Published on October 23rd, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Start Spacing Out: Hands-on with Edge of Space
Developer: HandyMan Studios
Release Date: TBA
About a week ago Felix Baumgartner, courtesy of energy drink company Red Bull, literally stood on the edge of space.
Alex’s goal was to stare down from the Red Bull Stratos station, and take one hell of a leap of faith zipping at speeds that would make the sound barrier blush. Many of us are simply satisfied being literally grounded on the very soil that he was speeding towards, others might have a different vision what it means to be grounded.
We recently spent some time with Jake Crane, CEO of HandyMan Studios, and eccentric developer behind Edge of Space. The Kickstarter birthed project has been only about 6 to 8 months in development, but it has already gained a strong community and its promises of space travel.
So, what exactly is Edge of Space? The game brings together many aspects from other gaming genres. For the 2D platformer in you, the screen allows players to hop, skip and jump around the map like there is no tomorrow. And, if the world does end at the dusk of 2012, this might be your only shot at space exploration. That is if you don’t outbid NASA for $50 million+ for a free ticket into the atmosphere.
For those looking to try their hand at crafting and building, the game offers just that. One of the unique aspects of the game is that you can build your way out of–or into–just about anything. Much like the gaming build that was played at the event, you can even start by terraforming around a buddy as I did when playing with Jake. He and I leapt from different areas of the map, mined down below various structures, and then jet packed off into the abyss that is space.
Just like other crafting titles out there, the adventures one can have are almost limitless. The abilities to craft places the development tool in your hands and allows you to literally create your own reality. Whether it is a swarm of jellyfish type creatures that you come in contact with, or it is the buddy system in which you plan to mine the planet for hours on end—the adventure is what you make it.
This underlying feeling of “you make the level design and decide how you want to play” versus “the terrain determines how you play” is what Jake referenced often through our Skype-and-play session. As we jetpacked through swarms of enemies and dug, we simply had fun just joking and mining.
It is understandable that not everyone will be ready to just simply go out and explore in these types of games. There are plenty of other events to satisfy the needs of those feeling adventurous.
Aside from the general exploration of the game there are Global and Local events that will take place. Other levels of space can be explored, enemies will appear, and there is no doubt that your group of friends will be on the verge of a terraforming spree. Each terrain delivers different tools that must be used and the customizable suits also determine where you can go based on these, but are not too strict on the damming your efforts.
The weapons of the game are unique even in their early stages. Simple tools can dig, or place lights on dark sectors of the map. These can be removed with other tools which are all mapped to the number keys. Even though weapon usage primarily involves saving one’s own arsenal, there are many that can be coupled with another person’s.
For example, the missile launcher can be used with to other weapons to paint targets and track them. So, if you and a friend are one hell of a team, you might just be unmatched with your target painting and firing skills.
Many would agree that space is too vast to explore without some sort of vehicle. The game is still in its early stages, but Jake was able to drop a vehicle in to the map. Don’t get your hopes up, after the vehicle was spawned in the map, the heavy control scheme and sheer ugliness of the ship won’t encourage relying on the ship solely to explore. Which, yet again, was something intended by the game’s developers.
A 2D side-scrolling space exploration crafting game might sound like a fable of some sort, but to the team at HandyMan Studios—its reality.
The game is still early in development and looks to bring crafting and space exploration into the 30th century and beyond. The multiplayer will house various global and local events, bringing together the possibility of up to 200 people on a single screen. Well, depending on your connection and what the final product will be able to sustain. There were plenty of possibilities explored during the conversation that made it sound like they weren’t too far off from making these things possible.
Crafting has reach the depths of space, and you, the player, are the builder redefine that edge.
HUGE thanks to Jake C. for lending his ears and droppin’ some knowledge on the Gt crew. He was super fun to chat with and him alone made the game a fun experience.
Make sure to visit the Edge of Space Official Site for future announcements. Pre-Ordering has also started and will show off some BETA action.