Hello, I'm Juha Penttinen, but you may call me Kazz, developer of the Phasewarp game. I figured I'd shed some light to game modes, that actual game will have when it will come out.
Basically there will be two game modes supported at launch, first one being "Adventure", where player will pilot their starship through unknown parts of space which will be procedurally generated, exploring sectors as they go. Most of the systems you visit will have some kind of encouter with them, some of them are friendly, some are neutral and others are plain hostile.
It is up to player to decide how to deal with each encouter, or if you want to respond to it at all. If you wish to blast anything on your way that playstyle is definitely posibble, but more peaceful approach to encouters will have it's own rewards.
In addition to encouters, each sector will also have two major factions with their own fleets patrolling the sector, they are your main source of equipment and materials, unfortunately they won't just deal with everyone, so if you want to visit their starbases you have to do favours for them, which will anger the opposing faction, so you have to consider your actions carefully. In addition they will offer unique quests if your standing with them is good enough, that will give even greater rewards.
Other major part of the game will be the combat system, which is playable independently of the main game for those who wish to just duke it out with the opposing fleets.
It will basically have two options, quick duels between invidual ships, simply select ship and hit "fight", and the more complex fleet battle mode, where you can create fleet of up to 10 ships from ships available ingame. Once you have your fleet you can either let computer make it's own fleet of equal strenght or alternatively create your opposing fleet manually.
After you have both fleets created they will duel on battleground of your choosing, anything from deep space to vicinity of black holes. Game will switch to combat mode where you will pilot invidual ship against ship picked by the computer, once one of the ships is destroyed, you or computer will pick another ship from the fleet and combat will continue until one of the fleets has no ships left to fight.