PAX Prime 2015 Interview: ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime’ Jamie Tucker of Asteroid Base
Thursday, September 17th, 2015 at 10:30 pm
The Ardor reactor has exploded, spreading Anti-Love throughout the galaxy. As a part of the Lovers (League of Very Empathetic Rescue Spacenauts or clean up crew), it is your job to spread the love, save the space bunnies, and triumph over the evil forces of Anti-Love.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a single player or local two-player cooperative game where each individual mans various systems within a spaceship to navigate and survive through the constellations. I recently spoke to one of the co-founders of this game, Jamie Tucker of Asteroid Base, to find out more about its inception.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime was created in the midst of a game creation jam. The idea was seeded from the game Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator where each individual acted as a crew member of a ship in a Star Trek like scenario where enemy ships must be destroyed. Unlike the latter title where each player mans a different physical console, Tucker’s team wanted to pull it all together within a shared screen; to become a single couch experience. To pull it all together, a unique title was needed and that arose from the Barenaked Ladies’ cover of a Bruce Cockburn song, “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”. In combination with the concept of space, it became Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. The game and song complement one another, and it’s a delightfully pleasing experience to listen to the track while slipping through a level. The actual game soundtrack was created by Ryan Henwood who relied on synth heavy tones and ensured that every song had a beat to it.
The game is a throwback to the 70s with its vector style art. Scott Benson and Chris Ware, the primary artists, relied on the animation, modeling, and rendering software Maya to create many of the in-game assets. Through they were able to procedurally generate each star system, making each play-through’s layout uniquely formed. The backdrops are multi-layered to add depth, and help produce a 3-D look in a 2-D filmed world. The concept of space and love also informed the design and color palette of the game. The vibrant pinks appear to pop off the screen, while gently contrasting with the green representation of Anti-Love and its negativity.
Ultimately Tucker’s team developed a game with a warm inner center that delights in all the right ways. During my play-throughs, I’ve experienced the love and care that has gone into Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime‘s inception. The strong color choices and cartoonish nature vibrate strongly with its themes, and its easy pickup and play nature helps the player leave without an over burdened heart. As a fan, I keep wanting to tell others of this game, and would have loved if it included an online co-op mode so that I could experience it with all my friends. But I understand Astroid Base’s desire for a couch bonding experience. Although single player is available, this is a game you’ll want to play with anyone you enjoy being with: friends, family, and lovers.
The game is now available on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux, and on Xbox One.