Welcome to our new update, now devoted to the origins of Galactic Princess.
You have often asked us how the project began. It is time to answer these questions.
Galactic Princess was born in the head of Chmyke (Mickael in real life), our project manager / designer / programmer / amateur of bees / handyman. In 2013, he realized, alone, his first game: Too Many Me (a project to which we will return shortly). Too Many Me: a title which corresponds rather well to his many roles in the creation of Galactic Princess!
Chmyke embarked on indie development as soon as he completed his studies in a specialized school without going through the AAA industry (AAA : blockbusters produced by famous publishers). "It's really nice to be independent," he says. "There is nobody to tell us what to do, we do what we really want, no financial pressure ... Obviously you need to succeed if you want to do that for a living. But these are not the same issues as the AAA projects". If you have participated in the financing of our project on Kickstarter, you must be passionate, and therefore you must know: Freelancing allows you to really appeal to creativity (you don’t have to meet the specifications established by a marketing department), or to just make a game you really want to play.
Like many of us, Chmyke (a predominantly PC Player: "I have some home consoles, but not the last generation, whose line-up I did not like") was excited - and motivated - by many games made by indie devs (Super Meat Boy, Fez or Minecraft, for the most known). "I love Minecraft even though at that level, it's not even an indie game. It's hard to say which games have prompted me to start. But it's really the super success of Meat Boy and some other games that have helped revive indie games." Certainly, we should not forget that behind a small list of popular games, there are hundreds of indie games that deserve the attention of video game enthusiasts. Yet with a word of mouth, some games have gotten more attention (media) than others. And it is in this way that Chmyke discovered two excellent games, which are clearly the ancestors of Galactic Princess.
A not long time ago, in a nearby galaxy
During the summer of 2013, Chmyke marvels - and this is not the first time - before FTL: Faster than Light. But his game designer's heart is titillated by the possibilities of the game. "I was thinking it would be good that we can do this, and add that, etc". At that time, he also plays Kerbal Space Program. We take this opportunity to take our hats off to the teams of Subset Games and Squad! Guys, thank you: you are our models.
Although both titles will be major influences for our team, the idea behind Galactic Princess is mostly born of a session on FTL - a space roguelike developed by Subset Games and released in 2012. "In FTL, I loved specifically to manage my crew," remembers Chmyke. "Accordingly, I almost did not pay attention to the arming of my ship (laughs)! If I lost someone, it was more dramatic than if my ship took heavy damage." Yet FTL does nothing for the player to focuses on characters who have no personality, just statistics. "This is not necessarily logical, but I really loved my characters. Getting the rank announcing that they took experience (better stats) was really nice. But I found that this dimension, which I loved, was not exploited well enough ... I really wanted to play a game centered on the crew. While also taking into account the physical forces". Chmyke was especially frustrated to not be able to control his ship in real time. "I have found it strange that we had a static vessel, and in the right of the image, there is another ship in a sort of frame. This is not what I wanted to see, actually. I really wanted that one can see the clash between the two ships, one next to the other."
As explained above, Kerbal Space Program has also influenced our vision of the project. "In Kerbal, there are really very interesting challenges," says Chmyke. "You really learn to master the forces of physics, build your ship throughout your failures. It's awesome. There is a sandbox aspect in Kerbal, where you let your imagination run; you can do crazy stuff, that have nothing to do with what the developers had planned," he said, adding: "In Galactic Princess, there is this dimension, but not the same. And that's a shame. But one cannot have everything! (Laughs)". Indeed, over the creation of Galactic Princess, we preferred to put the sensations of the game before the respect of the reality. This doesn’t mean our game is a simple arcade game. It's about finding a happy equity. And Zeus knows how the boarding of an enemy ship is arduous when you vogue through an asteroid field ...
So during the summer of 2013, the Galactic Princess game design takes shape. "At the end of my previous game, Too Many Me, I wanted to create another project ... in pixel art," says Chmyke. "The art direction, in the pixel art style, really interested me, and I already had programs to do this. I started tweaking a few things. Then at some point in September 2013, I made a spaceship artwork in pixel art, with three modules and one person (see the illustration). By creating the concept art, I thought it would be nice to make a game that looks like FTL. In side view, graphically, because it worked well for the characters. And I already had ideas for some modules, in profile view. And I've always been attracted to physics. As an aside, if I may, I have a little theory about physics..." Note that our beloved Creator had not taken any illegal substance before speaking about this fun comparison! "When the little cubs are having fun, they give small swats with their paws. In fact, they discover their world by playing with physics. And I think the game is a little like discovering our world, learning to manipulate things. It communicates with the physical. I wanted to put physics in Galactic Princess". You will understand the message. There is some learning curve to successfully master our game. Unless you want to be a bull of space, you must have some dexterity to successfully tackle an enemy ship without becoming millions of small fragments drifting in the infinite space!
With that, we'll give you a rendezvous within a few days for the next part of this “making of” dedicated to the origins of Galactic Princess.
See you soon,
The Galactic Princess team
Thank to our wonderful proofreader, L. Moor !