Typically a game company does not reveal its game plan to anyone. Things change, deadlines get missed and fans get peeved. That said Stellar Knights is not a normal game company. First of all, we are Indi, and that tends to lend itself to more open communication between the company and its fans. Secondly, “we” currently includes only includes “me” but I am hoping to change that. The point of today’s news is to help entice some fans and hopefully interest some talented people enough to contact me. So what am I planning?
Much of the game is still in the planning stage. There are a ton of features that may or may not make it into the game. I am going to try to avoid talking about them so that I don’t get anyone’s hopes up for something that may not make it in. That said the game is still huge; way too big for me to make the whole thing on my own in a reasonable time frame. Really, it is way too big even for a team of three or four to make in a reasonable time frame. On top of that, is the fact that I have no money to develop the game that I want to make. So with all that negativity, how in the world am I going to even attempt this?
Well, the plan is to try to mirror other successful indi companies. First off, I will of course be resorting to crowd funding. No, there is none up yet. I want to wait until I get some real momentum going before I even attempt to start milking money out of it, and in any case crowd funding is only going to go so far. I am counting on it to help me buy the licensing for the game but I am not keeping all my eggs in that basket. This is where part two comes in. Like many other indi games I plan on releasing First Command as an early alpha.
The goal for the alpha is to have a playable game that centers on combat in one solar system at a time. Primarily this would include a territories game type where players have to hold planets by placing destroyable space stations around them. This could be played multiplayer, Co-Op, and single player. This does two things. One, we release a game that I think can stand on its own merit. It would be fun to play even if it does not evolve past this point. Secondly it will give me a huge amount of information on ship to ship combat which will play a major role in the full game.
So what is the full game? Ok prep yourself here. Everything that comes next is only vaguely planned. It is where I hope I can take this game, but reality is probably going to do everything it can to stop me. So take everything with a grain of salt, no, better yet dump the whole shaker out. The plan for First Command is to create a full single player/co-op campaign that spans a galaxy. Multiple factions will hold solar systems that the player can ally with, trade with, or do battle with. As players progress though the game they will gain more and more power, allowing them to command larger ships, and eventually entire fleets. As their power grows they will be able to take planets and then solar systems for themselves to gain resources for them so that they can continue to expand their power and fleet. Players will be able to rise through the ranks of a faction or earn their power as a freelancer or a pirate. Players will be able to build an empire from a single ship. They will be able to command their ships from the bridge or lead boarding parties to take out enemy vessels, stations and planets. That is the game I want to make.
These are, of course, some pretty lofty goals. This game is not going to be easy to make by any standard, but in the last few years I have seen too few games that have truly satisfied their customers. I am currently a senior at Full Sail University majoring in Video Game design. As an avid gamer as well as a student of the medium I have often found myself disappointed with both the quality and the emotional investment of many of today’s games. I believe we can do better! Too few games have truly shot for the stars knowing that there was every possibility of failure. That is what indi companies do though. We take on theses immense challenges without funding nor faith not because they are safe investments, but because we are willing to take the chance to give gamers something better than they already have.
So if you like the idea of First Command, keep checking in to see how we are doing. Help us rise in popularity on Indi DB; and if you are willing to contribute your time and skills to First Command and Stellar Knights we would love to hear from you. Check out our job postings on Indi DB found under Stellar Knights or email me directly at GrandStellarMaster@gmail.com