About this project
For most up to date information visit the main site:
Thank you for your support! Together we did it!
Paul - 07/01/2013
Kickstarter doesn't allow editing this page post project completion. So the above/below - links/videos/information may change in the future or not be available/functional.
Mega/Recap updates below:
For our final week two trailers have been prepared, this first one is a warm up, the second one is a glimpse at space sim history.
Final Week - Kickstarter Finale Trailer:
Final Week - First Trailer:
REACHED - +5k - $25,000 - Additional pirate faction at release
This pirate faction will be much more fleshed out than the current "nuisance" pirate faction. Featuring more ships (including larger ship hulls), pirate bases and platforms. Adding variety to the gameplay with additional enemies to defend against and conquer.
Funds will go towards 3D models (ships/bases/etc), textures, new weapon visuals, 2D HUD/GUI elements and sounds/music.
ETA: Commercial release
IN PROGRESS - + $30k - $55,000 - 'Privateer' mode
25K - 30K - Civilian Faction - REACHED
30K - 35K - Bounty Hunter Faction - REACHED
35K - 40K - Trader Faction
Open ended gameplay set after the main campaign - the sun gate opens for travel. The universe is yours to explore and conquer. From humble beginnings make your way through the known and unknown edges of space. Become a privateer - a pirate, trader, mercenary, bounty hunter and leader. Purchase ships, assemble a fleet, purchase/build platforms to expand and defend your military and industrial might. If you feel warlike take over bases.
The funds will go towards new ships, factions, bases, stations, sounds, music tracks and GUI/HUD elements. The game world will become alive with civilian, mercenary and military traffic. Beyond what is possible to achieve with 30k the game's modifiable nature will allow the universe to expand in size - create new sectors/ships/bases share them with friends or the larger community.
+$40k - $95,000 - FPS elements - Base boarding and defense
Be there with your forces as they take over and defend bases (both in story/campaign and privateer modes). Optional FPS combat in the game's unique setting, an additional element of hands on control and immersion. These initial FPS steps will lay the ground work for additional FPS elements in the game at a future date.
The funds will be used for 3D animated characters, weapons, environments, sounds/music and GUI/HUD elements.
ETA: Post privateer mode - time line depends on many variables - "nights and weekends" development estimate - 1 to 1.5 years post release.
Note: All backers (release level and higher) get any paid updates to Void Destroyer for free.
Note: Any funds overlapping into the next stretch goal will go towards that goal.
In The Media:
The Escapist: Homeworld-esque Void Destroyer Reaches Kickstarter Goal
Rock Paper Shotgun: No Voids Were Harmed: Void Destroyer
Kickstarter Conversations: Who Needs Homeworld? We have Void Destroyer
Pixel Judge: Void Destroyer – Space Warfare on Kickstarter
Anything Geeky Reviewed: The story behind project Void Destroyer
I Game Responsibly: Take Command Of An Intergalactic Fleet In Void Destroyer – Space Warfare
Space Game Junkie: Void Destroyer – The Dark Souls of Space Games?
The Reticule: Void Destroyer Hits Kickstarter
Rock Paper Shotgun:
Gamers Nexus: 7 Upcoming Games to Watch, Ep. 1 Video
Indie Game Mag: ‘Void Destroyer’: space is big and so is this game
The Jace Hall Show: Hybrid Space Shooter RTS Gives You “War, Not Skirmishes”
Space Sector: When Space Sim Meets Real-Time Strategy
True PC Gaming: Void Destroyer Kickstarter
Did I miss something? Email me at paul at voiddestroyer dot com
Updated Backer Perk:
Click For Full Size: http://voiddestroyer.com/images/backerPerk.png
In Ship Mode: name appears next to ship name you are piloting
In Tactical Mode: name appears on mouse over - on ship
This great perk was suggested by a backer you can find more info here.
What is Void Destroyer?
Void Destroyer is a independent space combat simulator and real time strategy hybrid. It is the "game of my dreams" that I've spent the past 4 years developing. Void Destroyer is a single player game. It is heavily influenced by classic space sims with my own personal touches as well as feedback from players.
This project has permanent real estate in my mind - development never stops.
Why a hybrid?
There are many space simulations out there, but to me they always lacked that additional amount of control I wanted. Yes I want to be the pilot, but I also want to be the commander. Adding real time strategy elements fulfills that wish for me and I hope for you as well. 2D maps/control interfaces in space sims always seemed to be too limited. Thinking about this flaw in most games, I added the 3D tactical mode, which gives the player real time strategy controls.
Players have found similarities to the game Battlezone and some have used the phrase "Fly Homeworld."
In Void Destroyer you aren't a lowly pilot, you are in command yet still on the front lines.
