Watch This Eight-Minute Blackspace Video

By Jim Rossignol on September 30th, 2012 at 4:06 pm.


Look, I realise I am showing my full space-nerd colours here, but just look at this in-depth video for Blackspace (below). Look at it! I am basically a bit amazed that their Kickstarter is going so slowly. Come on, internet!

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73 Comments »

  1. phelix says:

    I for one am enjoying the Frostbyte 2-esque postprocess effects.

    On a side note, I can’t help thinking: ‘Minecraft meets Spore meets C&C meets Lunar Flight meets Miner Wars’ when watching the vid.

    • biggergun says:

      I think you just convinced me to go and give them twenty dollars.

  2. Axyl says:

    Ok, this looks bloody marvelous! :D

    • Meat Circus says:

      Can we talk about the asteroid’s INEXPLICABLY ENORMOUS GRAVITY WELL?

      What are they made from, fucking neutronium? A little bit of realism in physics wouldn’t go amiss here.

      • phelix says:

        Huh, that struck me too. Real asteroids don’t pull at you with Earthian strength.

      • Pace says:

        Great, the game is now ruined for me.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yes, apparently, actually.

        • Meat Circus says:

          Yes, well. But degenerate neutron matter isn’t regolith, is it? It’s a fluid, and an extremely unstable one when not under stellar core pressure.

      • meatshit says:

        From the kickstarter page: “[The asteroids are] believed to be the shattered remnants of a collapsed star. These fragments have gravitational magnitudes rivalling that of Earth at only 1/100,000 the diameter”

        So yes, that’s exactly what they’re made of.

        • LionsPhil says:

          (Of course, the next point of physics pedantry is: how do they lift anything they mine from it? I’m sorry; I just can’t have fun if this sci-fi game isn’t as boring as reality.)

          • Hypernetic says:

            Are you asking how they would lift material off the surface of an asteroid that had the same gravitational force as the Earth? Really?

          • identiti_crisis says:

            You forgot the part where the asteroid is 1 000 000 000 000 000 times as dense as Earth. So, given that a tonne of “Earth” is only 0.4 m in diameter, presumably you can only ferry specks of dust at a time; unless: science / magic / whatever! :P

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            SCIENCE

          • paulzeke says:

            oh shut up and appreciate the lens flare

          • Hypernetic says:

            So you just make a lot of trips! =D Besides, they could be refining the material on the surface first and whatever they are separating from the dense material will be taken away while leaving the dense material behind.

          • InternetBatman says:

            It’s easy, the astronauts are lift the material and the spaceship lifts the astronauts. Pay attention.

        • Meat Circus says:

          I’d already backed it. Now I am double-excited. That’s my kind of attention to detail. Yummy.

      • ancient_scars says:

        Mayhap I missed this vital bit of information, but I did not see or hear mention of any Newtonian physics, nor real ones. Newtonian physics in games are usually more of a hindrance, than a bonus. I played Frontier and I tell you; I do not miss the physics from that game one bit.

      • blacksun_redux says:

        It’s simple. A realistically light gravity, far less than you’d see on the moon, would only lend itself to a sort slow motion gameplay like a balloon bouncing around a room. Realism isn’t always the best choice for making a fun game.

  3. dorianGREY326 says:

    I space I better leave a comment here about how awesome this looks.

  4. Premium User Badge Tinus says:

    I really like the technology developed for it, especially the physically modeled craft you control. Really solid stuff.

    Bu the base-building and tower defense setup doesn’t appeal to me that much yet. My hope is that they can spice that up a little.

    For example: right now it doesn’t look like the terrain manipulation does much to influence combat, which is a missed opportunity.

    • Premium User Badge Tinus says:

      Backed it now though. :)

    • Spengbab says:

      I’m actually getting a Battlezone 1 vibe from this game. I really want a trailer from the current state of the game, where more art assets are in place.

      Also, the buildings seem made out of cardboard, and while I understand that it’d be silly to put 10-floor buildings on asteroids, I’m not feeling the current stuff either.

      Combat could be great though, the swarms of enemies looks impressive

  5. DrZhark says:

    I am wondering why they added so much gravity to the asteroids? With something so small, the gravity should be almost nil. Also they should do the voice overs again, it is quite evident they’re reading a script and feels like they’re hired actors and not developers.

    • Network Crayon says:

      Yeah, could have some cool game modes with limited gavity. For example trying to blow you opponents base clean off the asteriod by splitting it.

    • Abbykins says:

      Agree. For a game claiming to be “physics-based”, it’s a little much. Also, I hate the word “assets” as it’s used in this video, and Jerry has weird eyes.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      This explained in the comments above. The game is aware of your niggling and has an explanation.

    • njursten says:

      Because it makes for a more fun game?

      Alternatively you can just imagine the mining vehicle being a few thousand kilometers high. If I’m not wrong the gravitational force will increase with scale.

