About this project
Our thanks to our outstanding community of Captains, backers, friends and fans. With your support, this project has been a huge success and a joy to run. Thank you all for making Star Traders 2 possible!
Check the update roll for the latest news on the project, we can't wait to share this game with you.
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Updates and Digital Rewards
For four years, our players have asked us to break new ground and create a next-generation RPG in the Star Traders universe. It’s time for us to make good on our promises. Star Traders 2 will be, at its core, an RPG and trading game set in a completely open, non-linear universe. We've mingled inspirations from genre-defining series like Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, books like Dune, and games like Mass Effect, Pirates! and Dwarf Fortress, but the heart of the project is inspired and driven by the original Star Traders RPG and our community's vision for ST 2. If you're new to the Star Traders world, we hope you'll join us as a backer and as a Captain. If you're already a Captain - here is the project for which you've been waiting, but we can't do it without you.
From your bridge, command your hand-picked crew and fully customizable ship. Roam through a massive open-universe with complete freedom to choose how and when to approach your goals. Interact with hundreds of detailed characters with unique personalities, strengths and weaknesses.
- Explore a huge game universe with over one thousand years of rich lore developed from our Star Traders games. Experience the galaxy from whatever role you choose for your Captain and ship. You can be a pirate, trader, bounty hunter, mercenary, spy or any blend that suits your style.
- Develop living relationships with the denizens of the quadrants you visit. Your choices will make friends and enemies among the Factions that hold power in space.
- Assemble and train your crew, developing them from lowly staff to bridge officers. Recruit and promote individual characters from the star systems and colonies you visit.
- Exploit the economic and cultural diversity of the quadrants to gain the upper hand in trading, smuggling and political dealings. Discover new trade routes, smuggle rare goods or illicit cargo.
- Explore uncharted worlds, walk the halls of ancient palaces and lead your crew and officers on dangerous missions.
Star Traders 2 will let us explore Faction reputation at a personal level - through the members, leaders and enemies of each Faction. Get to know individual courtiers, merchants and soldiers. Build your own realistic network of contacts, allies and enemies.
Our new Motivation Engine will let you uncover the humanity of your ship’s crew, and you will get to know the officers and even the rank and file sailors. As the ship’s master and commander, you’ll depend on the crew as they’ll depend on you. From our study of inspirational works like Firefly, Traveler and Battlestar Galactica, we clearly saw that the crew is where the drama and story begin -- ship morale in Star Traders 2 will be a function of both what the Captain does, and how he or she does it.
We have created 6 games and now we want to take our concepts to the next level. ST 2 will expand on the original in multiple dimensions by exploring both the big picture and little details. We want to make a game that truly focuses on the characters that make up the Star Traders universe and allow you to dig deeper than the broad backdrop of Factions and ships.
"When you play one of their fine video games you are involving yourself in an immersive experience and you know that you will begin to really care for the your characters and their storylines during the game as the gameplay takes you along at a brilliant pace..." - Richard Prett, Game Freezer
"Long-time readers will recall my extended infatuation with Star Traders, the Trese Brothers’ lo-fi 2D Elite-like game for iOS and Android." - Owen Faraday, PocketTactics
"Trese Brothers games are one of the few developers that will always get an instant-buy from me simply because I know that they stand behind their games and want to release the best game that they can." - Justin Jelinek, MoarGeek
Star Traders 2 will be an immense RPG blending elements from our current titles and from classics like Pirates! and Mass Effect. Each major game system will include a purposeful mix of procedural content and custom designed elements. These will ensure that every game will be different -- different worlds, characters and choices await you and your crew. In the greater sandbox universe, the path you strike is entirely up to you. Every hyperwarp gate will uncover sprawling quadrants, new threats, and the lost secrets of the Star Traders and Templar Knights.
That is a central theme of Star Traders 2 -- worlds within worlds to discover and explore. The game will offer multi-layered gameplay with depth in each system:
ST 2 will be a turn-based, 2D game with multiple game-play perspectives following either your ship or Captain. The Deep Space View will track your ship as you travel between stars and planets. The Ground View will follow your Captain and crew as you deploy to the surface of planets to attempt missions, explore lost ruins, and visit the notable locations.
Every game’s map will be different in this sandbox RPG. The net of hyperwarp gates and the Quadrant connections that they create will be procedurally generated, creating a new universe for every Captain. Individual quadrant maps will be created by backers and filled in from known Star Traders space.
