Vaporware Dreams – Infinity: Battlescape On Kickstarter

Oh, the dream!

For about a decade now, space sim Infinity has turned eyes starry with dreams of a universe so fancy you can even fly down through a planet’s atmosphere to its surface. After Duke Nukem Forever and Diablo III finally came out, Infinity ascended to claim the title Lord Vaporware – Star Citizen has nothing on these timescales.

For real, though, Infinity might arrive in 2017 – if its Kickstarter pans out. Well, Infinity: Battlescape [official site] might, a pared-down vision which focuses on multiplayer combat so developers I-Novae Studios can actually finish and release something.

The idea for Infinity: Battlescape is large-scale battles with hundreds of ships duking it out across a single solar system, from kilometres-long capital ships capable of orbital bombardment to bombers ducking into planet atmospheres and down valleys. Each of the three corporations have factories, space stations, bases, AI-controlled defenses, and so on, so folks will need to coordinate if they’re to achieve anything. It sounds a bit PlanetSide-y, but not persistent.

It will have an offline sandbox mode for larking about, but is focused on multiplayer.

I-Novae are looking for $300,000 (£200k-ish) to finish up Battlescape. Pledging £15 would get you a copy of the finished game, which I-Novae hope to release in September 2017. If the Kickstarter goes really well, they plan things like base-building and mod support. Look, here’s a video showing off spaceships and all that jazz:

And here’s a little planetary transition:

That idea was a whole lot more impressive in 2006, but it’s still pretty cool. Heck, I’m just surprised to hear from Infinity again. It’s a shame I-Novae don’t have some solid gameplay footage giving a proper sense of the scale and intensity they’re hoping for in the battles but hey, I understand half the fun of crowdfunding is daydreaming about what might be.

179 Comments

  1. KDR_11k says:

    Well, Evochron lets you fly down to planet surfaces… and leave almost immediately because it’s boring down there.

    • bikkebakke says:

      Might be a bit different if you have up to a hundred players nearby though.

      • Bugamn says:

        I believe it will be hard to have a hundred players at every planet.

        • The Sane says:

          Hundreds of players in one spot is perfectly doable. They’ve already done a mock up simulating over 100 connections to the current prototype from Europe to the US without without issue (each connection was “controlling” a ship moving it and firing randomly). And this is before any packet compression. In the end it will just depend on the server.

          • Bugamn says:

            I don’t doubt the technology, I doubt that there will be enough players.

          • The Sane says:

            Oh I see. Well in many games you will find lots and lots of smaller servers with the player population spread out between them all. I guess here you would only have a few servers.

          • Trotar says:

            I think they are underestimating the problem of that many real players. You can’t just simulate that and expect the same results as connecting to real players.
            If it was that easy then more games would have huge online battles, but it’s simply not that easy.
            Heck the big Eve online has to resort to time dilation to make it work, and they already have less data to stream due to players not directly flying their ships.

            Don’t get me wrong, I think the game will be fun regardless. But I’m not expecting to battle it out with hundreds of people at once.
            Out of visual range sure, but not within view.

  2. Perjoss says:

    Is this the game that was in development and used to be called Infinity: Quest for Earth, or is this something different?

    • bikkebakke says:

      Ye it was, though making an mmo was more likely to be a dream. Battlescape is a much more feasible project. The kickstarter page should have most of the information you might need, if not the forum is pretty friendly.

  3. colw00t says:

    Those are either some incredibly huge mountains, or that’s an incredibly small planet.

    • manio22 says:

      Well , according to the hud’s altimeter at around 1.07m he is flying at ~3.9km visibly near the mountaintops, so…

    • manio22 says:

      Now that i am watching the video more carefully , the altimeter shows the distance from the point of surface currently passing by, and not the sea level….so we can’t be sure.

  4. Infinitron says:

    A decade? Cleve Blakemore laughs.

  5. Bishop149 says:

    The original infinity did get as far as having a playable tech demo, which I tried out . . . . which was basically a smaller scale version of what it sounds like they’re kickstarting here.

    Colour me suspicious.

    • Premium User Badge

      Topperfalkon says:

      @Bishop149 The prototype you’re referring to was the ICP, a combat prototype. It had a very basic feature-set consisting of two teams flying at each other in identical ships in space with Newtonian physics. Battlescape is aiming for a lot more than that.

      • Cinek says:

        A lot more? From what I heard all you’ll be able to do is fighting, flying (“exploring”), capturing flags (“bases”) and more flying (“transporting cargo”).

        • Premium User Badge

          Topperfalkon says:

          That’s still one more than Elite offers.

          • Premium User Badge

            Topperfalkon says:

            Oops, I forgot about CQC. It’s no less than what Elite offers.

          • Cinek says:

            Erm… Elite does offer you more. Battles with cap ships, missions system, piracy, smuggling, exploration is an actual system that brings profits as opposite to just flying around, mining, bounty hunting…

          • Premium User Badge

            Topperfalkon says:

            Sorry, it’s just that you seemed to be using reductive logic. Battlescape intends to have capship battles (including controllable capships) if it reaches sufficient funding.
            I don’t really get worked up over the particular guise of shooting I’m doing, and I find that straightforward faction vs faction combat is generally more enjoyable. I don’t personally find the way Elite does it particularly satisfying either in the open galaxy or in CQC. Exploration will definitely have a purpose in Battlescape as well, especially if the stretch goal for player-built structures is met, because you’ll have to explore to find enemy installations so you can destroy them.

          • Bugamn says:

            There’s a lot of ifs there. The more I hear about this game, the less probable its success seems to me. It’s a space game with epic battles of hundreds of players with no downtime, a fully explorable solar system, controllable capital ships and player-deployed structures. I’m probable missing things, but this already seems to be stretching what I believe to be achievable.

          • Premium User Badge

            Topperfalkon says:

            “Ifs” are how Kickstarter works.

          • Bugamn says:

            And lots of ifs are how kickstarters fail. And don’t think I am one of those that hates Kickstarter, I have backed more games than you have fingers, but I try to back projects only when I believe it’s realizable.

          • Trotar says:

            They are clearly not aiming for a game at the scope of Elite.
            And that’s fine, but lets not pretend that they are.

          • Premium User Badge

            Topperfalkon says:

            They were, but for a team their size it was an impractical aspiration. They may return to that idea some day, if this is successful enough.

            Don’t get me wrong, I like Elite, but it really doesn’t use scale to its advantage, and a lot of the gameplay is rather dull. It feels to me like Elite has all the right ideas there, it just hasn’t worked out the perfect execution of them yet.

          • Trotar says:

            “They were, but for a team their size it was an impractical aspiration. They may return to that idea some day, if this is successful enough.”

            Yes, I know. And I do hope their KS is a success so they can make the money they would need to see that grand vision being created at some point.

    • The Sane says:

      There was once a very basic combat prototype available to the public.. not really comparable.

      The engine development has gone through a few phases now, from starting off as a the personal hobby of just 1 person until a team was built around the idea. This team has mainly been working on bringing the engine up to scratch and it’s worth noting that all of they have all been doing it in spare time while entirely unfunded. It’s quite amazing to see that they are now ready to build a game on it. Just need some money to quit there jobs and go full time.

  6. Zenicetus says:

    The speed of the ship in that first clip is impressively fast, relative to the planet rings and space station. That’s something missing in all the recent space games (IMO) — a subjective impression that your ship has proper spaceship speeds, and not just faffing around like an atmospheric fighter plane.

    What’s shown in canned trailers usually gets dumbed down to atmospheric combat speeds in the final release, to keep the combat “close” and “exciting.” So it will be interesting to see if the final game manages to maintain those high speeds. On the other hand, I can’t get too interested anyway as long as it’s multiplayer only (sigh).

    • Premium User Badge

      Topperfalkon says:

      There are plans for a singleplayer mode. I’m not entirely sure how that’ll work though.

  7. DevilishEggs says:

    As hard a time as recent space sim projects have had delivering on what people want, I’m beginning to see why, post-Freelancer, so many publishers swore them off. Apparently making a game about a giant empty place is tougher than it seems. Part of me wishes I could hop in a time machine and fast forward 5 years to when at least one of these has totally suceeded.

    • Zenicetus says:

      My theory for why this happens (and I’m obviously biased), is that the modern gaming expectation of multiplayer support is to blame. And most of that is coming from the developer side, not necessarily what fans of classic space games are looking for.

      Wing Commander, Freelancer Tie Fighter, Freespace 2, and I-War never had trouble getting off the ground because they were built from scratch as singleplayer games. A developer can make a game just as good as those today, when they can resist the MMO temptation.

