Support the creation of a Firefly game by downloading a free app on Steam, called the Cortex!
The Cortex is not yet the game itself, the download numbers just show the developers how many people are interested in an upcoming Firefly game. You can also make a donation through this app (which I did) which buys you a unique „big damn hero“ science ship that will be yours to pilot in the finished game. Can I pimp it with anomaly scanners, like the Probe ships in EVE Online, and find more shiny loot in abandonded sites? =-) That would be fun.
The rest of the Cortex app is a news reader that keeps fans informed about the status of the game. Developers post short demo clips, concept art, and 3D renderings, or write about how they work or which gameplay feature they just implemented. You can tell they want to make this personal and convey how hard the devs work for us. I assume it will still take a while for the game to be finished, this is why they want to keep fans interested during the waiting period. It makes a lot of sense, I would do that too, in their place.
You get a brownie point (hur hur) every time you read a new blog entry, watch an actor interview, or recommend the game to a friend, etc. These reward points translate to some in-game currency later, and we will be able to buy… uh, maybe a nice hat? :-) Seriously, once around Christmas, GuildWars2 had „ugly socks“ and „ugly sweaters“ as rewards! A nice woolen hat for my char is not too much to ask for.
The Cortex app already has Firefly’s visual theme down perfectly, a good way to win fans’ hearts, and it shows they mean business. They studied the original series thoroughly, and carefully bottled the essence ;-) of what people liked about Firefly.
Their blogs repeatedly confirm that, yes, characters will be customizable! You will be able to give them that practical rugged retro-futuristic half-spaceman half-cowboy look! Yes, the ships and hardware will look worn and functional! Because we all know, in Firefly’s ’verse, you as the captain would buy an old, used ship and repair it. Ships will have customizable interiors, so you and your crew can feel at home! There will be little bonsais and posters and couches to make your ships’ interior as custom and un-startrek-like as possible. FFO wants to be Firefly-shiny, not Star Trek Online-shiny.
Nothing against STO, I play that too. STO do an equally good job of channeling „that Starfleet feeling“. The two worlds are just for two very different moods.
There is also a „mini-game“ in the Cortex. Well, it’s just an interactive map really, there’s no fighting nor strategy nor logistics. „Find moon A of planet B in system C and click it. Thanks, you get a point for looking at the map.“ Just an “in-game” interactive way to show us the size of the map and introduce us to the names of the planets.
And the music! Even the bit of music in the news reader is very well written and perfectly Firefly-like. Looking forward to more of that in the finished game! I don’t like cowboy music, but I keep Steam open in the background, just to listen to space fiddles and guitars… :-)