Tell me the phrase "exploring space in an interstellar gothic monastery" and honestly, I'm in. Sold. You've got me. That's the premise of The Banished Vault, an upcoming strategy game announced this week. You'll flee from solar system to solar system in a mobile monastery megacity, trying desperately to scavenge what you can before an all-annihilating pursuer catches up. The Banished Vault is the first game on the new indie publishing label of Bithell Games, but more interesting to me is that it's coming from the designer of Sun Dogs.
The developer, Nic Tringali explains in the announcement that as you cross space, you'll gather materials, build industrial outposts, dodge hazards, gather artifacts, upgrade your ship and technology, invest in your crew, and try hard not to die. Whatever it is following us wipes out systems in its wake, and time is limited.
Details on how it all works are sparse for now, and the (cool) few screenshots aren't super self-explanatory, but I'm well interested. In the first dev diary, Tringali goes on to natter about dreams of simulated solar systems and how (and why) he ultimately settled on a simple model. Interesting stuff.
The Banished Vault will be the first game from Lunar Division, the new indie label of Bithell Games. Tringali works at Bitho, see, and chipped in on games including John Wick Hex and Subsurface Circular. Bitho Games does seem an increasingly weird name now that the studio are much bigger than Mike "The Bither" "Big Bith" Bitho himself, as it was in the days of Thomas Was Alone. I guess a new label specifically for small and experimental ideas from new directors goes halfway to solving that problem? I am curious to see what else comes from Lunar Divison.
2015's Sun Dogs was an interesting one, a posthuman jaunt around the solar system. Both Brendy and Pip can tell you more about that. "Rarely is science fiction dealt with so delicately in our industry, without big guns or alien monsters or angry shouting," Brendy said.