When it comes to procedurally-generated worlds, Drifter, an upcoming sandbox space shooter, may take the prize. The game stretches 100,000 light years across, and is filled with more than 10,000 star systems. In that massive universe, you’ll be a freelance captain with plenty of ways to go.
“Basically, in a nutshell, I want to create this huge sandbox for the player to immerse themselves in,” said Drifter developer Colin Walsh via email.
Walsh was the mastermind behind iOS space shooter Red Nova, and Drifter was going to be his next step for the iOS. But after some fan feedback, he decided to start a Kickstarter page, not only funding the game’s release on the PC and Mac, but also giving it an epic soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky (who made soundtracks for Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac, Canabalt, and Cave Story 3D).
Drifter is really about possibilities. Giving its label as a “space trading” game, you’ll be buying and selling goods, making your ship better at whichever path you choose, and buying better equipment.
But it’s really in how you’ll get the funds to do all of this that the game aims to leave its mark. You’ll essentially be a cosmic odd-job guy, with plenty of work on the table.
You can do something as simple as transporting goods and mining, to turning into a intergalactic bounty hunter, or becoming a space pirate raiding ships across the solar systems.
“Also I’m planning on a series of story missions that people can follow to further immerse themselves in the game world and get them access to certain equipment, ships and star systems that wouldn’t otherwise be available in the normal course of play,” Walsh said.
Walsh pulls his influence from some of the more memorable titles in space shooters. “The main inspirations for me are games like Frontier, which is itself the sequel to Elite, the progenitor of the entire space trading genre and Privateer which was a story-driven space trading game set in the Wing Commander universe,” he said. “Also I’m borrowing some interesting ideas from some other games like Starflight and Star Control and a plethora of RPGs and Roguelike games.”
“The setting of Drifter is really a great lens to cast a lot of interesting gameplay ideas through, is basically what I’m getting at,” he said.
Drifter recently hit its funding goal on Kickstarter, but be sure to check it out if you’d like to preorder the game or get in on some of the backer rewards.