      This was just demonstrated with the release of Rebel Galaxy, a great little game that’s sort of a lightweight take on Freelancer with capital ships and arcade-level combat. Very fun game, if you can accept the limitations. If the Rebel Galaxy devs had decided to make it multiplayer also, I bet they’d still be working on it, and it wouldn’t be half as much fun as it is now.

      • SuicideKing says:

        FreeSpace 2 did have a secondary coop and multiplayer component, but it was really just “go shoot more stuff”…so I suppose both of you are correct here.

    • SuicideKing says:

      FREEEEEESPAAAAACE THREEEEEE…is the only game I can see succeeding in space. FreeSpace, after all, isn’t about “here giant galaxy, go everywhere!”, it’s “here’s a small mission, GO SHOOT STUFF” with huge ships battling it out while your few wings of fighters flit in between. Backed up with lots of lore, of course.

    • iainl says:

      What killed them, as much as the budget/management craziness of Freelancer, was that only a fairly limited number of people like these Space games. In a world where the only revenue model was the £30 box on a shelf, it’s a fairly big investment on a genre you pretty much knew would never go the gangbusters number of the next AAA FPS or sports game.

      And of course, what’s now changed is that developers now have ways to make far more money off the people prepared to buy one of these games, as well as there being ways to make games on a much smaller budget with indies.

  8. The Sane says:

    I expected better from RPS tbh. This project deserves much better coverage than it is getting right now. :( This article is completely half arsed.

    Many developers come to kickstarter with little more than idea whereas these guys have taken the time to develop the technology they need first and built a working multiplayer prototype thats available to the media. I guess this writer just couldn’t be bothered to try it and just copy pasted some KS info across while referencing the popular “vapourware” crap.

    Yes I’m a fan.

    • Jay Load says:

      Speaking as someone who’s followed the project since 2006 I can honestly say I share RPS’s attitude. This has been Vapourware for years now , ever since it became obvious the dev(s) had no actual capacity (skill, time and/or money) to push the project any further than tech-demo & fancy website status. how long have they been considering Kickstarter? About two years? Three? At this point I’ll be telling everyone to avoid giving them any money because in ten years they’ve managed pretty much sod all.

      • The Sane says:

        They have deliberately held off doing a kickstarter until they knew they would be able to deliver an actual game. Getting funding and then having to spend the first year working on the base technology to get it working properly makes it a lot riskier for the people donating money.

        I think it’s unfair that they are being penalized for trying to eliminate as much risk for those backing the project as possible. The point is that right now they are happy with the engine, they have something concrete to show, and if they have the money to they can work on it full time with high confidence of success.

      • innociv says:

        How can it be vaporware if they never said they were going to release it at such and such time?

        It was just a side project making the engine.

        • Jay Load says:

          “Vapourware – NOUN
          software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.”

          Release dates have nothing to do with it. Fact is this has been ten years of constant prick-teasing. I’m tired of hearing about it given that nothing ever materialises beyond a pretty video or two; there’s only so often we can “ooh” and “aah” before crushing boredom sets in.

          • Crayfish says:

            Wikipedia disagrees with you:

            ” Vaporware
            In the computer industry, vaporware is a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled.”

            By your definition every game that hasn’t been released is vaporware.

          • Jay Load says:

            Er…Wikipedia seems to completely agree with me? That’s my definition right there. And yes, I’d say the last bit holds true as well. What better definition of Vapourware is there than a game that no-one can get their hands on?

      • ds_k7 says:

        You talk as though there was a studio developer behind all of this. Furthermore, the “game” has only been in development for the last year or so – not the last 10 as you said.

        The truth of the matter is that it started as a hobby by ONE guy who garnered a lot of attention online. A community formed around his project, and the idea to use it as a platform for a game came about, but that game did not go into full “development” mode for quite some time.

        Be careful to not apply kneejerk reactionary bias – it’s not a studio project, it’s not a corporately funded project, and it’s in fact quite a young project.

        Your seeming lack of awareness betrays you.

        • Jay Load says:

          “You talk as though there was a studio developer behind all of this.”

          Nope. That is covered by my “Dev(s)”. I’m well aware it was a small team, and seemed to be one guy for practically ages. As I said, I’ve been following this since 2006.

          “Furthermore, the “game” has only been in development for the last year or so – not the last 10 as you said.”

          Really? So what was the combat prototype then if not a step towards *a* game? THIS game may only have been in development for a year or so but the ENGINE has been in development far longer. I wasn’t specific about WHAT had been in development for all this time.

          “The truth of the matter is that it started as a hobby by ONE guy…”

          Yes, I know.

          “…who garnered a lot of attention online. A community formed around his project, and the idea to use it as a platform for a game came about, but that game did not go into full “development” mode for quite some time.”

          I’m painfully aware of that, having checked the website every few months for last DECADE.

          “Be careful to not apply kneejerk reactionary bias – it’s not a studio project, it’s not a corporately funded project, and it’s in fact quite a young project”

          Be careful not to condescend to other people online?

          “Your seeming lack of awareness betrays you.”

          Careful, Darth. That way leads only to the Dork Side.

    • DailyFrankPeter says:

      Can you link to the “working multiplayer prototype” media coverage? Sounds interesting.

    • ryanrybot says:

      While I loved the concept of this in 2006, and followed the development very closely for several years, I cannot put money down on this game. Yes, it was a spare-time project, but all he worked on was the engine. The community made all the models. What happened to all that work?
      As far as communication, these guys are worse than Wollay of Cube World fame.

      Anyway, No Man’s Sky has a nearly identical concept as Infinity: The Quest for Earth, but is much further along and is the game I’ll be putting my money towards. The space genre as a whole has had a resurgence, so I get the feeling these guys just dusted off the old engine and threw it up on kickstarter hoping to cash in. I could be totally wrong, but the whole thing seems really suspect to me. They are not starting from scratch. Why do they need another 2 years before they release? What have they been doing in the past 5 years since they became I-Novae Studios?

      • The Sane says:

        I’ll address each of these points…

        Building a viable game engine is significantly harder than building a game on one. Especially when you are basically pioneering the technology that’s going into the engine.

        The project in it’s original form was a wonderful dream, but it was a dream. Infinity: Battlescape is a first step before potentially moving on to bigger ideas and targeting a more manageable goal is nothing bad.

        Including community work in a commercial game simply isn’t viable for legal reasons (ip etc.) but some of those community members are now part of the actual development team. As far as communication goes I’m sat in a chat room with them most days of the week.

        These guys have REFUSED to take money for a promise they were not sure they could deliver on. How is this comparable to someone who took money for an unfinished game and gave up on it.

        NMS is quite different to I:TQFE. The original plan was for a grand MMO where you could build empires and explore a believable galaxy. NMS seems more focused on the exploration in a colorful playground of a galaxy. But that’s irrelevant as Battlescape is entirely different to either of these.

        The engine has gone through several rewrites. Someone else can explain it much better than I can… but if you run into a problem when developing something you can either try to work around it or rewrite large sections so it works the way it was meant to. This is what they have been doing, perfecting the technology.

        2 years a perfectly reasonable amount of time to build a game on an existing engine.

  9. Baka82 says:

    “After Duke Nukem Forever and Diablo III finally came out, Infinity ascended to claim the title Lord Vaporware – Star Citizen has nothing on these timescales.”

    Infinity was a spare-time indie project with no funding… hardly a fair comparison.

    • robotslave says:

      Also:

      “Half Life”

      • Rindan says:

        Valve has more than enough good will from most PC gamers for Half-Life 1, and the three chunks of Half Life 2. That is before you ignore them saving PC gaming with Steam and basically running naked and screaming proclaiming the supremacy of PC gaming.

        Frankly, Valve can promise unicorns, fail to deliver, and still have a pile of good will left with me.

  10. KastaRules says:

    I am never ever ever gonna sink other money into kikstarter nor I am gonna pre-purchase / pre-order anything from now on.

    The game looks pretty intriguing though and I am almost definitely gonna get it when it comes out. Hope the devs will manage to pull it off.

  11. Khaze says:

    This is a pretty harsh dismissal. Yes, a dismissal, I would hate to even call it a review. It’s incredibly unfair to call something ‘vapourware’, when there has been no publisher involved at any point and no money what-so-ever has ever been asked of the community by the developers, who have worked on this part-time beside their day-jobs thus far. It’s gone kickstarter, because their prototype is now in a condition where they can show off their engine and need more funds to fully realize the game.

    I weep because of such a half-hearted review. Even with nothing but a *pre-alpha prototype*, these guys are doing things that multi-million dollar triple-A titles like Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous can only dream of doing. These guys are rockstars and definitely deserve a chance to actualize their dream and make something great.

