By Graham Smith on July 1st, 2014 at 2:00 pm.
It’s been a while since we last checked in with Rodina, in as much as we haven’t mentioned it on this site at all since Craig noted the release date late last year. That’s a shame given that we live in a world of in-progress but unreleased or expensive space sims, and Rodina is a space sim that’s unfinished but i) out now and ii) has a demo and iii) has a pay-what-you-want business model. To rectify the oversight, I’ve played it a bit, and popped a trailer and some progress updates below.
This is a launch trailer from five months ago, but we never posted it and it’s broadly representative of What The Game Is:
Rodina is a space game where you are not a spaceship, but a person aboard that spaceship. You can walk around its corridors, visit your bedroom, and use different stations on the bridge in order to control the ship in different ways. You can also pilot your craft down to the surfaces of asteroids and planets, open up the airlocks and leave your ship behind to explore on foot. This is stuff that’s currently working and playable in the hour-long time limited demo, which is what I’ve tried so far.
The aim seems to be a not-quite-0x10c-level of spaceship system simulation. Think of it, perhaps, as a first-person FTL. For example, a recent update added ship fires:
Ship fires occur infrequently when your ship takes damage in combat or after a collision. Fires spread fast so when one starts, quickly get your ship to a safe place, grab a fire extinguisher, and start extinguishing!
While current development is focused on expanding the room system that underpins simulation of your ship. That will let you do, for example:
I think my goal for this next update is going to be the ability to blow the airlock, exposing the ship to hard vacuum and blasting out its atmosphere. That seems like a fun feature, and it will also mix well with the fire – no oxygen means no combustion!
In the hour I played I mainly skipped from asteroid to asteroid, fighting enemy ships I found working in their orbit. The combat is fun – simple, arcade-y, rendered by strange but pretty pixellated vapor trails. The AI is currently a bit shaky, though. For example, one viable tactic during a fight is to simply land on the nearby asteroid surface. In response your pursuer plows into that asteroid’s surface, grinding itself against the rock until its hull explodes.
As it goes, it’s pretty funny. In any case, an hour spent embarking and disembarking from celestial surfaces is an hour well spent. Rodina is worth remembering, and the demo is 126MB. That’s about 8.4 Peggles.
Update: The game is also on Steam Greenlight.