October 30, 2015 10:20 AM | John Bridgman
Announced earlier this year, Objects In Space is an intensely detailed spaceship bridge simulator with a retro pixel art aesthetic. The developers, Flat Earth Games, have announced that the game will support not only third-party controllers for your bridge needs, but DIY home-made controllers as well. To help celebrate this news, they have also released their first gameplay trailer, showing off the game's submarine-style interface.
Using what the developers describe as a "virtual serial port", the game will support the creation and use of any sort of control they can devise. Banks of switches to control weapons, reactor shutdown buttons with safety catches, or display boards with LEDs showing ship damage without changing viewpoints are all within the realm of possibilities. The aesthetic of the game lends itself well to the idea of cobbled-together interfaces, and the prospect of being able to do so physically to play the game is very intriguing.
The announcement came along with a playable demo at PAX Australia, the display for which also featured a few physical hand-made controllers, each a module for controlling different aspects of the ship. A series of individual console units working together to show off the sort of things crafty players can do if they so choose, and they intend on releasing more footage of the game, including of people using the homebrewed hardware.
Objects In Space was already a fascinating title in development with its expression of space combat as being reminiscent of submarine combat rather than aerial or naval. Needing to interpret readouts on displays and evaluate threats yourself promises to be a rewarding challenge. Adding in the idea of being able to craft your own bridge controls out of physical materials if you choose to do so should bring the game together in an attention-grabbing package.
The game, scheduled for release in 2016, looks well on its way to being something memorable, and I still think people interested in deep, involved space simulations are going to want to keep an eye on it. With this new announcement, I can imagine anybody wanting to experiment with creating their own input devices is also going to be keenly interested in this title as it comes closer to release.