Last year Logan wrote about the way the developers behind Infinity tried to shoot for the moon and ended up having to pare back their vision by an order of magnitude. It was November and there was talk that the makers, I-Novae Studios, might finally launch a Kickstarter so they could eventually realise their grand ambitions.
Those ambitions were eventually repackaged into Infinity: Battlescape, a game pitched as a procedurally generated space opera where hundreds of gamers waged war across a true to scale solar system. That was the ambition last year. Today, that project becomes closer to being a reality.
I-Novae hasn't changed the name or the scope from what Logan pointed to last year. It's still a procedurally generated space sim with Newtonian physics and "seamless interplanetary warfare". There's still room for hundreds of players to battle each other in a true to scale solar system, complete with all manner of celestial bodies.
But today, it's finally on Kickstarter. It's a surprisingly small goal for the scope of the project -- Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen and Limit Theory have all been useful lessons in that regard -- but the US$300,000 goal does at least mean the development of Infinity: Battlescape should be accelerated somewhat.
(Because, let's face it, we're talking a multiplayer space game here. The internet loves throwing money at those games. The new Descent got over US$600,000 and people criticised it to kingdom come for many, many good reasons. And Infinity: Battlescape is already at US$75,737 with almost a full month remaining. It's getting funded.)
The in-engine trailer's pretty smooth as well, although it has a look that kind of screams "Freespace 2 HD remake". See for yourself, and you'll understand what I mean.
What intrigues me about the whole setup, however, is the way that matches begin. The site has the best explanation, and as a hook it sounds a hell of a lot better than the "float around and make your own fun" that Elite: Dangerous rolled with. "A match begins with each team being allocated some combination of space stations, planetary bases, factories, and AI controlled defense turrets," the developers wrote on the website.
"Each player will start with a moderate amount of credits with which they can buy ships and equipment. Every couple of minutes a factory spawns a cargo ship which will transfer raw materials to the nearest space station or planetary base for processing into credits. These credits are split evenly among the members of the team however if the cargo ship is destroyed its owners lose the credits. Players are able to donate credits to other members of their team so that they can pool resources."
The developers are planning to ship Battlescape by September 2017, but I can't even remember the last time a Kickstarter project actually hit its deadline. Maybe Exploding Kittens, or FTL maybe? It's been a long while.
Either way, let's have a bit of fun in the comments. What do you reckon will land first: Infinity: Battlescape or Star: Citizen (or, if we're being more fair, what SC modules will have landed by then).