An Intergalactic Sandbox Is China’s Latest Indie Gaming Success Story

“Dyson Sphere Program” challenges players to build galaxy-spanning logistics networks and massive structures that harvest energy from stars.

A hit new Chinese-developed computer game has tapped into the niche market of people who’ve always wanted to build intergalactic logistics empires.

Created by a team of just five developers in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing, “Dyson Sphere Program” has received glowing reviews and briefly topped sales charts since its early release last week.

Hyped by a successful Kickstarter campaign, DSP had topped the bestseller list on online gaming platform Steam within an hour of its launch on Jan. 20. By Monday, it had sold over 200,000 total downloads, priced around $15 on several platforms, and its current rating on Steam is “overwhelmingly positive” based on 6,000 reviews.

The game opens with a controllable robot character landing on a lush, resource-rich planet. The player begins by manually harvesting wood, coal, iron, and other raw materials, then uses these stockpiled resources to build increasingly complex automated systems consisting of mining machines, conveyor belts, processing facilities, and power generators.

Players can expand their factory networks across planets, solar systems, and even galaxies.

As a so-called sandbox game, DSP gives players almost unlimited freedom to build their logistics empires to their own tastes. But the ultimate goal is to craft a Dyson sphere — a gigantic mechanical apparatus built around a star to harness its energy. The concept was first described in a 1937 science fiction novel, then later popularized in a 1960 paper by British-American physicist Freeman Dyson. Continue to read the full article here


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone