Design and then improve the ultimate mothership. Explore a persistent living galaxy populated by 200 unique captains that can do everything you can do. Survive the zombie infection and then fight them back. Make allies and start your own faction. Build your empire. Also includes Sandbox Mode.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (24 reviews) - 79% of the 24 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,100 reviews) - 83% of the 1,100 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 17, 2016

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Important Note: SPAZ 2 is not a direct sequel to SPAZ 1. It is a new game with brand new gameplay mechanics but is set in the same universe with the same cast. SPAZ 2 is themed around scavenging and survival and the mechanics reflect that. Those looking for a direct SPAZ 1 sequel will not find it here. Those looking to try something new, certainly will find that. :)

We have been working on SPAZ 2 full time for almost 4 years. The single player campaign and sandbox modes are working, but we would like community suggestions for the tuning and for methods to improve the campaign flow. SPAZ 2 is built on an emergent living galaxy with 200 persistent captains, and the two of us here at MinMax just cannot explore all the dark corners of a galaxy on our own. In just the first week, we have already implemented many community suggestions that have made the game even better.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We estimate between 6 and 12 months, but we won't mark SPAZ 2 as released until we feel that it is a complete game that we can be proud of. We are excited to see what players think of SPAZ 2 and to hear their ideas for improvements.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“A big focus right now will be doing a better job of teaching the player the many gameplay systems, particularly on the Starmap. So the tutorial content now as well as early progression is definitely in an Early Access state. Some people get it right away, but others struggle and we need to work on that.

Right now, the main cast voices are all synthesized. We expect to hire voice acting talent for most of the main cast for final, though if everyone loves the synthesized voices, this may change.

Throughout Early Access we will also be working on localization and will attempt to bring the game to Mac and Linux.

Achievements and Trading Cards will come on line throughout Early Access.

Tuning, Tuning, Optimization, Tuning.

Stretch goal: VR. We have done a huge amount of multi layer gfx compositing that MAY make double camera rendering impossible now, but we will investigate solutions near the end of Early Access.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“SPAZ 2 already has an ocean of depth and content. The combat mode and starmap mode are fully functional games in their own right, and all the systems are interacting with one another.

There are over 90 ship and station parts as well as over 30 weapons.

There are 200 persistent and unique AI captains.

The AI captains remember, make friends and enemies, join and leave factions and do just about everything the player can. The AI captains already have over 90 relations events that they can monitor on the starmap.

There is a full levelup perk system that is unlimited at the top end.

There is a lore system that bridges the gap between SPAZ 1 and SPAZ 2.

You can join a faction, build your own, or just remain a filthy neutral.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price may be increased on release from early access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“As with SPAZ 1, the community will be a vital part of the completion process for SPAZ 2. We at MinMax do not have a monopoly on good ideas and had a great experience upgrading SPAZ 1 with community ideas and support.

We have maintained and active forum presence over the last two years while SPAZ 2 has been on the coming soon list. As we have brought new features online, we have discussed them with the community and have gotten their input. Some suggestions have even already made it into the game. We have tried to be as open as possible with our ideas and progress and will continue to do so throughout Early Access and beyond.”
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Recent updates View all (22)

March 28

V0.9.1 Super Sandbox Upgrade!



Hi All,

This update was all about replayability. We are going to get right into the guts of the update because there is a lot to read!


At a high level, here are the major upgrades:

  • Flight physics got a big upgrade, which also lead to a 20% CPU savings.
  • Improved missiles to make them a more viable choice.
  • Added ability to hot swap the root core in the inventory level.
  • Changed Fighter energy consumption to be on attack only.
  • Added an Insane difficulty mode for experts who hate themselves.
  • Added Extended core modes (now have up to 21 cores)
  • Upgraded the sandbox mode with 73 sliders and new pre-defined game modes.
  • Added the Milky Colossus (a huge 200 sector map!)

One important note:

This was a huge update, and we are just two people. We tested this as best as we could, but the breadth of changes in this update would require an army to test properly. The old map has had three years of testing and the new map has had about a week. Also, we tried to apply logical limits to the tuning sliders, but there are thousands of permutations to the possible tuning now. So we “think” everything is good, but we expect a few hot fixes to come in the next couple days as you find and hopefully report weirdness. The game just got a whole lot bigger...


