STORE COMMUNITY ABOUT SUPPORT
Login Store Community Support
View desktop website
© Valve Corporation. All rights reserved. All trademarks are property of their respective owners in the US and other countries.
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
It’s been an interesting year for the project, feedback fairly early on in the release caused us to slam on the brakes and have a real think about the direction in which the project was going. We had two choices; do what is normally done and continue down that path and release the game hoping to learn the lessons in the sequel, or do the honest thing taking it back to the start and work in the stuff you really wanted to see.
We chose the honest path meaning progress this year has been somewhat of a forward-sideways step rather than a direct lunge forward. Even so mechanically things are shaping up well, once we have matured and stabilised the code base the rest of the route to completion is a case of joining the dots, it’s high level stuff that will come together quickly once the remaining assets arrive and the story is finalised.
How quickly I hear you ask? Well it’s difficult to say.
There aren’t any rulebooks on the creation of this type of game, well actually we suppose there are; we could take another game and clone it, but that doesn’t really advance the genre. Besides it's been said before, the reason we are here is to explore the RTS – take it apart, assess each piece, put it back together incorporating elements from other genres if they fit.
We’re three years into the project now (one year on Steam,) we are clear now on exactly what the finished product will look like and it’s very exciting but it’s safe to say that our chosen path means that we face some pretty serious challenges in the coming year.
These challenges directly hinge on the unilateral changes that Steam continue to make.
These changes might be for the good of the customer and we are behind them, what's more we remain grateful for being offered the opportunity to trade on Steam. But had we known a year ago the changes that would be made we would likely not have released on Steams Early Access and instead continued down a pre-order/beta route but there is no going back now.
We work hard to ensure that you guys are kept informed and release regular updates, but that might not be enough to keep our heads above water anymore.
The real killer is this ‘rolling aggregate score’ they’ve introduced which has lead to a change in Players reviewing habits. What we’re seeing is that when people have positive things to say they’ll often post on the forums but when people have feedback or issues they often leave a negative review. This is worrying because negative reviews can easily kill a project dead – especially if the aggregate score falls into ‘Mixed’ which happens when a project has 70% (or below) positive reviews – this is simply brutal.
What’s more we have zero control over them, even if we capitulate to what is effectively blackmail and fix the issues by then the Player has refunded and moved on.
Then there’s the issue of grey market sales, the refunds themselves, games websites being closed to indies (probably a blessing in disguise judging from the way games are reviewed these days,) social media reach being intentionally borked - all these little things are eating away at the money we need to finish this thing.
So what does this uncertainty mean for Shallow Space?
Firstly don’t worry; personally, I haven’t spent 3 years of my life on a project only to roll it up when the going gets tough. No f**king way!
Take a look around on Steam for similar projects to ours – open RTS games set in space and you won’t find many (if any at all) and the ones you do find have been rushed to completion. This is because they are extremely unlikely to get funding from investors or the crowd because they are not a safe bet.
But this project is different.
We have proven ourselves to be dedicated, we have something tangible and the most important thing: We have made some money. That effectively makes it a dead cert in the eyes of many an investor. The game is undeniably good looking so potentially we could Kickstart it and even if it failed it’s a nice little publicity push.
Needless to say, more money means more developers and artists.
These are hostile times for any indie project and every bone in our bodies is screaming out to rush this thing to completion. But games take time to make – if anything we need to slow it right down, take bigger steps forward taking time to make sure the new inclusions are more stable.
We need to get a business plan together and start canvassing for investment because the games completion shouldn’t rely so much on Steam profits, especially as it becomes an increasingly hostile place to do business and the cash reserves dwindle.
So admittedly it’s a struggle, but without these struggles we would become complacent and above all the woes progress remains strong. But don’t take our word for it, go back through the previous news, and take a look at the YouTube gameplay videos from 6 months ago. You’ve all bought into a project that is progressive and moving forwards.
This will be a good year.
We can expect 3 times the number of ships presently in the game; the asset factory is churning in the background making it so. The author has fleshed out the main storyline and sidequests and will soon start working on lines for voice acting.
We’re working on the Zone/Map switching so that it is seamless, resource collecting, construction and working on that planetary map but implementation-wise this is all superficial stuff reliant on the foundations we’ve already built that improve every week.
The hard work is done now, all that remains is to tidy up and continue to build on those foundations. We foresee struggles but fortunately we are now stood at the top of the hill looking down. We must be a little more careful in todays landscape and spend more time building the business and not just the game but there is little doubt that 2017 is the year we’ve been working towards.
Wishing all of our Players and followers a happy new year and the biggest thanks from the team for all your support in 2016!
Just a quick note to add that we have a round of fixes and tweaks coming in for updates that have been released in the last few days - details below.
Some great feedback coming back, special thanks to SnottyGremlin for his clear and constructive criticism, very useful to hear from new Players!
As always, we really appreciate the support and we hope you have a great festive period!
The Open-world Overhaul is now available on Steam!
Pick-up missions to receive rewards in the form of credits, ships modules and blueprints. Construct defences and base build, or go at it you own way by mining and trading. You’ll manage forces across multiple play areas all running realtime in a universe teaming with life.
An innovative ‘zone’ system lies at the heart of what we’ve dubbed the ‘Open-world Overhaul’ and through it NPC traffic will trade, mine and fight just as you do.
At this stage, Shallow Space can be described more as the framework for a game rather than a game itself.
You can still have a lot of fun with it, but the Alpha is presently focused around the adding and tweaking of mechanics, bug fixes and gathering feedback. True representative gameplay isn't far off but it's not here yet.
There's still enough to enjoy but as with any Early Access game - you should have a flick through the updates (noting the frequency) and take a peak at the forums to see what you're supporting. Thanks!
©2015 Special Circumstances - Special Circumstances, Special Circumstance Games & Special Circumstance Studios are all trading styles of CDG Studios Ltd registered in the United Kingdom. Shallow Space is a registered trademark.
You can use this widget-maker to generate a bit of HTML that can be embedded in your website to easily allow customers to purchase this game on Steam.
Enter up to 375 characters to add a description to your widget:
Copy and paste the HTML below into your website to make the above widget appear
Sign in to add your own tags to this product.