Hi, I’m Scott, a recovering solo indie dev who made a game about the American Space Dream: Blue-Collar Astronaut. It’s a game that shows how anyone with enough moxie and a little bit of training can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and excel in Space-America’s future economy! A mind-blowing economy that includes truckin’ and pizza delivery to different planets! And the perfect mothership for a game like that is the ID@Xbox program!
The gameplay follows the “Easy to play, hard to master” adage. Which is to say, you can open a menu, activate your thrusters, and rotate your ship both left and right. You read that correctly: bidirectional rotation! Thus, the challenge comes more from mastering low-gravity situational space flight than from honing twitch reflexes. Which is a rewarding white-knuckled challenge, especially if you’re new to “An object in motion will stay in motion” style physics (a.k.a. real physics).
You probably got distracted at this point, gone off to buy the game, enjoyed the hand-drawn art and original soundtrack, and perhaps have come back after getting your first space-student loan. Why is that in the game? You were having a great time getting a handle on Newtonian physics and then, boom. Suddenly you owe $35k.
There’s no power fantasy or wish fulfillment in paying taxes and managing credit card debt! This game is broken! Maybe. Probably. But all the numbers from Blue-Collar Astronaut come from official Earth-based sources, such as the United States census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and lottery websites (the most official of sources!).
For better or worse these values put you in the seat of a modern US college grad. But not to worry, with some hard work (or maybe just a lucky scratch ticket) you’re sure to buy your way through the space-store’s items, kick back in your own space mansion, and take a vacation or two. Or not. But maybe!
To put all this together, I spent a little over three years splitting time between developing Blue-Collar Astronaut and being a stay at home dad; while knowing that the game’s concept, as you might have guessed at this point, isn’t exactly a safe bet. Combine that with being Mutated Software’s first major title and you get an elliptical-orbit of emotions that I couldn’t have pulled off without support of my family, friends, Maki Naro (who did the artwork), and Charlie Armour (who did the soundtrack)… and, of course, the ID@Xbox crew!
At the end of the day, I hope that Blue-Collar Astronaut will be both a joy to play and add to a growing catalogue of games that delve into a world outside of escapism. And maybe, just maybe, it will leave the player with something to think about away from the controller. But if you just find yourself flying into space beach balls for a couple hours, that’s cool too.