Flight Physics Improvements:

One of our big goals was to optimize the physics a little more to allow for more cores and to take some of the pressure off slower CPUs. The end result of this work is that there should be about 20% less physics load on the CPU, and when the load gets high, fps drops will be less noticeable. So it was a pretty big win.

The root of the upgrade is that we now use physics for everything flight related. This means the ship handling will feel slightly different and may be a bit foreign at first. The ship banking used to be controlled by a forced rotation over time that overrode physics (this lead to some nasty problems we will discuss below as well.) This is why the banking could feel a bit robotic, because it was. Now we use some crazy vector math to handle the banking with physics forces.

From your perspective:

Some ships will bank more quickly and others more slowly than before. Since the banking is using real physics the shape along the spine of the ship matters. It takes very little force to rotate a pencil along its length, but a lot more to rotate something with wings sticking out from the center line.

Root core placement matters. This is where the physics is centered (somewhat) So if you put the root core up front you can make turns that can slide out the tail end on fast turns (this feels pretty good) Experiment with a placement you like.

Ships now nose down or up on turns. Ship pitch rotation is no longer locked, so on turns they look a lot more dynamic.

One extremely awesome side effect is that ramming and collisions look fantastic. If you see an arena event with the Krule Intention ship, try it out and you will see what the new physics can do.

Extra physics info for nerds:

So physics and the frame rate update at different speeds. This means that physics needs to interpolate between drawn frames to look smooth. Now when we were doing the robotic banking, it was fighting this interpolation because we were forcibly changing the physics all the time. This lead to a “tick” it was really fast and you may have never noticed it, but you probably heard it (ears are better at picking this stuff up) So if you did a high speed turn in the past your engine sound would kind of warble. That warble was the sound of the physics being reset dozens of times per second. Tick Tick Tick. Drove us nuts but we didn't know what it was until we fixed it. Now the engines hum instead of yodel.

At high frame rates the visual tick became visible. The camera is fixed to the ship, so the ship itself never ticked as it rotated because the camera ticked with it, however the entire rest of the environment (aside from the skybox) WOULD tick since the actual thing ticking was the ship with the camera attached. These subtle little tick tick tick when looking at asteroids and turning... All fixed.

Sound and flight are a lot more smooth now. We like smooth.


Missile Upgrades:

The missiles have come up a lot on the forums recently as not being viable, and we agree, so we set out to fix that.

Missiles now shoot twice as often, but do half damage (dps is unchanged)

Missiles get a 3 second point defense buffer before being lockable. This prevents them being popped while next to the parent ship.

Flak cannons now work like flak cannons and are not 100% effective within the flak cloud. Some missiles will make it through the shrapnel, others will be damaged, others destroyed. Expect around 50% to survive with some remaining level of health.

Missiles, Torpedoes, and Warheads have a short warm up time before being fired while in initial formation with the mothership (to prevent friendly fire accidents)

Missiles, Torpedoes, and Warheads have 50% more health.

Ion Warhead clouds now have a 1 second lifespan but do 2x damage. This makes them the shield killers they are meant to be.


Root Core Hot Swap:

In the inventory level, you can now re-position the root core without disassembling your entire ship. Right click the root core, then right click a sub core where you would like to place it.

Please report any anomalies with this. The code to make this work is really fiddly, but we figured the convenience to the player outweighed insanity of writing it.


Fighter Energy Consumption:

In the unending battle to make fighter fun but not overly epic compared to other weapons, we have adjusted their power consumption to only consume while the fighters themselves are actively trying to kill something. This brings them back into line with the power consumption of other weapons systems.


Insane Difficulty:

Its back and less fair than ever. This difficulty mode is about pain, and please do not try this mode with less than 50 hours of experience. It will hurt you.

Details:
  • AI does 2X damage.
  • You do 0.5X damage.
  • AI levels MUCH more quickly. You can still out pace them, but barely. They get a base of 97.5% of your experience. Expect the AI to stay ahead of you for a good long while.
  • Zombie provinces can now have 2X as many zombies. They will vacuum factions to death.
  • Zombies will do 2X damage (that is 4X total... there's some hard zombies)
  • Outside of the difficulty slider there are 73 other sliders which are not connected that you can use to inflict pain on yourself.

You have been warned...

Note: Insane mode is still in the works so there is not achievement for it yet, but there probably will be someday once we know it is settled and evil enough.


Extended Core Modes:

The physics improvements above have had the side effect of making the long awaited extended core modes possible. They do eat a fair share of CPU so keep that in mind, and the story will still use the good old 15, but if you want bigger ships, they have arrived...

