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As the captain of a Mandate starship, you lead a crew through the galaxy where they will adapt and grow as they fight alongside you.
As the captain of a Mandate starship, you lead a crew through the galaxy where they will adapt and grow as they fight alongside you.
As the captain of a Mandate starship, you lead a crew through the galaxy where they will adapt and grow as they fight alongside you.
16,408 backers pledged $701,010 to help bring this project to life.

The Mandate Producer's Letter #2


Hi guys,

two weeks ago was Gamescom and it was super nice meeting some of you. Unfortunately, I was still busy during the afternoon but I really want to thank Mr. Seeker for his commitment and his engagement in the community – he took the time to meet Josef and Iain at Gamescom. In the evening we had a nice dinner with some more members, which we really enjoyed (despite some hard questions). Thank you for coming and thank you for the good conversations :)


I am using Netflix. I mostly watch TV series but sometimes I get interested in a movie and start watching it. My usual behaviour is that after a while I stop the movie, go to Wikipedia and just read the synopsis. I know that this is a stupid behaviour but I seem unable to stop doing that. That’s part of my/our problem right now when it comes to features or even more intricate story and lore for the mandate.

I know that you want the information and to be honest we also want to tell you much, much more about our game and why we are excited to do it and what cool feature we are working on right now.

Unfortunately, this is somewhat counter­productive since after all we want to surprise you and give you the experience we think you will enjoy when playing the game. Also of course, in the past this behaviour led us to talk about things that we really loved but later figured out wouldn’t fit the vision or that it wouldn’t be possible to include for technical reasons.

That’s why we decided to do the following:

When it comes to features, we will talk about it in more detail only if we are sure that’s where we want to go and that we can deliver.

When it comes to story and lore, we are now incorporating the updates as part of the game’s narrative, as you will see when the first instalment of our web comic is uploaded next week. It will not be directly related to the player’s story but it will give you a feeling about the universe; and as it progresses will reveal some of the key players and cabals in the Mandate universe.

During our meet­up and also when reading the forums however, I see a lot of questions which are more high-level and asking about the general direction of the game.

Before I talk about what’s coming next ­ I want to answer a few of them.

We have had some questions concerning story driven vs. sandbox RPG. We are building a single player, story driven roleplaying game with a fair amount of sandbox elements. If anything the roleplay elements in the game have increased, as well as the meaning and importance of the story. When we reviewed what we had back in April, we saw a huge lack of player motivation and we decided that it is absolutely necessary to give you guys a personal reason to be out there.

Also we wanted to give the crew/officers a big boost. They won’t just be cannon fodder that you assign a name to and give you a tactical advantage in combat (basically a bunch of Redshirts if you think in Star Trek terms). We want you to be able to interact with the crew, to learn about their motivations, fears and points of view ­­ and if they trust you enough they might ask you for help, this means crew related missions. It is about forming a team out of a bunch of cutthroats :)


What can you expect in terms of “Sandbox”? Now, this is a huge word to begin with and everyone has a different definition in their head. In our game, what we describe as sandbox elements is, in my opinion, best described as player freedom. The changes concerning the universe are also tied to the player interaction, which means for example if you attack Romanov ships (which you can do) – they won’t like you and at some point hunt you. We want you to be able to be a trader or a pirate or just roam the galaxy killing pirates – if you like you could do just that in the game – for hours. When it comes to exploring you can find loot of course – but there will also be lore, trigger events and encounters to discover on the way.
There also will be resource extraction and some crafting elements. You are going to need resources to buy upgrades for your ship.

Boarding Combat
Later during EA we want to have ground combat/boarding combat. As explained above, right now, I don’t want to talk about it in any detail, but it will work similar to space combat.

From a technical point of view, we have the option to do co­op but since that is not the focus of the game we aren’t planning to do it unless there is a huge demand for it and we don’t have any other priorities.

During our GamesCom meet­up there have been some questions regarding the fringe clusters and how they are different from the “story­clusters”. I think here is some confusion – probably caused by me. The correct answer would be – there is no difference. From a world building point of view we have the core worlds, where the political force is relatively strong – based on the faction who owns these clusters and we have the outer edge of the Mandate universe. That’s what we call Fringe Clusters; everything can happen here. It is a de­facto lawless space. Houses might fight a secret (or not so secret) war with each other over these clusters. There will be a fair amount of cutthroats and pirates in these clusters as well. But of course they are officially claimed by someone. This is the edge of the Mandate space and a part of the main story will also happen in the fringe clusters. From a game design perspective, the fringe clusters will have a larger amount of sandbox elements.

