Ascent: The Space Game
200 Billion Star Systems, Infinite Possibilities
Fluffy Kitten Studios
“One of Ascent’s design principles is that the game starts out simple but can get much more complex. ”
– Rayden (Stratics)
Ascent: The Space Game Now on Kickstarter Seeking Funds for New Graphics, Improved User Interface
MELBOURNE, Australia – Oct. 1, 2014 – Fluffy Kitten Studios, the indie developer behind the ambitious space MMO, Ascent: The Space Game, has embarked on a Kickstarter campaign that will allow the studio to complete the art and interface overhaul that began earlier this year. The added funds will also allow Fluffy Kitten to add features such as active NPCs that respond to text commands and new gameplay—including smuggling, bounty hunting, and assassination missions.
Three days in, Fluffy Kitten has already received $16,700 of its AU$ 35,000 goal. The money will be primarily used to hire George Karandais, the artist responsible for Ascent’s new ship designs—all of which have been widely acclaimed by the game’s thriving user base.
Ascent’s Steam Greenlight campaign is near 4,400 “yes” votes–and inching closer to a green light from Valve. Every Ascent premium user will receive a Steam key from Fluffy Kitten.
“I spent $70,000 out-of-pocket to create Ascent,” says James Hicks, founder of Fluffy Kitten Studios. “Without external help and relying only on my savings, I have just four months left of full-time development. We’re taking the Kickstarter route so that we can hire an artist full-time and an interface designer part-time—and to add some awesome features to the game. I reckon that’s what Ascent needs to become the game it was always meant to be.”
Gameplay trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCHlrT1HM7g
Ascent sports a mind-boggling 270 billion star systems—and it allows players to build and customize their own ships, colonize faraway worlds, compete with other players for currency and resources, mine asteroids, trade, and much more. The game’s two gameplay modes are roughly divided into “Industrialist” and “Combat” campaigns running side by side – it’s possible to switch between the two at any time. ”Industrialist” is more trade-oriented: Players are tasked with rebuilding business empires and attempting to restore order to the human race. Priorities include food and raw materials. In contrast, “Combat” features ship-to-ship (PvE) skirmishes as the player is recruited by the last remnant of the military (United Nations Combined Arms [UNCA]) to help protect the wealthy Janus Merchant Cabal against a pirate syndicate. The game’s engrossing storyline can be read here: http://www.thespacegame.com/story.html
If funded, Fluffy Kitten will add the following features to Ascent:
- Active colonists that can walk and talk
- Keyboard interaction with NPCs—similar to classic text-based adventure games
- New gameplay: Hire NPCs to pilot ships, smuggling, crime and punishment, bounty hunting, and assassination
About Fluffy Kitten Studios
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Fluffy Kitten was founded by James Hicks and Chris Mitchell—experienced IT department heads with backgrounds in enterprise development, release management, systems administration, and project and resource management. The duo embarked on a game development journey with a vision to create a space MMO that fills a perceived gap: a mainstream, approachable, PVE-focused space MMO with depth of play and an open-ended world. For more information about Ascent: The Space Game, please visit http://www.thespacegame.com/.
Indie MMO Ascent: The Space Game Lands on Desura Seeking Steam Greenlight Votes
Melbourne, Australia – April 9, 2014 – Ascent: The Space Game, an ambitious MMO/space simulator hybrid for PC and Mac,can now be downloaded from Desura! Steam users are also encouraged to support the game on Steam Greenlight.
Ascent sports a mind-boggling 200 billion star systemsand allows players to build and customize their own ships, colonize faraway worlds, battle other players for currency and resources, mine asteroids, trade, and much more. Interested players can view the brand new trailer or try Ascent by visiting the game’s website.
Although Ascent: The Space Game made its Steam Greenlight debut in November, much has changed since then—thanks to full-time development . . . and very little sleep! The latest updates to Ascent’s many systems (graphics, gameplay, interface) can be viewed here.
“Space is far from being ‘the final frontier’; it’s just the beginning,” says James Hicks, founder and CEO of Fluffy Kitten Studios. “Technology has allowed me to build a massive world literally on my own—an entire universe filled with 200 billion stars, planets, space stations, and other celestial bodies. We need Steam users to help us bring Ascent to Steam Early Access, which is the best way to introduce a whole new audience to the game’s unique take on space exploration.”
Ascent tells the story of a space-faring civilization that has lost it all to greed. Bank collapses led to economic disasters—a chain reaction of loss and despair that eventually took out every government, nation . . . and virtually all colonized systems. Wars have destroyed everything else. Players are tasked with rebuilding humanity’s place among the stars—beginning with the eight systems that remain connected to each other through stargates.
The game’s two gameplay modes are roughly divided between “Season 1” and “Season 2.” The former is more trade-oriented: Players are tasked with rebuilding business empires and attempting to restore order to the human race. Priorities include food and raw materials. In contrast, Season 2 features ship-to-ship (PvE) combat as the player is recruited by the last remnant of the military (United Nations Combined Arms [UNCA]) to help protect the wealthy Janus Merchant Cabal against a pirate syndicate.
Ascent is free to download and play, doesn’t require a subscription, and includes limited in-game purchases.
- Terrain engine: Earth-sized planets with detailed terrain, and new ocean and land shaders that look more realistic on high-end systems.
- EVA (extra-vehicular activity): Ability to land on planets and explore the terrain. Players can also take soil samples which can be later analyzed onboard. The ship’s computer will tell players about the mineral composition and agricultural prospects.
- Core sampling: Helps players understand what can be mined or farmed on any particular planet or moon, including an estimate on yields.
- Real-time space combat: Fighter-to-fighter dogfighting that scales up to big ship broadside duels.
- 11 classes and 12 ships: Players can choose from a large number of ship designs, which will eventually increase to 18—from cargo holds of roughly 10 tons to 1.3 million or more.
- Farming and mining on planet surfaces: Players can build their own planetary bases for resource harvesting. “City simulation”-style play.
- Personal starbase construction: Players can construct and customize their own starbases, which become a home in space. Starbases are also the center for heavy zero-g manufacturing and research.
- Trading: Dynamic local NPC markets and player-to-player global markets.
- Dynamic NPC mission system: Combat, trade (supply/demand), passenger transport, courier, and salvage missions.
- Asteroid mining: Manual control of ship and axial mining beam based on player/character skill.
- Research: Blueprint fragments attainable from salvage missions allow players to research forgotten (and new) ships and components. Building enhancements can also be researched.
- Manufacturing: Every ship, weapon, and utility module in the game may be manufactured by players and sold—or used to customize their ships through custom paint schemes.
- Gas giant harvesting: Because sometimes players need resources to survive (like hydrogen and oxygen)!
- Expansive universe: More than 200 billion solar systems (yes, that’s two zeroes)! The developer is currently adding planetary settlement and starbase construction features to these new systems.
To learn more about Ascent: The Space Game, please visit http://www.thespacegame.com/
- GPU: Intel HD2000 Graphics (GPU)
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- CPU: Modern Dual Core Processor
- Operating system: Windows & OSX
About Fluffy Kitten Studios
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Fluffy Kitten was founded by James Hicks and Chris Mitchell — experienced IT department heads with backgrounds in enterprise development, release management, systems administration, and project and resource management. The duo embarked on a game development journey with a vision to create a space MMO that fills a perceived gap—a mainstream, approachable, PVE-focused space MMO with depth of play and an open-ended world. For more information about Ascent; The Space Game, please visit http://www.thespacegame.com/.