Note: this applies to the whole galaxy. All captains get the extra cores.

There are 6 modes:
  • Default: normal progression (15 cores total)
  • 3 Early: Your starter ship will now have 6 cores instead of 3, normal progression. (18 total)
  • 3 Late: This extends the end game allowing cores to be added further along in the level tree (18 total)
  • 6 Early: Start with a 9 core ship. (21 total)
  • 6 Late: Greatly extend the end game core perk hunt. (21 total)
  • 3 Early and 3 Late: This one starts you bigger and ends you bigger, and is quite fun. (21 total)

Why the odd number MinMax? 21? What you smokin?
The reason for 15, 18, and 21 is to allow 3 X N brick shapes for synergies without wasted dangly bits. We hate dangly bits...


Super Sandbox Sliders:

So, there are now 73 sandbox sliders, and with great power comes great responsibility. Awesome new modes are at your finger tips, but it is also possible to make a horrible untuned mess. Try for the first option, and please don't blame us for the second.

To help with this, we have made a few pre-built game modes using the sliders to act as helper examples for your own tuning templates.


Game Modes:
  • Default: Good old default. This is what the story uses.
  • All Unlocked: If you want it all and you want it now, well this is for you.
  • Epic War: Brutal marathon conquest.
  • Rising Star: Carve out an Empire... Somehow.
  • Hidden Menace: While bandits rule, dankness looms...

For most players the game modes above will be a great starting point and will add tonnes of replayability.

For those of you who like to get your hands dirty, read on...


Advanced Mode:

When you select a game mode, you can inspect the sliders below in the advanced section to see what they did. This allows you to use a game mode as a starting point and then tweak it however you want.

Once you have the sliders where you want, you can save them and that will become your new sandbox default when loading the menu. There are ways to save multiple tuning files but more on that later...


Tuning Categories:

Starmap Setup:
These build the galaxy and cannot be changed after generation. These are very powerful and define things like the levelup mechanics and faction spread, the guts of how the galaxy will play out.

Note: the rest of the sliders can be changed in game at any time.

Starmap Meta:
This is how the metagame works. How many systems are needed to make part sizes, how many perks you can pick from on levelup, the levelup speed.

Combat:
This one is really powerful, and it is the reason alt-F8 exists. You can change darn near everything about combat in here, live. Expect to spend a good while fiddling in here.

Zombie War:
How strong is the infection and how hard is it to overcome.

Resources:
Feast or famine it is up to you.

Raids:
Adjust the power, effectiveness, and frequency of raids.

Cloaking:
Tune the cloaking mechanics to your liking

Misc:
This is a little bit of everything else that doesn't fit in a category. There are some cool things in there like determining how much rez parts and goons consume, if any.


Important notes:


In sandbox mode we try not to lock you down, so if a tunable won't break the game we let you tune it while the sandbox is running. If you made a bad choice, and that choice wasn't used to generate the galaxy, just change it :)

To access tunables while the game is running look in the options menu (not available in story mode)
Also if you are tuning ships, you can press Alt-F8 to bring up the menu more quickly.

We also allow you to save your own tuning table. Each time you load the sandbox menu it will default to your saved tunings.

Note: You can even share these tuning files with friends (if you rename them they will appear in the pre-defined tuning lists at the top of the sandbox menu)

Located here: C:\Users\MinMax\AppData\LocalLow\MinMax Games\SPAZ 2\Cloud\Tunables
Just rename MyTunables to something else and it will appear in the game modes menu. The hope is to someday set these via workshop, but there is no reason people can't share them themselves for now.


The Milky Colossus:

Saved the best for last. It is finally here! The giant map! Not much more to say than that. Go, explore, have a new adventure.

Well there is a tiny bit more to say. So the new map is huge and has 1 week of testing. We think it all works, but it is huge and has 1 week of testing. If you see anomalies, please let us know. Did we mention that it is huge and has 1 week of testing?