    • ironman Tetsuo says:

      No one would call this a review when it’s clearly an announcement / news piece.
      The term Vapourware is used to describe a game idea that never becomes a game, I’m not sure what funding or publishers has to do with anything of that.
      If Infinity does ever materialise in any form I’d be happy to buy and play it but to draw attention to this Kickstarter without mentioning the history than comes with it would be dishonest.

    • Cinek says:

      To be fair – it does look a little bit like a vaporware. I recall seeing it few years back – it was barely anything more than flying around. I see the videos from the latest builds – and it still seems to be exactly just that. When hearing about the kickstarter I thought that they are aiming for something deeper than the Elite: Dangerous. Instead it seems even more shallow.

      What’s the point? Elite already got you covered in a department of flying between planets and shooting. And combat in Elite doesn’t look like one of these projects that people make while learning a new engine.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I would hate to call it a review too, because it absolutely isn’t.

  12. Crayfish says:

    I have to agree with the other comments that are criticising this article.

    It doesn’t look like a lot research was done about the game, if there was then they would know the developers are offering a playable prototype to members of the press.

    After playing the prototype (this is a gaming site right?) the writer of the article could have had something real to review rather than dismissing the project as “vapourware”.

    • ironman Tetsuo says:

      Why are you all mentioning a “review”? This is an announcement of a Kickstarter which if anything is more like free advertising. You all seem very defensive which makes me all the more suspicious. Before reaching the comments section I was all for following the links and checking this project out but now I think I’ll sit this one out.

      • The Sane says:

        Sorry on behalf of my own comments. I’m just tired of the constant references of “vaporware”, its unnecessarily dismissive.

        • ironman Tetsuo says:

          It’s probably less to do with this title in particular and more just the current mood towards Kickstarter as a whole. There’s been so many big failures recently that the crowd-funding bubble has finally burst. That’s not to say that good devs and projects don’t exist, I’m a happy 30+ projects on kickstarter up but unfortunately the media is finding it hard to get too excited in case there’s a back lash.

          • Baka82 says:

            Yeah, understandable. It’s just a shame that decent projects will be harmed by this crusade against Kickstarters

          • DarkFenix says:

            There’s no crusade against Kickstarter, it’s simply gone through its natural cycle of hype followed by relative cynicism.

            As far as I can tell the most harmful thing to this game here is this ridiculous militant defensiveness from its community. Is this a decent project? Conceptually yes, but it is vapourware and looks like a poor bet on Kickstarter.

          • Jay Load says:

            Spot on, DarkFenix.

            Tired of the narrative creation about Kickstarter. Nothing overly dramatic happened outside of a few journalist’s need to create some froth. It was wildly popular, it became regularly popular. Like most things. End of. There was something of a gold rush, which is over now, but the need to try and pin it down to specific failures or to suggest the gaming community is now deeply mistrustful of it is just bullshit. It’s still a great tool for putting creators directly in touch with enthusiasts.

            Also completely agree about this attempt to produce something playable with the pretty engine. It’s a poor bet right now.

  13. Dwarden says:

    I’ve been following the project (which later became known as Infinity: The Quest for Earth) for over dozen years …
    will I be backing it, yes for sure,
    why ? because it’s no ‘vapourware’
    it’s indie project and it’s engine took long to develop
    (in free time of it’s authors, with own money and due to star-system scales)

    note: i didn’t get point of article’s ending
    with absence of game-footage to give proper sense”
    as there’re multiple videos on Youtube from various streamers and other media members

    toady I played the Infinity: Battlescape prototype
    after I was done and recovered from jaw-dropping amaze state
    now I just keep throwing money on screen to get more content faster
    … my many cents …

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I’ve watched bits of some of the livestreams and no, I don’t think they do give a sense of the scale and intensity that Infinity is shooting for. I understand that this is a prototype but it’s still, as I say, a shame – and affects a crowdfunding pitch.

      • Crayfish says:

        I think I understand what you’re getting at. We’ve only seen small dogfights in the game so far and the pitch claims the ability for very large scale capital ship combat. It is true that we haven’t seen that yet and that’s a shame. In terms of scale the engine is capable of set piece events such as orbital bombardment of planets as a seamless part of the game experience. It would be nice if the devs could demonstrate something like that.

      • Dwarden says:

        Hi alice, thanks for answering … if understand correct
        it wasn’t about size of planets, ships, assets etc.
        but more about the gameplay scale aspect
        major ships attacked by small ones, capital shops destroying stations, orbital bombardment
        well, some of that was already shown in the videos
        now you need to keep in mind it’s not even alpha
        contrary to most early crowdfund / kickstarting projects
        there is game-engine, some assets and base of gameplay already done
        Infinity: Battlescape is way more than concept artwork and vague idea of gameplay
        let’s hope the negativity isn’t just because developers spent time working hard before asking for some funds

  14. SuicideKing says:

    I’m curious why all atmospheric transitions are so quick…it’s like all planets have shallow atmospheres. And I’m saying this of all the space games I’ve seen recently that have tried to do this.

    • The Sane says:

      True scale planets do have relatively thin atmospheres. And due to the scale in this game the ships have to be able to move pretty fast for it to actually be fun. :)

    • Zenicetus says:

      It doesn’t look like enough of a transition to me either, and No Man’s Sky has that problem too.

      But it has to be balanced against how quickly other action takes place in a game. Most players probably won’t want anything as realistic as a reentry in Kerbal Space Program (which isn’t even that realistic) because it takes too long. The atmosphere transition in Evochron seems about right to me.

    • Jay Load says:

      Rodina handled this quite well, I thought. Approaching an atmosphere behaves much as you’d expect it to in real life. Your ship takes a fair buffeting and can overheat if you plunge in too quickly (as in life).

      It takes a while to get into the deeper atmosphere which does occasionally feel too long but on balance I like it.

    • LyskTrevise says:

      Dont forget that things like speed of ships are all still WIP, and also these particular celestial bodies are all moons orbiting a gas giant (for ease of travel for the media-type, etc), so they aren’t as big as say Earth, but it totally possible to make planets that big.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Because it would be boring. I’ve said it before when people make this complaint, but it would essentially be adding in an arbitrary load time.

      • Jay Load says:

        Pfft. Failure of imagination there. You think a dogfight dropping into an atmosphere would be “boring”? trying to keep control of your ship as you get buffetted by winds, or trying to see past a windscreen covered with flame from the friction, or seeing one of your opponents go too fast and explode?

        Think it through….

        • colw00t says:

          Yes, of course that would be boring, because there would be absolutely no reason for one’s opponent to follow you down. Why bleed altitude, velocity, and maneuverability when you can just shoot your suddenly-slower (and unable to change direction) opponent from your superior position.

          It’s like the canyon chase in Firefly – seems like a good idea until you realize there’s no reason to actually follow people down into the canyon.

    • nemcorp says:

      well the erath has a very dense athmosphere for a rocky planet, so i guess we are too used to it, and to our slow speeds

  15. critic says:

    I just wish the writer of this article took 30min of their time and actually played the prototype that the developers of this game are offering to journalists. It would surely have contributed to the quality and depth of the article.

  16. Skyrage says:

    I warned the devs years ago…as far as I am concerned they missed their train many years ago due to their cowardice and unwillingness to dedicate themselves like proper game developers.

    At this stage they will need at least five miracles stacked on top of one another in order to pull off even this Battlescape let alone the full MMO.

    They have no chance in hell considering today’s competition.

    Once again *CHOOO! CHOOOO!* Train left the platform years ago.

  17. HeadClot says:

    Ummm…

    Did you even take 30 minutes out of your day to play the prototype? Just curious here.

    Either way.. I would like to see a follow up after you playing the prototype.

  18. LyskTrevise says:

    Wow.

    Just wow.

    As someone who has followed this project since 2006 personally, and been a contributor to the community for all of that time, I can honestly say that this is the most disingenuous and lazy article I have ever read on RPS.

    1. There is a playable demo, unlike RPS seems to think. You can get it as a member of the press simply by taking five seconds to email contact@inovaestudios.com . Alice (the author) would have know that much if she had even searched youtube for five fucking minutes to see that many large youtubers (including an upcoming video from Scott Manley) are ALREADY PLAYING IT. -__-;;

    2. How can it be vaporware if nothing was ever promised and no released dates ever announced? The game has been in development since 2006, sure, thats true, but until late 2010 it was one guy working in his spare time to build his own GAME ENGINE. An ENGINE is much more effort than a game. Now the team barely includes 9 dedicated people, including Keith Newton from EPIC games… Not to mention there has never been a cent raised from anyone in the community and many of the dev’s have spent their life savings working on the project just to keep going.

    3. I Novae Studios ALREADY sent you the prototype, its in your email, you guys just didnt even bother to read it or make use of it. Which makes you either A.) negligent or B.) liars. I don’t get it.

    I just wish the author had taken the small effort to do some simple research on even google to see what the game really was instead of posting this mess.

