Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Watchlist: Gamma Void

Title: Gamma Void
Developer: Anisoptera Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Open alpha in February, full release sometime in 2014
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Gamma Void is an action oriented space ship building and exploration game. You play as a robotic probe from a long extinct civilization, mysteriously reactivated after eons of disuse. The artifacts and memories of your civilization have been scattered and the ruins colonized. Your objective is to recover what you can and reinvent the rest. Pilot and redesign your ship, explore a dynamic ecosystem, and fight enemies. The game is set in an open, continuous, procedurally generated, and persistent world full many different types of living, growing, mostly hostile space robots. Everything in the world is made of destructible, physically interacting modular blocks.
Gamma Void caught my eye while I was perusing the latest Screenshot Saturday, and each new screenshot and piece of info only piqued my interest more. What luck, then, that the developer was taking part in the r/gamedev's first Monthly Showcase and I was able to get some great in-depth details about the game and its mechanics.
Set in a procedurally generated world of asteroids, stations, hostile plant life, various ship factions, and more, you control a lone robotic drone on a journey across this vast and dangerous place, out to find the ruins and remains of the long lost civilization that created you. It's an emergent landscape, where you could stumble upon an massive battle between two factions or watch the hostile plant life take over a station, where frontlines between faction shift over time or defeated enemies flee and return later with reinforcements. Luckily, your drone is far from defenseless; a ship building mechanic allows you to craft as simple or complex a vessel you want, from fast maneuverable and armed with railguns or a hulking ship wielding torpedoes and cannons.
Physics and destruction play a key role in travel and combat, with recoil and thrust affecting your movement, and every object consisting of modular parts that can be blown apart. A skilled player could swoop in and destroy the supporting holding a large ship together or destroy its thrusters and blow it away as it spins out of control. Your drone is equally vulnerable, but Gamma Void reveals one of its most visually stylish mechanics when your ship is damaged: regrowth. Escape from combat, hide behind an asteroid, and your drone will regenerate over time, allowing you to re-enter the fray.
Gamma Void already impressed me with its modular angular art style and its promised mix of exploration, combat, construction, and emergent AI sounds very exciting. An open alpha will be releasing very soon and you learn more about the game on the developer's site and Twitter.

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