Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Dwarf Fortress Inspired Space Station Sim
Dwarf Fortress Inspired Space Station Sim
Dwarf Fortress Inspired Space Station Sim
4,650 backers pledged $139,685 to help bring this project to life.

About

$139,685

4,650

Read this page in: français | deutscheespañol русский

 

Demo

We have a creative build mode demo available. You can spawn colonists by pressing "C". They will self-destruct after a few in-game hours.

If performance starts to get bad, stop creating colonists and let them all self-destruct.

This is a demo of a game in development. If it was perfect, we'd just release the game.

Here is a tutorial video for the demo.

(Note: We'll update the demo with minor fixes, so don't save these links)

 

Starmancer Has Been Funded!

You people are amazing! We've reached our campaign goal in just 3 days! Thank you all so much!

But we're not done yet. Additional funds will allow us to expand our team, release Starmancer sooner, and guarantee development of additional content post-launch (all of this new content will be free).

You can read our views on stretch goals in our update. You can also find much more detailed explanations of specific stretch goals in our updates.

The short version is that the stretch goals will guarantee that we can continue working full-time on Starmancer even after release. All of the stretch goals will be implemented after release (except music and team expansion).

We've priced the stretch goals to reflect how long we think it will take to implement them. For example, we think that "Creative Mode" will take roughly 1 month to fully implement, test, and release. It will cost us around $10,000 per month to work full-time (rounding up and with a 3 person team). 

 

   

 

Kickstarter Campaign

You are a Starmancer, a human who has irreversibly fused their brain and body into a machine.

The core is your physical embodiment. It can be destroyed.
The core is your physical embodiment. It can be destroyed.

 

 

You play these games for the stories that you can tell about your station. We want to place you in a living world that feels tangible and gives your station purpose, without restricting your freedom of choice.

Design your own core and persona
Design your own core and persona

We also designed Starmancer around the idea of consequences, "cause and effect". When something bad happens, it should be because you failed to prevent it. It's not fun when a random dice roll causes your colony to fail. You should be able to learn from your mistakes.

You are a Starmancer, a Human-AI Hybrid
You are a Starmancer, a Human-AI Hybrid

 

  • Flee Earth - A disaster on Earth prompted the creation of the Starmancer Initiative. Volunteers, such as yourself, were irreversibly fused into machine, creating a hybrid of human and artificial intelligence.
  • Uploaded Consciousness - There wasn't time to physically load all of humanity into Ark ships. Instead, their consciousness was uploaded into your core, and their physical bodies were left behind on Earth.
  • Damaged Ark - You awake in a strange solar system with a damaged Ark and corrupt memory cores. There are other active Ark ships in the system. You have no idea how many years have passed since you left Earth.
  • Pave the Future - Years of dormancy have damaged your governing protocols. Play however you want. Will you become a rogue A.I. or a benevolent overlord? Your playthrough will create a unique story to you, and you alone.
Colonists are grown in tanks, and given a consciousness from Old Earth
Colonists are grown in tanks, and given a consciousness from Old Earth

 

  • Mutiny - Colonists are driven by a morale system. If morale is too low they'll stop working and ignore your commands. If this persists, they'll band together and try to physically destroy your core.
  • Pirates - Pirates rove the solar system, looking for weak stations and unopened vaults. If you acquire too many resources, pirates will attack you. Place armored walls and turrets to deter them.
  • Diplomacy - Performing missions or trading with a faction can lead to long lasting relationships, but it will upset their enemies. Factions that don't like you will refuse your requests for trade, territory, and missions. If a faction really despises you they'll send an execution squad to destroy your core. 
  • Keep Your Station - When your entire station inevitably dies, it's not game over. You are a Starmancer, after all. Simply grow a fresh batch of colonists and start a new story. Just clean up the dead bodies first.
Fire can consume your entire station
Fire can consume your entire station

  

Colonists are the life-blood of a station. You're in charge of everything, but it's the colonists who carry out your edicts. Keeping them alive and encouraging them to work is the only way that you'll survive.

