Element is a realtime strategy space game for people who don't have time to play realtime strategy space games. Generate energy, mine element, build attack and defence units, and destroy the enemy while maintaining a balance between earth, air and water.
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (11 reviews) - 90% of the 11 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 14, 2015

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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?

“Element is fully tested and playable. We are currently refining and working on additional features and content for the full release. However, we really want to get what we have out to the community to gauge reaction about the current game.

We recently exhibited Element at PAX Australia and had a lot of positive feedback and interest from people wanting to play the game immediately. We think there is enough gameplay and fun to be had with the current version and Early Access will give us valuable insight into the features and content we create for the full version.

Element was featured by Mashable as one of the top 5 indie games at PAX Australia. Element is also entered into the Independent Games Festival 2016.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We anticipate Element being in Early Access during 2016. This will enable us to refine the current game and add features and content while rolling in valuable community feedback.”

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

“The full version will have more content, most likely in the form of multiple solar systems with more challenges encountered on planets. We are also planning an additional game mode between solar systems. (While we don't want to give too much away, it may involve missiles and your mothership.)

We have some fine-tuning to implement; balancing the gameplay further based on feedback, HUD alerts, UI additions, more sound, and work on the AI which will make things a little more challenging. We would also like to add in the appropriate Steam Achievements, Leaderboards, Stats, and Trading Cards to compliment the game and invest in the Steam community.

We would love to add local one-on-one multiplayer in the near future as this is something we've been wanting to play ourselves and is a natural extension to the game.

The distant future... If Element becomes successful enough for us then we would definitely look at developing a networked multiplayer version and we also have a VR concept in mind.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Element Early Access is fully tested and playable from a gameplay perspective.

We are working on additions to the AI to make it a little smarter in the full release. However, players of the Early Access version will not necessarily notice too much of a difference and the existing AI provides a sturdy challenge, particularly on the later planets.

We currently have one full 7 planet solar system to work your way through. The planets start off easy and gradually become more challenging.

We consistently get feedback that Element looks very polished and ready to ship immediately. This is very flattering but we have a lot more ‘craft’ we’d like to add. However, this approach to the design of the game means Early Access players will benefit from a rich visual experience that will remain very close to the full version.”

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

“We would like to reward Element Early Access players with a lower price to start with. We anticipate pricing for the full release version of the game being slightly higher. However, we will assess this depending on the feedback we get and how much additional content and features there are.”

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

“We are looking forward to the community assisting us with feedback for further updates, features, and overall balance. We are aware that Element is a game that attracts a wide range of players and we want to make something that is fun and challenging for everyone, if possible. We will follow comments and suggestions closely, post specific questions, and may recruit some testers for new versions of the game.

cheers,

John and Greg
Flightless”
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Recent updates View all (4)

October 26, 2016

Element v1.4 released!

We have finished observing space dust and are happy to announce that Element v1.4 'Nebula' is available now in time for PAX Australia!

This update includes a brand new tutorial, a redesigned and refined game UI, a bunch of visual changes, new narration and in-game dialog, improved native input, and updates to sound, effects, Unity, and assorted bits of plumbing. Thanks for all of your feedback and support, particularly those who helped test our new tutorial.

The new tutorial is a more refined experience compared to the older one in v1.0, if anyone remembers it. The overall approach is much more interactive and does not take away the basic world control from the player which was a common complaint for us. We added full narration and changed the pacing to give players a chance to learn the basic controls before being guided through the game objectives, the units, and basic UI. In-world UI has been added to name specific player and enemy units, and offer suggestions for unit placement and targeting. The tutorial screens and UI have been streamlined by keeping text to a minimum and minimising to show the current task. Navigation hints help guide players through the menu UI for each task and highlight the most important bits of UI. Tutorials are a hard thing to get just right, so even if you're familiar with the game please try it out and let us know what you think.

