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Toma
Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
(01-30-2015, 02:10 PM)
Toma's Avatar

Heya guys,

I was contemplating waiting for the Steam release to give this max exposure, but I might as well get you "Only Steam"-fellows interested and to upvote their Greenlight endeavours here:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=331311253

~~~~~~~~
| Info Box |
~~~~~~~~

Genre: Top down Space Shooter
Price: € 8,99
Website + Humble Store: http://cheerfulghost.com/game/25575/starship-rubicon
Desura: http://www.desura.com/games/starship-rubicon
Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=331311253

If you want to test the combat mechanics, there is an earlier build here without the campaign and the ship building:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4u2vo1j0u....2_PC.zip?dl=0

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
| Impressions (initially posted in the Indie Games thread) |
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I just played Starship Rubicon for 4-5 hours now and it pushes all the right buttons. Its easily topping my January voting list in the Indie thread now (which is over here: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=964561) This game is honestly great. There are many of those top down space combat games out there and most of them I find "interesting", but they rarely hook me enough to keep returning to them. The focussed FTL-style mission design helps a lot in that regard, but I'll give some more detailed impressions further down.

In short, it has the FTL mission structure with Asteroids gameplay on... steroids. (With that I win the worst-pun-of-the-day-award)

I'll get the downsides out of the way first:
- In 2 hours of playing, I already found 2 or 3 of the same pieces of equipment, so I am not sure how much different items the game has. However, the same structure didnt keep FTL from being awesome, so I dont think its a huge decisive factor here either.
- The controls take some getting used to because you'll need to do precision moving/turning/jumping and shooting, and sometimes my fingers got mixed up in the action, give the game more than 5 minutes.

Onto the good stuff!

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| Ship Building |
~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can find and buy ship parts to improve the stats and capabilities of your ship. I always love it when make you deal with inventory in a puzzle style way (like this or Resident Evil 4) and the different parts completely change the way your ship feels, by adding more weapons, turbo boosts, shields, adjusting the effects of other ship parts and what not. Any part that you are adding immediately shows its pay off, and its quite rewarding to try different play styles, for example buffing up a ship with almost only more armor and just slicing through enemies instead of carefully dancing and pinpointing attacks.

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| Challenge |
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The game is quite hard, and basically the best kind of hard. You are punished for being not careful enough, not knowing enemy trajectories/abilities and mastering the controls. Once I got into how this game needs to be played, I had a blast. I cant remember any game lately that made me feel as tense when dancing around enemies in Starship Rubicon. You just know that a false step could lead to your ship being annihilated, and unlike FTLs basically turn based combat, fighting a swarm of enemies with only a bit of health left can be quite nerve-wracking. I'll probably get used to that eventually, but its just a very fun level of challenge.
To allow for progress, even if it is too challenging in the beginning, you have a permanent unlock system, with which you can unlock some new ship parts, starting ships and colors. Works very well as a carrot to replay the game multiple times.

Another thing they did nicely was how to integrate more interesting environmental hazards other than just the basic asteroids. Mines, Enemy Shields you shouldnt pass, special asteroids that reflect your shots, there is a lot going on here that requires you to pay attention.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
| Risk / Reward |
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They absolutely nailed this part. The devs understand exactly what "player choice" can mean outside of choosing a path and mere dialogue trees. Every aspect of the game has the potential to be rewarding to you, while also either taking some safety away from you or generally making your endeavours more dangerous. A few examples:
  • You get to choose which enemies to attack -> more enemies = more gold and more danger of being killed
  • You will find bigger and better equip for your ship, but integrating those into your ship will be harder to do symmetrically, which means you will lose your "If you die once, you can retry for 500 gold"- ability
  • If you take allies with you to fight, they can help , but you wont be able to use them afterwards for a few encounters AND you run the risk of losing them if you let them die.
  • A particular ally gives you a lot of money if you take him with you... and he survives
  • If you use the "500 gold to retry option", you can retry, but will you be able to make another 500 gold before you die the next time or will you have lost money that you could have spent on permanent unlocks?
  • Some ship parts have strong effects... with similary strong side effects
These are a huge part of why this game is so fun. You have options, you can adjust your playstyle and you will be the one bearing the consequences.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
| Small touches |
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The game does some small things pretty nice as well, the biggest one being the visualisation of the galaxy map:

Every possible encounter shows you at one glance what you can expect from it. The rewards are hovering next to it, same with the expected enemy types, amount and traps. Its a small thing, but as you progress it really makes you feel like stepping into enemy territory once your whole screen is starting to get filled with enemy symbols.

Oh and: My god does it feel rewarding to upgrade your ship. That +100% health upgrade you saved up for? Makes you feel like a tank (and apparently stupid since I felt too tough and died by warping into enemies). All the upgrades feel meaningful and the game really does a great job of emphasizing that.

~~~~~~~~~~~
| Final Words |
~~~~~~~~~~~

While the basic gameplay doesnt look like much (Just flying around in space, killing enemies), the way HOW they structured this game and how the movement/navigation feels makes all the difference. The game is perfectly tuned for that "just one more round"-attitude since no stage takes more than 3-5 minutes, which also alleviates my biggest issue with open world games that use similar combat schemes. They are just too unfocussed, making individual encounters less interesting and rewarding. Here, every encounter is a fight for life and spoils, incredibly rewarding and equally tense.

