ZeroSpace Kickstarter rallies StarCraft pros for cinematic RTS

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Some of StarCraft II’s most recognizable pro players and creators are coming together to launch a Kickstarter for ZeroSpace, a brand new cinematic real-time strategy game. Players will be able to combine various factions, mercenary units and heroes adding additional replayability and strategic depth to the real-time strategy genre.

In addition to PvP, ZeroSpace will feature a campaign that takes inspiration from epic sci-fi RPGs like Mass Effect. Players will have to make complex moral decisions as they build deep relationships with their crew and navigate the galaxy.

ZeroSpace’s campaign features interactive dialog

As a stretch goal, developer Starlance Studios plans to add an additional co-op mode. These missions will bring together teams of three players who will face off against an AI opponent. Players will be able to join guilds and form alliances to influence the persistent galactic map.

ZeroSpace’s RTS origins

ZeroSpace is a love letter to the RTS genre, from developers, pros and creators involved in the community.

“I grew up having my mind blown by RTSs like Starcraft, and that inspiration brought me to the games industry,” said Marvin Gouw, founder and CEO of Starlance Studios. “But I haven’t yet had the chance to build my dream game: an RTS truly worthy of pro players and newcomers to the genre alike. That’s what we hope ZeroSpace will be, and we’re so thankful to you for considering supporting the return of the RTS on Kickstarter.”

ZeroSpace’s RTS action

Other members of the Starlance team worked on the head-to-head mobile RTS Guardian Kingdoms, Notably, the title features a 20 vs. 20 real-time guild battle system which will be valuable experience for the co-op stretch goal. Additionally, Starlance is working closely with Hrvoje Horvatek, CEO and game designer at Ironward to develop the game. Moreover, Starlance has tapped prominent community voices for key roles.

Name Position at Starlance Games Community Accolades
Paulo “CatZ” Vizcarra Lead versus designer Former SC2 pro turned commentator, on-site consultant for Blizzard
Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn Lead balance designer SC2 pro, first woman to win a major SC2 tournament, member of SC2’s balance council
Grant “GiantGrantGames” Purtle Lead campaign designer Content creator, organizes largest RTS custom campaign community
Maguro Lead co-op designer Developer of a popular SC2 co-op overlay
Jared “PiG” Krensel Design consultant and tester SC2 commentator, content creator and coach

“I’m so optimistic about ZeroSpace’s potential mostly because of its unparalleled level of player agency and customization,” said Purtle. “Historically, RTSs have constrained players to a set of rigid tools the developer has constructed, but ZeroSpace’s mix-and-match system for Factions, Mercenaries and Heroes brings near limitless levels of player expression and personalization.”

Kickstarter and timeline

Until the Kickstarter campaign, ZeroSpace was independently funded and is three years into development. With its roots firmly in the RTS community, the team is seeking an additional $100,000 in funding with hopes to reach its stretch goals.

By March of 2024, Starlance plans to release ZeroSpace’s Alpha followed by a closed beta by December 2024. Currently, ZeroSpace is targeting a May 1, 2025 launch.

Over the next two year, RTS fans will have plenty to be excited about. While Starlance has significant buy-in from community figures, this timeline puts it behind Frost Giant Studio’s Stormgate. The other new RTS franchise with StarCraft II roots started closed testing last month.

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Jordan Fragen

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