    • rgb_astronaut says:

      Spot on. This was quite bitter coming from RPS who are, as seems, are pretty excited about indie titles. Typically. But not this time.

    • Cinek says:

      OK, you seem to know stuff about this game. Explain me this: Why should I back Infinity when I already have Elite: Dangerous?

      If what I’m interested in is flying around doing nothing in a void of space or randomly shooting people – Elite got me covered. What’s the point of this game when we have E:D that in almost every department seems to by miles ahead of this project, when in a little bit over a half a year we’ll have No Man’s Sky – that again seems to offer so much more of… everything. I really want to believe that this game is something worthwhile, cause Elite was an utter disappointment (mile wide, inch deep), but I just don’t see it.

      • Crayfish says:

        Battlescape fits in to a gap in the market that Elite, Star Citizen and No Man’s Sky have left open. Battlescape is for players that aren’t particularly interested in building up a character over many months. It’s for players who want a more immediate action fix that’s more like round-based arena games such as Counterstrike or Arma, but want that style of gameplay whilst flying a space ship. The server architecture is also more like those games with players being able to host their own servers and also the ability to mod the game if that stretch goal is reached. Player mods with this basic engine could result in some amazingly novel experiences.

      • LyskTrevise says:

        Hi Cinek,

        First of all, in Infinity: Battlescape you won’t be flying around doing nothing. Battlescape cuts out all of the boring bits like hauling space ore from point A to point B for hours on end, or staring at the side of an asteroid mining rocks. Instead, Infinity: Battlescape wants players to be traveling all over the system with their mates in shiny ships having epic space battles 24/7. Furthermore, its only a measly 20$ for the full game, compared to Elite: Dangerous which would have you shell out a hefty 60$ for their new planet expansion which does not even offer what Battlescape does.

        In Infinity: Battlescape all players reside in the same instance no matter where they are in the solar system. This means that a player flying in the atmosphere of planet A is in the same instance as a player in orbit of planet A and both parties can attack each other from their respective positions. This opens the door for say, orbital bombardment of installations, or sneak attack runs through canyons, etc.

        No Man’s Sky is much more focused on an unrealistic solo expoloration experience, with minor combat elements that will be far different to what Battlescape has to offer. I suggest you take some time to look at the many gameplay videos online of Battlescape which show off the game and technology powering it, and then make up your own mind about whether to back it or not.

        A good resource is the media mega thread I have posted on the I Novae Studios forums here:
        link to forums.inovaestudios.com

        -Lysk

        • Cinek says:

          Hm… I seen some videos, and for me it all looks like that flying in empty space doing nothing.

          Sure, there’s some shooting going on, but I couldn’t see any video that would give me that sense of epicness or constant action. I’m glad to hear that it cuts off all the boring stuff, cause… jesus, Elite was an overpriced flop in that regard, but at the same time I don’t see it going into that gap between different games. If I’d want to go and shoot random people – No Man’s Sky got me covered (TBH: at no point of the demos I seen Infinity having much more of a depth in combat than NMS did). Flying in the atmosphere is all nice in theory, but at the end of a day – it doesn’t seem to be any gamechanger in terms of combat. It might open a door to some interesting stuff, but I haven’t seen anything from the devs saying that they will put in some awesome mechanics related to the atmospheric combat that would actually make you want to re-think what weapons to use, how to approach the enemy, how to fly your ship, how to use sensors, etc. all the stuff that creates that depth in combat that so few space games grasped (current prototypes of Star Citizen offer few orders of magnitude more depth in combat than anything I seen in Infinity). I already got burned with Elite, so won’t be buying into a hopes of community.

      • ThornEel says:

        Also, Allegiance successor. With ten times more players an a real-scale star system, sure, but come on. Allegiance. Successor.

      • aq-nightmare says:

        It has taken the i-novae team 8 years to develop an engine capable of interplanetary flight with 0 load screens or interruptions. In context elite has load screens that are cleverly disguised but still there and their engine isnt capable of seamless flight.

        This battlescape is about being a pilot in an epic space war, you dont haul ore or mine asteroids, the ai does that for you. You just protect the assets and expand by capturing areas. You generate resources that you can spend to upgrade your ship and buy new ships. 3 factions waging a war that will at some point end. It could take hours or even days.
        The combat is pure xwing vs tie fighter and if RPS had bothered to try the pre-alpha then they would have been able to present to you some footage of dogfights and some proof of concept. Instead you will have to go to a more reputable media outlet or youtuber to find footage of this.

    • DevilishEggs says:

      Manley playing link:

      link to youtube.com

      Looking quite good.

  19. rance says:

    As HeadClot and others suggested, please take a moment of your time and try the prototype, then write a follow up to this article.

  20. innociv says:

    There IS tons of gameplay footage out there.

    Did you bother searching for some? You’re a journalist and all, even if you’re a game’s journalist, right, Alice? It’s really disheartening seeing this stuff now days.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      None of which is anywhere close to the scale the finished game is shooting for. I know that this is a prototype, but the absence of a vision of what it actually might be like is still, as I say, a shame.

      • LyskTrevise says:

        Well they wouldn’t need money if they had the vision to show off already ;)

      • Crayfish says:

        What is a shame is that pledges actually fell on the day that this article was published. *sad face*

      • innociv says:

        Nor did Elite Dangerous have (in fact, there was nothing playable) or Star Citizen (again, just a trailer).

        In fact, this has more far done than they did when they asked for help.

        Do you only expect Kickstarters to be preorders for nearly finished games that are only a month or two away from release? I actually hate those and think that defeats the purpose of Kickstarters.

    • aq-nightmare says:

      Probably because the only way RPS would post a video is if it is official from the developers or recorded by themselves, Uploading other journalists videos onto their site isnt likely to happen lets be honest and since the person who published this article obviously has 0 interest in this project and probably space games in general its not likely to happen.

  21. ironman Tetsuo says:

    To be fair to this article, the Gameplay videos being linked to in this comment section were uploaded hours after this piece was published. I’ve had a look and the demo does look very good but it’s a bit rich to call this author lazy for not being able to see into the future. By all means help promote the game but leave the abrasive tone at home, it just harms your cause.

    • HeadClot says:

      I disagree – There is footage from theXPgamers and other youtubers / Streamers which are linked on the Kickstarter page that are days old.

      Here is one – link to youtube.com

      You can find the rest on the battlescape Kickstarter page. Just under livestreams and interviews.

      link to kickstarter.com

      I really hope that this is successful as I really want to use the mod tools to make an unofficial Freespace 3. Just saying :)

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Aye. Nothing has ever put me off a game faster than meeting its fanbase. Especially a multiplayer one.

      • HeadClot says:

        Honestly It just looks like the Infinity community is just tired of the vaporware title. Considering that there are other games that are taking longer to develop. Looking at you Grimoire : Heralds of the Winged Exemplar and your 17+ years of development time…

        I just want a space game that is half decent…

        That said the Infinity community is pretty nice all things considered. There are a few bad eggs in the community yeah… Either way. The game looks interesting.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        Yeah looked sort of interesting but after the comments I’ll give it a miss I think.

        • The Sane says:

          The community is actually a decent one, but KS has sent tensions a little high and we’ve all been pining hopes on getting some reasonable coverage from gaming site’s (and have been repeatedly disappointed). Up until now we’ve just been ignoring the it and moving on to the next one.

          A lot of us are working hard sending in news tips to all sorts of places in the hopes of getting noticed, and to see another big site respond like this caused things to bubble over a little.

          • iainl says:

            “Game appears on Kickstarter” is not news. Not any more. That’s why few are covering it.

          • The Sane says:

            @iainl,
            No, it’s not news. So if a journalists does chose to cover it they either have the choice of looking deeper at the game and writing a real article about it, or they can just do a copy paste announcement and move on. Due to the tone of the article this isn’t either of those options.

            While I’ve voiced my disagreement with the way it was written at the end of the day I AM glad that the KS got mentioned at all.

      • thedosbox says:

        Yeah, with a couple of exceptions, the people jumping in to defend this game have put me right off it.

  22. JiminyJickers says:

    Multiplayer space shooter, ugh.

    • Jay Load says:

      I hear you. “Combat arena” games are one-trick ponies. How many of them have we seen come through RPS in the last few years, making their wee splashes but then dying faster than fruit flies? Even moderately big-budget games like Titanfall are forgotten in a fortnight.

      Not to mention it’s such a huge waste of the arena’s potential! It’s SPACE! Find something to do in it other than mindless, ubiquitous PvP!

      • Crayfish says:

        So back the game. If they reach one of their stretch goals they will provide an API and tools for modding support. Then you can make the game you want.

        What are the outcomes?

