The Indie Game Magazine July 2015 | Issue 51 - Page 10

can favor extra launch systems and a warp drive that can power up in a flash, leaving enemies with nothing but a tall tale about some space ghost haunting the cosmos. Furthering their commitment to customization, the ship can actually be monitored and controlled using an entirely text-based system. While the team doesn’t anticipate many players taking an interest in this playstyle, they didn’t see a reason to omit the option for those who may be curious to test out running a complete ship diagnostic via text commands. Players can do everything from monitoring which equipment results in the most significant battery drain on-board, to surveying the current efficiency status of all modules, in addition to noting which are in need of repair. While most of the game will take place from inside the ship, with players not actually looking outside any windows to view space itself, Objects in Space won’t be entirely confined to a few select screens showing off the ship’s computers. As Flat Earth Games Co-founder Leigh Harris puts it, “When you’re docked at a 10 space station you go to the airlock screen and exit your ship, and will find yourself aboard whatever station you’re at. You can then tap left/right to go between areas of the station (bar, mechanic, admin, police, etc) and people are represented there as silhouettes, some of which have a neon outline indicating that you can interact with them. This prompts a dialogue screen which acts in a similar way to text messaging.” The game won’t feature any voice acting, but will include appropriate sound effects and a soundtrack to flesh out the audio experience. Communication on-board the ship plays out in a somewhat similar fashion as well. The major difference is that it takes place exclusively via the Comms room. “Whether you’re chatting to a passenger (who is sequestered in their quarters), in direct communication with a nearby ship [which ranges from negotiating trades to being threatened by pirates], or talking to a nearby space station requesting docking permits etc, it’ll happen with a text message style interface and a pixel-art representation of the person you’re talking to,” explains Harris. Beyond directly conversing The Indie Game Magazine with the various inhabitants of the cluster, there are also two other primary ways of taking in information and learning about the world(s) surrounding the player. As Harris revealed, “In addition to those, there are also emails between people (there’s a mini-OS which handles your inbox) and there are news feeds.” The news feeds in particular are one of the most intriguing aspects of the project, from a story perspective. This is because the team is trying to convey them in a way that, to my knowledge, has never been attempted before in a video game. Detailing the concept, Harris went on to say that “The news feeds are based on whichever system you’re in, the idea being that when an event occurs (dictated by Rohan and myself), the writers will each write a news story on it from the perspective of a different media outlet. So if a bomb goes off in Leo (a central system), one writer might describe it as a horrific attack if they’re writing from the perspective of a pundit, while another who is writing from the perspective of Parssus (an outlying dictatorship system that has a beef with Leo), their slant on it will be markedly