A unique kind of point and click/RPG hybrid, The Captain is an exciting and bizarre sci-fi adventure that will have players coming back for more. Paying respect to similar old school games like Monkey Island and classic sci-fi like Star Trek and Hitchhikers Guide, The Captain is a brilliant and hilarious lampoon of both. With an entire universe to explore who knows what might happen; everything from saving or dooming a planet to ‘accidently’ putting a guy through a meat grinder. With great lighting and a throwback to pixelated graphics The Captain is brimming with unique life rarely seen even in other indie games these days. While the demo has issues and starts a little slow the unbelievable dialogue and mini-adventures really blew me away and had me going back for all of them. With so many possibilities it is impossible to tell what will happen next. Excited to learn more about the game I reached out to the developers at Sysiac Games for the below interview.
-Why choose The Captain as the name of the game?
At first the game was called ”100 planets” but we changed it because we wanted to emphasize that this is all about the captain and his journey.
-How did you come to the decision to make the main character a balding 35 year old?
I think both Benny and I am kind of bored with the stereotypical hardcore US marine type or big breasted model hero.
-While there are plenty of examples of old school games and more here what games or shows would you say influenced you the most in making The Captain?
I’d say that games like “Monkey Island” and tv shows like “Star Trek The next generation” are big influences. When it comes to the graphic style of the game we didn’t want to make it too complicated, partly because of nostalgic reasons but also because it leaves more to the imagination. Much like the absence of pictures in a novel. Less is more. In this case =)
-You mention that getting home is the main objective but in a game with so many possibilities isn’t possible to change those plans and not go back? Will it be possible to meet someone else while lost in space?
For sure, why not. The main game engine is divided into interconnecting layers. They all function on their own, but weave the story together. For example, one layer is the space travel and another is the adventure part. Things and crew you pick up during an adventure can help you in the space travel part. If, in a mini-adventure, you enter a conflict between two planets and choose one side, there is a chance that you’ll find yourself in trouble if you run into the other in the space travel layer later on. We will keep these layers separated in a way so that we don’t end up with mess of lose ends.
-How many mini-adventures can players expect total? How much extra money will be needed to design more?
We have a goal of 20 to 25 mini-adventures in the first full release. Our budget is calculated from the funding goal on Kickstarter.
-In a game where the goal is to get home as fast as possible what good does it do to build a crew and upgrade anything that doesn’t work towards that goal?
Getting home can take more than 30 years and in that case a crew can really help.
-While the game offers a unique atmosphere how many different kinds of locations can players expect?
Whatever our imagination can think of. As long as it fits logically in our universe there is a chance it will be there. Our goal is to make each mini-adventure as different and unique as possible.
-What good did turning a guy into ground beef do me?!
Haha, some things we do in life just don’t have a good reason. We do things we don’t intend. But then again, maybe there is a black market for human flesh later on in the game. Moral choices.
-How big of a crew can the character get and is it possible to get them all at the same time?
We want to keep the game simple in its design so don’t expect to build a massive crew. See it more as what crew members fit the tactics you are going for to get home as fast as possible.
-When you say special encounters what is that referring to exactly? Like running into possible crewmates or something else?
Special encounters is another of the layers I talked about earlier. Let’s say there is famous space pirate out roaming space. He will be out there every time you play and ill equipped you will most likely die meeting him, but with the right preparations, (upgrades to ship, crew, money), you can maybe take him on to gain a short cut, or why not just because he is evil and you are good. But it can be anything really.
-Is it possible to run into random events depending on the choices made?
Maybe but you should see it more like the choices you have made alters the possible outcomes of certain events.
-The star map in the demo is clearly larger than what is provided but how many planets/locations will there be total? How many will have events past harvesting?
20 to 25, all different sizes and atmospheres. The Risa planet in the demo should be seen as the larger type. But then add all the layers like, trade and space battles. There will also be mini-adventures taking place off planets. Welmu will encounter other ships and there will also be events taking place on his own ship.
-You mention it will be possible to upgrade the ship and train the crew but to what end? Is it needed to continue the plot or for other mini-adventures? What will items, like the database do?
It all comes down to getting home. If upgrading the ship gives the possibility to travel through hostile space you can save years or even trade more efficient. The database will ”grow” with time and be able to give you information on location and special encounters, but it’s all still in a design phase.
-How many possible variations to the ending will there be? Is there a ‘final ending’ for collecting them all?
A mini-adventure will have 3-4 possible endings and getting home within different time frames will have affected your family and earth very differently. When completing the game a ‘final ending’ will tell you how good/bad the journey went. It will be clear to the player if there is a better way to end the game. We will also provide an extensive achievement list (extra goals) to complete.
-Is the ship secretly evil or just ornery?
I guess you mean the Shuttle, the ship is quite nice actually. Hard to say, I think he refers to it as a superior design.
-The demo had a couple of game breaking bugs, is there any concern with that?
None whatsoever. We are posting updates to the demo daily right now. We are developing this on borrowed time and needed to get the kickstarter going. We hate bugs as much as anyone and are forever grateful for players reporting them.
-Will there be more resources than the two provided in the demo?
That’s the idea.
-In the demo doesn’t it seem like doing wrong gains the most? Players can’t even recruit someone without being sneaky.
Haha, we have laughed at this as well. This is not a design choice per say, it just happened to turn out that way in the demo. In the full game you will have the chance to be a nice guy.
-You mention the game will be released in March 2017 but is that date firm?
Nothing is written in stone, but that’s the goal.
-What do you hope to gain from creating this game?
Money and women… kidding. Like any serious indie developers we do it because we love doing it.
-Any plans for future games?
Always =). We have a growing list of games we want to do, but right now we are focusing only on The Captain.