What is the setting?
In the outer edges of the Oort cloud, a Sun Gate links solar systems light years apart. The gate quickly becomes its own hub of activity as mining factions drag nearby asteroids into the gate's orbit. Hollowed asteroids become bases, homes to many. When riches are discovered, peace becomes cheap.
As a former General, you can write your own ticket. You chose to spend your retirement as a test pilot working for the local military detachment.
What is the core game play like?
In Void Destroyer you take on the role of a retired General once again leading the charge. Build defenses, infrastructure and ships. Secure resources, find allies and conquer enemies. From the Tactical interface of the command ship you lead your forces and pilot craft. Make peace by unleashing war.
What makes Void Destroyer unique?
I always enjoyed a great variety of games, I have combined many different ways of interacting with the game universe. Void Destroyer gives the player unique options on how to play. You can choose one or all of the options to suit your game style or the situation in game.
The ways of interacting with the game world and features:
- Fly any ship under your command - instantly change ships then directly pilot them. From drones to carriers, a huge variety of craft to pilot. This space sim uses a newtonian flight model designed to be have both enjoyable flight and combat in space.
- Command mode - become more of a commander and less of a pilot - intended for handling larger ships
- Tactical mode - issue commands to ships via a real time strategy like interface. Tactical Mode is a fully 3D map, command console and your empire management tool.
- Control your bases production and economic output.
- Build platforms/stations for production and defense.
- Upgrade and repair your command ship. Where your in game Avatar resides and is able to remotely control your ships and assets. The command ship also features unique abilities to aid in combat.
- Experience the story line and unique setting.
- Battle Editor and Instant Action mode - an in game map editor to create custom maps and battle scenarios for you to enjoy quick or long battles and share them with friends.
- Research new technology.
- Crew control - your ships have crews, maybe you prefer them to do the flying for you.
Space sim flight model:
Void Destroyer uses a "newtonian" flight model - meaning that momentum isn't affected by rotation and there is no drag or friction. Ships are capable of compensating for drift automatically and the pilot is able to turn off this compensation to turn independent of momentum. I've put in a lot of effort for ship flight being a joy - meaning - there is drift. It is something to both be wary of and use during combat and maneuvering. Due to the variety of ships and ship classes you can pilot - a nimble drone fighter will be able to compensate for drift much faster than a cruiser.
Realism? Hardcore? Casual?
Combat in Void Destroyer is designed to be action packed and up close and relatively personal. Combat happens in visual range, you won't be shooting at dots.
There are a lot of keyboard commands for players that want them, however the play style is forgiving due to having control over more than one ship. If a small fighter you are remotely piloting is destroyed, you either hop into another or return to piloting the command ship which isn't as easily destroyed.
Although the flight model is newtonian - small ships compensate fairly quickly and have the use of afterburners to change direction even quicker when needed.
Void Destroyer seeks to be among the most mod friendly games out there. I've spent a great deal of effort creating a game engine that is data driven. Object characteristics, maps, missions, dialog, even the scenes that appear on the game's main menu are moddable. As little as possible is hard coded. Modding can be accomplished via a process that is as easy as editing text files.
To create a new ship a modder would copy and paste a ship file, change its characteristics, give it a unique id and the game engine would recognize the new ship.
Ships' thrust power determines the speed (in terms of time) a ship is able to compensate for drift. Meaning modding can alter the game to have more drift or even nearly eliminate it.
If some players want a "realistic weapon range" experience changing projectile weapon range (for example) is just a matter of tweaking speed and "life time" parameters of projectiles in their data files.
Custom Game Engine: The game engine running Void Destroyer has been developed in house (literally in my house) and with open source libraries - the game engine doesn't have any limits that are sometimes an unfortunate reality when using commercial "off the shelf" game engines.
There is a playable demo available on the project's website for download and try here: http://www.VoidDestroyer.com/download.html The demo is a good look at what kind of game the project will become at release. The demo isn't all that currently exists in the project - in house - there are more ships, bases, stations, and other objects in game ready to go towards the beta and release.
How will the money be used?
Of the base funding goal $20,000 - the funds will be split 3 ways to be spent on 2D art, 3D art and sound/music (from now on I'll just referred to these three combined as "art").
- Heads Up Display (HUD) - almost all of the HUD art is my own "programmer art." A HUD is the bridge between ship and pilot, currently Void Destroyer's HUD is mediocre at best, far from professional quality. The funds will be used to overhaul the HUD.
- Graphical User Interface (GUI) - the project's GUI (windows, buttons) are fairly boring. They work, but could be much better. Some interfaces are too "windows" like. There is lots of room for improvement.
