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Default RPGWatch Feature - Colony Ship Interview

April 20th, 2020, 18:45
Pladio reached out to Iron Towers Studio and got to ask them a couple of questions about Colony Ship.

RPGWatch: Now that introductions are out of the way, please tell us a bit of the Colony Ship RPG. What is the background of the game ? How will it play ? Mechanically, is the game Age of Decadence in space ? How will players move from location to location in this new game ? How will exploration work ?

It's a generation ship game, meaning a colony ship traveling at sub-light speed, the voyage taking centuries (and many generations of the would-be colonists). Naturally, the game would be boring if everything went according to plan and everyone knew their place, so a mutiny brings in much needed chaos, destroys the old order and half the ship in the process, and creates three main factions plus a score of smaller groups.

While Colony Ship is based on the same design principles as AoD, I wouldn't call it AoD in space as the differences are fairly significant: party instead of single character, turn-based stealth instead of text-adventure, learn by using instead of point-buy, stronger focus on exploration and secondary locations, etc.

As for the travel system, you'd have to reach each new location 'manually' since they are all interconnected. You start the game in a container town sitting in one of the cargo holds. You'll be able to explore the locations surrounding the cargo hold, although you won't get far without better gear and skills. If you want to get to the Habitat (a mega 'building' housing the three main factions), you need to cross the Factory (industrial decks between the cargo hold and the Habitat). Crossing such locations will always be a challenge, so you won't be able to simply run for the exit.

Once you've reached a location, you'd be able to fast-travel there.
More information.
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April 20th, 2020, 18:47
Thanks Pladio
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April 20th, 2020, 18:55
I really hope this releases before Fall 2021 as Steam seems to estimate. Can't wait to get my hands on the full release of it. As usual, I'm skipping EA, demos and such, I'm not interested on paying for beta testing unfinished products and spoiling my own fun as I get bored of the game before I can even finish it.
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April 20th, 2020, 19:07
Thanks Vince & Pladio!

Stat- & skill-driven and dialogue-skill-checks - I like this already.
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April 20th, 2020, 19:11
Thanks Pladio, good questions (and good answers!). I enjoyed Age of Decadence and I'm looking forward to this. I particularly enjoyed his description of the complaints received on the difficulty setting for Dungeon Rats!
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April 20th, 2020, 19:15
Thanks for posting
A Combat Demo is available for those who want to have a go at the game.
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April 20th, 2020, 19:23
Nice read! Can't wait to get me hands on it!

And I also want them to spend the next 20 years evolving on this concept!
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April 20th, 2020, 21:23
Thanks for the interview, Pladio!
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April 21st, 2020, 17:28
I for one have to say that I very much appreciated the difficulty settings in Dungeon Rats. Perhaps too many people who appreciate a feature are the silent majority, where a minority of very vocal whiners destroy a feature for everyone else.
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April 21st, 2020, 20:47
Yeah I liked the difficulty settings as well. To be honest I found "normal" too hard in Dungeon Rats, no doubt because I didn't understand the systems very well. I remember cutting through most encounters after a few attempts, but ultimately coming to some giant worm things that kept wiping out my party and I couldn't work out how to beat them. That's fine; it's good to have games that you can't just beat by clicking on things. When I replay I'll do it on easy and spend more time working out all the combat systems. I had a similar experience with Alien Isolation, which I enjoyed more after wacking it down to easy and working out the gameplay (I'm not one for stealth games generally)

If I'm enjoying the game and it's systems, I sometimes go back at higher difficulty levels - eg I just nearly completed an iron man run on Knights of the Chalice (I suffered an agonising total party wipe out against the lich in the room next to the main dragon baddie, which I'm still annoyed about )
I have no intention of starting Colony Ship off on hard just for the sake of it - definitely normal on my first playthtough, with an expectation that I'll probably find that challenging enough.
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April 26th, 2020, 06:22
Pladio gets an interview with the prestigious Vault Dweller and only 1 page of comments 5 days later?
Vince: You can say that we're deeply committed to a certain design:

- turn-based & isometric
- stat- and skill-driven (i.e. stats and skills do more than help you kill things)
- dialogue trees with more skill checks than can you shake a stick at
- choices & consequences (from multiple solutions to branching storyline)

We'd like to spend the next 20 years evolving this design, improving it with each and every game.



2021 might be the best year for RPGs ever, if things line up right. Pathfinder: WotR, BG3, Colony Ship, Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen, Geneforge remake?

Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
Yeah I liked the difficulty settings as well. To be honest I found "normal" too hard in Dungeon Rats, no doubt because I didn't understand the systems very well. I remember cutting through most encounters after a few attempts, but ultimately coming to some giant worm things that kept wiping out my party and I couldn't work out how to beat them. That's fine; it's good to have games that you can't just beat by clicking on things. When I replay I'll do it on easy and spend more time working out all the combat systems.
I played Dungeon Rats on normal and was surprised at how well I was able to do. I was expecting balls-busting combat difficulty like AoD. I think having multiple characters just brings in a lot more ways to approach things, ways to make up for having non-optimally-built characters.

Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
I have no intention of starting Colony Ship off on hard just for the sake of it - definitely normal on my first playthtough, with an expectation that I'll probably find that challenging enough.
Is Colony Ship actually going to have multiple difficulty levels? Can't find confirmation, but based on some things VD has been saying, I figured it wouldn't.
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April 26th, 2020, 07:33
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post


2021 might be the best year for RPGs ever, if things line up right. Pathfinder: WotR, BG3, Colony Ship, Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen, Geneforge remake?
Unless they've vastly improved their pipeline, no way Colony Ship comes out in 2021.
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April 26th, 2020, 07:56
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
Unless they've vastly improved their pipeline, no way Colony Ship comes out in 2021.
Alright well I'm just going on what VD said in the interview here, which is "the end of 2021 sounds fairly realistic right now". And he's generally a pretty realistic-timeline guy - these days, anyway. The one in my list that I'd actually be least confident about is Realms Beyond, just due to lack of much solid information there, although that hopefully changes soon when the "combat demo" is out.
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April 26th, 2020, 16:30
AoD can't serve as a good frame of reference here. For example, when we released AoD's combat demo and started working on the full demo, we had nothing else (no locations, no quests, no experience). The lack of experience (especially when it comes to scripting) was the bigger problem than the lack of levels and quests combined.

In comparison, the Pit level design is almost done, the quests are ready for scripting, and Unreal 4 makes many things much easier in general. If we manage to release the first 3 locations on Early Access by the end of the year, we'll have a very good chance (75%) to release the game by the end of next year. Keep in mind that we'll also have to work on the stealth system this year but by the end of 2020 all mechanics will be completed and we'd be able to fully focus on the content.

However, if we fail to hit Early Access by the end of the year, we won't be able to release the game by the end of 2021, so it's a good indicator of the overall progress.
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April 26th, 2020, 16:56
I take it that it's not decided yet whether Colony Ship will have multiple difficulty levels? (Based on you not commenting on that at all…)
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April 26th, 2020, 17:34
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
I take it that it's not decided yet whether Colony Ship will have multiple difficulty levels? (Based on you not commenting on that at all…)
Someone made a good suggestion: "… special feat for the easy mode, beginner's Luck : +10 THC +10 Evade +10 HP)". I prefer this option the most.
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April 26th, 2020, 17:57
That's a pretty slick way to do it, I like that it has a basis in the game world ("your character has beginner's luck") rather than being something imposed entirely from the outside, without even an attempt at any kind of in-game justification or explanation. I guess it would go on all characters, not just your main character?
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