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Contested Space: Build an empire in an online sandbox project video thumbnail
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Action oriented ship combat in one persistent universe where everything is created by players Read more

246
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$12,586
pledged of $26,000 goal
0
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on May 21, 2014.

Action oriented ship combat in one persistent universe where everything is created by players

About this project

Contested Space mixes action oriented ship combat with creativity and community. Players design their own ships and stations, while defending and expanding territory for their alliance. All of this happens in one persistent universe where every action has a lasting consequence. The game will be available on PC, Mac, and Linux.

Download Now

The Contested Space prototype is available for anyone to try. You can download the prototype from the Contested Space website. Right now you can design a ship, fly it around, and blow stuff up.

A Role Making Game

Too many online games impose a static narrative on their players. Contested Space lets players control their own identities and define how they interact with the universe. Players naturally fall into role playing when they are given different goals and perspectives. The game's primary goal is to help players create their own stories.

Combat

Contested Space gives players direct control of their ship. Every shot and missile is physically simulated and must be carefully aimed. Ships range from lumbering battleships a kilometer long to nimble frigates only 60 meters long.

The Prototype

This project's first step was to create a prototype that demonstrates the game's foundation. All of the Contested Space video was captured from a client connected to a server hundreds of miles away. The game's networking, physics, and data are all implemented in a simple, straightforward, and decentralized manner. Everything is designed so it can be affordably scaled to larger audiences.

Launch Features

Contested Space will start small, perfect the features it has, and grow from there. The purpose of this campaign is to fund that first step. The goal is to launch a completed version of the game before the end of this year.

At first Contested Space will be about territory control. Players will pick from one of three predefined alliances. These alliances will compete to control locations in orbit where stations can be built. Players that defend or capture territory will be rewarded with credits that can be used to build space stations or buy better ships.

The game will launch with three different ship sizes along with a suite of weapons and abilities to go along with them. Players will have a skill progression that will grant them modest bonuses as they gain experience.

Long Term Development

Development will continue after the game launches. Eventually the game will transition to become more of a sandbox. Features will be added that give players more control over their ships, the game's economy, and even the game's social structures. All of it will be designed to create a better framework for telling stories.

A Simple Subscription

Contested Space will be a subscription based game. The subscription will be $5 a month when the game first launches. This fee may increase over time as the game gets major expansions.

All updates to the game will be free to subscribers. There won't be any micro transactions or pay to win. Every subscriber will be treated equally.

The Test Universe

Occasionally a separate universe will be used to test new features, balance the game, and find bugs. The test universe will use a temporary map and economy, but it will share ship and station designs with the permanent universe. (Your designs will never be reset.)

Anyone who pledges $ 5 or over will be given access to the private test universe. All development before launch will be done on a test universe. Backers won't need a subscription until after the permanent universe has started.

Public Testing

Early development will be done on a public test universe. It should be easy to try Contested Space and share it with your friends. Testing will be public until the player base reaches a critical mass of around 1000. Past that point a subscription preorder will be needed to access the test universe.

Stickers

Pledges $ 30 or over will receive their choice of a set of four ship stickers. Pledges $ 60 or over will receive a full set of stickers.

3D Printed Frigate

Anyone that pledges $ 200 or more will receive the blue 3D printed frigate pictured above. Pledges $ 500 or more will receive a similar 3D printed ship, but they'll be able to choose any valid frigate design in any color they want. Pledges over $ 1,000 will receive a custom 3D printed frigate made of sterling silver. All 3D printed frigates are two inches long.

Introducing Zon

My name is Matthew Zvonimir Haralovich. My friends call me Zon. I've worked as an application developer in the web and mobile start up industry for nearly 15 years. I know a fair amount about designing distributed systems and a lot about how to deliver software using limited resources.

I've been tinkering with games for most of my life, but didn't get serious until a few years ago. I've been working on Contested Space part time for a year and a half.

Video Editing by Clay

This Kickstarter's video was produced by Clay Grumieaux. Maybe you should contact him if you need similar work done?

Risks and challenges

Online games can be complicated to develop. As software projects advance they accumulate what is called technical debt. Technical debt is created any time a programmer cuts a corner or lets the project become disorganized. Software projects often fail because their technical debt becomes too severe.

I have learned a lot about how to manage technical debt over the years. Most of the Contested Space prototype has been rewritten at least once. Each time I made sure the code became clearer and more concise. Right now the project has very little technical debt. The code is ready to grow and take on new functionality.

Contested Space needs around $ 62,000 of yearly revenue to pay it's bills. That's around 1026 subscriptions at $ 5 a month. This Kickstarter campaign should get at least that many pledges if it meets its funding goal. Past that it's a matter of converting as many backers as possible into long term subscribers and growing the subscriber base to compensate for churn.

After technical and monetary challenges are met the last remaining risk is whether I can continue to design a good game. I take a minimalist approach to everything I do. I'll be searching for the smallest collection of features needed to meet the game's design goals. That way anything added to the game can be polished so that it functions really well. This minimalist approach is how this project has gotten to where it is today.

Contested Space will enter testing a couple of months after this campaign. Most of the pledge money will be spent trying out designs with backers and making sure that everything works correctly. This will give me plenty of time to deal with any unexpected obstacles.

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FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $5 reward

    77 backers

    1 month subscription to the game
    ♦ Immediate access to the ship designer
    ♦ Free access to test universe
    ♦ Name in credits as a backer

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $15 reward

    75 backers

    3 month subscription to the game
    ♦ Immediate access to the ship designer
    ♦ Free access to test universe
    ♦ Name in credits as a backer

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $30 reward

    44 backers

    6 month subscription to the game
    ♦ Set of 4 ship stickers
    ♦ Immediate access to the ship designer
    ♦ Free access to test universe
    ♦ Name in credits as a backer

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $60 reward

    21 backers

    1 year subscription to the game
    ♦ All 12 ship stickers
    ♦ Immediate access to the ship designer
    ♦ Free access to test universe
    ♦ Name in credits as a backer

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $200 reward

    3 backers

    1 year subscription to the game
    ♦ Blue plastic 3D printed frigate
    ♦ All 12 ship stickers
    ♦ Immediate access to the ship designer
    ♦ Free access to test universe
    ♦ Name in credits as a patron

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $500 reward

    2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)

    1 year subscription to the game
    ♦ Plastic 3D print of any frigate
    ♦ All 12 ship stickers
    ♦ Immediate access to the ship designer
    ♦ Free access to test universe
    ♦ Name in credits as a patron

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $1,000 reward

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    1 year subscription to the game
    ♦ Sterling silver 3D print of any frigate
    ♦ All 12 ship stickers
    ♦ Immediate access to the ship designer
    ♦ Free access to test universe
    ♦ Name in credits as a patron

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)