My name is Mario Mihokovic, and I'm co-founder of Little Green Men Games team. We're bunch of gaming enthusiasts and worshippers of everything connected to space.

Starpoint Gemini 2 is our second title, and it was in development since 2011. We entered the Steam Early Access program when it was still young, and learned how to survive it along the way. A few weeks ago our game was released from Early Access, after an incredible year of intense cooperation with community members and over 50 updates created in that time. There is an article on this amazing experience of ours published on Gamasutra...

Ask us anything regarding Early Access, Space, game development and community management. We 'll do our best to answer your questions on our past experiences as well as future plans, and also questions on any other subject we might be helpful with. Please just avoid questions on fashion and celebrities know...we don't exercise real life too much :)

EDIT: verifying /u/LGM_/ as our developer reddit account to help with answering questions

EDIT2: So, it is late Friday night and it was a long working day, so we'll call it a day. You can expect us to tune in tomorrow and check on additional questions...

Comments: 185 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

MrStump13 karma

This game was actually at the top of my wishlist and is going to be bought (eventually). It looks like the fun parts of space games without the tedious trekking across the infinite void.

What can you tell me about it to push me over the edge so I buy it when I get home?

MarioMihokovic14 karma

You...must... buy...! Kidding, if space and its wonders are you thing, our game might be the one for you! But just in case, check some videos before final decision. Fellow Gemini captains will welcome you now or whenever you decide

MrStump4 karma

I will do that! Thanks. I must say, from what I've seen, it is one heck of a beautiful game

MarioMihokovic6 karma

thank you! Really hope you won't be disappointed. Oh, and don't hesitate to join our forum. Plenty of interesting people are there :)

Espege4 karma

Agreed with Oluja. Meep. ;)

MarioMihokovic4 karma

Meep arrives on Reddit. Nowhere to hide now :)

terodemmah11 karma

Have you received any feedback on your Whale2 engine from the industry? Personally I'm pretty impressed with it.

MarioMihokovic9 karma

Not really so far. We are happy with it too, but others are still silent. We are cleaning the engine now and revamping many things to make it easier to use

Chavpl6 karma

May You say something more technical about Whale2?

MarioMihokovic8 karma

engine made in house. massive upgrade of Whale engine from SPG1. This one is full directX 11 and SPG2 actually uses just over half of its real potential. The engine however still needs some optimization so it is less hardware demanding, and then we can unlock rest of its potential

Chavpl5 karma

C/C++? Why not one of existing engine (unity, unreal)?

MarioMihokovic10 karma

there were some specific ideas we wanted to implement, and easiest way was to make our own tool for that. Besides, our programmer always wanted a badass challenge so he can prove what he can do :)

l0ngst4r3 karma

Oliver The Sleepless :) Is he around now or down in his den, chopping logs?

MarioMihokovic4 karma

Haha, he is somewhere around... never far away

terodemmah7 karma

A small amount of players have expressed, that they felt the game came out of EA too soon. What's your thoughts on this?

MarioMihokovic10 karma

Honestly, it occured to us too sometimes. Since we implemented bunch of things from community wishlist till the very last moment, we slipped more bugs than was acceptable in initial version. To counter that we haven't stopped working on patches since then. And our decision is to iron out everything and then offer a lot of new content to apologize for bugs that weren't noted soon enough

spizzard5 karma

Hi there, love the game, I've never played anything like it! Aside from being really fun and addictive, what is the purpose of the game? (the endgame I suppose)

MarioMihokovic9 karma

When we were young we watched star trek series and fell in love. Then we said: we will make our own universe to wonder at. The idea was there ever since...

Espege3 karma

It's hard to talk about end game in SPG2. Form the very start, if you skipped the campaing and started freeroam, you can do pretty much whatever you want. And after 600 hours in the game, you can still do the same thing, although on high level and with kickass ship. It's not WoW style game where you level up and then go to raids. :)

spizzard2 karma

See, I started the campaign and then started to drift into free roam once those attractive little side missions started popping up all over. Aye I understand it's completely separate from WoW but is there no goal to aim for after many hours into the game?

