Further Adventures In Infinite Space Games: Rodina

By Craig Pearson on May 3rd, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

Ship design was inspired by Starfox

While Notch’s 0x10c languishes sadly in hyperspace limbo, it turns out there’s another game out there that has plenty of what he was trying to achieve. Rodina is another strangely named space adventure game that has ship interiors, hackable operating systems, and seamless space travel. It’s like discovering a twin-star system, but with games instead of boiling balls of gas. And because I seem to be genetically predisposed to being excited about games like that, I am going to share some videos and information about it below.

So, Rodina. Prove to me you’re worth my attention.

Touche!

I am admittedly a huge sucker for ships dropping into a planet’s atmosphere from orbit, so you had me at the first flickers of re-entry fire. But there’s more to it than just flying a Starfox inspired ship around huge vistas.

Rodina is a game where you seamlessly explore a solar system. Fly your spaceship from planet to moon to asteroid with no loading screens or warp doors. Explore these huge, procedurally-generated landscapes on foot. Customize your ship’s living spaces to suite your tastes. Get into dogfights with alien spaceships in order to secure control of valuable resources and property.

Interiors, eh? You’re going to have to prove to me that you’re not just saying that. I’ve been lied to before, you know.

You are gaining my trust. Don’t abuse it.

It’s a small team making a game with a roadmap that reads like Elite and FTL are conducting an affair. The initial release will be a simple game of space dog-fighting and exploration, but there are further goals, tied to the game’s initial success, that make me space happy.

Rodina will boast a game world simulation which supports player creativity and rewarding feedback. Release toxic gas into the engine room. Fly a false flag in order to trick your opponents into thinking you are their ally. Hack into the ship’s computer and delete the source code that fires the weapons, rendering them useless. In Rodina, experimentation and creativity are valued over following a game script written by a designer.

I am space smiling. It has a current release window somewhere in the next few months. I hope it arrives before all those other space games looming on the horizon finally drop into place.

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40 Comments »

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  1. Brun says:

    Excellent I was hoping someone would come along and create a true successor to Noctis.

    Question: Does it use true Newtonian physics (i.e. orbits, transfers, etc.) or is it kludged so everything flies like an airplane?

    EDIT: Ok, maybe this game isn’t on the scale of Noctis, since it’s just one Solar System.

    • Viper50BMG says:

      Currently, the flight model is rather like that of Freespace, with a bit of shifting into a mode similar to that of the Independance War games (Newtonian physics, coast one way, fly another, etc. Once in a planet’s gravity well, ships fly rather like a Star Wars style ship with it’s repulsorlift drives for atmosphere (hovering, etc.).

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    • Randomer says:

      Unless you want to spend multiple real life days travelling from one one planet to the other, I would hope that the game uses relativistic physics.

      • Brun says:

        Or you could just have a modifiable time step, allowing you to speed up the simulation and travel for many in-game hours in the span of seconds. Kerbal Space Program does this.

  2. jrpatton says:

    Reminds me of Infinity and Space Engine. The procedural planet generation is nice, but I’m looking forward to a game that actually incorporates gameplay into this, essentially, tech demo.

    BTW, good job moving the terrain generation to the GPU. GPGPU algorithms are going to be much faster if the algorithm can be done in parallel.

    • Viper50BMG says:

      The planets *were* procedurally generated, but what’s in the game is, to my knowledge, fixed, and doesn’t change with every new game. I’m not the programmer, though.

    • Raptormeat says:

      > The procedural planet generation is nice, but I’m looking forward to a game that actually incorporates gameplay into this, essentially, tech demo.

      Yeah! The game isn’t a tech demo- I just haven’t shown off any of the gameplay parts yet. My next video is combat and will show space dog-fighting!

  3. communisthamster says:

    In Rodina, experimentation and creativity are valued over following a game script written by a designer

    That’s all well and good, but you do need to provide a decent framework, within which creativity and experimentation feels worthwhile. Like dwarf fortress. Unlike Minecraft.

