I have had the pleasure of being shown a game currently in active development, by UK based Indie developer Messy Desk. This small team is currently taking on an ambitious project which involves the tight management of a Starship, tasked with navigating space in the effort to find life. Starship Simulator offers fans a classic science fiction experience, giving an opportunity to realise your childhood dreams of living and working on a deep space exploration vessel, while exploring distant uncharted regions of the galaxy.
Starship Simulator’s gameplay derives from exactly what its title suggests. You act as a crew, who are tasked with flying and maintaining a spaceship, on a mission to find life. You and your crew will take up a specific role on the ship, ranging from captain to engineer, all with the aim of keeping everyone alive during this voyage. The game takes clear inspiration from Space Exploration Sci-Fi and is completely delivering in an area that most other Sci-fi games miss entirely.
Starship Simulators free sandbox mode and paid story driven campaign, will ask the player to fulfil one of a number of those critical roles on the ship. During the mission the player will be presented with numerous challenges relevant to their role, the outcomes of which will have a direct impact on either the crew or the ship itself. Consistent poor performance, loss of crew members and increasing damage to the ship will eventually lead to a catastrophic mission failure, whereas keeping the ship well maintained and the crew happy and healthy will ensure the mission's ultimate success. Each day aboard the ship consists of a duty shift where you perform mission critical tasks, leisure time where you can mix with the crew and partake in entertainment activities and bunk time when you choose to return to your quarters and go to sleep. The next day aboard the ship then begins and you are presented with all exciting new challenges.
When speaking with Messy Desk, they have stated: “This is perhaps one of the most realistic starship ever built in a video game, with every aspect of its construction having been researched in detail, right down to the metallurgy of the metals used and the construction technique for the internal structural framework. The ship's actual spaceframe exists behind every wall panel, and the various pipes, cables and bits of hardware routed within are all fully simulated. Everything you see and touch serves some kind of purpose on the ship. Nothing on is mere surface detail, every button does something and every door leads somewhere. The ship's power, data, and even HVAC systems have all been planned out using the same processes you'd expect to see for a real vessel. The very same attention to detail can be found in the procedural galaxy itself, with billions of unique star systems being generated using actual astrophysics equations. The chance for a planet to be an Earth analogue will depend on whether or not it lies within a star's habitable zone, and whether or not its equilibrium temperature and atmospheric density are in the sweet spot for liquid water to exist. Any life found on such a planet could consist of anything from simple bacteria all the way up to an advanced spacefaring civilisation. Will they be welcoming of your presence or are they hostile xenophobes? Making first contact is the only way to know for sure.”
I alluded to it earlier in this article, but what is really impressive here, is that the core Multiplayer version of Starship Simulator intends to release entirely for free. Exploring Space, keeping your ship functioning and the core game itself, which we see in the developer diary above, will be entirely free for anyone to play on day 1. Although, the developers plan to release Single-Player story content in the form of DLC which will act as the paid element to this title. As the game is in active development, the paid elements of the game are not completely planned out, but its important to state that developers have no interest in adding “pay-to-win” features.
So now I hear you asking, “How can I support this amazing game?”. Messy Desk are adopting an open development model, with a public alpha releasing relatively early in the development process. To be honest, there are so many ways that you can help the team over in Messy Desk get this game ready for launch. First of all, and most importantly of all, you can support the team by becoming a Patreon. Their membership tiers are extremely affordable and fair, all coming with nice features to boot. • Link: Second of all, Spaceship Simulator will be coming to Kickstarter, the famous website where we can back big projects that we think have huge potential. So, be sure to back this game as early as possible. Third and finally, go and give the game some love on social media! The developers over at Messy Desk can be found on Youtube, Twitter and Facebook under the name @MessyDeskGames! You can join there Discord via the link below: •
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