Curve Studios Tease ‘White Space’

By Jim Rossignol on August 9th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.


London-based Curve Studios have started talking about their upcoming project White Space. Speaking to Indiegames.com their design director Jonathan Biddle explained that the game (pictured) is “a modern “roguelike-like” take on the early 3D games I played on my ZX Spectrum”.

This is right up my alley, frankly, even without any real gameplay specifics:

The early 3D games of the 80s have been the biggest inspiration for White Space. Games like Mercenary, Tau Ceti, Driller and StarGlider gave me this real off-world, alien feeling, and powerfully conveyed this sense of being somewhere mysterious, all alone. White Space pitches you into this same scenario, part explorer, part something else. I don’t want to talk too much in detail about the gameplay, since I don’t like detailing specifics in the early stages of a project. I’ve got many ideas I’m going to try, but I’ve generally found it best to let a game tell you what it wants to be, and for a designer just to be an attentive listener.

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21 Comments »

  1. RobF says:

    God, this looks gorgeous already. Can’t wait to see where it goes.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    I loved Tau Ceti… dang, my nostalgia-buttons are easy to push.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I used to have Tau Ceti on an Amstrad CPC 6128 back in the day. I never quite figured out how to play it properly, so never won—but it left an indelible impression on my memory.

      • zapatapon says:

        I completed Tau Ceti! Must have spent dozens of hours on it. The (pseudo) 3D window was absolutely minuscule on the screen. I remember you could read pages and pages about the history of the space colonization when you entered a library, organized in proto-hypertext structure that would specially load additional data from the disk. I also get a strong pang of nostalgia at the mention of Mercenary (inventor of the sandbox world game) and Driller. These guys certainly have good taste, and I’m excited to see how this develops.

      • Prime says:

        I actually got into Tau Ceti through it’s sequel, Academy. I must have spent weeks in Academy just designing the cockpit layouts! Those games had a style like nothing else, and did moody lighting beautifully. Some of the tensest fights I ever had in Academy were against legions of those drone things coming at me from pitch blackness – you could only tell where the were by where they were shooting from!

        Excellent games. Pete Cooke was a genius.

        • RobF says:

          Yes, yes. He was.

          HIs last two games were a pair of little unpolished puzzle games for iOS. Not quite the heady heights of the eighties sadly but nice to see he’s still trucking at it. Linky

        • Caiman says:

          Pete Cooke’s name on anything was instabuy back in the day. I liked Tau Ceti more than Academy, but I actually beat the latter. His masterwork for me though was Tower of Babel, for some reason it just ticked all the right boxes and I spent months designing devious towers for my best friend to try and beat. Micronaut One wasn’t quite so good, and after that it all seemed to go downhill.

          But to mention a game and specifically the atmosphere evoked by Tau Ceti, Mercenary, Starglider, Driller etc, puts this game slap bang on my radar with a giant blip. I often wondered whether the sense of isolation and dread while playing those games was simply a product of my age and the time, so I’ll be interested to see if Curve can recreate it.

    • wodin says:

      Thats a game name from the past..remember playing it on my green screen Amstrad CPC464.

  3. thekelvingreen says:

    Name-checking Mercenary is always going to be a good sign in my eyes.

  4. Muzman says:

    Weird. I was just thinking about Tau Ceti the other day. The graphics were pretty old by the time I played it, but there was something about the look of it. I was wishing something new would try to reproduce that minimalist, no-atmosphere moonscape lighting (which this doesn’t appear to be doing, but anyway…)

  5. Prime says:

    I want this game, whatever it may be, purely from the list of influences – the background to my gaming childhood, they were – AND from that amazing second screenshot.

    Tomorrow, I invent a time capsule to take me to the day this game is released. See you in Feb 2015!

  6. honuk says:

    I think pretending-to-be-a-roguelike-but-not-really is the new puzzle platformer in the indie space

    • Muzman says:

      Perhaps, but as long as it’s not a puzzle platformer we’re all good as far as I’m concerned.

    • Shodex says:

      Half of me is upset to see all these people, gamers and indie devs alike, throwing the world “roguelike” around without actually knowing what it means. There’s this notion that procedurally generated levels and permadeath are the criteria for a roguelike, which is false. People actually think Spelunky is a roguelike.

      The other half of me is a diehard roguelike player, and is always glad to see more procedural generation and permadeath in games.

  7. AlmostPalpable says:

    Those images remind me of when I discovered Bryce 3D back in the late 90s. Looks great, I will be keeping an eye out for this!

  8. Agrajag says:

    This reminds me of another Source mod. One where you playing int the “control room” of your mind and had to destroy boxes with your memories. Was a mixture of puzzle/platformer. Anyone knows what I’m talking about?

  9. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    I’m also teasing White Space, right now, by saying it sounds like a game about Nazis in the future.

  10. brutaldeluxe09 says:

    I can’t believe how much I am into the idea of this given how little I know about it.