FleetCOMM hasn’t had the easiest of times in the development arena. I mean, there’s no such thing as game that blasts through the development phase without a hitch. In the case of FleetCOMM, the bullet-hell space combat title has been in development since 2012 by Mercenary Games, but ran into some developmental hiccups in early 2014 when the team had to do a restart of sorts. Well, lead developer Slade Villena has offered an update on the project as well as some insight into the future of FleetCOMM, which may include a release on the PS4.
The last major update for FleetCOMM was back on July 1st, 2014, following another post back at the end of June that showcased engine version 0.799, which you can view below in the video update.
Some of the backers – out of the 467 – have recently posted comments on the Kickstarter page asking for updates and information on when the next milestone release will arrive or when the game will be finished.
Of course, when August rolled around the whole #GamerGate situation took off and Villena has been one of the more outspoken voices embroiled in the consumer revolt, mostly given that this whole situation involves a lot of weight on the future of independent developers, too. Villena spoke outwardly about these issues along with other game developers on sites like Niche Gamer.
Journalists or media institutions that aim to blacklist or blockade certain developers or projects from getting coverage can seriously harm the indie scene, as noted by Christopher Arnold from Crowned Daemon Studios in a series of tweets expressing his fear for the future of independent game development if #GamerGate fails. Other developers, like Daniel Vavra from Warhorse Studios, have also encountered quite a bit of negative push-back from #GamerGate’s opposition due to supporting the consumer revolt.
Nevertheless, Slade knows all too well what it’s like being on the sour end of media slander, as he was targeted by opponents of #GamerGate, especially during The Escapist having their series of interviews, where select members had their pieces removed under claims of harassment, as chronicled by Kotaku in Action and The Ralph Retort. You can check out Villena’s full interview that was removed via archived links.
In light of this, Villena has noted that he hasn’t felt as comfortable about putting his game out there publicly just so it could be slandered by groups like the Game Journo Pros, stating…
“because of #GamerGate and #GameJournoPros targeting me, I've had to go STEALTH on my own project to protect it.”
Villena notes that there are big plans in store for FleetCOMM and he wants the next update on the Kickstarter page to be when the game finally releases.
Following the release of FleetCOMM there are also plans to look into porting the game to the PS4. Of course, Villena has noted that he’s been “stealth” on the project due to being targeted by those opposed to #GamerGate. Some have noted that Villena – also going by the Twitter handle of Roguestar Games – has been somewhat of a “loose cannon” in what he says and how he goes about saying it, and have attempted to do what they can to smear his name for the sake of silencing him.
As noted by Villena…
“[I'm] just gonna get smeared over and over. I have to focus on FleetCOMM delivery so I can protect my backers.”
“I wouldn’t classify as “harassment”; I would classify as slander/libel and cybermobbing. Harassment for me is real life, real threats, real violence. [What] these people do is organized social media slander/libel. [I’m] not “harassed”, but [it’s] still wrong.
According to Slade Villena, A.K.A,. Roguestar Games, FleetCOMM is due to launch by the end of 2014.
As he mentioned in the “Mea Culpa” update earlier this year, he is sorry that he wasn’t able to deliver the game sooner. Some of the backers were understanding given that FleetCOMM is an indie project and there’s no real guarantees with a Kickstarter.
If the game hits its expected launch window and does manage to arrive on the PS4 at some point, the project will go down as another Kickstarter success. Additionally, Villena noted that there will be full refunds available to Kickstarter backers if they’re unhappy with the game for any reason, after the project is finished and fully released.
You can learn more about FleetComm by paying a visit to the official Kickstarter page.