The other big update is the redesigned game UI. We have redesigned everything to look and feel much less complex. There's a brand new element display at the top of the screen that more clearly shows the state of the game, and how much element and how many mines the player and enemy have. It better reflects the player vs. enemy balance, and more clearly shows the element extracted by each player and how much element they are projected to get with their current mines. This takes away the guesswork in earlier versions of how much total element the player would have at the end of the game, so puts the player in a much better position to assess whether to focus on mining or destroying the enemy base.

Other parts of the UI have also been updated and refined, like the energy ring, the base healths, the build limit, and the balance graphs. The central targeting hud has also been tweaked to remove unneeded icons and show the full names for units and other objects being inspected and targeted. These changes all add up to make the UI much easier to see at a glance, removing cool but largely unnecessary readouts and effects that made the game feel way more complex than it actually is.

The game also has some visual updates, in particular around the mines and mine units. The player and enemy mine units now have tall lights to highlight their importance and make them easier to see when orbiting the world. Mines themselves now have element particle effects that make them easier to find and show when there is still some element left to mine. We have also updated the smoke effects that show when bases are damaged, and added damage smoke to orbital lasers because they deserve it. Also, there is now an alert message when orbital lasers are destroyed because that's a very handy thing to know.

There are a lot of plumbing updates in this release too. Engine, Steam, input, sound, effects, and support for additional platforms, along with the usual tweaks, bugfixes, and optimisations. We're pretty sure that you will let us know if anything misbehaves.

Please let us know what you think - leave reviews, start a thread or leave a comment in the discussion forums, or tweet @flightlessnz.

Enjoy.

cheers,

Greg & John
Flightless


Element v1.4 'Nebula' Changes

New Tutorial
  • Added new tutorial!
  • Added tutorial narration.
  • Replaced old separate tutorial with tutorial on the first world, Boron.
  • Refined tutorial tasks and order.
  • Replaced modal and text heavy screens with streamlined, more integrated tutorial.
  • Updated minimised tutorial task display.
  • Updated navigation tips to guide players through the menu UI for each task.
  • Added in-world UI to highlight specific player and enemy units, mines, and task locations.

Game/UI
  • Redesigned game UI.
  • Added in-game and end-game dialog.
  • Added a new element graph to better show the state of the game.
  • Updated the element graph to show extracted and projected element mining amounts.
  • Updated the mine information to explicitly show the number of mines each player has and how many exist in the world.
  • Updated energy ring to make it more clear. Updated the game menu energy cost icons to match.
  • Updated the base health graphs to be bigger and use whole numbers.
  • Simplified the build limit graph by replacing the coloured build grid with a basic graph showing the limit more clearly.
  • Refined the in-game balance graphs to be easier to glance at.
  • Refined the central game hud by removing unneeded icons and using full names for units and other information.
  • Updated the end-game element graph animation to show the extracted and bonus element mined.
  • Removed the more complex end-game full balance graphs and replaced them with the simplified in-game balance graphs.
  • Refined the alert message box.
  • Refined the failure screen and permanent message when the enemy mines too much element.
  • Reformatted various element and energy displays to show more whole numbers.

Game
  • Added lights to player and enemy mines to highlight their importance and make them easier to see.
  • Updated mine units to use fixed roof heights similar to other units.
  • Added element particles to mines to make them easier to find and show when there is still some element left to mine.
  • Updated the player and enemy base damaged smoke to be more visible.
  • Added damage smoke to enemy orbital lasers.
  • Added message when enemy orbital laser is destroyed.
  • Updated messages when player base is damaged and critical.
  • Added messages when enemy base is damaged and critical.
  • Added and updated unit and air/earth/water restrictions for player and enemy AI to support the new tutorial. We may apply various restrictions for some planets later.
  • Updated damaged mothership smoke.

Menu
  • Renamed Info to Help to be more obvious.
  • Updated help with new UI reference.
  • Added asteroids and framework for additional planets coming soon.
  • Disabled skirmish mode until we make it more useful.

