Who is developing this? How many people are behind it?
DSS is developed by a Escape Velocity Studios aka Stéphanie Rancourt. Art assets are outsourced to Mathias Koehler, Music is created by Jordan Gagne and SFX are made by Taylor Shechet. James Hostetler provided additional SFX and Devine Lu Linvega helped with webdesign.
How long has development been going on?
Development started in 2011, when it was still Stephanie alone. In mid 2012 Mathias joined.
Is there going to be a linux/mac version?
No Linux/OSX port is planned...yet
Will there be support for languages other than English?
Yes, but not at the first releases.
Is there going to be DRM in any shape or form?
Absolutely, positively, compliantly, DRM-free on release, if you buy through our website. However to distribute updates, it will need a connection & user/pass.
What are (roughly) the system requirements to run the game?
The requirements would be something like Core 2 processor + GeForce 7900 Dx9 or Dx10. Although the game can be scaled up or down. The bigger a galaxy you want to play and the more AI’s you want to fight, the more powerful a system you need.
What engine is DSS using?
DSS is built on the custom developed NiEngine and populated with all original content.
How many players (AI or Human) will be in the final game, as an estimate, or will this be moddable?
No hard limit, completely moddable. But of course it ultimately depends on the power of your machine running the game.
How big star system wise will the game be?
The number of star systems can be scaled up or down as you like. To give you an idea, we aim for somethng betweet 10 to 100 star systems. But the player won't be limited by these numbers(and neither will modders). Not setting hard limits is a core design philosophy in DSS.
It'd be great if you could let us tweak the factions or enemies we come across.
If you are prepared to dig into some xml files, you can do that, since all game content is open and accessible like this.
Is there full range 3D movement? Can you give vertical movement commands?
Yes you can. Check out this video specifically made to demonstrate this.
This game NEEDS 3D support: Anaglyph and for 3D screens. Would that be possible?
That sure would be fun to implement! Oculus Rift support too. That’s all I can say for now.
Everything seems great, except for the UI! What's up with that?
The Interface is very functional at this point. Just as the game, the UI is constantly evolving and is not final.
What is this unit/vicinity mod system?
This is not to be confused with the kind of mod a modder would traditionally create by changing game content.
Instead, it’s a core game mechanic, that influences unit properties. Ships and stations have properties, depending on how they are designed, like mass, power, thrust, armor, shield regen, albedo, dock space, etc.
Unit mods are a flexible way to change any of these properties. If a laser hits a ship the unit mod beamdmg is triggered. As long as there’s enough power, the shieldregen unitmod will be triggered. Every single property can be modified though weapons or support components, positively or negatively.
The vicinity mod is a sub section of a unity mod, that constrains the uniy mod based on vicinity. This allows for components to boost shield strength of closeby friendly units or to limit acceleration and steering of enemies in periphery or maybe suppress light emission and albedo(=cloaking) etc.
Is this RTS (Real Time Strategy) or TBS (Turn Based Strategy)? Some game develpers claim it’s RTS when it’s really TBS or a mix of both.
It’s an RTS. There’s no turns in DSS.
Is this a 4X game?
Yes, all the 4 X's are present. There's exploration(locally in sectors and on the galaxy map), expanding(locally and across the galaxy), exploitation(of resources, wrecks and of traders) and extermination.
It would be nice if you can colonize planets, which you would micro-manage, take care of its people and research rather than focusing on ship building and flashy space battles.
Planets will not be a part of the final release version. Everything you’d usually do on planets in similar games, in DSS you do on stations in deep space. So all empire development is done off-world. The closest thing to a planet in DSS is a colony station.
We are not totally against adding planets as a game mechanic after the final release, but there needs to be a really good reason for them, which we haven’t found yet.
Is there an option to pursue growth by diplomatic means and expand peacefully? I know a lot of people like an exciting combat oriented play style, but I would also like a chillout style of gameplay, especially when it looks as beautiful as this.
You could actually setup a game without the enemy faction, and optionally select just random NPC/traders/pirate spawn rates etc. There will be tons and tons of options when setting up a new game.
Are there advanced mechanics like espionage-sabotage, economical victory, diplomacy, piracy and caper-fleets? It’s important to be cautious and to avoid it turning into a 4X C&c, where you tech-up factories to pump-out strongest unit the fastest amount of time.
There will be advanced mechanics that’s for sure, as to what kind and how they will be implemented is yet to be determined. Due to the customizable nature of the units, there is no single strongest unit. The whole point is to adapt to your enemy. You can try to specialize or generalise your units, both can be good or bad.
I understand there's space combat, but where are the empire building or related 4X elements?
The empire building aspect of the game is basically taking care of your economy and your population. You can build stations that essentially transform resources into other resources. Thus, you create an economy based on production and consumption. Also, you might have to buy resources you do not have access to yet. That's where trading comes in. You'll find neutral traders throughout the galaxy that sell & buy resources. Making good relations and creating trade routes with them will play an important role in the development of your empire.
What about diplomacy? What’s the plan?
Diplomacy is kept to a minimal as of now. I do not feel the need of a complex system other than stating simple relations: either ally, neutral or enemy.
What about factions and alien races?
For the final release, we are going to provide one playable faction(human) and one main enemy faction(alien). There’s also a variety of neutrals of different alien species. Note, that Races and Factions are just content and as such there's a lot of great potential for modding there.
Given that this is a foray into the 4X RTS genre, what are you doing to try to set yourself apart?
There’s Ship- and Station design/customization and a heavy focus on resource logistics. There’s deep modding support, including access to game logic through an API. Furthermore, we have a special twist about how story/diplomacy will work in the game. I can’t say anything more about this as it’s still very WIP, but it will be something never seen before! Also, keep in mind, that games are more than the sum of their features. Even superficially similar games, can play and feel very differently.
Can you salvage resources after ships are destroyed in battle?
Yes, there are sometimes loot boxes, which can be collected and can contain a variety of ship parts.
Is there a planned alpha/beta release? Do you have any idea of when it could come out?
We are working towards releasing a first playable. A specific date will be announced. See thefrontpage for more details.
50USD for an incomplete game is too much, you are greedy!
You can think of our 50USD preorder as a second or third tier KS pledge. If you wouldn't go for that, then don't, no problem, it's fine. The current pre-order is meant for people who really want to support the game and the genre, people who are prepared to give a little more instead of just buying a game, it's not for the average gamer, who's interested in a final, polished game.
Is there going a cheaper way to support you, maybe without getting involved in shaping the game?
Eventually, maybe.
Your design trailer is such a tease! Show me things shooting at other things and stuff blowing the hell up! Whether or not I pre-order your game is literally contingent upon how cool the explosions are, and if huge ships and stations leave debris fields! D:
We know that exploding spaceships is what many people really want to see, haha. Still, there’s a lot of good reasons for developing the non-combat parts of the game, which is what we’ve mostly done so far and which is what makes DSS unique. Combat, including explosions, will be refined and polished for the FP release.