        1. The Kickstarter fails and you keep your money.
        2. The Kickstarter succeeds and you get to play Infinity: Battlescape for a reduced price (at release the full game will be about $30)
        3. The Kickstarter is overfunded, someone makes an amazing game that fulfills the engine’s potential.

        The fourth option implied by the article, that the game will stay forever in development hell is highly unlikely. The current prototype has all the basics in place and there are many live streams of it being played if you search for them. They have two years to build upon that work, failure is unlikely.

        • Bugamn says:

          Why is the fourth option unlikely? I’ve never heard of those devs before and I’ve never seen something that they have produced. If they are asking for my money they should present compelling arguments. A multiplayer only game that needs hundreds of players in the same server in order to be viable seems unlikely to succeed. And they haven’t even started working on netcode.

          • aq-nightmare says:

            Go to the kickstarter page and actually watch the videos posted by journalists who tried the pre-alpha, you will notice multiple players playing the game at once in the sam environment. Netcode is there. Also please actually read into something before posting as if it is fact.

          • Bugamn says:

            Sorry, I hadn’t had my coffee yet and made a mess of the words. It says in the kickstarter that the netcode is highly unoptimized yet and they have only haven’t tested with hundreds of real players, only virtual ones, so I still find it hard to believe that they can really deliver. Why don’t they open the prototype to the public if it’s so wonderful? I would really like a seamless space game, but this one won’t be it because I’m not buying it dream of epic space battles.

        • Jay Load says:

          “So back the game. If they reach one of their stretch goals they will provide an API and tools for modding support. Then you can make the game you want”

          Mm, because I-Novae make games development look so easy, don’t they? Yes, I’m sure with a few modding tools I could whip up a better Elite after only a few months worth of devoting my spare time to it. Sorry, but I don’t have ANOTHER ten years to waste chasing a dream down this particular rabbit hole.

          And as the OP said “multiplayer shooters, ugh”. I’ve got better things to be doing with my heard-earned than supporting games I’ll never play.

          • Premium User Badge

            Topperfalkon says:

            That ten years of development was pretty much one dude working on engine tech part-time. To manage that and keep up with changing technology isn’t exactly easy.

          • Jay Load says:

            I get that. As I’ve had to repeat over and over in this thread, I’ve been following the entire project since it first appeared. What you’ve just said kind of makes my point for me, though, doesn’t it?. If it took one guy all that time to craft first an engine, then update the enginer, then finally try to cobble together a game, it’s kinda ridiculous to suggest some mod tools are going to deliver the capability to build the game I’m really looking for, isn’t it?

  23. MrUnimport says:

    Can’t say I understand why everyone’s up in arms about the ‘vaporware’ moniker: I don’t think Alice intended to dismiss the project so much as reflect how it made a big initial splash and then dropped out of the mainstream view for years and years without a release. Any game like that tends to garner a negative impression.

  24. racccoon says:

    ” I understand half the fun of crowdfunding is daydreaming about what might be.”
    That is so well said its true!
    They got stop over dreaming through the processes and have a solid precise idea & bloody finish the dam thing.
    This why I’ve given up on all bullshit that’s raised with shitstarters and the like, etc, etc, lol

    • kinloch says:

      They do have an idea which is what they are working towards. You say that they should just finish it, but it takes a massive amount of work to do something like that. That is why they have the kickstarter so they can build their idea into a game.

      • Bugamn says:

        They could have released more than a press only demo if they want to show that they are capable of developing things. The way I see it, it’s a developer with only a decade old project asking for money to finish it. Sounds like Grimoire. Check on that if you want to see how this can go wrong.

        • kinloch says:

          While a demo would be fun to play and might convince others, releasing a demo to the public is a much larger undertaking than releasing it to a select few. They might not have the resources to support that kind of thing. Also, it is not just a small game project they are trying to finish but a game built upon their own engine. What they released to some of the press is more of a demo of their engines and not the actual game. Hence why the need money to build the game itself. Also, I would have thought that the fact that you can watch recorded streams of various press and youtubers playing on the demo would be enough to prove they can develop something.

          • Bugamn says:

            I’m not asking for a full quality demo, even minecraft started with a bare-bones prototype. But the way I see it, it’s still an unproven developer. When Kickstarters were beginning to appear I backed Limit Theory. The guy was new, but the idea was promising and he had some things to show. After a long period of constant updates the guy burned out. He is now continuing, and I trust that he will someday deliver (and I’m not in rush), but you see what happened? He wasn’t proven, he had little experience and that cost him. This Infinity person might be the best developer ever, but I want some assurance of that. And I really wish it succeeds, but I’m not sure if that will happen.

  25. MJones says:

    This article didn’t put me off this project, the comments from its community did. Not interested in playing a multiplayer game with any of you guys thanks.

    • Cinek says:

      the comments from its community did” – care to elaborate? (I never read any comments from that community, now you make me want to avoid them on purpose)

      • The Sane says:

        It began with Flavien building a procedural planetary engine as a hobby, with the dream of one day building an grand MMO with it. For about 6 years the technology slowly matured and a community quickly grew up around it, many submitting art, spaceship models and music with a whole bunch of people throwing out gameplay ideas and prototyping various gameplay mechanics. It was brilliant, a comparatively large group of creative people all feeding off of the one magical goal. In retrospect it was a little naive, but I don’t regret being a part of it, I even gave modeling spaceships a go myself and there are several people who can trace their current employment back to the skills they learned in this community. It was realised however that in order to build an actual game they needed to go about it bit more professionally. Some of those original members submitting art assets joined the team as official devs and the rest of us stuck around having already built a solid community.

      • The Sane says:

        In other words we aren’t militant we’re just passionate :p.

    • iainl says:

      It’s bizarre; there must be something about space-based Kickstarter projects that attract tight-knit keyboard warriors ready to descend on every article to whine about how anyone not worshipping the idea of an unfinished game hasn’t done enough research.

      Kickstarted MMOs don’t have a good history. Hell, publisher-backed games struggle to survive when they start with the assumption that there will be 100s or even 1000s of players online at once, so how devs without a 7-figure marketing budget think they’re going to manage it is a mystery.

      • The Sane says:

        There is hope. Not an assumption. If the game only has a small player base to draw on then the gameplay will be balanced to reflect that and if large fleet battles are few in number so be it, but the game will at least be able to accommodate the occasional epic showdown.

        • iainl says:

          You’re really not helping, with your insistence on replying to every negative comment you can, even the ones about how there are people replying to every negative comment.

          • The Sane says:

            I’m not insulting you. I’m replying to you.

          • LyskTrevise says:

            Whats this? Person uses comment section to comment on something? Barbarians!

          • iainl says:

            It’s not that you’re insulting me. It’s the way a small number of people from the official forum have turned up to refute every single doubter they can, in the mysterious hope that it will look reasonable.

            I get you’re enthusiastic, but it comes across far too much like the small number of people who do exactly the same every time the magic summoning spell “Star Citizen” is uttered here.

            Oh God, I’ve done it now. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

    • LyskTrevise says:

      As someone who has followed the project for 9(!) years, I can honestly say that the Infinity community is the most unique, knowledgeable, and kind community I have ever been a part of. The comments in this article reflect the passion of the community, and it should be understood that this article can represent a critical point in determining whether the game is funded or dies. With that knowledge in mind, you can see why people are upset that Alice, the editor of RPS, wrote such a lazy article. If I were writing the article as an unbiased party it would have looked like this:

      Infinity: Battlescape – Rumored Vaporware Title Might Actually Happen
      By Lysk Trevise

      Since as early as 2006 Flavien Brebion has been working on the title that filled the space-sim community with starry eyes and dreams of a procedurally generated galaxy with his title “Infinity: The Quest for Earth”. The title promised amazing features like endless true to scale solar systems, seamless planet transitions, galactic warfare, player controlled territory systems, and base building to boot. However, development was slow and culminated in the 2010 tech demo seen below. After years of waiting with little to show, many wrote off Infinity as vaporware – the ambitious title that never would be.

      link to youtube.com

      Working part time after his day job, Flavien and his newly assembled team – now known as I-Novae Studios – appear to finally be close to realizing the dream in the form of Infinity: Battlescape which has just gone on Kickstarter (link to kickstarter.com). Battlescape plans to offer fans a true-to-scale solar system with seamless planet transitions (see below) and a three faction fight for control similar to what Planetside 2 had to offer.

      link to youtube.com

      Players will fight for control of points of interest, known as “Battlescapes” which will gather resources and automatically deliver goods to the front lines so that players can buy more and better ships to fuel the war effort. For those not interested in the whole man-shooter experience, a sandbox offline mode does exist, but the focus appears to be on multiplayer.

