Astrobase Command is a character-driven survival and building simulation in a 70's sci-fi setting.
Send out your crew to negotiate treaties, research and discover technology, and generally secure your Astrobase against attacks and espionage. All while exploring the universe and utilizing everything you were taught from sci-fi television and movies to not get them killed.
After defining and customizing your species, you play in a procedurally generated universe with AI-created events and stories. Astrobase Command is about realizing your science-fiction fantasy.
Astrobase Command combines elements of Base-Building, RPGSandbox, and features AI-generated stories.
The funding goal is for the single player version of the game. We would love to do an optional persistent multiplayer game mode, but this would take additional resources and is part of our stretch goals.
Astrobase Command will be available on PC, Mac, and Linux.
We're inspired by our favorite sci-fi TV series and films (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Stargate Universe, Alien, etc.); as well as our favorite video games ranging from Star Control lI to Startopia.
It's often hard to judge a game by the "back of the box features," because there is no agreed-upon definition for common video game terms. So in order to be perfectly clear about the gameplay in Astrobase Command, here are what a few of the words we use mean to us:
Sandbox -- You can actually go anywhere and do anything, and as a core premise the game is built around making this as true as possible.
Actions have Consequences -- Your choices fundamentally shape the world, and also how the world informs your future actions in a feedback system which extends into all aspects of the game.
RPG -- The game encourages attachment and emotional investment in characters by imbuing them with personality, which is expressed during the moment-to-moment gameplay.
Immersion -- You feel like you're inside the game-world to such a degree you forget you're playing software. The world is credible and the characters behave not as scripted plot devices or bags of stats, but as individuals that live and exist in that world.
Science Fiction -- A setting that explores how technology creates novel predicaments for characters, but can also yield the solution to those same predicaments.
Astrobase Command is about building the space station in your personal fantasy, informed by decades of watching sci-fi shows and movies.
We felt building in 3D is the only way this could be achieved.
Much of the game entails the player fulfilling intrinsic goals.There is no "right" or "wrong" way to play the game... there is only survival, and however you want to achieve that is up to you!
Modules are the bread-and-butter of a station. Constructing a module is a
bit like crafting, where you combine parts whose stats are added
cumulatively to the whole. The characters selected to construct a module
also plays a part, so module quality, build-time, and resource
efficiency is affected by the skills of the build team.
There are no map sizes or hard limits, so you can really build the space station that's living in your head! We use natural mechanics to define the ruleset, to avoid that "gamey" feeling. We want the game to feel as real and logically constructed as any sci-fi universe technical manual.
Race creation is one of our favorite aspect of space games. We're the kind of guys that never play a pre-made race. So Astrobase Command offers a robust race creation system that allows you to truly craft the civilization that fits your playstyle.
Race creation works a bit like tabletop games, and provides the template from which new recruits coming to your station are drawn. It sets the average for your race, which allows you to have an Astrobase filled with characters who are totally unique in the game world. But who also can have variation between individuals (depending on your Variance stat!)
The same idea goes for looks. Do you want a race of clones, or a species who has incredibly diverse characteristics? It's up to you.
The NPC civilizations you encounter also use this system, ensuring that every time you meet someone, it's a fresh experience.
In Astrobase Command, Racial Traits confer unique game features which are only available to the races which have them.
Basically, we want you to be able to create the race that really suits your playstyle. Make any species from any science
fiction universe, and have it feel unique and authentic.
Do your characters regenerate wounds in combat? Are they empathic? Can they use salvaged ancient devices? Can they build and deploy stealth generators? Are they logical or scheming?
Technology is useful, but it's not more useful than anything else. It can even be a liability if you don't have skilled people to use to and maintain it. So this is really a universe where players who focus their Astrobase on any given area can genuinely compete.
At the core of the game are the characters who live and work on your station.
As fans of Dungeons and Dragons, we believe that characters are about relationships -- between each other, and with the world itself. Stats and numbers exist to inform and flesh out character development, but they aren't the be-all-and-end-all!
Characters on your Astrobase have jobs, which you specify in the Duty Roster. Each job performs a specific function, such as managing a power reactor, manning a security checkpoint, obtaining missions, or monitoring space with the Astrobase's sensors.
There is a leveless progression system in Astrobase Command, and while working a job characters improve naturally by gaining in the associated skills which in turn improves their performance.
Relationships are Built on Trust
Deep character development is central to Astrobase Command!
Characters have personality traits, and these hook into the AI story engine. So your guys aren't just bags-of-stats with a name! You care about them because they make decisions based on their personality, and you'll promote and empower units who make decisions that fit your playstyle.
Personality Traits give the characters depth by influencing their moment-to-moment AI decisions.
