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The Early Access version of Relic Space has just been released, the result of more than 3 years of development so far. In this article I'll cover some of the key features players can expect from the new release.

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That's right, the Early Access version of Relic Space is here, the result of more than 3 years of development so far. Though it's been so much work, it's also been so much fun to see this passion project grow, alongside a great community of players who've helped test earlier versions, and to whom I'm immensely grateful!

In this article I'd like to outline some of the key new features players will be able to experience in this Early Access release.

Explore a Procedural Universe

First off, players will be able to freely explore over 45 procedurally generated sectors, each with their own distinct mix of factions, stations and environmental effects. And of course each with missions generated out of this local context, which they'll need to complete to help their faction to victory.

And I do want to stress the 'procedurally generated' part. During the Early Access period I'll be adding a complex, branching narrative, told through handcrafted missions. But as the game is right now it's best to think of it more as a classic roguelike experience, where the fun comes not so much from the storyline, but the tactical challenge of taking on ever harder opponents, with an ever wider range of ships, weaponry and equipment, in runs that are never the same twice.

Find a Winning Strategy

Speaking of victory, the '4X-style strategy' layer of the game will work, for now, just as it did in the Demo - except that a whole lot more victory points will be needed for a win! Players will need to roam widely and choose the right missions to boost their faction in specific ways - all the while keeping a close eye on the progress of their rivals.

Regular missions that boost faction stats, will need to be balanced with the rarer missions that give a chance of discovering relics that unlock research goals. Unlike in the Demo, progress through the tech tree is essential to keep pace with one's enemies, as their ships will be upgraded with their faction's latest tech.

Game-changing Upgrades

Full access to the tech tree opens up a wide range of weapon and equipment options, including over 50 'base' equipment types, which each come in numerous variants in terms of size (Large/Medium/Small) and quality (Normal/Good/Exceptional).

Combine this with the wide range of ship hulls available to acquire, together with the fact that many equipment types come with new active skills, or offer entirely new combat strategies (Stealth Field anyone?) and you have a recipe for classic-RPG-style progression that never gets old!

Make Friends - or Enemies

Finally, while exploring players can now discover a total of 7 ‘minor’ factions in addition to the 3 main factions. Just to take two examples:

  • The Ludist faction structure their lives around games and play: many believe the universe itself to be a game, and the laws of physics its rules. Their stations are well-known for their combat arenas, in which bets are placed on battles between custom-built drones...
  • The Makers value pure creativity above all. Their anarchic, freewheeling culture often tips over into violence, and their combat ships are deadly works of art.

A fourth main faction, the Intelligence, will be gradually added during the Early Access, and will be integral to the main story.

Join the Community

The best way to keep up to date on the very latest on Relic Space is via the Discord. During Early Access you'll also be the first to gain access to bleeding edge builds, and of course will be able to discuss the game with fellow fans as well as the developer.

Alternatively sign-up to the low-volume newsletter to be notified of key updates and new releases.

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