Directed by Jack Mamais
  • Crysis
  • Far Cry
  • MechWarrior 2
Produced by David Wessman
  • Star Wars X-Wing Series
  • BloodWake
  • Saints Row

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Screenshots

Game Overview

The vision

In The Black™ is an intense team-based online space combat simulator with a laser focus on combat. Everything in the game is researched and designed in consultation with aerospace engineers and space scientists in order to put you in the cockpit of the most lethal machines ever devised.

  • No fantasy-based propulsion

    Drives include gas core nuclear reactors, electromagnetic mass drivers, solar thermal and light sails (and there’s a difference between reactor fuel and thruster propellant)

  • No magic force-fields, teleporters or other technology that violates known science.

    We offer modular adaptive spaceframes, distributed sensors, & self-healing smart materials

  • No disruptor beams, proton torpedoes, or other colorful fantasy weapons

    We have variable yield nuclear warheads, megawatt class lasers and railguns, EMP weapons, and good old slugs of iron.

  • No artificial gravity

    Down is the direction of thrust, (or the exterior bulkheads of a rotating habitat section)


Sophisticated Pilot Vehicle Interface

The Pilot Vehicle Interface (PVI) is designed with inspiration from bleeding edge real world military interfaces and the best Future User Interfaces seen in popular science fiction. It features a sophisticated model of distributed sensors, networked communications, and a Decision Support System (DSS) that provides the pilot as much situational awareness as possible, with a minimum of clutter. A key feature of the DSS are the audio cues that supplement the augmented reality visual cues. This provides players with a rich 3D soundscape that greatly enhances immersion. But like any other system, it can be damaged or destroyed, leaving the pilot in terrifying silence.

The only things between living and dying in the terrifying darkness of deep space are your combat skills and your ship’s hull.

Nuclear-Powered Space Combat

Realistic Space Combat

Space games are enjoying a resurgence with AAA titles such as Elite: Dangerous, No Man’s Sky, and Star Citizen being the most prominent. Each of these titles offer their own vision of what a space game should be, but none of them focus solely on combat, and the combat they do offer is not realistic. This is what sets In The Black™ apart from the competition.

All of our effort is dedicated to showing that respecting the science isn’t just for more realistic space combat, it makes for space combat that is more fun!


Plausible Worldbuilding

In the Black™ takes a similarly realistic approach to worldbuilding. While the future we portray follows some familiar tropes regarding corporate-dominated dystopias, it is thoroughly grounded in plausible extrapolations of how society and culture will evolve in the future.

The solar system is dominated by five megacorporations, each of which controls numerous subsidiaries. they wield power and wealth well beyond that of the 21st century superpowers. All of them are maneuvering for advantage, and the further away from Earth, the less they feel constrained by terrestrial laws and codes.

None want an all out war, and by tacit agreement armed conflict is kept to a minimum with strict limitations on the amount of destruction. A key component of this has been to normalize the use of military power to enforce commercial contracts or punish such transgressions as copyright infringement and IP theft.

This is where the many private military companies come in. There’s a thriving business in providing security to corporate interests, and in providing plausible deniability when more “energetic” methods of persuasion are required. Players assume the role of private military contractors (mercenaries) fighting the covert wars of ruthless megacorporations.

  • Northstar

    First, and always further: Building the future today.

  • Stellar Fracturing

    Long-term Value Through the Discovery and Acquisition of Space Resources

  • Propatalus Union

    Innovating an Incredible Future

  • Bloodskulls

    The Bloodskulls are Called when Client's Require Exceptionally Enthusiastic Applications of Firepower

  • Starfighter Inc.

    The First PMC in Space and Still the Best.

  • Space Recon

    Swift, Silent, Deadly If we can see it, we can kill it, and we see everything


Game loop and player progression

Flying a spacecraft and blowing things up is intrinsically rewarding. If the reward is proportional to skill, and the learning curve is smooth, then the more you play the game, the better you get, and the better you get, the more you enjoy it, and the more you enjoy it, the more you want to play it. This is the perfect virtuous circle of game design.

