Terrarinaut: Edge of Space Hits September 17th

The work of a little team built by former developers of the ever spacey Fallen Earth and EVE Online, you might recognise Edge of Space [official site] from its successful Kickstarter campaign a few years back.  It racked up just over $35,000 at the time, with the team providing regular patches and updates ever since. Now the game has finally gotten its official release date, September 17th – My birthday, Gera Fact Fans!

Edge of Space has been in the works for two years now, left to mature on the vine of Early Access during which time its makers at Handyman Studios and Reverb Triple XP have been tinkering away. From the offset it looks like it comes from the same gene pool as Starbound. Edge of Space is an open-world, dynamically generated sandbox adventure game. You’re given a mining pick and basic gear to collect resources and build equipment. You go head-to-head against laser sharks and genetically evolved polar bears. I mean, it looks and plays a hell of a lot like Starbound.

We actually asked lead dev Jake Crane about this early on in development. It’s something that, as expected, the team is aware of.

“We definitely made strides to make sure that, while Edge of Space does take roots from Terraria, that we are trying to take our own unique direction,” he told us back in 2013. “[Y]ou see a lot of things that are really close to the same thing you came up with, and that’s because people are having to solve the same problems as you. But you’ll see different directions that those things take. It’s like a feature is ice cream, but there are different flavors of the feature.”

But then, Starbound’s influences come directly from Terraria, which itself splinters off from the Minecraft family tree, which can be found in a grove of Metroidvania. So, y’know, whatever. It looks good regardless.

And perhaps most importantly I think tonally it has a leg up on Starbound if only for its laser shark animation:

18 Comments

  1. LTK says:

    Edge of Space is part of the current Humble Weekly Bundle as part of the beat-the-average if anyone is interested.

    That used to include me, but a lot of the player feedback, and what little press coverage I can find, skews pretty negative. I gotta wonder whether its period in Early Access has done any good and how arbitrary the release date is.

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      Aerothorn says:

      Of the Minecraftbuts in that bundle, the one I’m interested in is actually Starmade, which has highly positive user feedback. There’s lots of room in the Minecraft in Space genre.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Good choice. Starmade is amazing.

      • brucethemoose says:

        FYI Bspkrs and Micdoodle8 recently joined the Starmade dev team.

        link to starmadedock.net

        If you’re familiar with modded Minecraft (do MCP and Galacticraft ring any bells?), then you know Starmade is going places.

    • Baines says:

      I think that Edge of Space’s looks caused it to quickly be labeled as a cheap knock-off of Terraria.

      Without competition, that still might have been enough for success. But there was competition. Starbound, despite only having the involvement of Terraria’s artist, was seen as the “official” Terraria-in-space game. So Edge of Space remained the cheap knockoff while Starbound got the Early Access money.

      (Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how much of Starbound’s own acceptance comes from being seen as Terraria-in-space.)

      • try2bcool69 says:

        Edge of Space had the approval of Terraria also. They did a cross promotion where Terraria gave them a version of the Skeletron boss to use, and RE-logic helped them promote the game at PAX.
        I played it when it came out in a Humblebundle a couple of years back, and wasn’t impressed, it just didn’t have that “spark”, but now that it’s nearing official release I might give it another look.
        I don’t really like Starbound anymore, they put out a product that, upon initial release, was a really solid base that just needed tweaking, and now it is a jumbled mess of ideas that are in no way finished or cohesive after 2 more years of development. It seems as though they are farther away from completion than closer to it. It is looking pretty though, I’ll give them that.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Yeah I just couldn’t enjoy Starbound in the same way as Terraria, it lacked the charm and had some really annoying control quirks. I hope they finally get around to improving it somewhat and actually releasing the thing but it’s another Early Access game that has probably shot it’s bolt and will never get anything like the hype or sales it received a couple of years ago when it first got “released”. Progress has just stalled way too much at this point, with the new Terraria patch coming out and getting 180k concurrent players peak, and a new Terraria game in the works, it’s almost as if Starbound is at that early access point of no return where any extra development cost is almost a waste because they already made most of their money at this point.

