The Guerrilla Resurgence of Space Gaming

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17 Responses

  1. Lulloser says:

    Nice said!
    We are in a new golden era, the Indie era.
    So much Indie games lately. So much quality.

    I love it! :D

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Right? While I think it’s been a long time since people have thought that “indie” is synonymous with “low quality”, it’s AMAZING the stuff that’s been coming out of late.

  2. Pogue Mahone says:

    So I guess the question is, good thing or AWESOME thing? I find these recent developments to be amazingly exciting. I really like that a new pipeline of communication has been created between the game makers and their audience, particularly with Kickstarter. I am so stoked to have been able to help folks like Tim Schafer, Brian Fargo and Steve Jackson create new games and also to signal that they are still valued and that we want them to keep up the good work! It really feels like a renaissance, an opportunity for people with great ideas but lacking funding to find a way to make things happen. I’m hopeful about these cool new space games, since I really haven’t played a space sim since TIE Fighter. Keeping my eyes on the skies!

    • Brian Rubin says:

      I’m leaning toward awesome. AND PLAY FREESPACE 2 DAMN IT. ;-)

      • Pogue Mahone says:

        Yeah well… I actually own both Freespaces off GOG, but haven’t yet had any luck getting them to recognize my gamepad and I just can’t stomach the thought of playing a space combat sim with a mouse and keyboard. I do fully intend to play both once I get it all sorted out.

  3. I concur. When we starting laying plans last year for PlaySF, I too thought we would be going over a lot of old games, but this year has been crazy. In a good way.

    It’s been a combination of factors that you allude to. Kickstarter is one of them, a solid SF fanbase is another. Old games staying commercially viable through places like GOG has helped, as well as the rise and rise of mobile gaming.

    You posed such an interesting question, maybe we should follow it up in the next issue :)

    • Brian Rubin says:

      I’d be happy to contribute my thoughts to such an article. ;) And yeah, it’s like a perfect storm — a cliche’d phrase, but an apt one — of Kickstarting to a fanbase of SF game players that REALLY want more games, and good call, I’m sure GoG has helped as well. Digital Distribution in general is likely a big part of it at well, as I’ve gotten a ton of those quirky European games over on GamersGate, for example.

      • There was a time, 5 or 6 years ago, when those quirky Eastern European games were all we had. When I was running Stargamer.net (badly I might add), the only other games I remember chasing up were GalCiv 2, Dark Star One, Space Empires V, Starshatter and Star Wars: Empire at War. The space genre was only really being kept alive by Egosoft and Starwraith, although 4X was looking up with SotS and Sins on the far horizon :)

  4. tboon says:

    Still waiting for that review of Super Star Trek :)

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Welcome tboon!! And I’ll get to it!! ;-) Game’s 34 years old and the guy wants a review now…sheesh…;-)

  5. frptunz says:

    Well, now… what was it? 10 years since Freelancer? Seems more like in a galaxy far, far… you get the idea. And at that time I thought it was just “okay”. With all that Privateer formula copying, with all the stereotypes, veeery average plot and rather simple fighting model.
    And since then I haven’t seen not one, repeat NOT ONE space game that would at least REPEAT that formula on the same level (no, Darkstar One, I’m sorry but you don’t fit).
    So yeah, I felt that same decadance in the air for a loooong time. And Kickstarter sure does looking to have that perk “Lifegiver” to many of my long dead hopes for the genre. It’s just I’m not sure this thing have enough breath for a long run. Sooner or later people will get so picky that even great space game projects might not get it to the – how do you americans say? – the last base? And I DO hope it’d be later rather than sooner. ANd even more I hope that major publishers will see this abundance of indie space games and finally get their heads out of those black holes they stick intoб and publish some really big projects with all the blockbuster bells and whistles. Yes, maybe even new Wing Commander and Privateer.
    Spacers are dreamers, thats for sure.
    (got disconnected while sending this, sorry for the possible double post)

    • Brian Rubin says:

      No double post, well done. :) And yeah, I think this resurgence is just gaining momentum now. If more indies well well, the big guys will take notice and try to get back into the space game…game…and will likely fail miserably, but I’d love to see ’em try.

      I’d also love to see different types of Kickstarters, like a Volition Kickstarter to buy back the rights to the Freespace license, for example. ;)

  6. Peter S says:

    I think it’s part of the broader renaissance that indie, niche, and generally “smaller” PC games are experiencing. In any case, it’s a wonderful trend, and I look forward to seeing more of it!

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Yeah, it’s definitely riding on the tailcoats of the general indie renaissance, as you put it, but at the same time, these devs don’t HAVE to make space games. ;) They could make shooters, or RPGs, or puzzle games, etc etc. The fact that these awesome devs are using all of these new tools to make space games is still worth both praise and awe, I think. :)

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