Rodina is the latest addition to the growing indie space-sim armada

Something wonderful is happening in the darkest reaches of indie-space.

Have I told you all how much I love space sims? Ah yes, I did that in my story about Ensign-1 didn’t I? Well I’m going to keep saying it whenever an indie space sim that makes me go all tingly inside pops up on my radar. Oh look, here’s another one now. I fucking love space sims!

Rodina is described by its developers Elliptical Games as “a space exploration RPG inspired by games like Freelancer, The Elder Scrolls series, Deus Ex and System Shock.” Aside from being great games (I still have my copy of Freelancer lying around somewhere) they were also very ambitious titles for their respective times, and a lot of that ambition seems to have rubbed off on Rodina in great big clumps. Amongst Rodina’s proposed features are the ability to walk around your ship to interact with crewmates or defend it from boarding parties when you’re not having dogfights in space or gun battles on a planet’s surface.

Speaking of planets Rodina promises procedurally-generated ones in abundance, with millions of square kilometers of surface area you can land on and explore in first-person without bumping into any invisible walls. Once you’re done stretching your space legs you can jump back into your ship and fly up into space again in one seamless process, without any loading screens or “warp doors”. I know, I know, it sounds too good to be true. I was just as sceptical as you probably are right now until I watched Elliptical’s demo video of the whole process in action. Even in its current basic state it’s something wondrous to behold, in a “My god it’s full of stars” sort of way.

Leading this self-proclaimed “tiny team on a tiny budget” is a chap by the name of Brendan Anthony, whose previous development experience includes work on a couple of games you might be familiar with. Does The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion ring any bells? How about a little-known post-apocalyptic RPG called Fallout 3? Is anyone out there familiar with these patently obscure titles that nobody’s ever heard of? They were really quite good you know. Yes of course I’m being bloody facetious, although it’s good to know something this ambitious is coming from a man with actual development experience. It makes me more optimistic about being able to play it one day, and you can bet your bottom space-dollar I’ll want to play this.

Inevitable comparisons to Notch’s galactic endeavour ox10c are unavoidable and unfortunate, not to mention bloody stupid. You know what else both games have in common? Striving towards something space sim fans have dreamt about since at least 1993, when Frontier: Elite 2 first let them park their polygonal ships on a blocky low-res planet’s surface. Rodina and 0x10c are both spaceships heading towards the same distant star at the end of the day but they’ll be unique ships arriving from different directions. The galaxy’s a big place and and there’s plenty of room for more space sims so I say bring them all on! Bring them on until their numbers darken the skies of every world!

Let this marvellous man take you into space!

Matt

About Matt

Matt is the irresponsible degenerate behind bitscreed.com and the sarcastic writer, editor, director, presenter and tea boy of Pixel Burn.