Our team has been very busy of late working on Objects in Space and building the new set of physical hardware which was to be taken to PAX East in Boston. The gear was completed and the gang had a great time showing off the game at our first ever showing at an international show. The game was as well received in the US as it has been in Australia, and we got some great coverage from media while we were there. Here are some of the highlights thus far:
Total Biscuit: “This is interesting and innovative and new and something that I haven’t seen before. And what the hell’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what we should be pursuing? These new and interesting ideas?”
Gama Sutra: “What had me grinning ear to ear like a loon, however, was an indie game from Down Under featured at the PAX Rising pavilion.”
Wolf Man Gaming: Interview at the booth.
As you may know, we’ve been taking Objects in Space and its physical controller setup to shows around Australia. We’ve been to Haven in Mackay, QLD, AVCon in Adelaide, SA, PAX Australia in Melbourne, VIC and Big Head Mode: Bonus Stage and RTX Australia here in Sydney, NSW.
It’s been a while since our last update, but there’s plenty to share!
Firstly, Objects in Space will be playable with all its usual physical controllers at Big Head Mode: Bonus Stage in Sydney this Wednesday night! The hilarious stage show has had us as indie developer guests before, and it’s always a blast to hang out, show off our games and witness the uncanny antics of Ben, Carlo and Rae. Come say hi! It’ll be a fun night!
Next up is GX Australia, Australia’s first queer gaming convention.
This is happening in Sydney at the Australian Technology Park, and not only will you be able to play Objects in Space there, but you’ll also be able to check out a new game by our Lead Artist Mathew Purchase: Unstoppable.
Unstoppable is a frantic post-apocalyptic truck-driving game where you’ll be able to upgrade your truck with all manner of chaotic extras to survive: from flamethrowers to armour plating, machine guns to side-mounted circular saws, there’s no end to the madness in this arcade mixture of Burnout and Mad Max!
Objects in Space will be playable all weekend, while Unstoppable will be there just on the Saturday.
We look forward to revealing more about both games very soon, and hope to see you on Wednesday or this weekend!
Well, it’s 2016 and we’ve been working hard on Objects in Space over the break, but here’s a quick note to let you all know that we’ve signed on to take a booth at the inaugural RTX Australia, which is on in Sydney in just over two weeks!
RTX (Rooster Teeth Expo) is a big deal over in the US, and this is the first show for Australia. The team will be there with the game, our physical controller setup, and as an added bonus this 3D-printed model of the Ceres as created by our concept artist / physical console builder extraordinary Jennifer Scheurle.
For those who couldn’t attend Game Connect Asia-Pacific this year, the Game Design Challenge asks a selection of designers to take to the stage and pitch a game idea based on a theme which was revealed one month earlier. This year, Flat Earth’s Leigh Harris took part and came runner up to Luke Muscat (of Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride and Land Sliders fame). It was the first time anyone from Flat Earth had spoken at GCAP.
The theme for the Game Design Challenge this year was ‘Virtual Smell’. Each participant had just 8 minutes to try and pitch a game idea based around the notion of a hypothetical peripheral which could project small particles. The peripheral could be any type, transmit the smells in any way, and be for any platform.
Take a look at what Leigh came up with!
We have just announced that Screen NSW has come on board a Ceres class light freighter to help Flat Earth Games bring Objects in Space to life! We’re thrilled that Screen NSW are still investing in games, and see the value in them as a medium.
The development community here in Australia only continues to grow, in spite of the federal government axing the Screen Australia Interactive Games Fund without any industry consultation.
Courtney Gibson, CEO of Screen NSW, said:
Screen NSW was impressed by the distinctiveness of the concept and the unique approach to story and narrative design. We are delighted to be supporting a team of mostly local writers to help realise the project’s creative ambitions.
That unique approach Courtney is referring to is this:
The game’s seven writers will each be tasked with writing one short, interactive story for the player to engage in which will be playable at the beginning of the game. Rohan and Leigh Harris, the game’s lead programmer and designer respectively, will then reveal the next key plot points to them for each of the 12 star systems in the game. When the writers reconvene to write their next stories, any plot points which have affected their ongoing characters must be taken into account. In this way, we hope to see the game’s narrative unfold naturally and have the same uncontrollable nature that stories in real life hold.
The writers were chosen to represent a variety of different styles. The team includes writers from games, theatre, screen, copywriting, MUSHes and pen & paper RPG writing. We’re pleased to announce that our writers are:
- Louise Bennett
- Charlotte Bradley
- Imogen Dall
- Nikolai Goundry
- Craig Johnson
- Shay Leighton
- Daniel McMahon
The idea is that the Apollo cluster will feel very different depending on which star system you’re in. Not only will the news you read be vastly different, slanting your view on other star systems’ politics, but you’ll also be hearing different voices telling you stories within those systems.
While there are many things to do in the game, Objects in Space will not feature a ‘main quest’ line. Instead, it allows the player to focus on exploring, profiting and surviving at their leisure. The story of the Apollo cluster is one which the player can be deeply involved in, or only give a cursory glance to. There are huge advantages to knowing a lot about the game world, but for those who just want to experience the mechanics of the game, there is nothing forcing you into its narrative elements.
We at Flat Earth Games care about diversity in gaming, and in all walks of life. A lot. So we’re only too happy to get behind GX, and wholeheartedly encourage everyone to help them out by spreading the word or backing the Kickstarter! We’ve jumped on ourselves as an Indie GameDev Sponsor, so expect to see the team in the indie area, and please stop by and say hi if you’d like to have a chat!
We’ll be at the show with Objects in Space and the awesome physical hardware you may have seen around the traps. So spread the word, share the love and help us help the fantastic organisers behind GX to make the event as awesome as it can be.
We look forward to seeing you all there!
Objects in Space has once again graced the pages of Indie Game Magazine in its third and final time in the mag’s ‘Engine Room’ section, wherein they delve into the development process and chart the course of a game still being made.
I heartily encourage everyone to grab this awesome little magazine this (and every) month, and you can also check out earlier issues for more background on how Objects in Space is put together. A hearty thanks to Indie Game Magazine for including us in their coverage throughout 2015.
‘…a game that got space right.’
Yet more coverage is emerging from PAX Australia, this time in the form of a video interview with CNet Australia. Check the link to see Leigh and Jennifer Scheurle (concept artist / physical hardware builder) be interviewed by Nic Healey about the process of getting the game to work with physical gear, and the reasons why we took the submarine route for the combat.
See the video via the Objects in Space web site here and be sure to sound off on the forums!
We’ve been incredibly busy with PAX Australia for the last month or so, and it’s great to see our hard work pay off. IGN AU stopped by the booth and filmed a video interview interview between Leigh and Luke Reilly.
Check it out on the Objects in Space site!