Today at GDC 2102 we sat down with Colin Walsh of Celsius Game Studios and took a look at his upcoming galactic space trading game Drifter.

Drifter is a large-scale space action strategy title in the proud tradition of the legendary Elite. The game will feature a galaxy 100,000 lightyears across, comprised of 10,000 stars with systems both procedurally generated as well as custom-tailored for a specific play experience. The systems in question are populated with MPCs, pirates, miners, and even a band of black-hole worshiping religious fanatics that call themselves "The Song of the Infinite Abyss."

In Drifter, you start out in a small craft that you use to get from system to system, trading weapons, ores, and goods of all sorts in order to amass fortune that can be used to trick-out and trade-up your ship, in order to amass even more fortune. Your adventures take place in and among the Unaligned Planets, a Wild West sort of galactic zone, made up of colonies resisting the order of the Commomwealth of Free Stars and the oppression of the Solar Dynasty.

Gameplay involves commercial transactions in various orbiting settlements, as well as heated battles in the void of space, where winner takes all. Accompanying the action is a powerful audio track crated by Danny Baranowsky, known for his audio work in Canabalt and Super Meat Boy, among others.

Colin tells us that he is aiming for a summer release with Drifter, but that the title will definitely land before years end. Expansion packs that add to the game universe will follow the initial release.

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    Drifter Upcoming App
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  • Matt Curtis

    Wow, excited for this! Hoping for something similar to Galaxy on Fire, or Space Miner.

  • Etienne Pelletier

    Anything that vaguely reminds me of Freelancer will make me happy.

  • Ryan Hoile

    A plot ripped straight out of Firefly...  Yeah i'll probably buy it 😛

    • Retronaut42

      I don't see any reveal of a plot in the post. Just the concept of the game, and game mechanics.

  • Jesper Eriksson

    please keep the one plane aspect, on a mobile device i dont wanna hassle with gyros or clumsy controlls to spin and dive, and if its a space trader, there should not be to much focus on fighting or linear progression anyway. i like the pick a mission kill some pirates on your way to the next planet or system, and then pick a new misson protecting goods or people. 

    Dont make it to combat focused. And keep the one plane / 2D style. It will work great.

    • Ben Ruddock

      This is so wrong haha. These games need plenty of combat, and Warpgate style 2D gameplay would just kill this for me, it's SPACE dammit, not a street.

      • Jesper Eriksson

        OFC i like space combat, it is just that most space sims now days seems to focus to much on it making all the missions combat based, the progression combat based, i rather have a resource and trading focused game.

        i liked teh style on warpgate but the combat in that game was just plain stupid. Dunno if you ever played ultraviolet Dawn, i liked the combat in that game but the trading, missions and exploration was just bad in that game.

  • Glenn Broadway

    "Expansion packs that add to the game universe will follow the initial release."

    Er, yeah, won't be buying that then. If you're going to rip people off with DLC at least have the common decency to keep it a secret.

    • Retronaut42

      This is an independent developer who is worth supporting, so I don't really have a problem with giving him a little more money for the whole experience of the game. But maybe it's just me.

  • dyscode

    Please, please, please, do NOT make this a 2D space game like Warpgate. Give us REAL 3D!!!!

  • CrystalBoy

    That game looks like a remake of Elite: frontier, I'm loving it 🙂

  • Adam Gibson

    If gameplay is similar to elite and the universe is a big as they are saying this will be an immediate buy.  I hope the control feels like elite with newtonian physics.  It would be great to have gyroscope and accelerometer input as an option for freelook and for directional control so that you have a 360 degree view by turning your body around 360 kind of like the star apps on the appstore.   I hope they hide things on the planets around the galaxy in case you actually get out to 10,000 light years let there be a prize of some kind that you can find.  That helps keep the game exciting for a long time for me.  Knowing I could find something unique on a planet somewhere months or years later.

  • Siwho

    Having been a big fan of Elite and Frontier back in the day, this is a really exciting project and one that will fill a niche in the current gaming market. Any release date yet? Best of luck!

  • makageorge

    I was going to ask, can you land anywhere on the planets and will they be procedurally generated too? but see it's not really a 3d game, so I'm guessing no... also the movement seems to be like a plane, and not realistic...

    still... it's interesting, so I'll be keeping an eye on it...

    why don't someone just port Frontier?

  • C_Sancho90

    As an avid EVE Online player, this is tickling my fancy in more ways than one.