Once my novel ‘Elite:And Here The Wheel‘ was published I immediately began looking for another project. Straight into another novel? I was after all working on one when the Elite opportunity arose. The more I thought about it however the more I realised that I really enjoyed the relationship between my Elite fiction and Elite canon, I.e creating in-universe material for a computer game. I decided I wanted to pursue game writing for a bit.
And so I joined forces with James Martin from the UK (What is it with me and working with Poms?) to work on James’ indie project ‘Shallow Space’, a real time strategy involving fleet management, resource allocation and rooting out the ‘bad guys’. Of course if you know my fiction then you know my ‘bad guys’ aren’t actually bad, but doing what they perceive to be the right for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons. In short, they are a palette of grey (Yup, didn’t want to use the word shades in that sentence).
For the over the last half year or so I’ve been developing the background material to support Shallow Space. First I devised a ‘history of things to come’ taking the Shallow Space world from Earth 2015 to Shallow Space itself in 2497 when the game starts. I have gone for a fresh take on the familiar. There is no World War III, but there is calamity and a need to abandon Earth.
Next I worked out what the present state of play was – how many stellar systems are inhabited, what kind of inhabitation they are and devised the backstory for each system, the focus being conflict and tension. Mankind may evolve, but (cliché alert) the more something changes, the more it stays the same.
The next cab of the rank was fiction. I produced a serial (later combined into a single volume) short story called ‘The Gift’ focusing on one stellar system and the actions of pirates and mercanaries. This can be downloaded for free from Smashwords or over at IndieDB. I’m currently working on another serial piece called ‘The Tale of Samuel Shallom’ (which can be found here), which charts his rise from unknown to infamous pirate. This is not a straight up piece of short fiction however. Every chapter is told through a different media form. The first is a diary, the second through newspaper reports. Historical texts, military reports and forum threads all make an appearance as well as all the major factions of the game.
THE NEXT STEP
Which brings us to April, 2015. To take Shallow Space to the next level we have turned to crowd funding to source the required funds to pay for everything else needed to complete it. In true Indie style we are asking for $85,000 USD, which if successful will allow us to shoot for our goal of August 2016 for game release.
Our crowd funding campaign is live: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/shallow-space-insurgency/ Please come and support us. Please share and talk about this blog post and this article on Game Skinny. Thank you.