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Tsar Trek: The Mandate Kickstarter

Seeking space bucks

The crowds appear to enjoy funding space games, hence the golden tophats of the Elite: Dangerous team and Chris Roberts' newfound habit of paying urchins to deliver laminated press releases by hand. One of the little ragamuffins arrived this morning, doffed his cloth cap (golden cloth) and thrust a sealed manila envelope into my mitts (golden manila). The foolscap sheet inside simply read: "By the time you finish reading this sentence, Star Citizen may well have raised another trillion dollars." I passed the lad a ha'penny and told him to make sure he showered and washed behind his ears (not golden showers).

The Mandate isn't like Elite or Star Citizen. It's a space game, oh yes, but with isometric tactical boarding actions and a hefty dose of roleplaying and crew management. Tasty. The developers are seeking $500,000 on Kickstarter and the campaign has begun strongly.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Elite and Star Citizen turn out, but The Mandate is more immediately appealing to me. Perihelion are promising freedom to explore procedurally generated space sectors, engaging in combat and conquest while managing the city-sized population of a modifiable ship. The relationships between crew members will have an impact on the game, although it's not yet clear whether they'll also lead to sexyfuntime cutscenes as so many conversations in space tend to.

Here's a taster of the campaign's scope:

As the captain of a ship, you’ll lead your men through battles, boarding operations, and space exploration through a hierarchy of officers, selected and honed by you.

You’ll explore your vessel isometrically, discovering the inner workings and day to day life of the officers and crew who serve under you. Invite dignitaries to your chamber, or defend your vessel from attack on foot (in the style of Jagged Alliance, X Com.)

As you lead your men to victory, yourself and officers who survive will have access to upgrades and talents, affecting gameplay and offering new tactical opportunities. Make the wrong decision, and expect to lose your officer for good with our rogue-like chain of command.

Read on for more details.

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