Hello everyone! Last year, we released Titan Outpost. It was a little rough at launch so it kept a low profile until all the issues were dealt with. This is a shameless plug, considering I’m the developer, but I’m here to engage and I’d be happy to answer any questions about the game.
What is Titan Outpost?
Titan Outpost is a hard science fiction role-playing game in which you must build a base, manage its crew, develop your character’s skills and attributes, and explore Saturn’s sixth moon, uncovering its mysteries and harvesting its resources.
How does it work?
The dialogue and negotiation systems, the temperature-based survival aspects, the base construction and the world map all feature gameplay that is either completely unique or a combination of tried-and-true things that have never been tied together before in this way.
At the core is the game’s character system. Most RPGs focus on combat and combat related skills, but Titan Outpost is different. Your character sheet contains ‘science’, ‘construction’, ‘negotiation’, ‘exploration’ and ‘hacking’ skills, for example. You can gain experience points, level up and increase these skills like in any other RPG, but the way they affect what is happening in the game world is different.
The dialogue becomes more involved when you start a negotiation. You can interject with leverage, you can change the goal of your conversation, you can select pushy responses or backpedal and you can influence the dialogue in other ways. You can finally cover the flanks in a battle of words instead of always taking it head on with a couple of options.
Getting around on Titan is difficult. The average surface temperature is −179 C (−290 F), so you drive around in a heavily insulated rover, and when you absolutely have to traverse anywhere on foot, you do so in a specialized suit. Time is the currency here: Every minute spent outside drains your suit’s charge. Limited nutrition, your oxygen supply and other elements combine to provide a tense survival atmosphere.
You can expand the Outpost as you would in a base builder game, with resource management and a top-down interface. Your character skills partly determine how you can go about this. You can be a curious scientist, a savvy entrepreneur, a ruthless ecowarrior, a smooth-talking diplomat, a stoic engineer, an intrepid explorer or anything in between.
What is the setting?
It is hard retro-science fiction. If you’re familiar with ‘Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness’, it means that there is no faster-than-light travel, there is no technology that surpasses our own enough to be considered magic and everything is explained through in-universe physics. Of course, it’s still fiction and there is enough leeway for interesting concepts.
What’s retro about it? It’s based on sci-fi from the 1970’s, both visually and thematically. What if the oil crisis was as bad as they thought it was back then? The cold war antagonism has shifted to the Chinese, but the divide is very real. The game is set in 2077, a hundred years after this period. Some of the themes explored in the game are more relevant to us today than they ever were.
Earth is slowly dying and starving for energy, and humanity has turned to the solar system to meet its ever-growing needs. The Moon has been plundered; the Chinese have begun to colonise Mars, and now the world has set its eyes on hydrocarbon-rich Titan, Saturn’s sixth moon. Your employers, the International Autonomous Space Association, are desperate to claim it before the Chinese can. On frosty Titan, this war will be very cold indeed.
Harvest the moon’s abundant hydrocarbon resources and uncover its mysteries. Explore the orange moon, visit lakes of methane and establish a mining operation. The extremely cold climate will be your biggest enemy. Or will it?
So there is no violence in the game?
There is no combat system, but that doesn’t mean there is no violence. Exploring the ethics of a new frontier in extremely harsh conditions without any sort of physical violence would be disingenuous.
Should I be interested in Titan Outpost?
If you want to try something new, by all means. If you like RPGs because of the combat? Probably not, although you might be surprised that waging battle without physical violence can be engaging, too.
- A hard science fiction setting inspired by Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Stanislaw Lem.
- An open-ended structure in which your choices define not only the course of the plot, but the fate of the world.
- A rich character-creation system, in which you define your character’s attributes and develop his or her skills and gear over the course of the game.
- A robust base-building system, in which you must manage your crew, resources, and facilities to survive the harsh environment and your political rivals.
- Multiple approaches to the game’s challenges: dialogue; crafting; exploration; trade; and violence are all viable ways to win.
- A rich and reactive story full of mysteries, twists, and memorable characters.
- You can join two major factions, and choose to ally yourself with three independent organisations.
- 33 quests, a lot of them with multiple sub-quests. They’re called missions to fit the theme, but we all know what they are.
- Continuous spherical world map lets you explore the entire moon with over 40 unique locations.
- Multiple quest solutions and non-binary outcomes.
- Discrete time system, where every passing second determines unfolding events and the persistent game world continues while your character sleeps.
- Logistical elements , think original Dune adventure meets the strategic layer of X-com.
- Full soundtrack, fully voiced dialogue.
- Realistic orbital system of Saturn for your astronomical pleasure.
Here is a link to the game on Steam: