If you have never heard of Eve Online than I must tell you that you are missing a great game. However there is one game on the horizon, in development on Kickstarter, that tries to address some of the desires of us deep space pilots. It is called Galaxy Heist, a space combat and first person shooter. Although it is not publicly playable it has, according to the team working on it, been brought to a stage in which most of the coding is done. The game is now on Kickstarter looking for funding that will be used to complete the game, add new content, and ultimately bring it to market.
To Take or Destroy?
..ability to board another ship and fight a first person shooter battle over control of the ship
The most fascinating of the mechanics is the ability to board another ship and fight a first person shooter battle over control of the ship, after you have disabled the ship during space combat. It is not stated, but I assume that you can either disintegrate your opponent with your turrets or tether to them for boarding, which begs the question of how often this boarding tactic would be useful. It also makes you wonder what happens to your ship and the disabled ship during the boarding if other ships in the area on the enemy team decide to take you out during your boarding.
We can only assume that your ship’s turrent can still be controlled by other players or the AI. Also, the time needed to successfully take control of the ship during a battle would be a large factor in this decision. I suppose that the boarding team, if able to maintain awareness of the surrounding space, could withdraw back to their ship and detach if a hostile did approach. So the concept has a lot of awesome implications and some potential strategy, however we are left with a lot of unknowns. I attempted to contact the development team to clarify or at least get a better idea about this, but was unsuccessful at time of press.
There is a volume of information produced by the team that detailed the usage of C4 to blast open doors, backup power generators that can be destroyed, windows that can be blasted out to rip players into space, and emergency air systems to counter the air loss from blown out windows. Also loosely stated was that gameplay will provide access panels and escape hatches for first person shooter mode and other interesting ways for the player to interact with the ship.
Persistent, Match, or Session Based?
Also very interesting is how the multi-player aspect of the game is to be orchestrated. This hinges firstly on if the game will be massive world oriented or a single session between a certain number of players per battle, similar to a Call Of Duty match. The player limits of said matches are unknown, if a match based system would be used. The limits also of players per ship and on boarding operations would be interesting. One would assume that
different sized ships would have different player limits at the very least. I did gleam some clues that there would be harvestable resources in the world such as asteroid fields, and some images of the game showed large fields.
The graphics system, which has been demoed in their videos, looks very good with real time shadows and lighting and decent mesh complexity at the least giving rise to realistic looking surfaces and models.
However, it is difficult at best to estimate the graphical quality without an actual working playable demo. The demos also show some blood and possible gore elements for fans of such. Also mentioned was jet trails of different colors for the drones depending on if they are hostile or friendly. The interiors of the space craft look fairly well detailed, although it was nothing that seemed ground breaking.
I would likely assume the entire graphics system may meet the standard that players expect, but may be improved in the future. The developers also did not mention anything new or ground breaking. From looking at the demos it seemed like there may be some area of improvement to make the graphics more realistic, but it is still difficult to really say without a working demo.
No Pay To Win
One of the developers stated, “..no pay to win or grinding your way to a stronger character,” which I take to mean none of the in-game buying or grinding out your character. It does leave one to wonder if you will have any progression of a skill based character or if everyone starts with the same and never progresses. I never received a response from the developers so the question remains open, unfortunately, for those who may wish to help the game reach release.
Also mentioned was, “works with Oculus Rift.” The Oculus Rift is the new 3D immersive helmet which allows you to move your head to view the world around you. More details about the VR headset can be found at the Oculus website.
Travel Between Ships
The travel between ships, like Eve, will feature a pod of sorts. It is unclear if this pod will be vulnerable to damage from hostile players, and how easily it can be killed. Also not mentioned is the death process and what it entails. This also hinges on the type of world – if it is a persistent world, session, or match based.
I was also curious if players would be able to essentially have multiple ships in some way. I suppose this should be highly possible as you could just navigate a ship somewhere and switch to another, but it seems like you would need a team of players to do such a tactic, and then one must consider the value of doing so which depends on the persistent world versus session and match based. Players also also expected to be able to take control of drones that accompany each ship, and it was stated that when your drone is destroyed you would be returned to the ship the drone originated from, instead of floating into space like debris, however the penalty of such a death is unknown, although I assume it would simply be loss of a drone.
One of the development team members responsible for the AI stated that he wants to support multiple levels of AI difficulty. He hopes that this will provide the player with the ability to hone their skills and also allow the usage of the AI in team play. This may be a clue here about the world. If a player is able to solo play then one must assume that an instance in a persistent world would be created or the entire multi-player system is session based. However, that is only speculation as the entire system design has yet to be revealed in any
information that I could find. It was also mentioned that it is planned that you will need a team to be the hardest level of the AI, but the exact details are still missing.
All of this hinges on if Galaxy Heist can reach its goal before the deadline!
The graphics look up to standard and I expect improvement will happen in many areas. The game play mechanics seem very interesting. If the game will be a persistent world of some sort or session based is yet to be discovered. Also many factors of the game are not released such as customizable characters or ship decals, but overall the game seems like it may bring forth a fairly new mechanic not seen in space based games with first person perspective boarding of other ships.
All of this hinges on if Galaxy Heist can reach its goal before the deadline! If your interested you should check out their website. You can also find the development team on Twitter with @SpaceBearDev, and also at Kickstarter. At the time of this writing the goal has only 22 days left!