Plumbing
  • Updated to Unity v5.4.2.
  • Updated Steam libraries.
  • Updated input libraries (includes updates for native input).
  • Updated sound libraries.
  • Added custom dialog stitcher.
  • Updated game controller vibration mixer.
  • Updated image effects.
  • Added internal high-resolution screenshot support.
  • Added internal video capture support using framecapture or ffmpeg.
  • Updated support for console/mobile/VR.
  • Optimisation and bugfixes.


Element v1.3 'Kuiper' Changes

Game/UI
  • Added asteroids.
  • Added meteors.
  • Added enemy orbital lasers.
  • Added higher orbit support (for orbital lasers).
  • Added hud info and targeting UI for asteroids, meteors, and orbital lasers.
  • Updated defence radars to include asteroids, meteors, and orbital lasers.
  • Changed element graph to show the projected element based on the number of mines currently owned by the player.
    (No more guessing how much the element bonus at the end of the game will affect the game result.)
  • Added alerts for enemy element mining progress.
  • Added screen to inform the player when the enemy has mined enough element to control the world and win.
    (Player can choose to continue in defeat to exact some revenge, or immediately retry the level.)
  • Added alerts to remind the player that the enemy has control of the element and there is no chance of winning.
  • Updated elemental dominance for defence weapon -> attack weapon collisions.
  • Updated hud icons, added icons to various UI buttons.
  • Updated pause menu layout.

Visual Updates
  • Updated post-processing effects for antialiasing and bloom.
  • Added blinking activity lights to larger units.
  • Increased size of alert messages. Smaller screens will use a smaller size.
  • Updated world selection renderer to sit under units and decorations rather than over them.
  • Added subtle water mesh animation.
  • Added animated waterline to water units and other objects entering the water.
  • Added soft-shadows.
  • Optimised shadow resolution.
  • Increased level-of-detail switching distance/bias.
  • Optimised sun shader.

Input Updates
  • Updated input libraries.
  • Improved native input for game controllers in Windows.
  • Reduced sensitivity of game controller right analog stick when rolling while zooming.

General Updates
  • Added skip-intro during logo boot sequence (use any input).
  • Added VR manager to support virtual reality version of the game (in a future update).
  • Changed rigging of menu, game, UI, and skybox cameras to support VR.
  • Updated hud and world searching to support VR.
  • Optimised game entity. Added support for non-player game entities.
  • Updated and optimised world ownership and querying to allow for more world content.
  • Refactored game state management to add flexibility and prepare for upcoming tutorial.
  • Updated and optimised physics and collision handling.

Plumbing
  • Updated to Unity v5.4.
  • Added performance/crash reporter.
  • Optimisation and bugfixes.


Element v1.2 'Corona' Changes

Visual Updates
  • New deferred renderer.
  • Improved batching and multithreaded rendering.
  • Post-processing effects for antialiasing and bloom.
  • Enhanced lighting and flare particle effects for explosions.
  • Added air unit movement trails.
  • Added damaged base smoke effects.
  • More efficient trail rendering.
  • Additional shadows with improved performance.
  • Optimised menu and epilogue lighting, optimised sun shader.
  • Improved distortion shader for deferred renderer.
  • Improved explosion ring effect to avoid visual popup.

Input Updates
  • Added native input libraries with XInput support where possible.
  • Added game controller rumble effects with multi-channel rumble mixer.
  • Added game controller lighting effects.
  • In-game 'Escape' key now pauses the game from the top-level menu.
  • Improved game controller support to pause the game.

General Updates
  • Added antialiasing and bloom options on the settings screen.
  • Added text reveal effects and sounds on planet, info, and end-game screens.
  • Added mine bonus sounds on end-game screen.
  • Cycle graphs on end-game screen to reduce clutter.
  • Various unit model updates.
  • Faster intro and menu transitions.
  • Improved menu navigation.

Plumbing
  • Updated to Unity v5.3.
  • Updated Steam library.
  • Updated sound library.
  • Optimisation and bugfixes.


