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Game News Turn-based tactical sci-fi RPG Element: Space released on Steam Early Access

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Element: Space; Inca Games; Sixth Vowel

    Earlier this year we learned about Element: Space, an upcoming RPG from Argentinian studio Sixth Vowel that seems to be a kind of turn-based tactical take on Mass Effect. The press release said it was going to launch in Q4 of this year. Well, it has launched - on Steam Early Access, which may or may not have been the plan all along. The Early Access launch trailer features an intense narrator but doesn't really showcase any gameplay at all, so I'll also post the gameplay trailer the developers put together for PAX West back in August, alongside the accompanying press release.



    BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2018 – Argentina-based incubator and publisher Inca Games, today announced that Element: Space, the first game from its in-house development studio Sixth Vowel, is now available for PC/Steam as Early Access for $19.99 USD. In this squad-based tactical RPG where decisions have consequences, players must forge alliances and build loyalty to save humanity from extinction. The full PC version is slated to launch in Q1, 2019 for $29.99 USD, with additional platforms to follow.

    Inca Games wants to use Early Access to reward fans who have been supporting the team through the game’s development, as well as getting player feedback, doing final gameplay balancing and polishing, and locking down strategic partnerships to help with discoverability and distribution.

    “Element: Space is an ambitious title from a studio of our size and, with it being our first game, we feel our players and community are an important component in making the game the best it can be, in terms of testing and feedback,” said Javier Entelman, President and CEO of Inca Games and Sixth Vowel. "We were simply amazed and overwhelmed by the incredible response from players when we debuted the game at PAX West this year, so Early Access is a way we can let those early supporters enjoy Element: Space while we are in the final stages of development.”

    More than two years in the making by a team of 50 developers, Element: Space is estimated to be one of the biggest games solely conceived and developed in the Spanish language Latin American region. The challenges and learnings the team faced during the game’s development was the impetus to form the Inca Games publishing arm to help other indie studios in the region, foster LatAm’s games ecosystem, and shine a light on its games and talent.

    The Game


    As Captain Christopher Pietham, players must align with an ideology, and strategically select and lead their squad of diverse companions into intergalactic conflict; dealing with the consequences of their choices throughout Element: Space’s deep story and rich combat.

    The single-player game has core aspects of a classic squad-based tactical RPG but, rather than procedurally-generated missions, each is hand-crafted, non-linear, contains free-form combat, and is revealed based upon the player’s selection of factions, ideology, companions and more. Players experience 8 of the 24 nonlinear missions or submissions each time they play, determined by their choices, for an estimated 12-15+ hours per playthrough, so the game must be replayed to experience the entire universe and story.

    There are 8 faction worlds to explore, each with its own distinct culture and agenda, and building bonds with each may be rewarded with unique bonuses. There are also 8 potential companions from which players may select their squad. Each unlocks different stories, weapons and/or specialized combat skills, and amplifies aspects of the other squad members. Woven throughout the game is the ‘Sixth Vowel’, a power which can best be described as humanity’s capacity for altering reality by manipulating sound, light and motion at will, either to help or harm.

    Turn-based free-form combinations of movement, skills and attacks enables a team-based approach to the Element: Space combat system. A wide selection of melee and ranged weapons, some unlockable based on faction relationships, is available. Not only does each companion have unique skills, with no two characters having the same combination of archetypes, but each set of enemies combine their abilities to challenge the player in a new way that adds to the replayability of the game.

    Element: Space Early Access for PC can be downloaded on Steam, on the game’s website, and soon on Humble Bundle for the discounted price of $19.99 USD while the full version of the game will be $29.99 USD. Early Access players will be automatically upgraded to the full game at launch. For additional information, please visit www.element-space.com.
    As the press release says, Element: Space is available on Steam for $20, and it's also 33% off until next week, which is pretty damn cheap. The final release is now scheduled for Q1 2019.
     
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  2. Shilandra Learned

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    Well I was looking for something to play. I didn't think the game would come out like this when I preordered it but If it can help them make a better game down the road I'm willing to give it a shot even though I don't normally do early access.
     
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  3. Feyd Rautha Cipher Patron

    Feyd Rautha
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    Should I get this? How's the story and world building?
     
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  4. Iluvcheezcake Learned

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    Cautiosly optimistic
     
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  5. SlumLord Unwanted Edgy

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    Not a fan of Unity and its claustrophobic levels, or ugly-looking asset models that have Humble Bundle painted all over them.

    But ignoring that for a moment, I see three major problems with this game:

    (1) If you're gonna explore the grimdark theme of high-stakes, post-technological war, then maybe choose an aesthetic that fits the bill? Less lights, more shadows, grittier surfaces, edgier (in a non-sarcastic way) portraits, worn-out armor/weapons that give the feeling like they've actually *seen* combat, and heroic character models that don't all share the same proportions and copy-pasted assets with just their heads modeled separately. I've no idea why devs continue to insist on this sterile, washed-out aesthetic. This kind of visual uniformity was one of my main gripes with Wasteland 2 - it lacks soul! And it's not like it takes more or less time to model the same ammo crate or destructible box or henchman or armor or whatever, regardless of concept. Make it more visually stimulating, for fuck's sake, purely from an aesthetic viewpoint!