Below you’ll find the roadmap, which describes how we want to move along until January. We are also planning some internal test and feedback rounds around November with some of you. This feedback will help us to fine-tune our systems and of course also somewhat depending on this feedback we will decide how to prioritize future elements of the game and when exactly we will start with Early Access.

(to enlarge )
(to enlarge )

Finally, I should also let you know that our Community Manager, Donna has left us for personal reasons. These aren’t related to the project and we are very sad to see her go. We wish her all the best in her future, and we hope that she’ll be able to return at some point. In the meantime, community updates will be the responsibility of Josef (Burian on the forums) until we find a replacement for Donna.




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    1. Missing avatar

      ben brown on

      Wow, I guess I am number 17... am very frustrated with the game - or lack of it - way behind schedule - and poor customer service - no response to messages or question, periodical updates that don't answer the most asked question (I guess by at least 16 other people...) and it now seems that they won't deliver on one of the key points of gameplay they sold it on. Unfortunately, I think @Wes is right and we have funded netflix, beer and borscht for a group of individuals who have figured out a 3 year paycheck for doing little to nothing. It would be awesome if they could deliver on what they promised, but I fear this may be chalked up as a learning experience for 16K backers.

    2. Wes Johnson on

      @bora said: So, 16k+ people supported this kickstarter, less than a dozen mouth off about it not being delivered yet. Do you feel special?

      Do you feel special for being an apologist? You you feel you will get anything special? Kidding aside, I hope so, that is a lot of water to carry for absolutely nothing. Haha. Sadly even excited fans like you will be screwed in the exact same manner that people like us will be.

      @Bora said: Do you feel as if the 40 USD you spent (to receive a game once it is finished, if ever) enables you to let off steam here?

      We are investors in this game, they may never deliver (okay they will never deliver is more accurate) and we have a right to voice our displeasure. Totally cool (and misguided) that you disagree.

      @Bora said: would know that no game ever has been released in time.

      You mean on time, but you have a point that software development is rarely on time. It never happens with a company as slipshod as this one.

      @Bora said: The difference is only that this kickstarter really started in concept phase rather than being almost finished, like many other kickstarters.

      Excuse making at its finest. It is a strong possibility they knew the date was a lie from the start, which is fraud if that is an accurate statement. Had they been honest that this game will never see the light of display, ahem day, nobody would have funded it up to and including you.

      @Bora said: In fact only a single out of 5 games I supported was released with only few months delay. One other was released with almost a year delay and the rest is yet to com

      Mediocrity loves company, it is more a sad state of Kickstarters than excellence from Perihelion.

    3. John M Weirich on

      Since you wont answer my private messages to you how about a public one.. you are way late on your delivery date, you are sending social media blog updates about going to gaming conventions and bars but you have no finished product to show.

      please issue me a refund, I have not used any of my "Pledged" perks you offer. feel free to PM

    4. Missing avatar

      Andy on

      I love a co-op option. I know single player people hate multiplayer because they feel it detracts from a single player story but it does not need to. I play games with friends and if you have the ability to do so I would love to see it in game.

    5. Missing avatar

      Steven S. on

      And, of course, I'll chime in to the "quit bitching/we have a right to bitch debate."

      I've had the ability and pleasure to talk to MANY game devs over the past two years, having worked as an interviewer for a small game/media publication online. Got a chance to talk live, on Twitch for an hour, to the guys behind Crowfall, another KS darling game. Also talked to the folks behind the Gurumin localization, and a few other smaller indie games that aren't really pertinent at the moment.

      When it comes down to it, if the developers/PR mouthpiece would have been even slightly more vocal/transparent about the issues, I tend to think people would be more understanding. That they opted to have a "no news is good news" stance really killed the hype and, over all, any good-will they gathered from the campaign. My two cents.

      Were I someone that tossed in more than $20USD, I'd be ragingly pissed as well, considering that to-date we have less information available than before.

    6. Missing avatar

      Steven S. on

      All I'm getting from this is that they hung out with other developers that have actually worked on and released games. I'm not one to call for refunds, but now is about the time for it to happen.

      Anyone that's still supporting this game, well, congratulations; you're a more patient person than I when there's zero communication.

    7. Missing avatar

      Bora on

      So, 16k+ people supported this kickstarter, less than a dozen mouth off about it not being delivered yet. Do you feel special?

      Do you feel as if the 40 USD you spent (to receive a game once it is finished, if ever) enables you to let off steam here? It is obviously overdue and it might never be done, but if you knew anything about games development, you would know that no game ever has been released in time.

      The difference is only that this kickstarter really started in concept phase rather than being almost finished, like many other kickstarters.

      In fact only a single out of 5 games I supported was released with only few months delay. One other was released with almost a year delay and the rest is yet to come...

