Rodina is a space exploration RPG developed by Brendon Anthony at Elliptic Games. It takes place in the procedurally generated, full-scale Zorica Solar System with four planets, asteroids, and Zorica, the central star. The game begins by placing the player character on an asteroid a stone's throw away from a small space ship. The player must search the asteroid for the part to allow their ship to fly to other asteroids in the belt. There they can find plot-related elements, news articles and other miscellaneous pieces of writing, ammunition for the ship's weapons, and the Limnal Drive, which allows them to fly to the four different planets in the system.
You are told to go to each planet in order. The first planet you have to go to is Jarilo. It is the third planet from Zorica and is the most Earth-like of all the planets, with a radius slightly less than that of Venus. It has a peach-colored atmosphere, and the sun appears blue through it. It is also the least-heavily guarded one, with only the two weakest enemy types appearing. The next planet is Perun. It is the closest planet to Zorica and is also the Largest, with a radius almost twice that of Earth. It has a violet atmosphere, and the sun appears green through it. There the player is able to find the Heater Upgrade to their ship which allows them to visit the next planet, Morena. It is the farthest planet from Zorica, and is therefore covered completely in ice. It is also the smallest planet, with a radius just slightly larger than Mars'. The atmosphere is a teal color, and the sun appears red through it. Here, the player will find stronger opposition, with larger and tougher enemies. The player can also find the Acid Armor upgrade, which allows them to visit the last planet, Veles. It is the second planet from Zorica and has a thick, acidic atmosphere that the player's ship cannot penetrate until all the upgrades are found. The atmosphere is an opaque brown color and the sun is barely visible through it. This is also the most heavily-defended planet, containing a heavy concentration of enemies with the strongest ships.
The game has a wonderfully dynamic soundtrack composed by John Robert Matz.
This game is currently under active development, and is available on Steam Early Access or at the developer's website on a pay-what-you-want basis. There is also a one-hour demo available. A wiki now exists, located here.
Rodina provides examples of:
- Alien Sky: A toned-down version from most, but all of the planets have different colored atmospheres, and the sun appears different colors in each of them.
- Apocalyptic Log: Some of the communications and data logs you can retrieve. It appears that the advance scouts of the Rodina colony ship arrived in the system and were promptly decimated by a force of advanced aliens.
- Artificial Gravity: Your ship has this, and there is a notable shift when you enter your ship from a planet with different gravity, especially if your ship is at an angle.
- Asteroid Thicket: This is averted, where the asteroid field is much closer to what you would find in real life, with them being spread too thin to see without the aid of your radar.
- Baby Planet: This is downplayed. The asteroids function as this, with stronger gravity than most of their diameters would allow for in real life. You are able to walk across their surfaces without floating into space.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: The player is able to survive unaided in outer space, and in the hazardous atmospheres of various planets, since they're a robot. Good thing too, since the player spawns out in the open on an airless asteroid, a short distance from their ship.
- Bilingual Bonus: Most of the names in this game originate from Slavic words. The planets and star are all named after Slavic gods, and the name of the game means "Family" in Slovak.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Robots are referred to exclusively as 'automatons', and artificial intelligences as 'bosonics'.
- Casual Interplanetary Travel: After the player finds the Limnal drive upgrade for their ship, flying between planets takes a matter of minutes.
- Colony Ship: Rodina is revealed to be the colony ship being sent from the Earth That Used to Be Better to the Zorica system.
- Crapsack World: Downplayed. The various datasticks that you can collect do not paint a flattering picture of Earth. Though it has extremely advanced technology, it seems to be stuck in a kind of Space Age Stasis, with very little innovation. E.g. TV programs are basically the same ones shown year after year with only minor details changed. And this has been going on for centuries.
- Easter Egg: Some of the datasticks you can collect contain encrypted communications, rendered as grids of colored squares. They can be saved to your computer. They can also be decrypted. People on the Rodina subreddit have done so, and found them to contain encrypted alien transmissions!
