RODINA
ABOUT MEDIA/PRESS FAQ PATRONS ELLIPTIC

Frequently Asked Questions

Topics

1: Release / Status
2: Purchasing Info
3: Help
4: Bugtesting / Betas
5: Future Development / Features
6: Other Games
7: Misc


Release / Status

Is Rodina Out? Where can I buy it?

Yes- Rodina has been released! Try it / buy it on Steam or here at elliptic-games.com!

What is the state of Rodina? Is it in Alpha or Early Access?

Rodina is in Ongoing Development. This means that new features will be added to Rodina over time and it will continue to grow.

This is semantics, but I don’t prefer the terms “Alpha” or “Early Access” because they imply that Rodina will eventually have some kind of final release date when it will be finished. I even heard a friend of Elliptic, after playing the game, mention in a video that he “wasn’t sure when Rodina will be out”. Well- it’s out now! You can play it! If I can swing it, my goal is to just kind of keep working on it as long as I can. I’m not sure it will ever be complete.

With that said, Rodina is still early in it’s life-cycle. There are crashes, bad performance for some people, etc. Please try the demo before buying!

What features does the game contain?

  • Full-scale, procedural solar system
    4 full-size planets, 50 randomized major asteroids, and something like 45,000 minor asteroids.
  • Seamless planet landings
    Fly straight down to a planet surface from orbit, get out, and walk around
  • Combat with alien ships
    Several different alien ship types, and 5 different weapon types, including heat-seeking missiles
  • Customizable ship interiors
    Easily personalize your ship’s layout and share your design with other players
  • A Story and Background fiction
    As told through books, emails, and logs

The game is going to be updated continually. Those who buy the game at the Bossypants tier have the option of voting on what I work on next!

What is the current version like?

For specific information about the current version, please check the Readme.

What are the system requirements?

Minimum specs:
* Windows Vista+ (apologies to XP users!)
* DirectX 10+
* Graphics Card with 512MB VRAM (Approximate – Try the demo!)
* Dual Core Processor

Recommended:
* Graphics Card with 1024MB VRAM
* Quad-Core processor

Problem Areas:
* Some users have reported bad performance with Intel video cards


Purchasing Info

Is there a free demo?

Yes! I can’t stand the idea of someone buying my game without knowing what they are getting! How can anyone live with the forcing people to buy on faith? What has our industry come to? I digress- you can play Rodina for 60 minutes free of charge. If you like it, you can buy the game and unlock the demo (and your savegames) into the full game.

How can I buy the game?

You can purchase Rodina on Steam, or here on Elliptic-Games.com using either your credit card (via Stripe) or with Paypal. We are also considering other payment methods.

How much does Rodina cost?

Rodina is $15 on Steam. On my site, I sell the game on a pay-what-you-want model, with tiers similar to Kickstarter. The “base price” of the game is $15, but customers can buy for as low as $2 if they like. I chose this model for several reasons:

  • With Rodina being in Ongoing Development, I don’t think it’s fair to charge a set price.
    Due to the rough nature of the game, I believe it’s only fair that the customer should decide what the game is worth to them.
  • With tiers, customers who wish to support Rodina’s development can do so.
    I received many questions about Kickstarter when I first announced the game. At the time, I was extremely humbled that folks were willing and interesting in donating money to Rodina’s development. However, I didn’t like the idea of taking someone’s money while only being able to offer promises in return. Now that Rodina is finally out I can offer the game along with additional rewards as a thank you for those people who wish to do something more.
  • Customers can donate more over time.
    As Rodina develops, Patrons are invited to further support the game as they please. This means that there’s no pressure to buy at a certain price all at once. They are welcome to try the game now, and donate more in the future if Rodina advances in direction they like!

A fan recently said that, between the demo and the flexible pay-what-you-want model, Elliptic has “the most consumer friendly business model [they've] ever seen in gaming industry”. I hope that’s true- my #1 goal is to do business in a manner I would like to be done business with.

Will I get a Steam Key if I buy the game here on your site?

Yes. We are currently testing the system which will distribute the Steam keys. Everyone who is in the Buffet tier, in the past of future, will get a complimentary Steam key.

