Rebel Galaxy is an epic game of space combat, adventure and exploration. Double Damage Games was founded in 2014 by Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer. Both have a very impressive history and previously co-founded Runic Games, where they made Torchlight and Torchlight 2. Erich was co-creator and lead designer of Diablo and Diablo II and also went on to create the dark fantasy RPG Hellgate: London.
October saw the announcement that Rebel Galaxy is coming to PS4, and with such epic craft and awesome visuals we needed to know more. We had the pleasure of hooking up with Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer from Double Damage Games.
For folks that don’t know about Rebel Galaxy, can you tell us more about what they can expect?
Rebel Galaxy is a space scoundrel simulator! If you were to take the naval combat from Assassin’s Creed:Black Flag, and transfer it to space, with all of the cool trappings you get in sci-fi, then mix it with some Star Control 2, and conversations with alien races, and some Wing Commander:Privateer for that edge-of-the-universe trading feel, you’d be getting close.
The ships look huge and grand; how does handling and fire power of such craft feel?
Each ship is different – some are smaller, corvette-class ships which are pretty nimble. A dreadnaught is slow and lumbering but covered in weaponry. Most of the ships are maneuverable and swift enough that you can actively dodge incoming weaponry, and weave in and out between objects. While the combat is ‘naval-style’ in a lot of ways, it is significantly faster than oceanfaring vessels.
How much of the RPG experience is there to Rebel Galaxy?
It’s significantly more than any other game we’ve done. I think the very first mission has at least five ways it can be completed, several involving no combat, some involving only conversation – or you could go in guns blazing. Our conversation and interaction system is tied into a faction system, so you can befriend groups, make enemies of others, and make real decisions about what sort of character you actually are. There are no rpg player stats – in a lot of ways your ship IS your ‘character’, given that you’ll be upgrading it over the course of the game. Our RPG elements are more bound ton conversations and how you play, and how other characters react to you.
What would you say are the wow factors in Rebel Galaxy?
I love zooming out to the solar system level, and then zipping into see what’s going on in various sections of the system. And I think we get some great cinematic moments with ships flying everywhere, zipping in and out between asteroids while they detonate around you. I think our best real feature is the combination of the various elements – combat, exploration, conversation, trading.
Did making Rebel Galaxy push you into a different area of gaming and is this something you would continue to explore?
It’s been a great change of pace from building the Action-RPGs we’re known for. There are more role-playing elements in this game, oddly, and it’s very enjoyable to work on new game systems that aren’t directly derived from a previous game. Developing for PS4 from the get-go has also been a lot of fun.
How many hours are needed to complete Rebel Galaxy and does the game have a platinum trophy?
We don’t have a final hour count yet – we’ll have to get back to you on that one!
If you had an endless budget what would be the game you would create?
I’m not sure I’d ever want an endless budget. Limitations breed creativity 🙂
How impressed have you been with the PS4 line-up so far and what are your thoughts on the amount of indie games on offer?
I love my PS4, and I love the variety of content that’s coming to it. The barrier to entry for consoles has been so significantly lowered that I think we’ll continue to see more interesting and different games as the platform matures.
Has producing a game for PlayStation 4 been an easy ride and would you consider bringing this to PS Vita?
Blitworks did the initial port work for us and then we took over. They were excellent to work with, and I’ve been delighted at how easy it is to dev for. The tools and devkits are great, and extremely easy to get up and running with. It’s a far cry from the old days of console development!
We don’t have any current plans for the Vita – our resource limitations mean we have to be very careful about how many ports we try to take on 🙂
We would like to say a huge thank you to Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer for their time. It’s a real privilege when such a talented company takes time out and speaks to a site like ours. For more on Rebel Galaxy head over to Double Damage Games and tell’em Punk and Lizard sent you.