If you’re curious about forthcoming co-op sci-fi RPG The Mandate (internally described as “Tsar in Space”, since it “provides a futuristic riff on Tsarist Russian Empire history”) then you can sort of try it out now by fiddling with the Character Prologue Creator and the Ship Designer and Destruction Tech Demos.
The Mandate casts you as a disgraced space captain freed from prison by the Russian Empire-themed rulers to combat rebels. You captain a ship staffed with unique crew members and train up their skills while taking them into space battles, boarding operations, and galactic exploration. It’s all about crew drama, apparently – just like most space opera shows.
The Character Prologue Creator lets you choose the course of your former career and the nature of your sudden disgrace, all of which will impact your skills and your standing with both the rebels and the ruling Mandate. You don’t have to work for the Mandate, after all – you’re free to assist the rebels, or completely ignore the escalating conflict and focus on your own agendas.
The Ship Designer, conversely, lets you build up a ship out of a small variety of parts, colour it in, and then blow it up by firing lasers and hurling asteroids at it. That’s really more of a tech demo than anything else, but it’s sort of fun to paly with.
The Mandate is asking for $500,000 on Kickstarter, and is currently sitting at $96,877 with 47 days to go. If you fancy pledging, $20 will net you a copy of the game when it’s ready.