Blackspace is an in-development Oculus Rift game by developer Pixel Foundry that ran an unfortunately unsuccessful Kickstarter back in September 2012, long before the Oculus Rift was in the hands of developers. Fresh activity on the game’s developer blog shows initial Oculus Rift support in Blackspace — will this great looking game make a comeback?

After raising only 34% of their $350,000 Kickstarter goal back in September, Blackspace developer Pixel Foundry went dark with this hopeful message on their official website:

We will continue working hard on the game! But, the release date will be pushed back a bit. We are hoping to release an early prototype as quick as we can to help fund the project. Hopefully that get the ball rolling and will give us the means to complete the game faster and with more features.

Now Pixel Foundry is finally breaking radio silence with a new post on their development blog talking about Blackspace Oculus Rift support; a new video shows early implementation:

Given that Blackspace uses a 3rd-person point-of-view, the head tracking aspect required an approach that is slightly different than how 1st-person games work with the Rift. The input to swivel the camera around the avatar is still handled by the regular 3rd-person camera rotation input (mouse or right stick on a gamepad), whereas the head tracking simply allows the camera to look around without changing its position relative to the avatar. This approach emulates a very natural game interface for players that are already familiar with standard 3rd-person game control mechanics

More at the dev blog.

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What is Blackspace?

Back when I covered Blackspace in September of last year, I called it a “hybrid-RTS”.

Blackspace has players piloting a versatile craft on unique asteroids which can be mined for useful materials. The player will use these minerals to build up their base and defenses to withstand attach from invaders.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for space games, but I think they’ve nailed the game’s atmosphere. Stark shadows cast against the pale asteroid surface really do a great job of emulating photos I’ve seen of the moon and other barren celestial bodies. I’m definitely excited to give this game a whirl on the Oculus Rift.

The original Kickstarter video gives a good idea of what the game could be:

Personally, I think the concept is awesome and the game looks to have much promise. I’m happy to see this glimpse of hope that Blackspace will rise from the dead. Now that a decent chunk of developers have their Oculus Rift developer kits, I’ve got a feeling that another Blackspace Kickstarter would have a hard time failing.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."