I bought Rodina and it doesn’t work / I don’t like it

If you are unable to play or enjoy your copy of the game, please email me at brendan@elliptic-games.com for an immediate refund. Please include payment details, particularly the last 4 digits of your credit card.

Even if you don’t want a refund, please email me so that we can discuss fixing your problem. I receive lots of emails and try to answer them all, but some fall through the cracks. Please don’t hesitate to email me again if you think I’ve missed your message!

Unfortunately, those who buy the game on Steam are not eligible for refunds. This is due to Valve policy which is out of my control. However, if you are unhappy with your purchase, please let me know. I’d like to try to figure out a solution you will be happy with! I don’t want anyone to feel ripped off!!!!

PLEASE try the demo before buying the game!


Help

Something went wrong with the payment process

Email me I will make it right immediately.

Where do I enter my registration key?

In game, open the Options Menu, and choose “Register Username / Key”. On this next menu you can paste your login information. Be careful to ensure that there are no spaces at the beginning or end of your username or key! Several people have had trouble with this.

In the Steam version of the game, entering your registration is unnecessary.

Rodina is in a startup loop when started from Steam

Some people have reported that after first downloading Rodina, it fails to load, and just tries to start up over and over again. So far, this problem seems to be fixed by restarting Steam (and possibly your computer? I’m not sure).

Rodina hangs at the “For Bema” screen

A handful of people have seen this problem. Often it is because their video card drivers are not up to date, so please check those!

Sometimes, this problem is because your computer is under min spec. Please double check to make sure your machine is capable of running the game. If there are any questions, please email me, and include the results you get from running DXDiag.

I get a VERY low framerate / FPS even though my specs are OK

Sometimes DirectX doesn’t automatically pick the right graphics card on which to run the game. The better solution to this problem is to go to your graphics card software (such as Nvidia Control Panel or the AMD Catalyst Control Center) and manually tell the card to activate for Rodina.

In Rodina 1.1.2 and beyond, you can also manually set the video card. To do so, go the Options Menu and look for “Preferred Video Adapter”. WARNING: Forcing DirectX to choose a video card may cause Rodina it crash on start! If you need to unset the video card, see the next question:

I changed my “Preferred Video Adapter”, and now Rodina crashes on start

You can unset the preferred adapter by starting Rodina with the following option:

Rodina.exe --default_video_adapter

If you are running the game on Steam, go to Rodina’s Properties, then click on Launch Options, then add in “--default_video_adapter“. Note the double dash. It won’t work with a single dash.

“Executable Missing” error

Some Steam customers have reported that Rodina cannot be run due to a “Executable Missing” error. The cause for this McAfee generating a false-positive result for Rodina’s executable file, and “helpfully” deleting it. Thanks McAfee! This is a problem that a few Steam games are having, caused by the wrapper used to prepare a game for Steam. Unfortunately I don’t know a fix for it; it’s very possible that Valve will need to address it on their end.

Right now the best thing is to disable McAfee long enough to play the game, or to add an exception within McAfee for Rodina’s executable. Or, if you’re feeling particularly bold, just wipe McAfee right off your computer! :)

It’s understandable if folks are hesitant to grant an exception for Rodina (although I’m sure it’s clean- I wouldn’t distribute a virus to paying customers). If you don’t wish to go down that route, I can set you up with a standalone version of Rodina which, since it is outside of Steam, does not have the same problem.

Rodina crashes when I’m trying to record video

Ack! No! Arg! This is a deep disappointment. There is a known issue, where my music streaming middleware MAY conflict with some video software. In the options menu, there is an option entitled “[Debug] disable music”. Try setting this option to “Yes” and restarting the game in order to work around this conflict.

I will be investigating this problem more in the near future! If you have more info, or the workaround does not work, please email me!!! I want to fix your problem!

My planets have weird terrain heights. The planets are spike-balls

Unfortunately this is a known issue which I have not yet solved. If you are experiencing this problem, please email me to help me gather information to fix this problem.

I’m having another problem

If you are having trouble figuring out how to play the game, I recommend visiting Rodina.reddit.com and asking for assistance from the helpful Rodina community. Also feel free to check the unofficial wiki for tips and information.

If your problem is of a more technical nature, or you are having trouble finding answers, always feel free to email me for any reason.


Bugtesting / Betas

I found a bug! Where should I report it?

