Preview: Hands-on Edge of Space with lead designer Jacob Crane
So here in GameZone land, we’ve had an interview with Edge of Space lead designer Jacob and previewed the game at PAX East, but I’ve never gotten down and dirty with the 2D sandbox title. What better way to remedy this laissez faire approach than to get some sweet, sweet hands on time with Mr. Crane and some other outlets.
The second you connect to a server you are just completely overwhelmed and completely immersed into the randomly generated world. This experience can only be compared to the first time I played Minecraft. The world just builds around you, you’re not quite certain what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re not sure how to do that thing you don’t know you should be doing, but you're damn certain you want to be doing it – that’s Edge of Space.
With guidance and the tutorial on the left of the screen, everything become very clear, very fast. First off you need a makeshift home to keep creatures that look like the blue viruses from Dr. Mario from murdering your face off. The next logical step is to arm yourself; throw some dirt and stone together and you have the most basic riffle in the game – but it does the job. This leads to exploration and trying to find aluminum to make some armor. You see, the further down you go the more exposure there is that will kill you. Better armor means the further down you can go. As expected, better loot comes with high risk exploration.
The controls are simple to adapt to. You start out of the pod with a jetpack and that opens several doors to exploration. The mining laser is easy to work; left click mines blocks and right click mines background terrain. Through mouse positioning you control both mining and rifle aim. Crafting is straight forward and even simplified. Patterns are categorized and tell you exactly what you need. “Raw material” is often a component that can be filled with any raw material and nothing specific. Crafting covers mining, to weapon, to armor, everything you need for a house. During gameplay you can stumble upon new patterns.
During my hands on time, I collected enough aluminum to make an armor piece to explore even further down. Already down there were tough enemies that didn’t like me being down there. I was even able to find a new pattern and construct the weapon from it. Weapons made will always sport a different look and property to them, to keep mad variety in the game. I never got to any of the base building but I looked through the menus to see what’s available, really good stuff.
If Edge of Space touches you in the right places, you should do two things this very second. The first thing is to vote for the game on Steam’s Greenlight. The second thing, if you want to start playing now that is, is to buy the game for $10 via Desura. Oh, and if you buy the game – you can play the current version of the game. So get on it.