- Explosions in Space: The enemy ships will turn into a fiery wreck if you shoot them enough. Your ship will also do that if it loses all of its health, or if it catches on fire.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: The Limnal Drive is a version of that, where you move at a couple of times the speed of light, rather than hundreds of times the speed of light.
- Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: All of your weapons fire out of the front of your ship. However, the missiles can curve in any direction, and you are able to fly backwards and sideways while fighting.
- Fling a Light into the Future: The PC is this. By the time they come online, the members of the Vanguard fleet have all either been killed or captured by the xenos.
- Hyperspeed Escape: The player has this option of either using Cruising Speed or the Limnal Drive to escape enemies, considering they can only fly in Combat Speed.
- Jet Pack: Besides walking, your character's only means of propulsion when outside of the ship.
- No Transhumanism Allowed: Datalogs reveal that Earth has a Technological Acceleration and Singularity Prevention Board, which restricts unauthorized use of technologies such as genetic engineering, self-replicating machinery, and so on.
- Old School Dogfight: Averted; while you are limited to Fixed Forward Facing Weapons (and missiles), the game still models Newtonian physics, meaning the player has to work with inertia and three-dimensional maneuvering and the like.
- Reentry Scare: Reentry is not a clean, easy process. If the player comes in too fast or too steep, they'll burn up in the atmosphere. If they come in too shallowly, they will bounce off the atmosphere and have to do it all over again.
- Restraining Bolt: The Protocol is implied to be something like this, dampening thought patterns and restricting self-replication, among other things. Which is why there is so much dissent around removing it from the PC. Alicja uses the removal of the self-replication limitation as a carrot to get the PC to find her husband.
- Single-Biome Planet: All of the planets have variation on terrain, but no variation in climate. Jarilo and Perun are both desert worlds, Morena is a frozen ball of ice, and Veles is essentially the planet Venus.
- Shout-Out: The PC is an Asimov-model pilot automaton.
- Space Age Stasis: Earth seems to have gone through a period of this, as evidenced by the 'Stay The Course' Gala speech transcript.
- Space Fighter: Your ship functions as one in combat, albeit slightly larger. You have a variety of weapons and quite good maneuvering capabilities. However, unlike a fighter, it also has crew quarters and storage areas, plus a completely customizable interior.
- Space Is Noisy: Even though this game has mostly accurate physics, guns, engines, and ship destruction are all audible to the player.
- Space Madness: One of the datastick sequences is a selection of logs from a soldier assigned to a remote monitoring station after being caught in flagrante delicto with a colonel's daughter. He is alone with a broken treadmill for exercise, nothing but sugary cereal to eat, and only "The Very Best of Lionel Ritchie" and a movie version of Robinson Crusoe for entertainment. Oh, and an alarm klaxon that goes off every four hours indicating the need for a sweep with the monitoring station. Naturally, the logs catalog his descent into Robinson Crusoe-themed sleep deprivation madness.
- Space Nomads: It is likely that the enemy aliens are this, considering they only exist in ships in orbit and have no cities or structures on any of the planets.
- Subspace or Hyperspace: The Limnal Drive is a slow FTL drive that causes you to enter a tube of bright lights that woosh past you, although you can see where you are going through the center.
- Three-Laws Compliant: Not exactly, but one of the datasticks features a story about a child who forces her caretaker automaton to follow her into the woods by threatening to hurt herself.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: You can actually do this to yourself and be completely fine. Justified, since you're a robot. Good luck getting back to your ship, though.
- Wagon Train to the Stars: This is actually happening off-screen, with the Earth colony ship Rodina arriving at the Zorica system in about two years' time.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Many of the supplementary logs and communications you can collect touch on this. Most of human society doesn't think of bosonic intelligences as anything except machines. However, there are references to bosonic rights' groups.
- Wide Open Sandbox: The game's developer has stated that the eventual goal of Rodina is to become Daggerfall in space. Even at this stage in its development, it is wide and open, allowing the player to fly anywhere in the solar system seamlessly, without loading screens. However, at the moment, there isn't much to do besides fighting respawning enemies, collecting datasticks, and flying around planets.