For those of you that keep your eyes close on Steams Early Access listing, you’ll most likely find a few new entries over the past month. One of those new games is from a returning series that didn’t have a lot of success with the original game. However, after getting feedback from the fans and learning from past mistakes, Little Green Man Games is here to try it again. With the sequel now in Early Access players are finding out the changes and improvements made to hopefully make the sequel what the original game should have been.
For your ears only, we managed to get an interview with the developers behind the game to find out more about the new sequel. Thanks to Iceberg Interactive for helping arrange this.
Questions & Answers:
(AGR) - After completing the original game and releasing it to the public, what do you think was the biggest flaw in the game that either yourselves or others spotted and complained about the most?
(Little Green Man Games) - Well, I think there were two major mistakes. First was not going to full 3D immediately. That was considered a serious flaw by a vast majority of players. Second was the voiceover. In the first English version, we did most of them ourselves, and just proved that professional actors exist for a good reason. Starpoint Gemini was our first “full sized” title and we had great ideas for the game. Some of those ideas weren’t followed up properly due to our misjudgment of current market stance, while others simply fell to the fact we had quite a limited budget.
(AGR) - What are the main things you’ve done differently when it came to creating the sequel to Starpoint Gemini?
(Little Green Man Games) - Our first game wasn’t a high budget game and many people were turned down by that fact alone. However, a good number of players gave our game a real chance and eventually enjoyed it. They were mostly fans of the genre, and they were of tremendous help as we fixed numerous glitches and upgraded gameplay to the best of our ability. Still, we felt a debt to those players and to ourselves, for not achieving the level we strived to. For that reason, Starpoint Gemini 2 was crafted to answer many of the demands set by players. Space, movement, camera and combat are now in full 3D. Graphics is heavily upgraded and now use DirectX 11. In addition, our game engine now relies on streaming technology, and that eliminates loading points between dozens of sectors in the game. Lastly, combat and action is now less automatic and more in the hands of players. All of the other elements are still here but much more refined and user-friendly.
(AGR) - Considering recent events over the last year or so concerning the explosion of space based games pouring out of Kickstarter and the like, are you worried the genre may become harder to compete in once the game is ready to fully launch?
(Little Green Man Games) - That concerns us to a degree. We are passionate fans of space games ourselves and we welcome the arrival of new games. This genre deserved more and this new buzz will give space games new life. That cannot be a bad thing – more games, more ideas, more players. On the market side, yes, it will probably make our life harder, but it will also make us create more and create better. Thanks to Early Access, we have created a nice vibrant community base for Starpoint Gemini 2, and most reactions assured us our game has enough individual character to compete with the upcoming rivals.
(AGR) - Concerning the other similar games to Starpoint Gemini, what do you think your sequel offers that other games in the genre may not?
(Little Green Man Games) - Quick answer to this would be – big ships, single player focus and RPG elements. Our space is centred on large ships. Gemini is a large and dangerous place where flying around in a small fighter wouldn’t get you far. We preferred the sense of security only a “flying city” can provide. The ship is in a sense, your avatar. RPG elements are applied to statistics of captain and crew, while they add further bonuses to the functionality of the vessel. Also, every time you anchor near planet or a station, you can physically enhance any system on your ship – weapon batteries and special equipment that unlocks new abilities.
Moddability is another important feature of the game. First of the modding tools are already available with some players creating new content even in this early stage. Our intention is to release a full set of upgraded modding tools, including the World editor and allow enthusiasts to get creative. The game will offer support for all mods.
Lastly, our game is a single player game. It can be considered by some as flaw, but that orientation gives us greater freedom to build a very diverse and vivid universe. Even at this early stage, many players commended our ambient settings, and we are very glad they have noticed the effort put into that. By the final release, our intention is to create a truly memorable ambient with carefully combined events throughout Gemini.
(AGR) - Iceberg Interactive have been very active in the 4x and space genre of late by helping create and sell StarDrive, Armada 2526 and Endless Space. What is your honest opinion about working with the publisher and how has it helped create your latest game.
(Little Green Man Games) - We are very happy working with Iceberg Interactive again. They are becoming real specialists when it comes to space. You must remember they supported us when this genre was far from spotlight. It definitely shows they know how to recognize a future trend. If we speak of specific steps, again the support from the publisher is important. On Starpoint Gemini 2, we cooperated with Iceberg from the start of the project, and they will help us follow our game plan with less deviation. They are doing a great job organizing press releases, marketing activities and arranging distribution via world’s largest platforms. These are very important things for a team like ours. With Iceberg’s support, we have more time to devote to creating the game itself.
(AGR) - When I first played Starpoint Gemini, my first thought was how similar it looked to the early Starfleet Command series. What inspired your development team to create the first and second games and what if anything, do you have planned for the future?
(Little Green Man Games) - Well, we are all fans of Star Trek series, and lost many years in various space games. For a long time we dreamed of creating a huge, open world space game that would allow us to “live” and command big space ships, take them to on journeys across vast space and gradually upgrade them to almost invincible behemoths. Starpoint Gemini was our first attempt in this direction, and Starpoint Gemini 2 I believe will come much closer. Plans for the future do exist, and they include expanding on the Gemini setting further by allowing players to experience the setting from a micro level. Also, porting Starpoint Gemini 2 to different platforms seems like a very good goal for the immediate future.
I have to admit, what these guys dream of creating, many of us dream of playing. Whether they can pull it off will be down to whether it’s physically and financially possible and will demand many hours of hard work. It will be nice to see more exposure for big ship combat games than typical twitch based dog fighters. Like the developers said, commanding a big ship and exploring the unknown or conquering your enemies in a behemoth of a ship is great fun.
Lets hope these ladies and gents can do it and bring yet another great looking game to the market.
If any reader has anything else they’d like to ask the developers, please let me know and I’ll forward any further questions on. For now, if you want in on what sounds like an awesome game in the making, get on over to Steam and starting playing the game now. Remember, that the game is in Alpha at the moment which means there are plenty of bugs, issues and crashes still prevalent in the game and many features may not be included yet. Only buy into the Early Access if you don’t mind experiencing issues with an unfinished game.