Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Pre-order copies on sale (oh my god…) + Manual

I am so nervous. Normally when I release a game, there is just the distant sound of tumbleweed and a handful of people who give a try after playing the demo. This time I am bombarded at all directions from people who really want to play the game.

If you are that obsessed, skip the rest of this blog post and go grab it now from

Some things to be aware of:

This is a beta copy of the game that you are getting. It is not final. There are some bits which I’m not 100% happy with (are we ever?) and I will probably overhaul a few sections of it before it’s actually given a proper release.

The game has an on-line challenge system, and that’s a new thing for me, so expect some teething problems. All of this has been tested, and works, and seems bug free, but you simply can’t plan for the reality of people on-line connecting from all over the world to do stuff with PCs and the interwebs.

You might find some weapons, hulls, modules unbalanced. I’ve played a lot of battles and think it’s balanced, but maybe I’ve never even thought of building a ship with 16 point defense turrets, so didn’t spot what a super-overkill combination that can be. Obviously through the course of the beta, the game will get heavily tweaked and rebalanced.

Finally, this is an indie game, it’s literally a bedroom coder effort, so be gentle on the shouting when you discover something that crashes or won’t work. It’s purely because it’s something that never happened at my end, I will endeavour 100% to fix it as quickly as I can if you have any problems. If you are not happy to try out a beta copy of the game, or genuinely think your PC isn’t up to it, then please don’t get it yet, wait for a demo and the full games release.

I’ll be checking my forums, and blog comments throughout today to see if there are any problems, and explaining any bits of the game that I’ve explained really badly. There IS a pdf manual, and it’s worth flicking through it. In fact, here is a copy for people who want to read it first to see what the game plays like.

Obviously feedback here or the forums is VASTLY appreciated. Hopefully we can get a really good game out of this.

45 thoughts on Pre-order copies on sale (oh my god…) + Manual

  1. Cliff, we love you for just TRYING to make a game with this subject matter. Also me and my nemesis now have our copies – enjoy your tea and biscuits!

  2. Impressive compression on that installer. It uncompresses fast, too. By the by, there’s a 50% off offer on planetary defense showing on the purchase screen, but it didn’t appear to work for me (adds as full cost, no visible discount later on), so I didn’t in the end go for it. Thanks for the opportunity to pre-order beta purchase!

  3. cliffski: maybe you should buy the domain varieties in all sorts of incorrect spellings…

  4. ugh, something must be wrong on my end, i only see the old, IT IS NOT AVAILABLE bla bla bla thing. Ill check in my room in a few minutes. Thanks cliff. How many copies sold so far bud?

  5. hate to be a pain in the ass, but I´m putting the correct vat thing, ES, under the pay option and it keeps telling me it´s incorrect. What am I doing wrong?

  6. OK, i guess this sales service is quite friendly, I checked in way different country that the one I live in, and this allows me to skip 22% VAT. I will not sponsor thiefs in my goverment, just the developer:)

    A related question – which payment method is least expensive for you cliffski? I can choose between at least 3 possible for me, so which one do you prefer?

  7. ok sorry my bad, DONT have to fill the vats exclusion crap. Thanks so much for this WONDERFUL game cliff. im going to forget about life now

  8. all the payment methods through BMT are the same in terms of how much the developer gets. Thanks for the thought though!

  9. I’m having a pretty catastrophic bug with it. Crashes completely with no error message the moment I try to start a battle (as in the actual gameplay section). System specs are:
    2.4 GHz processor
    2x Nvidia 7800GTX’s in SLI
    1024 RAM

    I know its not great but my main computer broke and I would’ve thought those specs should be able to run it. They play all the source games on max graphics anyway. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks very much.

  10. I’m just going through debugging an issue right now, and its the same one you
    have. Don’t worry, it is not your video card.
    I’m debugging now, but I strongly suspect if you ditch all the ships in the fleet, create new ones and only use them, it will be fine.
    I’m working on it now.

  11. Shit – I have lost a day due to wrong hose of payment:/

    YOu’d better use something else than paypal :/ And it did not match auto-mode:

    We have received notification from PayPal that your payment to
    BMT Micro has cleared. Thank you! Unfortunately the automated order system was unable to resolve the order for which you submitted payment.
    Possibly the payment was submitted manually through Paypal instead
    of going through BMT Micro’s checkout process, resulting in PayPal
    not reporting the order number back to BMT’s automated system.
    A customer service representative will look up your order and fulfill
    it within the next business day. (Monday through Friday, with the
    exception of US holidays).

  12. Ok thanks thats great to know, I’ll try out what you said and let you know if it works. I also tried turning of SLI but that didn’t help, I dont know if thats of any use to you.

  13. Actually anyone who has a crash, can you email with all the files in the games ‘debugdata’ folder. you will find it under C:\program files\gratuitousspacebattles\

    I have one buyer with a weird crash which I’m sure can’t be affecting all of you, but I need to check several debug files to see why its triggering.

  14. Also why is it that if you ever try to use the tech support on a more mainstream game you spend weeks with them telling you to check youre drivers and reinstall and all that rubbish without getting anywhere whereas you have one guy doing it and he responds litterally seconds after you send an email.

  15. I just readed the manual and oh my god, it was so well and funny writen. This alone is enought for me to buy the game!

