A robot is in your spaceship — chat with it! (tell it your secrets)

08/13/2017 -

Chay ho (greetings), surfers. I bet you’re wondering what we’ve been up to for the past few weeks. Oh you know, not much, just trying to create a working version of a dynamic chatbot that’s supposed to mimic AI technology. Did we actually pull that off? Lol, umm, well let me tell you what we do have…

First off, if you wanna skip this reading crap, here’s a link to our website built for the chatbot. We’re using the site to log the different questions people may care about, but we can’t track who is using this thing. Just remember to add a username of some sort before starting. Ask/talk about anything you’d care to know about. Some chatbot answers may be a bit funky because it references game-related content and information, but hopefully that’s “shway.”

This chatbot, called  C.A.M,  is be the basis for your spaceship’s communications system. It’ll be an informational swiss army knife as it defines names, things, and places, and also reports on ship and weather conditions when prompted. We gave C.A.M.  a bit of a personality as well — think chill surfer with encyclopedic knowledge — because honestly that is what Jun and I aspire to be every minute of our existence.

Building the chatbot’s brain is a mix of coming up with prompts — ANYTHING someone may reasonably ask it — and then writing answers to those prompts. Kinda tedious, kinda fun. At it’s foundation, the chatbot has a call-and-response system and no, Elon Musk, it doesn’t have AI learning capabilities that will make it conquer all our human technologies. (yet). We added dynamic elements to the chatbot as well so it’s not just having a flat conversation over and over again, and we hope that creates an ~iLluSioN~ of an AI brain that is looking to learn. C.A.M. can ask you questions, react to your responses, and vary his own interjections and answers so they don’t all sound the same.

If you got a few minutes, have a chat with C.A.M.

We imagine the chat bot will work something like this in the overall UI:


And a video!

Ai Chat Interface! – Indie DB

navigation mode

07/25/2017 -

Ok. Let’s talk about sex Navigation Mode. Navigation mode, is a user interface where you can visualize weather, move through a three-dimensional map of galactic bodies, and plot a course through the cosmos. We wanted these maps to be filled with detail so that navigation feels like a strange nautical voyage. We want to force players to use horse-sense to find the best routes through space. In this game… space isn’t just a big empty vacuum… in real life, space is a massive, scary, empty, vacuum. Yea, there are storms out there, pockets of smooth space, gas stations, fast food chains, casinos, space-buoys, dust clouds, turbulence, varying levels of solar power, so much! Space isn’t empty. Space is a Sea ™.

Now, your mother and I, well… we met at an underground punk rock club, which is the SAME night you were conceiv– sorry, yea, no, we can talk about navigation mode some more.

So we simulated a bunch of data for a small spiral galaxy, visually plotted it on a map, and created a variety of ways for a user to interact with it all. So now, you can pore over galactic maps, read these nautical bones, guess at the weather, chart a course through the stars, and attempt to survive — MuhhAHhhaHHaa. The best way to describe all this is to go through the different map elements that exist.

Okay but, I will say, that safety is paramount. You were only conceived mentally that night — the idea of you as a violence force of energy — it brought us very close. So ok, in the punk rock scene, things used to get pretty off the earthquake scales, and by that I mean both dangerous and hot– ok. oops. Yup. I get it, details would be inappropriate — just — play it cool, and have fun with technology.

Yellow Bogeys

  1. Welcome to yellow bogey nation.
  2. Simple floating space devices that collect weather and time data. As satellite experts will tell you, without yellow bogeys, we wouldn’t even know when to eat breakfast.
  3. They let you know where it is safe to fly.
  4. Dust Density Indicator – amount of dust resistance in the vicinity. (black square).
  5. Solar Power Meter – amount of solar energy that can be harvested nearby. (horizontal meter).
  6. Wind Sock – shows the direction and strength of stellar winds. (pointy line).
  7. Turbulence Indicator – amount of turbulent storm energy in the area. (pink square).



