Anyone who has ever watched Firefly can tell you that sci-fi and Westerns make a great combination, so it’s surprising we haven’t seen this setting used very often in games. The Borderlands games come close, but forgo the more Western-influenced aspects for their own style.
On the other hand, Exoplanet: First Contact, a new game now seeking funding on Kickstarter, makes no bones about how openly it mixes the two genres, even describing itself as a space Western. “We mixed the best of TESIII: Morrowind, Gothic, Fallout with the Firefly TV series and the Dune Universe. These are the main ingredients defining the look and feel of Exoplanet,” the Kickstarter page reads.
While the list of influnces might have you thinking that the game is a stat-heavy RPG affair, it focuses as much on shooter-style action as it does your character traits. When you’re not shooting or leveling your skills, the game will offer a crafting system built around antigravium, “the new gold.”
Players take the role of Jack, who finds himself on planet K’Tharsis, a “wild, untamed resource colony far away from civilization.” The scope is certainly ambitious, with no loading screens when entering houses or caves, and the only borders you’ll encounter are natural to the landscape. Jack will need food, water, and sleep, or else his mental and physical condition will be adversely affected. Of course players will have help from a number of perks unlocked as they progress through the game.
Unlike some Kickstarter projects, development on Exoplanet: First Contact is already well underway, with the game’s proprietary Sahara engine already in use. An alpha version is already working, and the game has already been greenlit via Steam Greenlight. Funds raised will be used to complete the game’s development.
Exoplanet: First Contact is seeking a relatively modest $45,000 in funding. As with any good Kickstarter campaign, there are a number of stretch goals in place, starting with more background options available for your character at the start of the game. Currently the highest stretch goal is $80,000, which will see random encounters added to the game.
At the time of this writing, Exoplanet: First Contact has raised nearly $32,000 toward its funding goal. With 17 days remaining until the campaign ends on Sept. 12, it seems fairly likely that it will be successfully funded. To back the campaign yourself, head over to the Kickstarter page.