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Cantata is a character-driven empire building game that puts you in the middle of a spiritual, pragmatic war for survival. Play as a commanding officer (“CO”) of the Machines, Humans or Aliens, and leverage your faction’s unique powers and abilities to slowly expand your hold on this alien world.
  • Nine COs across Three Factions
  • Online & Local multi-player
  • Moddable Units, Maps, Scenarios & Characters


Commanding Officers ("COs") are the core of Cantata. After you choose your CO at the beginning of the game, you'll play them as actual units as you take on the map. Every CO influences its faction units differently and has a unique special ability that can swiftly turn the tide of battle in your favor.


The humans field a fully modern combined arms military, and support their large numbers of infantry with tanks, walkers, jets and gunships. They aren’t a subtle force; all previous wars they’ve fought have ended swiftly and mercilessly.


The aliens use their refined skills of stealth and ambush to slaughter unsuspecting foes. Some command fauna, others dig tunnel networks beneath the feet of their enemy and hatch flora from their great backs to hide the tribes. The rest strike at the foe in a religious fervor of tooth, claw and acidic blood; even in death, their ghosts return for a final assault on their foe.


Militarily, the machines are always changing and evolving. While each unit requires more resources and maintenance than any human equivalent, they’re also often quite literally born for war. Machine primary soldiers prefer to fight within the range of power supply towers, so that if their bodies are destroyed their consciousnesses can be rescued and uploaded into a new body.


Supply fuels your empire. You'll start every match with a single base building and a set amount of supply that you'll need to manage across the course of play. Spend it to build improvements on the map, level up other structures, and convert it to other supply types to allow you to build bigger, stronger units.


The map is split up into smaller zones called "regions",  which you'll need to establish a commanding hold over as soon as possible. Holding regions gives you victory points every turn, and whoever reaches a specified number of victory points first wins. Regions are deeply varied — there's no procedural generation so every map is handcrafted with specific ideas in mind. Fight over a mountainous regions, ocean zones, and regions full of mysterious storms and wildlife.


Playing Cantata isn't just about small encounters. It's about exploring and expanding across massive (100+ tile wide) maps and making the most of your limited supply. Will you investigate a region that seems to be continually spawning walking, poisonous flora, or will you try to move to the center of an ocean where it seems that anything that enters never comes out. Your objective is to beat your opponent, but every map holds surprises for you to discover along the way.


When can I play?

We’re hoping to release the multiplayer game, plus a full modding toolkit, as an early alpha by Fall 2018, ideally through Steam’s Early Access Program or Refinery. With the help and input from our early access community, we’ll then target Summer/Fall 2019 for the full release. We’d like to work a sample singleplayer campaign in there somewhere, but that decision is pending other publishing milestones and community response.

What’s the game like?

The vibe we're trying to create is both tense and meditative. You make tough calls every turn on topics that affect both your next turn as well as what happens in 10 turns. As you play, you start to feel like you’re building up a small empire that only you can run. It feels personal, like you’re really in control of what’s happening on screen, but also a bit vulnerable.

How do I play?

The game puts you in the middle of a three way struggle for survival between aliens, humans and machines on Shoal, a mysterious old colony planet. To start, you select a CO from one of these factions, as well as a scrappy cadre of units. Then, you will manage a fixed allotment of supply to grow your base, units, and CO’s reach into an impressive military force. You can win one of two ways, either by destroying the other players’ home bases or by holding the most territory the longest (i.e. a conquest victory like Battlefield or Company of Heroes). At a high level, you want to leverage your faction to explore, expand, and endure Shoal’s trials before supply runs out.


Cantata is currently in development. We’re a band of friends, including a husband-wife team, trying to make this tense, meditative game happen. We want you on this journey with us! Follow our progress and subscribe to the newsletter below for updates.