      I-Novae’s kickstarter goal is $300,000 USD (or for those of us more civilized that is about £200,000 GBP) and players can purchase the full game for a measly $20 USD (£15 GPB). The nine man studio plans to the alpha in October 2016, and the Alpha in April 2017, with the full game being available to the public by September 2017. It’s an ambitious plan, but the goals do seem achievable with some fairly straight forward stretch goals like an extra ship and improved damage models.

      Heres some gameplay footage by a popular youtuber, BlueDrake42:
      link to youtube.com

      ————–

      Took me like 15 minutes to write and gather materials.

      • Alice O'Connor says:

        Is this RPS news post fanfic? I’m so happy! This might be the first time I’ve ever received RPS post fanfic. Allow me to show my appreciation with some editorial feedback fanfic:

        The headline lacks punch. “Rumored vaporware title” is clunky, and I’m not sure what it means.

        Also, never say “Title”. It’s such an awful business-y term for something as wonderful as a video game.

        “the title that filled the space-sim community with starry eyes and dreams of a procedurally generated galaxy” is presuming to speak for a whole community and presents it as a singular thing – I don’t think there is any one “space-sim community”

        I wouldn’t say development “culminated” in that tech demo – it’s just something that happened along the way.

        You should mention the Kickstarter in the opening paragraph. You’re also a little uncritical and overly keen – this game has been a decade in the making, and you’re gushing about features that won’t even be in the game that this post is actually about, Infinity: Battlescape.

        Moving onto the second paragraph, you’re again a little uncritical – if we’re posting about a Kickstarter, we’re seen as endorsing it, so we’re seen as encouraging people to back it, and you need to balance that. It has taken ten years to reach this point, and I wouldn’t necessarily trust the team’s estimates of how quickly development will move now.

        Don’t says “fans” – hopefully its goals are for everyone, whether they’re already into the game or not.

        You go into a bit too much detail on the backstory. That could be chopped down a lot, or at least shuffled further down the post. Remember what this post is actually about. The minor details are not bad, but they clog up the post.

        You summarise the game fairly well, but I’d illustrate what you mean by “seamless planet transitions” as it’s a technical term and glosses over what made Infinity so exciting to folks all those years ago. If readers remember Infinity, it’ll probably be for planets being actual planets you can fly onto. This is less notable nowadays, but that’s what got people’s attention then.

        Third paragraph, “man-shooter” is boringly dismissive and I’d rather not use it.

        I’d suggest rolling the second half of the second paragraph into the third, and the first half of the second paragraph below that, making adjustments so the flow works of course.

        Fourth paragraph. Don’t say “for those of us more civilized”, I really dislike the weird Victorian affectation of some English games press, and we’re perhaps already too guilty of it.

        “Players” can’t “purchase the full game”, people can pledge to the Kickstarter and receive the game once it’s finished as a reward. Pledgers are not players. Always remember, crowdfunding is not buying or pre-ordering, it’s pledging and it’s risky.

        Details of alpha and beta are only of interest to folks who’ve already decided they’ll back it, so they’re not needed here.

        Speculation about its achievability overlooks the fact that a lot is still unproven. Again, you’re coming in too keen.

        Fifth paragraph, be clearer that this is prototype footage and does not show a lot of the things planned and promised. Popularity of the person recording it is irrelevant to the news post too.

        On the whole, I’d say you have a fair post in here somewhere. You need to jazz up the text a little, dial down the overly-forgiving enthusiasm, bear in mind how much is still unknown and untested, and remember that this is crowdfunding a yet-unrealised vision. You’re trying too hard to present your views as objective, so either tone it down or embrace your enthusiasm. I’d say the latter, but do still remember caution.

        • Kichae Chandramani says:

          Fanfic? Or LARP? Lysk uses his own handle in the byline, so I’m inclined to consider this a bit of roleplay!

          I like to imagine he was wearing a fedora with a press pass tucked into the ribbon while writing his article. You all still do that in the biz, right, Ms. O’Connor? (Please say yes. Please say yes. Please say yes.)

          I really think you need to add more emphasis to the fact that he buried the lead. Really, it’s part of what’s wrong with the headline! Consolidate criticism of the headline with criticism of burying the lead by suggesting that the Kickstarter be mentioned in the headline itself. Or maybe tell him to leave the headline up to his editor?

          Also, don’t be so quick to dismiss the phrase “man-shooter”! Leave it hanging there in the hopes of drawing some gender politics heat! GamerGate is great clickbait!

          On the whole, excellent feedback. I hope he has his revised copy on your desk in time for the evening pressing.

          • LyskTrevise says:

            Kichae, I will have you know that while I despise fedoras I absolutely love your tongue in cheek comment. 10/10

          • ds_k7 says:

            This is hilarious!

        • LyskTrevise says:

          My comment is apparently too long so this will be in two parts..

          I can’t tell if you are being sincere or sarcastic. I posted it because I felt what you initially wrote was inadequate, and it was my way of expressing what I expected. If your intent is to belittle my writing, the writing of someone who has no formal journalism skills and has never written professionally even in a business setting beyond a resume, then I think that you are in the wrong. Either way, I guess I have to thank you for taking the time to write such a long response to my comment.

          With regards to certain aspects of what you said about my pretend article I wrote… I think while video games are wonderful things, and indeed a major part of my life and many other people’s lives, at the end of the day they are a purchased product and one has to be realistic and recognize the business aspect of games. I don’t think the word “title” necessarily evokes a business undertone, but as you insist.. I also feel that an integral part of any journalism is remaining objective and impartial, whether it be about business, war, food, or even video games. I don’t think any website that posts news, even about a project that I care about like Infinity, should take a side one way or the other. That is why I tried so hard to stay objective, and something I think games journalism is sorely lacking in most articles, which is why I tend to steer clear of them and is the reason why so many other people are steering clear of them too. It is so much more honest and unpolluted to go to YouTube and actually see the game for yourself and understand what it is like, rather than to read some opinionated journalist’s article that may or may not have been either directly or indirectly influenced by the company making the game. I’m not implying that you or RPS is doing that, however. I simply point out that games journalism shouldn’t take a side, it should simply report.

          By the way, I picked up the term “man shooter” from RPS’ early writing back when I thought the website put out great pieces every time it wrote, but it has now been diluted by the new hire journalists and the quality of the writing has gone down noticeably in my opinion. I am also an American, and put in the “for those of us more civilized” to pander to the fact that RPS was a British based website as a bit of fun writing which wasn’t meant to be serious.

          • LyskTrevise says:

            Anyways, on the off chance you were being sincere, here goes V2.0:

            Going up in Vapor – Infinity: Battlescape gets Kickstarter
            By Lysk Trevise
            Since as early as 2006 Flavien Brebion has been working on the ambitious game that filled onlookers with starry eyes and dreams of a procedurally generated galaxy with his game “Infinity: The Quest for Earth”. Due to the slow pace of development, many dismissed the project as vaporware after years of waiting. However, now a less ambitious game using the same technology dubbed “Infinity: Battlescape” is being worked on and is on kickstarter (link to kickstarter.com). The trailer can be seen below:

            link to youtube.com

            The game plans to offer many of the same features as its predecessor, The Quest for Earth, such as seamless planetary transitions (See the video below) which will allow players to ascend into orbit from a planet’s surface and back again all in the same instance without loading screens, Newtonian physics flight models, and true to scale procedurally generated solar systems.

            link to youtube.com

            In Battlescape, players will fight as one of three factions for control of points of interest, known as “Battlescapes”, which will gather resources and automatically deliver goods to the front lines so that players can buy more and better ships to fuel the war effort, a bit like what Planetside 2 has on offer. For those not interested in the multiplayer aspect of the game, a sandbox offline mode will exist, but the focus appears to be on multiplayer.

            I-Novae’s kickstarter goal is $300,000 USD (about £200,000 GBP) and players can pledge for access to the full game when it is released for just $20 USD (£15 GPB). The nine man studio plans to ship the full game to the public by September 2017. The Battlescape kickstarter campaign also offers some fairly straight forward stretch goals like an extra ship and improved damage models if funding goes beyond what the team is asking for.

            I-Novae itself consists of just nine developer spread across the world and working on the project part time, including ex-EPIC Games veteran Keith Newton who joined the team around 2010. Whether they can successfully complete the project within the timeline that the team hopes for remains to be seen, however the team hopes that their kickstarter will allow them the funds they need to work full time on the game. After nearly a decade of waiting it is still a big ask.

            Some youtuber’s have already gotten hold of Battlescape’s very early tech demo (which is a prototype, not a pre-alpha version of the game) and gameplay can be found below:

          • Bugamn says:

            But you aren’t being objective. You took a side when you stated that Infinity “appear[s] to finally be close to realizing the dream in the form of Infinity: Battlescape”. That just right after you presented the previous Infinity with “amazing features like endless true to scale solar systems, seamless planet transitions, galactic warfare, player controlled territory systems, and base building to boot”, what might cause some confusion. As I understand those features aren’t being promised by Battlescape.

