GalaCollider is now on its third day of kickstarter looking to gather USD 70,000, and is calling itself a free-to-play “expandable card game meets 4X”. The kickstarter page lists as its main features asymmetrical factions, simultaneous turns and a story that is said to evolve and change according to player interactions, event outcomes and tournaments.
GalaCollider is being developed by first-time studio NeoCrux Ltd., which trace their beginnings to January of this year but who have been working on the game since 2013, and count with the more experienced people that were behind Shadow Era and the originator of the Magic the Gathering Pro Tour, Skaff Elias, as a clear nod to their intentions of having a competitive scenario. From the kickstarter page:
Tournaments and a Drafting format are super fun and a high priority in our plans for the future of GalaCollider. To support tournaments we want to implement integration with Twitch, spectating, commentating and game replays. We’ve got the originator of Magic the Gathering Pro Tour, Skaff Elias on the team helping to ensure that GalaCollider has an excellent competitive play component.
The game’s 4X elements lie in the need to scout, develop the correct technology to counter your opponents and switching between military, research and economic developments, all of these choices guided by the deck you built before beginning a match. You’ll expand from a small origin, exploit the game’s resources, explore the map and exterminate your enemy, to dot all four x’s.
Much like other digital card games, GalaCollider will offer a starting deck for players and the ability to purchase more cards as you acquire in-game currency or buy them with real shekels. They claim that by making smart choices, free-to-play gamers will be able to stay competitive. From their page:
Note that our game is not a collectible game, instead we will be releasing packs of content which you can pick from. Effectively this will mean that the total amount of money you will need to spend to keep up with all the content will be much lower than it would to get a complete set of all the rare / legendary cards from traditional collectible games.
Having played free-to-play card games and the non-free types, I find that claim to be a bold one. The issue crops up not when you have to expend a set amount to stay competitive, but one that increases over time. Hearthstone actually managed to add some semblance of parity by having small decks that free-to-play players can accrue and improve¹ to perfection over the course of a few months.
The game is slated to release on the PC, Mac and iPad, with plans to have it on iPhones, Android phones and tablets depending on how well they do. As far as kickstarters go, GalaCollider seems to be doing fine in the sense of avoiding over-reaching and feature-creep by supplying endless stretch goals. As a fan of 4X, sci-fi and CCGs (it’s not a CCG, though) I’ll be keeping my eye on its development, and will keep my fingers crossed that they balance the game so that it doesn’t become another money-sink card game.
¹Polygon, “Is Hearthstone pay-to-win? We find out”