NONONOAIIIIIEEEE – Habitat Is Gravity: The Strategy Game

By Nathan Grayson on February 28th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Well, I mean, firing the Statue of Liberty into the darkest reaches of space did seem like a good idea at the time

The second I finished watching Gravity and firing the contents of my stomach out of my mouth’s airlock, I knew someone would turn that experience into a game. The movie, I mean. Not the projectile vomiting. I did not, however, think base-building strategy would be the first to make me think, “Hey, that reminds me of the part where it felt like my heart took a jackhammer to the inside of my chest!”

But here we are. Habitat is a space city builder about hurriedly constructing a near-orbit home from floating garbage. It melds Gravity’s “Gee, I sure could fall into the atmosphere at any given moment” tension with physics-based disasters and… oh jeez, I’ll just let this description do the talking: “It’s kind of like SimCity, if the cities were in space and you could crash them into one another and blow them up!”

Alright, you have my attention.

I do so love games that force you to cope when your precious card houses and Jenga towers come crumbling down. I really hope that first-person camera is an actual in-game option, too. If all of my beautiful trash yachts are going to go off like fireworks in the night sky, I may as well get a good view.

Here’s the game’s main focus according to developer 4gency, who should really get a better name:

“Habitat is a space-themed strategy game that places you in high orbit around a ravaged Earth far in the future. Your survival depends on your ability to sift through centuries of floating space junk to construct a sustainable base. Leading a team of engineers in salvaging operations and construction, you’ll be faced with grim choices where managing your limited resources can mean the difference between life and death. As mysterious and powerful enemies mount attacks against your habitat, you’ll learn to craft kinetic weapons and defend your stellar stronghold. As you fight, explore, and create, you may even learn the truth about the Earth’s destruction and discover the secret to humanity’s survival among the stars.”

And then you fling your junk at other people’s junk! But not like that. OK, maybe sometimes like that.

But goodness, that concept. Habitat sounds like an excellent idea rife with opportunities for both destruction and discovery. I’m really crossing my mitted astronaut fingers for this one, as I’m pretty sure it’s the crazy Gravity strategy game I never knew I wanted.

Habitat doesn’t have a release date yet, but 4gency is planning an alpha test in the near future. Are you ready to have your dreams and creations mercilessly crushed by space’s cold, unfeeling fist?

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14 Comments »

  1. SillyWizard says:

    This generates precisely the gleeful anticipation in me that Space Engineers does not.

  2. jonfitt says:

    I’ll be interested to see how this one develops. I’m not ashamed to admit I don’t entirely get how this is going to play. I think that’s a good thing.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Same here, but it looks rather neat already.

      Is it a city builder or much more of a straight survival game about keeping a group of astronauts alive in the debris?

  3. Noburu says:

    But can i make $400 an hour?

  4. Zenicetus says:

    That’s a nifty idea. It looks a bit similar to Kerbal Space Program in the way trial-and-error can lead to hilarious results. Although if it’s actually a strategy game pitted against a a mysterious enemy, I guess you’d have a motive not to get too crazy with your constructions.

    It will be interesting to see how they handle the physics. If they do orbital mechanics realistically like Kerbal, it will be impossible to defend against incoming debris used as a weapon. Shit travels FAST when it’s moving in an opposite orbital plane. Even on a similar orbit, the Delta V can mean things appear and disappear so fast that you hardly see them. It’s something you notice quickly on your first Kerbal spacewalk, if you let the poor guy get too far and too fast away from his capsule. I suspect they’ll be using some modified version of Newtonian physics to keep things fairly close together, and not moving at realistic speed differentials. Even if it’s modified like that, it could be a fun (and very different) type of strategy game.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Physics look very much Impossible Machine or plain old Unity/Source physics. For both the gameplay perspective and the artistic look, I think that is better than true orbital mechanics.

  5. The Random One says:

    Looks nice. You can almost hear the little astronauts going “aaaaaaaaaaah!” when the weird round thing that looked like a jet-powered aeolipile started spinning ’round out of control.

  6. melnificent says:

    What a poor film to compare it to though. Looks great but the story repeated itself every 3rd of the film with a slightly different disaster.

    • DodgyG33za says:

      I am with you there. I love space films, and had high hopes for Gravity when I watched it last night, given all of the hype it has had recently.

      It was classic Hollywood dross, complete with “I’ve never been one for religion but…”. We only got through it by taking the piss out of the almost constant blatant abuse of physics.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Watch Planetes instead.

  7. inkwell says:

    It looks very much like an anime series called Planetes, at least theme/setting wise.

  8. Johnny Go-Time says:

    Wow I’m trying to stop throwing money at Kickstarters etc but…HOW DO I THROW MONEY AT THIS?!

  9. nitehawk says:

    If people abandoned the Earth, why did they take the head of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower up with them?

    (note: I am not asking why people are smashing them together, the answer is obvious… Because you can!)