Empyrean Frontier is a Real Time Strategy game about an epic interstellar conflict, featuring massive space fleets, base building, and resource collection. Conquer the galaxy in a procedurally generated campaign or match wits against the cunning AI in a variety of skirmish game modes.
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Release Date:
May 24, 2017

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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?

“Empyrean Frontier has reached the point where the core game is playable and nearly all of the main systems are complete, however I still have more content to add, and likely some re-balancing as well. The procedural campaign in particular is relatively uncharted territory for an RTS game, and player feedback during Early Access will allow me to make changes based on that feedback in order to create a better, more engaging, and more replayable game.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“I expect the game to leave early access in Q1 2018. Early estimates were for within 6 months, however due to feedback and to allow for additional content an early 2018 release is a better estimate.”

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

“Some aspects of the final version will depend on player feedback during the early access process, however these are the main points that I intend to work on:
  • The final version will have a longer campaign with multiple stages as well as more missions and characters
  • The research system will be improved with unlockable unit upgrades
  • Additional skirmish maps
  • some additional units
  • some of the unit models will likely be redesigned or have improved graphics
  • additional sound/voice assets
  • Steam Achievements and Trading Cards

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“In its current state, the game includes 2 fully playable factions, 2 variations on the traditional RTS skirmish mode, a 5 part tutorial, an additional Campaign tutorial, and a partially completed procedural Campaign, which is still being developed. The campaign currently has 4 enemy faction bosses and 40+ scenarios that can be encountered during the campaign.”

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

“The full version may have a higher price than the Early Access version.”

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

“I see Early Access as a way to get the game in players' hands, build a community, and gather feedback. As the developer, I'll listen to community feedback on the forums and through other channels to improve the game by gauging which features and changes would make it the best experience possible, especially for our core audience.”
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Recent updates View all (19)

June 18

Update 19: 6/18/18

-added new enemy faction and boss fight to the campaign
-added 6 additional campaign missions with multiple map and faction combinations
-added new skirmish map
-both corporate faction boss fights are now in the boss rush mode
-new map type: planetary map. These are cloud covered maps with gravity and platforms to catch falling debris
-added new "faction info" button to campaign dialogue screens featuring an enemy faction's portrait
-fixed bug where move orders that had both a regular destination and a rotation destination weren't being removed when both results were reached (this caused an issue with some scripted Command Center movements in the campaign)
-the AI will now upgrade cruisers with weapon modules and the skirmish AI will build cruisers and other T3 units on normal and hard difficulty
-adjusted Wreckers League boss battle to add a slow effect to the boss when ship shredders are active and reduce the production rate on easy and normal difficulty

This update adds the 2nd corporate opponent and boss fight to the campaign (the 6th overall.) I still have a few things to change, including the faction portrait, which will be changed in a future update.

(here's a video of me playing through this boss fight on normal difficulty)

The new map type which includes the boss fight and a new skirmish map should add some additional variety to the game. These "planetary" maps take place high in the atmosphere of a large planet and unlike the space maps, scrap metal from destroyed ships will simply fall to the surface, rather than floating around where the ship was destroyed. Large buildings with flat platforms will catch any falling debris, so it is good to fight above them if you wish to collect any scrap after the battle. I've had this idea for a cloud map for a while, but this update finally adds them to the public build. It took a while to get the shaders for the clouds and buildings working properly (making the cloud layers appear to have real volume and making the buildings fade into the clouds below) but while I was working on that I managed to find some optimizations to the way regular units are drawn as well.

I've gotten feedback that the player's relationships with the other factions is one of the more interesting parts of the game so I've been trying to focus on making that an even bigger part of the campaign. Among the new missions, I've added 3 where the player chooses between 2 enemy fleets that can have any combination of factions. Each faction will have a fleet makeup and reward that is customized to fit with that faction's strengths. I've also edited some of the old missions to have better rewards and add in additional possible factions.

Additional Notes:

My next step is to complete the last additional corporate faction/boss and then the final Imperial boss fight. I'm close enough to the end that I can say that the final release date should be within a few weeks of the end of the summer sale (I'll also be putting the game on sale to try and get some players before it comes out.) That will give me time to finish the rest of the campaign, make a new trailer, and try to do some marketing.
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May 9

