About this project
Orion Trail is a single player space adventure for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Thanks to the support of the Greenlight community, we'll be releasing the game through Steam!
In the game, you are captain of the Indestructible II, flagship vessel of Galaxy Force. Your mission: to explore and survive the dangerous and enigmatic Orion Trail. With the help of your trusty officers, ship, and crew, your success is ensured.
Like what you've seen so far? Keep reading! If words and pretty pictures aren't your thing, you could also play the prototype we made. We're not picky.
PC GAMER: "Hey, space is a dangerous place, and never more so than when you're on the Orion Trail."
Pixel Dynamo: "With sharp pixel graphics, a tough learning curve, and a world infused with humor, Orion Trail looks to be an intriguing blend of homage and innovation"
indiemag.fr: "ORION TRAIL, VERS L'INFINI ET AU DELÀ !" (ORION TRAIL TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!)
Pixel Tom: “Orion Trail is fun and fast, with a massive chunk of replayability value and plenty of room for expansion...”
Orion Trail’s gameplay centers around making the tough calls that only you, a starship captain, can make. The galaxy is full of strange, stupid, and terrifying things, and you’ll need to make the decisions that ensure the survival of your crew. Well, most of your crew.
Each journey, you’ll pick your captain, officers, and equipment. Each pick will give you a leg up when dealing with an encounter in specific ways.
However, you can't apply all strategies to every situation. Sure, you could stock up on guns and aggressive officers to crush your enemies, but you'll be in trouble when you need to host that alien dinner party.
Starships don’t run on good intentions alone (not the ones you can afford, anyway). Each decision you make will increase or decrease the resources that keep your ship functioning. Run out of any, and you’ll be in deep (space) trouble.
STILL NOT SURE IF YOU'D LIKE THE GAME?
If you had a chance to play the prototype, you may be wondering “Wait, is that it? Do they plan on doing more?” to which we’d reply “Great questions! No, and yes.” in that order.
We think that the prototype is a kernel of something that could be really great, but there are many improvements to make. We’ve done a lot of discussing, late-night thinking, and planning for how we’d improve the game, which we used to arrive at our $90,000 ask to you guys.
To give you a sense of how we plan on expanding the game (before stretch goals), here’s a list of changes and improvements we’ll be making to the game.
The current prototype has just a fraction of the content we want to have in the game, and we’ve learned a lot about what makes a fun encounter vs. a frustratingly random one.
We want the encounters to react a little more to your previous choices and current circumstances. Certain encounters may have special, and otherwise hidden, options be revealed if you have the right Captain, Officer, or Technology equipped. This adds some fun (and unexpected) twists to your playthrough.
If you can’t tell, we love the art style of the game, and we want it to be everywhere. We also want your choices to be visually reflected in more areas of the game, so our current plan is to have the Captains and Officers you pick actually show up on the bridge, along with Away Missions.
Currently in the prototype, we only have encounters that take place in the celestial heavens. In the full game, we plan to have a second type called Away Missions, where you pick an officer and a gaggle of redshirts to beam down to a planet, enemy ship, or other space-thing and embark on a longer set of mini-encounters.
During a foray, your Away Team could suffer mishaps and poor judgement (resulting in a hapless Redshirt biting the dust). Your redshirts will basically act as the Officer’s health, so it’s up to you whether you want to keep pressing your luck for that ancient alien artifact, or risk losing the entire Away Team (including the Officer)!
Better Feedback for Encounter Results
A big part of the game is picking an option and finding out how well you performed at your attempt. Right now, we’re not doing a great job at the latter, so we have plans to better inform you whether that 7 you got was good or bad.
Our soundtrack will feature 12 new songs made by the one and only Rainbow Kitten, an extra-dimensional being of immense power and rhythm. They created the soundtrack for Enemy Mind, and we're excited to go on another space adventure with them. Take a listen to some tracks from our prototype:
The music was made with the SID emulation engine on an Elektron Monomachine. You'll recognize the SID's distinctive sound from your fondest memories of gaming on a C64 back in the day.
Schell Games (@schellgames) is, well, us. We’ve done a lot of game development for clients, and have launched a few of our own internal projects. Orion Trail came out of a week-long game jam that Schell Games hosts every year, and everyone at the studio is excited to see the game become a reality.
Jesse Schell (@jesseschell) is our fearless leader and the head honcho of Schell Games. You may recognize his name from some awesome game design books, or perhaps some talks. When we brought Jesse this idea, he shook his head in despair. We took that as a yes!
Dave Bennett (@davebbennett) is the designer who came up with the general concept of the game. He was one of the writers for Puzzle Clubhouse, and likes space games a little too much. You can blame him whenever you feel like your inevitable death was unfair.
Evan Brown (@etb342) was the artist who laid down the proto-pixels of the earliest concepts of the game. He worked on one of our other internal projects, Enemy Mind, which has a whole bunch of awesome pixel art. Basically, he’s responsible for setting the style and tone of all of the art in the game.
Without your help, we won’t have enough funding to make Orion Trail the game we hope it could become. Kickstarter also gives you, our backers, a platform to help steer the course of development in a meaningful way.
The money raised by this Kickstarter will be used to fund the rest of the team. We'll staff up with additional programmers, artists, writers, QA, a sound person, and a producer to make sure we make the game in a reasonable amount of time.
Here's a breakdown of where the money will be put to use:
Risks and challenges
Video game development is fraught with the unexpected, and things can often take longer than planned. However, we are incredibly passionate about this project, and a lot of effort has gone into researching, planning and budgeting.
If any problems begin to crop up, we will be as honest and transparent as we can with you, and let you know what the problems are and how we’re addressing them.
If you have questions for us, let us know through Twitter or e-mail!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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