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objects in space pax west

With all the space video game available today, it is easy to take for granted what life would be like in space. Most games see it as an elegant and beautiful experience, with wonderful visuals to behold. In reality, space is the scariest, most dangerous environment imaginable. A cold, ruthless vacuum where absolutely no life can possibly exist. There is no atmosphere or environment in space, suitable for the survival of any living creature.

Without skills, training, or proper tools, space is a death sentence for any life-form. A moment in sunlight would make your blood boil while a moment in the shade will freeze you solid. Exposure to radiation, lack of oxygen, and flying asteroids are all part of the hazards of space. These hazards are further compounded by the fact that space travelers have to manage their own spacecraft, in addition to surviving. This is the world of Objects in Space, a space simulator that doesn’t coddle or hold your hand. In this game, you are your own Captain. The choices you make will have you live or die.  From navigation to combat, and even repairs, Objects in Space puts you in the excitingly realistic scenario of interstellar space exploration.

I sat down with members of the Objects in Space development team, Flat-Earth Games, coming from the lands of Australia. I was guided to their booth, which was one of the most unique booths at the show. The team crafted their very own control station to play the game. This table-wide control center featured gauges and buttons, all designed to interface with the nature of the game. The control console required players to maneuver their ship, properly use good thruster control, and even manually target their enemies. Combat, in particular, was exciting, as players have to spin up their torpedoes in order to launch them against their chosen target.

I was given the key to start the ship, hearing the ships computer turn over, similar to an everyday vehicle. From there, I was shown the controls to maneuver and propel my starship through the black oceans of space. As I was shown this, the ships various displays were explained to me. As the captain of your own ship, there is no one else but you as the sole crew member, it is up to you to maintain power, use navigation, secure engine power, and establish your own security, all without any kind of assistance.

Of course, the Flat-Earth Games team showed this to me, so I wasn’t entirely in the dark. However, their tips would only be a small reprieve in this most daunting mission. I pushed the throttle button and began my approach to a nearby nebula. The radar screen showed my ship, as well as my cone of vision for potential targeting. I was warned that my blind spot, the rear of the ship, is an exploit that could be deadly.

As I made my way to the nebulae, for camouflage, an enemy pirate ship detected me. Unfortunately, I was within radar contact and weapons range. This is where the combat segments began.

Shortly after detection, another contact was confirmed bearing down on me. Its speed indicated a projectile, determined to destroy my ship. Immediately, I spun up torpedoes number 1, manually selected my target, and waited for confirmation to fire. With the flick of a switch, torpedo number 1 fired and was tracking towards the target. In this frantic moment, I spun up torpedo number 2, selected the projectile, and fired. It was a waiting game, watching these blips on a radar screen, moving closer to each other, all in an effort to survive.

I watched as the enemy torpedo closed in on my intercepting torpedoes. The two dots met, and to my despair, missed the torpedo. The game developer sitting next to me was actually nervous as to what would happen next. In a last-ditch effort, I throttle my way into a different direction, hoping to dodge the torpedo.

In a quick reprieve, my radar indicated the pirate vessel was terminated. Regrettably, just as I thought the enemy torpedo would dodge me, a massive explosion and screen shake shattered the tension. The game developer and myself lept out of our seats in surprise.

After the combat engagement concluded, my damage report assessment was in. My engine and power supply were crippled by the explosion of an EMP torpedo. I manually went into the system’s bay and managed to repair the engines. By manually removing panels and replacing components, I was successful in repairing my ship. I kind of felt like a grizzled veteran, a badass for having survived a dangerous encounter.

Alas, my confidence was not high enough to escape the inevitable. The battery supply was damaged and my ship ran out of energy, leaving me to drift alone as an Object in Space. With that, the demo concluded.

My time with Objects In Space was incredible! As a ship simulator, there is a different level of intensity and challenge, as well as a tremendous feeling of success. As I had previously mentioned in my pre-pax article, Objects In Space was likened to the submarine simulator, Silent Hunter. The decisions, strategic actions, and in-depth management of ship systems gave a sense of realism while maintaining an accessible level of play.

Shortly after the demo, I had the opportunity to talk to the team. Flat Earth Games has sought to make a different, compelling and engaging game, working on making something unique, challenging, but open to all. I even talked to one of the leads on the game. He had mentioned that real-life submariners had the opportunity to play the game. They themselves had a thrilling time with Objects In Space.

Look for Objects In Space to arrive on Steam within the next few months!

#PaX #PAXWest2016 #ObjectsInSpace #IndieGame #FlatEarthGames #PAXWest #IndieDev

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Founded in 2015, Stack Up (TAX ID: 47-5424265) brings both veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming through our primary programs: The Stacks, Supply Crates, Air Assaults, and the Stack Up Overwatch Program [StOP].

Stack Up helps US and Allied military service members get through deployments to combat zones and recover from traumatic physical and emotional injuries with the power of video gaming.