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Joe Ybarra to Take You to the Moon with Shackleton Crater

By on March 7th, 2013 1:32 pm

Shackleton Crater | Turn-based colony-building strategy/sim

Joe Ybarra, the 40 year gaming industry producer of games like Alien Legacy and Seven Cities of Gold, and co-founder of Electronic Arts, is producing a new game called Shackleton Crater, where he wants to put you in command of Earth’s lunar expedition effort.

Shackleton Crater is described as a “fast-paced turn-based strategy game” where the objective is to create, develop and sustain and colony on the surface of the Moon. Shackleton Crater being the only place on the Moon suitable for such endeavor.

The idea, as it seems, is to provide a somewhat realistic view of how it would be to colonize and explore the Moon, for which Joe expects to use real lunar data collected from space agencies around the world. So, in a way it’s likely to expect a hard science fiction setting and a considerable amount of simulation elements, as well.

Shackleton Crater | Turn-based colony-building strategy/sim

The game will play out in four distinct “non-combative” stages, so, warfare may be out of the equation here. In the beginning you’re tasked with creating a stable habitat. Next, you’re supposed to achieve a state of self-sufficiency and you begin to expand; Earth’s support should be less critical by now. In a later stage, you’ll be able to explore the Moon’s surface on the lookout for new resources.

Finally, in the last phase called “Campaign”, you’ll be in a position to build special installations upon points of interest which will probably lead you to victory (what that is exactly is still unknown). Enigmatically, the devs wrote the following about this fourth and last game stage: “players will want to find the tallest mountain on the dark side of the Moon to build an interstellar communications tower”. So, where do you plan on taking us next Joe? :)

Shackleton Crater | Turn-based colony-building strategy/sim

Both single-player and multiplayer are planned, where the latter, due to the “non-combative” statement, will most probably be cooperative in nature. The game should come out on the Spring of 2014 “on the latest systems for both Tablet and PC”, for which they plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign next week. We’ll let you know how that turns out. More information about the game here.

Unclaimed World, Maia and now Shackleton Crater. The future looks bright for space-based colony building.

\Edit (Mar 13, 2013): The Kickstarter campaign is up.

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19 Comments


  1. caekdaemon says:

    Huh. This looks strangely like Moonbase Alpha.

    • Sigma says:

      @caekdaemon
      As long as “John Madden” or “AEIOU” doesn’t make any appearances. :P

      But I’m liking this a lot. So many space building/colonization games in development. :D FAR Colony, Maia, Unclaimed World…I’m pretty happy.

  2. Kordanor says:

    Does not sound bad, but I hope it becomes more of a Dwarf Fortress, where you fail all tha time and failing is fun instead of a regular “City Builder” where you can basically solve all problems by waiting until you got enough money for the next step.

    • Mark says:

      I don’t find certainty in game design fun. Whether its certainty of winning OR certainty of losing.

      • Kordanor says:

        You are somehwat right. But I guess that’s also a matter of definition (as in most games you can load/save which makes it impossible to lose).

        But what I meant was, that it should be challenging. There should be challenges where you can’t just wait for new ressources to continue building. There might be negative events (which you can’t avoid via load/save) and setbacks if you don’t find the right tactic (whih you then can improve on by load/save).

        It shouln’t have the same result if you
        A: You plan ahead, think about what you do
        B: You just plant stuff and use the fast forward button (or go afk) to compensate for you inefficiency.

        At least this is how I see it. And if you don’t like challenges you can still set the game to “easy”.

  3. Zero says:

    God I really want a hard core colonization simulator. Will this be it?

  4. lammaer says:

    Soooo many new games are ANNOUNCED nowdays, I wish the RELEASEs will be that frequent as well. Looks like everyone and their grandma started to develop scifi computer games :)

  5. Mark says:

    I also have been waiting a lifetime for a hard core space colonization simulator. It would be nice if it were possible to attempt to colonize different types of worlds with different environmental conditions and challenges, but oh well, I guess you cant have everything (although that would be nice too).

    I guess I’d just be happy if it does a good job of simulating the colonization of the moon setting. I’ll be crossing my fingers and following this one with great interest, thanks for the heads up Adam.

  6. Lens Flares Suck says:

    I am all up for a game where you don’t shoot stuff. Dear God I am tired of shooting stuff.

  7. Davos says:

    Might be good! Alien legacy was an awesome game :)

  8. Thrangar says:

    If I remember right it reminds me of outpost1 I never could win at that game
    It would be cool if win at the moon colony mine resourses and go to mars next and so on

  9. DevildogFF says:

    You gonna say something about Stadrive beginning preorders and being on Steam?

    :)

  10. vmxaesa says:

    May have to take a look at it as I did like Alien Legacy.

  11. Predictorian says:

    very cool game and graphics indeed. I’m more interested MMO feature of this game. The game follows the trend which is colonization. Graphics reminds me the game Outpost1 by Sierra. Of course SC’s graphics are better in this quantum-cloud computing era. I wish I could jump directly to Spring 2014.

  12. Adam Solo says:

    The Kickstarter campaign is up.

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