Wings, Commanders: Ensign-1

Is the cockpit a sticker?

What with Jim being dead, John imprisoned for stalking Kim Kardashian, Adam suffering another one of his ‘Nam flashbacks and Nathan turning out to be just a figment of our imagination, I find myself manning the controls of the dread ship RPS alone today, and thus unable to actually play videogames. Hence, I can only inform you about games’ existence, not attest to their quality first-hand.

Yesterday I was playing a game by Almost Human, this morning I posted about a game by Human Head and now I’m writing one about a game by Only Human. THERE ARE TOO MANY HUMANS. At least Only Human’s game doesn’t, unlike the other two, involve bothering monsters in dungeons. Ensign-1 is an indie space combat game with a sort of FPS sub-game wherein “players leave their ships on foot to commandeer turrets, and other starships.” It’s just released a paid alpha version, which you can pick up from Desura to help fund the game’s ongoing development.

It’s clearly very early doors for the project, but this chance to get in on the ground floor means you both to follow its evolution closely and potentially even shape it. It looks to be coming along well at least, even if it’s on the lo-fi side. Here is space:

And here is man-shoot. Well, robo-shoot. Reminds me of Dark Forces, for some reason:

FPS Tease – Indie DB

If that looks like your cup of spacetea (which tastes slightly like Earl Gray, but more meteoritey), you can Alphafund on Desura here. The price will rise as the game’s development matures, so up to you whether you want to fork out less now, when it’s still somewhat unproven, or more later when its greatability or not is better understood. It’s like online gambling, this.

I’ve got a copy of the current alpha, which I will take a look at as soon as the rest of the RPS team have come back to life, been released, returned to sanity and been made corporeal by the concentrated psychic hope and faith of humanity respectively.


  1. Eclipse says:

    reminds me of Eternal Silence, an awesome multiplayer HL2 mod I used to play… you were able to roam around in spaceships, land inside the enemy mothership and fight your way destroying their generators. I really miss that game :(

    • frenz0rz says:

      Wasnt there a map like that in Unreal Tournament 2004?

      • theblazeuk says:

        There was a map like that but it didn’t involve you jumping into fighter craft and blowing up turrets before crashlanding in the enemy hangar and kicking arse

        Or alternatively, piloting the main cruisers and trying to shoot down the enemy before they respawned and did the above to you. Good times (the three times I managed to get on to a server with people that wan’t crippled by lag)

        • diestormlie says:

          I used to Play Star Wars: BattleFront 2 like that. A Pale shadow of what this idea could be, but I always dreamed if it being better. Seamless Space-to-Ground Transition. Destroying Vital systems from the inside and out, then hopping back in your LAAT and flying down to secure a beach-head on the surface… I had dreams, damnit. DREAMS!

  2. Casimir's Blake says:

    Looks like a fascinating project. There was previously a hugely ambitious Elite + FPS indie game, the name of which escapes me currently, but this looks a touch more “specific”. Very pleased to see they went for first person, and not attempt to make yet another third person cover shooter for the indoor segments.

    • Wodge says:

      Lets not forget Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter, even though it had awful space bits (and the manshooting was rather poor too)

  3. AmateurScience says:

    Has Mr Pearson’s tenure as News Node of the hivemind ended then?

    On topic. Immediate YES to the concept. The idea of combining a Space Flying and Shooting with Space Walking and Shooting has always been an attractive one to me, and one that solves the perennial Space-Sim problem that on a ship, there’s only a limited number of ways you can interact with your environment (hence it’s always Shoot, Mine, Trade, Mine and Shoot).

    I imagine it’s more complicated to implement than my completely-ignorant-of-the-difficulties-of-making-games mind, but fusing an first-person immersive sim to an open-world space game sounds so good that even typing those words have made me slightly moist.

  4. Grayvern says:

    So Nathan Grayson is like Adahn from Torment.

  5. Utsunomiya says:

    Looks a hell of a lot like Parkan to me.

  6. DrScuttles says:

    If you’re steering the ship on your ownsome Alec, why not do the Shotcast? All by yourself! Impersonating the entire hivemind! Give everyone else silly, poorly thought out opinions and watch as we all chuckle into the interwebs.

  7. CKScientist says:

    Where did Nathan come from anyway?

    He sort of just turned up one day.

    He seems quite nice, but are you ever going to introduce us?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Maybe Nathan is like that girlfriend you always meet at her place.

      And you only go out places you won’t see anyone you know.

      And you never tell her your real name.

  8. BobsLawnService says:

    I question the wisdom of attempting to mix genres in this fashion for the first game. I’d like to see them focus on delivering a polished space sim and the developing a polished standalone FPS that can plug into it later. They currently run the risk of watering down everything by being overambitious.

  9. Enzo says:

    The FPS parts of this game look like a fake video game you would see in a tv show or something.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      The graphic style looks SO RIDICULOUSLY MUCH like the old show Reboot.

      If you’ve never seen it before, I suggest you look it up. Even the explosions look identical.

  10. bill says:

    Not so much bothered about FPS battles, but having to run around your ship and desperately try to fix hyperdrives or man turrets has always been something I wanted a space sim to try…

  11. Ironclad says:

    That in the video sounds eerily like the beep from Freespace 1 & 2 when a homing missile was about to wreck your ship. Or is it just me?

    Should that be changed (using assets from different product) or is it an acceptable coincidence? Or can it be classified as a(n) homage?

    It’s probably just a placeholder, but I do want to know the legalese about this sort of thing, if only due to unnatural curiosity

    • aldo_14 says:

      I’ve heard Freespace sounds in quite a surprising number of things on TV, so it might just be licensed clip-sound. Or placeholder, which is surely ok.

      On a side note, there was a time when the Doom fireball noise was in bloody everything as well. Even the Highlander cartoon series.

      • Ironclad says:

        Never noticed the fireball noise, definitely noticed it when a series/movie used Doom’s opening door noises.

  12. empty_other says:

    Crap! They took my planned developer company name! :(
    Oh, well.. I guess the first one to actually release a good game may keep the name.

    Look like a cool game though. My last good space shooter was Descent 2, after then i’ve yet to find a cool space shooter.

  13. Bobtree says:



  14. morgofborg says:

    Looks like Notch should license this and focus on the unique ideas of 0x10c instead of the engine.

  15. nootron says:

    Isn’t Jim’s game company called Almost a Human Head?

  16. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    We need to get Dystopia/Blade Symphony’s devs at Puny Human in here too.

  17. Caiman says:

    I keep waiting for Sidhe’s space shooting concept (Project Space, working title obv) to get some RPS love, given that it looks mightily impressive in the base engine, has the right visceral feel, and is a good building block for what they want to do with it. link to