    8. ThomasN on

      Should have known something is off when you said "We take our preproduction very seriously" because that's a word used in film, not games. Bet Angry Joe is not happy to have adverted for this when this gets released...

    9. Wes Johnson on

      "So much haters here! I know - we all want a game and updates about game features. But hatred will not help. You better spend your lives for something positive." complaining about people complaining.

      The reason people are upset is because the project is all but vaporware at this point and in the unlikely scenario that the game sees the light of day features that were promised have been removed.

    10. Missing avatar


      Again lots of smoke and bad news with minimal real info on the state of the game, even the roadmap is minimalistic. Not encouraging at all alas...

    11. lokiracer on

      Campaign update: 18 months behind schedule.

    12. Dunaedine on

      @Weresheep of Sin AKA Stefan

      It was for me... But clearly the project need to publish something playable even without this. But I hope it will be prioritized just after...

    13. Weresheep of Sin AKA Stefan

      I don't care much for co-op, but it was actually a selling point for many people during the KS campaign, wasn't it?

    14. Missing avatar

      Rifugio on

      Regarding Co-op - It appears you just another Kickstarter that put out co-op as way of encouraging backers only for to pretend this was never part of the original selling point of the project because you feel it is two technically challenging or there is not enough demand to make it worth you while. Can I remind you of the following:

      "It's true that The Mandate is cooperative with up to six players, and there will certainly be mechanics and aspects of the game that complement cooperative gameplay, rewarding those who choose to play this way (tactical specifications, variations on the trinity system, etc), but The Mandate is designed so that each captain decides his very own fate, and enjoys his very own story path. You needn't play with friends, or seldom play with them, it's entirely up to you. There's one thing we need to make very clear, and that is that The Mandate is being created with enough depth and drive to immerse players creative and strategic minds. Many cooperative games distract players from this side, but that's not what we're trying to do. You are your own captain, join your friends, or journey alone - mix, match, whatever you like. It's your sandbox."

      You have a strange definition of truth - there is no maybe we will do this and maybe we won't here, and no one was holding a gun to your heads regarding the scope of the co-op or the number of players. I am not alone in backing this project because of this feature, so reneging on this commitment with an offhand comment in an update is not appreciated.

    15. Jason Garner on

      January: Preparing Kickstarter Alpha :-) :-) :-)

    16. Chris Shannon on

      I am swearing very loudly. I shelled out $150 for the three copies PRECISELY to play coop, because that was something that was promised in the Kickstarter campaign.

    17. Julius Ter Pelkwijk

      As Veneke already said in the comments, if you guys like co-op really badly, I would recommend going to the forums and leave a comment:

    18. Missing avatar

      tbrass on

      Personally, I am happy with this update. I could care less about co-op, but I want the strong role playing elements.

      Important question: will the game still be highly moddable (as expressed in the original campaign plan)? If it is, then modders will be able to expand the content, make it more sandbox, etc. See, for example, the incredible content created by modders of Mount & Blade (again, the comparisons to M&B were one of the primary factors motivating my backing of this project)

      Thanks for the update. Not entirely sure that a webcomic is the best way to keep us engaged, but I'm intrigued to see what you come up with.

    19. Heri on

      Although I can understand your reasons, THE main motivation for me to back this project was in fact co-op, so I strongly vote for it!

    20. Missing avatar

      Lotte-Sara Laan on

      Please add Coop. It's the main reason I bought this game )-:

    21. Michaeljack on

      To all of those calling us cynics 'haters' This project is 18 months overdue and they are talking about features like the thing is in a barebones state, if that.

      This should be well past the 'concepts' stage by now. All content (save for the odd last minute addition or cut) should be pretty much set in stone by now

    22. Kai Barnard

      If that roadmap is 2016 - EA should be OK, still not 10% convinced this won't be a real let down like that which sleeps, which also may/may not ship....

      But yeh - like waht I'm seeing would like to see more

    23. Robert Stewart on

      Speaking purely for myself, I appreciate the desire to avoid doing a Molyneux (babbling excitedly about concepts and test features that are being kicked around in design, but only some of which will end up in the finished product - check out the early press for Black & White or Fable for examples).

      The roadmap is encouraging - particularly if the October target of being able to play the game as a whole is hit - once that's in place, the whole process looks a lot more solid.

      As far as co-op goes, I'd love to be able to play co-op, but, realistically, I'm going to struggle to find the right people to play with, so as a feature it's definitely a "nice-to-have" rather than a "must-have" for me.

      I'm not going to pretend this is the best-run kickstarter I've ever backed, but I backed because I believed the Mandate could be a game worth developing - even if it's two years late, that doesn't change my opinion that it's something worth making.

    24. Missing avatar

      Neo on

      So much haters here! I know - we all want a game and updates about game features. But hatred will not help. You better spend your lives for something positive.

