UFG Interviews Tortuga Team About Spaceland

This year’s biggest gaming event has come and gone. That said, there is still plenty of noteworthy news coming from E3; the sheer scope of surprise reveals, interesting announcements, and more means that we’ll be hearing about what was shown for the foreseeable future.

Covering the larger than life games is a no brainer. Most everyone will want to hear about the next Legend of Zelda or Halo. That’s not to say that some of the smaller games aren’t equally worth our attention though. For instance, we were recently able to chat with Anton Mikhaylov (game designer and co-founder of Tortuga Team), about Spaceland – a new science fiction, turn-based strategy game that caught our eye earlier this month.

UFG: We know that Spaceland is a tactical RPG that tasks players with controlling a squad of Space Rangers in alien territory. It features turn-based combat and a top-down perspective. We don’t really know what it’s about, story-wise though. Can you tell us who these Space Rangers are, for example? And why did they travel to a hostile planet?

Anton: Space Rangers is a sort of space police organization – like a space patrol. They roam the Space Federation and investigate suspicious activities, like smuggling, illegal trading, and so on. They also help out on colonized worlds when needed. In the beginning of the game, the Rangers have landed on a snowy planet trying to help people who have crash-landed there. But it turns out that these are no ordinary space tourists and the SOS signal is not all as it seems. But you’ll need to wait until the game releases to learn more. We don’t want to give away the whole story yet!

UFG: Spaceland has a colorful, pastel-like aesthetics and what seems to be a simplified UI (allowing players to really focus on the action). While sporting these unique elements, the game still harks back to certain titles – XCOM, Laser Squad, even newer titles like Mutant Year Zero. Aside from its look and feel, what are some things that really makes Spaceland stand out?

Anton: Spaceland focuses on fast battles set within a light adventure story done in the Golden Age of Sci-Fi style. The battles are quick and the story is pretty light, making it easy to come back to the game even if you’ve taken a long break from it. You could look at Spaceland as a sort of comic book featuring dialogues and tactical battles. In some ways, it’s like Fire Emblem meets X-Com.

“…Spaceland is like ‘turn-based Doom!'”

UFG: The fast-paced combat seems to be one of Spaceland’s defining features. Did you have to remove certain genre staples – positioning, weapon stats, fog of war elements – in order to make each encounter end quickly? If that wasn’t the case, then how were you able to speed things up without losing the more strategic aspects of turned based combat?

Anton: If X-COM is like “turn-based Call of Duty” with camping, planning, and long battles – Spaceland is like “turn-based Doom!”. For example, in Spaceland, you’re not going to miss a point-blank shot, but you do have a limited amount of ammo to keep track of. A key tactic is to always be closing the distance, moving forward to crush enemies at close-range, even though you’re risking your health getting in close like that. There are more monsters on each level (than in other tactics games) but they have less health. So each battle is quick, maybe 10-15 minutes each, but it’s much more action-oriented, and less about planning every little detail.

UFG: That sounds great. This idea of action over planning, in that players won’t have to pore over certain details. For example, we won’t have to worry about each equipping the proper loadout for each character on a given mission. Does this mean that players will utilize a set team of Space Rangers? Will the cast be made up of important characters as opposed to swappable recruits that don’t have significant roles plot-wise?

Anton: There will be seven characters available for your team, and each of them will have unique abilities. These are experienced Space Rangers. We want you to feel like you’re leading a squad of badasses, so there are no “redshirts”. Along with their unique skills, they chat with one another on the ship between missions, giving them more personality and style. The skills and dialog turn each of the heroes into something interesting, and fun to play, versus just a team of generic, faceless soldiers.

UFG: So, each character will be an important part of the team. They’ll have their own skills and equipment. Their weapons aren’t locked in stone though. While we won’t have to worry about their loadouts, we’ll still be able to equip different items. Does that mean we’ll be able to change weapons before heading into a mission or that we’ll be able to add weapons to our arsenal by scavenging equipment from the environment?

Anton: Because they are unique abilities for your characters, you can’t change the gadgets like teleports, mines, shields and etc. But you can change other gear like weapons and armor. Along with that, you earn metal scrap on the battlefield and can use it to craft new weapons and armor. This, of course, let’s you “power up” your heroes in fun ways.

“There are no “redshirts”.

UFG: Considering that combat is fast-paced (fights only take 10-15 minutes), does that mean that there aren’t going to be any boss fights?

Anton: There will be a boss fight at the end of each of the three-story chapters. But bosses are more like tricky fights than slow battles and exhausting slugfests. You should use your wits to outsmart these bosses and avoid all of the traps or other tricks from these angry creatures.

UFG: Sounds good. What’s Spaceland’s release window? Will it be coming to console; it looks like it would be well received on the Switch.

Anton: We are planning release in Q3 2019 and yes. We are thinking about the Nintendo Switch. We recently released Braveland Trilogy (our fantasy tactics series) on Nintendo Switch and so now we have the experience needed to bring Spaceland to the console.

UFG: Well, I think that’s all my questions. Thanks again for chatting with us. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our audience about Spaceland?

Anton: You’re welcome, and thanks for your time. We are posting news about Spaceland on our Steam page. If you want to stay tuned about our fast-paced X-Com like game, just add Spaceland to your wishlist and follow us on Steam. Hope you will like our game when it’s released!

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Tortuga Announces Spaceland

Tortuga Team's Spaceland, a new tactical RPG that features quick turn-based combat, is coming later this year.  

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