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Shackleton Crater is the lunar colonization strategy game based on today's science and tomorrow's dream.

Shackleton Crater is the lunar colonization strategy game based on today's science and tomorrow's dream. Read more
808
backers
$27,460
pledged of $700,000 goal

About this project

Check out our latest Shackleton Crater updates here for more game information!

We want to take you to the moon.
We want to take you to the moon.

Shackleton Crater is a tablet and PC (Android, iOS, Windows 8, Windows, Mac) lunar colonization strategy game for one to four players. Using real lunar data and plausible science-fiction, Shackleton Crater tells the 100 year saga of colonization and exploration of the Moon. Ultimately, we want to bring a vision of space travel to the world through the medium of video games. We are currently in the pre-alpha phase of development and we are actively doing pre-production work on the design, technology and art.

We want to inspire gamers, thinkers and dreamers who want the moon as badly as we do. This is the vision we are bringing to you on Kickstarter, and it is through Kickstarter that we believe this game is best realized.The money pledged to Shackleton Crater is not just funding for a killer game, but a clarion call to society about what we want as human beings. We want more, and we intend to deliver not only the moon to the people of planet Earth, but other frontiers as well. 

Be part of our vision and join us in creating a new gaming experience.

So why Kickstarter?

I’m Kickstarting this project because I believe that operating as an independent studio is the best way to produce Shackleton Crater. To quote our website, I want to be nimble and be able to react to challenges and opportunities with blinding speed. I’ve worked with a lot of great publishers and a lot of great developers over the years but it’s been a really long time since I worked on my own game.

Many industry professionals can attest to the difficulty of independent development. Kickstarter has created a marvelous opportunity for us to not only get the means we need to make the kind of game we as developers want to play, but also the kinds of games you won’t get anywhere else. By reaching out to you, the gamers for whom we are developing for, we actively invite your participation at the very ground level of our project. I believe there is no better foundation for making Shackleton Crater.

Shackleton Crater: Stage 1
Shackleton Crater: Stage 1

    Our game goal for Shackleton Crater is to make a fast-paced, replayable turn-based strategy game. The Shackleton Crater architecture offers four discrete stages of gameplay, each one building on the one before as the player makes more and more advancements in the building of infrastructure on the lunar surface:

    • Stage One – The Survival Period. A standalone game reminiscent of the gaming classic M.U.L.E. Playable in about an hour, this phase introduces the challenges of staying alive in the harsh lunar environment on minimum resources. From the story point of view, this stage takes place within the first year, 2030. Colonists are challenged by the need to bring nearly everything they have directly from Earth – at a cost of $50,000 per pound! This is the stage where we use contemporary science and engineering, with heavy use of publicly available resources to model a modern space program. Read more about Stage One here!
    • Stage Two – The Construction Period. Similar to games like Simcity, this presents the player with the challenge of building their colony using lunar resources with all of the associated dilemmas to solve. We want this to be as close to real technology as possible using plausible science fiction. This stage is intended to add about 4-6 hours to the game's duration.
Explore the moon.
Explore the moon.
    • Stage Three – The Exploration Period. Like Seven Cities of Gold (another Joe Ybarra title), this stage offers the player a chance to move away from the Shackleton colony and explore other regions of the moon in search of engineering opportunities, mysterious lunar features, and historical points of interest. Do you reclaim the crashed Ebb and Flow satellites or climb to the tallest mountain on the moon? This stage also represents about 4-6 hours of play per session.
    • Stage Four – The Utopian Period. Now the player moves into exploitation of what they have built so far by wielding immense resources to accomplish large scale construction projects. Ever dreamed of seeing a lunar space elevator? Terraform a crater or create a mass driver to propel tons of goods to Earth orbit? Depending on how far the player wants to take this phase it will last a final 1-4 hours.
    • Real Lunar Data - from NASA Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter terrain maps to radiant energy projections, we intend to use contemporary and cutting edge scientific technique to model the moon in the most realistic way possible.
    • Evolving Scientific Saga - We intend to use hard science fiction in the style of Jules Verne to evolve the game experience. As you uncover technology such as industrial scale carbon nanotube production and advanced 3D printing technology, Shackleton Crater will push the frontiers of science and engineering while maintaining scientific plausibility.
    • Dynamic Event System - Each game of Shackleton Crater will be driven by a dynamic random event library to engage players with the challenges of lunar living. Our goal is to make Shackleton Crater a unique play experience from game to game.
    • Flexible Multiplayer - Our multiplayer will have players compete, cooperate and collude in every session of Shackleton Crater! Or play completely solo. Your choice!