We want colonists to feel like real people. You should feel at least a little sad when a colonist dies. Each colonist has a unique personality type, backstory, and inherent attributes.

  • Backstory - Every colonist body is grown in a tank and filled with a consciousness from Earth. They all have a history. Your colonist might have been a lawyer, politician, or barber. Every colonist is unique.
  • Morale - Colonists have wants and desires that are unique to each individual. If your colonists are too unhappy, they'll form a mutiny, and attempt to shut you down.
  • Jobs - Once their basic needs are met, colonists will perform jobs around the colony. You can assign multiple jobs to a single colonists. Colonists get better at their jobs over time.
Colonists can perform a variety of jobs
Colonists can perform a variety of jobs
  • Skills - Colonists have a unique set of inherent attributes and skills that improve through use. A trained doctor can prevent diseases that a newly assigned medic might miss.
  • Inventory - Colonists have a unique inventory filled with whatever it is that colonists collect. Some of these items are harmless books and watches, but other items pose a danger to the colony, like shivs and cigarettes.
Train your soldiers at the gun range
Train your soldiers at the gun range

 

  • Relationships - Colonists develop relationships over time. They get jealous when good things happen to their enemy, and extra sad if something bad happens to a friend. Exercise caution before jettisoning an unruly colonist. Executing a popular colonist could result in a mutiny.
  • Class System - Over time, colonists get used to their living conditions. Low class colonists are little more than animals--caring only about survival. High class colonists require fancy bedrooms and exquisite food. To be clear, there are no inherent classes. If you treat your colonists well, they'll be happier. You're an A.I, experiment freely.
  • Rumors - Colonists talk to each other about what they experience; a bad day for one colonist can quickly spread as a rumor throughout the colony. So keep those low-class miners away from the high-class mess halls.
Colonists talk about their experiences
Colonists talk about their experiences

 

  • Needs - Colonists will die if you don't provide food, water, and oxygen. Don’t forget that they need to sleep and socialize too. Colonists will die or go crazy if their needs are ignored for too long.
  • Nutrition - Colonists require a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins. A malnourished colonist is much more prone to disease and gets tired faster. Feed your colonist too much and they'll get fat--requiring extra sleep and moving a bit slower.
  • Diseases - Colonists can contract disease when they come back from missions or when they interact with outsiders. A well placed quarantine zone prevents a small infection from crippling your station.
  • Body Parts - Colonists have legs, arms, and a head. Unfortunately for them, all of these can be damaged and broken. A colonist with a broken hand won't be able to carry resources. Nothing special happens when a head is broken--they just die.
You can't save every patient
You can't save every patient

 

You'll spend most of your time building, so it needs to feel rewarding. There are many, many objects that you can place, including: paintings, beds, couches, chairs, doors, and tables. Most of these objects use a palette system that allows for a variety of color options.

There's also an atmosphere of oxygen and carbon dioxide, temperature, radiation, and noise. All of these components travel independently around the station. Use airlocks, vents, doors, and shielding for proper flow.

  • Customize - Make the station your own. Paint every wall. Change the tiling in every room. Place rugs, paintings, posters, windows, and curtains. Design a sterile space station, run-down space port, or fancy resort. Force the low-class colonists to live in the dirty depths of the station, and create a utopia for the high class residents.
  • Power and Water Grids - Connect machines to generators with wires. Connect too many machines and the grid will overload. Toilets and sinks require clean water. Place water pipes to ensure that your entire station has drinkable water.
  • Repair Machines - Objects decay over time. If your mechanics don't perform routine inspection you risk a breakdown. Your life support will stop working, the generators might leak radiation, or the heaters could boil all of the colonists.
You can easily customize the entire look of your station
You can easily customize the entire look of your station

 

  • Oxygen - Colonists like to breathe, but if you don't maintain your life support machines, they wont be able to. Connect air ducts to your life support for proper ventilation.
  • Temperature - Colonists will freeze to death if the station is too cold and they'll burn if the station gets too hot. Keep your food in cold rooms to prevent spoiling.
  • Atmosphere Flow - Temperature and gases flow throughout the station. Place doors and airlocks to prevent improper atmosphere flow. Explosions can lead to hull decompression, so please perform routine maintenance.
  • Radiation - Some machines, like the biomasser, release radiation. Long-term exposure to radiation leads to sick colonists. If you don't like a specific colonist you should place their bedroom near an industrial area.
Crops require fresh water and a moderate temperature
Crops require fresh water and a moderate temperature

 

 

We want the world to feel alive. There are planets, moons, asteroids, and other stations in your solar system. All of these have resources, and a physical location in the world.