    Well done cliffski

  16. @KY, yeah I got that stupid BMT thing too. This isn’t the first time either – it happened when I bought Kudos 2 and I think when I bought Kudos too.

    Probably just chucking a shit that I have both an Aussie and a UK address.

    Took them about 15 mins to correct the Kudos 2 problem last time (with no intervention needed on my part) and send the download link. Fingers crossed for the same this time as I really wanna play the game!

  17. Just bought it. One small question: when you release an updated version, can we simply use the same link (provided right after the order) to download it?

    I can’t wait to get home and try it out. Thanks!

  18. In theory, when I release a patch, the game will auto install it when you start it up. (ha! like that will work flawlessly!)

  19. Spotted a couple of typos in the manual:

    Page 7, para 4, “loose” instead of “lose”: “If you loose the battle you haven’t lost the war”.

    Page 8, para 4, “it’s” instead of “its”: “with a crosshair showing it’s location”.

    There are also several instances where the manual uses “opponents” instead of “opponent’s”.

  20. Auto patching is good, but if I want to update the whole installer, can I download an updated version with the same link?

  21. First crash of the thread its crashes to desktop everything i click the fight button in the deployment screen :(

  22. Hi Fergas – do this (from Cliff) – Hi, could you try turning off ‘menu battle’ under options, then quitting out to the main menu from the options screen, quitting the game and restarting it.

    Remember to exit the game and restart it

  23. Im sitting in the backwater of South Africa and I didnt wait more than a few seconds for the order to be approved. weird.

  24. bought and downloading now! not much work is going to get done today, i have a feeling :)

  25. I also get crashes as soon as i start a battle. The crash occurs on my home PC (nVidia, Single Core) and on my Laptop (ATI, Dual Core).

    I can send you the debug information.

  26. Bought the game today, and I’ve had chronic crashes (to desktop). Happens every minute or so.

    Just loaded the game, quit midway through the tutorial dialog boxes. Reloaded it, and just pressed “fight”. CTD.

    Loaded the game again, deploy, fight, CTD. I’m not seeing the “loading screen at all”.

    I tried changing resolution and sound off, still CTD. Eventually pressed Hard mode, and then I got into the battle. I pressed easy mode again, and it ran fine.

    Emptied out my fleet deployment, and pressed the + button to design new ship and it crashes. Does this repeatedly.

    Will report some more – as I find them repeatably.
    I’m on a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop – Core 2 Duo 2.00GHz, 2GB Ram, NVidia 8600GT.

  27. I tried running, and it fails on the splash screen with a dialog box that says:

    “Error 41. Please contact tech Support:..\src\Game.cpp 242”

  28. Just purchased — after following along with the development of this labor of love, I could never justify pirating or skipping GSB. Best of luck, looking forward to testing this Beta (download just finished).

    For anyone reading this that has encountered bugs, please remember to help Cliff out and check the official forums. There are some potential solutions to a few common issues already documented — and it makes things easier on Cliff if all that information is a little more consolidated.

    Thanks for taking a chance on making the game you wanted to make, Cliff. I really hope it gets the recognition (and payment!) it deserves.

  29. Yeah, I’m there at the forums – lots of great information there for anyone that buys the game right now in the beta stage.

  30. Like the sound of this and when I saw I could pay by PayPal ordered immediately. Am very impressed with Cliff’s attitude to development and support. As a 1 man independent developer myself I know how much hard work it can be and I only have 1 ancient product to support.

    Even if I never play it (like so many games I buy and that includes Kudos 2 and Democracy) won’t regret the purchase and the chance to support an independent developer.

  31. Just so you know, one of the main reasons I purchased this was to support a developer who took a stand and previously announced that they were taking copy protection off of thier games. From what I’ve seen copy protection in general mostly annoys legitimate customers, or at best delays a day or two from someone cracking it. Thats why I like companies that give out patches after a year or so that remove copy protection (which is in general after most of the copies of the game have been sold), like egosoft, or companies that go without it entirely.
    I don’t mind a cd key/serial check when you play online games, but anymore more generally annoys me (unless transparently its built into the game delivery system like Steam or Impulse, where you can install it on all the desktops/laptops you own, etc).

    Other reasons I pre-ordered were:
    Good price point ($20).
    And good trailer, screenshots on the webpage.

  32. Bought the game and love it. The missions’ honor reward system really invites you to optimize your ships and strategy for each level to gain more honor with each time you beat a level.

    For a pre-order beta it’s actually pretty polished. The minor bugs I’ve encountered so far don’t really get in the way.

    Thanks for making such a fun game!

  33. I dig the game so far! Some more UI niceties would be welcome, just making it easier to do certain common things like loading and saving designs, or making a new design (blank out all modules, and especially the name).

    I seem to have run into a bug: I am designing frigates and every time I put Frigate Missile Launchers in a hardpoint, when I save or reload the design (or just try to use it in a deployment), all those launchers transform into Anti-Fighter Missile Launchers. This happened with two different hulls, and also after I quit & restarted (and tried to design them again from scratch).

    Great work!

  34. I so rather buy this game then some run-of-the-mill design I’ve seen before countless times.

    It is great to see some games being made that actually have a lot of depth to them, and are trying something new.

    Bought this game in the same hour I heard about it!

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