It depends on the bug. If this bug is stopping or ruining your game, feel free to email me for service ASAP.

If this is a more general bug, please log it at the Rodina public bug tracker

How do I access one of the beta branches?

With Steam, I can offer different versions, or “branches” of Rodina for those who are interested in helping test Rodina, or those who are interested in the current status of the game. For example, currently on Steam you can switch to the following branches:

Development: Stay on the cutting edge of Rodina development! This branch will be updated periodically with the broken, in progress, partially-complete version of Rodina I am currently developing. For the curious, only!

Beta: This branch is the final step before release. New builds will be put on the Beta branch in order that the community might help test them. Only switch to the Beta branch if you are willing to see a experience an untested build and to report any bugs you find!

Main Branch: Also known as “None” or “Default’, this is the branch to choose if you just want the basic, normal version of the game. When the build in the Beta branch is deemed stable, it will be moved over to this default branch.

In order to switch branches, do the following:

* Going to Rodina in your Steam Library
* Right click and choose Properties
* Go to the Beta tab and, from the dropdown menu, choose the desired branch
* Steam will automatically download your new files


Future Development

What is your plan for Rodina’s future?

My long-term, pie-in-the-sky goal is Daggerfall in Space, with fun gameplay. Now, this is frankly a little crazy, but it’s not impossible- the only thing standing in my way is money / opportunity. Until I hit it big, the game will proceed slowly with incremental advancements that will be each fun in their own regard.

  • In the near term
    I’d like to focus on character-level gameplay. Hacking. Simulated ship elements. Perhaps more ship customization. I’d like the ship to be a living place rather than just a static background.
  • Further out
    I would kill to allow the player to board enemy ships. I’d like to allow the player to engage in gunfights with aliens, and explore caves on the planet surfaces. It would also be amazing to also have bases on the planets to invade. These would all be procedurally generated and the gameplay would have a simple arcade-y flavor, the way the ship combat currently has.
  • Finally, over the very long run
    I would add onto the existing features by adding NPCs and settlements to the planets.

I’m ready and able to do my part! It is up to the gaming community to see how far Rodina will go!

What are you going to work on next?

I have a general plan for what I want to do with the game, but customers (specifically, those in the Bossypants tier) choose what I work on next. I will regularly present a list of possible features to work on next. I leave it up to the community to pick which they feel is the highest priority.

Mac / Linux port?

I’d just love to do this, but unfortunately for the moment Rodina just hasn’t been successful enough to devote the resources required towards something like that. I’ll keep Mac/Linux gamers in mind if Rodina ever hits it big.

Cockpit view / immersive first-person ship piloting?

Yes, this is a highly-requested feature and will be implemented at some point.

Will the game support mods?

Yes. The game already supports modification- it comes with a Blender plugin that modders can use to export new art, and all of the gameplay scripts in Rodina have been exposed for editing. In the future, I will release better support to make managing mods easier and more functional.

Will the game have Multiplayer / Infinite Star Systems / Graphics Feature X / The Kitchen Sink?

Elliptic has a wish list of features that is about a mile long. However, with a team and budget this small, realistically the best approach is to defer features, rather than pile them on. Slow and steady wins the race. I can say that the possibilities will grow along with the success of the game. If Rodina makes a lot of money, then the rate at which “crazy dreams” become “development plans” will grow as well.

Multiplayer, in particular, is probably out of the question for a while, but would obviously be a great addition to the game. We’ll have to wait and see if things like that become possible.

Are you going to upgrade the visuals?

The focus in Rodina isn’t on graphics, it’s on features and gameplay. As a small studio with limited funding, if I focus on getting Rodina to look like a AAA game, there won’t be any time left over to make it fun. One of the lessons from Minecraft is that great gameplay can make up for simple art, and that’s an approach that I endorse. I’m trying to make Rodina beautiful and immersive, but I have no interest in competing on a AAA level.

That said, MAN is it hard not to just continually work on the planet generator / renderer. I have so much that I want to do with it- so many fixes and improvements to make. I have some things I *have* to do, but in general I try to limit myself. It’s addicting.


Other Games

Is the game inspired by No Man’s Sky / 0x10c / Star Citizen / Elite: Dangerous?