So yeah, recommended for you guys to check out. It might not be the best game you played this year, but I am enjoying it too much not to make a thread for it. Extra GIF just cruising around:
Last edited by Toma; 01-30-2015 at 03:07 PM.
More_Badass
My indie-sense is tingling
(01-30-2015, 02:15 PM)
More_Badass's Avatar
Looks insanely up my alley. Definitely will be purchasing soon, already spent my January budget on Kickstarter and a few other games

Also you should include the game's main site since that has a Humble Store widget. People might prefer that over Desura
http://cheerfulghost.com/game/25575/starship-rubicon
Last edited by More_Badass; 01-30-2015 at 02:17 PM.
Toma
Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
(01-30-2015, 02:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by More_Badass

Looks insanely up my alley. Definitely will be purchasing soon, already spent my January budget on Kickstarter and a few other games

Also you should include the game's main site since that has a Humble Store widget. People might prefer that over Desura
http://cheerfulghost.com/game/25575/starship-rubicon

Good call, included the website link.
More_Badass
My indie-sense is tingling
(01-30-2015, 02:28 PM)
More_Badass's Avatar
Huh, so we can add Starship Rubicon to the long list of Kickstarter successes. It was funded over 200% back in 2012
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...orks/rubicon-0

Here's the original freeware version (simply titled Rubicon) if you want to get a taste for how the gameplay is
http://wickworks.tumblr.com/rubicon
Starship Rubicon added the FTL-style campaign and various mission types
Toma
Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
(01-30-2015, 02:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by More_Badass

Huh, so we can add Starship Rubicon to the long list of Kickstarter successes. It was funded over 200% back in 2012
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...orks/rubicon-0

Here's the original freeware version (simply titled Rubicon) if you want to get a taste for how the gameplay is
http://wickworks.tumblr.com/rubicon
Starship Rubicon added the FTL-style campaign and various mission types

I knew it was on Kickstarter, but I didnt know about the earlier build. I just tried it and it seems pretty close to the final game in terms of combat mechanics, with a few differences:

- It has less interesting enemy variety and AI
- It doesnt seem to have hazards
- The controls are a bit less "snappy" than in the final build
- the upgrading works through boring stat increases instead of ship customization
Toma
Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
(01-30-2015, 02:56 PM)
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Changed the gifs to less seizure inducing grabs from the official trailer. Much better now.
BossLackey
Junior Member
(01-30-2015, 03:02 PM)
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This game looks right up my alley.

I'm buying it when I get home.

Thanks!
Toma
Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
(01-30-2015, 03:09 PM)
Toma's Avatar
Added another small paragraph about the ship building because someone asked me about it in the Steam thread:

~~~~~~~~~~~~
| Ship Building |
~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can find and buy ship parts to improve the stats and capabilities of your ship. I always love it when make you deal with inventory in a puzzle style way (like this or Resident Evil 4) and the different parts completely change the way your ship feels, by adding more weapons, turbo boosts, shields, adjusting the effects of other ship parts and what not. Any part that you are adding immediately shows its pay-off, and its quite rewarding to try different play styles, for example buffing up a ship with almost only more armor and just slicing through enemies instead of carefully dancing and pinpointing attacks.
Darth Kupi
Banned
(01-30-2015, 04:30 PM)
I'm down for any game with the Toma Seal of Approval.

Voted, eagerly awaiting the steam version.
Boogdud
Member
(01-30-2015, 04:35 PM)
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This interests me greatly. I had never heard of it until this thread. Will be throwing some cash for sure.
titch
Member
(01-30-2015, 05:15 PM)
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Great looking game - will defo buy when on steam - would hit it already but for backlog. Subbed OT anyway.
Moobabe
Sassy with Monet
(01-30-2015, 05:41 PM)
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Another Toma home run

That's a baseball reference I think
KenOD
a kinder, gentler sort of Scrooge
(01-31-2015, 12:49 AM)
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That risk/reward section sold me. I'm glad you made this thread Toma.
Toma
Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
(01-31-2015, 01:45 AM)
Toma's Avatar

Originally Posted by KenOD

That risk/reward section sold me. I'm glad you made this thread Toma.

Glad to hear, the risk/reward thing impressed me the most as well. Its just so... elegant how integrating risk and reward into every small mechanic makes all the pieces fall into place and you just feel like your choices actually make a difference.

Originally Posted by Moobabe

Another Toma home run

That's a baseball reference I think

Did you get to play it? Any more impressions? :) I think I am still the only one with impressions so far.
Shining Sunshine
Banned
(01-31-2015, 01:47 AM)
I wish more games had shipbuilding like Stardrive.
Toma
Let me show you through these halls, my friend, where treasures of indie gaming await...
(01-31-2015, 01:51 AM)
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Originally Posted by Shining Sunshine

I wish more games had shipbuilding like Stardrive.

Ah yeah, I remember that as well. I wish more games would be finished eventually... unlike Stardrive.

I agree though, I love the mechanic.
More_Badass
My indie-sense is tingling
(07-14-2015, 06:37 AM)
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Game released on Steam yesterday
http://store.steampowered.com/app/372030/

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