Currently there is a ten-year plan for various single player campaigns, to be released over time, in phases. The cost of the full game will not change.
Most single player missions will be flown in a particular ship type, designed to work best for the mission. However, once you complete a mission, you'll be able to go back and fly the same mission with a different ship.
Epic Single Player Campaign Edit
The single player storyline is being kept under close guard by the developers. Project leader Wingman says that while some of the testing will be revealed to Underground members (who pay a subscription fee just to play and give feedback on extremely early builds) he doesn't want to spoil the story and even there, things will have to be kept under wraps.
Kythera was hired to provide the framework for the Artificial Intelligence and bot behavior.
Early Concepts Edit
During the Kickstarter, a concept for the game was hinted at by developers, which may or may not be related to the final design. This iteration involved a prologue campaign that was designed to let players learn how to play Descent: Underground and to understand the lore behind why you are fighting in the mines. You would be doing a "day in the life of" scenario, fighting off drones, pilots, and robots from other corporations while learning how to pilot all of the ships, learning mining, fighting, and other aspects of the game along the way. The maps would be "familiar" to Descent players, as the mines would be a big puzzle, but with newer game play elements added in. For instance, instead of rescuing hostages, you'd be mining for pals (pallasite mineral packets). Flight and combat mechanics closely mimic the original Descent games, but with many modern game play mechanics added. Powerups would be hiding in many places.
In some of the missions, it is said there may be cores that you sometimes have to come in and blow up, but there will be twists and surprises thrown in.
AI was to be fairly basic in the prologue campaign, but they eventually would like to use the same kind of tactics players can use.
A stretch goal for the campaign was to have an epic, AAA single player experience. However, the idea was that it would not ship with the original game. The stretch goal was not official, but was estimated to require $1,500,000. There would still have been robots in the campaign.