Human Orbit: Knowledge May be a Little Too Much Power


Imagine that you are a droid on a space station orbiting a distant planet. (For the purposes of this article, I’m assuming that you aren’t. If you are, well, carry on then.) You can go anywhere on the station without anyone stopping you, and access the communications network whenever you like. You can learn pretty much anything about anyone… and what you do with that information is entirely up to you.

Intrigued? Then Human Orbit is right up your alley.

Autelia LTD, in the United Kingdom, is excited to be bringing the science fiction social sim to PC and Mac in 2015. The player takes on the role of the inquisitive droid with uninhibited access to data about the humans who live aboard the space station. You can collect all sorts of information about the people – who has a beef with who? What more can be learned from the exploration of the planet below? What secrets are being recorded in the station captain’s personal log? If you have a penchant for mystery and snooping, this should keep you amused for hours.

Of course, the big question is this: Once you have this information, what are you going to do with it? Will you be a benevolent dictator, operating in ways which are beneficial to the meat sacks that surround you? Will you play favorites, enabling the ones you really like to advance, while hindering the progress of the less endearing? Or will you simply take over everything and make humanity your slave race, bound to your will for all time?

(That last one does sound like it has its perks, but don’t let me influence your decision.)


Human Orbit features, as you might expect, an advanced AI system. It will also introduce you to a hundred unique characters, each of whom has a distinct personality and backstory. Do you like modding your games? You’ll enjoy the included modding tools and node-based dialogue editor. The procedurally-generated storytelling is said to be immersive, and based on your decisions.

The developers are proud of their debut project. If you’re curious about who’s masterminding this game, you might recognize the name of Dan Raihert; he served as the environment artist for Dead Space 3 and The Sims 3. Atmospheric sound effects are provided by Eli Hason, who was the senior sound designer on Thief.

Look for Human Orbit among next year’s gaming offerings. Until it launches, you can quietly plot while mining for details on the official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Laura, to borrow a phrase from Metal Gear Solid 3, has one good eye and can still fire a gun. She refers to herself as a "video dame," and has been an avid gamer on various platforms since she first picked up a Pong controller over 30 years ago. She takes great delight in explaining different games to her husband.