One of the more fun parts of E3 is running into developers who are showing their games off unofficially – that is, running it on a laptop or mobile device showing it off to anyone they can flag down rather than at a proper booth. Feels like I run into at least one every year. This time, it was Xin Zhao of SavySoda and their game Pixel Starships.
Inspired by games like FTL: Faster Than Light and XCOM, Pixel Starships is an MMORPG where you command and manage a massive starship. It’s equal parts base management and space combat, tasking you with maintaining your starship and crew and engaging in battles with other players. Trade and diplomacy also play a role. The inspirations are definitely clear: building the inside of your ship looks a lot like base-building in XCOM, just as combat looks similar to FTL.
The game allows players to fully configure their crew’s AI routines, both for battle and general ship upkeep, which in turn allows for offline play. Emphasis is placed on strategy over speed, and SavySoda is striving to strike a perfect balance to ensure no one can pay their way to victory.
Pixel Starships’ Kickstarter is just about done, sitting right on the cusp of securing funding. The game is planned for release later this year on iOS and early next year on PC.