It’s high time to reveal the second project I’m working on. The development started about 3 years ago, but because of game uncommon nature the ruleset progress isn’t rapid.
Duel among the Stars is unique, captain level spaceship combat wargame. Yes, it’s captain level, which means that every player commands a single vessel! We put much effort to do not make next “Greek galleys on park pond” spaceship wargame. No, it isn’t “cinematic”, which unfortunately usually means “put as much ships as possible and remove them as fast as possible”. Instead it has the ambience close to early Star Trek movies where the space combat is the mind duel between the captains which can last the entire episode.
The game is intentionally complex. Who told that commanding space ship is easy task?
One of the most important aspect of the game is energy management: if you want to turn, assign the power to the thrusters and calculate thrust, if you want to shoot charge you weapons and so on. But every active system increase you detection level which means what your ship is easier to hit! It makes the game a bit similar to submarine combat, with stalking, hiding and waiting for a good moment to attack. Traditional wild charges with all guns blazing are much quicker way to the grave than to victory. Instead you will need to deal with quick calculations (if you have a problems with simple mathematics up to 100 you are really not smart enough to captain the space ship!), risk management and exploiting the weaknesses of enemy without exposing your own.
But it’s not all: you will design you ships nearly from scratch! Take the ship class template with given shape and basic parameters (such like armour, mass, stealth ratio), but you will have to fill them with systems from nearly 20 categories: reactors, bridges, weapons, hangars, engines, thrusters etc. and most of them have 30 types or more, which gives you the virtually countless combinations (the tiniest frigate with 6 slots can be constructed in more than million combinations and the biggest ships have about 40 module slots!). So far there are prepared 36 classes and in final version probably there will be more. From smallest escorts, thought destroyers, cruiser to huge battleships and unrated special ships such like defence monitors, armed transports of exploration cruisers.
The game is especially cool when playing in teams (even unequal), when the players can prepare specialised vessels to complete each other. What do you thing about being captain of tiny, stealth, recon frigate marking the targets for your friend commanding missile vessel and second friend in escort carrier?
Currently we are working also on game-mastered cooperative mode, which allow you to play Trekkie-style scenarios.
As you see the “Duel among the Stars” is niche within niche title for real fanatics of spaceship genre.
The first Open Beta of the game should hit the web soon.