Signs Of Life Has Signs Of Life, Such As MechaChickens

Don't kick the sheep, it's mean.

Another partly procedural Terarrialike about spaceships, planet surfaces, building and exploration? I was about to pass Signs of Life right by, till I saw its page of GIFs. These a degree to which its world and character animation is extremely awkward. There’s also a degree to which that awkwardness makes its sheep, chickens and protagonist in cut-off jeans seem extremely cute.

Signs of Life just launched on Steam Early Access, and there’s a trailer below.


While it clearly has similarities to Starbound, Signs of Life isn’t infinite, building its planets and spaceships from a mixture of procedural and handcrafted content. It’s also singleplayer, with some wibble to explain why you’re the, or probably one of the, last remaining humans alive, attempting to settle and survive on a new earth-like planet.

I’m interested in this for two reasons, beyond that awkward cuteness. One, the livestock. Not the mechanical poultry with the laser eyes, but just the regular chickens and sheep and your ability to scatter feed for them. There’s almost nothing I find as relaxing as tending livestock in videogames. No, Farmville doesn’t count. Two, was this:

In a world of spaceships and lasers, there is still no finer weapon than a bow and arrow. There’s many more GIFs and development updates at the game’s website.

23 Comments

  1. Humanji says:

    That looks pretty cool. Is it just one guy that’s been working on it for the last couple of years?

    • SoL-Alex says:

      2 of us fulltime, with a few buddies helping out along the way =)

      • Humanji says:

        Cool

      • Chalky says:

        I’ve been following your posts on the SA forums and wish you guys the best of luck. It looks really excellent, the animations are so smooth – can’t wait to play.

      • 12inchPlasticToy says:

        The animations are what make the difference for me, looks like Flashback in high definition. It looks so sleek, really helps relating to your character. Amazing work I think!

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        Damien Stark says:

        Nice work.

        “Awkward but cute” is not at all how I would describe it. Maybe I’ve just become too accustomed to lo-fi indie pixel graphics (like Terraria and Starbound, which they’re comparing this to) but I thought it actually looks impressively smooth and polished.

        Adding it to my Steam wishlist to make sure I don’t forget about it…

  2. Loque says:

    Veeeeery interesting. Yes, it really looks like Starbound with a different engine… but I like how you put a lot of attention to small details. What bugs me about Starbound is how things are not connected in any way. This game, on the contrary, tries to add some logic/cool stuff in every action: gathering, killing, building… Well done guys!

  3. RedViv says:

    Shooting your own brains out with little Cupid arrows always wins me over. And in the game.

  4. frightlever says:

    I’m starting to wonder if all those “different” worlds in Starbound are a problem. There’s no incentive to create a homeworld really, you just drift from world to world reaping resources and hoping to come across a dungeon you haven’t seen before. Hmm. I’ve played 40-50 hours of it and it’s still pre-release so I’m not complaining, exactly.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, I honestly can’t see much reason to make a homestead anywhere but your ship, and your ship is not structurally customizable, just (from what previews I’ve seen) expandable through some presets.

    • Loque says:

      That’s true and the devs just stated that’s intended, in this phase. More stuf is coming (soon) and will add depth to everything. Example: you will be able to rent houses to npc’s to get more money. Have a look at the latest news, from yesterday, on the official SB page.

      • frightlever says:

        Oh, will do! Link in case anyone else missed it:

        link to playstarbound.com

        Not altogether convinced. I’ve killed the first couple of bosses to get to the gamma zone but the grind after that, the constant deaths unless you cheese combat, just makes progress a chore. Hmm. If I get to the next zone by selling carrots, how’s that even going to help me when I need to gather resources or just fight off wandering beasts? Hmm. But I guess that’s what alphas are for.

      • SillyWizard says:

        Oh boy, nothing like a landlord sim to get the juices flowing. :/

        • The Random One says:

          *Stares at Constructor on the shelf* Them’s fightin’ words, son!

        • Biscuitry says:

          Some of us actually like that sort of thing.

        • frightlever says:

          I dunno. If you can be a landlord, a farmer, a warrior or a scientist and still get a good experience from the game then why not? I dunno what the game will look like that allows all that but I went back and played about another three hours of Starbound last night. Killed the third boss – which again was just a massive cheesy chore – and I’m not sure why I want to progress. But, three hours.

  5. Loque says:

    I can see a lot of potential on Kickstarter.

  6. LordDamien says:

    Looks interesting, specially If I could develop a colony.. though this isn’t the game focus.. right?

  7. BooleanBob says:

    Like the rest of the universe I’m pretty much desensitised to all but the most gratuitous torture porn at this point, but for some reason I find that gif hugely distressing.

  8. Jupiah says:

    It makes me unreasonably happy to see that you can pass through enemies without being hurt as long as you dodge their actual attack animations. I really am tired of games where the baddies seem to be coated in acid and merely touching them is dangerous.

    Does the player character have a name, voice actor, and unique story to justify every screenshot only including a generic (sometimes bearded) white guy? If not I hope they let you the player choose their own avatar, if the game is like Terraria or Starbound in that it doesn’t really matter what your character looks like then there is no excuse not to include customization options.

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    Phasma Felis says:

    The blue neon tube on a stick is kind of hilarious. It’s like a medieval sci-fi writer imagining The Torch Of The Future.