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InnerSpace - 3D Flying Exploration *Update: PAX South Prep*

A topic by ZappForThat created Dec 01, 2015 Views: 3,209 Replies: 27
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**Updates are added to the bottom. Keep Scrolling**

Hey All, I'm Steve Z, one of the 3D artists working on InnerSpace:


InnerSpace is an exploration flying game being developed for PC, Mac, and Linux. Set in a world where physics are inverted, explore a setting of interconnected, inverted spheres. Each is an interior world of once-inhabited islands surrounded by water, where gravity pulls outwards, away from the center. Piloting an agile craft, take the role of an unnamed cartographer to explore the various bubble-worlds, collect relics, and encounter each bubble's unique patron deity- all in order to discover more about the universe, its history, and its future.

What it Looks Like

InnerSpace_01 InnerSpace_02

The player collects Relics like these, which are used to deliver the narrative and provide cultural insight :


Also the plane is a submarine and we have giant boss creatures:


And your wings are swords. Use them as tools of offense, interaction, and further exploration:

What it Sounds Like

Development Status

We're currently working on finishing up our second demo by the end of the year, as well as preparing for our next appearance at PAX South.


Feel free to reach out to me, or any of the other PolyKnight developers, over twitter or here. We try to be pretty active and love hearing from devs & fans.

Update 12/03/2015

The last two weeks of development have been crazy, not only because of the end of the year, but also I'm graduating from Uni soon. Needless to say I, and the rest of the team, have been busy. We also had to announce ( Kickstarter update) that we would would be delaying the project a bit. We'll be releasing in May 2016. Here's what I've been up to:

Made a glass shader with distortion effects. We're using these to allow the player to look into or out of the towers. Also some may or may not be breakable ;)

A prism shader I made for our Ice world. There are a few cool things that are happening with it, but I think I'm most proud of the "fake" geo-based lightshafts. They sample the dominant light vector so, no matter the light direction, the lightshafts are always casting in the correct direction. The glass shader was built from this.

Finally, Here's a brush that I threw together last night. It duplicates geo along a spline and is super useful for making: snakes, trees, roots, tunnels, ropes, etc. It'll speed up my workflow quite a bit and we've got a few plans for it already in the works ^_^

Update 12/24/2015: Quick Gamefeel Video

A quick post showing progress on the 'gamefeel' and one of our primary mechanics: Stalling.

Think of it like drifting a car, but in the air. Stalling lets players make super sharp turns and helps navigation in tight spaces. The player is able to move in one direction while aiming the plane in another. As the plane stalls out it also charges a boost which, upon button release, launches the player in the direction they're looking. I'm not a video editor; you've been warned:

Update 1/3/2016: Breaking Stuff!

Happy 2016, I hope this year is a productive one for everyone. The PolyKnight crew and I have seen a lot of progress on the player-driven interactions. To be honest, one of my biggest fears is that players won't enjoy the gameplay as much as the visuals or the idea. With that in mind it feels particularly nice to make as much progress on that front as we have. It's really starting to feel like a game

Development Updates:

Here's a recent addition (as in I just finished it and couldn't wait to share). It's an example of a more intricate interaction than I've shown previously.

Along the same lines as above, here is some destructible glass:

I've also begun work on blocking out this statue:

Very VERY WIP, but I'm looking forward to logging my development of it here. The concept art was done by the excellent Eric G. He's our concept artist, level designer, and general idea guy; you should definitely give him a follow if you haven't.

Update 1/22/2016: PAX South Demo prep

I've been in crunch mode for about a month now, jamming on getting the PAX South demo ready to go. Lots of progress, lots of good things, lots of work. Here's some stuff:

Finished this guy:

Made a world-space oscillating shader. Allows for smooth movement in the more organic models without adding actual animations. It's great for simple cloth or adding "rolling wind" to trees across a landscape. This coral uses it for movement and bloom:

Relic collection is pretty essential to the experience. Each relic has a form of interaction and helps players learn more of the lore. Here's a mostly finished one. (I want to save the interaction results for those who play the game ;) You can see the oscillation in the grass/embers too.

I spent a day getting out marketing material together for the Steam and Humble Storefronts. Here's the cover image:

We updated our website, made progress on the demigods, and are building our booth for PAX South:

Anyone else going to PAX South? We'll be at Booth 17084.
It's gotten a bit quiet around here lately. While this post seems to pull a good amount of views, comments have trailed off. Are Y'all having the same experience?


Looks lovely.

Thank you! I'm pretty excited about the new itch community stuff & wanted to make a good impression.

The art is really nice, and the choice of colors gives atmosphere and personality

You wrote that there are bosses, so is there a fighting system ? Or maybe you must escape the boss and it will kill itself at the end of the level (like the Super Meat Boy bosses) ?

Thank you, and thanks for pointing out the missing info. I've updated the OP with a gif showing of the Wingblades.