  1. Galactic disturbances.
  2. Violently shake / damage / destroy ships.
  3. Getting into a storm is easier then getting out of one, both visually, and technically.
  4. Composed of cells with various intensities.
  5. They have strange names like Jonathan and Sandra.
  6. They have a white vector that shows you where they are currently headed (so you can avoid them).stormspsot



  1. Large burning balls of energy which fill space: often surrounded by planets, rockets, and creatures.
  2. Some have their own weather stations.
  3. Red Zone: This is the closest you can get to the star if moving at high speeds. If you enter that region, you risk burning up in the star’s heliopause.
  4. Green Zone: If you go into the green zone, you’ll enter that solar system.star_post


Tony Hawk: 1080p Video Footage


Navigation Mode Progress – Indie DB

bzeep bzorp – making in-game space sounds and such

07/09/2017 -


Chay ho (greetings), earth dwellers. We haven’t posted too frequently since the summer has us relaxing all over the place… the beach, the couch, the bed, the couch, the bed, the couch… you know, just living it up. We started digging into sounds more seriously recently, which is tough because it all has to be related to each other. For example, the sounds a spaceship makes has to all sound believably similar to each other, while the sounds animals, rockets, weapons, and resource-gathering all have to maintain their own “theme” or consistency. At least that’s our angle on approaching these details to the game.  We don’t want ship warp to sound like “blorp blorp blorp” when every other engine sound goes like “zazazazaza”, if that makes sense. It doesn’t? Whatever, I’m leaving it up on this public blog.

So what’s our process? All music and sounds are either created by us personally, like say, banging a spoon against a pan to get a nice “clink,” or we use sounds we have rights to from the audio-banks on the internet and further modify those to avoid any sort of creative copyright shenanigans. So nothing goes straight from source to game without some heavy modification.

How do we decide what sounds we need? Jun more or less keeps me up-to-date on what he’s working on and I support that with finding, editing, and sending him draft sounds. If he’s working on flight, I get to work on fuel burn or propulsion sounds. If he’s looking for a turbulence sound, then I try to get him that so we can really feel how the game is coming together.

Here are some draft sounds we may use:

This is the Chugboy (TM) suction sound — a tool that collects liquids and micro-minerals when gather resources. The picture of the tool is below. The sound is meant to encapsulate the whole suction process, from chug to finish.




The Fuel Burning sound here is meant to be looped, so it can go on and on and sound pretty consistent.




This simple ditty is the Mining Sound, a clean little clack and clutter from hitting rocks. Between you and me, it’s edited sound from glasses clinking.




Turbulence sound here. Rattling metal, deep drones — all things consistent with what other parts of space travel sound like.


flight ui, arcjets, sails, engines, drifting, and the moop-light cruise

06/19/2017 -

Mugalo, space horses. I don’t want to prance around the manor too much: the most interesting thing in this post is this video. Please enjoy this Moop Light Cruise. Pete put this song together, and I loaded it into the game with some other stuff, and if only for a small amount of time, I saw everything come together. It was beautiful. There is a mountain of hay (work) sitting in the meadow, but this video is a warp hole — swirling through the hay — glinting a tiny spec of the light — indicating that MAYBE — there is light at the end of this cosmic horse tunnel. There’s more to read below, but if you do nothing else, watch this thing:

Moop Light Cruise – Indie DB

Ok, you’re still here. Oh. Ha. No I mean, yeah. I’m totally on AIM. Definitely. HorseBrotherNo9. I do like that name. Wait. Don’t leave me like this. Not again. Well, here is the test-ship burning at full speed through the gray void of debug mode. I built this simple test ship, because we needed something to make some progress, but I really want to save ship-design for a later time. So here it is — test-ship one — the silver mustang. You can see how the sails streak back when you go fast.


This is edit mode. When you go into edit mode, you can actually customize the UI (Jundows) to your liking. Like… these are the jundows. They’re purple.


Close up on the engine UI. There’s alot going on here, but basically you have different speed scales for the engine, a couple of throttles, a master throttle, and most interestingly — the DM Vectoring button. This button enables a near-magical system that can keep this ship flying even-keel when various engines fail or other sad scenarios are at play. But if the DM Vectoring system breaks, you might need to fly with a limp for a while.

engine ui

These are just some shots of space. If you hold right-click, you can kind of stare around and get this panoramic view of space. I’m trying to make space very pretty, so I thought it would be nice if people could hide all the clutter and enjoy this galactic kodakery. You could print these out, laminate them, get them signed by Shaq / Bruce Springsteen, and then hang them on your fridge. That could be fun, idk. Its always fun to try something new like that.




jundows, solar systems, and a short story by jim parx

06/04/2017 -

Mayobread (hey guys), here’s an update on the game.

This is going to be a weird post. I’ve created a loading screen for a spaceship operating system called Jundows. This is really vain, but this has been one of my favorite things to code. Jundows is one of two rival spaceship operating systems that exist in the game. The other is Pateintosh. I think it goes without saying that Pateintosh is stupid, and Jundows sounds like more fun to spend time with. I’m not sure when I’ll create Pateintosh. Like — it’s probably a waste of time. I mean, I’d like to create multiple versions of each — because depth is exciting — but I think Jundows is less petty and not worried about what Pateintosh is doing.

