Stationeers, the new space base game by Dean Hall's studio RocketWerkz, is due out September.
"Our current plan is to release in September," wrote Dean Hall on Steam. "However, this date would be delayed if we do not think the game is ready. We will communicate this if it happens, and the reasons why. I just think we should be a little more public now about our expected targets, as it also helps internally put a little pressure on the team."
That September release is a Steam Early Access release.
Added Hall: "Early Access is a great way to restrict the number of customers yet still build a very focused community. It allows us to gauge the real interest in the game and scope it correctly without the danger of overscoping and bankrupting the studio.
"Above all else, I want this to be like we did Out of Ammo's Early Access but on a larger scale. I suppose I want to try and do Early Access 'right' based on what I've learned myself, and from others (like Tynan from RimWorld fame)."
Stationeers debuted at EGX Rezzed in London earlier this year. It's a visually simple but systematically complex space survival simulation about building a base and then shuttling to explore other planets with. Rooms on space stations need pressurising and oxygenating with the right mix of breathable air, for example, which means airlocks with programmable panels to operate them with. There's a lot more going on than meets the eye.
It won't be everyone's cup of freeze-dried space tea and Hall knows that. It's much more likely to attract - and Hall is much more comfortable with - a very small but committed audience. Stationeers is emblematic of RocketWerkz' desire to create and release lots of smaller games, although there are bigger projects - triple-A-sized projects - in development there.
Ion was one such 'big game' but the collaboration between RocketWerkz and London tech company Improbable didn't work out. Many of the ideas in Ion today live on in Stationeers.