AI War and Shattered Haven developer Arcen Games has a unique new project on the go - a strategy game set inside a simulated solar system, called The Last Federation. Intrigued? You can carve yourself a bit of alpha action.
Arcen announced the game in October, but has recently begun a series of alpha tests. If you're inetrested in having a go, sign up via the game's forums.
The Last Federation casts players as an independent agent, exploring the solar system in command of a small fleet with the aim of establishing "the first and last solar federation".
Over the course of the game, players will accept mercenary contracts, fight pirates, customise ships and research technologies, as well as use diplomacy (read: threats) to force planetary governments to accede to your demands.
"Yours is a very personal mission: not even your own crew knows your true intentions," Arcen wrote, somewhat mysteriously.
The whole game takes place in a simulated solar system of eight planets, each with its own race. Gameplay involves both a strategy and a tactical component, of quite different pacing. Because the solar system is simulated and therefore independent of your actions, you can capitalise on events which are only vaguely connected to your own actions by what Arcen is calling a butterfly effect.
For more details, visit the blog of lead designer Chris Park, who has made multiple detailed posts about the game's systems, features and lore. There's also some early alpha footage below.
Arcen Games is an indie developer with a string of unusual titles to its name, including A Valley Without Wind, which was completely rebuilt and given to purchasers for free, and asymmetrical versus city builder Skyward Collapse.