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Space Nomads

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By Fr33Lanc3r.00725-06-2013
Bis18marck70 (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)
Space Nomads

The Defence

Developer:
Loading Studios
Publisher:
Loading Studios
Genre:
Strategy, Shooter
Release Date:
TBA

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Dual Core 2.66 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce 6600
AMD equivalent
RAM:
4 GB
HDD:
175 MB
DirectX:
9.0c

Space Nomads is a phrase that conjures a wide variety of images in my mind – mostly sci-fi epics set to the tune of ‘Journey of the Sorcerer’ – and now there’s a game that it brings to mind. Coming from Indie start-up Loading Studios, Space Nomads can best be described as a Minecraft/FPS/Strategy/TD Hybrid, taking some gameplay elements from all of them to create something that feels unique. It’s currently pre-alpha, but Loading Studios generously let us have a test run before the release of the public alpha and their Indiegogo campaign.

The game starts with a small audio clip that plays over the developer logo, simply stating that the ship is going down. Once you begin the game proper, you find yourself (and friends, if you start a multiplayer game – more on that later), stranded with only a replicator/power source/beacon, a pistol, and a scanner/gatherer device. You make your way through the procedurally generated landscape, gathering as many resources as you can with the ultimate goal of putting together a large enough wall, with enough turrets mounted on it, to be able to fend of the waves of aliens that inevitably come every night.

Seeing enemies explode into lots of tiny bits brings a joy to my heart.

Seeing enemies explode into lots of tiny bits brings a joy to my heart.

Building works in an interesting fashion. There are a number of blocks that can be placed by spending resources - with a different selection of blocks for each of the three resources, all available from the word go (as long as you’ve got the resources for them), and all providing (at this stage) the same amount of protection from hostile attacks - which you place Minecraft style, with the only major addition being the ability to orientate your building blocks to your personal aesthetic taste. Turrets and additional power sources are spawned from your replicator, with each generator being able to support up to five turrets within its range of influence, and each turret existing on a specific point on the ‘really cheap to really useful continuum - obviously with gatling lasers being the most useful, but by far the hardest to craft. Resources can also be used to craft better weapons (currently only an SMG, but more are on the way), or traded in for different resources if you’ve got a surplus of one, but need another for better turrets or different aesthetic stylings.

The enemy range is fairly limited, having only three enemy types at the moment - basic ground attackers, air units that specialise in rapidly destroying turrets, and fast critters that block your power supplies. But the balance of these enemies is refreshing, making sure that you keep a close watch on everything that’s going on so you can prevent unnecessary destruction of your towers, or the cutting off of your power supplies while basic attackers are ravaging your walls.

The game ends on two conditions, you get hit by an enemy twice, or your replicator/power source/beacon is destroyed - both of which are hard to avoid initially (or if you get a really crappy spawn location), but as you get better at the game, it becomes easier to fight your way through larger and larger waves as you extend your base out.

Prepare yourself for the long nights ahead.

Prepare yourself for the long nights ahead.

Space Nomads is currently pre-alpha (on the verge of a public alpha), and it shows. While the environments are pleasant to look at, there are some clipping issues and graphical glitches (entire mountain ranges have disappeared on me), and the design of most of the moving objects looks basic at this point in time. There are a couple of other bugs, and multiplayer at this point is an exercise in frustration if you don’t know what’s going on, but that’s what the crowdsourced QA testing scheme is all about, isn’t it?

All up: at the moment, Space Nomads seems pretty threadbare, and there is definitely some QA testing and optimisation work the need to be done, but all up it’s already an enjoyable game, and it looks like it’s got a good future ahead of it. So, if anything I’ve said has managed to grab your attention, make sure you give the game a go yourself, or give some money to Loading Studio’s Indiegogo fundraiser.

Comments (6)
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Posts: 3290

@Jenssen: XiDiO has been quiet lately, so I'm picking up the slack

@Stunt: Yeah, yeah it really does. With a very striking visual style

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Posts: 1548

Actually it looks exactly like Minecraft and Starship Troopers. Seeing as I liked Starship Troopers I'm quite interested :P

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Posts: 1317

Waaat? O.o

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Posts: 3290

Naw dude, you're just a hater. It looks nothing like Minecraft

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Posts: 1317

Ah, this is that game we wrote about earlier. Minecraft meets Starship Troopers!

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Posts: 3290

Well it's...very pastel