Element v1.1 'Aurora' Changes

Game Objectives
  • You are now mining in direct competition with the enemy. To win, simply mine more element than the enemy and destroy them.
    (No more minimum element requirement for each planet.)
  • Any element remaining on the planet when you defeat the enemy is now awarded as a bonus based on the number of mines you have.
    (No more waiting around to mine more element for a higher score after essentially defeating the enemy.)
  • Changed scoring to handle the updated game objectives.
    (Your current scores will be reset but the planets will remain unlocked.)
  • Removed the existing game tutorial - the game introduction and learning curve will be redesigned and added again in a future update.

Refined Game/UI
  • Top-level earth/air/water/fire menu has been removed and is replaced with a resource/attack/defence/missile/repair unit type menu.
    (All menu navigation is now only a speedy single depth.)
  • Fully context-sensitive placement or targeting of units based on the unit type selected.
    (It's awesome. No more slow earth/air/water/fire selection.)
  • Right-hand game graph display has been redesigned to show energy, better element and mine information, more relevant game balance information, and now contains a dedicated game menu/pause button.
  • Defence unit ranges increased to make them more useful.
  • End-game messaging and screens have been updated to reflect the new game objectives.
  • Additional options to quit or retry the current level in the pause menu and on the end-game screen.
  • Improved game controller support to pause/quit the game.

General Updates
  • Main info screens redesigned to describe the updated game objectives and preview all player and enemy units in the game.
  • Tweaked planet menu design to reflect the updated game objectives.
  • All player and enemy unit models updated.
  • All player and enemy world decoration models updated.
  • Updated mothership.
  • Additional credits.

Plumbing
  • Removed old launch dialog. Added new settings screen to manage screen resolutions and window modes.
  • Optimisation and bugfixes.

0 comments Read more

September 12, 2016

Element v1.3 released!

We have finished harvesting asteroids and are happy to announce that Element v1.3 'Kuiper' is available now!

As always, thanks for all of your feedback and support. This update includes some new content, a few UI and visual changes, improved native input, and updates to sound, effects, Unity, and various bits of plumbing.

There is now debris around each world, including orbital asteroids and incoming meteors of various sizes. They are automatically targeted by defence units and can be manually targeted using attack missiles. Debris collides with everything and inflicts a lot of damage so you'll need to balance your defensive efforts against it.

The enemy also has a shiny new orbital laser unit which it will deploy to remove your units from the face of the world with ruthless efficiency. The orbital laser orbits higher and slower than other air units so you will need to carefully determine how best to take it down. Fair warning, it currently leaves quite a trail of wrecked stuff in its wake.

The player element graph now shows the projected amount of element you will have at the end of each level. The projected element is based on the number of mines you currently have control of and is awarded as a bonus when you defeat the enemy. As you destroy enemy mines and build mines of your own, the graph will show a head-to-head comparison with the enemy so you can better focus your efforts on mining the element you need to stay ahead of the enemy or destroying the enemy base. There are also new warnings to keep you updated on how much element the enemy has mined, and a new screen to inform you when the enemy has mined enough element to control the world and win. You can choose to continue in defeat to take out your frustration of losing on the enemy, or retry immediately.

There are also some changes and a few more visual effects that we think are cool, like bigger and better alert messages, animated water and waterlines, blinking lights on units, soft shadows, world selection rendering being shown under units and decorations, additional path rendering tracking meteors and higher orbits, and improved game controller input handling.

Please let us know what you think - leave reviews, start a thread or leave a comment in the discussion forums, or tweet @flightlessnz.

