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Command a ragtag fleet of starships against an unbeatable enemy and save what's left of humanity.
In XO you command a ragtag fleet of starships against an unbeatable enemy. You'll be evacuating refugees, scrounging for resources, overcoming political treachery, and assembling your flock from one jump point to the next. Your goal is to lead what's left of humanity out of reach from the unknown threat that pursues.
XO is focused on fleet tactics, political conflict, and resource logistics. The ships in your flock, planets you journey to, and events you encounter are procedurally generated, giving you a unique experience every time you play. Each scenario should last 3-7 minutes, with an entire game playing out in about 90 minutes.
Emerge from jumpspace near a planet where you will begin rescuing ships, gathering resources, and defending from ever-stronger waves of enemies until you judge it is time to evacuate the fleet
Choose the next planet to jump to based on limited intel, taking into account the resources you need, reported enemy strength, and refugees at each possible destination. Spin up the fleet's jump drives and lead your able ships to the temporary safety of jumpspace
In jumpspace, use your resources to upgrade ships, manufacture new weapons, and make critical repairs
Continue this cycle until you amass enough firepower to defeat the enemy mothership and escape with as many people as possible.
You won't be able to save everyone. As fleet commander, it's your job to make the call: do you save the damaged military destroyer to add more firepower to your fleet, the tanker that will extend the fleet's range, or rescue a freighter loaded with enough food to keep your people alive?
Combat & Weapons
To initiate combat, your ships need only move within range of an enemy ship. There are several types of weapons at your disposal, including flak cannons, point-defense cannons, lasers, missiles, and a unique defensive tool called the sandcaster - which forms a cloud of sand that blocks laser fire and damages ships that blunder into it.
We have a Kickstarter stretch goal for advanced combat fire control that will allow you to prioritize which ships are fired upon first.
Movement, Flanking & Formations
We've painstakingly modeled movement on actual Newtonian physics in space so your starships will behave realistically. This all happens in a 2D plane – making tactical situations easier to comprehend and therefore faster to play, which helps keep the game flowing and the intensity high.
Plotting a course works by selecting one or more ships, then choosing one or more waypoints. Each course line is visualized with an Estimated Time to Arrival (ETA). Waypoints are draggable and course lines are adjusted in real time displaying the actual course that is possible for the ship to fly given its thrust, rotational capability and current vector. Your navigational computer will also automatically display different course options to assist you in tactical planning.
We then give you the power to adjust the time it takes for each ship (or formation of ships) to arrive at their endpoint with an ETA slider. As you drag the ETA slider you’ll see course lines change in real-time, allowing you to experiment and make adjustments on the fly as befits the tactical situation. This allows you to coordinate multiple tactical groups to arrive at the same time at a particular location.
You can also issue special movement commands by hovering over a ship: flank, intercept, or attack enemies from behind; follow, stay behind or cover a friendly ship.
Defend Your People
XO is about survival; there's no time to colonize planets, negotiate with alien races, or build an empire. You're outnumbered, outgunned, and low on resources. Knowing when it's time to fight or flee will be the key to saving the human race.
You'll soon notice that the ships in your fleet aren't being destroyed, they're being disabled. Once one of your ships become disabled, an enemy carrier will launch a harvester, a fearsomely powerful ship whose sole purpose is to extract humans from disabled ships and return them to the carrier.
It soon becomes clear that your enemy isn't trying to blow everyone up; they want to abduct as many people as possible and carry them off to a fate presumably worse than death.
And as gruesome as it may sound, you may be able to use disabled ships to your advantage...
You'll have to manage a myriad of personalities as you amass a fleet, and your leadership will either inspire loyalty and sacrifice, or drive your people to treachery and sabotage.
Under the strain of battle, legendary figures will arise that require thoughtful leadership. Demands, urgent calls for help, and interesting opportunities will present themselves, often at your most trying moments. You must decide what is best: do you reassign that annoying complainer to damage control, throw them in the brig, or abandon them to their own fate? Do you risk the safety of the fleet to pursue a sudden opportunity?
Properly managed, these figures have the ability to empower your flock. If left to their own devices, they could bring about an end to your mission... and humanity as we know it.
Resources are plentiful; time, however, is not. In order to keep your fleet going, you'll need food, water, air, fuel, and raw materials. You can find these resources at space stations, depots, abandoned starships, and nearby planets. The time it takes to collect what you need may require the sacrifice of hundreds of brave souls.
While exploring star systems, you'll come across parts and schematics at space stations, abandoned ships, and other locations. If the ships in your fleet have enough resources you can manufacture new weapons, upgrade your ships, and even build new ones.
You'll have access to the replicator during your time in jumpspace. You'll be limited on what you're able to create not only by the resources available, but also by time.
FEATURES & MECHANICS
XO is a single player game in development for PC, Mac, and Linux
The game unfolds in real-time but gives you the ability to pause the action and issue commands
XO focuses on tactics, operations and big decisions over micro-management
How you respond to events will have lasting effects on the people in your fleet
Most of the gameplay is procedurally generated: events, starships, star systems, planets and personalities
Newtonian physics govern starship movement in a 2D plane
We believe in Permadeath
This weekend, we brought XO to Seattle for the 4th annual iFEST expo. The turnout was better than we expected, and there were plenty of strategy fans around to play our game. The build we were showing is a horizontal slice of the game which focuses on fleet tactics and rescuing a few starships in distress.
The feedback we're able to get from these kinds of events is extremely valuble, so we'll be returning to Seattle in just 2 weeks to bring XO to the Power of Play Indie Expo. If you're in the Pacific NW, this looks like it's going to be a great weekend. You can register here.
We've also submitted XO for IndieCade and PAX Prime with Indie Megabooth, and we hope to see some of you there later this year!
Getting back to development: our focus now is working on the full game loop - or a vertical slice of the game. The political elements, ship repairs in hyperspace, and resource management are all in the works. We've also been working on the fleet jump effect, which we're really excited to show off.
Thanks for the support so far - stay tuned for more updates and if you haven't voted for our game, please do so (and don't forget to leave a comment!)
Brian Jamison-Game Designer & Art Director- Brian designed and produced Underlight, one of the first MMOs, which ran for over 9 years. He's designed promotional web games for many console titles for Sony, Namco, and Midway/Atari, and has also founded several successful software companies.
Brian Davis-3D Artist- Brian has been working in the game industry for 17 years, helping to create AAA titles for Atari Games, Monolith Productions, Surreal Software, and Flagship Studios including the arcade classic San Fransisco Rush 2049.
Justin Pando-Lead Developer- Justin is a recent graduate from the Art Institute of Portland with a degree in visual & game programming, and a four-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Dominic Mandy-Technical Director- Dominic is a mathematician who was researching biology by modeling metabolic networks before switching gears into game development.
Corey Warning-Marketing- Corey worked in the music industry for over 10 years, both as a musician and record label representative. His love of video games inspired him to start working on indie games with friends, serving up retro sound design and weird game concepts.