Creating a Good Space Game

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Good space games – what are the ingredients? In this video, I’m talking about what makes a good space game brilliant. I go into depth about different space games, from No Man’s Sky to Elite Dangerous to Starfield. I also talk about how to make a great space game, from clever level design to captivating graphics.

If you’re in the market for a new space game, be sure to check out this video! I discuss the different aspects of a great space game and give you some tips on how to make your own game if you are making one. Whether you’re a fan of space games or just looking to learn more about them, this video is for you!
I spend 50 minutes talking about space games and I hope you enjoy this talky format video and learn a little something about space games!

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112 Comments

  1. No lasers, no shield systems. I want something more akin to The Expanse

  2. Something I didn't hear anyone mention was technology. Almost any space game would necessarily need to have tech more advanced than what we have today. It's fun and thought provoking thinking about how technology and humanity will develop.

  3. Star Citizen could be seen as the perfect space game to show the "unending magnitude of space" considering the actual games development is exactly that 😂

    For me what I want the most from these games especially starfield/mass effect is seamlessly entering your ship, selecting a planet, and seeing your ship move and land (like the opening of Andromeda, and a bit like how Jedi Fallen Order handled it)

  4. RE: suspended animation – Woolly Bear caterpillars spend 14 winters ice frozen in suspended animation before turning into a moth. Cryogenics/suspended animation exists in the animal kingdom and may someday exist for Humans.

  5. iirc HelloGames have stated they don't want ship custimzation because in testing they noticed people gravitating towards black spaceships with similar designs, meaning little variety

  6. "What makes a good ___" is a great premise for a series by you. This is exciting!

  7. Great discussion, looking forward for future episodes of this series!

  8. The globe, space, aliens, dinosaurs, evolution, gravity and the entire heliocentric model are all lies.

  9. The physics don't have to be perfect, but they shouldn't be faked as if underwater or with air resistance.

  10. as of now i only play NMS whenever a big update drops, its hard as a returning player to find interest and goals for the game since it lacks direction.

  11. Elite Dangerous comes to mind. It just started the Thargoid war and it's all terrifying. Great immersion is hugely important. I've also been playing Everspace 2 which is very well done. It is sadly broken up by loading screens which breaks immersion.

  12. The best type of space game has Tim Curry trying not to laugh yelling “SPACE”

  13. Love, interest, intrigue of the environment is what makes a space game good so ultimately for me it's very personal, much like why people enjoy flight simulation or sim racing… There is that "what if I could do this" or "be there" thought behind it. I play Elite Dangerous and it had it's highs and lows.. The way the universe in that game makes you feel so small and motivates you too explore is something special.

  14. speaking of space games, any chance you will be doing a review for high on life? That games strikes me as your style of humor and art style. Would love to see your take on that one!

  15. I thought the indie title Starcom: Nexus handled exploration really well and had a proper sense of scale and discovery. Great little game.

  16. What a treat! I actually watch you for the discussions. Love the podcast on Spotify for example

  17. You mean what makes a good " dead space " game?

  18. I unfortunately don't have the time available to sink into a space sim, as amazing as they are in my mind. Everspace scratched a particular itch for me though. Space arcade and the beauty to match. Sequel coming out next year!

  19. For me the ideal space game would be a mix between mass effect 2 + dead space + dark souls enemy variety

    Mass effect 2 is my favourite space game,but it lacks enemy variety to be the perfect thing

  20. space seems mandatory but that might be low hanging fruit.

  21. Varaety
    Fun stuff to do
    Interesting quests and side quests
    A fun world to explore

  22. Kerbal Space Program. Take all the elements from that game and include others from more action based games like Mass Effect.

  23. Play starsector I would really like to see your review on it.

  24. you should check out the x series more, they are pretty great space games and hit alot of the points mentioned, but most importantly gives you a canvas of opportunities
    also, there IS a spaceship horror-esque game, its one of the homeworld dlcs

  25. Mystery and atmosphere for me would do it, try out outer wilds 🫱🏽‍🫲🏻

  26. personally i dont want a 1 to 1 replication of space. i understand having space to breathe; but i would want that space to be scripted in at the correct points. large abandoned space stations or large barren fields, tundras, or deserts between towns, dungeons, and objectives. Silent upon first visit; but full of random encounters after story events happen. raiders in the wastes, scavengers or terrors from the deep on the space stations, security patrols in open space, a few attacks on towns here and there.
    not only that but start small. give the player access to an entire solar system but make it a challenge to even get a seat on a bus or cargo transport to start.