For example, if there is a reactor fire between a medic and the wounded crewman he is tasked with saving, that character might deal with the problem in a number of ways. Someone logical might first put out the fire, and then deal with the wounded. An adventurous character might try to make it through the fire and be the hero. A focused character might put on a space suit, and avoid the fire altogether by going outside (leaving someone else to deal with it). If he's creative, he could to seal the burning module and vent the oxygen, and then use the spacesuit to traverse the de-pressurized module.
Every goal has many valid solutions, and it's the personality of the character that determines how he chooses to fulfil your orders.
The personalities of characters emerge from the situations the player puts
them in, as outcomes of the AI story engine. We currently have 280 traits, and a character may posses up to four.
Our goal is to create characters that have real personalities and you can choose to promote and rely upon the ones that fit your playstyle.
Promoting Good Leaders
You have total control over who you promote, so empower people that you trust.
Certain jobs on the Astrobase, such as department heads, have minimum rank requirements. Other jobs such as Duty Chiefs have maximum rank requirements. You need good people at every level in your organization. People you can trust to get the job done.
The AI Story Engine generates events based on your actions, and ties them into everything that's going on in the game
The decisions of you and your crew will have meaningful consequences, and its up to you to interpret whether those consequences are good or bad because the game places no value judgement on how you survive (although other races you encounter might!)
Player Control Through Characters
While you use the Astrobase's sensors and information gathering capabilities to inform your decisions, those capabilities are tied to the crewman (or crew-woman) doing that particular job.
Some jobs allow you to set feature parameters using the information you have about your universe. So for example, you use the Mission Control Officer to build the missions that sustain your Astrobase.
Diplomacy and research all work on a similar principle. While manufacturing and shipbuilding take an approach similar to module construction.
You're in control, but the characters do the dirty work.
Combat scales from small squad and wing-based encounters to large regimental engagements and fleet battles. These can happen on and around your Astrobase, on planets and in deep space for resource and supply-line control, and even at the Astrobase of your enemy.
Because you can't be everywhere at once, the larger the conflict the more you will have to rely on the skills and personalities of your Commanders to bring you victory.
To do this you create combat groups that can be anything from squad and wing-sized to regiment and fleet-sized, and assign the personnel, equipment, and a commander. It's to these groups that you issue orders.
For small conflicts, you are really able to really take a hands-on approach and direct every
movement. But with large conflicts, there will be too much going on to micromanage every action in real-time, and while you can take direct control of whatever area needs your attention, you'll be conveying the other objectives to the commanders on the ground. The AI will execute
those orders using the character personalities.
So it's about promoting
Commanders you trust to fulfill the objectives in a way that corresponds to your playstyle.
Astrobase Command is about extending immersion to all aspects of the game -- even the interface and styling.
To us, retro means so much more than using low-fidelity graphics, or using a particular art style.
Retro is about evoking the same of excitement and wonder we experienced playing our favorite games growing up.
These games didn't box themselves into a particular genre or followed any convention. They were each unique visions that did something totally new.
The game draws heavily on the physical aesthetic from the late 1970s and early 1980s. The interface is real and tangible, and you can touch all the elements and move them around.
We wanted a mix of technologies, so you'll be manipulating old-school cartridges for the Datapad, manilla envelopes, ID cards, and all the knobs and dials that exist in a world populated by characters who have to use these same technologies in the game.
We're huge modders of the games we play. We feel that even with our favorite games, there's no substitute for being able to customize your game however you want (shout-out to any fellow Fallout 2 modders out there).
In Astrobase Command, you'll be able to write your own Datapad programs, rename all the character ranks, redesign the uniforms, change out looks and body types, skin the interface, and even design new personality traits.
We'll include such functionality in an editor which ships with the game, but really savvy modders will have full access to the game files. You'll be able to share your mods with the community, or import mods other people make into your game.
We believe that DRM-free means that if you own a copy of the game, you can do what you want with it and we'll even support you!
Let's face it.
We need an artist.
We have been operating so far with 0 artists on the game, so while we have a lot of great ideas about the aesthetic, they're more complicated than we can pull off on our own.
Gamer Academy Interview (Gamer Academy)
Astrobase Command Interview (The Indie Mine)
Gaming News: Jellyfish Games Interview: Astrobase Command (The Samurai Rabbit)
Let's be honest, making a video game is hard. They're inherently complex, and it takes quite a bit of experience building them to identify and conquer all the challenges that will certainly arise during development. There's a lot of moving parts, which all have to fit and work together. The fact is, the more you try to innovate and not follow in another game's footsteps, the more uncertainty you add to the schedule.
Astrobase Command is an ambitious project. But we feel like that's exactly what makes it worth doing.
