Space wasn't always 3D. At least, not in video games.
Okay, we had people like Elite developer David Braben being clever and rendering 3D space as early as 1984, but for many years, the main view we had of space was either from "above" (or the equivalent thereof in an environment where there isn't really an "up" or "down") or from the side. From the early days of titles like Asteroids to later, more complex games such as Star Control, the top-down perspective in particular seemed particularly appropriate as a means of representing the exploration of infinite space.
An upcoming new independently-developed game named Yargis is bringing back that old-school perspective for an experience that looks like something of a blend between Star Control's gravity-whipping combat sequences and retro arcade games such as Pac-Man, albeit one that combines the retro perspective with a new proprietary 3D engine for fancy particle effects and polygonal ship models. The game offers both a single player campaign and a wealth of multiplayer modes, and also provides the facility for players to create and share their own levels. There's also a variety of customization options, including the means for players to build their own ships.
Yargis is the work of independent developer Plazsoft, a charmingly low-key outfit that seems to have a very genuine passion and enthusiasm for its game. Company founder and CEO Jeff Minnis claims to have had the idea for Yargis when he was just ten years old -- which might explain some of its more "retro" sensibilities -- but was only able to finally put his dream into motion in 2011, at the age of 28.
The Yargis project was funded through Kickstarter, where the team sought just $10,000 to finish production on the game. With two weeks still left to run on the campaign at the time of writing, the project is comfortably over its initial target, though most of its stretch goals look like they might be out of reach at this point -- the team's looking for $100,000 to implement a more complex spaceship editor into the game, and $250,000 to include support for stat-tracking servers for the game's multiplayer component. It's possible the campaign will attain the $25,000 needed to improve the game's graphics, though -- at present, the game's visual style is more "functional" than "impressive," particularly in the menus, so it would probably benefit from a fresh coat of paint.
Yargis' development has reached the beta test stage, so anyone who pledges an appropriate amount via Kickstarter or preorders the game for $19.99 via the official site will be able to jump right in and start playing for themselves. If it sounds like something you'd like to play, be sure to show your support.
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