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Laser Beams & Particle Streams Software announced today that Rank: Warmaster is available now on Steam Early Access. Combining real-time strategy, space combat simulation, and 4X gameplay, Rank: Warmaster is a unique and epic game in which players explore and conquer Mars and then the solar system to forge a new empire and bring peace to humanity.

Find Rank: Warmaster on Steam

In Rank: Warmaster, players set their own goals to help expand their fledgling empire: you decide when to attack or retreat, and where to place cities and structures for tactical purposes. The RTS interface facilitates efficient base building as well as commanding epic battles with its ease of movement and ability to issue specific commands to a large number of ships. When the need for a more personal touch arises, players can pilot their ships manually, experiencing the thrill and terror of flight firsthand. If a player’s ship is destroyed in a large fleet battle, they can simply jump to another ship instantaneously. 

“As longtime fans of space games we wanted to create a game where players can take on any role, from the commander of an empire down to the pilot of a singular ship, where your choices have real consequences,” says Arthur Moyer, founder of LBPS and lead developer. “Rank: Warmaster retains the best from each genre and combines them into an exciting and thoroughly customizable experience in which you can pilot the units, an RTS without map limits, and the ability to command–as well as fly-in–epic space battles.”

Rank: Warmaster features the tension and tactical decision-making of an RTS game whose scope is limited only by your grand vision of cosmic conquest. When invaders attack, drop into a dogfight and put your space jockey skills to the test. Assemble and command a mighty fleet by leveraging the vast library of technologies to design and build your ships. Explore the territory around your bases, attack your enemies and enjoy the spoils of victory. Customize your experience by making the game as complex or as automated as you wish, and focus your talents on the areas of greatest interest while leaving the rest to your AI assistants, or team up with friends to defeat AI or human foes.

Rank: Warmaster smoothly combines the most exciting elements of RTS, space combat, and 4X into a compelling experience. While the Early Access build of the game still has many features and technical improvements yet to be implemented, players can expect to jump in and have a thoroughly enjoyable and meaty experience, including a full flight tutorial.

Features of the game, both currently in place and expected in future builds, include:

Are you an admiral commanding a fleet or a hotshot pilot? Why not both?

  • A fully 3D RTS-style interface for managing fleets and city building lets players choose to “live” in the main first person simulation screen and/or the RTS (Navigation) screen to play as they prefer. If an RTS-style player doesn’t want to fly the ships, they don’t have to, or if a flight combat player doesn’t want to deal with fleets, they don’t have to, and may simply complete missions for other players or AI helpers which will be implemented in a future build. 
  • Players can jump quickly between ships in the fleet to stay on top of the action, and also switch between different customizable power profiles on ships, so they have buffs that can either increase weapon damage, improve engine thrust, or reinforce shields at the expense of other systems.
  • Ships are fully customizable: every component including the outer hull can be customized and switched out based on the technology web. The AI also makes their own custom ships allowing for unique challenges in each battle. A variety of weapons and a stealth system which is coming soon adds further customization options. 
  • The Precision Damage System allows for damage on a facet by facet basis: Once a facet is destroyed, it starts to destroy the component underneath (such as a weapon, engine, reactor, or even cockpit). Once a component is destroyed, it affects the ship’s performance appropriately and will explode internally, possibly taking out other components, creating potential chain reactions, and even damaging nearby ships. For example, a powerful weapon can shoot through one ship, exit the bulkhead on the opposite side, and strike an adjacent ship! 
  • The game features a realistic flight model based on assisted Newtonian physics, and the solar system is represented in real size with absolutely no loading zones. 

Your empire, your way

  • Each building in your city has its purpose and can be repaired and upgraded. (Mining, Refining, Research, Factories for ships, Turrets for defense, reactors for power, etc.). Players will eventually be able to set up cargo routes between cities.
  • Planets have resource nodes that not only contain raw ore to make things with, but may soon also have different buffs such as increased beam damage,or better armor, that might become rather strategic.
  • Research buildings can be used together and the researchable items and technologies are in a web, not a tree where everything is connected. Players can salvage both materials and research if the enemy has technology they don’t have yet. In future builds, special items and technologies can be attained via capturing. 

Rank: Warmaster adapts to how the player wants to play, and each game can be a whole new experience depending on players’ choices

  • In future builds, players may activate AI helpers to take care of the elements or tasks that you don’t have time or desire to manage: everything from handling cargo logistics, attacking or defending with a fleet, even making strategic decisions such as what to research or which cities to attack or defend. A budgeting system keeps the AI and/or other team members from overspending on resources. 
  • Also coming soon is the corporation customization system: upon starting a game, each faction gets to choose or is assigned different buffs and debuffs, such as a tendency to have better shields or beam weapons, and may have a special component that their faction only gets unless it is captured.
  • AI Warmasters have random or selected AI attributes to make them play differently for a new experience each game.
  • In a future build, the Storyteller AI can decide which scenarios are presented to the player based on their current situation, including story-level events and random events, for a unique play session each game.
  • Support for modding as well as a scripting engine to create custom scenarios or even campaigns.

About LBPS, Inc.

Here at Laser Beams & Particle Streams Software, Inc., we pride ourselves on thinking outside the box for what we build to create unique experiences. We are a dedicated team of developers, designers, artists, programmers, and most importantly gaming enthusiasts.

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