*cracks open vanilla coke*
*hits play on FTL soundtrack*
Ahh, let’s do this.
As some of you know, I use this space as a creative outlet when I need to express my thoughts in an uninterrupted place. Most of it rambles as much as I do when I’m speaking in person, but sometimes you just have to let stuff out! So this time, I’m going to be discussing space games, spaceships, and why they fascinate so many of us.
There’s something about space fantasies that’s just so enthralling. It’s one of the most popular nerd genres that exists, and an impressive medium for storytelling. I believe that the limitlessness of opportunity, as well as a seemingly endless source of adventure and discovery is what draws us to space games. It’s quite literally a blank space of storytelling, and over the years there have been hundreds of interpretations about what’s out there. Star Wars, Starcraft, and everything in between provides us with a vast richness of content to be drooled over.
But there’s something specific that has caught my eye recently, something I haven’t really thought much of until now- the cockpit.
Let your mind drift off for a moment, and imagine with me.
You’re by yourself, strapped in to a comfy chair in a cone of windows. Quiet beeps and boops emit out of the center console, and the muted bass of the engines fill the lower range of your ears. Even though it must be your 70th flight between Earth and ER-21, you still spend much of the autopilot time careening your head all around the cockpit, taking in every breath of the stars whooshing by like fireworks. It’s never the same.
You feel the frontal G-forces of your craft slowing down. The windows are made opaque by blue lightmasses pressing against them, and suddenly the planet pops in front of you faster than the blink of an eye. As you prepare orbiting procedures, you can’t help but look back upon your time building your ship. For years you worked odd jobs for mining corporations, security tech, public markets and the like. Piece by piece, year by year you purchased all the parts through your own hard earned credits. You had every part memorized. The chassis, the paint job, the chair, the storage unit, the weapons. This little sparrow is your pride and joy.
As the re-entry fire engulfs the windows, you’re excited about the alien marketplace that is your destination. Everyone from across the system comes to sell their wares- and today was payday. Maybe today is the day you replace that ratty old blaster… or find a new coffee machine for the long flights.
This is the scenario that’s chased my thoughts for the past few days! I hope that someday, I can be involved in creating such a space game. I also hope that I can be involved with VR soon. I think a game where you sit down in the cockpit of your craft, and have all the controls necessary to take off, pilot, shoot, explore, and land would be fascinating. Love it or love to hate it, No Man’s Sky had some awesomely meditative space flight.
Cockpits, light speed star drives, weapon systems, communication, colonies, alien life, trading, mining, storage… mmm. It’s broad, I know. But that doesn’t make it any less enticing. In fact, I think that’s why it’s so enticing.
I’ve heard often that people like to play their characters as the internal representations of who they want to be, or roles they want to fulfill but never can. Per example, I’ve never been the most physically fit, and have always lived life following the rules and being extremely extroverted. That’s why in fantasy situations, I almost always choose to fly solo- carving out my own path under cloak and dagger.
In space, there is opportunity for everyone. Limitless possibilities exist, so in turn anyone can find their place in the stars.