Cimmerian Space: An Interview with Nick Fallon of F3D Games

As promised, this week I bring to you something a little different! So I was contacted a little while ago by someone from F3D games about an upcoming browser-based 3D HTML5 freemium space shooter called Cimmerian Space. I thought ok, I don’t really play any Facebook games and it’s not usually my kind of thing, but why not have a look? As I looked up their Kickstarter page, I started to realise that it sounds kind of awesome. If you’ve been frequenting my blog for any length of time, you probably know I’m a huge sci fi geek and I’m willing to bet that many of you guys are as well. So how could a mature sci fi game featuring real time space combat, a story-based missions, crazy aliens and futuristic characters not be intriguing? Yup, it’s certainly not your typical Facebook game. In fact, F3D currently have  a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to implement a crew system for deeper gameplay and a photo shoot to bring the characters to life. They already had a photo shoot before with little funding and the results were pretty amazing (you can have a look for yourself on their Kickstarter page and have check out some of the photos below). The photos and the game itself have this dark, gritty, hi-tech style, which is at once reminiscent of a lot of traditional sci fi, but is also unique in really capturing that sense of futuristic high fashion that they were intending to showcase. 

The story goes like this:

“The world of Cimmerian Space is set against the backdrop of a civil war as the
desperate outer colonies fight for freedom from the Centrist government. Meanwhile
the mysterious and ancient Cimmerian’s are spreading their dark influence over
humanity and threatening to engulf the whole of known space. War, invasion,
treachery, resistance, passion, and adventure await those who’ll risk all to explore
this vivid new universe.”

Naturally, I had to find out more and to that end, Nick Fallon, founder of F3D and creator of Cimmerian Space kindly agreed to have a chat with me about his upcoming game. He also gave me a live demo of the game and I got to try it out for myself. Although, it was still in the early stages of development I thought it had a lot of promise and the space combat seemed fun and addictive. The other features, such as bounty hunting and trading seemed to add a lot of flair and variety to the game and I’m eager to try out those elements for myself in the beta. There was clearly more depth than your average Facebook game and it’s one I can see myself actually playing for extended periods of time. I’ll let him explain in further detail what the game is about and why you should get involved in their Kickstarter campaign. On with the interview!

What were your inspirations or influences in creating Cimmerian Space?

I’m a huge sci fi fan, recent influences are Firefly and Farscape, but also loved the story lines from Babylon 5 and Han Solo of course! The Cimmerians are similar to the Shadows but we have added a twist, the Cimmerian Nano-Virus which can allows the aliens to take control of their hosts. The Cimmerian Agents transmit the virus via blood or saliva, hence the Cimmerian Seduction!

Characters from the game

Characters from the game

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So it seems that the main antagonists are the mysterious race known as the Cimmerians. Tell me more about them.

Dark Matter accounts for 23.3% of the Universe’s matter, we know it’s there but we can’t see it. The Cimmerians are dark matter aliens. An ancient race opened a gateway to the dark matter realm millennia ago  and unleashed them. A terrible battle ensued and billions died.  The ancients eventually won, but their civilisation was so badly damaged that it eventually died out.  Some Cimmerians remained dormant in ancient ruins, only to be awoken by greedy explorers from the Vespin Corporation.

Cimmerian

Cimmerian Space seems very different from many other browser-based games out there. What do you think sets it apart?

Firstly we are using WebGL to deliver content direct to your browser, no plug ins , no downloads, just content!

Secondly we wanted to give the game the feel of your favourite sci fi shows with a bridge and crew members, so we have gone for rich photographic crew members.

Other than space combat, what other gameplay elements are there? Can you describe how trading and bounty hunting will work for instance?

Gameplay has many elements. There is the freeform gameplay that allows you to wander our universe trading and fighting at your whim. Trading involves finding a planet with a cheap trade price for a commodity, filling your cargo bay, then flying your ship to a different planet where you can hopefully sell it for a profit. Planets have indicators of their prices, but things change from visit to visit so their is no guarantee of profit!

We also have mission based story that you can choose to follow. The story starts during the Terran vs. Outer Rim Rebel civil war. You start as Terran but as you progress the Terran orders become more extreme!  <SPOILER> It turns out the Cimmerians are manipulating key Terran personnel.

Bounty Hunting missions will be available to those that have a bounty hunting licence. Each mission has a time limit to hunt down a tough individual ship. You get a clue to their start system and if you get the kill you get a ‘Scalp’ that can be saved up and traded for unique ships and equipment.

A screenshot from the game

Tell me about the 16 fully configurable ships that the game will offer. Will they all be completely different?

We have 3 main classes of ships:

  • Traders that either have large cargo space or are very fast. All Traders are light on weapons and armour

  • Military Vessels, have limited cargo and loads of guns!

  • Mercenary Vessels are more all rounders.

All ships have configurable shields, engines and weapons and new gear can be researched and crafted. Look out for the Stealth engines for sneaking behind enemy lines!

The hangar bay allows you to have many different ships, so you can explore different styles of game play

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A screenshot from the game

Your Kickstarter page mentions that there is a mission-based storyline. How much focus is there on that? If you wanted to ignore it, would you be able to?

You don’t have to play the main story arc, but its quite important early on as that is how we introduce game features to you. If you are happy with just buzzing around in freeform mode you can, but we hope the missions will be exciting and they are how we introduce our back story.

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Another screenshot

Funds from your Kickstarter campaign will also go towards a crew system. Can you explain how that will work?

We want to have 3 classes of crew initially: Gunners, Pilots and Engineers. Each crew member will give a game bonus associated with their class  that will improve as they level up.

Some crew are free to be found in the game, but other have to be unlocked. The unlockable crew each have a unique set of missions that reveals their background. Not only that but each mission arc has a unique piece of loot associated  with it. By playing the mission you have a chance to gain the required components to build the item. Missions are repeatable if you don’t manage to find what you want first time round.

The Kickstarter  BRIDGE CREW reward introduces the first 4 (Obsidian to be added shortly) unlockable crew members, and if we reach our stretch goals more will be announced and included in the reward.

Why was it so important for you to fund another photo shoot through your Kickstarter campaign? What do you think it will add to the game?

We hope photographic characters will make the game feel more like your favourite sci fi TV show and make the game about more than just space ships!

Concept art for one of the additional characers

Concept art for one of the additional characers

Who do you think this game will appeal to the most?

Our research suggests that young male gamers are most likely to play our game and those that remember Elite (from 1984!) . We aim to reach the Playstation /Xbox audience and hit while them while they  are on their laptops (and shortly tablets).

Of course we aren’t excluding girls that love sci fi we know there are more and more of them, so we hope to have something for everyone.

There seems to be a lot of focus on beautiful female characters, will there be much eye candy for the ladies as well? Presumably there will be a mix of male and female crew members?

Unfortunately our artist broke his leg before he finished the sketches of the male characters. We will be announcing them shortly (sorry Ladies!!) starting with:

Antoine Allen is to feature as Obsidian and a sketch of the character is to be released soon!

Is there anything else you’d like to say than I haven’t already asked?

The Beta test will be open to anyone who pledges on Kickstarter (even £1 pledges). Come and get involved. We want your input!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/924889576/cimmerian-space-browser-game

Thanks to Nick for agreeing to do this interview!

They are still 25 days left on their Kickstarter campaign, so why not head over there to send them some support and love? Even £1 will get you into their beta test, so it’s definitely worth it if you’re at all interested. There are also a ton of other rewards, such as getting additional characters, getting to name one of their planets and even taking part in their photo shoot and having your very own character complete with a back story and missions. Also check out their Facebook page for updates and more info!

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