My first PAX event was a wonderful experience. I met so many great people and played a lot of fun and interesting games. The event was full of smaller developers trying to make a name for themselves. One team in particular that grabbed my eye was a small six man team that call themselves PolyKnight Games, a studio comprised of six younger gentlemen fresh out of college, trying to break into the industry. I had the privilege of demoing their game and gaining a lot of insight on what the game is. So let’s take a dive into what InnerSpace is all about.
In InnerSpace you act as the cartographer that can fly through the open air or along the ocean floor mapping the environment around you. You are looking for clues, or relics that explain the world around you. And this world is not like the world we live in. This world is an interconnected group of inverted spheres and everything is inside out. Gravity pulls outward and what you are left with is a world of floating mountains and towers. So you explore these mountains in search of relics that will give you bits of information about how this world came to be. Each relic can be retrieved then inspected forwards and backwards for more hints. As you piece this information together you will then understand the space of which you are exploring.
Each time you collect a relic for information you can take it to the archeologist who can give you more insight about each relic and give you upgrades for your ship. You are also not alone while you explore and look for these relics. Each world has a demigod which you must face to complete each world. The environment of InnerSpace is not just a void bubble, but it is teaming with discovery and exploration.
The game itself looks and feels great. The art style sets a very relaxed mood and the look of the game is smooth with colors that mesh well. and the music does a fantastic job at complementing your setting and mood. The guys over at PolyKnight Games have done a great job creating an immersive world that you can get lost in. The controls are very simple to pick up and controlling the plane was effortless. After just a few minutes of playing I realized that I could get lost in this game. It was such a nice relaxing feeling just exploring and looking for secret caves, and searching for the relics.
One cool thing I learned was that the wings of the planes are swords. This was interesting too because now once you fly into a wall you don’t take damage, you deal it. So many times in flying games I would crash then have to restart. Here you just attack the wall and keep on going. Pretty sweet.
During our demo with the team we did get to see one of the other worlds that you get to explore while playing. This world was not available to the public at the event so getting to see it behind closed doors. I do not want to divulge too much about it but I will say that it is does differ quite a bit. One of the coolest things that I noticed is that the sounds are different when changing worlds. Each sphere has its own unique atmosphere that makes you feel as if you are experiencing something different each time and creates a different mood when entering one of these interconnected worlds.
After speaking with some of the team about the game it is interesting where some of their inspirations came from. Tyler Tomaseski, one of the engineers for the game, told me that one of his inspirations for the game was the Dark Soul series in respects to the lore of the game, which I thought was interesting given the games are vastly different, however I can see why that would motivate them to mold it in that fashion. Other inspirations from the team include Journey and Crimson Skies.
I am excited for this game for a couple of reasons: the first being that such a small and new studio is creating something big and exciting. They are reaching for the stars, and I think InnerSpace can get them there. Secondly, the game, to me, is a close resemblance to Journey. Journey is one of my all-time favorite games. Its simplicity yet deeper meaning and storytelling make it an experience I will never forget. I am hopeful that InnerSpace will be this as well, and I am excited to see the finished product.
Jon Moore is the General Manager at The Game Bolt, and loves a good Oreo cookie. For more useless knowledge and nerdy shenanigans follow him on Twitter.