Other Fixes and Changes:

  • Fixed issue with controller input scaling with frame rate. Now rates are constant like with the mouse.
  • Fixed issue where if you press escape on the select difficulty menu while already in a game it would revert to the galaxy creation screen.
  • Zombies should respawn with a full compliment of 0 star parts. on hard zombies do 33% bonus damage now (offsets their poor parts) on insane 2x.
  • Fixed a bug where in rare cases a save could become corrupted due to a loading timing issue and subsequent save. Sprung up in V 0.9.0.
  • Fixed sound persistence issue where too many looping audio sounds were active on the starmap after loading from a combat instance. Got some CPU back on starmap.
  • Ai captains start with more real parts.
  • In inventory level the firing arcs are now easier to test since guns will always fire instead of only firing if they can hit something.
  • Zombies get strike craft at zombie starbases. Keeps them threat relevant.
  • Zombies levelup more aggressively. To keep them closer to the top of the heap.
  • Zombies wont attack transports on easy and normal, but will on hard and insane.
  • Fixed capital transports returning to parent station after they are attacked.
  • Fixed Join my faction and kick from faction not appearing when an Ai captain is in battle
  • Bandit hive interaction text show when they are blocked by battle to avoid confusion as to why the fight button is inactive.
  • Fixed demand surrender not showing why the option is disabled in some cases.
  • Fix for beeping warning sound going off when a missile wants to fire in battlwagon mode.
  • Added a frame limiter for then Vsync off. 30,60,90,120,144 selectable.
  • Fixed it such that games with zombies deactivated will not spawn zombie roids in missions.


Going Forward:

We expect a few hotfixes to come out as a result of all the changes in this build, but we are on deck to get them out as quickly as possible.

While I am working on script optimization, and an endless mode for the zombie infection, Richard will be exploring our big stretch goal, VR. He will likely make a separate post talking about that in the near future.

Long term the major goals left are VR, Voice Acting and Localization. Beyond that there is the ongoing support of the new systems, bug fixing, tuning, and the addition of features as they are needed or just sound really cool.

Thanks again for your support and great ideas!

Andrew (Blorf) and Richard (Narlak)

70 comments Read more

March 1

V 0.9.0 The Merging Is Complete. (Engine Upgrade)

Hi All,

We have finished upgrading from Unity 5.0.4 to Unity 5.4.4. The last time we upgraded the engine was before we entered early access. This is a huge change and is the first major SPAZ 2 engine update that you will have been exposed to.

The main reason to upgrade the engine was to stay compliant with the ever changing operating systems and technology. The last engine version was already two years old, and we feel it is critical to stay up to date to ensure SPAZ 2 continues to work for years to come.

We tested the build as best as two people can, but there may be issues here and there. Please keep your eyes out for bugs and weird issues, and if you see them, please report them on the bug forums here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/252470/discussions/2/

So this update isn't about new stuff, in fact ideally the game looks and plays identically to v 0.8.8. The goal was to get everything working as it was in v0.8.8 and then build on that foundation for the rest of the project. Since gameplay didn't change between v 0.8.8 and v0.9.0 we can roll back to v0.8.8 without breaking saves. We want to ensure that we don't disrupt peoples' progress.


First a note about dual monitor setups:

So between Unity 5.0.4 and Unity 5.4.4 somewhere monitor 0 and 1 became swapped in the engine. What this means is that your monitors may be swapped next time you play. We tried to make this as painless to fix as possible and have added an in game display switcher to the Display Menu.

Beyond that, we also detect if you have dual monitors and place a one time helper button on the main menu to fix the problem. The big yellow button will go away as soon as you start a game, and it will never return. We wanted to make sure people wouldn't be frustrated by the unintended swap.


Loading/Spawning Performance Improvements:

As discussed in the v0.8.8 announcement, multiplayer wasn't going to work. See: https://steamcommunity.com/games/252470/announcements/detail/240217815948540606

Although experimenting and trying multiple methods to bring multiplayer online ate most of the time between v0.8.7 and v0.9.0, we were able to make some improvements. Also, again, thank you all for your amazing understanding and kindness about this.

After v0.8.8 we began to remove the Unity 4 legacy networking hooks from the game (took 3 days, there were tons). This means that all of our spawning routines and level loading now flow directly from function calls instead of traveling through a virtual network layer and object lookup system before reaching their eventual destinations.

What this means to you... Speed. You should notice that there is much less hitching when ships spawn and level spawning should be really fast. Everything is essentially on a direct pipe now.


DirectX11 Support:

SPAZ 2 is now DX11 capable. If your card only runs DX9, don't worry, the game will default to DX9 if DX11 is not present.

People with DirectX11 capable video cards can expect frame rate improvements. Visuals wise, the game should hopefully look identical, just faster.

