Contact Vector is a strategy game set in space, playable as a real time strategy game and as a simultaneous turn based game.
We want to create a game focused on strategy and tactics that will be about manoeuvring your ships and setting up the best formations to out fight your enemy.
To this end we plan to create an intuitive control system that doesn't force you into micromanaging every detail of your fleet, but allows you finer levels of control that will make a real difference to combat when you want it. Experienced players would be able to make better use of these, but our game will be accessible to new players.
Ultimately finer levels of control will make you better at scouting for the enemy, arranging ship formations, missile load outs, defensive system logistics and so on. We hope that these finer levels of control will add depth to an already fun to use game interface, but not be essential to playing a good game.
Real Time Or Turn Based
It seemed to us that players wanting a deeper level of gameplay and more depth would like more time to think about their moves than is possible in a real time game. To this end we want to allow you to set regular pauses in the game that give you more time to give orders to your fleet.
For example you might set a turn length consisting of sixty seconds for putting down orders and two minutes of simulation time. That sixty second pause would allow you to think more about your strategies. You can also decide if you want to allow alterations while orders are being executed or not.
We want to make this system very flexible to the players needs. In essence we're proposing a real time game that can also be played in a turn based way. You will be able to save your favourite configurations to use in future games. Pure real time and pseudo turn based games will all allow you to do the same things using an intuitive and easy to grasp interface, it's just a matter of how much thinking time you get and the game's pace.
Many space games focus on empire building or piloting ships, we wanted a game that focuses on fleet command. Where tactics and strategy are key but unit and base production are not. This isn't the kind of game big developers are producing and in coming to kickstarter we hope to bring together a community of players who want design and play with us.
If you want an RTS where how you use your units is more important than how fast you can produce them, then this is the game for you.
Deploy and lead your task group in system wide combat against your opponents where the outcome is determined by your ability and fleet tactics. Use long and close range combat, sneak up on your enemy and trick them into looking for you in the wrong places.
How you achieve victory is up to you.
Single Player Campaign Game
The single player game begins with you in control of a set of planets and with command of a small task force of naval ships in the outer reaches of colonised space.
A signal is detected from a system previously believed to be dead and unnavigable by FTL. The signal is consistent with an FTL re-entry signature. It seems ships of an unknown origin are using undiscovered jump space in the region.
Your task force will first need to use this intelligence to jump into the region and determine the nature of the strange vessels.
As the story unfolds it will become clear, a war is coming.
You will want with defending outposts and evacuating personnel where the enemy cannot be held.
During the course of the campaign you will have reinforcements, new technologies and even additional task groups in other areas assigned to you as you are promoted.
Ships will start in short supply so you will want to keep losses to a minimum.
Resupply of ammunition and other vital war fighting equipment will reply on you keeping your supply train defended and also on how many civilians you manage to save and move backward.
As time progresses and if your losses aren’t to great, your industrial military complex will be giving you ships, munitions, equipment and personnel surplus to defence and you can start taking the fight to the enemy.
No two games will have the same star map, so each game will be a strategically different experience. Star system layout of story pieces will change and star systems will be unknown until the start of a given game.
The overall strategic view will be via this map. Battles will be fought in systems in the tactical scale.
System defences and structures will most likely be pre existing although some smaller more mobile temporary defences will also be available to you.
There will be no constructing or producing of units during a battle although it will be possible to rearm and deploy mobile defences during the battle if you can find a safe enough place to do so.
Reinforcements will be sent forward and can also be requested but will depend on the situation to hand and the loses you can incurred.
Ammunition and supplies will also have to be delivered and rearmed. This will take time during which you can be attacked, you have to make your gambits count.
Single Battle Skirmish Mode
A simple skirmish mode will also be available where battles will be fought between forces chosen pre battle and then played out for just that game.
Fleets will contain ships that are organised into Taskgroups. A fleet can contain any number of task groups and ships can transfer task group during combat. They primarily serve as an initial organisation for your fleet. This allows units to be linked to command ships and they gain incremental bonuses to efficiency the longer they have been in the Taskgroup.