As you create your Captain, you’ll choose your personality traits, strengths and weaknesses. Much like a pen and paper RPG, every Captain will be assigned a personal story based on your choices and derived from his or her background, profession and Faction allegiance.
Your Captain and crew are the heart of the story. Depending on the size of your ship, your crew may be a few veterans or a large body of men and women running different parts of your spacing vessel. Using our new Motivation Engine, each crew member will be a unique individual, procedurally generated with varied traits, goals and prejudices. As each crew member survives harrowing experiences and completes missions, they will gain experience and you’ll learn more about their personality. When a crew member hits a certain threshold, you can choose to promote them to an officer and look to them as a leader of your crew. For these veterans, you'll take an active role spending their XP and allocating gear and weaponry.
If the heart of the ship is your crew then the muscle and bones are your Star Trader vessel. Your craft’s hull design will determine its characteristics and limits, and allow you to slot components into its modular structure. You'll design your ship’s upgrades and load out to fit the needs of your profession, type of work and your crew. While your Explorer Captain may install a research laboratory in the upper decks and park an Exo-Crawler in the cargo hold, a Military Captain will dedicate the upper decks to crew barracks and an advanced medical bay while loading up on torpedo bays and extra gunnery points.
Battle will feature three tactical views, ranging from capital ship combat to hand to hand combat between crews. The Ship Combat View will include battles in deep space and within a planet’s atmosphere. Take the bridge and issue orders to your crew and Officers to maximize your tactical advantage. Use your ship’s unique design, firing arcs and defenses to crush your opponents. Pick from a wide array of weapons to develop your own style - some may favor smart weapons (mines, torpedos) while others rely on the brute strength (mass drivers, guns decks). The Boarding Combat View will cover battles inside ships and hostile orbital installations. Lead the boarding party directly and fight corridor to corridor to capture enemy ships. Equip your warriors with hundreds of weapons, armors and combat skills. Face unexpected dangers on hostile ships including hull damage, radiation and overwhelming aliens. The Ground Combat View will cover exploration and battles on the surface of planets. Lead your away team across varied terrain, through dangerous worlds, toxic environments, and against hostile ground forces.
Politics will be built on a base of individual characters and local conflicts. Everyone you meet - from the fence who buys your smuggled goods to the Prince who hands out your promotions - will be generated by the Motivation Engine with their own traits and goals. You’ll have the opportunity to invest in - or destroy - your relationship with these different characters. Your Faction Reputation will be based on your Reputation with its influential members. Conflicts are localized - between Factions in a specific Quadrant - and led by individuals. A Thulun Prince is driving a wave of sanctions against the Javat mining worlds of the Delga Spiral. Your intervention could determine whether a settlement is negotiated or the trouble escalates to neighboring quadrants.
Isolated for centuries, each Quadrant has evolved a unique manufacturing, agricultural and technological landscape. Hundreds of unique and rare trade goods will be categorized along the classic ST RPG lines for the economic simulation but with substantial improvements. These improvements will focus on driving a more sophisticated trading strategy allowing your Captain to capitalize on long distance trade routes, rare trade goods and realistic supply and demand.
In what now seems like ancient history, the Galactic Conflict pitted the Union of the Star Traders against the Planetary Guild in a desperate war for freedom from totalitarian rule. After the final defeat of the Guild Fleets and their Narvidian puppet-masters, the Star Traders fled the war-ravaged galactic core in the great Exodus. Protected by the Templar Knights and lead by the Prophet Shalun, the Star Traders set out to find new homes within the distant Farfallen Rim. In the century of travel and exploration that followed, many of the great hive ships were unable to keep pace, fell behind, and and were lost along the interstellar route. Incapable of reaching the promised destination, the commanders of each hive ship settled whatever worlds they could find and fought for their very survival. All the while the core of the colony hives and Templar battle fleet pressed on to Farfallen Rim.
Now, after hundreds of years of isolation, the discovery of the hyperwarp gates have brought these empires in exile back into contact. Old tensions and distrust fan the flames of conflict and political rivalries make unification impossible. While the Factions vie for influence and control, the Star Trader Captains seek opportunities on the new shipping routes and in vast reaches of uncharted space.
During the time of colonization and growth after the Exodus and the mysterious departure of the Prophet Shalun, the social order of the Union of Star Traders changed dramatically.