            And I fail to see how you can consider Alice to be belittling your writing, but you can’t consider that you could be doing the same to hers. I prefer to believe she was being completely sincere and just wanted to show you how hard it can be to write an article for a big site.

          • LyskTrevise says:

            I admit that I may have unintentionally been a bit biased, I am after all a fan of 9 years of the game. I did my best when I wrote it.

          • Alice O'Connor says:

            Good job! That’s closer to your goal of an “objective” news post.

            However, I think that’s made it worse. As a piece of writing, it’s too clunky and dry from you trying to cover up your opinions. Which bit most excites you? What looks cool? What would you like to do in Battlescape? Got any jokes? Any of those would make the news post far more interesting. Otherwise, you may as well just link to the Kickstarter and not bother writing anything.

            RPS is – and has always been – a site heavy on personality, opinions, and other overt manifestations of subjectivity. That’s how we like it, and we’ve never pretended otherwise. I don’t know why you’ve been reading RPS for years if you disagree with that. Have a read of John’s thoughts on objectivity if you’re curious.

            Even the “man-shooter” you cribbed from us and used yourself is a subjective term loaded with implications which spiral out in a dozen different directions, by the way. We’re not pretending to be objective, though.

            (I’d also disagree that watching a video of someone playing a game is objective – you’re only seeing what they want to show you, and you’re hearing what they think about it.)

          • DevilishEggs says:

            This thread takes the cake. RPS comments section is the best ever. Someone just literally rewrote the post and then it was commented on in detail by the original writer. To risk sounding like a Steam review: 11/10.

      • amateurviking says:

        Gosh this is incredibly rude.

        • LyskTrevise says:

          How have I been rude? I don’t think I insulted anyone either directly or indirectly. I simply expressed what I thought an article on Infinity should have looked like.

          • Jay Load says:

            uh…attempting to tell Alice how to do her job?

            “Took me like 15 minutes to write and gather materials.”

            And that sign off…wow, man. If you were my child you’d be feeling my slipper on your buttocks and would be made to pen an apology letter. Ruuuuude.

          • LyskTrevise says:

            Pretty sure I said “This is how I would have written it” not “Alice should have written it like this”.

            Get over yourself.

          • Jay Load says:

            Dude, saying “this is how I would have written it” IS saying “Alice should have written it like this”. And you don’t think that stating you pulled that together in fifteen minutes was a rather large slap in the face to Alice’s professional capabilities?

          • Kichae Chandramani says:

            Lysk, dude, just back away. You’re not communicating your points in a constructive manner. Take a step back, go have a beer, and let the Kickstarter sell itself to people.

            I’ve been following this project just as long as you have. I’m just as excited about it as anyone else who has hung out in the community. But the community honestly isn’t handling the Kickstarter very well. Too many people were hoping to have all of the stretch goals reached by now, and making a huge splash, while the devs have repeatedly and consistently told everyone to temper their expectations. People are getting worked up because media members aren’t getting on their knees for the game, and it’s honestly hurting the community.

            Don’t be a part of the problem. When you identify yourself as a member of the community outside of the community, you become an ambassador for all of us (and that goes for everyone else from the community kicking around on here). That means being very careful about what you say, and how you say it, especially if you’re presenting criticism.

            Don’t be a part of the problem.

          • Bugamn says:

            Kichae, thanks for the level-headed approach. I can understand the passion, as the project does look interesting, but at the same time it’s a hard sell, as it is a multiplayer game that depends on large amounts of players to succeed. The Kickstarter seems to be doing well enough, but if it for some reason goes south, maybe the developer could try an alternative approach? Maybe releasing a few tech demos to the public, or even smaller games using the same engine. I bet there would be a public for a Elite-like on that engine. Maybe licensing the engine? The graphics look lovely, it’s just that the gameplay doesn’t really interest me.

          • Kichae Chandramani says:

            Well, the game is supposed to ship with an offline exploration mode, which in and of itself might be interesting for a few hours of play, but the real meat for that would require the mod tools and community mod marketplace that are one of the stretch goals.

            I know where you’re coming from. I’m not a super competitive, multiplayer deathmatch player. The gameplay on offer for this particular game really isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m an astronomer by trade, and I simply can’t say no to a game promising the kind of full scale, realistic solar system that Infinity is offering up. So they’ve got (or will get, upon a successful completion of the Kickstarter) some of my money. And I’m hopeful that we’ll see that mod marketplace some day, and that modders will be able to create all sorts of fun and interesting spins on the game.

          • Bugamn says:

            Yeah, I saw the singleplayer exploration mode, but it feels to be so little for my purposes. If the targets of the Kickstarter were on single player exploration I would probably consider, but as it is now I see the same problem that the new Elite presented: they promised a multi-player game, saw some people wanted single player, promised that, and later cut that. I would rather have a dedicated single player game and not depend on mods.

          • Kichae Chandramani says:

            And that’s perfectly fair. Single player games have fallen out of favour, and single player gamers really shouldn’t be forced to settle for the scraps left over from multiplayer development. I’d prefer to have the MMO that Infinity was originally dreamed up as, myself, but that’s not coming any time soon, either.

            It’s a shame that the community that grew up around Infinity’s development has gone a little squirrely with the Kickstarter. So many of us have been waiting for so long, that I think some of us have simply gone a little bat poop nuts. I can attest to the usual calmness and friendliness of its members, even to members of the out-group under normal circumstances. The fact that the Kickstarter didn’t succeed 3 days before launch, or something, has really soured some of the discussion, though.

            It’s honestly just pent up frustration from not having the game 6 years ago.

      • jalf says:

        I can honestly say that the Infinity community is the most unique, knowledgeable, and kind community I have ever been a part of

        Based on how kind they are to each others?

        Every community is kind to its own members. Friggin’ KKK’ers are kind and friendly and compassionate towards each others. Gamergaters are nice to other gators.

        A community being nice to its own members is not news and it is not impressive. I’d much rather determine a community’s “kindness” by how they treat non-members.

        Do they, for example, throw hissy fits when something they hold dear is criticized? Do they write condescending faux news articles to “correct” writers who don’t share in their fandom?

        There are lots of ways to judge the kindness of a community. A community member saying “they’ve always been nice to me, a member of the same community” really isn’t a great one.

        • LyskTrevise says:

          Yeah and that implies that I’ve somehow magically always been a part of the community. No. The community was there before I was, and it will certainly continue after I leave it. I never threw a hissy fit, but if thats how you view disapproving and being critical of an article, then I would say that you are now throwing a hissy fit because you don’t like the way I have criticized RPS’ writing. Irony at its best.

          You can either be a hypocrite typing away on the comments of a news article or you can go to the inovae forums and see for yourself how new members are treated when they make a thread, there are many new people joining and posting as we speak.

          And to compare us with the KKK? Really? -__-;

          • Ayslia says:

            A new member is still a member. A genuinely friendly community is friendly to everyone, those who belong to it and those who don’t. I don’t categorize, say, Gamergate as a ‘friendly community’, and I wouldn’t even if as a new member of the community I was welcomed, because they treat non-members so terribly.

          • All is Well says:

            @Lysk
            Re: the last paragraph, I don’t think jalf was comparing you to the KKK, strictly speaking. They were most probably illustrating the point that a community that is kind to its own members is not therefore also a good community, because demonstrably bad communities have been kind to their own… kind. Ehrm.

            Sorry, it’s just that I find it annoying when people mistake analogy or illustration for direct likening. Nothing personal and all that.

  26. avout says:

    This really is a quite dismissive, factually wrong and indeed defaming article. You claim it is not, but I’m not sure on what plane of existence it wouldn’t be. You claim it is not a review, but what difference does it make ?

    As others pointed out, you should really have taken the time to actually play the prototype. You know, something that just about all other space game maker that had a kickstarter did NOT offer at the start of their campaign.

    • Jay Load says:

      Okay. My final say.

      I’ve spent some time watching videos on the KS page.

      I now badly – really very desperately – want to install that engine on my computer. I’ve badly wanted to install it since 2006, so this is a familiar feeling.

      The I-Novae engine is, and always has been, the most beautiful planetary renderer I’ve ever seen. The lighting upgrades are simply gorgeous. The scale looks right, although the terran planetoids on show are tiny compared to an Earth. They’ve even found a way to not have their fractal geometry suddenly increase in complexity in jarring stages as you approach it, something every other engine that has ever attempted this still does.

      The flight model and cockpit is very impressive. Lots of little touches to aid immersion, much like the new Elite. They look very fun to fly.

