Ten years ago, I sat down to teach myself a new programming framework, and wanted a project to power that learning along, so I set about building a 4X game inspired by the likes of Pax Imperia, Master of Orion, and all that.
I stood up a beta version of the game on a web server and invited a few friends to try it out — many were intrigued, a few became obsessed, and I figured I had something interesting on my hands. Unfortunately, I wasn’t experienced enough as either a game designer or as a software engineer to escape some of the traps inherent in such a game, and I was forced to spin it down when things got impossible for players to continue. But I never stopped thinking about it… it’s probably not an exaggeration to say I thought about Galactic Impact at least once every week in the intervening decade.
During the first Pandemic Summer, I needed an extracurricular to keep myself focused, so I chose to pick it back up; now with ten additional years of software development under my belt plus two published board games, the challenges hadn’t changed, but I was more qualified to tackle them.
After a few months, I had the basic mechanics rebuilt, and I enlisted the help of a few playtesters, then a couple of contract designers — and relaunched!
Galactic Impact is an ongoing multiplayer “4X” style game that plays in any web browser, and only asks for short, periodic time commitment to play effectively. Players tend to log in for as little as fifteen minutes per session; players sometimes choose to log in multiple times each day if they’re coordinating a tricky invasion, while other times a player may go a week or more between sessions if their empire is relatively stable, and they have scouting ships en route to explore distant stars and the transit will take a while.
The game is a work-in-progress, but there is already a rich ‘tech tree‘, many classes of ships to build, and multiple ways to develop and optimize the worlds your empire expands to. The vision is to eventually enable an online community of in-game defense alliances, trade negotiations, and opportunities for mutual exploration and discovery in a vast, shared universe.
It’s free to play forever, with a modest, optional, monthly subscription ($3/mo for early adopters!) to unlock a few convenience features. No ‘loot drops’, pay-to-win features, or NFT bullshit, and I’m committed to keeping it that way.
Come check it out! There are already a handful of very active players mapping out the galaxy, and the more the merrier!