    • Zafman says:

      I’m a big fan of Terraria and this is making it look like a Turrican cross-over. Never a bad thing. ;)
      Thanks for the Humble reminder, I almost forgot!

  2. MadTinkerer says:

    The way I see it, the variety I’ve experienced in the base gameplay of Minecraft, Terraria, Starbound, and Edge of Space (I’ve bought them all) make them all well worth the purchase price. The procedural generation helps as well, but there’s something about the way seemingly small differences in the Open World Survival + Random World formula can make each one seem unique despite superficial similarities and even shared mechanics.

    I just like all of them.

    It’s not that the formula is a guaranteed success, but rather that if the core gameplay “loops” are properly tuned, there’s still plenty of room for variation and quality in the Minecraftbut genre. The formula by itself is definitely not a guaranteed success, and you don’t have to search long for examples of failures, but there’s still room for good procedural construction / survival games.

    • Zankman says:

      Be sure to try Crea (highly rated) and (farther removed from the core concept) Dig or Die.

      You also have Planet Explorers.

    • Atrak says:

      Signs of Life is another similar game to Starbound/Edge of Space/Crea/Terraria etc. I’ve purchased and tried them all and have found things to like and dislike in each of them. They all have their own unique flavor and I don’t see why they can’t all play in the 2d side scrolling sandbox together.

  3. JarinArenos says:

    I still haven’t seen a single actual response to the question of “what differentiates this from Starbound?” (I mean, just look at that dev dodge the question in the article). I mean, I get it, you can have two similar games that are both fun to play; I’m not saying this doesn’t have a right to exist or succeed or anything; I just want some idea of what I’m looking at here.

    • LordShaggy says:

      Hey, I’m one of the devs on Edge Of Space. Actually I am the dev you speak about. =) So what do I think is the major differences between Starbound and EoS. Our focus has always been on thoughtful ranged combat, so we have worked very hard to make that feel good in all sense. Instead of randomized creatures, each one has been hand made with unique behavior and movement patterns(which comes with ups and downs of course from a development side), You have a central world that you are always apart of, but you can go to alternate worlds. You gain schematics through a progression system where every action you do contributes to generic experience points, that you then spend in the knowledge tree of your choice. None linear progression through finding power up platforms that permanently increase the abilities of your character. The starting world is not one land mass but more like if the planet had exploded but held together. Think like the floating mountains in Avatar. I think those are some of the major ones, but the game feels completely different, which is why my answer was somewhat generalized because it’s hard to explain. It’s like what’s the difference between COD and Black Ops? They are both first person shooters, but they do have distinct differences. Just the fact that you start the game with a jetpack changes the way you move and think about the space your in. ( no pun intended) And to end… yes we have laser sharks =P

      • malkav11 says:

        …well, no, there aren’t differences, because Black Ops games -are- Call of Duty games. But I’m assuming you meant to use a different comparison there. :)

        • LordShaggy says:

          Fair point: Modern Warfare would have been the correct comparison and referencing the difference between CoD games as a whole would have been a better way for me to phrase it.

  4. namad says:

    minecraft is inspired by singleplayer and mmo styled sandbox games like infiniminer and wurm online…. minecraft has almost nothing to do with metroidvania games… and to say it does makes it sound like you’ve not played these.

    however it would be fair to say that terraria=minecraft+metroidvania and so edge of space itself is very metroidvania… you just got the order of the family tree mixed up a bit, maybe it was even a typo.

  5. SomeDuder says:

    I just don’t enjoy the artstyle – Terraria’s big draw for me was that it is played like a traditional 2D platformer with extremely nice sprites (or pixels, whatever you wanna call them) assisted with good, modern lighting effects. It reminds me ye olde SNES RPGs with the cozy homes and dark castles and whatnot as Squaresoft used to make them (before they focused 100% of their budget on the belts of their main host club character).

    Edge of Space looks like a goddamn mess. And the flying shark? Yea that was a dumb little joke that worked for about 5 minutes, back when the first trailer came out.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yeah I really think the visuals and the music/audio in Terraria just give it an incredible charm that I certainly didn’t get from Starbound, that just makes the world a more fun place to hang around in.