    Furthermore, our design is built to be extensible just like the science it represents. We can use this game system to not only model different lunar colonization scenarios, but the modeling of other exotic frontiers as well.

    We are designing the game for a desired ESRB rating of ‘E’. Like walking on the moon, Shackleton Crater will appeal to everyone in the world who has dreamt of reaching for the next frontier. We want this game to be played by anyone, in any country, who use software platforms such as Windows, Android and iOS.

  • At $700,000 we bring you Shackleton Crater. You get exactly what you pledged for. However, we want to do justice to this game and bring you an even richer experience. We have identified key funding points that allow us to signficantly improve the game experience and we feel it is important that our backers be rewarded for helping us reach those milestones.
  • At $1,500,000 we will give an additional copy of Shackleton Crater to everyone who pledged. This game is meant to be a multiplayer experience and the best way to ensure that is to help you get your friends on board.
  • At $3,000,000 we can substantially improve the scope and quality of our game, so we're going to model the entire surface of the moon in-engine and then make it publicly available! We are serious about our support of space programs and bringing our vision of the future to everyone.
  • At $4,000,000 you secure our ability to make more games after Shackleton Crater, so we'll make Shackleton Crater open source worldwide when we have completed construction of our vision. We will put the game we love so much into future developers hands to enhance and improve the game for the rest of time.

Risks and challenges

There are two main types of risk we have in bringing you Shackleton Crater; production risk and schedule/budget.

Production risk: This is based on results of Kickstarter pledges: the more pledge dollars we receive, the bigger and better the game. The best example is the $3 million stretch goal, where we model the entire lunar surface. Without this funding we would defer this feature indefinitely. We would rather build the moon during main production and bring you a better product as soon as possible.

Schedule/Budget: As the game itself is scaled based on funding levels, so also is our operating budget and project timeline. Our goal is to deliver an amazing game, and we have a lot of ambitious ideas for expanding Shackleton Crater. We also want to get this game in player hands as quickly as possible. The risk lies in achieving the balance between product quality and time to market.

Our team, led by the 30+ years of management experience of Joe Ybarra, has the expertise to give you the best product possible within our constraints, so rest assured you will get a great game at all funding levels.

We thank you for your support of Shackleton Crater and Joe Got Game!

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FAQ

  • We plan on releasing Shackleton Crater for the PC, Mac, Android and iOS platforms. We are exploring other options, such as Ouya, as time and funding permit.

    Last updated:
  • Shackleton Crater is a fast paced turn based strategy game. We want the game to be fluid enough that you can take a full turn within a few minutes after you've learned the rules.

    Last updated:
  • We are using Unity3D for our game development platform. Unity's support of Linux at this time is limited - per the official Unity website:

    The Linux desktop publishing preview is a work-in-progress. The Linux OS runs on a variety of hardware and utilizes different software. It will take more testing and feedback before Unity ships a final version. Many games will run without Linux-specific problems on most modern Linux systems. While in preview mode, we will only be offering official support for Ubuntu 10.04 or later, with a graphics card that has vendor-made drivers installed.

    At Joe Got Game we don't want to promise you something we can't reliably deliver. When Linux support for Unity3D solidifies we will certainly explore publishing to Linux.

    Last updated:
  • I’m Kickstarting this project because I believe that operating as an independent studio is the best way to produce Shackleton Crater. To quote our http://joegotgame.com/shackleton-crater/shackleton-crater-vision/, I want to be nimble and be able to react to challenges and opportunities with blinding speed. I’ve worked with a lot of great publishers and a lot of great developers over the years but it’s been a really long time since I worked on my own game.

    Many industry professionals can attest to the difficulty of independent development. Kickstarter has created a marvelous opportunity for us to not only get the means we need to make the kind of game we as developers want to play, but also the kinds of games you won’t get anywhere else. By reaching out to you, the gamers for whom we are developing for, we actively invite your participation at the very ground level of our project. I believe there is no better foundation for making Shackleton Crater.

