Remind Yourself Of Rodina’s Space Combat And Computers

By Graham Smith on July 1st, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Not quite No Man's Sky, but it'll do.

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.

, , .

22 Comments »

  1. Sam says:

    Hire someone to make a snappier trailer.
    Flash up words about procedurally generated atoms and simulated ship systems.
    Remove the demo.
    Allow access to the demo as a $20 Kickstarter perk.
    Retire to your castle made of gold on the Moon.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      I see you are running Cynicism 2.0 with added Snark DLC. Was that in the Steam Sale?

      I enjoyed your comment BTW

      • Premium User Badge

        Goodtwist says:

        Honestly, it was merely embedded in the microtransaction part of the game. It virtually cost nothing, if anything

    • secuda says:

      Dont really see how Demo is anything to do with a KS perk? Unless they have it as a Goal?

      • Bishop says:

        Jesse Schell reckons demo’s half game revenue and he has the stats to back it up.

  2. bangalores says:

    Well I’ll be picking this one up today. Cheers, RPS.

  3. rexx.sabotage says:

    yay I get to be a person and not a spaceship, huzzah! now if only there were other things to do beside blow up space ships :\

    building? research? colonizing? diplomacy/ espionage? I would like those things with my spaceman & ship. Let’s just do Distant Worlds with bottom-up, first person controls, alright? okay? good!

    • Premium User Badge

      keithzg says:

      Add multiplayer so I can tool around said galaxy talking to alien factions, exploring and colonizing planets, etc etc with a literal crew of friends and you’d have a game that would handily push out all other games from my life.

  4. NetsukeMonkey says:

    I don’t know why but the tactic of AI being destroyed by you landing on an asteroid reminded me of Elite II: Frontier. Pretty sure that was a valid tactic on the photography/nuclear bomb base missions, to either fly low or land on the planet and watch your pursuers crash around you.

  5. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Wow, just, wow. How is that 126MB!? Still a long way from full game worthy and I really fear the best bits will be in No Man’s Sky already, but once you get the 4th level of drive and can fly to planets, fight groups of ships and do the whole flying from space to ground in one seamless motion thing (ignoring the genuinely tense wrestle with the controls during re-entry) this is brilliant! I have wanted to play this sort of game for so long, and all I’ve had is the teasing of No Man’s Sky and Elite. It’s a genuine buzz, although not enough game yet to shell out for more than the hour demo but I will have my eyes on this. Thanks for reminding about it RPS!

    • Stardreamer says:

      There’s a genuine case to be made for calling Rodina the first of the New-Generation of Space games to actually release appear. Stuff like Pioneer pointed the way (itself having eaten the DNA of earlier Elite’s) but this one has all the first-person stuff, too.

      (EDIT: Oh, maybe FTL gets that crown. Rodina is still definitely first in its genre)

  6. Lunaran says:

    “Over the past year, gaming just hasn’t been what it used to be… Rodina is different.”

    Does that mean Rodina is different because it’s the same as it used to be, or it’s also different than what it used to be … which would make it the same?

  7. Stardreamer says:

    Rodina looks absolutely amazing. I have the demo downloaded but – frustratingly – seem to be suffering a CPU-overheating problem that actually shuts down my PC whenever Rodina is on! I get about two minutes of joy then BAM. Frozen PC. (I set up a hardware monitor with Rodina running in a window and watched the CPU reach 100 degrees! Thank f*ck it’s an Intel or I’d have melted it by now!).

    Most other games play fine, I think because they maybe lock themselves to v-sync? Drox Operatove, for instance, hardly increases the temp at all. Regardless, I clearly need to have a look at my heatsink & thermal paste but this is VERY frustrating because Rodina looks like one of those games I’d absolutely lose myself in, and what I can manage to play before the shutdown is INCREDIBLE.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malcolm says:

      Mine did that (while transcoding some video – so all cores 100%). Quick blast with an air duster to clear a few years of dust and cruft from the heatsink and it happily completed the job without exceeding 80°C.

    • Raptormeat says:

      Really happy to hear the game is appealing- really UNHAPPY to hear that it’s causing trouble.

      Truth be told, this has happened to me while developing Rodina also- fans working on overdrive, temperatures going up. Mostly with the CPU but once even with the GPU. My solution was the same as Malcom’s- getting in the case and blasting away with a air cleared the dust, and the problem right up :) Very surprising when you’re used to crashes needing a code fix :P

      Anyway, I hope it’s that simple to fix your issue too. If not send me an email at brendan@elliptic-games.com

    • Stardreamer says:

      Hi Brendan! Thanks for responding. Very cool of you. I’ve been following your game for a while now – congratulations on getting it out there! I LOVE the ship interiors, and bouncing around on the planets gives me soul-giggles. :P Is it the planetary-generation tech that’s causing it, do you think? Stressing my quad cores to generate all that terrain, like Malc’s video encoding? I actually get freezes/melty-chip in other games that use similar techniques – Pioneer and Paragon. Borderlands 2 was doing it for a while as well, so don’t feel too responsible! Definitely my machine that’s playing up, not your code!

      And thanks, Malcolm, too. I was just about to buy a replacement heat-sink but I do admittedly have a huge dust build-up problem at the moment. To think I could solve it with a can of compressed air and some patience goes against my usual KILL THE PROBLEM response but I’ll give it a go. :)

  8. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Once I got the hang of it, zipping around fights by shifting up to cruise speed to get behind the baddies, then down to combat mode to shoot them, made me feel very nimble

  9. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    Entry into the atmosphere for the first time was genuinely a really great moment! I also like the story elements told through data entries. Other than that, the combat is a bit… simple. There doesn’t seem to be much gameplay besides exploring and fighting, though I didn’t actually get to the ship customization part during my hour time with it.

    So far, I really like what I’ve seen. My only point of critique would be the controls. They can be a little cumbersome for what is essentially a really simple control scheme. Rolling goes WAY too fast for me and the whole RMB+W/S thing seems overly complex. The same can be achieved with a scroll wheel. I also don’t really like that there doen’t seem to be any dead-zone in the mouse “joystick” which makes it rather hard to fly straight.

    Anyway, will definitelly keep my eye on it! Also voted for the Greenlight, good luck! :)