Spacebase DF-9 was conceived during Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight campaign where the studio shuts down for two weeks to try out experimental designs, and now it is getting the full development treatment.
The game, as described by its creator Jean-Paul LeBreton, is sort of like a Dwarf Fortress in space. Players must build and maintain a space station, keep its citizens happy, and combat alien threats attempting to invade.
Double Fine's development process has gone through many radical, experimental changes since the success of its Broken Age Kickstarter, and Spacebase DF-9 is no different. The team has been working on the game to prepare an alpha build since Amnesia Fortnight ended, and you can download that build now from Steam Early Access. The game will continue development with free updates, taking and using player feedback to modify the game.
According to the press release for the game, the team will live in space while the game is being completed:
"I've been really excited about Spacebase DF-9 ever since it was one of the highest-voted games in our public Amnesia Fortnight game jam last year," said Double Fine president and CEO Tim Schafer. "So excited, in fact, that I decided to launch the team into space until they get it finished, free of the tempting pleasures and distractions of the planet Earth."
"But Tim, the team is going to keep working on this game post-release," said Ron Carmel, president of Indie Fund, one of the game's principal financiers. "If everything goes well, it could be in development for a very long time."
"Exactly!" declared Schafer, who has kind of a weird glint in his eye. "And everyone will be able to watch! It worked great during Amnesia Fortnight, after all."
"The internet connection we have up here is surprisingly great," said Spacebase DF-9 project lead JP LeBreton. "The people of Earth will be able to play the game as it takes shape, give feedback, and tune in for regular progress updates. This line of open communication will also be helpful in case of emergency. Because, seeing as we're in deep space and are not trained astronauts, I actually expect there to be a lot of emergencies."
"We are all very appreciative of the food and supplies sent by our generous indie benefactors," said LeBreton. "Please, please continue to send food and supplies."
You can find out more about the game on its official website.