In January of 2017, a space sandbox game called Avorion entered Steam Early Access. Nearly three years later, the game has cleared 250,000 purchases. There have certainly been games that have sold more, in a shorter period of time, but indie developer Boxelware is proud of their achievements anyway.
In Avorion you build your own spaceship (you can spend as much time as you want on it, from a simple two-minute design to an elaborate work of art taking weeks), and then explore a universe of procedurally generated galaxies with it. Mine resources, build space stations, and wage war with hostile aliens (who could also be your friends — the game has an online mode).
“I have always been a massive fan of space games,” says studio head Konstantin Kronfeldner, “and always wanted to make my own version, a game where spaceships break in the exact spot where they are hit by projectiles. Inspired by Minecraft and X3, I started developing it myself as a passion project in 2011. I was already focusing on a procedurally generated sandbox world, but without the typical voxel look. I wanted to give players blocks that could scale up all the way from small ships to massive stations, I wanted players to have a dynamic universe they could shape how they pleased.”
So when is Avorion leaving Steam Early Access anyway? Boxelware says that time is coming soon…the spring of 2020. In the meantime, here’s what their release schedule has been up to this point:
- July 2017 – Alliances Update: Players can now create their own factions (alliances).
- September 2017 – Fighter Update: Players can now design their own fighter craft.
- December 2017 – Economy Update: Players can now build a wide range of different stations and buy cargo shuttles in order to automate shipments between them.
- April 2018 – Combat Update I: Players can now install torpedoes as well as point defense systems on their ships.
- September 2018 – Combat Update II: Players can now design their own turrets.
- February 2019 – AI & Map Commands: Players can now give orders to their ships and move them around the galaxy map.
- April 2019 – Mining Update: Players can now mine ore from asteroids, collect it, transport it and refine it. Previously, simply shooting asteroids would give you money.
- May 2019 – Permadeath Rework: Instead of paying for insurance, players can now buy reconstruction tokens that can be used to restore a ship with a single click.
- July 2019 – Mod support on Steam Workshop
- July 2019 – Boarding Update: Players can now enter and conquer enemy ships and stations.
- August 2019 – Ingame Encyclopedia: Players can now access an ingame encyclopedia, which has been requested by players due to the increasing complexity of the game.
- September 2019 – Diplomacy Update: The relationship between factions has been formalized into a set of four distinct states: neutral, war, ceasefire and allies.
Avorion is available now for PC, Mac and Linux.