There’s nothing out here. You sit, adrift, stuck in your miniature satellite. Surrounding you is a field of rock. Desolation. Isolation. Take it in.

Cosmonaut from Lucas Lima (@dijei3311) presents a work in progress of a game about exploration. Utilizing post-processing effects to a profound degree, Lucas crafts a small location to float about in that would wind up being exceedingly dull in less experienced hands. Instead, you have a world that immediately harkens to retrofuturism through utilization of dithering effects and shader work I’ve not really seen elsewhere. Shadows carry banding lines, given them an impression akin to topographical maps. Shininess breaks through the dithering some, blending out the dots into matte and breaking up the pattern.

This rocks!

Out there, in the distance, is nothing but rocks. You bump into them, moving them about a tiny bit, but fruitlessly. Some intrigue arises from the spareness of it all; certainly something must be awaiting your intrusion? A speck of light hangs on the horizon, it catches your eye. Your approach reveals a burgeoning mystery. Is everything truly as it seems here? The synth-y music backing your spacewalk acts as excellent backing to drive a very specific mood here. Dripping with atmosphere, the small prodding at the possible direction of the game have me very intrigued.

The pale white dot.

As an unfinished work, Cosmonaut obviously can leave some feeling like it’s lacking. But, I argue that the visual styling alone provides ample reason to take a peek at this project. I’m not sure where Lucas plans to take this in the end, but as a foundation, this serves beautifully to get me hooked on where it’s going. Until further updates, I’ll wait here, alone in my small sanctuary, and stare out to the stars. At least I have a gorgeous view to pass the time.

Cosmonaut is available for preview on

Catherine Brinegar is a trans game developer and filmmaker who explores the surreal and abstract in her work. Beyond her creative endeavors she enjoys losing herself inside other worlds, interactive and not. Finding inspiration in everything, Catherine aims to see all the world has to offer, through the continual conversation of art. You can keep up with her on twitter @cathroon.