No. Rodina was unveiled with a working prototype in April 2012, and I had begun work on Rodina well before each of those games were announced.

Are you aware that Notch is already making a very similar game?

UPDATE: It appears now that Notch has cancelled 0x10c. This is quite a surprise and, while I can’t deny that I feel a little bit of relief over not competing with THE Notch, I’m disappointed that I won’t see his take on this genre. Too bad for the folks who were looking forward to it :(

Yes. Imagine my surprise when, after years of thinking about this game and months of working on it, after investing money and time, the most famous independent developer alive announces that his next game sounds very similar to mine. Great minds think alike!

Unfortunately, it turned out that many of the features I thought would differentiate my game (ship interiors, seamless planet landings, emulated computers for hacking and programming) are features that Notch is also putting into his game. In particular, the fact that he was including simulated computers was very difficult to read. I had hoped that the ability to hack and reprogram the computers in Rodina would make it truly unique. I knew after that moment that my game wasn’t going to be innovative, as I’d hoped. Rather, it was going to be derivative.

The good news is- competition can be a good thing. Now I have to work that much harder to make my game the best it can be. Notch’s game looks great so far, and it looks pretty different from Rodina, though I’m trying to avoid following his progress too closely. Additionally, since learning about Rodina Notch has been extremely gracious about acknowledging the game. I’m sure that the games will each have their own approaches, and as we all know, implementation is everything. Either way, fans of the genre can only benefit from more games being made, and I for one am absolutely excited to play both!

Are you aware of Infinity: The Quest for Earth?

Yes! That team is great and their engine looks awesome. In fact, their development diaries and technical guides have on occasion been extremely helpful in the production of Rodina. Infinity has been a huge inspiration! The only problem with Infinity is that it hasn’t been released yet. Jonh Carmack once said that in a game development cycle, you can either make an engine or you can make a game. The Infinity team has made an incredible engine, but by perfecting that they seem to have deprioritized the opportunity to ship a product for people to enjoy. I’m focusing on making a game and getting it into people’s hands.

Have you heard of No Man’s Sky?

Yes! It looks great and I can’t wait to play it! Unfortunately, as with 0x10c, the hype surrounding No Man’s Sky has drowned out Rodina a little bit. This is unfortunate for me but I’ve been through it before so I’m used to just plowing ahead. In terms of the games, I think the same difference between Rodina and Infinity applies in this case as well: No Man’s Sky looks great and I’m sure it will be fun, but I’ll be spending the months before it is released improving Rodina’s simulation and gameplay rather than it’s visuals. When No Man’s Sky finally comes out, I’m sure both games will offer very different experiences.

I wish that these things could coexist, and that people wouldn’t form these weird loyalties to spite games that aren’t their chosen favorite. It kills me when I read people saying “I’m not interested in Rodina because I’d rather play [game that won't be out for years or is total vaporware]“. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. But I suppose that’s just the way of the world!


Misc

Do you allow Youtube video monetization?

Yes! Here’s an official notice:

Elliptic Games explicitly grants permission to anyone to make recordings of Rodina, and to monetize any videos of the game they produce.

Is the ship bigger on the inside than it is on the outside?

No. I’ve heard this dozens of times, as far back as the first demo video. The ship interior fits snugly within the exterior! No idea what the illusion is there.

Are you lying about Rodina being the first game with this kind of seamless freedom?

I get this complaint once in a while, and every time it comes up I try to inquire politely about which game actually did it first. So far I haven’t gotten a real answer. Elite 2 and Evochron Mercenary are great games, I’m sure, but as far as I know neither of them allow you to walk around your ship or anywhere on a planet surface. No Man’s Sky isn’t out yet, nor was it even announced until well after Rodina had been.

The whole point of Rodina is to provide a 100% seamlessly immersive space experience. That’s literally the concept of the game, so each of those layers (space, ship, planet) are important to the overall game experience. I can understand if that’s not a selling point for people, or if they don’t understand why that would be important to others. But an appreciation for the feature is separate from the veracity of the claim itself, which to my knowledge absolutely stands.

Then again, if I’m actually wrong about this, I do want to know!


More questions?


Feel free to join the discussion on Rodina.reddit.com or Twitter or to email me directly at brendan@elliptic-games.com.