Crying Suns, a new space roguelike with a gradually unfolding story, has smashed its Kickstarter goal, and has to date raised nearly double the €25,000 it initially asked for. It's no wonder: it looks excellent, and aims to blend the tight resource management and decision making of FTL with more freeform exploration, putting a bigger emphasis on story than FTL did.
Your goal for each run is to guide a huge battleship filled with hundreds of crew members as far as you can through different star systems, investigating planets and battling bosses as you go. Those battles, which are real-time with pause, sound particularly deep. Your main battleship has a variety of weapons that you can fire, but you'll also deploy squadrons of cruisers, fighters, and drones to match up with the enemy, as well as using the special powers of heroes that you pick up on the way.
When you're not fighting, you'll be sending search parties—led by one of your heroes—on expeditions to gather resources, or running into one of the 300+ events that developer Alt Shift has crafted so far. They include dialogue with Crying Suns' many factions and encounters with enemies, and they'll be packed with risky choices to make.
The story revolves around your attempts to reach Gehenna, which is humanity's last hope in a now-divided galaxy. Alt Shift says that "each successful run will uncover a part of the underlying truth about the fall of the Galactic Empire", so expect to be playing over and over.
Each time you die, which you'll do a lot, you'll start in command of an army of clones that are identical to your previous crew, except that you'll have access to any ships, weapons and heroes that you’ve unlocked in previous runs. That means each run should feel different, and you should feel like you're progressing even if you don't make it very far in a given run.
Alt Shift are targeting a release date some time later this year or early next, but if you click here you can grab a demo that contains one of its 24 sectors. For more, check out the full Kickstarter page.