The Future of Battlescape

I just wanted to throw in my 5 cents worth in regards to Battlescape’s future, especially when compared to other upcoming space sims/games. First I think we can all agree that Battlescape is incredibly unique and does things Star Citizen can only dream of with its never ending Engine development (i.e. fixing) and extremely limited number of players in any given system, not to mention a plethora of loading screens. No question, CIG has captured the imagination but sadly they are struggling to keep up with it.

Elite Dangerous however is starting to look more and more like the little Engine that could and is well on the way to landing on planets and driving in a buggy. Rumor also has it that Elite Dangerous will be introducing Avatars for first person sometime next year but again this is only rumor. If this is indeed the case then Star Citizen will look less and less appealing, especially given it’s never ending struggle to make their engine work - a stark contrast to the Elite Dangerous Engine which has already proven itself remarkably stable and reliable. Of course stability and reliability means little without content but Elite is heading in a more positive direction in this regard and as a result is leading the pack in Space-sim game development, in my opinion. However, Elite’s limitations, like Star Citizen’s, is a very small player count in any given instance so it remains to be seen whether Elite can capitalize on future development.

So what does the future hold for Infinity Battlescape? And should we as supporters even care about the direction of other Space-sims? After all, Battlescape is already incredibly unique and offers other things Star Citizen and Elite do not: it offers a large player count; it offers seamless transition/travel from planet to planet without loading screens; landing on planets with or without atmospheres; it offers amazing ships that are, in my opinion, far more aesthetically pleasing than either space sims, and lastly it offers the best visuals of any procedural engine out there.

So should we be worried? Unfortunately yes. Because even the best products can’t sell if they don’t keep up with market expectations. And market expectation are now looking towards a fully functioning universe with space battles, planet interaction and first person avatars. Of course we are all here to support Battlescape and see the DEVs visions through to the end, but as the Kick Starter clearly demonstrated, a great product needs more than great trailers and screen shots - it needs to inspire people to support it and it needs PR to make that happen. More importantly, however, it needs to keep up with the prevailing galactic winds and provide content beyond space battles and missions. It needs to think to the future and that future will include planet interaction and first person avatars.

Of course I don’t expect Battlescape’s DEVs to suddenly provide planet interaction and avatars, especially at this stage of development. But I think it is something they should seriously consider - preferably as an official stretch goal. Because as things stand, whether we like it or not, there will be competition for players in the coming years, and if Battlescape doesn’t take into account other developments in a highly competitive market, it will be very difficult to find players willing to spend their hard earned money to play Battlescape.

But I predict Battlescape, once it has upped its PR game, will begin to attract more and more players over the coming months, especially with the introduction of new ships and player inspired videos. And with large player counts potential supporters will most definitely sit up and take notice. But lets not ignore other space-sims and pretend we will not be competing with them. And lets not become complacent and expect people to fall all over themselves to play Battlescape. It’s a rough and tumble universe out there and DEVs are going to have to put on their game face - even with the best engine out there.


I-Novae promised a large player count. They believe they can achieve it, but the netcode isn’t anything other than the prototype was, a prototype, and even tough a simulated test was run I don’t think we can just say that the I-Novae engine can currently support what it aims to and promised. But that’s ok, because they didn’t even start working on that yet.

The points following after that quote are correct, except for the ship part, the style has been established, but there aren’t any ships yet and, as we can see even with our small community here, style preference is a very subjective thing. I don’t think there exists an objective “better” when it comes to style and both Elite and Star Citizen have “valid” styles.

To your actual point. “Keeping up with the competition. Upping the game, quite literally, function/feature wise.”

The I-Novae team has been pretty clear about that exact question.

They have a vision of Infinity:Battlescape and want to deliver a complete game by 2017.
They made clear that some of the stretchgoals (also hidden ones, yes there are hidden ones) may be realised if after Kickstarter Funding reaches that level of funding. Feature creep is something they very clearly want to prevent from the get go. Your suggestion is working against that goal.
For instance, The “Astralis Collective” won’t be added. Even if they make 2.5 Million with after Kickstarter sales.
They have never mentioned any plans to add any other stretchgoals, and I don’t see how that would be compatible with their goal to prevent feature creep. DLC Addons could be a thing after the completion of the game tough.

I think the main selling point of I:B will be the well polished, fun, base gameplay. I would rather see the team invest the time they have into that then add features to “keep up” with the competition. Because that’s a loosing battle, I-Novae is an indie team, they can’t keep up. Uniqueness is all they have.

What features or stretch goals did you have in mind @Zen ?

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Do people compare CS:GO to ARMA 3 saying CS should have vehicles and bigger maps? They are both FPS set on Earth where you control a human being but no, they don’t make those comparisons because they are different genres.

Do people compare DOTA2 to World of Warcraft saying it should have full persistence? They are both ARTS. No because one is an arena ARTS and the other is a MMO adventure ARTS.

Just because Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous and Infinity: Battlescape are first person space ship games doesn’t mean I:B is the same genre as the other two, or that I:B should attempt to compete with them or incorporate features from those games.

Infinity: Battlescape introducing walking avatars because Star Citizen has them would be like CS:GO introducing helicopters because ARMA has them.


Infinity: Battlescape is not competing with Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous. It is not competing because it cannot compete. It is an indie game being made with a budget of less than $300,000 (once taxes and commissions have been taken).

Battlescape is a completely different genre, it’s only the setting that is the same.

If Battlescape is incredibly successful then maybe a persistent MMO could be made by I-Novae in future. But that will be a different game. The general scope for Battlescape has been set in stone and will not (and should not) change.



I know it’s tempting to compare us to E:D or SC because we have large ambitions, but really you should be comparing to other indy games of a lower scale. We can’t compete with E:D or SC with 1% of their budget, no matter how you stretch it.


I think the fact that they are different genres is more compelling than the different budget.

Consumers will base their decision on features and gameplay, not sympathy for lack of budget. Justify I:B’s features and gameplay with design decisions. Yes the budget informed those design decisions, but budget shouldn’t be the go-to explanation/‘excuse’.

No avatars because not an MMORPG.
rather than
No avatars because budget.

It would be smart to completely avoid any mention of Infinity:MMO these next two years, realistically this team can not make it and a realistic budget for a MMO sits in the millions on a shoe string budget. IBS should not be presented as a stepping stone, it rather needs to be a foundation and that should be the focus, not some far fetched dream.


I disagree. Different genres work when the games are more or less in the same category, but comparing an indy game with a AA+ game is… like… hum…

Hell, Space Engineers probably has a budget higher than ours.


A better comparison to budget is probably man-hours, how much can 3 coders and a few artists achieve in 2 years worth of work?

Also “space” is basically a genre to the general public, you will be compared to ED and SC no matter what you do, the only thing you can do is avoid comparing yourself to them as developers.

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And therefore if someone says “Why won’t I:B let the player build their own ship out of panels and weld them together like Space Engineers?”, will your answer be “Because Space Engineers developer has a higher budget” ?
I doubt it. I expect your answer will be "Because we are making a space combat game, not a spaceship construction game.".

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[quote=“hrobertson, post:10, topic:1471”]
I doubt it. I expect your answer will be “Because we are making a space combat game, not a spaceship construction game.”.[/quote]

Yes, but it’s also a consequence of the budget. If it did fit our vision and we wanted to add construction elements to the game, then either you 1) increase the budget or 2) cut other planned features to fit it in the existing budget. There is no reality in which you add more features for the same budget.

I mean, Star Citizen has a pretty cool damage visual damage model. It fits our genre, but we’re not gonna do it because of our budget.

I don’t see people go compare a game like Hotline Miami with GTA and asking for more features/effects/content “because GTA has them”, so I don’t see why you’d go at Battlescape and ask for features from SC.


I completely agree. That is what I was saying in response to the OP.

A cool visual damage model fits I:B’s genre but is beyond the budget and so if someone says I:B should have it, the explanation would be the low budget.

First person avatars as requested in the OP does not fit I:B’s genre and so if someone says I:B should have it, the explanation should not be the low budget.


I see your point. But unfortunately a new standard is being formed with planet interaction and first person - feature creep cannot evolve around providing basic content.

I:B is a game that focuses on vehicle combat. That’s what the Kickstarter was for. Adding the ability to get out of ships would essentially mean creating a second game that is essentially a first person shooter. It means the creation of new gameplay and game mechanics, it means solving a new host of networking and balance problems and then it needs to be integrated into an existing game, severely changing that game in the process. Which would be great for a DLC or expansion or total conversion mod. But it is not what the base I:B game is.

Edit: The only way I’d see first person being integrated in the base I:B game is if it happens while you’re in a carrier or space station and selecting a ship. But I don’t think the tiny bit of immersion produced by that would be worth not working on other, more useful and more fun things.

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Yes, Battlescape cannot financially compete with SC, E:D and other games. But it can compete in other areas like ideas, consistency, timely releases, PR but most importantly of all, inspiration and fan generated content. Battlescape can have all the money in the world but if I-Novae doesn’t have a solid product it will only go so far. Fortunately, I think the DEVs have a very solid product. Of course the other argument is you can’t move forward without financial support, but receiving financial support depends on providing what people want. Or at the very least providing an environment that is conducive to selling a product. And whether we like it or not I-Novae is selling a product even though it is entertainment.

Anyway, I pretty well said all I wanted to say on the matter. This will be my last reply as I would rather focus on the present than the future. Just felt it needed to be said and perhaps provide some content. And whether I-Novae continues on it’s present course or not, I am 110% behind the DEVs.

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Adhering to what other space games do isn’t vital by any stretch. I-Novae Studios doesn’t have to cater to those who play other space games. How about those other space game developers cater there fan base by the choices INS create. After all, they are a very creative bunch over here.

Infinity is competitive in ways with SC and ED. The key front is that it has an engine that doesn’t need to be rebuilt to handle seamless transitions onto planets that are full scale.

That hard part is already done. The rest of it is basically incrementally improving the engine and building a game within it - no small task, but one that is more of a path that’s already been traveled.

Finances don’t mean everything. Minecraft was an indie project and it’s iconic now. I see Infinity possibly becoming huge because its core gameplay with the seamless engine is insanely awesome. The structure of Infinity is already in place for a bunch of incremental bells and whistles to be added.

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This more or less sums up our approach to I:B as we move forward, you are on the same page as the dev team.

True however Minecraft has broader market appeal than we do. The key to Minecraft’s crazy valuation was a combination of their mass market appeal, particularly among children, and merchandising. Our core demographic based on traffic is 25 - 35 year old men followed by 18 - 25 year old men. These people don’t have as much time to play games however they do have more money and are willing to spend it for the right product. We just have to make sure we build the right product =).


Yep. I am not saying we’ll be as big as minecraft - I’m just saying that we could surpass some giants without the same kind of initial funding.