Venture mode is a single player or cooperative game mode where you are trying to make it as far across the galaxy as they can before you die. Warp from system to system, scrounging together enough cash to pay your way through the next warp gate before your mysterious pursuers catch up to you.
Skimirsh is a competitive game mode where the goal is to make as much cash as possible within three rounds. That cash can also be used to buy powerups and upgrades in the Black Hole Market where prices fluctuate based on player action, dynamically balancing the game.
You can try skirmish mode now in the free demo for PC, Mac, Linux and OUYA!
History Of Cashtronauts
When I started working on Cashtronauts
three years ago, it was a single-player space combat/trading game inspired by classics like Elite
, Wing Commander: Privateer
, and Freelancer
. I worked on the game by myself in the evenings and weekends for a couple of years, which was good because working solo and without a deadline gave me the freedom to explore and experiment with the game’s design.
Gradually Cashtronauts evolved.
Rather than a single player trading game, it became a top-down, twin-stick “space capitalist” action game for one to four players. Something quick and competitive that people could play together around a couch while cussing each other out. Games with local multiplayer are admittedly a niche, but last year I started showing the game around at local Montréal game dev events and the response was great. It inspired me to keep going and see where we could take the game.
We managed to finish a playable demo in time for the IGDA DemoNight in January, but there’s still a long ways to go.
Many assets in the game are missing or placeholder, the text needs translation, we need testing hardware for Mac and Linux, and more. After that and taxes, Kickstarter fees and reward fulfillment costs, any remaining funds would go to compensating our team — all super-talented folks I met through local game dev events. (see “Meet the Team”, below.)
Why Do We Need Kickstarter?
Cashtronauts has come a long way, but it still requires additional art, sound and music assets. While I’ve largely been working on my own up until now, a lot of the things that are still missing require hiring additional people and we need to make sure they are compensated.
We want the maximum number of people to be able to enjoy our game. I used to do localization testing for a large studio, so I knew to build Cashtronauts in a way that makes multiple language support simple. But we’ll need the help of professional translators to bring the game from English into French, German, Italian and Spanish. (More languages are planned as stretch goals.)
There’s also a million and one smaller costs: maintaining off-site backups and SVN, marketing costs, legal fees, software licensing, Mac and Linux testing hardware...
For all that our Kickstarter goal might seem low, but we’re participating in OUYA’s Free the Games Fund which will match our goal if our Kickstarter campaign is successful. We’ve built our budget with this and a delivery schedule of this summer in mind.
Claim Your Rewards!
In addition to the digital soundtrack (DRM-free), wallpapers and the game itself, we're offering a bevvy of fun rewards.
The lovely Sarah at PropPrintables is currently hard at work designing papercraft spaceships (above) that you can print and assemble at home. Backers at the INTERN, ENTREPRENEUR and EXECUTIVE levels will get one ship in a random colour, while higher-level backers get the full fleet (red, blue, yellow, and green). Colourblind backers will wonder what all the fuss is about.
Backers of MOGUL level and higher receive a 3" embroidered mission patch (above). Inspired by the classic NASA mission patches, it is festooned with the Cashtronauts logo and ship art. Festooned. What a beautiful word. Festoon your clothes with it. Everyone will be all "man, you're so festooned."
Become a FAT CAT backer and we'll use your photo to create one of the four playable character portraits. You will be redrawn as an alien in the art style of the game and everyone will get to see your alien-ified visage in the final game!
Last October I made Don't Make Me Turn This Car Around for the Walking Dead All Out War Game Jam (fancy finalists' seal above!). At Molyjam 2012 he and his friends made In Arms' Way and Jean was part of the team that made the darkly comic Friends 'Til the End. Now we'll gather some more Montreal game dev talent and take a weekend to create a game based on the themes or ideas provided by the ADVENTURE CAPITALIST backers. Those backers will even get to own the intellectual property, copyright and source files for those finished games. Lucky ducks!
Double Our Funds!
We are participating in OUYA's #FreeTheGames Fund, created by OUYA to support developers making new and creative console games. OUYA will match your pledge dollar-for-dollar up to the goal amount (and a max of $250,000), so help Cashtronauts get there and be a great game for everyone! To be eligible for this match, we commit that this game will be an OUYA exclusive for a period of time. To learn more about OUYA, go to www.OUYA.tv.
(Note: PC/Mac/Linux are still releasing the same time as the OUYA version, this exclusivity period applies only to other consoles or mobile devices.)
Meet the Team!
In addition to a small army of volunteers and contractors, the main Pixels and Poutine team is:
Simon Prefontaine started this whole Cashtronauts thing. He has been a professional game developer for over 5 years, and a hobbyist game dev for almost 10. He worked on the Dungeon Hunter series for Gameloft and was one of the Finalists of the 2013 Walking Dead Game Jam with Don’t Make Me Turn This Car Around.
Mariko McDonald is a video game blogger, writer and indie game enthusiast. She is lending her freelance marketing skills to getting the word out about Cashtronauts and helping handle backer inquiries in the comments to the project.
Jean Chan is the talented sound designer behind Ninja Senki and Mercenary Kings. She also composed the soundtrack for Wizorb and provided the SFX and music for the Molyjam 2012 hit Friends 'Til the End. She's providing the sound effects for Cashtronauts, which doesn't really make sense since sound doesn't travel in the vacuum of space but whatever... She thinks that you guys will have a blast with it.
Patrice Bourgeault is the man behind the music. Previously he created the fantastic chiptune scores for Ninja Senki and Mercenary Kings. For Cashtronauts he's composing a cinematic analog synth sci-fi soundtrack. Here's a sneak peek:
Weapon of Choice:
$12,000 - Additional localization: We’re already planning on launching with English, French, Italian, Spanish and German support. If we hit this stretch goal we’ll also provide Russian, Polish and Portuguese. Want to see another language supported? Write us or leave a comment!
$15,000 - Online Multiplayer: We’d love to see online multiplayer in Cashtronauts, but to do it right would be a huge endeavour. With your help we’ll be able to bring on some experienced programming help to add this feature to the game.
Any stretch goals we hit will begin development after the game has launched and would be released as free updates.