The cities of the future are under your control as you defend humanity from the guardians of a lost civilization.
Aven Colony is a city-building strategy game about mankind’s first colony on a moon orbiting a gas giant ten light-years from earth called “Aven Prime.” You assume the role of the Governor of humanity’s first colonies outside the solar system. Your goal is to build and protect one small, vulnerable human settlement at a time, and grow each one into a sprawling and prosperous sci-fi metropolis.
We knew from the outset that we wanted to take Aven Colony to some interesting new places that standard city-builders don’t usually go.
While we wanted the core gameplay loop to feel familiar to fans of the city-builder genre, we also wanted to explore new features rarely seen in city-builders, such as a full single-player campaign and a number of sci-fi elements beyond what could typically be done with a modern city in modern times.
We particularly wanted to explore themes of survival and all of the science-fiction aspects of a future version of humanity landing on an alien world, learning its secrets, and discovering the traces of a vanished alien civilization.
Beginning with the Hyla’s Crescent campaign mission, the Aven Expedition begins to discover awesomely powerful artifacts left behind by the mysterious species that once inhabited this world. After collecting an artifact, storing it at an Artifact Containment Unit, and then researching the artifact at a Research Center, you’ll be able to use it to produce powerful effects to help your colony.
There are several varieties of artifact, including the Shielding Artifact, which will temporarily protect your colony from external threats, such as shard storms, creep spores, and plague spores.
However, the long-lost denizens of Aven Prime, whoever they were, certainly didn’t leave their valuable goodies lying around unprotected… and those protections still linger.
Once your colony is large enough, you can also build an Expedition Center to send your colonists exploring outside the colony. Each Expedition Center will allow you to load up to 10 colonists into an expedition ship, which you can then send out into the surrounding countryside to find and collect abandoned cargo pods, place agricultural scanners, chase down rebels, explore alien ruins, and much more.
Among the various points of interest that your expedition ships can discover are robotic remnants of the civilization that once inhabited this world, known as “Guardians.” If your expedition crews survive the encounter with the ship intact, they can sometimes recover an artifact from the vicinity of the Guardian. In other cases, ancient ruins that dot the landscape will also hold artifacts that your expedition ships can carry back to the colony to install, research, and activate.
However, once you begin to retrieve artifacts and encounter guardians in your expeditions, some of these robots will initiate automatic attack sequences and attempt to locate the colony.
Aven Colony avoids massive, city-destroying mega-disasters in favor of various smaller environmental threats that aren’t likely to permanently damage your colony if handled properly. Shard storms, sandworms, water worms, creep spores, plague spores, and the huge, noxious clouds of toxic gas that can erupt from geothermal vents all look fairly terrifying, but none of these are very likely to annihilate a well-built colony.
The Guardian, however, is an exception to this rule. Arriving in an update coming shortly after launch, the Guardian will happily initiate the auto-attack sequence programmed by its long-forgotten creators and use its massive laser to cut through your colony like a knife through butter. If you don’t have a few Plasma Turrets scattered around your colony to take it down, your colony may not survive long enough to tell the tale.
Note that the chance of this occurring depends on the game difficulty setting in campaign missions, or the environmental event frequency sandbox setting for sandbox maps. At the easiest settings, it’s possible that you’ll never see a Guardian attack your colony at all. Playing any Sandbox mission with environmental events turned off will turn Aven Colony into a pure city-builder and management sim.
For us at Mothership Entertainment, Aven Colony is only the start of the journey, and evolving the city-builder into a new form is only the first step. We hope this post has showed a few of the rarely-seen aspects of Aven Colony that truly set it apart.