    Last updated:
  • Yes! Shackleton Crater is fully intended to be played with multiple players. We are also planning on integrating live observational data into the game, and we think that streaming lunar terrain data is the most efficient way to get you the best experience. You will not be required to use any of these features.

    Last updated:
  • As the game focuses on exploration, we intend to introduce varying levels of procedural terrain generation to the game as a first step - players who want the Moon as exact as we can make it will also have that option. Secondly, we have a library of dynamic events that represent different circumstances that could occur on a lunar colony. These events could be as direct as a meteor strike to as complicated as a diplomatic situation with neighboring colonies. Finally, we are also developing an optional asynchronous multiplayer model that can pull data from other player's experience in Shackleton Crater to enrich your own. We are also exploring other mechanics we can use to improve replayability.

    Last updated:
  • In short, Joe Ybarra is one of the pioneers of the gaming industry, having worked on titles such as The Bard’s Tale, the Madden Football series, M.U.L.E, The Matrix Online, and many more. Read more about him at http://www.joegotgame.com/joes-legacy, or review his gameography at http://joegotgame.com/category/gameography/ .

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    SPACE SUPPORTER EDITION: If you like space but aren't interested in games, pledge at this level and show the world your support for exploring our universe! We'll also commemorate your pledge with a special credits section for everyone to see.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    LUNAR LANDER EDITION: Thank you for supporting games and space exploration! Pledging at this tier gets you one complete digital copy of Shackleton Crater on an Android, iOS or Windows 8 tablet. At last, a real game for your tablet!

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    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    SPACE RACE DIGITAL EDITION: For our early backers you get the full version of Shackleton Crater for your PC or Mac computer. Get it before the rest!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    FIRST COLONY DIGITAL EDITION: In addition to the full version of Shackleton Crater you will help make gaming history by joining the PC beta of Shackleton Crater! Take the lead in crafting the best game we can.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    PAIRED ORBIT EDITION: At backer request, we are offering both the tablet and home computer editions of Shackleton Crater in the same tier! That's two copies of the game, one for a tablet and one for a home computer. PC beta included if applicable.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    COLONY CREATOR DIGITAL EDITION: In addition to giving you the FIRST COLONY rewards we want to give you the first expansion pack for Shackleton Crater at no cost!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SMALL STEP FOR MAN EDITION: In addition to the COLONY CREATOR rewards we'll put you in the game as one of the colonists, forever immortalizing your presence in the world of games!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    NO RED SHIRTS EDITION: In addition to the SMALL STEP FOR MAN rewards, we'll send you a Shackleton Crater T-shirt - and since it won't be red you can be worry free while out on your expeditions to Shackleton Crater. Please pledge an additional $20 for international shipping.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 15 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    TO THE STARS AND BEYOND EDITION: In addition to the NO RED SHIRTS edition you'll get special Kickstarter-only limited edition content - you'll get to experience Shackleton Crater from a whole new angle.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    DARK SIDE OF THE MOON EDITION: Here on Earth we only get to see one side of the moon. For your dedication to our mission we'll send you a poster of Shackleton Crater that shows you what you're missing. Includes TO THE STARS AND BEYOND rewards.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    JOE'S EDITION: In addition to the DARK SIDE OF THE MOON edition you'll get special updates from Joe Ybarra himself with industry anecdotes, tips, and stories on how one man shaped the industry as we know it.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    AMONGST THE STARS EDITION: In addition to JOE'S EDITION rewards we'll set you up with the means to make your mark on every single player of Shackleton Crater; you'll be immortalized in the game content!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND EDITION: Your generous pledge to our cause gets you a real deal; in addition to all of the above rewards we'll hook you up with all of the games and game content for the next two games in the Explorer series!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    MOON OR BUST EDITION: It is both an honor and a privilege to step forward into the great unknown. By pledging to this tier you show your ever-burning passion for progress so we want you and a guest to join us at the launch party for Shackleton Crater! Includes all rewards from previous tiers. We have additional opportunities for backers at this level and will be in touch if you pledge here!

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Funding period

- (30 days)