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Satellite Reign's 'amoral' universe leaves morality to players, devs explain in video

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Satellite Reign, 5 Lives Studios' just-Kickstartered spiritual successor to Bullfrog Productions' Syndicate real-time strategy games, is set in a "pretty amoral" universe that players can shape through their actions, character artist Dean Ferguson said during game's first developer diary.

The developers began the 20-minute discussion released today on YouTube by dispelling a misconception that Satellite Reign sets up a straightforward good vs. evil scenario.

"It's more about how you can get the upper hand on the corporations that exist at the moment and surpass them and take them over," Ferguson said. "If you want to do that in a moral way, you can. If you want to sort of raise the masses and free them from tyranny you can do that. But if you want to subvert them or manipulate them or literally use them as weapons or meat shields to take out the [corporations], you've got that option, as well. So, it's more open-ended than that."

The objective in Satellite Reign is to topple the powerful corporations, but whether players choose to free people or rise to the top just have the power will be up to them, animator Mitchell Clifford said.

"The only correlation in the game to the sort of power struggle with good and evil is that they are the haves and, at the moment, you are the have nots," Ferguson said.

5 Lives Studios launched the crowdfunding campaign for Satellite Reign late last week. As of this writing, it's received £146,038 in pledges of its £350,000 with 26 days remaining. If funded, it's expected to ship in Dec. 2014 for Windows, Mac and Linux. You can watch the entire conversation, which also touches on character classes and simulating cities, above.