MarioMihokovic7 karma

If you can hund down all heroes, and pillage all sectors regardless of enemy numbers, you've achieved a lot. But we're not still happy with your possibilities after that. So we are preparing new content for high level players and more challenges to achieve

nhooydz4 karma

Greetings from Zagreb! I have never heard about you guys until my friend joined your squad. I'm really impressed by your game and success so far, too bad my laptop is something you can find on Hrelic for 10 euros.

I do have a few questions. What games were your inspiration? Also, has any of you played the infamous game "Poslanik" ? :)

MarioMihokovic4 karma

I remember poslanik. Legend in croatian terms. But most of our members are too young to properly remember that

Espege1 karma

Oh dear, Poslanik brings back memories! :D

nhooydz1 karma

Well I only saw articles about it in our legendary Hacker magazine :( Can't finda a copy anywhere

Espege1 karma

For all fellow croats, here is the original trailer for Poslanik (The Ward) -

MarioMihokovic5 karma

nice, thanks for sharing. A trip to childhood is next...

Chavpl4 karma

How mamy ppl work on SG2?

MarioMihokovic11 karma

right now 12, that is including all outside help. Project started with 5 guys

gt244 karma

What game glitches or bugs during development and during release (in house or during release) did you find the most amusing or memorable?

MarioMihokovic6 karma

ghostplanets, dancing superbeams, spooky mega character faces in the game... there were some fantastic ridiculous things

gt241 karma

It would be neat to see some of those bugs via screenshots or alike (if possible). It isn't very easy to see a game bug in video games and those bugs are generally fixed quite quickly.

I can only imagine what dancing superbeams and mega character faces would have looked like.

MarioMihokovic3 karma

there was a youtube video of superbeams linked to travolta 70's dance. I almost died laughing :) There is that shot I think still somewhere in Steam screenshot gallery

ow3n3 karma

Hi Mario,

Did your vision of SG2 change from the community feedback you received via Early Access?

For example, was there things that you wanted to include in the game that the players were resistant to? Did the community provide creative solutions to problems you encountered along the way?

I picked up SG2 and am having a blast with it so far!

MarioMihokovic5 karma

yes, idea of the game changed somewhat, but not too dramatically. Initial idea was a bit more complex slower paced approach, and it went more towards tactical action RPG. But we like it, and we like even more where ideas from community might take us from here

Espege3 karma

You recieved many very positive reviews from numerous gaming portals (80 on Pc Gamer, 9.3 on, 82 on Canadian Online Gamers), not to mention user scores which are mostly sky high.

Of course, game worshippers that are supporting it from Early Access are one thing, but new buyers after the release are more critical usually.

Did you expect reviews to be so positive and did you had some time to celebrate the success of the game?

MarioMihokovic5 karma

we had no celebration. It was planned, but release was more hectic than expected :) . We'll postpone it. Certain number of new players were more critical, but not without reason. Some problems did slip into release version and we are taking it into account to remedy all we can. Hopefully, reviews will remain good following extra effort needed to polish out everything

l0ngst4r3 karma


I'm Zsolt Pal, playing your game since March (joined in the the Beta phase). Let me start with asking first: How do you think release went? How did the gaming community receive your product generally?

MarioMihokovic5 karma

I must admit we are rather content. Most reactions were positive from players and that is very good ground for continuous work. Guess genre niche was well pinpointed, but we still have lots of ideas to introduce to game. We are mostly happy that veteran space gamers of 35+ years accepted the game well

l0ngst4r4 karma

Glad to hear. I must say I was very excited to see the game reaching No 3 best seller on Steam and No 2 on GOG. Must have been an amazing feeling seeing your game do this well.

MarioMihokovic7 karma

it was a positive shock and a relief after more than three years of work. We were horribly nervous about how it will all go in the end...

l0ngst4r1 karma

In the end it turned out good. Or are we at the end? Do you expect the sales to pick up again for any reason? For example a DLC could again generate publicity and put you on he front pages again I suspect.

