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StarDrive – A New 4X Action-Strategy Game for the PC

By on December 2nd, 2011 3:01 am

Today I discovered a new 4X space strategy title on the making named StarDrive. StarDrive is, in its single developer’s own words, a 4X Action-Strategy game. It’s partly action partly strategy because although you select fleets and manage your empire in the traditional strategy way (real-time in this case) you are also allowed to control your flag ship manually in a traditional WASD fashion with your keyboard.

Dan, the main developer behind StarDrive and single worker of Zero Sum Games, is asking for support to help fund the remaining parts of his game, namely art and multiplayer. For this he has set up a kickstarter crowdfunding project where we pledges for a sum of $7.500. Dan explains that the money will almost entirely be used to pay another guy involved in the project, the artist. As usual in this type of funding projects you will get rewards depending on the sum you pledge.

Dan explains that the primary inspirations for StarDrive are Masters of Orion 2 and Escape Velocity and adds that ultimately he plans to make other games inside the same StarDrive universe. So, it seems that Dan is really commited on finishing off his game and possibly even create more in the future. All he needs is a little push.

In the presentation video Dan justifies the need for the extra funds to create unique palettes for the alien races spaceships and to help kick-off multiplayer. With a successful funding Dan expects to reach closed-beta by March 2011 and a full release by Summer 2011.

So, what are you waiting for to help this guy finish his 4X space title in style? :) The game looks very good already, with the extra funding  it will surely be a great title. So, let’s help him out. Support Dan’s indie 4X space game project at StarDrive’s Kickstarter website. I already did.

Key Game Features

  • Customize your Race by selecting from a large list of physical traits, socioeconomic traits, and traits relating to your history and tradition.
  • Deep, module-based ship design as described above.
  • Lead your forces into battle with your own flagship that you control like an arcade shooter; command your fleets like you would in a real time strategy game with simple mouse commands.
  • Tactical ground combat to take over enemy planets.
  • A deep research tree with many dozens of technologies.
  • Alien Artifacts to find and collect, which give bonuses to your empire.
  • Rich diplomacy options, allowing you to make and break treaties with alien races; trade technologies and artifacts, sell ships, declare wars, and design joint operations with your allies.
  • Finally, multiplayer.  Do this all with your friends online.

Presentation Trailer

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25 Comments


  1. Pym says:

    Looks nice!
    Do we know which game engine they used to make this game? Some home-made engine?

  2. dayrinni says:

    This looks pretty awesome actually. Good job and good luck.

  3. zer0sum says:

    Hi folks, I’m the game developer. I am using the XNA framework and the Sunburn Engine for rendering. Of course, the game itself is coded from the ground up!

    • Roger says:

      this looks great! good job! I will definitely be buying

    • Adam Solo says:

      @zer0sum

      Folks on wargamer forum have been asking themselves why have you choose such a small period of time (1 month) in kickstarter. They think it’s not enough time. I also think it’s a bit tight, considering the holiday period and such. Any good reason why you have to choose only 1 month?

  4. Zeraan says:

    How long have you been working on the game? It looks pretty polished and near completion, unlike my game :) The trailer looks very good! Looks like a combination of SPAZ and Master of Orion 2, with some unique elements thrown in.

    The trailer shows you contacting races but not the diplomacy screen, so how does diplomacy work? What can you do with diplomacy?

    What happens if your flagship dies? Do you take control of a smaller ship, or have to wait til a new one is built?

  5. salvo says:

    hi adam,

    the game looks great, I’ll definitevely contribute and look forward to playing it. It reminds me of Distant Worlds. I’m sure the 4x community at matrix will be greatly interested too. How moddable is the game?

    • Adam Solo says:

      Hi salvo,

      looks great indeed. That’s a good point on DW community, there are plenty of great 4X fans there. I could point out the game there but there’s not really a “general discussion” subforum where they hang around… But I’ll definitly try to spread the word on other forums, please do your best to spread the word also. We have 27 days …

      @zer0sum
      Hey, zer0sum, just a thought, have you considered applying for a publisher, maybe Matrix Games would be willing help you out.

  6. salvo says:

    well, I’m one of the backers, now :-) Come on guys, back this awesome project too, I reall want to play the game

  7. Fernando Rey says:

    The game looks awesome indeed. From the UI to the planets and ships, it looks great. I specially loved the reflection effects of the beams hitting the target ships, it makes combat look beautiful(as it should); sadly it’s always seen from a top down perspective. I am not a big fan of RTS in space, with the notable exception of Homeworld, or the space shooter for that matter; but I definitively will be trying this one out when it’s available.

  8. Nunaguna says:

    Kickstarter is really helping small developers. I especially like how it facilitates completion in the past (eg “With a successful funding Dan expects to reach closed-beta by March 2011 and a full release by Summer 2011.”). However, as always in these situations, I question the associated paradox. If I donate today, and the game is released in the past, do I still need to donate?! Or the due to the fact that I am not playing the game now, was the Kickstarter not successful?! Of was it in another time-stream, and if so, then I assume MOO3 (and four, and five) were awesome, and SOTS2 was released early, complete, and with an expansion pack.

  9. Dan says:

    Guys, thank you for the support. I have, in fact, considered applying specifically to Matrix games for a publisher. But I want to have a completed product before I shop around.

    The game is in fact highly mod-able. Most of the data files are XML, which is plain language that is not compiled. So all of the weapons and effects and races and many other things can be modded by someone who has no coding experience, all without recompiling the code.

  10. Zeraan says:

    I’ve pledged some support! Not much, but hope it helps you reach your goal!

  11. Kyle "Lordxorn" Rees says:

    Very exciting, I hope it gets funded.

    Reminds me of a prettier more action oriented version of Distant Worlds.

  12. JimHatama says:

    Hi . awesome game! I think it would be cool to draw some graphics for u guys if u need it. http://jimhatama.deviantart.com/gallery/ – my works

  13. Zeraan says:

    The funding is looking good! Only 1k left to go! I’m really looking forward to this one!

  14. Zer0sum says:

    Soooo close! 99%!! Thanks guys. You’re going to love it.

    • Adam Solo says:

      It’s done! Congratulations Daniel.
      Now, due to my pledge I’ll be waiting for the closed beta testing in March and my own copy on Summer :)

  15. SkillzFlux says:

    embarassed to ask but: System Requirements?


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