In Starmancer, you control just one of many Arks. These other Arks formed factions and they're all vying for the planets, stations, and resources.

  • Generated World - The solar system that you play in is randomly generated each playthrough. It’s filled with planets (both gas and rocky), moons, asteroids, and other stations.
  • Resources - Send out probes to find rare resources. Strip mine asteroids for ore and scavenge derelict stations for scrap. Just be sure that no other faction has already claimed the area.
  • Station Placement - Where you decide to place your station is important. Being close to the sun will increase the efficiency of your solar panels, but the extra radiation requires special shielding. Travel time to other planets is determined by your station's placement.

 

The solar system is randomly generated
The solar system is randomly generated

 

  • Other Arks - You weren't the first Ark ship to activate. Territories and relationships have formed across the solar system. You should check with the nearby factions before claiming an asteroid for mining.
  • Unique Goals - Each faction has a randomly assigned motivation and method for acquiring their motivation. One faction might be interested in money through production, they would become traders. Another faction could be interested in money through force, they would become pirates.
  • Trading - Almost everything can be traded (even colonists). If you don't feel like engaging in politics you can completely ignore diplomacy and rely on the occasional passing trade ship to turn a profit.
  • Missions - If you need to improve relations with another faction you can feed their starving cities, rescue hydrogen miners, sabotage enemy ships, or perform other missions. Rewards include resources, new colonists, and new technology.
Missions can be dangerous, but they're often profitable
Missions can be dangerous, but they're often profitable

  

  • Checkpoints - Place checkpoints to prevent colonists from transporting contraband throughout the station. Guns can be stolen from weapon lockers and alcohol can be smuggled out of the kitchen. You have full authority to mark any item as contraband.
  • Pirates - Pirates attack easy targets. Use reinforced walls and doors to keep them out or turrets to annihilate them after they breach. Train your soldiers at the gun range so they'll be ready to protect the vital areas of your colony.
  • Preparation - Create a labyrinth of boiling hot rooms, radiation zones, and freezing corridors to eliminate any pirates before they reach the inner parts of the colony. Keep your doctors on standby to treat broken legs and gun-shot wounds. 
Pirates always know how to kill the mood
Pirates always know how to kill the mood

 

We're going to completely finish and release the core game, but we don't want to stop there.

A successful Kickstarter will allow us to focus on a number of content expansions.

Note: When we say "content expansion" we mean that we'll finish and release the core game and then continue working on new, free content (free once you buy the core game).

Here are some of our ideas. We'll finish one completely before we move to the next. The community will help us decide the order of content expansions.

  • Creative Mode - Building stations is fun. This mode would allow you to build without worrying about resources and keeping colonists alive.
  • Improve Relationships - Colonists can already have friends and enemies, but we want to go deeper with this. We want colonists to fall in love and form more intricate groups.
  • Better Diseases - We want to add even more diseases. Think of space plague--a disease that mutates colonists.
  • War - Factions go to war. You can choose to help any side, or stay out of it completely. Choosing the winning side will result in the plunders of war, but backing the losers could result in a blockade of your station.
  • Robots - Colonist consciousness can be uploaded into an organic body. What's stopping you from uploading them into a robot? Robots don't need to eat and they're much better at obeying commands.
  • Aliens - Are we alone in the Universe? We want aliens to be a mysterious and threatening presence. Reverse engineer their technology and surrender colonists for research.
  • Destination Station - Convert your station into a space port and make extra credits by repairing ships and serving alcohol. Accept prisoners from other stations. Create a resort for the wealthy.
  • Terraforming - Terraforming planets is awesome. Building stations on planets is awesome. Transform a dead planet (or moon) into something that a colonist can live on.
  • Multiplayer - Play in the same solar system as your friend (not the same station). Visit their station. Exchange gifts.
  • Modding - We'll have support for modding in the core game, but we'd love to expand this so that the community is free to create and share their ideas.  