MarioMihokovic2 karma

we certainly expect it to pick up again, but we plan to deliver a much upgraded version and expansions to be ready

myzon263 karma

Hi all! First off I want to say thanks for this game! I first heard about it a couple of weeks ago and now it consumes all of my free gaming time! I do have a question about optimization though. It seems like the game only uses one core , are there plans to make it more multi-core friendly? Again, thanks for all the time and effort that has been put into this game.

MarioMihokovic5 karma

Thanks myzon26, glad to hear you're having fun playing! Atm, SPG2 does use multicore way less than desired, but we're working on allowing more features to use multicore better.

TheInsaneDump3 karma

As an aspiring game developer myself (mostly created small games for college grants and research projects; nothing substantial), how did you first break into game design? And going further, how did you first approach and consider the idea of developing Starpoint Gemini 2 and starting a company?

Been following this game as well and itching to purchase! =)

Thank you!

MarioMihokovic4 karma

we mostly started as modders, playing with different tools and expanding knowledge. At some point, we realized we might accumulated enough know how to make our own attempt. It was jump into the unknown, and we didn't realize all the challenges we will face, but if there is enough willpower everything can be beaten. Starting a company was also a calculated risk, but every business is risk after all...

l0ngst4r3 karma

Since release you have already created 7 fixes and 3 updates in just about 4 weeks. I take it most of the problems needed to be addressed are being dealt with - so you can concentrate on what to do next, what to add to the game. So what we can expect in the future? 1. What are the plans for the near future (1-3 months) - particularly any Christmas surprise perhaps? :) 2. What are your plans for the longer haul - can we expect a long-term support for modders? 3. The Material Editor is missing many functions, when will be the Editor fully working? 4. Any planned big DLC?

MarioMihokovic6 karma

  1. several new features - subtargeting, AI behaviour, new mining, is immediate future. Our wish is also first content dlc by christmas but I won't promise that 100%
  2. yes long term support for modders is a must have, with better tools and refined ways to use them
  3. not before we add new UI system. that one is pretty urgent. After that it will be completed
  4. yes :)

Espege3 karma

No fashion? Damn.

We heard that there will be new features coming like owning a station (in expansion) and hiring maybe more then 2 mercs, but can you tell us which are the next two planned content features (if it's not a secret).

Thanks. :)

MarioMihokovic5 karma

Immediate additions are subsystem targeting and much better behaviour routines so that modders also can start playing with that. That is what is in progress right now. Features that you mention are there too, but that will take a bit more time to design..

Vehrmt3 karma

How did you survive financially before money started coming in from early access?

MarioMihokovic7 karma

very hard :) . SPG1 offered some basic funds and from there to EA was just doing some creative magic...

Vehrmt7 karma

I can imagine. But still, how did you keep the people working on it motivated? Were you good friends with a common dream? I often think of starting my own company later down the line, but, even with working on IT, I just can't see a way to fund it until the first money comes in unless I work completely by myself.

Side-note: Love the game. First one that's brought me back to the Freelancer feel in all these years.

MarioMihokovic6 karma

Well, few core members are fanatics, and newcommers went the same way. We really enjoy working on this. And we basically worked 24/7 during nights, after "ordinary jobs" that payed the bills. Not the best way, but doable, at least was so far. If you wish to embark there, just be brave and jump, enthusiasm will show you the way. And you'll see how easy it is to improvize if you must. It will be your project and you'll see that you will gladly give 200% for it!

Espege2 karma

One of the rare things some people don't like in SPG2 is the current raster based HUD which, in comparison with the awesome looking game, looks a bit old. Do you plan on redesigning the HUD in the future and make it vector based so it will become scalable for people who play on bigass TVs and multi monitor setups?

MarioMihokovic5 karma

there has been objections to HUD, and we admit it is one of the weak points of the game right now. Redesign is already under construction and we hope to address several problems at once when it is ready

terodemmah2 karma

As many of the players and community surrounding the game seems to have a wicked sense of humour, as well as you guys at LGM, will there be more easter eggs added to the game at some point?

