Muckyfoot was formed in 1997 in Guildford, UK by former Bullfrog alumni, Mike Diskett, Guy Simmons,Fin McGechie and Gary Carr. In the same year they announced signing a worldwide publishing deal with Eidos Interactive.
Their first game, Urban Chaos, was an expansive third-person action-adventure set in free roaming environments with innovative combat and traversal mechanics. It was recieved positively on PC and following its release Muckyfoot soon began work on their next game Startopia.
Startopia was a radical take on the strategy/sim genre. Set across a series of ring shaped spacestations, the player must manage multiple decks while juggling the needs of a host of wildly different and antagonistic alien species.
Startopia takes gamers to a once thriving galactic network of Toroidal (doughnut shaped) space stations, scarred and redundant following a galaxy spanning war that has swept aside the old empire and paved the way for a new corporate order.
The player assumes the role of interstellar trouble shooter and freelance business consultant tasked with the job of rebuilding the once essential trade and communication way-stations that were instrumental in knitting the Galaxy together.
As the acting manager of a series of ring shaped habitats, the player must first revive their basic functionality before repairing and expanding to fulfill the requirements for that station and creating a desirable environment for the many diverse and often difficult species that wish to call the Station home and workplace.
While you attempt to turn a profit be aware that there are others out there with the same goals, who eye your station with envious eyes and slowly, but surely they draw their plans against you...
To that end Startopia also provides multiplayer interstellar refurbishment opportunities where up to four players compete to develop and control a single space station via economic prowess or military might.
The game was a labour of love for the team, and this shone through via critical acclaim and an average Metacritic ranking of 86%. Sadly those scores never quite translated into sales, and the heartbroken team were known to have drowned their sorrows in many Alderbaranian ales. The game did develop a loyal fanbase however, which is active to this day almost 20 years later!
The game is currently available through Steam (and hopefully soon returning to GOG), with any proceeds being actively ploughed back into refreshing and updating the original game.