Update 18: 5/9/18

-added 24 tech upgrades and added new GUI elements for researching and displaying techs, abilities, buffs, and debuffs
-added 2 new frigate unit abilities (EMP Missile and Smash)
-added a new panel in the units selection bar which shows all current upgrades and buffs/debuffs for the selected units
-persistent tech upgrades can now be unlocked in the rogue fleet campaign through the new "Techs" tab
-added campaign meta-progression where completing zones increases the number of starting techs for the next playthrough
-the player can now select enemy units to see their unit type/health/short description as well as any upgrades or buffs/debuffs they have
-added a new variation of the miner hunt scenario
-added faction effect and increased the time between waves on the miners hunt campaign scenario
-added area markers to the asteroid belt in the miners hunt campaign scenario
-the Robotic Mining Corp faction boss is now also available in the Arcade Boss Rush mode
-Rockets will now correctly track "drive by targets" (note: this is an existing feature which means when a unit is given a regular move order then a queued (shift) attack order afterwards - it will prioritize attacking the targeted unit if it is in range while moving to its primary destination)
-group object icons are now more accurately drawn over the unit's center (for selection and targeting purposes)
-improved enemy AI in maps with multiple unconnected map grids
-queue move formation orders can now be accurately given even without use of the formation hotkey
-fixed issue where rotation orders were inappropriately being removed for non-player units (when assigned by triggers in the campaign)
-fixed issue where rotation orders were being cleared when the game was paused then unpaused
-fixed bug where cruiser "sell module" buttons could be clicked when invisible
-fixed rare bug where units could become invisible
-fixed bug where flagship refineries would collect resources too slowly during high game speed/low framerate
-fixed bug where the next zone wouldn't start if the player used the number keys to select the last dialogue option after defeating a campaign boss
-added additional check to prevent the game window from starting partially off-screen when launching in fullscreen mode
-fixed issue where some units could continue firing at captured units that have recently changed owners
-fixed issue where the FTL missile would activate at inconsistent distances
-FTL missile trail particles are now always visible regardless of view distance
-units will can no longer be accidentally selected by left clicking while targeting abilities are being issued
-fixed issue where the mouse's scroll wheel and the up and down arrow buttons for scroll panels wouldn't work when the game was paused

Additional Notes:

Tech upgrades are one of the features I've been planning for a long time and I've finally added in the new systems in this update. Like most of the recent updates, the tech system was heavily influenced by the design needs of the campaign. In the campaign screen, in addition to having a fleet of units and flagship modules, the player can also gain persistent techs during the course of the campaign that will make their fleet more powerful.

In keeping with the convention of faction differences, the Imperial and Union factions also have different types of basic upgrades. The Union's basic damage upgrades are differentiated by unit class (fighter, frigate, cruiser) while the Empire's basic damage upgrades are separated into 3 main weapon types. In addition to providing a different kind of strategic decision for each faction, this allows us to simply double up damage upgrades in the campaign. (Normally, a Union player cannot research Imperial tech and vice versa, but in the rogue fleet campaign, the player can be granted Imperial techs as a possible reward for defeating bosses.)

There is also now a form of meta-progression to the campaign. Each time the player starts a new campaign, they will have additional bonus starting techs based on the number of zones cleared in the previous campaign. I am wary of adding too much meta-progression, but the extra bonus techs are meant to be a nice consolation prize for an unsuccessful play through. The campaign is still designed to be something that can be completed on the first run with good play.

Ability Upgrades are another related feature that I added in this update. So far, there are 7 already implemented abilities (not counting those granted by flagship abilities.) Part of the work behind the scenes for this update involved re organizing the ability related code to make it easier to add new abilities in the next patches. In addition to adding new abilities to the Imperial units and some more of the higher tech Union units, I'll be bringing in some campaign specific abilities that are much more powerful (and probably more fun) than those available in standard skirmish mode. These techs will be unlocked by completing special missions and will generally be limited to a single unit in the player's fleet, making it very much overpowered compared to regular units.

Lastly, I'd like to note the new interface (the new button next to the health bars on the bottom bar switches between "unit info view" and "upgrades/buffs view") that allows the player to see the currently equipped tech upgrades and buffs or debuffs for all selected units. The current list of buffs/debuffs hasn't changed much in this patch, but the player can now see whether their units (or enemy units) have a speed buff or debuff or an armor buff or whether they have been weakened by tractor beams.

This is the last of the big new feature additions, for real this time. The remaining work is mostly adding content (more campaign missions, boss fights, and new techs/abilities) and polishing what's already there. I'm getting close to setting a final release date - it hasn't been decided yet, (it's hard to estimate these things, and the timing of the summer sale will probably have an effect on it) but for now the next few patches should start to come out with greater frequency.
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About This Game

Empyrean Frontier is a Real Time Strategy game about an epic interstellar conflict, featuring massive space fleets, base building, and resource collection. Conquer the galaxy in a procedurally generated campaign or match wits against the cunning AI in a variety of skirmish game modes.


  • Procedurally Generated Campaign
  • 2 Skirmish Game Modes
  • 2 unique factions
  • Base Building
  • Intuitive Tactical Controls
  • Boss Fights
  • Superweapons

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows Vista or newer
    • Processor: Dual core 2GHz+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX10 capable graphics card
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
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