MarioMihokovic5 karma

yes, haven't you heard of pink space pony? And meepsanity difficulty? No backing down now :)

Espege1 karma

<3 pink space ponies! :D When I level them up, they will become pink space pwnies! :D

MarioMihokovic3 karma

please, no more crazy ideas! We glue on them like flies! We'll end up making ponies and other space animals for months :)

Espege2 karma

Will you continue to work on Oculus DK2 support or will you wait for consumer version to be released?

MarioMihokovic3 karma

Development will continue, but since our dev kit arrived just before game release, and chaos errupted then, we have delayed it a bit. Full support probably won't be released this year, but development is now resumed and if it will be ready, we won't wait for consumer version

Chavpl2 karma

Are You thinking about change docking system? Actual solution (click and done) is ok, but not so cool as it may be imo ;)

MarioMihokovic4 karma

The idea's on the table, but we feel the entire docking should then be done more smooth and more immersive with station backgrounds, trader's background images, shipyards, maybe even animated, there's work to be done in that department, and if we go there, we'd like it to be as atmospheric as it gets

Chavpl2 karma

Great to hear that :) And next step - we want to land on planet :D

MarioMihokovic2 karma

Ah, that would be awesome, but I think that is a bit further away :)

terodemmah2 karma

Do you have any plans for expanding the RPG elements in the game or add new ones?

MarioMihokovic2 karma

yes there are, some changes to experience and levels, more customization and additions to loot and reward system. On top of that wishlist also contains some ideas for new classes and skills, and we'll see if more of those will be selected for implementation

terodemmah1 karma

It would be great to have more playstyle-specific classes such as merchant, miner and so forth.

MarioMihokovic3 karma

Yep, we're also giving a thought on that department as well, adding perhaps a specific backgrounds to players with certain bonuses, something that would go in line of having different playstyles as you've said, such as merchants, mining moguls, bounty hunters extraordinaires etc.

megaflubbie2 karma

I see your game has trading cards (Nice!), I always wonder how much money this makes. (don't have to say a number) But does it give a nice number or is it almost nothing?

MarioMihokovic5 karma

I don't think we still got a dime from it, so... but at least they do look cool :)

lord_dude2 karma

What was the hardest part of releasing it on Steam early access?! Personal and/or technical.

MarioMihokovic5 karma

personal - it was a new program and we were a bit afraid how it would work out technical - after early access launch it was very difficult handling large community, working on a game and syncing all the different versions and updates at the same time. Those were very interesting times indeed

vBubbaa2 karma

What tasks does a game dev have?

MarioMihokovic5 karma

In a very small team like ours - too many :) . Every member has multiple responsibilities. For example, I create sound FX, write story and missions, do all the paperwork for company, test patches and updates, handle much of correspondence, and occassionaly hold lectures in conventions. And every team member has a similar workday right now...

terodemmah2 karma

Do you see LGM having a go at something besides space-sims sometime in the future?

MarioMihokovic4 karma

Possibly. We are crazy creative people, and we already discussed some new potential plans. Some are completely different than current projects, genre wise. But it will remain space theme. And before that, SPG2 must be crafted into what it has to be in full potential. In the future, something with more "ground under feet" would be nice for change...

Espege3 karma

I like that idea. I would like a real story driven Wallpainting Simulator. :) Hehehe...

MarioMihokovic5 karma

we should offer it on kickstarter right beside potato salad :)

Whargod2 karma

I got this game a while ago, and as a fan of space games I just want to say great job! I am enjoying it a lot.

Now my question, how much stock do you put in the comments of the Steam forums specifically? It has always seemed to me that place is very volatile, more so than Reddit or other forums. I have seen developers get whined at constantly even when they do good things. In your opinion is there much useful feedback generated from that place in relation to other forums?

MarioMihokovic4 karma

we go incredibly lot of valuable feedback on steam forum. I tis the biggest forum so it might be expected. Now, our own forum is indeed more calm and peaceful at times, but constructive criticism is also very useful to hear. I only mind occassional needless fighting on steam forum, but we really didn't had much of that

terodemmah2 karma

Were you at any point unsure wheter continuing the SG saga was a good idea as in contrast to make a different game (story and setting - wise)?