- Story/Mission related art - character portraits and mission briefing related art.
- The more ships, the more variety, currently the "player faction" doesn't have a mining ship. Adding a mining ship creates a more interesting game play as now the player has to protect and manage automated mining operations from pirate raids and enemy attacks. This is just one example, if you can think of a unique ship or weapon system - adding that to the game will yield so much more variety. More platforms, bases and other 3D assets are needed to have a richer game universe.
Sound and Music:
- Basic sound and music tracks are in the game, but sound in Tactical Mode and other GUI/interface sounds are almost non-existent. Funds would be spent to make Tactical Mode feedback audible as well as visual. Furthermore, adding additional combat and interface sounds where needed would be a boon as well. More music tracks would add to the epic feeling of story moments and combat.
Why does the project need crowd funding?
I hope that from viewing the pitch video you can tell that Void Destroyer is fairly far along in development. I've spent money out of my pocket to fund art for the project. The project has also been lucky to have found and have been found by talented and generous artists. Willing to work for what I often called "token" payments. Because the time spent in development spans several years I was able to budget and fund development a little at a time. Because I'm the "developer/coder" the coding is "free" and because this is a "nights and weekends" project (I have a day job) I'm in a stable financial situation, the funds from the $20,000 goal will only be spent on art.
Now that the project is getting closer and closer to a commercial release the amount of funds needed exceeds my ability to budget in a non "far future" timeline. Furthermore all of the art areas need various forms of work and polish, before I would be focused on 3D models, now that the project is nearing beta all art elements have needs simultaneously. Certain things like the GUI/HUD overhaul need a unified vision and thus the art needs to be done all at once, professionally and in a timely manner meaning that funds can't be stretched over a long period of time.
What is the current state of the game?
The game is in "late alpha." Most of the "release" features are in, and the main focus is on polish, finishing the story line and getting and implementing feedback from players. The current released version is the "demo" release in terms of content (ships, story line etc). In terms of polish and features to be added - things like improved and additional ship formations, additional camera options, improvements to the setting/world/maps and "more living" universe features added (eg: pirate attacks).
What's the plan post Kickstarter?
Month After Kickstarter - Beta
About a month after the end of the Kickstarter campaign the game will enter Beta stage. Backers who back at the Beta level and above will receive regular updates (goal is monthly) that will continue the story and include more ships, stations, enemies, locations and polish. As the Beta stage progresses the funds from the Kickstarter campaign will be used on the game's art. The Beta stage will last (hopefully) less than 6 months. At which point the commercial release will take place. The goal is to release before the end of 2013.
Within 6 months post Beta - Release
Post commercial release the game will receive regular updates - one of the first updates will be a modding tool. The current modding tool lacks important features, this new one will allow import and export of object files to be able to edit and create the in game ship objects in a more efficient way.
Working on the modding tool will allow me to more easily handle any bugs or issues that may arise on early release. This is because if I started working on new features in early release - then discover a bug - the new feature might not be ready for release and this situation might interfere with releasing a stable new version.
I'll also add in support for total conversions - so that the "vanilla" game play experience can remain unaffected (if the modder/player so chose). Meaning that modders can make use of separate Data folders/directories that define the game that they might want to take shape. When the game is started the player can chose the mod/total conversion.
This is when I'll keep adding new features - potentially stretch goals, wish lists from modders (for example support for other movie/show universes) and "polish months" - where all I do that month is polish a particular aspect of the game.
If you scroll down a bit you'll see a list of features that are currently in the game. I hope that reading through it you think it is a solid/fun/compelling list. Gamers (and I'm one of them) can easily think of adding double these features to the wish list. That's what makes gaming (and in extension - developing a game) so incredible - a coder literally tells a computer what to do and if persistent enough the computer makes those wishes come true. Because of the above time table - I would not pursue Stretch goals until after the commercial release as to not delay it. The limiting factors on adding these features are: coding time (including testing) and money for art assets.
As a thank you for backing early, backers who have pledged enough to get a release version will receive any paid/commercial/dlc/expansion content that may be added to Void Destroyer post release for free. In addition there will be regular free updates as discussed above.
As this Kickstarter progresses we (the backers and I) have an opportunity to discuss these in greater detail. Here are some potential "major" stretch goals that I would be incredibly eager to implement that we can discuss and consider:
Goal: FPS elements
- Have an in game 3D avatar - linking you more to the game.
- EVA suits in space. Ejected pilots.
- When sending in marine ships - take direct control over a soldier/mecha and be involved in base assaults and take overs.
- For players that don't wish to mix in FPS with space sim this will be optional, as usual you will be able to have your forces do the work for you.
