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Jumplight Odyssey

Making Your Mark Among the Stars - Jumplight Odyssey Interview

We caught up with Felix Strangio, Principal Game Designer over at League of Geeks, on the new space-faring sim Jumplight Odssey, which combines familiar ship-management mechanics with a quirky and loveable visual style.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone, we're here at Gamescom. I'm Alex from Gamereactor and I'm joined by Felix and we're discussing Jump Light Odyssey today.
Felix, can you give me a quick sort of elevator pitch for people who might not be aware what Jump Light Odyssey is and why they should be hyped about it?
Yeah, sure thing. So Jump Light Odyssey is our starship adventure sim."

"We at League of Geeks, we love to make strategy games with heart and we're very excited because we've just entered early access about 48 hours ago.
Jump Light Odyssey is a game about captaining a starship. You play as Princess Euphora, the last regent of her people.
Your homeworld has been destroyed and now a hostile fleet is hell-bent on finishing the job."

"They're going to pursue you across the stars and as you traverse this dangerous galaxy, jump by jump, you'll be performing away missions to gather survivors, resources.
And those resources and survivors will go into work on your crew and build up the ship and so you can increasingly support a large population and manage the daily soap opera of their messy, messy lives.
That's your elevator pitch."

"I mean, you talk a bit about the soap opera there and sort of the relationships between our crew.
There's a bit of, from the visual design as well, it seems like there's a bit of sort of sly tongue-in-cheek humour maybe?
Have you seen The Pig?

"And does this sort of contrast with the dark reality that you've just described in our story set-up?
Yeah, absolutely. As I mentioned earlier, at League of Geeks we love to make strategy games that have heart and part of that heart is tragedy, melodrama, but we also don't take ourselves too seriously.
So we have a mascot in the game, Ham the Pig, and Ham's a great little friend."

"He totters around your ship, he can get stuck in vending machines occasionally, but he just wants a good scratch on his belly and he'll cheer people up.
So we definitely try to inject these moments of lightness in the dark because you have to juxtapose the grim tragedy with moments of humanity to make it really land, I think.
And as for the soap opera and the daily soap opera of your crew, we can have crews of up to 200 characters and we simulate all of these crew members down to their traits, their needs and their relationships with each other."

"So you might have a crew member that you send out on a mission and tragically they don't come back and then their lover back aboard the ship is going to start to grieve.
And then when they grieve they might fall into despair and they'll no longer do their job and that'll introduce more problems down the line.
So not only is it flavor, but it's also an integral part of the gameplay itself to make sure that you are keeping hope alive, taking care of your people physically and their emotional states as well."

"I mean, we did just touch upon the story a bit there as well. Is this sort of a game that leads by story?
How much of the narrative are we expected to get involved in and is there sort of an end goal in sight when we step into this journey for the first time?
Yeah, absolutely. So for our Early Access release, which has just launched, you'll be able to play Euphora's Odyssey."

"And that really puts you in the role of Princess Euphora in our canonical story.
So it follows her flight from her destroyed homeworld to the Forever Star, the brightest star in the sky.
And she believes, maybe realistically, that if she can just bring her people to the Forever Star, they'll be safe.
Whether the Forever Star actually exists or not, I don't want to spoil."

"But you'll be able to take the role of her story and there'll be story events along the way.
So that's a more narrative slant or more of a scenario.
We also have the ability to create your own Odyssey and that allows you to mix and match various parameters.
So eventually when we go into full release, we'll have new ships, new captains, and you'll be able to mix and match them in any way, change a bunch of parameters."

"You can put the game into a chill mode where you won't be pursued by this hostile fleet.
And if you just want to vibe out, if that's more your cup of tea.
So there'll be options for the player. You can play more of that sandbox experience or you can play our more narrative, canonical experience, which is Princess Euphora's Odyssey.
So we're on the soap opera adventure and suddenly we might get attacked at some point."

