The Race For Space: Lifeless Planet

By John Walker on September 21st, 2011 at 5:43 pm.

This is what happened the last time I explored a new planet too.

There are a fair number of games where after playing them, in fact years after playing them, you tip your head back and scream at the sky, “WHY AREN’T THERE MORE GAMES LIKE THIS?!” Ico is definitely one of those for me. So I’m delighted to hear from David Board, an indie developer who is attempting to fill that particular gap. Lifeless Planet is an action adventure that focuses on the adventure, which appears to involve exploring. Oh thank goodness.

Take a look at the completely gorgeous trailer:

The story seems pretty intriguing too. For reasons not yet known, people are exploring for a planet that can support life. Believing that he’s struck upon an undiscovered world, when exploring the central astronaut in fact finds an abandoned Russian laboratory from many years ago. Which is… spooky.

However, production of the game now seems to depend on a successful Kickstarter project. We’re uncomfortable suggesting people pay money for projects we haven’t played, from unknown developers, for all the obvious reasons. However, you have your own mind. You can pre-order the game for a $10 donation.

It’s one I’m definitely going to keep an eye on.

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71 Comments »

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  1. stage2studios says:

    Thanks for the love, RPS and John! You rock!!!

  2. MrWolf says:

    Wow!

  3. NooklearToaster says:

    Wow, that looks fabulous. Obviously rough around the edges in it’s alpha state, but I really like where this concept could go.

    Slightly annoyed by the random “shock” injected at the end of the trailer.

  4. SoggySilicon says:

    Looks very clever, and way to name drop… Ico… hehe. Tosses a tenner on the table… take my damn money…

  5. abigbat says:

    Looks interesting! I hope they find a way to break from the sluggish movement though, the environments look large so traipsing around could be a little annoying. Jet packs could save the day (don’t really see enough of them in motion to tell). Fingers crossed, this could be a gem!

    • stage2studios says:

      abigbat: Yes, this is definitely a point of focus as we design the levels…we’re working hard to make sure we convey the sense of vastness without making you…actually…traverse…miles of terrain!

    • Torgen says:

      That movement looked pretty representative of the range of motion you have in an EVA suit to me (old enough to have watched the Apollo missions live.)

    • abigbat says:

      great stuff, will be following this one closely!

      @Torgen I agree that it is realistic, but game mechanics win over realism every time.

    • Premium User Badge

      bear912 says:

      Sometimes realism is a game mechanic.

      … I do agree that hiking miles at a snail’s pace in a space suit might get a bit old, though. ;)

  6. lunegov says:

    wow! russians on mars, АЭЛИТА!

  7. aircool says:

    Terra Nova eh? EH?

  8. ain says:

    Reminds me of the movie Apollo 18.

  9. Koozer says:

    Well there’s the least expected use of Soviets as the bad guys of the year. I wish that blue woman wasn’t at the end of the trailer…

    • stage2studios says:

      Well…don’t want to spoil the plot, but the Russians in the story are not so much bad as…human. We humans mean well usually, but often end up mucking things up…

    • sinister agent says:

      The fact that the lab is apparently abandoned suggests that something has happened to the russians, so they’re perhaps not the villains. Or are they?

      Dun dun dun!

    • Torgen says:

      I thought showing the “stargate” in the trailer was the worst spoiler. Up to then, I was intrigued about finding out how the Russians got there before the mid-1990s.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Ya forward to :57 seconds, the Stargate is either a hilarious Easter egg, an alien artifact, or the key to the Russian presence. I’m very interested though in seeing how this project turns out. I’m the kind of gamer who spends hundreds of hours just exploring off to the side of quests/goals in games like Oblivion and Fallout hoping to find interesting scenery, encounters or events. A game designed around that sort of play could end up being a masterpiece of sublime cognitive exploration or very, very dull.

    • rlr149 says:

      @torgen
      looks more like the time travel portal from star trek: TOS episode ‘city on the edge of forever’.

      very, VERY interested in this :)

  10. Dreamhacker says:

    This really reminds me (on the surface) of old Colobot.

    The story doesn’t make much sense from a scientific viewpoint, but both it and the gameplay seems incredibly cool!

    • Premium User Badge

      chabuhi says:

      Darn you @Dreamhacker for pushing my nostalgia button! Now I have to go home and re-install Colobot for a march down Memory Lane. You really should be more considerate you know – you realize I have Witcher 2, Black Ops, Far Cry 2, DX1, R.U.S.E., and Mini Ninjas yet to get through? And some of those are second runs, too! I think you’re putting something in my cereal, tbh.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      You’re welcome. Colobot is a big part of the forces that pushed me into the software engineering profession.

  11. Enzo says:

    This reminds me of the webseries about a young, dying astronaut who suddenly enters Earth’s atmosphere in a spaceship and then tells Nasa that he’s the son of russian astronauts that currently live on Mars. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of this show.

  12. westyfield says:

    This looks cool. I’ll be trusting John to keep an eye on this one.

  13. Larkington says:

    The creator of this game bears an uncanny resemblance to David Cross, he of Arrested Development fame.

    • Toolbox says:

      And that blue lady at the end bears a striking resemblance to Tobias Funke.

  14. Sardaukar says:

    Waiting for the terrifying, distant thud-thud of a Golem walker.

  15. Squirrelfanatic says:

    USA, eh? What a shame, they stopped their space program just a tiny bit too soon.