  6. acousticsphere says:

    They also have a new trailer too: http://youtu.be/lkBUSecOswg

  7. Ernesto says:

    I’m not convinced of the shooting stuff. I’d rather play a pure mining simulation.

    • Premium User Badge Chaz says:

      Same here. I want something like a 2001 Space Odyssey simulator. Building up a Moon base and space stations, piloting craft around and contructing big ships to explore the solar system.

      • JustAPigeon says:

        You can do this in Orbiter. But be prepared to install lots of mods and spend months learning how to fly/build.

        With some basic mods you can even do this in Kerbal Space Program, now. Works great.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I have the perfect game for you:
      https://minecraft.net/

  8. blacksun_redux says:

    Looks very cool. One to watch..

  9. Premium User Badge Riaktion says:

    OK bugbear of mine, the asteroids can’t be “really unique”… they either are.. or they aren’t.

    Now I’ll watch the rest of the video. Thanks,

    • Premium User Badge Riaktion says:

      Looks interesting, but doesn’t actually say what the goal of the game is. Looks like tower defence, but are we talking level based where each level is a new asteroid… or some kind of sandbox mode… or.. well I dunno… It certainly doesn’t look story driven to me.

      I think it is lacking in actual game information on that particular trailer, looks promising though.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Could you not say that one item being unique because of many distinguishing features might be “more” unique that another item that has only one uniquely distinguishing feature. Therefore whilst something can be said to be unique or not unique as a Boolean value is there not a separate degree of uniqueness allowing something to be “really” unique?

      • hewhosayszonk says:

        “Rare” is the word you are looking for. “Unique” implies it is the only one of its kind, so it doesn’t make sense to stick intensifiers on it.

        • Mollusc Infestation says:

          We could argue about the ins and outs of semantics for all of eternity.

      • Consumatopia says:

        Seems like topology or something. A unique object is one of a kind, but an object can belong to more than one kind, and kinds can intersect.

        So one intuition is to call an object more “unique” than another if it’s a unique member of more kinds (each combination of features that uniquely identifies it represents a “kind”), or if the kinds are somehow “larger”, e.g. the last bird would be more unique than the last dodo.

        However, it’s not clear that we can compare the size of kinds (since every kind that an object is unique with respect to must describe but one object), unless one kind is a subkind of the other (e.g. bird/dodo) but in that case the unique member of both kinds must be the same object. Nor is it obvious that it makes any sense to count the number of “kinds” an object is the unique member of. E.g. if an example of a “kind” is “the only object matching description X in volume of space Y”, and space is continuous, then one can build an infinite number of “kinds” containing the object. Somehow you’d need to define “kind” in a way that avoids trivial “kinds” like that.

  10. HexagonalBolts says:

    As I said before, I think their kickstarter is going slowly because there is very little focus on what the actual gameplay mechanics are, the kickstarter video just shows off the technology and your little space ship – the game part has so little information – I need to know more!

  11. pupsikaso says:

    If only there wasn’t so much focus on tower defense this would be an amazing game.

  12. wodin says:

    Tower defense is what puts me right off…they never hold my attention longer than 30 mins or so and after that I have no want to try again.

    • affront says:

      Yeah, this. It looks nice and everything but from a casual glance at two of their videos it seems to be a tower defense game with a gimmick, and I can’t stand those.
      I wish they’d used the terrain tech for a different game.. like a Populous clone, heh.

      • DarkFenix says:

        That was my impression, a tower defence game that won’t hold my interest for long. It’s the same problem with all tower defence games, they really don’t have much more lifespan than they did as custom maps on RTS games.

  13. King in Winter says:

    Fascinating, I’m hoping mining features prominently over combat. But, they should drop any thoughts of supporting 3D, as far as I’m concerned that’s a completely irrelevant feature.

  14. Network Crayon says:

    It’s interesting isn’t it? i’d gather according to peoples responses that because they’ve made the actual look and feel of the game so excellent, mundane combat is almost irrelevant, i’d agree. I’d much rather the mining and operating of an asteriod mine was the focus of the game rather than tower defense. It almost reminds me of a game aimed entirely around Homeworld style resourse collectors, which i love the idea of.

  15. Easy says:

    Thanks Jim, I was hoping RPS would cover it, it needs a bit of attention. I hope they make it. I love the idea of digging for artifacts.

  16. Premium User Badge yhancik says:

    They should keep the cuboid ennemies like this, no need to replace them with other assets :p

  17. Slinkyboy says:

    Cool

  18. nagmine says:

    its a shame this isnt getting much attention. The game looks great.

  19. KoreMeltdown says:

    Not sure what the etiquette is for posting in the comments section for an article on your own game. But indie devs do weird things, so here we go.

    Figured since you guys were interested enough to post a comment, you should at least get some sort of answer.

    @King in Winter – Mining is a big focus of the game but yeah, it’s not the only focus. It’s actually the reason were calling it a defensive strategy and why it lacks a big offensive element. You are establishing mining operations and supply lines and then protecting them.

