Don’t let any cursory glance fool you, Rodina looks like it could be the next indie knockout. Rodina is a space-based FPS RPG game created by Elliptic Games, founded and headed by Brendan Anthony. A developer behind the likes of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3, Anthony is using the inspiration of those games and Deus Ex, Freespace and Elder Scrolls games to create his new indie game and it looks promising.
Firstly, the game has no artificial restrictions. You can go anywhere and do anything, quite literally. In the techdemo, Anthony guides us from the top of a mountain always the way down to a spaceship. Unlike most games where we would press E to enter or immediately start flying the ship, Anthony instead walks right on in. And explores it. This isn’t some simple one room vessel, it’s a massive ship that could house multiple people and an anxious polar bear comfortably.
It gets better. Ships can be totally customizable down to the layout and even the wallpaper. It seems a bit like Kingdom Hearts’ ship building right now but for more than just whatever weapons can be slapped on via pixie dust.
From there, Anthony walks to the control panel and immediately begins flying the ship not just into the skies but straight into outer space. From here, he shows us that the ground he took off from is an actual planet, built from scratch and procedurally generated by the engine. It’s all randomly made on the fly. The planet has a radius of 6 million meters which puts it at about the same size as Earth. And, just to prove that the engine can do it, he drops straight out of his ship and falls 1000 kilometres down to the ground, the planet being rendered in greater and greater detail until he lands on his feet.
This isn’t the only planet promised to be in the game. Instead, there will be multiple planets with different biomes and environments and all fully explorable.
True to its FPS RPG philosophy, Rodina will also feature character builds. Anthony talks specifically about the hacking ability which would allow players to sabotage or buff ships by way of inputting actual Lua commands. Not much more by way of classes were mentioned but we’d love to hear about what else Anthony has planned.
Getting past the impressive tech behind the game, Anthony has said that he hopes for a preliminary 2012 release in which he will release what is essentially an in-progress alpha of the game for people to purchase, much like Mojang’s Minecraft. There will also be a demo because, in Anthony’s own words “Every game should have a demo. Demos are great.” As more support is gained for Rodina, Anthony hopes to expand the project to meet his vision and more so that he can add many new elements including a potential multiplayer component where a ship can be controlled by multiple people at once.
Of course, comparisons to Notch’s upcoming 0x10c could not be avoided but Anthony does his best to explain, and that he does. He delivers a lengthy explanation in the FAQ for Rodina about how the games were conceived independently of each other and in no way overlapped in the planning stages.
Check out the impressive techdemo here. It’s five minutes definitely not wasted.