MarioMihokovic4 karma

only a million times. But we decided to stick by it, and so far looks like a good call

rathemighty2 karma

What advice could you offer a guy who wants to make video games, but is unsure what exactly he wants to do in that process?

MarioMihokovic2 karma

That can be answered in two ways: 1. make a research on kind of game you wish to do and for first project choose genre and type that isn't too overwhelmed or... 2. push your idea because no matter how much competition you have, idea closest to your heart will be the one you will best excell at.

No need to stress that both approaches have pros and cons, and best idea is to strike the post positive balance...

blue14422 karma

Ever planning on releasing a demo for this game? I've never really tried any real space exploration type game, and I'm unsure if I'll enjoy them or not.

LGM_2 karma

One of our main features is big and open sandbox world. If we had to remove or change this it would make a poor demo.

At the moment we feel that our limited resources(12 developers, including outside help) development time is better used for improving the final product instead of working on a demo which can't possibly deliver the same experience.

terodemmah1 karma

Could a timelimit in the demo not be a way to solve this?

MarioMihokovic3 karma

That could be useful. We'll talk about this with publishers. Maybe it could be worth an effort

GeorgeCorser1 karma

Of all the ships in your game, which do you most like to fly? Which do you least like to fight?

MarioMihokovic1 karma

Personally, from gunships I prefer Pegasus (because having cloak early in game can save your respective ars many times), and from bigger ships I love Premonition and Tzar. The ship I hate fighting against, No.1 is imperial Perun - he always seems to have insane amount of HP to me :)

blazedd1 karma

When will I be able to tell my allies not to destroy my target? I can't capture a ship and the levels of other ships is starting to pass me as I don't get much experience. Half the time I barely get within firing range and some other ship of several classes larger destroys my target.

MarioMihokovic1 karma

New behaviour routines are being developed and we hope to add some ideas in that package that will prevent (or at least decrease chance) for this to happen

TheGreatBundini1 karma

How does the team collect and organize player feedback that comes out of EA?

MarioMihokovic1 karma

We have a "wishlist" for all ideas. First step is to divide ideas to "doability" levels. We know how few of us there are, and with what budget we are working with. None of the ideas are discarded, but if something is clearly a longshot for us at this point, it is clearly spoken to public and the idea remains for some better times. Basically we have couple categories : longshot hardly achievable ideas, realistic doable ideas, smaller suggestions that would require only modifications of existing features...

SuchADolorousFellow1 karma

If you guys went to college, what was your major?

MarioMihokovic1 karma

Most of us went to college, but not all had any connection to game industra initially. We have electronics engineers, software engineers, history teachers... :) pretty interesting bunch...

NemDiv1 karma


MarioMihokovic1 karma

Nope, we don't use scrum. Most of our tools (except for 3D modelling and some SFX) are made in house

6thyearsenior1 karma

Were you placed in early access by mistake? and is there anything you would like to say to Gabe?

MarioMihokovic1 karma

Haha, I know what you're implying :) . No, no message for Gabe. Our Early Access was a very nice experience. Extremely exhausting, but nice :)

MonkheyBoy1 karma

I bought the game during early access and was amazed with what you guys were able to do with such a small team. I also read in comments that you were working on more content for high level players, will this content be added as free DLC or as a DLC which you have to buy? Also, are you planning on a sequel?

MarioMihokovic1 karma

DLC's are definitely planned (one already in production), and some will probably be free, some not. Besides them, additional content will be coming alond regular updates, and they will all be free. As for expansion, plan for one expansion is done and that one will be rather big with some entirely new gameplay elements

billoflol1 karma

Any plans for a Mac port?

MarioMihokovic3 karma

Under consideration, but I'd say it is not very close

billoflol1 karma

How portable is your current codebase, on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 5 means very easy portable, just minor glitches to fix)?

MarioMihokovic4 karma

I'd say 3

WTSLemonade1 karma

What do you think of Steam sales ?

MarioMihokovic3 karma

You mean sales as in discounts? or our sales numbers?

