Galaxy Heist: A Student’s Game Conquers Space & Kickstarter
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Galaxy Heist: A Student's Game Conquers Space & Kickstarter
3 June, 2015

Ryan Lee, founder of Space Bear Development, has a unique and fantastic space-based game called Galaxy Heist. Two years ago he programmed the prototype himself and it has come a long way since then.  He tells us more about it in an exclusive interview with 80 level. The game is already on Kickstarter!

Inception of Space Bear Development

I started the company/game a couple years ago in London.  The game started as my final dissertation to graduate and then I just kept developing it.  Before that I made a lot of little dumb games and couple interactive games to use with the Xbox Kinect, as University students do.  There’s about 8 people involved at the moment.

Galaxy Heist’s Ambition and Development

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I don’t think it (the project’s ambition) is too big as long as we keep the scope down.  Which is hard to do for a game like this but I’ve learned how to do it over the past year quite well.  I got the idea from playing games like Eve, customizing your character, and then you sit in a space ship the rest of the time.  I was like “well what was the point of that? when do I get to use my character and jump on someone else’s ship or at least hangout on my ship with other players?”.  So I started building the prototype in University as I mentioned above.  When Unreal Engine 4 released I started picking up new members for the team and development really started to snowball.

Reasons for Using the Unreal Engine

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Well UE (Unreal Engine) is perfect for small teams because you can build some incredible stuff in a small amount of time.  It’s easy for everyone on the team to contribute and add pieces, even if they have no idea how the code works, the rest of the engine is very easy to learn.  I chose UE when it was still UDK, I just loved how big and powerful the engine was and new that if I was going to try and make a really solid, impressive game I would need an engine that could help me scale it.


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I prototyped it at University with UDK.  Initially I tried to fit a lot more in but I found my limits pretty fast.  Once you build a basic space combat gametype and then setup some FPS gametype, it’s not too difficult to bring them together and slowly add more pieces.  When a few people work on something a little bit every day for a year, a lot can get done. All of our code is written from scratch.  Probably about 75% of the game relies on code and the rest is based just off of the Blueprint system.

Importance of the Online Element

Now it’s session based, players are thrown into a large space battle with a bunch of other players and can instantly get into the fight. Doing things to AI can be fun but there’s no excitement like beating another person in a PvP game.  Not knowing what the person is going to do, and knowing that you out matched more than just a computer is great.  Making Galaxy Heist for AI only would be pretty easy, but letting players force themselves onto actual player ships is just too fun to not go for it.


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Epic games gets 5% of sales for all games that are sold with their engine.  I believe it’s right on their home page so they’re pretty open about that.  I don’t want to have in game purchases, I would rather just have a one time buy of about £20 and then release free updates.  Or a small paid DLC if it’s a big expansion.

Finance and Distribution

I’ve financed it so far by myself.  I worked 7 days a week for the past year as a network engineer to get the game were it is now. Our Kickstarter campaign launched June 1st. It will be distributed by Steam and Xbox One marketplace.

Support Galaxy Heist on Kickstarter.


Ryan Lee, Founder, Space Bear Development

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