Co-op VR Space Delivery Game ‘Failspace’ Starts Registration for Closed Alpha

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Hipfire Games, a Helsinki-based studio made up of ex-Supercell and Rovio developers, announced late last year that their space-based delivery game Failspace was in the making for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows VR headsets. Now the studio is accepting registration for the game’s closed alpha, which is due to start on December 3rd.

The cross-platform co-op game is set aboard a sleep-looking, but  ultimately breakage-prone cargo vessel—a far cry from Star Trek: Bridge Crew’s pristine Federation ship.

The game promises to let you travel to deep space destinations, all the while threatened with the task of cooperatively repairing the ship as you hit the inevitable ion storm or solar flare that can wreak havoc on the ship’s systems.

Image courtesy Hipfire Games

The game is said to take place in the Small Dog galaxy, made up of just a few dozen stars. Each solar system is owned by one of four political factions which produce different kinds of goods and have different material needs, so you’ll need to travel along the well-marked trade routes; it isn’t an open-world space sim, but rather more focused on quickly resolving the issues that arise with quick cooperation and communication with your team. Hipfire says playsessions tend to take around 10 minutes.

Image courtesy Hipfire Games

When you’re not repairing the ship, your cargo will also require constant hands-on maintenance and care, be it expensive and fragile art that has to be transported gingerly, containers filled with rare animals that need oxygen, or donuts for a police force.

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Registration to join the alpha is now open via the Hipfire website. Supported headsets include Vive, Rift, and Windows VR headsets, although the studio says more are coming soon.

Image courtesy Hipfire Games

“The alpha will focus on making sure the VR aspect of the game will provide a high quality VR multiplayer experience,” Hipfire says in a press statement. “The BIG plan for the future is to enable players with different types of devices to join game sessions of players using high-end VR devices. Hipfire are building the technology that […] will enable online cross-platform between VR and mobile, allowing people with mobile phones to play with their friends online from anywhere in the world, and turning VR from a solitary activity into a social one.”

Failspace is slated to launch in Q2 of 2019 on PC VR headsets, and subsequently add support for desktop users in Q3, then mobile VR headsets sometime in Q4 of 2019.

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  • FishBaguette

    This game looks good! Can’t wait to see their take on the co-op gameplay.

  • victor

    Why why why are so many VR games only showing floating hands? where’s the arm/body? Speak about immersion breaking!

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Because it’s very difficult to attach the arms like they are your own.

      • victor

        Oh come on. Surely by the hand relative position away from the body they can estimate the natural typical arm extension. There’s no need to fully track the elbow or whatever part of the arm. We are not talking about showing/tracking yoga/contortionist movements here.

        • FishBaguette

          My guess is money. Small game companies don’t usually have enough money to make the game and simulate the arms fully at the same time. So they choose to just make the game :)

          • G-man

            theres free plugings for engines like unity that developers can use to implement these things. most of them just dont want to waste time tryng to do what is impossible to do effectively.

            floating hands is better than arms that will never line up properly.
            if anything developers need to work on making the floating hands have natural random ovements so they arent just completely static pixel boxes

          • FishBaguette

            Exactly my point. Even if the pluggins are free, they will still need to spend a lot of time on making the “feel” right, if that’s even possible. And time is pretty much money. So there you go! :)

        • David Wallin

          Think about all the different ways your elbow could possibly face with still having your hand point the same direction. Also consider that your torso could be in any position because we don’t know where your body is exactly either. Having a virtual body that doesn’t match your own is also immersion breaking, which is why most games opt to not do it.

          Hopefully in the future we will have cameras as part of VR rigs that can give a rough estimate of your body pose, not just your hands.

    • Trevor Murphy

      Because the arms aren’t tracked. The sensor has no way of knowing where your elbow is.

    • Kilgore Trout

      It looks weird on a screen, but in VR your brain tends to fill in the gaps, since you know where your arms are. Oculus (or maybe Valve, I forget) did some early focus testing where two groups played the same game with and without arm models, and not only did the “no arms” group rate the game higher, most of them remembered seeing their arms in game. Brains are funny things.

    • G-man

      you wnt immersion breaking play a vr game with fake arms and creep yourself out constantly when theres an arms right next to you that you brain knows isnt yours.
      floating hands are fine. they work well for oculus touch, and its even better if they get rid of them all together until we have knuckles controllers for steamvr.

      • victor

        I disagree with creeping yourself out. In elite dangerous I can see not just my arms but the whole body. Maybe its just my brain but I love it.

        • G-man

          the game knows you arent moving around. and your arms are out in front of you most of the time. try that with a roomscale game where you have to move around, crouch, nkneel, lean, turn your head one way, your body another and reach in different directions with your arms.
          a game where they know you are sat down is completely different.

  • psuedonymous

    It’s the LHS Bikeshed in VR!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjpQexdcybs