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

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