It’s a wide, wide universe out there, and one man wants to help you explore it. Canadian game designer, Colin Walsh, is in the final stages of a Kickstarter campaign for his new space trading game Drifter. “Basically, you take on the role of a freelance spaceshi[ captain who must make a living in this vast, unfriendly universe doing things to make money, like trading goods between start systems, mining, hunting pirates for bounties, and going on missions,” explains Walsh. “Drifter is a bit unique in that space games, and space trading games in particular, are somewhat an under-served niche right now, but more specifically, the game has a massive, procedurally generated galaxy, with over 10,000 star systems to explore. It’s a great big sandbox for the players to have fun in, and I have a lot of room to expand into as the game develops.”
Walsh has been developing games for the iOS platform for a few years now, ever since things like the app store and steam made it easier for independent developers to release their own games. He has seen some success with previous games developed for the iPhone, which is where Drifter began, but after some fan response asking for a Mac/PC version, Walsh decided to rethink his gameplan. “That’s when it hit me,” he says. “I could run a campaign with the goal of hiring a 3D artist to work on game assets, which up until now I’d been working on myself. That would then give me time to work on adding features to the game, and porting it to PC and Mac, and it would improve the visual quality of the game.”
That’s when Walsh turned to Kickstarter. He started an ambitious campaign to raise the $50,000 he would need to hire the extra help, and with several days remaining he was able to reach, and surpass, that goal. “People are excited to have a new game in the genre, especially because there are so few released each year,” explains Walsh. “Some are happy because the game is slated to come out on iPS. where there are even fewer space trading games, because it’s a relatively new platform. Other people seem to be reacting excitedly to how huge the game’s galaxy is. Also, I think people are looking forward to Danny Baranowsky’s custom soundtrack for the game.”
But the game itself isn’t the only thing pulling in contributions. Walsh has created a list of unique goodies sure to excite any game fan. “I had wanted to make the campaign really special, which is why I have been planning it for quite some time now, and the first thing I really wanted was a retro sci-fi movie style poster for the game,” he explains. With nearly 100 of his contributors choosing this option, it seems they agree, but there’s another perk that’s done even better. The collector’s box version of the game which, according to Walsh, will have a “real printed manual and a fold out galaxy map, like you’d get in years gone by.”
The campaign comes to a close in just under a week, but this won’t be the last we hear from Colin Walsh. His company, Celsius Game Studios, is just getting started. “I certainly don’t plan o stopping, that’s for sure!” says Walsh.” I have a huge list of game ideas that I’d love to build, but if Drifter is really successful, I may spend some more time exploring the Drifter universe first.”
For more information on Drifter, or to contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page.
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