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Article by "Sgt. Weeman"

Let’s pop over to the folks at “GotGame Entertainment” to find out all about their new MMOSG (massive multiplay online strategy game) DarkSpace. These are very popular games with an online community all of their own. So let's find out more about the game Palestar people are developing, Richard “Faustus” Lyle answering.

Hi, Tell our readers who you are, and what part you play in the development of the game.

I’m Richard “Faustus” Lyle, the creator and lead programmer of DarkSpace. I’ve done all the coding and much of the game design and concept development.

Darkspace: it’s a space sim. If I said you have 5 keywords to describe the game what would they be?

Tactical Ship Combat Strategy -- 4 words.

Whose idea was it and how did you go about getting the idea of the ground?

I decided way back in 1995 that someone needed to do a massively multiplayer space game which combined real-time ship to ship combat and strategy elements as the players advanced in rank. The game began development in late 1999 after I formed my own company Palestar. Three years later we have a finished product and we’re still adding more.

What type of units and space vehicles will you be able to interact with and will you have a set of special units for each race, or will you be able to customise as you go along?

Yes. We have 3 factions, 2 human and the token alien race. The ships available in each faction vary from a lightly armed scout, up to a massive dreadnaught. Several other classes of ships are available as well, such as the supply and transport ships. The class of ship determines its role in the game, all are needed to progress in the game. You might get stuck in an enemy star system with no fuel if you didn’t bother to bring a supply ship along.

All ships are played by actual players online, everyone gets rewarded with prestige and rank for whatever they do in the game to help their faction. When you rise in rank, you gain access to bigger and better ships.

All ships can be customized within limits. You must have the right slot type then either purchase or find the parts to replace components of your ship.

Each faction in the game has it’s own set of technologies, weapons, drives, and structures.

Races: What kinds will we expect to encounter in the game and is any one race stronger than the others or does each race have its own special strengths and weaknesses?

We work very hard to make all 3 factions equal, this in fact is a constant battle as we add new technologies for the factions into the game. The different factions require different techniques to play, so you’ll have to decide for yourself once you’ve tried all 3, which is best for you.

Will you have to pay a monthly fee to partake or it will be free or a one off payment, and what do we expect to get from our money?

Yes, the game is pay-to-play, for this we provide constant code and data updates, new technologies, new ships, bug fixes, dedicated high bandwidth servers, and more. The retail version which Got Game is publishing will include a one-month free trial subscription.

Graphically: will it all be in 3D or do we expect to have 2D in there as well and what graphics engine will you use?

It’s all rendered in 3D, however the game play occurs on a 2D plane which makes it possible to have actual tactics when engaging the enemy. We use our own proprietary engine “Medusa”.

More about the game where would you like it to be in a couple of years?

In a couple of years I think we will have the best massively multiplayer space strategy/tactical game you can play. Additionally, I have plans for a separate client, which allows players to join/control the ground battles occurring in the DarkSpace universe.

Where do you start of in the game (i.e. on a planet or are you at the helm of a spaceship)?

You are always in the command chair of a space ship; the size may vary depending on your rank in the game.

What type of support do you envisage for the game i.e. will you provide servers, upgrades, latest news for the game?

Yes, we maintain several dedicated high bandwidth servers, which we are ready to add more as the subscriber base grows. You can always get the latest news from our website at www.darkspace.net.

How will you go about the game? Will you have mission based levels, and/or is it survival of the fittest, or even will you be required to conquer planets to inhabit them so your race will be the strongest, or just live and let live with each race trading with the others?

The game is based on conquering planets for your faction, with that you gain more resources and can get better and bigger ships. There is a mission system in place, which generates missions based on what is occurring in the game, but this is completely optional.

The online community will be expecting more & more from each new game brought out. What will make yours stand out from others in the same genre?

We are trying to focus on what can’t be found in other online games coming down the pipe, namely strategy and team play. Most others are EQ clones, so they are more of an RPG, we have RPG elements as well, but they are not the central focus of the game. I think this makes DarkSpace more about strategy/tactics than just blowing stuff up all the time.

Last and not least anything else you would like to add to entice our readers to go out and buy the game.

DarkSpace is a great team based tactical and strategy game. If you’ve always wanted to be in command of your own star ship flying in formation with destroyers, cruisers, and massive dreadnaughts controlled by other players from around the world, you definitely should pick up a copy of DarkSpace.

Related Links:

Got Game Entertainment Homepage
Palestar Homepage
Darkspace Homepage
Darkspace Homepage at GGE