  27. Am i the only one who wants a space game to be about discovering new species and the wacky ways they'd interact/intersect with our culture, morality? I'm thinking more like star trek (tng, voyager), farscape, stargate (sg1 or atlantis)… It shows what makes humanity stand out, shows what unifies us, where we can find common ground, what horrifies us etc… A good space game should explore and try to answer core, fundamental questions. Who are we? Why do we exist? What is our place in the universe?

  28. every time I see a space game, I now compare it to Starsector. But starsector is not really about the deep mystery of space, despite having exploration, and mystery.

    empty locations. it does do that a bit. And, possibly the real issue. the loneliness of being alone in deep space. one of the other comments mentions Metroid. and thats the common theme really, that feeling of being ALONE in exploration. while starsector does have pirates, etc, largely, when you are out in deep space, theres no allies, no calling for help. No comms. But when you come back to the core worlds, your comms just pop up with all the missed messages, and traders, and patrols.

    Which then does get to your next point of the cost of trips. Running out of fuel in deep space is bad. you have to plan your trips before you leave, to ensure you have enough fuel to get back home.

  29. I totally agree with the point about NMS and not being able to customize your own ship! It's the biggest downside of the game for me! EDIT: But I do love the game otherwise. However in terms of space games I prefer games like … Space Engineers, Empyrion or X-series!

  30. My answer? One without aliens who can barely physically move from point A to point B. Basically, just do the opposite of Star Wars. Let’s make a space game for dudes who aren’t playing magic the gathering and hiding from women.

  31. To me, a good "Space" game has to be paced properly. You need to give the player time and space to drink in whatever they want to absorb. Most people will not consider Destiny (1) a space game, but one of the most unforgettable parts of that game was orbiting the earth just taking in the planet while customizing gear loadouts. And then Marty O Donnell's score kicks in… ugh. Just absolutely breathtaking.

    Moments like that are able to elevate otherwise forgettable experiences into unforgettable ones. For all it's faults, Destiny 1 and 2 do an excellent job of letting the player take things in at their own pace, be it hanging in space, or walking to and from missions.

  32. Love these videos where it's just you talking to us. No offense to your podcast buddies but you really have a great voice that's easy to listen to. 👍

  33. Difficult to answer as everyone has different things they like.
    I love Ace Combat games but I'd never play a MS flight sim as for me it's way to dull – both games are about flying air craft, but that's where the similarities end.
    We all have different ideas about what's great or 'meh' so it's impossible to create something everyone will think 'yep, that's it.'
    I love love love Elden Ring but i was 'meh' about God of War Ragnarok – both games are big, have fantasy based combat, and take part in fantasy worlds – but I liked one way more than the other. there will be people that the total opposite view.
    So it's fun to speculate but at the end of the day the best games are the ones you like personally and not games you just like coz everyone else does. Hype train sometimes go to the wrong stops….lol
    But for me – Alien Isolation/Dead Space style atmosphere and chills – throw in a bit of open environment where you're not constricted to play in only one way (Ala Ghost of Sushima 'stealth or loud' combat choices) – cool gadgets and upgrade system, but not over powered – and possibly a ship v ship battle or two and I'm happy!

  34. Step 1 for good space game:

    Release finished and don't spend the next 7 years becoming the mediocre game you should have been at launch.

  35. going to the unseen parts of the galaxy, having an adventure, building a space empire, defeating other empires, flying cool ships and blowing up cool ships or raiding the claiming ships….it's all good stuff, I don;t like survival games, I survive in life, doing the same in a game where a day passes in 20 minutes is a joke to me….
    I like the idea of Sims in space but not made by EA, they'd ruin the experience….

  36. A world that feels real. Like the expanse where the world and the factions in it make sense and aren't just flat.

  37. Just thinking about what I want is not an easy task. I've enjoyed Games like ME, Prey, Dead Space, No Man's Sky, Outer Wilds, Star Fox and Destiny and all offer something unique. You can make anything you want in Space and it could be great!

  38. I don't like to spend too much time in a single game, but when I want to play something with space in mind I go to dead space 2 or 3, or star wars squadrons.

  39. Great concept for a podcast series! This one was great. I've been playing Eve Online off and on for a little over 15 years now – it definitely captures the "space game" vibe that I'm looking for, especially when I'm doing things like wormhole diving. It helps that Eve has always been a gorgeous game.

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