Starship Corporation has launched for Windows PC. It’s an unusual blend of city-building and real-time strategy gameplay where the user is a space merchant seeking their fortune among the stars. More unusual is it took a long time for one developer to finish.
Starship Corporation’s funding campaign launched in 2012 on Indiegogo, and was then greenlit on Steam in 2013; it’s been in Early Access since 2016, The game is all the work of David Murent, the founder of Berlin-based Coronado Games, a one-man studio. (It’s published by Iceberg Interactive, of the Netherlands).
So we’re talking about someone who, in the boom time of crowdfunding independent games, picked a novel idea, did it all by himself and stuck it out over six long years.
In Starship Corporation, players design, build and provision space freighters and other industrial ships, set forth into the cosmos to make money and invest the gains in better technology to grow the fleet. For those wondering, yep, there’s combat, so the crew is an important resource in case the ship gets boarded.
The game features both sandbox and campaign modes (the latter one coming with the full launch update); 22 unlockable fuselages to build a fleet; 177 different rooms and facilities for the ships; and 24 missions ranging from standard operations to emergencies and hostile encounters. The campaign mode also offers 99 different contracts to the space entrepreneur and two different endings.
Murent was only seeking $6,000 when he took his idea to Indiegogo in August 2012. He received more than triple that amount in funding, with about 600 backers by the end of the campaign. But the game has had a very small following thus far, according to Steamcharts.
Still, six years is almost geological time in anything connected to this business. A ton of ambitious projects — a city-builder with what looks like XCOM and tycoon management was par for the course among 2012 pitches — found they were up against more than they counted on.
So if nothing else, Murent saw through his vision, and it sounds like he even expanded on it. Given what I remember of 2012 and crowdfunding, with everything coming over the transom and how little made it, I’ll start playing this weekend to see Starship Corporation for myself.