About this project
Outer Colony is a settlement building and society management RTS, with a focus on artificial intelligence and world simulation.
- Single player mode and dedicated servers for multiplayer.
- Inspired by software like SimEarth, Dwarf Fortress, and AI / simulation research projects in the defense industry.
- Technical innovation is at the core of Outer Colony. From our custom, multi-threaded engine to the way we approach human behavior modeling, we want to provide players with an experience that's thought-provoking, novel, and fun.
- Outer Colony has been Greenlit and will be coming to Steam!
Great ideas for a game are important, but executing those ideas in fun, working software is what ultimately matters. Every feature described below is already in the game, and you can try Outer Colony for yourself by downloading our demo!
The game needs more content and polish, there are still bugs, and we've got a lot of ground to cover before release, but we want you to see exactly what Outer Colony is like by playing it now. Join our forums, give us feedback and suggestions, help us continually improve the game, and become a part of the development process!
Most importantly, be confident when you back the project that Outer Colony is the kind of game for you.
Read on to explore core features and learn how to build a colony!
Above all else, Outer Colony is designed to be a virtual world. This focus extends from the core of its technical innards to its gameplay features. Explore the sections below to see what Outer Colony worlds are like and how they work.
- World Structure: 3D Space and Z Levels
- Procedural World Generation
- Outer Colony's Multi-Threaded Game Engine
- Everything's Made from Something: Items & Materials in OC
- Fluid Modeling
- Plant Life
- Time, Days, Seasons, and More
- Viewing Detailed Data
- Core Combat Mechanics: Energies, Materials and Body Modeling
- Heredity and Trait Inheritance
- Metrics and Data Reporting
- Creatures and Wildlife
In addition to world simulation, artificial intelligence is a prime focus of Outer Colony. The goal is to build NPCs, especially human ones, that more closely approximate their real world counterparts in the interest of creating compelling gameplay. Explore the sections below to see why our colonists are especially interesting and fun.
- Goal Selection and Planning: OC's AI Fundamentals
- Fear and Moral Judgments
- Social Networks
- Experiences & Memories
- Culture Modeling and Cultural Archetypes
- Local Culture
- Personal Preferences
- Culture Views
- Human Needs: Eating, Drinking, Sleeping, and Socializing
- Feelings and Mood
- Physical Modeling: Bodies and Physical Functionality
- Physical Properties, Skills, Equipment, and Other Data
- Work Shifts, Leisure Shifts, and Activity Configuration
- Orders and Meta-Orders
- Human Life Cycle: Romance
- Human Life Cycle: Nuclear Families
- Human Life Cycle: Age States
Material production comprises the base of any settlement's economy.
- Material Refining
- Material Synthesis
- Power Generation, Water Processing, and Heavy Machinery
Building! Free form construction and manufacturing are the core of growing your settlement, and Outer Colony's crafting and production systems let you reshape the whole world.
- Free-Form Construction: Building Structures
- Media Production and Consumption
- Light Structures
- Monument Designation
Service industries help your colony run smoother. Some of these jobs are among the most important and require specialized personnel to carry out.
- Prisons and Law Enforcement
- Death and Burial
- Medical Treatments and Professions
- Child Care and Education
Combat is a very important part of Outer Colony, and a well-trained and equipped militia is a necessity for survival. Barbrian attacks, rabid creatures, bounty hunters, and revenge seeking robots are just a few of the perils your fledgling settlement will face, so your troops must be ready to meet these challenges.
- Core Combat Mechanics
- Human Combat Overview
- Defensive Combat Tactics
- Offensive Combat Tactics
- Military Units
- Military Training Regimens
- Rules of Engagement and Military Policy
Much of your colony's progress is governed by the policies you establish.
A great many external threats and challenges apply pressure to your colony. You'll have to fight to survive.
- Bounty Hunters
- Shipwrecks and Rare Items
- Rabid Creature Attacks
- The Old Corsair (A Hallow's Eve Event)
- Barbarian Raiders
- Mad Scientists
- Murderous Cults
- Indigenous Tribes
- Omnicidal Robots
Outer Colony uses a representational style of pixel art, supplemented by detailed illustrations, to help players visualize worlds.
Outer Colony features an OST with nearly 1 hour of music, to immerse you in the vast, sci-fi worlds. Listen to it here!
Explore visuals from Outer Colony to see more of what the game is like!
The table below shows the backer rewards for each tier.
- Steam Key: You will be given a Steam key for Outer Colony when we reach early access.
