Futuristic, cyber-punk, Syndicate-alike Satellite Reign is one of the best game concepts to have come to Kickstarter. The concept of a living city, operating many levels of interlinked simulation to create a deep, emergent game tickles my fancy more than I’ll comfortably admit. Plus, it’s not being made by a set of complete unknowns: Mike Diskett, one of the creators of Syndicate, is behind Satellite Reign, along with a team who have worked in some of the biggest studios on the biggest games.
Still, if you need something to push you over the fence, then watch some footage of what the game may look like once developed.
As with all in-engine visualisations, the footage has to be taken with a inordinately large pinch of salt, it’s not actual footage of the game but simply a scripted set of animations and scenes that the developer claims the final game will resemble.
Unfortunately, as developer 5 Lives writes in their latest Kickstarter update, “To accurately portray the kind of immense, simulated and emergent world we want to create, we need to actually create it for reals! And that’s what this Kickstarter campaign is for, to create the game.
“We’d love to be able to demonstrate a mission played numerous different ways to sell the idea to you but that would require several months and a lot of money to produce. If we could do that we’d have the game half done and we wouldn't really need Kickstarter to get us off the ground.”
With seven days left till the end of the campaign, Satellite Reign still needs £75,000 to hits its £350,000 funding goal. Though, hopefully it will hit that and go on to reach some of its stretch goals. At £440,000 the developers will add environmental destruction, something that would profoundly change the sense of the city as a believable and alterable location.
Considering the ambition of the project and all the qualities which recommend it, it seems bizarre the project has yet to be funded. Though it could be down to a mixture of poor choices and bad timing. With £16 as a minimum buy in for a copy of the game on release, 5 Lives may simply have charged too much to convince potential pledgers to commit. Plus, their decision to sell only 1,000 early bird copies at £13 may have fudged them. Had it been 5,000 copies at that price they’d be past their target, plus the early support would likely have built momentum for other potential backers to pledge.
That Valve have launched their summer sale likely won’t have helped matters either. With so many cheap games on offer a lot of gamer’s disposable income will be mopped up in the sale.
Still, if you’re even only vaguely interested in the concept go check it out, it could really use your help.