There were rendering improvements for everyone across the board, especially on the map due to some shader changes.

Please report any rendering issues you see. We tried to catch em all, but there is a lot of stuff out there.


Camera input standardized:

We found a really odd bug that has been around forever and fixed it. It turns out when vysnc was off and frame rate was really high in some cases, like the ship assembly level because there is almost nothing in there, the mouse input would slow way down. What was happening was the mouse input was being divided by the frame speed. This meant higher frame rates, slower mouse.

What this also meant was lower frame rates, faster mouse. The mouse input changing based on frame rate is just bad so we fixed it.

Since we played with vsync on we never noticed the issue until now.

Now at low and high frame rates the mouse input should be consistent.

What this means to you: You may need to readjust your mouse sensitivity, but once you adjust it, it will be consistent.


The Starmap Background:

This was an artistic change that would not effect save games, so we let this one in. The Starmap now has a cool 3D background. It adds a lot of depth to the Starmap... Badum tish... I will see myself out.


Going Forward:

The next version will focus on the sandbox and improving tuning and replaybility.

We hope to release a large set of game mutators for the sandbox.
We want to make missile builds more viable.
A new map for the Starmap!
A first crack at a really hard insane difficulty mode for experts.

Beyond that there will be a focus on physics and script performance improvements. Rendering wise we probably have done all that can be done, but we think we can squeak out some more frame rate by taking a bit more load off the CPU. Never hurts to try anyhow.


Thanks everyone!

Andrew (Blorf) and Richard (Narlak)

39 comments Read more
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Reviews

“The combat in this feels very very good you guys. Feels very nice, very fluid.”
Brian Rubin, Space Game Junkie

“Oh Yes, I love the comic relief in the game. Just about everything is oozing with that kind of charm.”
ReformistTM

“MinMax Games has slammed down in front of us the most innovative and exciting experiences I have had the privilege of playing in a long time.”
Deluks Gaming

About This Game

In SPAZ 2 you must survive in an evolving post apocalyptic Galaxy. The zombie threat is defeated, infrastructure has collapsed, fuel is scarce, and scavenging means survival.

Initially the Galaxy contains hundreds of fleets, each trying to survive. AI captains do everything the player can. The player is not special and is not the center of the Galaxy.

As resource scarcity becomes critical, ships come into conflict just to survive. Factions may form for protection or split due to starvation. Old friends must become fodder.

Stronger factions establish and defend territories, set up resource hubs, and establish star bases. Weaker factions may resort to banditry. Each captain is unique, persistent, and shapes the Galaxy.

When factions meet, combat is usually the result. While the strategic side of SPAZ 2 is about exploration, territorial control, and faction building, the action side of SPAZ 2 is about ship construction, tactics, and salvage.

Combat creates damaged ships and dead crew, but it also provides new salvaged parts. All the parts in SPAZ 2 are modular and randomly generated. If you see something you like, break it off an enemy, grab it with your tractor beam, and connect it to your ship. Ship construction can be done live during battles, though sometimes beating an enemy to death with their broken wing is also fun.

Back on the star map, battles will attract other captains looking for salvage. Take your new parts and run. Upgrade, repair, and prepare to fight another day, for darker threats are about to emerge.

Key Features:
  • Two hundred persistent Captains that are able to do everything the player can, including forming dynamic factions, building structures, controlling territory, and going to War.
  • A true living galaxy that is not player centric. It will develop differently each game through the interactions of the agents.
  • Build your own faction from nothing.
  • Randomly generated modular parts. Build the mothership that suits your play style, on the fly, in seconds. Every part has its own unique stats that contribute to the mothership. Every part has its own hull integrity and damage states. Every part is a real, working, ship component.
  • Strategic ship building. The mass, location and shape of parts all matter. If a part blocks a turret, it will not fire. If a ship is too long, it will turn slowly. Too many engines will mean too little power for weapons. Every design choice counts.
  • A fully physics based 3d environment where everything is destructible, takes damage from impacts, can be grabbed and even thrown at enemies with the tractor beam.
  • Natural movement and controls. Movement is on a 2d plane and screen relative, much like an FPS. The combat feels like huge pirate ships battling on an ocean. Focus on tactical positioning and manage system power to unleash hell at the right moment.
  • Epic ship to ship battles. Tear the enemy apart piece by piece over minutes, instead of seconds.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: 2.6 Ghz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: 3.1 Ghz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2GB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
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