These changes include:
A significant reduction in the numbers and power of the Templar Knights
Increasingly fanatical adherence to the Laws of Shalun
Faction populations become increasingly planet-based and interstellar travel is reduced
A concentration of control and ruling power within the Syndicates and Houses; increased violence among the Factions
Each individual Quadrant settled and rebuilt their society with technological, ideological, and socio-political differences
Thanks to everyone who has helped share the project! What a success!
$15 - Digital Reward - Luck Boost + Wallpapers
You will gain access to an exclusive digital code that allows you to start new Captains with 2 Luck Boost cards. These cards can be played at any time, and grant your Captain a spree of good luck for one event. Play one to save your skin - escaping a merciless alien vessel - or for your own gain - enabling a madly profitable day of trading into a resource shortage. You will also receive exclusive access to three, large-scale wallpapers designed for your desktop, tablet or phone. You also receive the $10 reward.
$20 Officer Trio + Naming Rights
Gain access to an exclusive digital code granting you access to three Officers in the original Star Traders RPG (only available to backers!). In addition, you will be invited to provide up to four names for things in Star Traders 2 (such as a crew member, officer, planet, Quadrant, or city). You also receive the $15 reward.
$25 - Multi-Platform Pack - Two Copies of the Game + Digital Soundtrack
When ST 2 is released, you will receive two copies of the game on platforms of your choosing (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux). For example, one copy on Android and one on PC. You will also receive an exclusive digital download of the game’s soundtrack in all its glory - including Star Traders classics and new scores. You also receive the $20 reward (total 2 copies of the game).
$30 - Digital Reward - Starter Pack (Crew and XP)
You will receive an elite digital code that allows you to start new Captains with a Starter Pack. The Starter Pack will grant you bonuses to your Crew and Captain’s starting Experience, giving you a big head start in the galaxy. You also receive the $25 reward.
$35 - Digital Art Book
You will receive the Digital Art Book PDF - a compilation of the game's art concept to production and commentary from the art team. You also receive the $30 reward.
$40 - Friend Pack - Three Copies of the Game
When ST 2 is released, you will receive three copies of the game on platforms of your choosing (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux). Share with some friends! You also receive the $35 reward (total, 3 copies of the game).
$50 - Alpha Access - Trese Brothers’ Style
A Trese Brothers Alpha Access Phase is a very special thing. You’ll be one of the first to play Star Traders 2 RPG. With such an expansive and deep game, your Alpha pass will entitle you to a multi-month alpha experience. But most importantly, you’ll get special access to our team during the end of our development cycle. You’ll have a unique opportunity to see your feedback rapidly transformed into changes in the game’s mechanics, story, user interface. You’re invited to join our Alpha Access phase and have a hand in driving the evolution of Star Traders 2 RPG! You also receive the $40 reward.
$75 - Digital Reward - Hyperwarp Starter Pack
You will receive an elite digital code that allows you to start any new Captain with the Hyperwarp Starter Pack. This digital reward will allow you to start with a more powerful vessel and install custom starting upgrades as you start a new Captain. You also receive the $50 reward.
$100 - Join the Star Traders Lore (RPG Captains)
You will work with our team to add your classic Star Traders RPG captain to the lore of Star Traders 2. The Farfallen Rim Quadrant is at the heart of the new galactic core of ST 2 and a huge part of the Star Traders’ history. Your Captain may appear in many different ways - as a cautionary tale, as a famous Star Hero, or mentioned in rumors in the Spice Hall. We’ll work with you to capture and immortalize the essence of your favorite Captain and any Star Traders player will be able to hear your story or piece of history. You also receive the $75 reward.
$150 - Digital Reward - Call in an Old Friend (Powerful Ally)
You will receive an elite digital code that allows you to start a new Captain with the Powerful Ally card. At a time of your choosing during your career, play the Powerful Ally card to unveil an influential friend - a distant family member, or someone who just owes you a favor. Revealing your powerful ally will open doors of opportunity but also bring potential trouble - it will put a twist on your career you didn't see coming. You also receive the $100 reward.
$200 - Star Traders 2 RPG T-Shirt
You will receive a KickStarter exclusive Star Traders 2 RPG T-Shirt, featuring a vintage design of the Vae Victus. Or, choose your favorite Faction flag - fly the Cadar flag, Rychart or Thulun! You also receive the $150 reward.