The biggest risk is that on an indie project, everyone is a bit out of their comfort zone as everyone does a bit of everything. But we're confident we can make this happen based on the prototype, and that each of us has substantial expertise in our core areas (programming, design, technology) and enough general knowledge and experience to figure out the rest. We're also plugged into the indie scene in Montreal, and they've been a big help.
Working with friends is a big part of the fun. So is making the game we're dying to play.
SPACER - Digital copy of the game will be provided to you at launch (PC, Mac or Linux), for this special price. You receive the "Chief" forum title and the Spacer Badge, and can participate in backer-only polls related to development.
ELITE - Along with your digital copy, you get a BONUS SOUNDTRACK for the game. You also unlock the CYBERNETIC CAT, an exclusive in-game mascot for your Astrobase that can only be obtained through this Kickstarter. You will receive the "Senior Chief" forum title and the Elite Badge.
PIONEER - All the benefits of the Elite Tier, plus you'll be given EXTRA EARLY BETA ACCESS, and access to the beta forums where you can give us feedback during development. You will receive the "Ensign" forum title and the Pioneer Badge.
PRECURSOR - In addition to the previous tier, you get a limited edition Officer Pet. The ALIEN ARMADILLO can be the companion of any officer on your Astrobase. You also get a DIGITAL ARTBOOK, with behind-the-scenes concept art and hilarious anecdotes from making Astrobase Command. You also get a DIGITAL POSTER. You will receive the "Lieutenant" forum title and the Precursor Badge.
INNOVATOR - Not only do you get everything included in the previous tiers, but you also get a to CREATE AN NPC in the game using our toolset, that other players may encounter as friend or foe. We then put you in the CREDITS, telling the world you made him or her. You also get an Astrobase Command T-SHIRT, only available through this kickstarter. You will receive the "Lt. Commander" forum title and the Innovator Badge.
HACKER - The tier for people who love to mod, even before the game launches. You get everything at the Innovator Tier and lower, plus you'll be given a personalized custom Astrobase Command "Physical Keycard." This is a small key-chain sized USB memory FOB which will allow you remote access to builds and mod-related files on our server which aren't public. This also gets you beta access to our mod tools and API. If you make something awesome and want us to include it in the launch of the game, we'll specifically give you the credit. You will receive the "Tactical Commander" forum title and the Hacker Badge.
COLLECTOR - Love swag? This is the tier for you! In addition to everything at the Innovator Tier and lower, you'll get a limited edition SIGNED POSTER with whatever note you want from the development team (within reason). You also get a second T-Shirt, with a different design from the first. You get the "Operations Commander" forum title and the Collector Badge.
CONTRIBUTOR - The tier for people who really want to help us make this game! You get everything at the Innovator tier and lower, plus you are given a SPECIAL FORUM INTERFACE for the public and beta forums used to present ideas, make polls, and flag threads and posts we really need to read! You also get FIVE EXTRA COPIES OF THE GAME so your friends can play too, through whatever digital distribution platforms we release on. You get the "Astrobase Commander" forum title, and Contributor Badge.
ARCHITECT - Our artist will provide a CUSTOM DRAWN LIKENESS, which will be available in-game for your Base Commander, and anywhere else you want to use it. Or if you want, we'll also use it in the game with your created NPC. Then you can pick one of the $195 tier reward packages, plus you get everything at Innovator Tier and below. You will receive the "Captain" forum title and the Architect Badge.
DIRECTOR - Design a premade race that ships with the game, using our toolset. We'll give you a development credit in the game highlighting your contribution. You also get the Architect Tier ($495) plus TWO of the $195 tiers, and everything at the Innovator Tier and below. You will receive the "Commodore" forum title and the Director Badge.
All previous rewards are yours. Plus you'll be invited to attend an event with the developers, and granted a behind the scene look at what inspired us to create AstroBase Command. Hang out for a night in Montreal, because the drinks and conversation are on us. We'll give you the star treatment and a special thanks in the credits. (You'll be responsible for your own travel, accommodations, etc) Additionally a shrine will be made in-game representing your contribution to our project, that you will help design. You will receive the "Vice Admiral" forum title and Benefactor Badge.
PARTNER - Be an honorary part of the team and contribute to the design process, through the entire development cycle! Private forums access and join our skype channel, etc. (We reserve the right to refund $2,250 and demote you to Vice Admiral should we deem it necessary. ) You'll have a Designer title in the credits, and be invited to the launch party. You also get EVERYTHING else from the previous tiers. You will receive the "Admiral" forum title and badge, as well as a Partner Badge.
FOUNDER - Ever wanted to be on video game cover art? Well, at this tier your personalized character portrait (or any likeness you want) will be featured on the cover art for the game. Plus, you'll get a producer credit for helping us make this game happen. You lead the other admirals, and get ALL REWARDS from the previous tiers. You will receive the "Fleet Admiral" forum title and badge, as well as a Founder Badge.