Now, we at TechZwn scour the far corners of the Web each day—searching beyond the scope of what’s found everywhere else to try to find some of the hidden gems of gaming. Yet, like a Millennium Falcon hiding on the back of a Star Destroyer, “Endless Space” has escaped our radar, until now.
“What is Endless Space? In a few words… if Civilization, Master of Orion, and Total War decided to have a child together, they may have called it Endless Space,” said Endless Space Creative Director Romain de Waubert, via email.
“We want the players to live an experience that goes beyond simple strategy. You will live your own story of space conquest in your own sandbox full of empires, technologies and unknown worlds for you to conquer,” he said.
That’s quite a statement—particularly for gamers who remember Master of Orion, which remains one of the greatest 4X space strategy games ever created. Add Civilization and Total War to the mix, and you’d have something pretty interesting on your hands. But, Romain isn’t boasting.
“The goal is for the game to offer endless possibilities for opportunities and outcomes. You will be able to create your own faction from over 100 traits, and test it against others… a bit like a mad scientist trying to create the perfect being to rule the universe,” he said. “Depending on your play style you can choose more or less aggressive traits, more or less social, economic, or diplomatic strengths… it will really be up to you to decide how to dominate the galaxy.”
The game puts you in the role of one of the many intelligent lifeforms wandering around the galaxy at the beginning of the space age. You stumble across remnants of an older civilization, known as the Endless, and in the ruins of their empire you find a unique form of matter called Dust.
This isn’t just your average space dust. “It reacts to how its user thinks, it can create networks and communicate, it gives a reality to dreams… Dreams that led to the extinction of the Endless,” Romain said.
After your discovery, Dust becomes the most precious substance in the universe and becomes a form of currency. “But when faced with the power of the Dust, it is hard even for the purest beings to not fall under its spell…” Romain said.
The indie studio behind Endless Space has industry veterans from across all genres. Romain de Waubert has been making games for close to 15 years. He was the lead designer for Battlefield 1942, and was the producer of Dark Messiah, Heroes of Might & Magic, Clash of Heroes or even Call of Juarez.
He teamed up with Mathieu Girard (RUSE, GRAW) and founded Amplitude Studios, which then brought in other veterans in the industry, including Corinne Billon (Rayman, Ghost Recon) or Jeff Spock (Might & Magic).
Now, the game won’t be all politics and exploration. Sometimes things will get out of hand, and war will be the only option, and Romain said the team is making these wars as awesome as they possibly can.
“You should be able to enjoy the battles as if you were watching a movie from your favorite space opera,” he said. “To get there we paid a lot of attention to our battles. We want them to be the pinnacle of your strategy: Faction traits, ship design, technology focus, fleet composition, …”
There’s an interesting approach to the battle system. Since most of the critical, strategic moves are made before the battle, you’ll be able to sit back and watch the epic space wars unfold if you’d like. But you can also take control of it. Maybe you want to give specific fleet orders, tell your ships to use specific weapons, where to make repairs, create action combos, or counter an opponent’s strategy.
“In the end the way you win will completely depend on you and your play style,” Romain said.
Then, if you want to take this another step further, you can jump into the game’s multiplayer mode and show your friends all the neat tricks you learned as you blast them into space dust.
The game is currently in the Alpha state, but Amplitude Studios is allowing players to jump onboard and even help them work out some cool ideas for the game.