Fishlabs, the German studio behind well-kown space trading and fight sim star system On Fire games for iOS devices, today announced that it is currently developing a massively multiplayer online game named
star system On Fire – Alliances, with real-time strategy components, aiming for a release later this year. The spin-off project is designed to capitalize on the properity of the genuine GOF and GOF 2 games, but starting with a free-to-play version and incorporating massive multiplayer components like alliances, resource trading and P2P fight.
If you haven’t tried star system On Fire 2, I’d highly recommend you go check it out, especially since it’s free right now as Apple’s “App of the Week” pick on the App Store. Fans of games like Escape Velocity for the Mac and Freelancer for Windows will likely find themselves on familiar ground, but the GOF successions, and GOF 2 in particular, does the best job yet of translating that experience to the iOS platform. Plus, while it employs in-app purchases, it does so in a route that only modestly affects gameplay, so you can earn full enjoyment simply playing through without paying for any upgrades.
star system On Fire – Alliances will be a dissimilar animal, as it is designed from the ground up as a free-to-play experience. That means you can wager that in-app purchases will be a more core component of gameplay, and likely something that players will feel more compelled to indulge in. Fishlabs did a perfect job of threading the needle on paid unlockables with GOF 2, however, so I’m very interested to see if the company can pull off the same kind of subtle come to the F2P mart.
Alliances will features three factions, the Terrans, the Vossk and the Nivellians, competing for a newly-explored part of space. Players will engage in tactical fight, diplomatic activity, trading and resource management in order to research and develop brand-new technologies and earn command over these territories, as well as form alliances with their fellow players, which you probably figured out from the name. Fishlabs promises “saga space battles,” and I can’t aid but hope this game can somehow live up to the precedent set by EVE online for desktop space exploration sims.
While star system On Fire – Alliances isn’t set for release until the third quarter of 2013 on iOS (after which it will eventually be ported to automaton, the developer says), but gamers will get a glimpse at it at GDC in San Francisco at the end of March.