Enjoy.

cheers,

Greg & John
Flightless


Element v1.3 'Kuiper' Changes

Game/UI
  • Added asteroids.
  • Added meteors.
  • Added enemy orbital lasers.
  • Added higher orbit support (for orbital lasers).
  • Added hud info and targeting UI for asteroids, meteors, and orbital lasers.
  • Updated defence radars to include asteroids, meteors, and orbital lasers.
  • Changed element graph to show the projected element based on the number of mines currently owned by the player.
    (No more guessing how much the element bonus at the end of the game will affect the game result.)
  • Added alerts for enemy element mining progress.
  • Added screen to inform the player when the enemy has mined enough element to control the world and win.
    (Player can choose to continue in defeat to exact some revenge, or immediately retry the level.)
  • Added alerts to remind the player that the enemy has control of the element and there is no chance of winning.
  • Updated elemental dominance for defence weapon -> attack weapon collisions.
  • Updated hud icons, added icons to various UI buttons.
  • Updated pause menu layout.

Visual Updates
  • Updated post-processing effects for antialiasing and bloom.
  • Added blinking activity lights to larger units.
  • Increased size of alert messages. Smaller screens will use a smaller size.
  • Updated world selection renderer to sit under units and decorations rather than over them.
  • Added subtle water mesh animation.
  • Added animated waterline to water units and other objects entering the water.
  • Added soft-shadows.
  • Optimised shadow resolution.
  • Increased level-of-detail switching distance/bias.
  • Optimised sun shader.

Input Updates
  • Updated input libraries.
  • Improved native input for game controllers in Windows.
  • Reduced sensitivity of game controller right analog stick when rolling while zooming.

General Updates
  • Added skip-intro during logo boot sequence (use any input).
  • Added VR manager to support virtual reality version of the game (in a future update).
  • Changed rigging of menu, game, UI, and skybox cameras to support VR.
  • Updated hud and world searching to support VR.
  • Optimised game entity. Added support for non-player game entities.
  • Updated and optimised world ownership and querying to allow for more world content.
  • Refactored game state management to add flexibility and prepare for upcoming tutorial.
  • Updated and optimised physics and collision handling.

Plumbing
  • Updated to Unity v5.4.
  • Added performance/crash reporter.
  • Optimisation and bugfixes.


Element v1.2 'Corona' Changes

Visual Updates
  • New deferred renderer.
  • Improved batching and multithreaded rendering.
  • Post-processing effects for antialiasing and bloom.
  • Enhanced lighting and flare particle effects for explosions.
  • Added air unit movement trails.
  • Added damaged base smoke effects.
  • More efficient trail rendering.
  • Additional shadows with improved performance.
  • Optimised menu and epilogue lighting, optimised sun shader.
  • Improved distortion shader for deferred renderer.
  • Improved explosion ring effect to avoid visual popup.

Input Updates
  • Added native input libraries with XInput support where possible.
  • Added game controller rumble effects with multi-channel rumble mixer.
  • Added game controller lighting effects.
  • In-game 'Escape' key now pauses the game from the top-level menu.
  • Improved game controller support to pause the game.

General Updates
  • Added antialiasing and bloom options on the settings screen.
  • Added text reveal effects and sounds on planet, info, and end-game screens.
  • Added mine bonus sounds on end-game screen.
  • Cycle graphs on end-game screen to reduce clutter.
  • Various unit model updates.
  • Faster intro and menu transitions.
  • Improved menu navigation.

Plumbing
  • Updated to Unity v5.3.
  • Updated Steam library.
  • Updated sound library.
  • Optimisation and bugfixes.


Element v1.1 'Aurora' Changes

Game Objectives
  • You are now mining in direct competition with the enemy. To win, simply mine more element than the enemy and destroy them.
    (No more minimum element requirement for each planet.)
  • Any element remaining on the planet when you defeat the enemy is now awarded as a bonus based on the number of mines you have.
    (No more waiting around to mine more element for a higher score after essentially defeating the enemy.)
  • Changed scoring to handle the updated game objectives.
    (Your current scores will be reset but the planets will remain unlocked.)
  • Removed the existing game tutorial - the game introduction and learning curve will be redesigned and added again in a future update.

