What Is Best In Space: Kromaia

Superbly-named indie devs Kraken Empire have sent word that they are very busy working on a space-physics shooter, Kromaia. They claim that by introducing real-physics to a good control system, they are creating something really special for space combat. They say: “Our universe feels completely coherent because every object is physically modelled. As a result the game is really immersive as we were expecting from a game without interface that takes place in an extremely solid and coherent world… Making a black hole is not difficult by itself, but when you plan a battle between different enemies firing hundreds of projectiles and colliding with asteroids while all of them are attracted by the black hole…”

Yeah, we get the idea. PHYSICS! There’s a video of the game in action, below. They’re also looking for some testers. Go check out the blog for more on that.


  1. MrMud says:

    Physics you say? Are we going to se modeling of time dilation at the event horizon? Spagettification of any unfortunate enough to travel to close?

  2. heretic says:

    Nice art style!

    The constant drone-ing in the background might get annoying though. Hope they churn out some good ambient music like eufloria.

  3. geldonyetich says:

    It’s pretty, but I’m not sure what exactly is going on.. seems very abstract.

    I can’t help but think this game would benefit from robust stereographic support. Here’s hoping.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Hmm. I feel the same way. Especially at the beginning of the trailer I didn’t really know what I was looking at. The projectiles look rather.. flat, too.

  4. Pliqu3011 says:

    Hmm… Needs better music. Although I normally like this style of ambient stuff, this somehow seemed completely unfitting.
    Rest seems ok, looks more a concept than a real game and a bit heavy on the AA tough.

  5. BrotherCabbage says:

    The blog post about testers stated that they were accepting requests until the end of November. A little late to get in on that.

  6. carlthuringer says:

    Crap! I just applied to be a tester!

    I’m going to assume they mean ‘newtonian physics’ when they keep saying physics. Though if there’s black holes, maybe they should step up to general relativity.

    Wouldn’t a space shooter be interesting if you had to not only take into account the relative velocities of yourself and your target, but also the distance and the speed of light?

    Also, the black hole seems to be there for ‘gee whiz, whut happens if we have a big gravity well here!?’ and not ‘Wow, physics so accurate!’

    I think if you were that close to a black hole, you’d have a hard time escaping the pull.
    However, if you cross the event horizon, it would still take millions of years before you reached the singularity! So no worries about spaghettification during a normal gaming session!

  7. Kompatriartes says:

    What’s the point of a space shooter without a cockpit view? Of course, you could have an abstract cockpit for an abstract space ship. That could be pretty cool.

  8. Jezebeau says:

    Those physics don’t look vaguely newtonian. Judging by the time it takes for the craft to end up going the direction it’s facing, the best they can really claim is “slow-response arcade spaceflight”.

  9. Horza says:

    Still waiting for a successor to I-War. This obviously isn’t it =/

    • Mistabashi says:

      Interesting as it is, I really don’t see how Starpoint Gemini can be seen as anything like a “spiritual successor to I-war”.

      I too crave a good shooty-space-sim with trading and ship customisation. And not a bloody MMO.

  10. KrakenEmpire says:

    Hi all

    Thank you for your interest and your comments :D

    We would like to clarify some points:

    First of all, we use Newtonian physics, that is what physical engines for games support and what we can offer. Remember this is a game, we don’t know what do you want to play during Spaghettification. If you propose a valid gameplay for that, we could try it, but we centered our view on gameplay. You can “play” with a black hole in a newtonian sense, thats all for now (and we think it is a new element, at least on 3D with 6 degrees of freedom).

    You can take a look to our Black Hole post and video for more information about our black holes.

    The player’s ship is moved by applying forces through its propellers. It is somewhat complex to explain shortly, but you can take a look to our post about physical propulsion. Feel free to ask whatever you don’t understand, but we promise everything is really physical in our game. Anyway, we understand you will have to play it to believe it ;)

    Note that propeller position, direction and power curve are specified in an XML file, so the ship can be “modded” to meet your needs, even you can assign keys to desired propellers, but this is not very intuitive to use right now.

    If you are confused with the gameplay we have a gameplay video for you too.
    It is not final gameplay, as this version is only a prototype with the basic gameplay and control, but we think you will understand better what is going on in Kromaia when you take a look to the other videos after seeing this one.

    You can check our blog for further information.

    And our YouTube channel stores all our videos.

    Thank you for your time ;)

    PS: we will answer every e-mail we have received. Please, be patient :)

    • multiname says:

      In the gameplay video at around 1 minute, it looks like the player ship accelerates towards the floating tower for a long time, then immediately does >90 degree turns with no apparent inertia. Is this Newtonian with a very low artificial speed limit or something?

      The game looks cool regardless of the physics system.

    • KrakenEmpire says:

      What do you mean?

      There are linear and angular inertias. And there are linear and angular frictions (read friction as “retropropulsion” if you want) just for your ship. The angular friction of your ship is pretty high to make the movement responsive. But the linear inertia is quite visible.

      We don’t know what instant of the video you are referring to but to understand the linear speed of the ship you have to look at the space dust and the ship’s trail (this one can be harder). Maybe the Gameplay Footage video is easier to understand than this one that is just about physics.

      All that frictions are configurable for every ship, you could even play in a frictionless space, but we guess you don’t want to ;)

    • multiname says:

      OK, there’s strong friction, that explains it, thanks for the reply. Yes, I was expecting the game to be frictionless, like space is.

  11. HardClumping says:

    I get the feeling that this developer might be suffering from Asperger syndrome – they are very focused on physics in an almost creepy way. The weirdest part of that trailer is right at the beginning, fifty seconds of watching someone shoot a wall and watching the projectiles bounce off it. ~the physics engine has to be perfect~

    edit: oh man no no man you took it too far they’re right there

    • KrakenEmpire says:

      Hehe, yeah you are right somehow :D

      Just take into account this is our fifth video and we really wanted to show physics in our Physics Video, you know :P

      Please, bring on all your criticism even if we are right here. It is the only way to improve our game and there is a lot of work to do yet. We are here to hear your opinions, positive and negative and hopefully constructive :P

  12. Mistabashi says:

    The sound effects are awesome, as is the general visual style. And I also quite liked the ambient droning synth ‘music’ in this video, although the more traditional music in the other videos is also good.

    Seems a bit too early to judge the gameplay though, and I’m not really sure how much impact the physics modelling of every object will actually have, it’ll be interesting to see what gameplay mechanics they can come up with to actually take advantage of it in a meaningful way.

    I’ll definately be keeping an eye on it anyway.