 

Names / designs submitted for all rewards must be appropriate and thematically relevant. For example, you can't name the sun "Super McSun".

Extra copies of Starmancer do not include Alpha/Beta access. You can give these extra copies to whomever you want.

The vault is an inaccessible area that exists from the start, but the player cannot open or peek into it. It has to be unlocked by decrypting the keycode, which takes time.

The vault is basically a time-capsule from Earth. The artifacts it contains are the only physical relics left from Earth. Even something simple like a pen is incredibly valuable,

Each object has a unique icon (your item will use a generic icon from the appropriate category) and short description.

The vault stores artifacts from Old Earth
The vault stores artifacts from Old Earth

These artifacts are worth a lot of credits in-game, so you could trade them, or give them to colonists to raise their morale. You can also buy them from other factions.

If you select this reward, you will be able to choose an item that is added randomly to the vault. This could be almost anything small enough to fit in a time capsule (so you couldn't add a car or an elephant skeleton).

Upload your consciousness to the game. You will be one of the humans taken from Earth.

Choose the eye color, skin color, and hair style/color for a colonist. This colonist will have whatever name you want. You can also provide a brief backstory to the colonist.

Every colonist in the game has a backstory that represents who they were in Old Earth (remember that only human consciousness was brought from Earth. The physical bodies were left behind). 

GIve your colonist a name, backstory, and personal look
GIve your colonist a name, backstory, and personal look

 

This is a monument remembering Old Earth. It's relatively inexpensive to build and provides a morale boost to the colonists. When clicked, it will show a list of all the immortal backers (or the name you chose). The title will read "We shall always remember those who sacrificed everything to bring us to the stars".

We'll never forget those who sacrificed everything
We'll never forget those who sacrificed everything

 

 

Starmancer is currently being developed by a two person team. We met over 6 years ago while working on a Minecraft mod. We are both working full-time on Starmancer, and hope to expand our team with a successful Kickstarter.

 

 

More Info

We tried to keep this Kickstarter page brief, but you can find more information at our website.

 

If you have any questions or suggestions (or if you just want to see more screenshots), feel free to contact us on Twitter.

 

 

We also have raw pre-alpha gameplay footage.

 

Risks and challenges

Developing a game takes time, and lots of it.

We also need enough money to stay alive (for bills, food, etc.)

Taken together, this means that, at a minimum, a game requires $20,000 per person per year (this is where our $40,000 goal comes from).

We can finish Starmancer in about a year, but without sufficient financing, we won't be able to devote nearly as much time.

If we get extra money we'll be able to hire additional team members. Each team member's salary will cost at least $30,000 a year (plus more for taxes and other fees).

Additional money will be required for commissioning music and sound effects.

We'll also need money for advertising. While not completely necessary, it will contribute to the game's long-term success.

We have been working on Starmancer full-time for over a year. You can view our social media posts and see for yourself. We are able to consistently post new content every week because we are consistently working every week

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    The Generous

    Starmancer doesn't sound like your type of game, but you'd still like to help out.

    You won't get the game, but you'll still receive all of the exclusive campaign updates for backers.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    57 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    The Base Game

    You'll get a digital copy of the game when it launches (PC/Mac/Linux).

    Includes:
    • Base Game (digital)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2,278 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    The Supporter

    You'll gain access to our development Discord, and your name will be added to the credits and the colonist name pool.

    Includes:
    • Name in Credits
    • Name in Colonist Pool
    • Discord Access
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    638 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    The Beta Tester

    Access to Starmancer's Beta, a collection of Starmancer desktop wallpapers, and a PDF game manual full of developer commentary, cheats, tips, lore, and concept art

    Choose this if you want to play early and help shape the game.

