Gratuitous Space Battles released, along with a Gratuitous demo

by: Jake -
More On: Gratuitous Space Battles
Positech Games has just released their newest space strategy game, accurately named Gratuitous Space Battles. And along with that, of course, it the release of the Gratuitous demo as well. To download the demo, just click the link! Just looking at the screenshots, and not even having any prior knowledge of what the gameplay is like, makes me want to try it out. I mean, look at these screenshots!

Prepare to be crushed, alien scum.

At long last, the much-anticipated and accurately-named indie space strategy game 'Gratuitous Space Battles' is finally released and on sale!
Gratuitous Space Battles is the latest game from Positech Games, the one-man bedroom coding effort of ex-lionhead coder Cliff Harris (cliffski). (Previous positech games have included the political simulation game 'Democracy' and the life-sim 'Kudos').

Gratuitous Space Battles is an innovative strategy game that plays like a 'massively-singleplayer' hybrid of RTS and tower defense. The player takes on the role of supreme admiral of embarrassingly large fleets of spaceships, which are all individually designed by the player, and is in charge of placing them in formations and issuing orders for them to fight against AI-controlled enemy fleets. Unlike a conventional RTS, the battle itself is non-interactive, as individual AI ship commanders carry out the general rules of engagement set by the player. This makes GSB a true strategic game, where the player is effectively winning or losing the battle before it starts by cunning ship design and clever orders, rather than twitch based reflexes mid battle. The battles themselves are suitably gratuitous, with a heavy emphasis on things exploding and going zap.

A cunning side-effect of the non interactive battles is the way GSB can be played asynchronously in multiplayer. Players of the game can upload a 'challenge' to the games server, which contains their fleet (complete with it's ship designs) and other players can download and play against the challenge with their own fleets. You can issue open challenges, or private ones between players. There is also an infinite 'last man standing' play mode in the game.

GSB has been in beta for over two months, and already has a substantial and enthusiastic player base, with hundreds of active challenges, and thousands of designed ships and fleets. The game is on sale direct from the developer's site, as well as through various online portals (with more to be announced soon). There is at last a demo of the game here:

And full details, including video clips and screenshots on the Gratuitous website here:

The official release of GSB in no way marks the end of the game development. GSB had 23 revisions during beta, and the developer anticipates many more tweaks, improvements, additions and expansions. A gratuitous number of them, in fact. The game is also very mod friendly, and some of the core game 3D artwork is freely downloadable from the website.
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