Walkabout: The Space Nomads Alpha

By Craig Pearson on June 21st, 2013 at 5:00 pm.


Jim and I have already declared our interest in Space Nomads, a sci-fi shooter that’s a mixture of tower defense and co-op FPS. The simple notion of surviving a bug onslaught in the dead of night and rebuilding your base during the day is definitely something someone somewhere needs to do well. Just once. That’s all we need. And yet I can’t think of one game that does it. Not only is Space Nomads attempting it, but it’s also doing it with an alpha that everyone can play right now. I’ve just had a shot at beating the bugs, and while I can see the potential in it, it definitely needs some work.

The good: the world is lovely. A painterly, contrasty desert that manages to be exotic and barren at the same time. There’s a fair amount to create, too. You can create ground panels and build your defenses on top of them, piling up a neat little fort that you’ve made with gathered resources. I’ve always a been a fan of “survive the night” scenarios: it makes the world feel alive and vital, and there’s an inherent drama in using the sun as a guide to the world’s awfulness. It goes down then shit goes down. I’d imagine if you’re out scavenging far away from base, you could easily be caught out there before the sun drops.

The iffy: oh boy someone needs to show the developers how to make guns. Play Red Orchestra, guys: your weapons feel and sound as dangerous as pillow, which makes the combat, a big focus of the game, fairly underwhelming. When the bugs come, they attack with all the skill and guile you’d expect from a sci-fi ground dwellers. Like the guns, they need some work. It is pre-alpha, and I can’t imagine the developers playing this and not knowing that they need to beef up the action. Which leads to the obvious question of how they’re going to afford it?

Ah! Here’s the IndieGoGo page. And the pitch video. You don’t even need to pitch in to grab the alpha, so if you’re not doing that thing that everyone else is up to this weekend (including moi), it’s waiting for you.

The video shows a lot of promise, though I think $60,000 is a big ask.

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17 Comments »

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  1. trjp says:

    I’m not sure about the game but the T Shirt designs are fantastic

    • haideestom28 says:

      Mary replied I didn’t even know that some people able to get paid $4253 in 1 month on the internet did you read this page>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.wep6.com

  2. Tei says:

    Looks very interesting!, StarMade, SpaceNomads … this weekend is going to be interesting :D

  3. SomeDuder says:

    A bit like Starforge then (Or rather, the exact same idea), both still in their infancy. I’m definately more in favor of this type of open-world survival game, rather than the more classical settings of Minecraft, Terraria and whatnot.

  4. Squire says:

    Pasticheption. Otherwise known as Indie Game Design.

  5. GameCat says:

    Does it have soundtrack by John Barry?

  6. plsgodontvisitheforums_ says:

    Wait – what [i]is[/i] everybody up toe this weekend!? Dangit, it’s high school all over again

    • HothMonster says:

      I think he means Rezzed. Unless there is also another planetside get together.

  7. SkittleDiddler says:

    Tower defense games: where creativity goes to die.

    • trjp says:

      which is an ironically uncreative thing to say

      and also, fucking nonsense

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Wah wah wah. Take a close look at Space Nomads and tell me if you seen anything remotely fucking original about it. The same goes for any tower defense game that’s come out in the last two years.

        • AlienMind says:

          Name a DRM free LAN-able 1st Person game in which you can build your own base and over night must kill the creatures, whereas after a few rounds you won the game because of spaceship coming.

  8. jonahcutter says:

    Playing STALKER SOC (with Redux mod), the time when the sun is setting and shadows getting long is one of my favorite sensations from playing games. That sense of impending malevolence, and the increasing urgency of wanting to find a safe place is pure, delicious tension.

    I’d love to play a base defense game like this. But there’s something about this that just seems flat. Maybe it’s the bugs as enemies. They seem as commonplace in space as zombies do on Earth. Why not something really weird? They’re on an alien planet after all.

    And while I like the art direction and understand they are probably going low poly so they can get a lot on screen on a budget, there’s a very gamey feel to it. It seems like it might lack immersion. Having the blown up bits just fade away almost immediately adds to that. It would be great to see a game where the destruction you wrought is at least somewhat modeled, so you get a real feel for it being an increasingly dangerous battle.

  9. orshick says:

    Love the look but couldn’t care less for the gameplay :(.

  10. Muzman says:

    I get all these open world-y, base build-y, craft-y, defend-yourself-from-marauding-shit-on-another-planet games mixed up.
    Like space adventures a year or so ago, I wish all the cool ideas didn’t have to come along all at once.

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    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Pillows can be deadly.

  12. Tarvis says:

    Does the art style remind anybody else of Mechwarrior 2?