    @HexagonalBolts – More info on the game. I’m writing up an update on the Kickstarter that kinda outlines it better than we have so far. Its really hard to get all the info about a game across in one fell swoop, but were working on it.

    @wodin – Tower defense. While you are predominantly defending, there are units that you will control but more passively than a regular RTS. I’m not sure tower defense adequately defines the game really. It’s hard to fit it into a specific mold.

    @Meat Circus – Extreme gravity. The extreme gravity is a bit of game lore we haven’t done a good enough job of making known so its not surprising that the question is being asked. The asteroid cores are super dense and is the reason they’re so hotly contested.

    @Abbykins – LOL, I passionately hate being on camera. :P In my defense, I hadn’t slept in a few days.

    Keep an eye on us hopefully we’ll answer any outstanding questions in the next couple Kickstarter updates.

    //Jerry

    • DarkFarmer says:

      Looks like you have something playable here, any consideration of going the “minecraft road” and having a purchase-to-play the alpha model rather than a kickstarter?

      As a developer and a gamer, I am pretty interested in the two options as far as indie devs getting funding is concerned, I think the minecraft model encourages having a working and fun prototype and the KS model kind of seems to encourage a really fancy pitch and a big idea, which sounds a little more like the publisher model of the past, and a little less like the indie model of the present.

  20. slpk says:

    Looks awesome but the ammount of gravity that asteroid seems to have is completely unrealistic.
    Ninja’d by some 15 minutes…

    @KoreMeltdown Would it not be better to make the game based on reality instead of creating some crazy lore that WILL be flawed? I think so.

    • Noise says:

      Realistic =/= better

      But I am also a little turned off by the defense aspect of it. I love building, I love space, I love physics, I love management, but I HATE tower defense games. It still looks really fun so I’m torn. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it and check it out when it’s done but for now I can’t give it my money.

      • Thrippy says:

        Realism is thirty year old Lunar Lander written in BASIC. Since then, two real spacecraft have landed on two different asteroids. The concept that bodies have differing masses and that surface gravity and escape velocities necessarily vary between any two bodies is not obscure. The challenge of expending fuel for station keeping near a rock’s surface, avoiding impact damage while landing your mining gadgets, and so on would make for an engrossing game I think.

        Sometime recently the rational argument that adding realism does not necessarily improve a game has devolved into band-aid rhetoric to excuse any feature that appears overlooked, ignored, unfinished or just plain wrong.

        This game looks like it is set in space, marvelously so, it just doesn’t behave like it is in space.

    • Premium User Badge jrodman says:

      Maybe someone can make a game where i sit at an office desk and fix bugs all day.
      (/snark)

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Too bad no one ever made a good FPS. They never simulating jumping correctly. I can jump off carpet the same as sand and tile?! Bullets don’t ricochet of certain materials? I can sprint just as fast and long way up on top of a mountain as down by the sea? What of altitude?

        Using lore to explain unrealistic behaviour is much more than most games give us. They just assume you’ll never ask the question. This game seems to be saying, Ok, sci fi nerd, here’s the explanation! Pretty cool.

  21. tomeoftom says:

    I bought it on description alone last time RPS posted, but this video validated it:

    Nine-minute detailed explanation of the full-physics flight simulation etc.

  22. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Another one to add to the 400-long list of THINGS I WANT

  23. Solanaceae says:

    I’m surprised the kickstarter is going so slowly for them :(

  24. crinkles esq. says:

    I don’t mind the physics-bending in this game, but having the lander craft being able to magically build up or deform the asteroid’s surface is a bit much. They call it an RTS game, but as others mentioned it seems more like tower defense. There doesn’t seem to be anything in the way of narrative, either.

    When you’re given a godlike, overhead game perspective where you’re just clicking on stuff, you can forego all those trappings, but when you’re directly in control of a unit there is a psychological difference. Suddenly you’re projecting yourself into the world and a semblance of reality becomes important.

    My overall impression from the video is that the game engine definitely looks interesting, but it feels a bit lifeless, and the combat mechanics seem kind of dull.

  25. MeestaNob says:

    I’m surprised this is going to fail. Of the numerous KS projects rattling around the internet, this one actually looks like it’s been in production longer than 3 months.

    I hope they do a new KS drive with a lower target, or get some pre-orders up on Steam to fund it’s continued development.

    This looks like a game worth backing, and no one is. Kickstarter fatigue?

  26. kzrkp says:

    the lander sold me, it really has some character to it

  27. Evil Timmy says:

    They should really take some of that Kickstarter money and hire a decent sound guy for their next video. You’re in an interview situation, either setup a shotgun mic just off camera or pin a lavalier to their shirt.

  28. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    I have to echo the sentiments of everyone here bored with tower defense. Will watch the video in a bit, but it will take a lot more than asteroids and physics to get me interested in tower defense.