Refined Game/UI
  • Top-level earth/air/water/fire menu has been removed and is replaced with a resource/attack/defence/missile/repair unit type menu.
    (All menu navigation is now only a speedy single depth.)
  • Fully context-sensitive placement or targeting of units based on the unit type selected.
    (It's awesome. No more slow earth/air/water/fire selection.)
  • Right-hand game graph display has been redesigned to show energy, better element and mine information, more relevant game balance information, and now contains a dedicated game menu/pause button.
  • Defence unit ranges increased to make them more useful.
  • End-game messaging and screens have been updated to reflect the new game objectives.
  • Additional options to quit or retry the current level in the pause menu and on the end-game screen.
  • Improved game controller support to pause/quit the game.

General Updates
  • Main info screens redesigned to describe the updated game objectives and preview all player and enemy units in the game.
  • Tweaked planet menu design to reflect the updated game objectives.
  • All player and enemy unit models updated.
  • All player and enemy world decoration models updated.
  • Updated mothership.
  • Additional credits.

Plumbing
  • Removed old launch dialog. Added new settings screen to manage screen resolutions and window modes.
  • Optimisation and bugfixes.

0 comments Read more
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Reviews

“The studio wanted the game to have a real design edge, and they've certainly achieved it. The game is fun to play, but it was also compelling to watch someone else have a go and see them manipulate and populate the planet.”
http://mashable.com/2015/11/01/indie-games-pax-australia/#nGvJcZWmnEqV

“The energetic amalgam of MAD sims and arcade-speed action, served on a bed of gorgeous minimalist design, Element's current early access build bodes swimmingly.”
http://www.wargamer.com/Article/10319

“Rome was built, enjoyed, and decimated in 0.002 of a day. It was great and, even as I was wiped off the face of my earth, it looked lovely.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

About This Game



Element is a realtime strategy space game for people who don't have time to play realtime strategy space games.

Home no longer provides a means to survive.
A fight for resources to escape our system has begun.
The future lies beyond…


Element is a visually stunning realtime strategy space game with a focus on sharp, accessible gameplay.

Element is for lovers of beautifully crafted, original looking games. It is for people who are into space and strategy games but don't have hours of time to invest. It's also for gamers who enjoy launching missiles and blowing things up :)

You are escaping a decaying solar system. You must visit each planet, mine enough element, and defeat the enemy to progress to the outer planets and beyond. Generate energy, mine element, build attack and defence units, and destroy the enemy while maintaining a balance between earth, air and water.







Notes:

Our preferred method to control the game is a game controller. Element supports keyboard, mouse, keyboard and mouse, touch on supported platforms, and a game controller. Any method of input can be used at any time. Community feedback will help us to refine our control schemes and device support.

Game controller support on Windows and OS X uses native input libraries and supports XInput devices where possible. Supported platforms also allow rumble and lighting for selected controllers, and the ability to connect game controllers at any time. Legacy input requires game controllers to be connected before the game launches. Additionally, some game controller device buttons will toggle a free-flying camera mode.

The game speed can be adjusted using the -/+ keys while playing to super-slomo and accelerate time. Use '0' to reset to normal speed. Pause in-game using the menu button on the right side of the screen, pressing 'p' or 'Escape' on the keyboard, or using the menu/option button on your game controller. The game view can be fully controlled while the game is paused.

The game requires a vertical resolution of at least 640px. The updated renderer supports enhanced lighting and visual effects, some of which are considered experimental. Community feedback will help us tune these updated rendering effects.

Linux support for Element Early Access is considered experimental. Community feedback will help us to further refine the system requirements.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2+, Vista, 7, 8, 10 (32 or 64bit)
    • Processor: Intel/AMD with SSE2 support
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader model 3.0+
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2 GHz or faster processor
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or later
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader model 3.0+
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2 GHz or faster processor
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later (32 or 64bit)
    • Processor: Intel/AMD with SSE2 support
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader model 3.0+
    • Storage: 120 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2 GHz or faster processor
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Positive (11 reviews)
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