Taskgroup bonuses are calculated as a percentage of all the ships in the group. When ships are lost and replaced the bonuses are reduced. Keeping ships alive and withdrawing damaged or crippled ships allows you to retain these bonuses.
the larger the task group the slower the bonuses increase. This means that larger groups will accrue there bonuses slower but will also lose them much slower when ships are lost.
Adding new units to an existing taskgroup will lower is efficiency until the new unit has spent sufficient time as a member.
The basic gameplay in Contact Vector is controlling groups of ships. It's about how, where and when you choose to fight.
The weapon ranges will overlap, but typically certain ranges will favour missiles or energy weapons.
Missile combat is usually the longest range type of enemy engagement. You will have to choose what type of missiles to use and your firing position to best exploit your opponent's blind spots. Long range firing solutions will seem attractive if only because they're the most likely to keep your fleet concealed and out of harms way. But a longer missile run is more easily intercepted. How bold will you be and how much courage will you expect from your ships' captains?
You will have to consider the role of ammunition in your game. You need to decide how much to fire, from where and when. A long range all out battery of salvos might be intercepted and miss their marks, leaving you near defenceless for the rest of the game.
You'll need to choose your targets with care. Focus on key ships and bring your strengths against an enemy's soft spots. Take down the greatest threats to your plans early.
Electronic Warfare and Drones
Drones are remotely operated vehicles that have no crew aboard. They’re small, fast and highly maneuverable and frequently quite specialised. They can operate as scouts, or serve as platforms for energy weapons, projectile weapons or sophisticated electronic warfare equipment.
In particular they can act as decoys by producing radiation signatures similar to different classes of ship. A battleship detected by your fleet could turn out just to be a drone, tricking you into committing forces leaving a back door open for a clever enemy to exploit.
Drones are cheap enough that they can use this machinery to pose as valuable targets to spoof missiles. Protecting a more valuable fleet asset from fire.
Both ships and drones can possess ECM systems. Electronic Counter Measures are a means of to prevent missile ordinance finding its target by confusing it’s onboard circuitry.
Defending ships will have drones, counter missiles, point defence lasers, guns and electronic warfare equipment to beguile your sensors and trick missiles into making mistakes. You need reconnaissance and gather intelligence to make sure you can get your missiles through these defenses.
Energy weapons will vary, but compared to missiles they're extremely short range weapons. If a large ship can slog its way through the missile storm and bring energy weapons to bear, there's a good chance it can tear nearby enemy ships to pieces in seconds.
Energy weapons make up for their lack of range by being far more brutal than missiles. They're not subject to point defences, flak or spoofing. Shields and armour and getting out of range are the only real defences against them, that or getting your shots in first.
Some close range primary assault weapons may also have a missile defence capacity.
Contact Vector has two interfaces, a close range interface and a long range tactical interface. The long range interface will give you a broad overview of the battlefield. You'll have the same options as in the short range view, but have control over scouting so you can study enemy movement from a high vantage point.
Stealth has a core role in Contact Vector tactics. The vastness of space is easy to hide in, but ship drives make anything that moves under power easier to see. Yet, a moving signature could be anything, the trick is determining what.
This means you can trick an enemy into incorrectly identifying your ships. And coasting allows you to sneak forces past enemy sensors at the risk of not being able to manoeuvre. Engines and shields can't just be flicked on and off!
This means you can create fast battlecruisers that only have huge magazines of missiles for long range hit and run operations or heavily armoured battleships with energy weapons designed for getting in close and tearing enemy ships apart.
We will be releasing additional components and technology throughout the lifespan of the game to keep it interesting and fresh. Who can say what new advance there will be, but whatever they are it will be up to you all to integrate these systems into your tactics and find new ways to defeat your opponents.
There are even plans for new ship types, there's no telling how large they may become.
We will also give you access to a simple simulator for testing your new creations.
The basic ship classes within contact vector are:
All ship classes can be customised to affect their role in your fleet. They will each have inherent roles, for example destroyers will be faster and more maneuverable than battleships and so more suited to certain tasks.