Our game is definitely focused on relaxing exploration, but that isn't to say we won't have creature encounters or moments of high energy. On the contrary, we think the contrast will make those moments more impactful. Players will be able to use their wings to cut ropes, attack enemies, break through walls/barriers, and generally interact with the environment. Additionally, whether by directly attacking a creature or by using the environment to their advantage, players will be able to further interact with these boss encounters/puzzles.

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And your wings are swords

Awesome idea !


I've been excited for this game ever since I saw the trailer a little while ago. It looks like it has a great, relaxing feel to it. Also, can you tell Chris Miller that he's doing a great job on the music? It's janky and weird in the perfect way for this game.

thanks and glad to hear it! I'll pass on the word for sure, have y'all worked together in there past or something?


No, I just wanted to compliment him. I can see how my wording implied that, though, as in "tell my friend hi for me." I have no idea who Chris Miller is. :P

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Haha, well he definitely appreciates it. Here's his twitter handle: @xGucciMac if you're big into sound, he's definitely the guy to follow


I've added a few more of Chris' audio tracks to OP; I figure'd you might like to hear 'em. Personally, I recommend Areal Exploration


Awesome stuff :)

Thank you!


Looove the colours. So purdy!

Thank you! I'm digging the colors & feel of MYMMO too ^_^


Wow! The mechanics look really cool (specially the sword wing). This game looks epic from the bosses to the exploration. Really good.

Thank you, we're pretty fond of the sword-wings ourselves :) There's actually a more fundamental mechanic that is directly associated to the way players will fly that I'm not doing a good job of demonstrating. I'll see if I can pull something together to demo that better.

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Update Posted

I've appended an update to the OP ^_^


An absolutely beautiful looking game. Congratulations. Some stunning work.


thank you! See any areas that you think could use some work? I'm airways trying to improve it


Without playing it, not really. The art style looks fantastic, and the concept of the game itself is attractive. My initial question for any third person flyer is always controls, closely followed by camera. Or possibly even the other way around. After that it's level design I'd say.

The gifs present a pretty good picture of the camera, the follow looks solid and smooth, and the level design looks quite open, which always helps with a game like this.

That means controls are your big one, especially with a mechanic like the wings-as-weapons one (which I love by the way, puts me in mind of the type of stunts you see with Falcon from the Avengers). This has the capacity to be very empowering for the player, pulling of amazing attacks and getting into a nice state of Flow, but it also has the biggest potential for frustration if the controls get in the way. I'd be very interested to see how it handled. Is there controller support? Or is it keyboard and mouse? Classic Wingman joystick perhaps? :)

As I've said, your level design looks open and free, which I would see as an important part of the player experience here, help them get in that Flow state we all want them to achieve. Mix it up with precision points. The old Pod Racer game was brilliant at doing that. You have the beautiful advantage of making your precision points "friendly". In Pod Racer, if you missed the precision you'd hit the wall, lose your momentum (and probably the race). But that losing of momentum was a big emotional downer to the player. Good motivation to not do it, but also a pretty big punishment. In your game, your precision moments might be something like cutting a cable with your wings. If you miss that, you don't lose momentum, you just are susceptible to a hit from the boss for longer. I think this works greatly in your favour for having a player walk away from a short play of your game (at a conference or PAX for instance) with a smile on their face and Inner Space on their lips.

All in all, I'd say it's a quality looking game. I hope that feedback is helpful.

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Wow, thanks for the detailed feedback, it was really cool to hear your thoughts based on what you've seen. Fortunately, the design choices we're making, I think, line up nicely with the points you've emphasized. The open spaces are much more forgiving and allow for large fluctuations between high and low precision gameplay. On a more global scale the flow would generally be: flying to a structure (low precision) > understanding/entering structure(medium precision) > navigating/solving structure interior (high precision) > exit structure into air (low precision) > loop. We're taking a fair amount of inspiration from WindWaker/Shadow of the Colossus here in that both games have moments where players can reflect and observe as they move from point A to B. Additionally, because it's all player directed (the whole "if you can see it, you can go to it" thing), the oscillating gameplay intensity feels really nice. I think it breaks things up well anyway haha.

So camera and controls are things that our programmer is trying to be very conscious of. He's iterated on them more times that I can remember at this point, and each time they get/feel better. There's always more playtesting to be done, but I'm pretty confident in our controls and camera setup. I'll see if I can get a gif or video up showing off some of their more nuanced elements. Oh and we're supporting:

  • Mouse and Keyboard
  • xinput controller (recommended)
  • Steam controller
  • flightstick

We're definitely trying to craft a more relaxed experience than most dogfighters/racers/etc. I'm glad you like what you've seen so far ^_^


That all sounds awesome. It's always good to hear the dev is thinking about these things :) We really look forward to giving it a play when it's ready.

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Update Posted: Quick Gamefeel Video

I've appended an update to the OP ^_^

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Update Posted: Breaking Stuff

I've appended an update to the OP ^_^

Update Posted: PAX South Demo Prep

I've appended an update to the OP ^_^

alien shaders

Just saw your game for the first time, and it looks absolutely lovely! Gorgeous visuals, really loving your colours! Is there any roadmap for the first public build? :)

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