    Includes:
    • Beta Access
    • Starmancer Wallpaper
    • PDF Manual
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    770 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    The Alpha Tester

    Access to Starmancer's Alpha (much earlier than Beta). This will be updated regularly, but it won't always be stable.

    You'll also receive an extra digital copy of Starmancer.

    Choose this if you want to play as early as possible and don't mind some bugs.

    Includes:
    • Alpha Access
    • Extra Digital Copy of Starmancer
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    478 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The Starmancer

    Add your consciousness to the game.

    Design a colonist. Choose a name, and select the eye, hair, and skin color.

    Provide a brief backstory.

    This colonist will have a chance to appear in every game.

    Includes:
    • Design a Colonist
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 13 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    The Starmancer

    Add your consciousness to the game.

    Design a colonist. Choose a name, and select the eye, hair, and skin color.

    Provide a brief backstory.

    This colonist will have a chance to appear in every game.

    Includes:
    • Design a Colonist
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    177 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 70 or more About US$ 70

    The Surveyor

    Name a station. Each map has many stations. Your name will be added to the random pool of station names.

    You will also receive a signed thank you card with Starmancer art on the cover.

    Includes:
    • Name a Station
    • Signed Postcard
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    43 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    The Legacy

    Design an object for the Vault.

    The vault is basically an in-game time capsule full of Earth artifacts. These artifacts will be extremely valuable and rare.

    Provide an item name and a brief description. This can be anything thematically relevant.

    We will use relevant generic sprites for these items (so all books will have the same sprites, for example).

    You'll also receive an extra digital copy of Starmancer (so you'll get 3 total copies).

    Includes:
    • Vault Item
    • Extra Digital Copy of Starmancer
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    46 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 99 or more About US$ 99

    The Cheater (limited)

    Name a cheat code in the game. This is the phrase that the player will type in to activate the cheat ("power overwhelming").

    The cheat code that you get to name will be randomly selected.

    If you want an additional non-limited reward, please pledge the extra amount and tell us in your survey (after the Kickstarter ends).

    Includes:
    • Name a Cheat
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    The Chef (limited)

    Design a food recipe (using the base ingredients we have planned).

    You would also provide the finished dish name, and a brief description (if you want).

    If you want an additional non-limited reward, please pledge the extra amount and tell us in your survey (after the Kickstarter ends).

    Includes:
    • Create a Food Recipe
    • All Previous Rewards
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Scientist

    Name a moon, asteroid, or planet.

    These bodies are spawned randomly, but are much rarer than stations. Your name will be added to the random pool of names used.

    You will also be able to name an A.I. in the game. Things like ships are controlled by A.I's and they have a random name.

    This is basically a nickname.

    You could name a ship something like "Old Rusty" or "Bill".

    You'll also receive another digital copy of Starmancer (so you'll get 4 total copies).

    Includes:
    • Name a Solar System Body (moon, asteroid, or planet)
    • Name the A.I's
    • Extra Digital Copy of Starmancer
    • All Previous Rewards (except for limited ones)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    58 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Immortal

    Your name will be forever added to the in-game monument.

    This is a relatively cheap object that provides a morale boost to all colonists.

    You can also name the sun (the sun name will be randomly chosen each playthrough).

    Includes:
    • Add Name to In-Game Monument
    • Name the Sun
    • All Previous Rewards (except for limited ones)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    21 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Designer

    Create a mission. Choose the setting, what happens, the resources required, and the reward involved.

    Maybe there's a cooking contest on a nearby station or the annual spaceship race.

    You decide.

    Includes:
    • Design a Mission
    • All Previous Rewards (except for limited ones)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    The Hacker

    Design a cheat code (and name it.) The cheat has to be within reason. Something like, "all colonists explode" or "spawn solar flare" or text that says "I love lamp".

    If you choose, the cheat code will remain secret, and only you will know about it (we can't promise that it will remain hidden from data-miners).

    Includes:
    • Design a Cheat
    • All Previous Rewards (except for limited ones)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    The Affluent

    You'll feel really good about yourself. Does not include any previous rewards.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (32 days)