$350 - Design a Faction NPC
You will work directly with our team to design a power player within a Quadrant - a Faction Prince, the governor of a world, the lord of a sprawling smuggling operation. You’ll help us create the character’s back story, motivations and weaknesses. We will lovingly render your NPC from a self-portrait, or per your description. Any Star Trader player will be able to meet, interact with, and work for or vie against your NPC. You also receive the $200 reward.
$500 - Design a Famous Officer
You will work directly with our team to design a famous officer. You’ll help create the officer’s character, story, motivations, and talents. We will lovingly render your officer from a self-portrait, or per your description. Any Star Traders player will be able to track down, interact with, and even hire your officer. You also receive the $350 reward.
$750 - Executive Producer Access
You’ll join as an Executive Producer and be invited to video chats with the team to discuss project progress as well as to view demos of major milestones in the game’s development. During these, we’ll be showing off live game play and take questions and feedback from the Executive Producer team. Your name will be listed in the Star Traders 2 RPG credits as an Executive Producer. You also receive the $500 reward.
$1,000 - Design a Legend
Star Traders lore is rife with legendary heroes and villains, and its time you got involved! You will work with our team to create a famous Captain, their Ship, crew, backstory, strengths, weaknesses, and potential interactions. Will she be a terrifying bounty hunter who pursues your Captain, or a relentless pirate? We will lovingly render your Legend from a self-portrait, or per your description. Any Star Traders player can encounter your Legend in the finished game. You also receive the $750 reward.
$2,000 - Design a Quadrant
A Quadrant is a big place! You will work with our team to design the defining aspects of an entire Quadrant. You’ll help design the worlds, Factions, their princes, economies, the major power players, trading stations and backwater worlds. ST 2 will mix procedural and authored content, and this is your invitation to create one of those hand-crafted experiences! Any Star Traders player will be able to visit your Quadrant in the finished game. You also receive the $1000 reward.
It sounds like a lot of game on a pretty small budget, right? As an indie studio, we are skilled at stretching limited funds to go far. We've self-funded 5 of our 6 games, using the revenues from our previous titles. For Heroes of Steel, we came to KickStarter to raise funds to help us level up our game engine. Try Heroes of Steel and you’ll see we created an immense world and deeply tactical game on a very small budget.
We know that the $50K in funding that we are asking to raise for ST 2 will not cover the entire development cost of the game and fully intend to match the KickStarter funding with our own internal funding.
This KickStarter will let us make the next major leap in our game engine, instead of only taking another incremental step forward. The majority of the funds will be spent on our start-up salaries and bringing in subcontractors. We'll also funds on marketing professional video help, a full length soundtrack, SFX libraries, and art asset / model packs.
Thanks and Credits to ...
Stefan Imphenzia for the music
Space imagery courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
Risks and challenges
The pre-production and design phase for Star Traders 2 has been underway since early 2014. We have come to KickStarter with a plan we believe is both realistic and achievable based on our wealth of experience with other projects. Our team has a combined 32 years of software development and 8 years of cross-platform game development.
Trese Brothers games has successfully developed and released six games (Star Traders, Cyber Knights, Templar Assault, Age of Pirates, Heroes of Steel, Star Traders 4X Empires) to an increasing list of markets and platforms (starting with Android, to iOS devices, to PC and Mac on Desura and Steam). We are skilled at building games on skeleton budgets, using only self-funding, profits from other games and contracting work. We will work hard to stretch your money, ensuring that it is used in the most efficient way possible to reach the goals of the Star Traders 2 RPG project.
Please refer to the Budget section to read more about how we plan to match the KickStarter funds. Our matching approach has the advantage that if the project goes over-budget, we have the ability to continue to internally fund the additional development. We will not need to return to KickStarter, find an alternate funding source, nor abandon the project.
For the implementation, we will use C++ and the Cocos2d-X game engine from our latest two games: Heroes of Steel and Star Traders 4X Empires. This will allow us to use our existing components, processes and immediately deploy to the promised wide range of platforms. With such a solid foundation in place, our focus, energy and funds can be spent on exciting new development and assets for ST 2.
In early 2013, we ran a successful KickStarter for our fifth game, Heroes of Steel. The game was released in late 2013 (after a nine month production cycle) and we have been steadily completing rewards, stretch goals, and content addition throughout 2014. We have a plan in place to complete the remaining Heroes’ rewards and stretch goals by the end of the year.
With experience, a proven track record of making strategy and RPG games, and a beautiful shared dream for ST 2, we can make this happen together. Vae Victus, Templars!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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