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      Harlander says:

      Not sure the people making redstone computers, scale models of the Enterprise and other random crap would quite agree with you on that one, but to each their own

      • communisthamster says:

        Not sure the people making redstone computers, scale models of the Enterprise and other random crap would quite agree with you on that one, but to each their own

        That’s all neat stuff but has no real use within the game. You’d be better off learning Blender or actual electronics. Stuff like monster farming/drowning contraptions, that’s alright, if uneconomical, since in the time it took to build it you could have just gone hunting and gathered the stuff yourself, same with automated minecart systems. Stuff built for its own sake, not for a purpose.

        • gekitsu says:

          i kind of fail to see where the necessary conclusion from these observations to “doesnt feel worthwhile” is. while your observations do have merit – a lot of awesome minecraft stuff isnt directly useful – usefulness and what feels worthwhile dont have a necessary correlation. (hint: meditate on the meaning of the verb “to feel.”)

          • communisthamster says:

            To clarify: For it to feel worthwhile to me, creativity/experimentation has to be a sensible, reasonably economic approach to “progressing” in the game. I’m a problem solver, not a creative person. Give me challenges arising within the games systems, don’t make me pick an arbitrary “challenge” from a forum and self-police the rules, that doesn’t feel like problem solving, it feels like cleaning the floor with a toothbrush.

            So, Kerbal Space Program is great and would be even better with a campaign mode.

          • gekitsu says:

            yes, i figured as much. its a common thing people either find wrong about minecraft, or to be the central aspect of the game. :) i just took a bit of umbrage with the wording.

            yay diversity?

          • Triplanetary says:

            So, Kerbal Space Program is great and would be even better with a campaign mode.

            *Will be

        • Consumatopia says:

          This aspect of Minecraft makes the delay of 0x10c kind of ominous. Minecraft as a sort of voxelized Second Life for collaborative and simple creativity is complete and fun. Minecraft as a game was never finished. So when Notch says something like “It’s not really fun yet, but it feels like it could be fun because there’s nothing to do in there yet.”, well, jeez, by that logic Minecraft never should have been released.

        • SubparFiddle says:

          It sounds like you’d really like the Better than Wolves mod for Minecraft.

    • rockidr4 says:

      I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. I think minecraft is less of a game and more of a toy. You’re not there to defeat the monsters. You’re there to rearrange things.

    • Raptormeat says:

      > That’s all well and good, but you do need to provide a decent framework, within which creativity and experimentation feels worthwhile. Like dwarf fortress. Unlike Minecraft.

      That’s the idea, yeah. Whether I ever get to that point is another question. But my long-term goal is to have the game be supported by a deep simulation. It’s a big part of why I want to make the game in the first place.

      But, as I’ve learned, just making an entire game by oneself that doesn’t look as simple as Dwarf Fortress is a lot of work on its own! :D

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    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Perhaps we should just take everyone who is working on one of these never-likely-to-be-released games and lock them in an airtight room, and trade them oxygen for finished games.

    • Velko says:

      Indeed this is getting quite hilariously frustrating. It reminds me of many modding communities where there’s one or two Obvious Choices For A Mod (say, cold war setting for a WW2 strategy title, or American Civil War for a Total War game) and ten teams all start producing their own versions of them. Then, after five years of some concept art, much hand-waving and constant feuding between factions, there are three incomplete and incompatible versions (none of which is really playable), three projects have officially cancelled, and the remaining four are stuck in the Mod Limbo where the only updates from last three years are the occasional assurances that “despite much trouble from real life, the development is continuing and the mod will be released soon. Also we are recruiting coders and artists.”

      • Raptormeat says:

        > Indeed this is getting quite hilariously frustrating.

        I know the feeling! The whole reason I started this game was because I’ve seen enough projects (like Infinity or 0x10c) that just sort of stayed as a hobby project forever.

        The difference between me, and these other projects, or the type of mod you’re talking about, is that those people aren’t committed. Their projects are hobbies, to be worked on in spare time or once success has already come. They aren’t focused on release the way you have to be to get a game made.

        I’m doing this full-time, and if I don’t release soon, I’ll be out of business. Simple as that! :)

        Fortunately, things are going well! I just did my very first public demo a week ago. Looking forward to an initial release of the game in a few months!!! Hope I can be the one to relieve that frustration we all feel, haha :)

    • Raptormeat says:

      :) I don’t need a limited oxygen supply, I have something much scarier- limited money! Seriously, Rodina is coming out, I promise. The options are release the game within a few months or financial ruin, haha :D

  5. Pryde says:

    Actually, “rodina” means “homeland” in Russian. So not *that* strangely named. I wonder if that’s coincidence.

