Rumour: Valve working on open-world space sim Stars of Barathrum

starsofbarathrum

By on October 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Get out your salt shakers, friends; this one is too tasty to pass up even if it does give off a faint whiff of “completely made up”. Do you remember a bit of a kerfuffle earlier in the year when a visit to Valve’s offices revealed a wall of concept art? At the time, fans immediately connected the art to the ever-elusive Half-life 3, but the latest on dit has it pegged as something entirely different. A poster on FacePunch cites an “inside source” for word that Valve has a new property under development, with the working title Stars of Barathrum.

The open-world game is said to play like Privateer or Freelancer, but with the chance to command larger ships as you pick your own path through the universe. The description was accompanied by a series of concept artworks, which GamingBolt tracked down to Peter König, a concept artist who worked at Valve from 2008 to 2012. Join the dots if you like, or just file it under “wishful thinking”.

Source: VG247

24 comments (Leave your own)

be good if they did something new, other than half life games, which is their only main claim to fame (minus steam), wouldn’t care if it was a cover name for that they’re on half life 3 though :p

 

hot damn, yes please

 

any mention of Freelancer and I get all hot and bothered at the possibility of a similar game being released.

mmmmmmmmmmmmm

 

Interesting stuff if this is true, but I’m betting that it isn’t.

 

As long as they copy only the world structure of Freelancer? sure…

but if they copy the combat and flight mechanics of Freelancer? Hell no, i’d never touch that with a ten foot pole…

 

Its rare to see a space sim come out, but anything like freelancer has my vote.
But with some further reading, the guy did leave the company. So perhaps not…

 

Did you forget that Chris is making another space sim? Wing Commander style at that… instead of the imho stupid mouse driven gameplay of Freelancer…

http://games.on.net/2012/10/chris-roberts-new-project-star-citizen-is-announced-already-has-amazing-trailer/

so fixed axis gunfighters like the old classic space sims (wing commander, freespace, tie fighter) instead of turret fighters of Freelancer.

 

The controls in Freelancer didn’t bug me that much. The open universe mechanic sounds more interesting though.

 

Could be the first game to use Source 2 if it’s real.

 

Chris Roberts’ new sim + Valve sim, about time the space sims came back!

 

bronzed:
Did you forget that Chris is making another space sim? Wing Commander style at that… instead of the imho stupid mouse driven gameplay of Freelancer…

http://games.on.net/2012/10/chris-roberts-new-project-star-citizen-is-announced-already-has-amazing-trailer/

so fixed axis gunfighters like the old classic space sims(wing commander, freespace, tie fighter) instead of turret fighters of Freelancer.

I -like- the twitch controls that the mouse brought to freelancer, it’s what made the game truly great in my eyes and I have been looking for another space sim, any space sim with similar controls.

 

skitzor:
any mention of Freelancer and I get all hot and bothered at the possibility of a similar game being released.

mmmmmmmmmmmmm

^ This

 

lordapophis: I -like- the twitch controls that the mouse brought to freelancer, it’s what made the game truly great in my eyes and I have been looking for another space sim, any space sim with similar controls.

There are some space sim that uses similar system including X series beginning with X3 (which ironically is around where X series took a nose dive in the combat department though it has more problem than that), in general though the turret based system defeats the main gameplay mechanism of space sim as far as the dogfight is concerned hence why it’s not used in any of the old classic space sim even the ones made after mouse was ubiquitous.

 

Just to clarify, most space sims ARE twitch based… the few that are not can be counted in one hand like Independence Day, etc…

Wing Commander, Tie Fighter, Xwing, Freespace, and Starlancer (Freelancer predecessor which did not use the mouse driven gameplay system, and sadly had a superior story as well) are all twitch based arcade space sim … but they are all fixed gun axis with some exceptions.

 

tie fighter, and to a lesser extent xwing stole so much of game time back in the day. when you fly wing man to vader, you know shit is about to get real.

 

lordapophis: I -like- the twitch controls that the mouse brought to freelancer, it’s what made the game truly great in my eyes and I have been looking for another space sim, any space sim with similar controls.

Yeah I prefer the turret system myself too when it comes to space sims. It’s a lot more sci-fi to think they would advance the targeting systems and its just another one of the things that separates the mechanics from your standard dogfighting games.

What I do hope they differ with from freelancer though is the missions. Damn the missions in freelancer got boring in like 30 minutes. They need to take a hint of rogue squadron styled missions, mix them in to the fray and also include a wanted/space pirate sort of system similar to Darkstar one where you can end up hunted by AI battlecruiser fleets.

 

They only needed to look back really, Starlancer had some of the most memorable missions (and NPCs, voice acting, etc) during those age of space sim, though unfortunately it paled in comparison to Freespace, especially Freespace 2 when it comes to the combat itself.

Whether turret based system makes sense logically or not from tech point of view though, we can debate either way (since each has it’s pro and cons in practice) but as far as dogfight is concerned… turret based system when used for the primary weapon array essentially kills one of the main component of dogfight, ie: bringing your gun to bear effectively on the target.

Which is why they rarely use instantaneous travel time, or fast travel time projectile weapon for turret based system since with a mouse it makes gun aiming trivial.

 

You know what would be interesting? Letting the pilot choose which system to use on their ship. Whether through custom weaponry or a specific classes type of fighter. Say the turret ones take more power to operate where the fixed weapons could convert that into firepower or reduced power/heat rates.

I doubt they would have fixed weapons in this as the rule though, as it says it is supposed to support much larger classes of ships and I couldn’t imagine a large battlecruiser or the like with weapons that only point directly forward on a fixed angle. Well, I could imagine one but I couldn’t see the logic in one.

 

yeah that would probably be the best solution, problem is it would actually take some time to balance the two out since inherently they each are not very straightforward to juggle as far as their strength is concerned in gameplay term.

as far as real physics and all are concerned though? for large ships, capital ships, etc and the like, technically axis fixed weapon, particularly spinal axis aligned weapon would make the most sense for space warfare..

reason being that would be the largest possible energy per shot you can throw through a gun mounted on the ship (since you have the largest possible volume that can be dedicated to the gun) which either gives you the highest possible damage per shot or the longest range achievable with the ship… which given the range in which theoretical space warfare would be conducted is pretty much given requirements.

The turrets on the old naval warships (ironclad era and above) were designed to overcome the limitations of naval ships which cannot turn quickly or maintain their bearing (and thus their weapon arc) on the target.

But in space, ships don’t exactly have such limitation…

in fact you should be able to technically drift whichever way in space and still maintain the bow of the ship on a fixed point sufficiently far away from the ship without too much trouble assuming that there are sufficient attitude thrusters mounted on the ship.

 

The only problem with that?

it makes for a decidedly uninspiring visual spectacle or entertainment material for the masses

since essentially you end up with artillery ships fighting each other shooting from millions of kilometers away like old Gettysburg except no one can see each other aside from sensor reading.

 
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