Astronomers are finding a bewildering variety of new planets every day, some of them very Earth-like, and a few of those surprisingly are close to home. Someday, a human is going to set foot on one of those worlds. And that moment, when human settlers first set foot on a wild new alien world and try to live there, is going to be the biggest event in human history; we’ll have evolved into a galactic civilization and Aven Colony tells that story.
Aven Colony is a city-building strategy game about mankind’s first colony on an alien world — a moon orbiting a gas giant several light-years from Earth called Aven Prime. As the Governor of humanity’s first colony outside the solar system, you’re charged with building and protecting a small, vulnerable human settlement into a prosperous and happy futuristic metropolis.
In each mission, you must grow your colony’s population, provide housing and electricity, manage air quality, mine iron and copper and convert them to nanotech building materials (Nanites), build fleets of flying construction drones to expand your colony, pump water from underground aquifers, grow food, manufacture various processed food types and enhancers, research new technologies, upgrade and repair your buildings, and provide various services.
All the while, you must handle the risks posed by toxic gas eruptions, alien fungal infestations (Creep Spores), plague spores, and giant sandworms. You can also look forward to extreme alien weather, including huge lightning storms and a snowy night-like “winter” season that impairs your crop growth and solar power generation.
While all of this is happening, you must also keep your colonists happy. A full morale system tracks 12 different factors, and your colonists will occasionally hold referendum elections to boot you out of office if you don’t keep them happy. Ignore their happiness, and you’ll quickly see them protesting at the corners of your buildings, chanting and waving holographic protest signs.
If you succeed, you’ll rise through the ranks to Expedition President over the course of the nine-mission single-player campaign. On the other hand, if you don’t want to play a campaign, you can customize the game experience in a sandbox mission. And all of this is just a taste of the adventure and challenge that await you in Aven Colony.
This game is a labor of love for us at Mothership Entertainment. As a small team of four game industry veterans, we faced enormous hurdles in defining a new style of city-builder gameplay that would scale smoothly from a small colony of a dozen or so plucky settlers, to a huge metropolis on an alien world.
Not only was the scope of work enormous, we also had to grapple with many of the challenges that typically confront independent developers, such as funding challenges, technical challenges, and people who said it couldn’t be done. But as we evolved the gameplay experience toward the emotions we wanted to evoke in the player, we ended up with something unexpected, and created a unique experience that plays unlike any other city-builder.
Despite all the challenges, or perhaps because of them, Aven Colony continually surprised us at every turn. This is a game that refused to die and constantly proved to have more potential than we anticipated — and demonstrated itself to be amazingly addictive from the very early stages of development.
We’re thrilled with the current state of the game, and very happy to be able to bring this unique experience to Xbox One with the help of our partners at Team17 in Q2 2017. We’ll have more details about Aven Colony in the coming months as we get nearer to release. For now, you can keep track of our progress on our Twitter account @AvenColony and here on Xbox Wire.