Fly an Apollo-style lander around various planets, landing to earn points and then redocking with the command module to advance to the next level.
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Oct 16, 2017
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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“I'm putting this game out on Early Access in order to get a feel for how game publishing works.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“This game will probably be in Early Access for about a year, maybe less.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The full version of this game will not be exclusive to Steam and will be a lot more feature-rich. The goals for additional features include the following:

  • Online high score tracker instead of the current save-to-file system.
  • A feature-complete upgrade system instead of the current system that just makes sure the engines are strong enough for you to safely land.
  • An AI system for the command module to make it easier to dock with.
  • A multiplayer option to compete against other players.
  • An online achievement-tracking system for various things you can do in-game.
  • Better orbital mechanics integrator.
  • Saving game state and reloading.
  • Time acceleration!

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The Early Access version is just starting out, with the following major features:

You start each level in orbit around a planet docked to the command module (just like the Apollo missions). You are able to undock and redock, stage the lander, and land on the planet below using either the arrow keys, WASD, or both. There are color-coded guides to help you get your bearings, plus the ability to zoom in and out with the mouse wheel.

You have translation controls to help you with docking, and a kill rotation button (hold down to kill rotation) just in case you get into trouble.

You can affect the orbit of the command module regardless of whether you are docked as it's under the same physics that you are under.

Each planet in the game is loosely modeled after real life objects in the solar system and have their own unique characteristics including planet-specific terrain generation parameters.

Unlike earlier lander games that require you to land on perfectly flat terrain, you have the option of landing on any terrain feature that you like (though you may tip over if you choose slopped terrain).”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price of this game will double when it comes out of Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“I would like the community to provide feedback with the type of hardware that this game can and cannot run on, and to let me know if they think they've found a bug or an exploit. I also want the community to provide feedback on what would make the game overall more enjoyable for everyone, and what should be improved upon.”
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Recent updates View all (3)

October 28

Aesthetics Update Is Live

The first major update to this game is out. This update mostly provides visual enhancements to the UI, starting with the main menu. Everything is now big and centered on the screen.

There is a new Help screen to replace the old help information on the main screen and gives a bit more detail about the various parts of the UI. The Help screen will be updated as needed based mostly on player feedback.

There is a new settings screen that allows you to assign keyboard and joystick button inputs. These settings are saved so that you don't have to reassign your buttons every time you start the game. There's also an option to reset to the default settings. Due to some limitations in the Unity engine, axis assignments are done via a dialog box that now comes up before the splash screen. The axis assignments are "X Translation", "Y Translation", "Rotation", and "Throttle."

The graphics settings are currently set using the same dialog box to set the axis until I get a better system in place. Cockpit sounds and developer commentary are coming soon.

The in-game UI has also been greatly improved. There is now a HUD that gives you all the information that you need to land and redock. A button on the top center of the HUD allows you to change the HUD mode between surface-relative and command module-relative information. At the request of one of the players, the HUD now has a horizontal speed indicator.

The default controls have been adjusted slightly to allow you to separate the main engine from the vertical translation thrusters (there's an option in the settings panel to change this back if you want). You can now use your thrusters to assist your main engine or cancel-out some of its thrust.

The major control differences is that you must now hold the stage/undock buttons in order to maintain thrust, and that the keyboard/button inputs now instantly go from 0 to 100% and back when you use them. This is a consequence of me overriding the Unity's default input system.

The screens to view and submit your high scores have also been given a visual update. And a screen has been added for those who complete all the levels of the game without crashing.
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October 22

Aesthetics Update Preview

Over the past week, I've been working on improving the aesthetics of the game. Here is a list of changes that I've made so far:

I've added a HUD-type display for orbital speed, altitude above ground, and vertical speed. The HUD also shows where the vehicle is going and which direction is straight down and level with the horizon. The velocity direction indicator is even color-coded to let you know if you're going to make a safe landing.

When the update is released, you'll be able to toggle between surface-relative and command module-relative speed and distance displays.

In the top-right corner, the text display of the fuel and speed has been replaced with a visual representation of how full your tanks are.


Demo of the HUD.


Speed direction indicator is blue to indicate a landing score of 1,000+ points.


Speed direction indicator changes color as you accelerate. Red is bad!

What is shown here is subject to change by the time the update is published. I'm also working on improvements to the in-game menus and the various screens that the menu items take you too. There will be a dedicated help screen and a new settings screen.
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About This Game

Solar Lander is designed to be a 2D space "simcade" (mix between a simulation and an arcade game) where players fly around in an Apollo-style lander, land on the surface of a planet, and then redock with the command module to advance to the next level. You start out in orbit around a planet and docked with the command module. It is your job to make a safe landing on the surface of the planet, then get back into orbit to redock with the command module. Each planet has it's unique characteristics based on real life planetary bodies with procedural terrain generation. Because this game takes place in space, there is absolutely no sound in this game.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz, 64-bit
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Not Determined
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 40 MB available space
    • Sound Card: N/A
    • Additional Notes: Needs Testing on Lower-End Hardware
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz, 64-bit
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Not Determined
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 40 MB available space
    • Sound Card: N/A
    • Additional Notes: Tested on 2.8 GHz, 64-bit Quad-Core Processor with Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 Integrated Graphics
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.11
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz, 64-bit
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Not Determined
    • Storage: 62 MB available space
    • Sound Card: N/A
    • Additional Notes: Needs Testing on Lower-End Hardware
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.11
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz, 64-bit
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Not Determined
    • Storage: 62 MB available space
    • Sound Card: N/A
    • Additional Notes: Tested on 2.8 GHz, 64-bit Quad-Core Processor with Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 Integrated Graphics
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