Core Game Loop

  • Select a game mode
  • Select one or more configured ships
  • Enter battlespace to complete objectives
  • Earn rewards after the battle ends
  • Buy parts and upgrade ships

Player item management

  • ShipFrame editor

    Manage, replace and apply ship gear for the best setup. (improve description).

  • Weapon Group Editor

    Edit your ship’s weapon groups for the best offensive and defensive setup.

  • Inventory

    Review and manage your ships and gear

  • Store

    Purchase new ships, weapons, technology, cosmetics etc.

  • Ship paint configurator

    Adjust your ship’s look.

Player Progression

  • Mercenary Rating

    As players complete contract missions, they earn credits to purchase upgrades and new items, and their performance is used to evaluate their Mercenary Rating.

  • Certifications

    As players complete training missions and simulator tutorials, they earn certifications that unlock new ships and technology. With new ships and technology, they unlock new combat opportunities (EW specialist, for example).


Game Modes

  • BloodSport

    BloodSport is the quickplay arena combat mode. It represents a sponsored gladiatorial spectacle where pilots fight for glory and cash. The primary focus is proving your combat skills in simpler, more tightly defined contests. Players are given a matchmaking rating based on their past performance and current ship’s capabilities.

  • PMC Career

    PMC Career mode is the hard core experience of being a private military contractor earning a living as a space fighter pilot. Missions are longer and more realistic, and the stakes are higher (with permanent gear death), but so are the rewards.

  • Simulator

    Using the simulator, players can hone in their skills in a risk-free environment, and earn certifications for new ships and weapons. Ring Race time trials offer another way to improve their piloting skills and compete for the fastest time and the top of the leaderboard.

  • Juggernaut

    Juggernaut is a single player and co-op mode in which players fly a Shrike-class light fighter through the labyrinthine tunnel systems of the Bhadrakhali Mining Facility while evading the extremely deadly Juggernaut-class heavy security drone in a tense and claustrophobic hide and seek challenge.


Game Features

  • Entirely skill-based online multiplayer team combat in nuclear-powered spacecraft

    Nuclear powered propulsion, lasers, missiles, chainguns and EMPs ensure that no-one is safe in the battlespace. Tactics and piloting skills are just as important as weapons and technology. Paradoxically, the advanced Pilot Vehicle Interface and Decision Support Systems simplify the controls, allowing pilots to concentrate on their mission objectives instead of monitoring a dozen different instruments. Ultimately, victory favors the more effective team.

  • Potential VR support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive

    Space is big, really big... but it’s impossible to really appreciate the scale of it without direct experience. We offer the next best thing to being an astronaut: an immersive VR experience like no other. VR allows players to fully appreciate the sheer scale of giant worlds like Saturn, and the awe-inspiring beauty of it’s rings and moons...the perfect backdrop for maximum intensity mayhem!

  • Scientifically accurate setting, ships, weapons, and flight model with detailed component-based damage and thermal effects

    Battlespaces are actual locations in our solar system. Ship and projectile movement obey Newtonian physics. Penetration and damage calculations account for kinetic, heat and radiation effects introducing players to new warfare concepts and increasing their understanding of accurate space combat.

  • Narrative that evolves based on cumulative player actions

    As missions are won and lost, the corporations evolve and adjust their goals, generating new story-lines and contracts for mercenaries to complete.

  • Fully customizable ships and personal hangars

    Deck out your gear to your heart’s content. Paint schemes, digital helmet emotes, personal hangar decorations, and of course your ship’s armament and internal components can be upgraded. Tweak, color, test and setup your ship as you see fit.

  • Free-to-Play, but not Pay-to-Win

    We all need a little help from time to time, but money can’t buy everything. Time, skill and dedication will get you to the top ranks as a mercenary.

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