The studio behind the excellent XCOM: Long War mods have launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help finish their own game about alien invasion. Terra Invicta is not XCOM by a new name, mind. It's a grand strategy game which starts with mysterious first encounters, leads to geopolitical manoeuvring as factions jostle for position and contend with alien influence, can develop into global war, then sprawls across the solar system with industrial colonies and spaceship battles. The devs say they plan to release Terra Invicta next summer, but could use a bit more cash to make it fancier.
"Terra Invicta's early campaign might be characterized as something out of the X-Files, with agents of various secret factions trying to investigate the alien arrival while manipulating governments into joining their cause," the Kickstarter page explains. "As events unfold and the aliens' intentions become clear, the experience will widen into something with shades of War of the Worlds and the Expanse."
That sounds: great.
Pavonis launched the Kickstarter yesterday, seeking $20,000 (about £15.5k). They've been working on Terra Invicta for years and say they're "confident" they have enough funding to finish the game, but they "also have a list of things we'd like to do to make the game everything it can be – such as adding more playable factions and voice acting." So they hope fans will basically pre-order to help fund more bells and whistles. $25 (£19) will get you a copy of the finished game, though I must stress that crowdfunding isn't pre-ordering (which you shouldn't do either) and many Kickstarted projects have collapsed after hitting their goal. But if you like the idea of a world where Terra Invicta exists and is nice, putting in cash would make that future more probable.
The Terra Invicta Kickstarter hit its goal in under six hours, so now Pavonis are trying to fund stretch goals. The first will be to make all of the game's seven human factions playable, who could be quite different with goals like peaceful co-existence, leaving the solar system, and good ol' profit.
The plan is to launch Terra Invicta on Steam in summer 2021. However, Pavonis note that if they manage to raise enough money, that may become an early access launch - "not because the game isn't ready to play, but rather because we'll need time to use those funds to make the game even better."
Pavonis came to fame with Long War, a series of XCOM mods which turned the campaigns into, well, long wars. Alec praised the original, saying he had "written it off as joyless ultra-hardcore tweaks for a very particular type of strategy gonk" after hearing about it, then had a go himself and fell well into it. XCOM developers Firaxis drafted the team to make sanctioned mods for XCOM 2, culminating in Long War 2, which Adam dug.