    (2) Who in their right mind thinks gating content behind subsequent playthroughs is a good idea? Especially in Current Year +2, when even AAA titles have sub-30% completion rates? Are the devs so high on their own fumes that they think anyone's gonna give a shit about their game to replay it a second time? Or even a third?! Sure, *some* people might, but what's the percentage rate here? So they're essentially flaying away over 50% of their game just to cater to a minor sub-faction of an already niche-within-a-niche market? Whoever thought this was a good idea needs a smack on the head. Especially since people expect 30+ hours from tactical RPGs nowadays.

    (3) Epic narratives encompassing entire star systems and galaxies (like mentioned in the trailer) all sound fun, but at the end of the day why the hell should the player care? Unless they're focusing the story on your personal squad -- and setting it against the backdrop of a larger conflict or crisis -- I see no reason why anyone will give a rat's ass about generic scifi setting #22830. Again, what kind of investment does the player have when you plunk them down *after* a large-scale galactic conflict that's already been resolved? So you're essentially spinning a story about celestial warfare, but then forcing the player to miss out on the meat and potatoes while going around picking up the pieces and fallout of said conflict? Yeah, brilliant.


    Depite all this, I hope the game does well and surprises everyone. I'll probably pick it up; there's always a dearth of good sci-fi RPGs.

    And good luck to the devs... they'll need it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
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  6. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
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    (1) Aesthetics that suggest resource scarcity are sort of a red herring if the setting doesn't actually suffer from resource scarcity. Everything looks pristine in Star Trek for example because they are no serious resource shortages, just opposing values and mind sets.

    (2) Iron Tower does. It's a route driven narrative structure and it's normal.

    (3) I mean, you have to play the game and experience the story if you want a chance at feeling the stakes.
     
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  7. Safav Hamon Savant The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    RPG fans
     
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  8. Black Angel Cipher

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  9. I want to be Life Coach Grorious Reeeeeder Patron

    I want to be Life Coach
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    A 30-50 hr game is "high on their own fumes"?:lol:
     
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  10. SlumLord Unwanted Edgy

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    @BlackAngel

    How does that discount my opinion, or what I wrote? Shitposting aside, devs are essentially robbing the playerbase of content by gating it behind new playthroughs. And their game isn't Kenshi or Battle Brothers where you run thorugh a sandbox whose systems are designed from the ground up to handle 90% of the game's content generation. If you watched the trailer you'd notice the missions are scriped, with written dialogue and cutscenes. So by artificially closing off sections of content, you're basically chunking the game. It's like separating pieces of it as DLC, instead of charging money to unlock it you're charging time. It's an asinine decision, especially on a first project which should endeavor to win over fans who've never heard of the company or this game.

    Again, this is nonsensical. Why would you force the player to replay the game thrice, when you could simply allow for one long continuous campaign? And like I mentioned above, their game isn't a sandbox with specifically designed systems that create a new experience every time you play. It's like they wanted to combine the best of scripted RPGs and sandbox ones, but instead came out with the worst elements of each.


    An old title that could've been handled like this is Freespace 2. The devs could've forced you to play through it 2-3 times to experience everything, and it would even make sense from a narrative standpoint if they made you a pilot with different squadrons. So instead of blitzing through the campaign, you play it multiple times, but each time from a different PoV.

    But they didn't do this, because Volition had brains and knew how to craft an engaging narrative. And they were right - a single long campaign always trumps multiple, disassociated ones.
     
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  11. Safav Hamon Savant The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    Some people value choice and consequence, and don't mind replaying a good game in order to see all of the content.
     
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  12. SlumLord Unwanted Edgy

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    Fair point, but C&C-heavy content shouldn't be the go-to design option for a first game. It's sub-optimal, since you're hoping customers will replay the thing, when the truth is most don't do that even for much larger products with higher production values.

    I'm just saying that they have enough hills to climb with their first game, and they don't need another boulder blocking their way.
     
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  13. Agame Learned

    Agame
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    Someone should introduce this guy to a little game called Age of Decadence...
     
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  14. SlumLord Unwanted Edgy

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    Followed it through development here on the Dex, played it at launch. Didn't enjoy it all that much. Nothing against Vault Dweller, but the game itself didn't draw me into the world enough to warrant a 2nd playthrough.

    I'm not saying C&C is bad or that it shouldn't be done; I'm saying it's not an optimal course for a first offering from a studio simply because there's a large chunk of your customers who'll only play once, and won't ever get to experience all that other stuff you slaved for years to create.
     
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  15. Agame Learned

    Agame
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    I get what you are saying, but considering almost no developers, big or small, are creating games with meaningful C&C, you are basically saying lets just not bother with it.

    So I for one applaud them, aim high and fuck appealing to the popamole retardos.
     
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  16. SlumLord Unwanted Edgy

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    I'd be all too happy if they made a good game, but all too often products come out a lot worse than advertised, and I'm sick and tired of disappointment. It'd be a wonderful world if we could have 100-hour tacticool RPGs with heavy C&C popping out left and right, but creating even a derivative CRPG with moderately satisfying gameplay and a painfree bugless experience is a mean feat on its own (and that's before you get into the nitty-gritty like reactivity).

    I'm also personally not very fond of multiple restarts from square 1, unless the game's a sandbox experience that'll last for at least 50 hours (but that's just my pet peeve).

    Good luck to the devs, hopefully they'll surprise us and deliver.
     
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