Science Fiction Post-Apocalyptic Space RPG!! Roguelike RPG + Top-Down Shooter = Fringes of the Empire 2D classic retro-style gameplay Modder friendly - tell your own stories
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Release Date:
Nov 16, 2015

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Early Access Game

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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?

“A game made with love needs love back! It's been a long road for this series, and without support of the community it won't ever get off the ground.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“1-2 years because the dedicated but lone developer is only working part-time on this title. I am roping in some of the unbelievable goals, so maybe only 1 year, who knows. Why not perpetually improve it?

I'm just a hobbyist -- my day job is working for -- but for about a dozen years I focused at least part time on games and have vicariously through friends manipulated and tweaked products that I also bought, played and enjoyed. My career's professional beginnings were in Open Source and as a professional web developer, working in medical and education. However, I've always at least hobbied as a game designer since 1991.”

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

“The full version will be functionally similar, but will include a fully fleshed out roguelike "boarding party" experience, have more content and plot-related features, have a fully implemented research system among others. My goal is to make a great 2D shooter space RPG that throws back to classics like Star Control 2 and StarFlight.

I will admit that Fringes of the Empire, being my first gaming commercial title anywhere near completion, is a game I could not bill it right now as the perfection I strive for. That's what Steam Early Access is going to help with, I feel. If people find a way to love this quirky game by helping it off it's feed, that's all I can hope for.

Fringes of the Empire is a gargantuan project written in GameMaker: Studio, pushing the limits of what the GM:S platform can even do. However, I see an end to the project, and I think that end will be a good game, even if I have scaled it back from the original promises on Greenlight. That's what sequels are for.

If you've read this far, thanks, and here are the facts:

  • Available on Steam Early Access on 11/13/15 for a discounted release price
  • Windows PC-only at this time, with potential for MacOS and Linux release down the line
  • Single Player
  • Roguelike / 2D Space Shooter / RPG Trybrid
  • Crew Management and Simulation Elements
  • Real-Time Arcade Combat
  • Roguelike Ship-to-Ship Encounters (Planned Future Update Feature)

I can admit it is a bit buggy, but I will continue to hone this game until it becomes fun and playable. There are a lot of features that are hidden behind newly added walls that players will push down through effective combat strategy, crew training & management, resource collection, interstellar trade, xeno-biological, xeno-archealogical and technological research, and plot developments that include encounters with aliens and other missions woven into the plot of the game.

It also seems likely that in a year or so it will be a fully user-moddable story engine which can allow for player-created scenarios and campaigns (though only limited types of new content can be added). The beginnings of that modding system is already available for those who want to Workshop the game. I suppose this makes the game cheat-friendly, but what retro-PC-gamer doesn't love the idea of making their own plots for a 2D space rpg? What would Steam Workshop enable someone to add to the world it and the ambitious could create?”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The Early Access version has a lot of combat and the basic ideas of the game are in place. Players can explore multiple star systems, fly around the Earth, fight baddies and explore the farthest reaches of the solar system -- and other solar systems.

  • Space stations are animated, but don't do anything yet.
  • More than 36 unique weapons
  • Combat is complex, including a very soft death sequence
  • 86 Ships!
  • Friendly ships that aid in combat.
  • Huge star systems with lots to explore
  • Ways to build fighters
  • Ways to steal weapons from enemy ships
  • Zany days ahead!

Already, players can expect to: create a unique character, manage and train their crew, participate in heart-pounding ship-to-ship combat in a roguelike space simulator. Over 36 weapons are already programmed into the game -- though many won't be available in the Early Access version.

Unfortunately what's not happening is the 2D platformer engine integration which was planned originally when the project was founded. However, on the bright side, more attention will be paid now to the space experience. The 2D platformer editor/engine is distributed with the game, but is no longer actively developed and some of the source code was released open source.

This game is being developed with GameMaker, and is incomplete though playable. Much of the content has yet to be written into the game. Also, the game's scope has changed from the original pitch due to engineering difficulties experienced using GM:S. Because of this, the game is partially complete, and since the scope is changing new content must be created.”

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

“Price will not change as we leave early access. Early Access purchasers get to contribute to the game's development, and they are also supporting a lone individual developer who is trying to make this game a reality. We do offer some discounting, but I feel it's not a AAA price and it's not a low-ball price either. Guy's gotta make a living somehow, I guess!”

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

“The 2D space shooter genre has changed, but this one wants to remain true to the classics. I want to hear more from players about what they want to see. And, if possible, I will implement the most appropriate suggestions and critiques. Complaints regarding confusion over how features are accessed, player-suggested ideas for plots, and wish-list features on the minds of fans of the 2D shooter genre are always welcome. If I can deliver something, I'll try to. If I can't, I'll explain why.”
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About This Game

  • Science Fiction Post-Apocalyptic Space RPG!!
  • Roguelike RPG + Top-Down Shooter = Fringes of the Empire
  • 2D classic retro-style gameplay
  • PC XBOX Controller Support, with other controllers to be supported soon
  • Fully custom engine for Windows systems
  • Mix of techniques: pixel art alongside 3D and 2.5D shading techniques, specifically tailored to Desktop systems
  • Tell your own story: Extensive modding features allow you to quickly create your own game content using included graphics or custom ones (total conversion is possible)
  • This isn't just shoot shoot shoot, you have to participate in the game's plot

It's the year 2600 AD, and the Earth is devastated by a hundred-year long war with a rogue A.I. superbrain. After awaking from cryonic sleep for over 300 years, you discover your parents are dead and you've been picked as the pilot of a salvaged pre-war vessel. Quickly renamed as the UFS Intrepid, the experimental craft was pieced together by engineers working in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Old Earth, Terran System.

Your first mission is to go where no one has gone for hundreds of years: to the very station that destroyed planet Earth.

Soon you discovered you're recruited into the UFSE, a growing multi-species stellar federation that is just beginning to explore the galaxy near their homeworlds. Powerful alien species and the run-of-the-mill riff-raff face down in the cold blackness of space. Remnants of the old empires hold clues to your survival as you build one of humanity's greatest achievements: the deep space station named Starbase Central.

Soon after your maiden voyage, your newly recruited crew is not all human: the UFSE is a diverse and growing stellar empire with several species recently allied. Your job is to go out and explore the galaxy and bring back whatever artifacts you can find. To fuel your vessel and build out its exofighters, your crew will spend time mining asteroids and exploring planetary bodies. After a long day of work, you might treat them to a burger at Moburger, the local interstellar fast food franchise.

This game has been in development for several years. The legacy "GameMaker" version has been made available to purchasers of this game as well as an added bonus.

Plans include to provide Workshop support, once the core game is complete, to allow players to mod the game.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: 2 GHZ Duo Core or Better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA or ATI GPU Required (No Intel Graphics or 2D Accelerators)
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: RealTek Audio or Equivalent
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: 3.0 Ghz Quad Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA or ATI GPU Required (No Intel Graphics or 2D Accelerators)
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: RealTek Audio or Equivalent

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