      I don’t ever want to hear or see the phrase “seamless planetary transition” again. It’s not a new thing, a unique thing, or even your best feature (Best feature is your utterly gorgeous cinema-quality planet and ship visuals)

      Your trailer video is a wonderful watch. Makes me ache. My soul is a Space Soul (Partly why you’ve had such a hard time off me in comments above – I don’t suffer timewasters well). I’d love to BE that pilot. That place she took off from? FUCK I want to live there so badly. It looked AMAZING. Details like the factories billowing smoke across the water…just startlingly beautiful. The video represents what I wanted Elite:Dangerous to be. Give me a singleplayer version of that, somebody. GIVE ME THAT and I am yours eternally.

      But do I want to play a game that is 90% combat? No, I do not. I want to wander. To explore. To visit. To exist in any other capacity than as warrior.

      This is a dilemma for me. I’m sorely tempted to put in some cash. the lure of the dream is huuuuge, even if this game is only a fraction of it. To own that engine on my PC….

      I’ll think about it, is what I’m saying. I’m still not convinced you’ve got the skills to build a game but I am in awe of the engine, as always.

      TBD.

      • Jay Load says:

        uhhh, what? Damn. This was meant to be it’s own comment, not a response. Just imagine it is. :)

        • Bugamn says:

          In my heart it is a comment, not a response :P

          As for the comment itself, I feel almost the same. It looks great in the videos. If it were promised as a single player sandbox like Elite I might be tempted to back, but as yet another multiplayer only combat arena? Nah. And I’ve read that the game will offer a sandbox, but that will be just a limited version of the combat arena, it’s not what I want.

  27. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Do you like video games? Do you like space? Are you a douchebag? Then check of Infinity!

    • colw00t says:

      Boy howdy, it sure is kind of them to provide examples of the people we will be playing with/against in this theoretical multiplayer game that may or may not ever be finished.

      • Crayfish says:

        Haha, you guys, I love the irony of your comments.

        Have you looked at the video of the game? What did you think?

  28. Booyaah says:

    So I was curious about this whole vaporware thing and was interested to see if I could find out how the developer himself would respond and found this:

    ————–

    Most people don’t know the specifics of the project history and are under the assumption that we’ve been developing this game for 10 years with a full team working full time.

    In reality, there was a single guy ( me ) working 6 years out of these 10 alone, part time, mostly just on the tech. That already puts things into perspective. So, no, we haven’t got 8-10 guys working on this for a decade.

    During the past 4 years, we had to do major engine upgrades in order to not lag behind in terms of tech ( physical-based lighting was one of the major steps ), which required to change the entire workflow / pipeline. Artists had to relearn everything. And again, nobody’s working full time, so you don’t figure that stuff out in just 2-3 months.

    It is true that it took us a lot of time to get this Kickstarter shipped out of the door. But you have to explain to people how to put things into perspective. Star citizen worked a year on their KS before it launched. They had a small team of professionals, working full time, plus subcontractors. The development costs of the SC KS was probably in the 500K-1M$ alone. Just for the KS.

    link to bit.ly

    ————

    I am most curious to see a demo of these 100 vs 100 pvp battles they claim are possible with their engine (even something 1/2 of that). As I know from playing SC that they have trouble even keeping 12 ppl connected in a battle and even said it was unlikely they could get 100 into an instance.

    Anyways I would love to see this vaporware dream turn into a reality!

  29. Guy Montag says:

    Jiminy Christmas. I started in the comments from a sidebar comment link and basically read upward. At the end, expecting an article full of words set on fire and pushed into sewage with a kickstarter link somewhere in the middle, I find something ridiculously fair.

    Put your pants back on, people, the larking about party is in some other town.

  30. aq-nightmare says:

    Every single member of the media that has tried the pre-alpha for themselves and flown within the game has had nothing but praise for it.
    Then along comes RPS a supposed pc focused media outlet that creates this nonsense without even attempting to try the game for themselves.

    I wish more people would take the i-novae approach when making a kickstarter, Actually make an engine that works and can be played before asking for peoples money.

  31. ds_k7 says:

    Alice, it would be awesome if you contacted the developers and got a hold of the prototype to play for yourself. This has obviously drawn a lot of attention, so give yourself a chance to draw even more!

  32. nemcorp says:

    Most of the space sims kickstarter doesn’t have even a good playable demo to show the possible features, but RPS seems to be pretty forgiving with those, yet SC alone.
    This guys decide to release a game when the engine is ready to work, for players and devs sake, and RPS act like dicks.
    I’m loving this troll logic, now i’ll call every game in development “vaporware” untill it’s released.

    • Bugamn says:

      What games are you talking about? RPS didn’t exactly praise Elite when it launched its Kickstarter. Let’s give it a look: “The Kickstarter page itself is, unfortunately, almost completely lacking in concrete details. Braben talks somewhat vaguely about his plans, but there aren’t any videos or screenshots – it seems to be banking on backers’ sheer excitement over a sequel they’ve waited for forever.” Does that seem forgiving?

      • nemcorp says:

        @Bugamn with the funny fact that ED had things to show up too, and it’s up and running shutting the mouth up of who wrote that phrase anyway

        • Bugamn says:

          So what? The point is, it was a Kickstarter asking for a lot of money and they were critical, because at that moment nothing was proven. Your behavior is similar to a kid that is angry with someone because they don’t want to play the same game. This kind of reaction is more damaging to the game’s reputation than this article could ever be.

          • nemcorp says:

            with another funny fact that i found out about this game thanks to this article?
            But if i wasn’t one of those guys who actually try to get informed about the things i read. This is not an article, this is a comment disguissed as an article, and if you think i’m acting like a little child for a game i just met, then i wonder in which category this “journalist” falls, 5 years old kid rant or “my first journal: i’m learning to type”.

          • Bugamn says:

            So what you are saying is that this article did actually help promotion of the game? Then why are you complaining so much? I like RPS to have a tone, even when I disagree with it. If I just wanted to know which games are out there I would check Steam or itch.io. And since you like funny facts so much, the game has been in development 10 years, even if most of it was just the engine, and that is something that RPS should be reporting if they are to point to a game asking for money, so that people can make their decision themselves (as you did). Even the mythic Grimoire by Cleve Barkmore claims to have a demo. Now, I wish this game to succeed and to release its engine so that someone else can make a game that I would play in it. But criticizing the site for not instantly telling people to back the game won’t make me back it.

  33. Dicehuge says:

    Goodness. I really wish these communities who show up en masse to belittle and insult popular writers would think about how off-putting and spiteful it appears to neutral observers. It’s great to be passionate but insulting journalists for not sharing your enthusiasm is no way to help developers who are literally trying to appeal to people for help.

    • nemcorp says:

      there’s no such thing as neutral observer, the fact that you got here is because something caught your interest, which drops down any possibilities of neutral observation, that’s just an excuse to not take sides when you have one in your mind. But that’s my opinion anyway.

      • Dicehuge says:

        Wasn’t necessarily referring to myself, although before today I had never heard of this game. I have no side other than that I like Alice’s writing in general and don’t see anything outrageous in what she wrote here.

        More to the point, Kickstarter appeals are about bringing in people, right? I just think quite a few people would find those kinds of reactions to a news post quite alienating.

        • nemcorp says:

          i got here by coincidence and i’m checking out the kickstarter page, not sure yet if i’ll back but i’m thinking about it, i wrote my first comment here after reading what they did for years and came back here, as i did in other articles, well informed before putting a comment about the article, and they will be just that, my opinion, as yours will be yours, and none of them facts, i’m not well aware about this game yet, but i’m pretty sure RPS was a good gaming site with neat articles giving you the good, the bad and the ugly, and nowadays is not, it’s all about making controversy like the shitty gaming sites out there.
          With that said, i’m checking another game’s kickstarter that’s about to end today so, see ya laters

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s also not the best advertisement for a multiplayer game, when the people who show up on threads like this are showing what kind of multiplayer community a newcomer is going to be dealing with.

  34. Booyaah says:

    Was looking for some combat footage w/several players…finally found some. Looks pretty basic right now, as you would expect, seems like it could be fun though:

    link to youtu.be

  35. Shigawire says:

    “Vaporware” is often a word that the spoiled children equivalent of adult men like to call something they want “NAOW!” – but is unable to get “NAOW!” due to development time.

    Duke Nukem Forever deserves the term vaporware, since it was developed in a professional studio.

    It is not fair, and it NEVER WAS fair, to call Infinity vaporware. The I-Novae engine was worked on by Flavien Brebion all alone from 2004 to 2010 – in his own free time after he came home from work, or in weekends. Later one he started a development team, with more people around the world. But they still don’t have a studio where they can work together, and they still only work in their spare time.