WTSLemonade1 karma


MarioMihokovic3 karma

Steam discounts changed the way sales work dramatically, especially for small developers, but it is possible to adapt and to make it work in your favor, just with different strategy. Regarding our sales, we are pretty content. No one will get to Bahamas, but team will get a chance to continue working on this and hopefully some other projects in the future, and that was the main goal

iamnotreal6361 karma

How did you learn to make video games? Were you self taught or go to school?

MarioMihokovic5 karma

80% of team members are self taught, true. For example, I am myself a history teacher by professional education. But those days are gone now :)

Espege3 karma

They were all self taught as far as I know. There is no game developer school in Croatia. Some things are slowly changing though and game develpment is slowly being recongized as interesting industry. But those are all baby steps.

l0ngst4r2 karma

Time to open a Little Green School then, Marijo.

MarioMihokovic3 karma

back to school. what a nostalgia :)

l0ngst4r2 karma

I meant to open your own school, to train the next generation of game developers. For a hefty fee... Would there be interest in your country for that?

MarioMihokovic3 karma

there are shy attempts to do that right now, and we are trying to help them as much as we can. In three weeks we are supporting dev booth on InfoGamer fair in Zagreb. There are so many fantastic talented youths in Croatia but game dev scene is weak. We hope to help it grow at least a bit...

ta_np1 karma

Is there a tutorial for this thing?

MarioMihokovic1 karma

There are tutorial texts with screenshots for each game element in game (accesible with questionmark icon in upper right cornerof main game screen), and if you need some info before starting to play - there are several series of let's play videos out there. I understand this isn't maybe the best solution, but at this point that is available

Wrathinside0 karma

For once I guess I will break my peeve about social networks and participate in discovering truth about this promising game.

Most questions I wanted to ask were answered, but there is one thing that bugged me: About future plans, you said something about "ground-based" game. Does that mean that LGM also "can't count to three"? Or will future games somehow be within SPG franchise?

Also, since players indulged in naming other games, like Freelancer, Poslanik and such, I guess I will risk naming my game: Have you heard of/tried Space Rangers? If no... well, best leave the topic closed. But if yes, can there be any similar features between the two games?

Also, people keep saying that the game is sandbox. I am a fan, but I am a cynical fan, so I will say openly: SPG2 is not sandbox in it's current state. Minecraft(as much as I hate to bring this name) is sandbox. Warcraft 3 is sandbox. Even MMOs are somewhat sandboxes. After playing SPG2 twice, I found out that there is literally nothing to do sandbox-related. As some person said about difference between sandbox and story-driven game being that story-driven game is finished and uninstalled, I suppose SPG2 is basically unlocked story-mode. Like instead of just flying in mission space, you can fly somewhere doing something. But there is no particular "where" or "thing" to do. Artifacts? Sorry, can't talk about this one without without <censored> words. Heroes? Likewise, too random and too limited. No random heroes, no respawns, no special system. Trading? No comment here either.

Now, I understand that you are indie, I understand that the game is only just released and there's work to be done and plans to be had, but I just wanted to point out the gravity of this condition.

What are the more precise plans on "making" the game sandbox? People already asked about modding, and it seems that current mods are unbelievably poor. I won't judge, I don't know ABC of modding and there are less modders than fingers on one hand, but still - can mods be something more than "custom ships"? With current or future Editor state?

MarioMihokovic1 karma

Potential plans for new games are done in a way to be generally set in same setting, but completely different genre. However, these are not immediate plans. As you pointed correctly, we feel there is much more work to be done in SPG2 primarily. A lot more missions, faction based chain quests, additional ships and goals to achieve... Regarding modding, a number of people use modding tools without too much problems, but I have to stress out again that they are not finished yet. Our task is to make them easier to use, add more functionalities (especially the world editor) and release documentation for them. With all above mentioned, we hope SPG2 will become full "sandbox" game in entire sense of that word

saucygibbon0 karma

Yo brocef! As a young, aspiring game developer what advice coy,d you give to me?

MarioMihokovic1 karma

Just never give up. This business, especially today, is very hard at times, and there will be days you'll wish you've never started it at all. But with much effort, relentless work and constant listening to what players think, nothing is impossible. And once you see the first results and that people do enjoy what you are creating - everything becomes easier!