with Greg Micek
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nytime you describe a game using Babylon 5 and FTL it’s going to get some attention, and Battlestation: Humanity’s last hope is no exception. This roguelikeish strategy game allows you to do what many of us nerds have dreamt of for years; running your space station. We recently had an opportunity to speak with Battlestation team lead Aksel Junkkila and ask him about his game, his views on Kickstarter, and of course haiku.
Cliqist : Hello Aksel! Can you tell me a little about yourself and your team?
Aksel Junkkila : Hello! We started our small indie company 3 years ago together with my brother, now we are 5 working on the Battlestation series. Previously we developed two games, with a charitable core. We donate some of the proceeds to good causes, it’s really fun to be able to donate a sum to a cause every two weeks or so. The sums are small but they can still make a big difference for some child in Africa!
Cliqist : What is Battlestation: Humanity’s Last Hope?
Aksel Junkkila : Battlestation – Humanity’s Last Hope is a sci-fi roguelike game with a rich and deep story , inspired by Babylon 5 and FTL. Immerse yourself in an alternate universe and take command of the newly built Battlestation, designed to be the last defense for earth against oncoming threat.
Battlestation was born out of a simple game we made in 2 weeks, we noticed it started gathering positive feedback and this sparked us to start developing the game further. Now we have recently published a new Battlestation game for Android and iOS devices, Battlestation: First Contact. Battlestation: First Contact is a simplified version of the PC game for Android and iOS devices. It functions as a guide for us, proving the concept and working as a way for you to tell us what you like and what you would like to have in the game.
Cliqist : What sort of difficulty level will Battlestation feature? Would you say it’s geared towards hardcore players, casual, or somewhere in-between?
Aksel Junkkila : Oh it’s definitely geared towards hardcore players! The difficulty level will be… difficult! Similarly to FTL you will face different challenges every play through, testing your ability to react correctly. The incoming enemy ships, events, mining outposts, derelict ships, rescued crew, as well as the varying possibilities of among other actions discovering new technology, hiring officers, engaging in diplomatic encounters are all randomized for each new game. You can never rely on one single tactic to win, and you have to react to events and make the right decisions for each situation as it unfolds. Battlestation rewards ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness.
Cliqist : Customization is emphasized quite a bit on the Battlestation Kickstarter page. What sort of things will players be able to customize, and to what degree?
Aksel Junkkila : Players will be able to customize their commanders by distributing points do different skills from a total pool of points. We will also have random traits assigned to the commander based on the points, giving players a little different commander every play through. Of course the Battlestation itself can be designed and customized, the customization of the Battlestation works by assigning engineers to build facilities and cannons on slots. So the Battlestation will have an amount of slots and you place your different facilities and cannons on them. The impact of intrusions will directly be depending on the placement of different sections, and where the intrusion happens to take place. Losing the shield facilities, for example, will cause the Battlestation shields to shut down. Marines can be placed to guard different sections.
Ship customization is inspired by Master of Orion 2, you can choose how to equip them, adding different types of hull, weapons, shield, transport pods, and more. New technologies and alien artifacts can make every ship even more unique. The larger the ship is and the more it has space, the more damage it can inflict and take on. The drawbacks for a huge ship are cost and speed. Battlestation gives you the ability to create ships using your imagination, from small fighters to massive battleships.
Cliqist : Will there be any modding tool made available?
Aksel Junkkila : Yes we will definitely try to develop a modding tool as many fans like modding. It has not been entirely planned out yet but it has been on our minds.
Cliqist : How will the games’ back-story play into things? Will there be advantages to players diving into the lore you’ve created?
Aksel Junkkila : This is exactly the aim of the lore. Knowing the backgrounds of the different species will help the player to know their motives. The different species will try to take advantage of humans in different ways. The Schillae, for example, want to capture human males to mate with. Knowing this might deter you from sending small fighter squadrons to Schillae sectors alone.
Cliqist : Your stance on stretch goals is made pretty clear on the Kickstarter page. However, do you see the game expanding after its release?
Aksel Junkkila : As with all of our games we always update and upgrade them if they are liked. It is just a very win-win thing to do for fans and the developer. We also want to make a series and big IP of Battlestation. The Battlestation universe is very big; we can fit anything in there. We have a big dream that one day Robert Downey Jr. would be starring in a movie made out of Battlestation, but right now we’re focusing on the PC game.
Cliqist : There are a lot of scams and broken promises out there on Kickstarter, unfortunately. What kind of assurance can you offer to backers that you and your team can deliver?
Aksel Junkkila : We have developed 3 games from start to finish, our execution is superb. We would recommend everyone that wants to know more about us to look up our history and see how we treat our customers, with great care that is! More info can be found about us at http://bugbyte.fi and articles like these probably say a lot about us.
Cliqist : Can you close us out with a Battlestation: Humanity’s Last Hope inspired haiku?
Aksel Junkkila :
A Schillae sings in the night,
Softly appearing in your dream,
Will you fight, or succumb to the scream?
Thanks to Aksel for taking the time to answer our questions! If you would like to learn more about Battlestation: Humanity’s Last Hope be sure to head over to its Kickstarter page. You can track the progress of the Battlestation Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar.