Interview | Space Enigma Studios on Space Pioneer

By Jorge Ba-oh 23.02.2014 1

Space Pioneer, a new Kickstarter project, has the potential to come to Nintendo Wii U if successfully funded.

The crowd-funded concept is seeking $150,000 to produce a space-sim/real time strategy simulation with city building mechanics. We caught up with the director and founder of Space Enigma Studios, Maximillian Kovtun, on how the project came to be, inspiration and the group's plans going forward.

Image for Interview | Space Enigma Studios on Space Pioneer
Cubed3: Hi Maximillian, please introduce yourself and Space Enigma Studios.

Maximillian: I am the Director and founder of Space Enigma Studios (SES); I also created the idea of Space Pioneer.  SES is a team that's utterly unique when it comes to the video game industry. We have two main sides to our team. One is the creative side; which includes our writers, space-flyers, advisors, architects and scientists. The other is our equally creative technical side - which consists of coders, artists, composers and designers.
Cubed3: Please tell us a bit more about Space Pioneer and how the concept came to be.

Maximillian: Space Pioneer is a game that's best described as a Space Sim, with real time strategy and city building mechanics. One of the more innovative features of our game is the player's ability to switch between two different viewpoints at will. You can command squadrons of spacecraft and build exo-planetary colonies through a top down RTS view; then switch almost instantaneously into a third person camera viewpoint to directly control your fully customizable command ship.
As a raw idea - Space Pioneer has existed for a couple of years. Everyone on our team has shared a common vision for what they want to see in a space sim game, and we can finally represent that with Space Pioneer.


Cubed3: Are there any existing titles that have helped shape the Space Pioneer structure like StarCraft or Dune?

Maximillian: Space Pioneer is a conglomeration of different genres, so there are a couple of games that we can draw comparisons to.  Our chief inspiration comes from games like Mass Effect, Spore and the above mentioned StarCraft series. 

Image for Interview | Space Enigma Studios on Space Pioneer

Cubed3: What films and science-fictions shows have woven their way into the visual style and look?

Maximillian: We want to take on a very classical sci-fi look; something that evokes wonder, intrigue and even a tidbit of mystique.  So Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly are definite sources of inspiration for us. As far as films go - the sterile and clean aesthetic of 2001: A Space Odyssey is something that we want to try to incorporate into our game.

Cubed3: Studying space is something that should be pushed further and it's great to see an educational aspect to the game. What sorts of content will be available?

Maximillian: I don't think that studying is the right word exactly - Space Pioneer aims to inspire people in the same way that Star Trek did back when it was on air. So we aren't forcing the player to learn anything; if someone wants to mindlessly blow things up, then they are certainly welcome to do that! With that said, among other things, our game includes an extensive database that indexes information from all corners of our cosmos. In principle, our game is science fiction, but it's what we interpret as highly plausible science fiction.

Image for Interview | Space Enigma Studios on Space Pioneer

Cubed3: Would you consider other platforms like Nintendo 3DS?

Maximillian: Yes, of course we are considering development on other platforms! We love the 3DS, but I don't think that we could fit Space Pioneer on it without compromising key gameplay and graphical aspects. Right now; Wii U, Linux, Windows and Mac are all of the platforms that we are developing on. All of these are guaranteed without any stretch goals! So if you want to see the ultimate Space Sim RTS realized on Wii U, then finish reading this interview, go to our Kickstarter and contribute!
Cubed3: When it comes to the Nintendo Wii U, how would you use the GamePad controller?

Maximillian: The GamePad controller allows us to map our controls on a console without compromising on any gameplay mechanics. We have a couple of ideas when it comes to the GamePad, but I don't want to reveal them quite yet. I think that whatever we end up doing with the controller will be a nice surprise for our Wii U gamers.

Image for Interview | Space Enigma Studios on Space Pioneer

Cubed3: Would you ever consider working alongside a major video game or television publisher?

Maximillian: I would consider it; albeit only if we retained our independent status and only if our creative vision is completely undisturbed. I don't think that this is asking a lot, but it's surprisingly hard to find publishers like that!

Cubed3: If you could work on any Nintendo franchise, what would it be and why?

Maximillian: That's a tough question! There are just so many awesome Nintendo franchises out there... With that said; if I had to pick just one, then it would definitely be Star Fox. It's been a while since we got a true Star Fox game and I think that our team could do the franchise justice. That's it; after Space Pioneer, we're going to develop a new Star Fox game. You heard it here first folks! Our astronauts will teach you how to do a PROPER barrel roll.

Image for Interview | Space Enigma Studios on Space Pioneer

Cubed3: What are your plans for the future - would you consider expansions?

Maximillian: We're going to be making a game called "Super Star Fox: Oculus Rift Edition". In all seriousness though; our team is always exploring new ideas and concepts and I hope that we'll be making innovative titles long after Space Pioneer releases.  As far as expansion packs are concerned - we won't start thinking about them until after development ends on Space Pioneer.  Committing resources to DLC before actually finishing the game wouldn't be the right thing to do.
Cubed3: What hurdles have you had going at it as part of an independent team?

Maximillian: I think that the only major hurdle that we've faced thus far is financing. That's why we are hoping to fund ourselves through Kickstarter! I hope that the people who read this interview will be kind enough to head on over to our Kickstarter and contribute whatever amount that they can.  Any contribution; no matter how small it is will help towards making Space Pioneer a reality!

Back Space Pioneer on Kickstarter

Image for Interview | Space Enigma Studios on Space Pioneer

What are your thoughts on the Space Pioneer concept?

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This looks really promising & they've got my support, hope this game becomes a reality. HALO what??!😋

It is not wise to speak on subjects you do not know all facts about, nor is it smart to judge a game based on looks alone. PSN: Nintendo_Gamer 3DS: 4296-3029-7422

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