Requirements: 3D character models, animations, 3D weapon models, 3D interiors, 2D assets for HUD, and additional sounds.
Goal: "Privateer" / alternate game mode
- Work your way up in the universe
- Bounty hunting
- Contract missions
- Asset ownership
Requirements: Additional 3D models - for ships (civilian, various factions), bases, stations. 2D art for GUI/HUD interfaces.
Goal: Ship Cockpit and Bridge visualizations
- Added immersion
Requirements: Additional 3D and 2D art.
Goal: Planetary landings
- Land on planets to interact with them in various ways.
- Goes hand in hand with "Privateer" mode above.
Requirements: potentially purchase 3rd party planetary plugin for seamless landings, shaders and resources. Internal coding to integrate.
Working solo on a game is hard enough, but when you add in the need to test multiplayer functionality - by yourself - that is another challenge entirely. Post release the ever growing community should allow for testing multiplayer features.
Requirements: Mostly coding time - if there's enough eager testers and demand.
In addition to having the money for art assets, I would need time to code these. If the project was able to sustain my development full time, I would love spending the rest of my life striving towards the goal of making this the greatest space sim of all time.
Comprehensive list of features:
Ships of various classes:
- From drone fighters to carriers capable of launching them
- Marine frigates
- Cargo transport ships
- Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers
- Missile ships, torpedo corvettes, turret ships, heavy cannon ships
- More classes/roles are possible (eg: repair ships)
- Tutorial system
- Objectives and objective markers
- Ship radar
- Dialog System
- Cutscene System
- Triggers and rewards (mission and cutscene based)
- Research system
- Upgrade System
- Command ship abilities
- Ship switching
- Ship Mode
- Tactical Mode
- Command Mode
- Turret mode
- Battle editor
- Instant action mode
- Gravity drive
- Gate links to other sectors
- Newtonian physics
- Dust clouds
- Pickup/Carry/Drop cargo pods
- Pickup/Carry/Drop ships
- Pickup/Carry/Drop ore
- Asteroid mining
- Economy and crew management
- Invade enemy bases
- Enemy base RTS elements (enemy AI)
- Modding support
- Mouse and joystick support
- Control mapping
- Gameplay options menu
- Music and Sound
- Turrets - missile defense, defense and offensive
- Rail guns and charge guns (instant hit weapons)
- Beam weapons
- Projectile guns
- Missiles, torpedoes, and energy torpedoes
- MIRV launchers - one large missile that splits into many
- Scatter guns
- Canister guns - shoot one large projectile splitting into many
- Weapons can exert physical force (push/pull) on their targets
- Weapons fire can exert physical force on firing ship (recoil)
- Explosions can push objects away
- Have an idea for more unique weapons? Let me know
Types of build-able platforms/stations:
- Defensive - gun/torpedo platform
- Drone hangar
- Colony/Housing platform
- Energy producing platform
- Mining turret
- Shipyard platform
- Trading platform
- Have more ideas? Share them.
Command ship abilities:
- Gravity/Tractor beam
- Heavy Cannon
- Drone fighter
- Upgrades to speed, repair speed and armor.
- More planned and open to suggestions...
Types of in game objects:
- Asteroid Bases
- Station Bases
- Player buildable and non-buildable platforms and stations
- Cargo pods
- Sector Gates
- Suns - variants: 3D object and 2D sprite
- Shields - single direction - energy and physical
Commands to issue to ships:
- Go to position
- Hold position
- Turn to position
- Self destruct
- Trade route
- Have an idea for another command? Let me know
- GenBoom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es_jE0El9-g - also seen is a mod of the UI and textures.
Risks and challenges
Throughout the history of the project the hardest part was always the art, because this is outside of my ability beyond mockup/placeholder quality. This will still be a big risk and challenge following the Kickstarter campaign.
However backed by your combined funds I'll be able to use my previous experience in contracting outside help to be able to expect professional level quality for appropriate price.
The other challenge is time and meeting deadlines. I enjoy working on the project so much that I often go longer on development than originally foreseen, more features are added, more is polished. I will strive to release a quality product in the promised time and save more features for post release updates.
I'm the "solo developer" working on the project - meaning that I don't depend on anyone else for coding. This project is a labor of love - more so - a self fueling obsession. You can trust that just as I've spent 4 years on development I'll spend the time to release a quality product and beyond.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The game engine is written in such a way that allows for porting to other platforms. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to do this yet. The goal is to do this some time post release. This will depend on many factors, so please keep that in mind.
Backers will receive the game will be DRM free.
If the game makes it through Steam Greenlight (please vote to help us get there - see link in the project description) backers will be given an option to redeem a Steam key. The same applies to any other platform that handles this issue in a similar way.
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