- Name in Credits: Your name will appear in a list of early supporters who helped make Outer Colony possible.
- Pre-Steam Beta Access: You will receive a beta copy of Outer Colony within a few weeks of the conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign. This will give you access to all development updates in the run up to early access on Steam.
- Name in Ruins: Your name will appear on randomly spawning ruins of ancient civilizations in-game.
- Name a Planet: Colonists often write news reports and other media concerning the galaxy at large. With this reward, you can name a canonical planet in the galaxy.
- Name a Galactic Celebrity: Colonists often write news reports and other media about famous figures in the galaxy at large. With this reward, you can name one of them.
- Design an Item: Work with the team to design an item in the game! This could be a piece of furniture, a weapon, a toy for children, an article of clothing, or food. Forever leave a mark on Outer Colony's design!
- Design a Creature or Plant: Work with the team to design a creature or plant species! Select its habitat, describe its appearance, define its behavior, and more. Your idea will shape the natural landscape of the galaxy.
Outer Colony's team is a small, feisty bunch of dedicated professionals, bringing together a variety of skill sets to produce a fun, well rounded game!
We've received so much help from friends and other contributors in testing, designing, writing lore, and generally developing Outer Colony into the game it is today. Check out the game's credits section for a more extensive list of people who have made Outer Colony possible!
The campaign's budget may seem small for a game with Outer Colony's feature set, but it fits with our projected costs for finishing the game.
First, all the features described on this Kickstarter page and on our website are already implemented, and you can try them for yourself in our demo. Outer Colony needs testing, polish, and more content for the full game to be released, but many of the project's hardest technical obstacles have been cleared.
To this point, I've funded all of Outer Colony's development on my own, using revenue generated from unrelated consulting contracts. I do all the game's programming and design work myself, but I've got to pay the other team members to produce the game's art and soundtrack. The bulk of the proposed budget provides the other team members with contracts to produce remaining assets needed for a full release and helps defray remaining expenses.
Outer Colony is the sort of software I could work on for ten years, as there's really no limit to what we can do in terms of content and mechanics with the game's underlying framework. It's a matter of time and resources. As an example of a future feature being considered, we've had internal conversations about linking server worlds together via traversable portals, allowing players to create networked, ad-hoc galaxies of their own.
There's so much we want to do with Outer Colony, and the more funding we can raise here, the more resources we can dedicate to expanding the vision. If you've got ideas for the game, feel free to share them on our forums. Hitting these stretch goals during our campaign will make the version 1.0 release that much better, and if we can raise more, we'll unveil even more goals!
Outer Colony is an intricate game with a wide variety of mechanics and features, many of which aren't even mentioned on this Kickstarter page. Check out our website for more information, follow us on Twitter, and join the growing community on our forums!
Risks and challenges
Like any software project, Outer Colony's continued development has risks. We've worked hard to minimize them by front loading many of the hardest technical challenges to development that preceded this Kickstarter campaign. The game's engine is complete. The world model is in place. The AI framework has been built and exercised extensively. Multiplayer functionality is in place, and while more testing and performance improvements are necessary, it's currently playable.
The main needs moving forward are technically peripheral, like adding content, adding more secrets, and improving usability. The game needs testing, and we need feedback from real users to make Outer Colony as fun as possible.
In addition to mitigating development risks, we've worked hard to ensure the financial stability of Voyager Games. The company has existed for more than 4 years and has a track record of success in providing corporation to corporation consulting services. It's unlikely that we're going to run out of funding needed to finish the game, since development funding comes primarily from other sources.
The main risks are to the release timeline. We've tried to be conservative in our estimates, but QA is a notoriously tricky process to gauge. We've been rolling out patches and improvements in response to user feedback, and our plan is to continue iteratively improving Outer Colony until it's just right. This can take more time than anticipated, depending on how users respond to the updates.
Furthermore, we're a small team, working on Outer Colony primarily during evenings and weekends, in addition to other professional responsibilities. While we have plenty of experience working in this fashion, there are weeks when extensive work on Outer Colony isn't possible.
Even so, we're all dedicated workers, and Outer Colony is a passion project that we're not giving up on. We want continued development to be as transparent as possible! We want you to know exactly what to expect as you come along with us on Outer Colony's journey. Too many game developers sell hype, promising the world and under delivering in the end. We want Outer Colony to be the opposite. We want you to see exactly what we've built to this point, to understand exactly what our vision is, and to be confident backing this project.
More than anything, we want to exceed your expectations when it comes time to release the full version of the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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