"How do we sort of defend ourselves? How do we equip the crew?
And as you say, we can lose crew.
Is this sort of a X-commerce scenario where we're going to get really attached to our crew members and then sort of try and load a save when they meet their end?
Great question. I'm constantly mourning the loss of my colorful crew."

"There are several means to defend your ship.
So if the fleet does catch you, a space battle will initiate.
You'll be engaged first by some preliminary Vanguard forces and then later on Admiral Voltan's Dreadnought itself might come and get you.
So it's an ever escalating conflict and it's not a fight you can win."

"It's only a fight that you can hope to stave them off and hold your ground long enough to get ready for the next jump.
There's a few means to do so. You can put the ship into different alert levels.
So for example, you might hit red alert to go to battle stations.
That's going to stress out all your crew, but maybe you do that early so that everyone's ready to go."

"When you're in battle stations, your Marines will man your turrets and they'll be able to shoot down incoming threats.
You also can send out your fighter craft. You can scramble them and they'll be able to intercept threats as well.
If something gets through, you might get boarded.
And at that point, combat occurs on the ship itself."

"And that's where things get really interesting because all of our simulation systems come into play.
You'll have these Zootopan kill teams and they'll stalk your hallways trying to kill your captain.
Or maybe they'll try to blow up your jump light drive.
And as a player, there's a few tools you can use to mitigate that."

"You can go into Magenta Alert, which tells all your Marines to search and destroy and encounter these invaders.
And you can boost their odds of success by giving them access to spacesuits, helmets, weapons.
All of that costs resources, of course, so you need to be a bit preemptive with that.
There's also fun tactics you can take into place as well."

"You might deprave a room of oxygen or open an airlock just to eject some of them.
Sometimes you'll lose some crew in the process, but often it's worth the sacrifice.
We're talking a lot about the fleet here.
Are we controlling directly one ship as a main mothership?
Or are we going to be able to dip and dive between the smaller ships, see how they get on?
What's the depth that we can expect with ships and can we customize them?
In our early access release, you're able to play Princess Euphoria aboard her vessel, her starship, the SDF Catalina."

"We do keep the action focused on the ship, mainly because it's very important for us from a design perspective that you feel very embodied in the space.
And there's a sense of not knowing exactly what's beyond the walls of your hull.
There's a little bit of uncertainty there as well."

"So as captain, all you can do is you can send missions out, you can do all you can to prepare your people and boost your odds of success, but then it's in the simulation's hands.
And maybe those missions will come back to you and they will have failed or they will have succeeded and you'll have had a hand to play in that, but you don't follow those craft out."

"We do have a hangar bay in which you can build smaller spacecraft to send on these missions, but the action always stays centered on your ship.
And as for the fleet that you mentioned, that is the enemy fleet that pursues you.
We do intend for full release to have more ships, so you'll be able to mix and match different captains with different ships and play through different odysseys."

"And each of those ships will have a different slant on gameplay.
We can't talk too much about them, but we're very excited.
And so when can we expect this full release?
We've said multiple times we're in early access now."

"It's been out just quite recently, but what sort of are the plans for full release and what platforms can we expect it on?
So we will be releasing next year in 2024.
We haven't got an exact release date I'm able to share yet."

"And we will be shipping to not only Steam, but we'll also be on consoles as well.
So you'll be able to play us on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Series S.
And yeah, it's very exciting.
The game already has full controller support as well, so if you prefer to play on a PC with a controller, you can do that."

"It plays very well.
Oh, the other thing I'll say is that we are in early access.
It's a great period for us to iterate as well and build upon the game.
So every two months we'll be shipping a branded update."

"I'm happy to share that the first of those branded updates, although I can't say too much about it, will be titled A Dangerous Galaxy.
It will present new threats, new opportunities, but I don't want to spoil too much yet."

"Felix, thank you so much for your time.
I look forward to Jump Like Odyssey.
Thank you."





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