What is TorchShips?

TorchShips is about living and fighting in space.

It is 3-D tactical space combat based on real physics with procedurally generated single and multi-player open worlds. It will be released for Windows, Mac and eventually the iPad. (Linux version as well if interest warrants it)

Why is the game called TorchShips?

(from Atomic Rockets) – The term “Torchship” was coined by Robert Heinlein, and is featured in his stories Farmer in the Sky, Time for the Stars, Double Star, and “Sky Lift”. Sometimes it is referred to as “Ortega’s Torch”. Nowadays it is implied that a Torchship is some kind of high thrust fusion drive, but Heinlein meant it to mean a total-conversion mass-into-energy drive.

In our case we refer to a TorchShip as any type of high energy reaction drive spaceship.

What is it like to play?

The core game is about space combat and some local exploration. There will be some rpg/rogue-like elements, but very little crafting/grinding/leveling. Progression is ship based, not character based – you start very small (small pod/manned maneuvering unit with limited weapons) and work up to larger and more capable craft.

All combat takes place around a procedurally generated mass-point of some kind, from clusters of asteroids to a gas giant. You are in an open world with resources and opponents/competitors/allies scattered across orbital space.

You will only ever control one ship – but will sometimes work will allies and/or neutral vessels to accomplish a mission. You may also eventually command a ‘fleet’ of automated armed or recon drones.

Who are the developers?

TorchShips has been primarily designed & developed by one person – John Gillespie – but will utilize a large amount of music, sounds, 3-D assets, and tools developed outside of the company.

What technology are you using?

TorchShips is written in Unity3D – this lets us utilize the Unity Asset store to speed up development and will let us release for multiple platforms fairly quickly. We are using Photon Cloud for the multi-player modules.

Will you have multi-player?

Yes, player-vs-player and cooperative missions, plus a single persistent world eventually. The proposed modes are …

  • single player – offline open world with AI opponents and allies.
  • multi-player missions/worlds– coop or pvp – session based – you can start a session or join one – can play in private session with friends or open to the public – bots or no bots set by session owner – sessions can be restarted or reset
  • multi-player persistent world – some bots to handle low player population if needed

What platforms will you release on?

Mac & Windows, with an  iPad version to follow shortly afterwards. Linux if there is enough demand/interest.

When is it coming out?

1.0 release in October 2015  – but with a lot of alpha and beta released along the way – this is subject to time and funding limits – we will have a closed beta before then – please subscribe to the blog or follow us on twitter and/or facebook to be notified when we start the beta.

Will there be a demo?

Yes – expect to release initial demo in November/December 2014.

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