Inspired by 4X classics such as Master of Orion II, StarDrive involves combining 4X standards such as colonization, diplomacy, research and a vast scale; with seamless real time gameplay and combat that can be paused at any time to issue orders. Players can also assume direct control of any starship in their empire at any time using the WASD keys, similar to an action game.
StarDrive started as the brain child of Dan "Zero" DiCicco (founder of Zero Sum Games) a divorce lawyer from Oregon, USA. After bringing StarDrive to kickstarter and achieving over 200% funding in December 2011, Daniel was able to hire Ariel Chai as lead artist, Jeff Dodson to write the game's music and a few other people to help code the game part-time.
StarDrive was launched on Desura's alpha-funding service due to a mistake by Desura staff, but was later taken off that service and returned to a closed state where it remains.
StarDrive was launched on Steam in April of 2013.
- Customize your race by selecting from a large list of physical traits, socio-economic traits, and traits relating to your history and tradition
- Lead your forces into battle with your own flagship that you control like an arcade shooter; command your fleets like you would in a real time strategy game with simple mouse commands.
- Tactical ground combat to take over enemy planets.
- A deep research tree with many dozens of technologies.
- Rich diplomacy options - including espionage - allowing you to make and break treaties with alien races; trade technologies and artifacts, sell ships, declare wars, and design joint operations with your allies
- Cooperative and Competitive online and LAN multiplayer (to be developed after initial release)
- Finally, StarDrive is easy to modify, and modding will be actively supported by the developers (primarily through XML editing)