Why it’s plane sailing for PolyKnight’s gravity-defying debut
PolyKnight Games wants players of its debut com commercial release to “disregard the notion of down”. InnerSpace invites you to pilot a craft through a series of interconnected inverted spheres: large planetary ‘bubbles’ whose dimensional idiosyncrasies bear inspirations as wideranging as 19th-century satirical novel Flatland: A Romance Of Many Dimensions and mecha anime Gurren Lagann.
There’s another influence that springs to mind, of course, and it’s a little closer to home. “One of my favourite games – not even for the experience, just entirely for the idea – is Super Mario Galaxy,” creative director Tyler Tomaseski tells us. “I really adored the physics of that and spent a lot of time prototyping my own take on it.” An experiment based on this initial idea was the seed from which InnerSpace first sprouted.
EAD Tokyo’s finest hour isn’t, however, mentioned in the game’s Kickstarter pitch, which secured this fledgling studio $25,000 in funding. Much of the total has been spent on server and software costs, and Tomaseski is already prepared to delay the game past its planned October release date if it means meeting their ambitious targets. “If we need to keep working day jobs and paying for this ourselves, [we will],” he adds.
The success of its crowdfunding campaign was by no means assured, even with the meticulous preparation and research invested by producer and project manager Eric Brodie. InnerSpace is a tricky game to pin down: the Kickstarter document likens it to Proteus, Shadow Of The Colossus and Crimson Skies, three games which ostensibly have little in common. Tomaseski was initially resistant to boiling the game down to a list of
PolyKnight is considering displaying a weather vane in a gyroscope to re-orientate players, though in testing, the studio has found players tend to adapt within 20–30 minutes.
Parts of the scenery are destructible, and the studio suggests you’ll have to dig deep to find some of the relics. Others will require plane upgrades to locate – Tomaseski happily acknowledges the Metroidvania influence