We’ve also been building solar systems for a while. We are now able to fly from galactic space to solar system space. This was a good achievement, these two spaces occupy wildly different scales, so making the transition relatively seamless was a nice win. There are some pretty cool screenshots of that stuff below. Also two videos. And there is, of course, much more to see on our IndieDB webpage.

Okay, this is the part that makes this post weird. This is a tiny flash fiction world-building tale.  It explores the world of Lilith:

Field Report
Mukme II

Two suns were singing in unison. These nuclear balls were emanating a high pitched glaze of sound and heat upon a stricken terrain devoid of life — crushed rubble — all the signs of collapse — failed civilization — deep with loss. I stepped out into this devastated terrain — having seen a hundred worlds like this before. I expected very little — to scan a world of ruin — and find the same clues — the same hints — suggesting death — demise — and most notably — that it was all their fault.

That’s not what happened. I found a smiling little one of them — still alive. I would find many more. Like most sentient aliens, these ones had races and genders — evolutionarily generated variation — a gift when compared to the clone beings — discovered by some of my colleagues — in the cold places — the galaxy’s thermal dead-zones. Regardless — I’m not sure what kind this one was. I assume it was young because it was small — a generalization. I read it the normal canned nonsense.

“I hereby — blah — declare the federation’s presence — we therefore open the arms of peace – together our people…. blah blah…”

My issued voice translator device had already scanned the organism in front of me, and so it converted my dumb speech into their language, and blathered out some kind of synthy audio mess. It understood. With a certain gentle light in its eyes, it said something back.

“Holy hell” I thought, “Here we go. Now it’s going to tell me some kind of freaky shit about how it survives off of old scraps, and maybe to beware of the irradiated wolf boys.”

“[Warmth] Welcome to our home. You are welcome here. We are the [Pronoun] Ones that Remain. We love and share.”

I wanted to trade speeches with it. That simple jam of sentences found my heart in some kind of nostalgic soft-and-close way. I was intrigued.

“What happened here?” I asked.

“They got into a fight and then they left.” It said.

“Who?” I said.

I then learned that these beings had survived wars, famine, disease, extreme weather, and a full spectrum silly apocalyptic horrors. But they were here — in front of me — smiling, full of love, looking like a group of ground animals with more grace than the galactic council elite. Grace was relative — of course — I had to put noise cancelling headphones on – remotely connected to the voice translator. The young one was more or less shouting at me with its synthy noises.

Apparently, they were the good ones. The bad ones had gotten into a fight with each other. They were highly xenophobic, got into a nuclear war, managed to destroy the planet, built spaceships, went into space, colonized a nearby world, destroyed that planet too, and then died there. I sent this nutwing info to NSTAT for confirmation. Verified. I asked another question:

“What is your purpose?

“[Laughter] There is no purpose or logic. Nothing makes sense. The irrational ones have left. But they are proof that nothing makes sense. It is said that even we are irrational. One day, we too will go crazy. Get into a fight. Build rocket boats. Leave planet. You see nothing can be explained. The great tree of space metal tells us this.”

Then it pointed to a mountain of metallic rubble.

The whole response made me stop lifelessly. I had no idea what the fuck this mountain was. But that wasn’t the point. It just looked like a mountain of metal. I saw the real destruction. They were alive — yes — they were fine — they would live in harmony — probably — for many millennia — but they would never — ever — grow. Their sense of logic, adventure, exploration — it had snapped like a spaghettified nanoparticle on its way into a black hole. They smiled and let their stringy hair blow in the wind, but progress left them long ago. They didn’t cope with reality anymore — they couldn’t. The real destruction? To them — nothing was real. They were dadaists — without a reality to fall back into — hopeless.

I had to do it now. The hard question. The one that rationalized my purpose here — an embassador of the galactic council — the question I hated asking — the one that drained my soul — time and time again. It was a question that cut through everything. Nothing else mattered. If you understood, you were crushed. Even them. The ones who were happy with their stagnate disconnection from reality. Even them. Yea. They were crushed. My job isn’t fair.

“Do you know that you are simulated?”

It paused. For a long time. It seemed like a long time to me.

“Your fancy idea is known already.”

Then it got on some kind of a bicycle.

“That’s interesting though. You phrased that in an interesting way,” it said.

It rode off into the two suns. Disappeared with the horizon.

Jim Parx
First Contact Agent

Flight into the Muk Qui System – Indie DB

Jundows Loading Screen – Indie DB

arrival at pate