    25. Zombra on

      For whatever it's worth, I completely "get" the point of the Netflix story! Past updates have been somewhat overwhelming in their detail, and many of those systems have been scrapped or redesigned in the meantime, making all those details obsolete.

      Still looking forward to what Perihelion (eventually) comes up with.

    26. Wayne Davis on

      The more you post, the more I want a refund.

    27. NobleBrutus on

      Ship the game, and if later you have time and resources then add coop.

    28. Sgt. Killstreak on

      As much as I would love coop, none of my friends have my taste in games for some reason. Trooper on, mates; I look forward to what the future holds for this!

    29. Mario Malnar on

      I definitely dont want more info on features and would love to explore later

    30. Missing avatar

      Jide on

      Can I get on the huge demand for Co-op bandwagon? It makes all RPGs better.

    31. Missing avatar

      Bård Fredrikson on

      I just wanted to pop in to say that after a Kickstarter is successful, I usually stay hands off because I usually trust in a developers artistic vision and want to see what they can deliver without giving critique or support. I am not as selfish as to think I am alone in wanting this project, after all.

      So I come in here to say on behalf of lurkers like myself that radio silence isn't indicative of lack of enthusiasm for the project, but silent approval of what we hear is what we want.

      I understand the lack of feedback is probably very frustrating, so let me break the radio silence to speak my mind on the progress here; you are on the right track. I want an overarching story going in a general direction, sure, but my dream come true with this game is those moments I have unique to my experience, where I strike an aquifer and drown my dwarves, where my traps are so poorly placed the agents use them against my guards, that kind if stuff.

      If the mandate can deliver on this, I will be generally happy.

    32. Craig M. on

      That was a disjointed read.

      It seems like the direction of this game is taking a turn for the worst. I would strongly suggest all team members sit down to discuss the game and refocus immediately. There NEEDS to a clear roadmap for the project and its completion. The description of the game on here is what the game needs to at least meet.

    33. Missing avatar

      Noah Ellis on

      Bora, have you read the update? It's all vagaries and empty promises, I think, given the money we've invested in this game, we have a right to get a little angry when the blog are a few paragraphs of very little.

    34. Jose Pedro de Leon Alvez on

      Guys, its a shame but I think that this project is dead, thinks are not going the way need to go. I hope I not correct but this is looking more and more a wast of money, and is shame,this was a project with so much potential :-/

    35. Missing avatar

      Bora on

      JTM IV, seriously, what is the purpose of your comment?
      Have you read and agreed to the kickstarter commenting rules or terms&conditions?
      You should make better choices yourself and not insult others online like a complete twat for no reason at all.

    36. Wes Johnson on

      Also, nobody cares if you watch Netflix. Perhaps watch less of that and start cranking out a deliverable.

    37. Wes Johnson on

      "Unfortunately, this is somewhat counter­productive since after all we want to surprise you and give you the experience we think you will enjoy when playing the game. "

      What game? This entire KS campaign has been the model of counter productivity. As well if you are an Agile shop, you have committed a development sin by not being open and honest with your stakeholders, which are us.

      The Mandate at this point is vaporware until further notice.

    38. Missing avatar

      Noah Ellis on

      I must echo the previous poster. I've steadfastly felt confident in The Mandate reaching our hard drives.

      Comments on what we'll see with the crew and the like isn't helpful at this point. We want to see clear, solid gameplay. We're meant to be going into early access in a month or two right? I sincerely doubt you can get a realistic feeling crew going in that time. By all appearances, it would seem the game is almost done. Surely that'd mean you could chuck up a video or two to show us?

      Otherwise, I'm sad to say here that all I see from this are empty promises.

    39. Michaeljack on

      Did Donna leave due to a bad reaction to the smell of bullshit? Because i'm smelling a lot of it right now.

      Also prevarication and intentional vagueness. Also i really don't care about your Netfilx habits and how they relate to your excuses not to tell us important information (possibly because none exists?)

    40. Missing avatar

      JTM IV on

      This was an alarming and poorly written communique. I wasn't at the con, but why are you using a Kickstarter official communication (which bypasses my email and push notification filters) to tell me about your unmediated attention disorder when it comes to movies.

      You're a grown adult, yet you reveal that finishing an average of 1 and a half hour media what is universally regarded as one of our most diverse and nuanced visual art that the human race produces (movies) is hard for you.

      So hard you put it your initial paragraphs. So hard. Nevermind that movies of all forms of medi share the closest form of narrative structure as traditional video games.

      This a problem. You're a problem and so is your judgement and ability to execute concentration for more than an hour and a half.

      This project is getting harder and harder to support.

      Make better choices.