    • Tommo says:

      I believe in Czech and Slovak language it means Family.
      I know this because i was walking in a CZ graveyard, all gothic, spooky and shit, and i said this name ‘Rodina” is popular to my SK girlfriend, it was on most headstones, she starts cracking up laughing and says that means family.

      • Pryde says:

        Family is “rodnya”. Those words have same base, meaning someone/thing in closely related, yeah.

      • newton says:

        Yes, in Czech and Slovak, rodina indeed means family.

    • vondas says:

      I’d guess it’s the Soviet-space association.

    • Kollega says:

      And speaking of that, it’s pronounced “RO-dina”, not “ro-DINA”. Every time the developers mispronounce it, it grates my ears a little.

      • Raptormeat says:

        Ha, sorry for the grating :) It’s not based on the Russian word- the word means different things (and, I gather, is pronounced differently) in different languages. Not meant to be a direct usage :P

  6. Peter says:

    I would like to see boarding actions and planetary based fighting.

    If a small indie game can manage this why are we not seeing seamless planetary combat and full fleet engagements in AAA titles like Planetside 2. Huge gap between producer and consumer.

    • Raptormeat says:

      Usually when I answer this question, it’s with snarky boasting about how my awesomeness cannot be duplicated or imitated… ;)

      While that’s certainly true ;) I think the real answer is its risky, and the payoff is dubious. It took me a lot of time to build up this engine, it’s actually sort of resource intensive when running, there are still some kinks to work out, and after it’s all done, there’s no real guarantee that the actual gameplay will be fun.

      In game development, “Content is king”. Telling a publisher that you want to spend lots of time and money doing R&D, and that the end result, because its procedurally generated, can never possibly be as uniquely cool as something handmade, is a loser of a pitch. Personally, I’m convinced that a huge scale brings its own sense of awe and value, but no publishers, and not even very many gamers, can picture that yet. There’s some recklessness involved, which is difficult when you’re talking about other people’s money. I think this idea could only be done as a self-funded (or kick-started) Indie game.

      That said, I totally agree that there’s a huge gaping hole here waiting to be filled. That’s why I thought it’d be a good venture for me to work on. I’d love to be the one to finally pull this stuff off.

      • WarRemains says:

        Could you use said awesomeness to add in some co-op on the same ship :D
        I have been searching for a Firefly/RedDwarf game, just me and my ragtag crew operating a barely working ship in deep space would be bliss.

  7. DeviroVerity says:

    “rodina” in Russian and few other languages mean “motherland”. For those who are asking if the name of the game means anything. :)

  8. Asdfreak says:

    The creator ( I think its just himself on the “team”) is actually a really nice guy who takes feedback. I actually tweeted with him about different kinds of hyperspace-faster-than-light-whatever engines. From how I have perceived it, he is not just going to drop the project. I think he mentioned that he is going all or nothing with this project, meaning that he dropped out of his job at bethesda to work on the project 24-7. It would be a pitty if it failed, its exactly the kind of game I wanted to play and that notch wanted to make, except with lua instead of assembler and no low-poly feeling.

  9. edwardoka says:

    It does look very good, but KSP has, I think, perpetually spoiled space games for me. I just look at that ship and think “there’s no way would that fly in an atmosphere.”

    • Triplanetary says:

      That’s funny because KSP’s atmospheric model is incredibly basic and incomplete at the moment, so it’s hardly giving you an accurate impression of what kind of spacecraft will and will not fly in an atmosphere.

      • edwardoka says:

        An aeronautical engineer I am not.

        I stand corrected. good sir!

  10. KirbyEvan says:

    This looks like a version of Shores of Hazeron with less depth and better graphics, consider me intrigued!

    At least it won’t take hours to design a good spaceship like it does in Hazeron.

  11. SuicideKing says:

    You know what, instead of complaining about the lack of FreeSpace 3…this time all i’ll say is that i’ve found a mod that qualifies for the title.

    Blue Planet and Blue Planet: War in Heaven.

    Brilliant campaigns. They’ve extracted almost every bit of potential out of the FS2 Open engine.

    A shame RPS never covers the FS2 SCP or its mods.