  16. KauhuK says:

    Backed for $10. I would back for more but I’m on a tight budget.

  17. Davie says:

    Oh man! This looks great. Like a game of Apollo 18, but good. We shall have to see. Sad I have no money to back the thing.

  18. Kollega says:

    Relevant Russian joke:

    ” – How do you think, can there be life on Mars?”
    ” – Not better than here.”

  19. Cryo says:

    If anyone’s interested, this is the book that appears in the trailer. Also, the words said by a woman at the end are “devil is coming”.

    • stage2studios says:

      Yes indeed…and just fyi while I do lift a couple themes from that book for the plot it’s not a retelling of the book in any way. Just used it to add some richness to the story…will say no more or I’ll be spoiling!

  20. karry says:

    Where is the trailer that should be on the big white empty spot i see in the post ?

  21. Twerty says:

    If we really do walk as slow as an astronaut while we explore the entire surface of an uncharted planet, I will blow my brains out. Realism be damned, give me a space-horse or some shit.

  22. Saldek says:

    It looks like the guy is stumbling into a Russian version of Red Faction. A brief plot summary of the movie “Aelita: Queen of Mars” (based on the book he finds):

    “It primarily tells of a young man, Los [Parker], traveling to Mars in a rocket ship, where he leads a popular uprising against the ruling group of Elders [Ultor], with the support of Queen Aelita [Eos] who has fallen in love with him after watching him through a telescope.”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aelita)

  23. Dana says:

    Nash is dead, you’re on your own.

  24. mdnlin says:

    top the game top the items for gamethat there can help everybody play the game so easy,I hope everybody will like them very much,welcome to http://url7.me/V0i4

  25. Nameless1 says:

    Definitely promising.
    I’d have liked a “if we get more money then necessary we’ll give you more content” rather than “we’ll go on more platforms”, though. (see trailer on their site)

  26. EOT says:

    …It was Earth all along. Certainly looks that way anyway.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Man! It’s the Nodes Of Yesod all over again.

  28. Wulf says:

    In many ways this looks so Uru it hurts, perhaps with more exploration and less puzzles, coming more in line with Journey.

    I want this. Quite a lot. It looks amazing.

    /add_to_list

  29. Zwebbie says:

    I sometimes think the Soviets could easily have won the Cold War if they spent even half as much money on their economy as they did on time travel, intergalactic exploration, super soldier programs, dreamworld navigation and millions of doomsday weapons.

    • Larkington says:

      Hahaha, you silly! The Cold War wasn’t a real thing.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Not in that alternate timeline the Russians created with their intergalactic dreamworld doomsday devices, at least.

  30. Dandi8 says:

    These damn kickstarters are getting more expensive every day. A $5 minimum pledge for… a wallpaper? What happened about pledge $5 get access to beta? And the bigger pledges are just ridiculous.

    Is it just me or is something wrong with how these projects calculate their prices?

  31. Squishpoke says:

    THE ROCKS

    THEY KILL US ALL

  32. Matt says:

    Exploring a lifeless planet looking for artifacts? Sounds like Mass Effect 1’s uncharted worlds.

  33. Adventurous Putty says:

    The clear sign that this is a work of fiction is that the US still has a space program in the near future.

  34. ZIGS says:

    I hope this turns out to be “Penumbra is space”

  35. nimzy says:

    You bastards! You blew it all up! [Fistshake.]

  36. LimEJET says:

    So you are on a habitable planet, but you still need to wear your spacesuit and the gravity’s so low that the planet can’t possibly have an atmosphere?

    Am I the only one who sees a flaw in this?

    • Stevostin says:

      A “Flaw”, yes. I think it’s a mytery that needs explanation. If nothing comes, then it will be a flaw. So far it’s a part of the pitch.

    • Juuuhan says:

      Habital have always been a word to describe a planet which have the proper requirements for life… Not if you could or could not walk without spacesuit on it. Also to point out, if you would crash on a planet that by theory would support air would you still take the chance to remove your spacesuit? I don’t see a reason why this person would remove the suit as long as it provides him with air and “safety”. And finally the most important aspect. It’s a game. They aren’t mented to be 100% realistic, in fact games that strives towards that tends to flop.

  37. goodgimp says:

    This looks very intriguing, best of luck to the developers!

  38. bluebogle says:

    It’s been said before, but Wow! That gave me goose bumps!

  39. Shazbut says:

    Looks bloody lovely.

  40. Premium User Badge

    Oozo says:

    From Randy Smith’s Edge column, I get the impression that Tiger Style (those from “Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor” fame) are working on a project that shares some idea(l)s with this one… although for iPad.

    Which shouldn’t take anything away from the interest this sparked. I’m gonna have one of my good eyes on this project. Thanks for pointing it out.

  41. Stevostin says:

    Want. To. Play. This. Badly.

    Seriously. One hell of a pitch. I don’t want more videogame like that, I want ONLY videogame like that ^^

  42. Ovno says:

    Looking good, I may have to kick you some cash for this one…

  43. godgoo says:

    Yup I recon I can chuck 10 of your US dollars at this one without too much worry. WHOOPEE! I AM MY OWN MAN! or something similar.

  44. Davee says:

    This. Could be something I might enjoy a lot – exploration and mysterious worlds ftw! Will watch it.

  45. bill says:

    Looks lovely…. but an empty mostly flat planet might be more atmospheric than interesting to explore. Needs more platforming!