What if Benjamin Franklin helped launch space operations while fighting the British? Even those not versed in the history of the American Revolutionary War can admit this colonial/steampunk mix in RPG form is something that probably takes the work of a vivid imagination.
Studio Grenade Tree is embedding a historical twist within a tactical RPG, and the result is Outland 17: Void of Liberty. While it is based around the Revolutionary War, the action takes place in the future when the Earth has become overpopulated. Outer space stations on various planets seemed like the answer, but greedy corporations use the opportunity to exploit people, essentially making them into indentured servants. G. Martin Wallace, a citizen of the Republic of Earth, ventures to Outland 3 to investigate and subsequently gather a resistance force.
While they’ve looked to games like XCOM for inspiration, Outland 17 distinguishes itself with a greater focus on who’s in the party and how they develop over time. In place of traditionally predetermined roles or classes, characters will shape and grow in accordance with player leadership. Each person can use any weapon or item in the game, such as a shotgun or dual-wielding pistols, and they’ll get better over time with usage. Furthermore, the abilities they pick up related to the weapons will either get stronger or decrease in cost.
Rather than requiring long play sessions, Grenade Tree is designing short missions that can be completed in as little as ten minutes. Objectives and enemy positions are made visible from the get-go, and this streamlined design also lends itself to clearer feedback from the player community as the studio shapes maps.
Outland 17 is nearing the end of its Kickstarter campaign and is looking for more backers to meet its $10,000 goal. Look to the crowdfunding website for more details on reward tiers, how the team is reimagining colonial-era weaponry, and more information on the studio. There’s a downloadable demo available through either GameJolt or IndieDB.
The colonial/steampunk tactical RPG is slated for releasing first on Windows and Mac, while Linux and mobile operating systems are among the first stretch goals for the campaign. Outland 17: Void of Liberty has already been Greenlit on Steam.