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Void of Darkness: A Little Ship Exploring a Big Universe

By on July 26th, 2013 9:34 am

Void of Darkness | 3D space combat action-RPG

Justin Sampson, a brave indie dev soul from Barbados island, decided to form a one man studio named Tropical Games, to develop a sci-fi action-RPG inspired by Starflight games called Void of Darkness.

Justin says that Starflight 1 & 2 by Binary Systems represent some of his fondest memories of gaming. He adds that, while he thinks there were other excellent space games developed since then, none has captured what he labels as the “little ship exploring a big universe” experience, at least not like Starflight did.

So, the whole idea seems to be to develop a Starflight inspired game, one which could be looked at as an unofficial sequel to Starflight 2. Proposed features include space combat, exploration, alien interaction, crew management, technology upgrading and trade, all this through a sandbox non-linear storyline.

Void of Darkness seems to be a lot about combat, but Justin also emphasizes other gameplay aspects, like exploration, where you’ll be able to find wormholes and other space phenomena, and discover alien artifacts in the process. Crew management also seems to play a big role. You should be able to recruit and manage your crew. This crew would then keep you informed on the ship’s status and make you aware of events as they occur.

Void of Darkness | Space anomaly exploration

Justin Sampson’s Void of Darkness proposal in a nutshell:

  • 2D space combat action-RPG (inspired by Starflight 1 and 2)
  • Explore, trade, fight and upgrade in a sandbox non-linear storyline
  • Windows, Mac and Linux
  • $10 pledge to get a digital game copy
  • ETA: Alpha in September 2013; Beta in December 2013
  • Goal: $5,000 (until July 30th, 11:59PM PT)
  • Fixed funding campaign (only gets funds if minimum funding goal is achieved)
  • Why Kickstarter: To fund art, special FX and UI for better immersion; to capture feedback to help shape the game

Justin is at Pre-Alpha. He plans to reach Alpha by September and Beta later in the year. There seems to be a lot done already. The combat part seems to be quite solid already, at least judging from the videos. So, if you’re a fan of Starflight games, are into action-RPG or just like to play a sandbox game that gives you full freedom to go anywhere you want in the galaxy, this seems like a project worth checking out.

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9 Comments


  1. Shiver says:

    Looks interesting possibly a bit like FTL but more in depth maybe? Off topic this article really needs proof reading.

  2. Alien JD says:

    So kind of like the Space Rangers games? I loved those.

    • Ivan says:

      Those game were nice concept but way too difficult. There was “easy” difficulty and there were cheats but the game can still pwn you 80% of time. Prohibitively expensive repairs, douchbag allies (you kill enemy they scoop cargo and run away), time pressure and too few ways to make a money. No to mention super fragile stations (3-5 times more HP than players ship but can’t run out of weapon range) that were important for progress.

      Anyway, I wish there was more games like that and like Starscape.

  3. Buxaroo says:

    You had me at Starflight :D

  4. Kurrick says:

    I’m with you Buxaroo! Starflight was the first PC game I ever bought and absolutely Loved it! I have been wanting another one like it every since I finished 1 and then 2, There have been a lot of space games but there has been nothing like starflight except starflight 2.

    Fondly remember using the Veloxi for in flight refueling from about the mid point on lol

  5. Alex says:

    Speaking as an official tester, I think Justin has done an excellent job with developing his game thus far. The current pre-alpha build is quite stable, and very functional indeed. The combat system is looking good, and exploration & trading are in their rudimentary stages (but what rudimentary is in a pre-alpha I don’t know \o/ ).

    Overall, the frame has been constructed over the foundations and now it is time to build the house. Although I am a biased individual, I believe VoD has the potential for greatness, as expressed by Justin’s progress & his choice of feature selection.

  6. Buxaroo says:

    Oh I just noticed the Linux support…oh yes indeed :)

  7. Gary says:

    It doesn’t appear that the Indiegogo project will be successful, so I hope Adam or Keith keeps us updated on this game.


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