’t mind Early Bird stuff, but as Pantalaimon said earlier, you should really give the option to a lot more people. Those slots must have sold out before the first day ended. They are going to have a hard time (admittedly, only in my opinion) up-selling the early birds all the way up to the $35 OST pledge, which looks like the next worthwhile funding level (and is the one I picked :) ).

        Still, over halfway at this early stage bodes well. Good luck to them.

  11. rabbit says:

    link to s3.amazonaws.com

    The devs sorta look like they could be hottest up and coming nu metal band from 2002.

    Game looks cool though, will have a closer read when I get home but am definitely interested. Though I agree with the above commenter RE: the ‘early bird’ thing being kinda offputting.

  12. vorador says:

    It reminds me of a Nintendo DS game named Infinite Space, but prettier.

    • plugmonkey says:

      And hopefully less grindy. I tried so hard to get into Infinite Space, but my god the grind!

      And that’s coming from an Elite player…

  13. plugmonkey says:

    Elite Dangerous keeps making me giggle at the thought of how quite much it would completely blow the mind of 8-year old me.

    As a kid I was so totally drawn to anything that gave me a space ship, be it Elite or Privateer or stuff like Buck Rogers or Starflight. Playing ED every night, I can’t work out why it ever went away. I now I want more, at any rate.

    Something with more of a command role would make an interesting change from all the solo space jockying. I shall watch this with interest.

  14. Synesthesia says:

    That minigame gave me shivers. Rest looks interesting, though! I wonder what happenned to lovers from a dangerous spacetime. I want that one.

    • Rizlar says:

      Yeah, who on earth thought it would be a good idea to include so much footage of an inane looking minigame?

      Colour me cynical but I’m thinking bloated, unnecessarily 3D version of FTL. Maybe it’s just over exposure to the dev team’s faces in that video that is turning me off, or their frequent use of words like ‘amazing’, ‘fantastic’, ‘greatest sci-fi game ever’ to describe the project. I’m just being a twat, don’t mind me. Good luck to them, I will be delighted to buy the game if it lives up to the hyperbole!

      • seniorgato says:

        Ugh, that’s a damn good point. Is this…. a mini game disguised as FTL?
        Errrr…..

      • LionsPhil says:

        These damn videos desperately need [citation needed] blinking away at the bottom.

  15. RARARA says:

    At 0:17, OMG SPACE PEGGLES!

  16. johnbeeler says:

    Star Trek Bridge Commander did this quite well. The ship graphics have aged fairly well (the on-the-bridge scenes, not so much).