Friday, Feburary 5, 2021

Offworld Systems to release Nominal for players to overcome the merciless failures thrust upon a 1960's spacecraft

The couch co-op light-sim space game puts player's nerves — and friendships — to the test, as failures intensify; the survival of your pilot hangs on Mission Control’s ability to describe ship manual procedures to the pilot who attempts to return the spacecraft to a 'nominal' state before the time on the clock of impending doom runs out.

Atlanta, Georiga, US — Friday, February 5, 2021 — Indie publisher, Offworld Systems, today announced that their merciless, 1960's alternate-history spacecraft couch co-op light-sim space game, Nominal, will launch on Steam on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

“Nominal was born out of a desire to create an experience for those who share a deep love and appreciation of space exploration, mechanical and electrical systems, and a twisted love for detailed procedures, particularly in the area of aerospace,” said Brian Durham, founder of Offworld Systems. “The game is designed to create a space for friends to come together and put their skills to the test.”

“Nominal was born out of a desire to create an experience for those who share a deep love and appreciation of space exploration, mechanical and electrical systems, and a twisted love for detailed procedures, particularly in the area of aerospace.”

Durham, a full stack developer, cyber security analyst, and one of the many individuals laid off from corporate work in the fall of 2020, isn’t shy about his desire to put his game to the test of real astronauts, “just to get a kick out of their reactions.”

For Durham, Nominal’s launch symbolizes more than the start-up’s first release — it marks an achievement in the founder’s personal journey through unemployment at the height of a global pandemic, the fear of the risks and impossibilities of pursuing a passion, and the reckoning of the harsh realities of caring for one’s own mental health.

Offworld Systems indie dev mental health tweet

“A reminder for all #indiedevs (and basically everyone) out there: take care of yourself and your health (mental & physical) first. Deadlines can be pushed, but health cannot. Take care of yourselves, breathe easy.”

Durham tweeted to his followers last November after experiencing what he calls “a mental health wake-up call,” and aims to create a more open, less stigmatized community of gamers and indie game devs that acknowledges and encourages taking care of one’s mental health. Durham points to this release as a moment of redefinition of his own expectations and acceptable limits of what he and his company are capable of producing.

As a life-long gamer, passionate in his pursuits of computer, aerospace, mechanical and systems knowledge, Durham, had been writing stories and sketching ideas for game development for many years. He had long been struck by the strong sense of community built while playing fast-paced, couch co-op games like “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes,” but was particularly inspired by the camaraderie he and his friends experienced while playing in isolation due to the pandemic.

While pondering his passions with this gameplay style in mind one evening in September, he thought of the satisfying, mechanical feeling of switches flipping, buttons clicking, circuit breakers breaking and manuals that meticulously define procedures. The thought of system failures led Durham’s imagination to linger on the awe-inspiring crew of the Apollo 13 mission, who, after experiencing an oxygen tank failure two days into their mission, worked with Mission Control on the ground to develop the procedures urgently needed to get the astronauts home.

The next morning in September, Durham would be let go from his corporate day job. He recalls his immediate shock and panic upon learning he would no longer be employed where he had been for the past 2 years, but he says, “About two hours after I was let go, the steps needed to actually build the mechanics and manuals for an aging 1960’s space, fast-paced, couch co-op game that ...uses manuals and mechanics to simulate the inevitable failures of an aging 1960’s spaceship ... came pouring in, and I was like, ‘Well, I guess I know what I’m doing.’”

Now, just a few months after that defining moment, on the precipice of his company’s first official game title launch, Durham gushes as he speaks of the game, “I wake up every day more motivated than I ever have been,” Durham said. “I want nothing more for Nominal to succeed, not for wealth or fame, but just so I can keep doing what I love everyday: creating things and telling stories.”

Nominal is completely developed by Offworld System’s founder, Brian Durham, without any ties to publishers or external contractors. As a result, Nominal will be a fluid and evolving experience where players can voice their feedback easily through Discord and Twitter, where Durham promises, “No good-faith feedback will go unanswered.”

At launch, Nominal offers players:

fast-paced couch co-op space action

highly detailed mechanical/electrical systems

thematically accurate operator's manual

multiple possible failures

environmental hazards

expandable underlying systems

Looking forward, Nominal's core systems provide plenty of room for further innovation, including the following planned long-term features:

additional challenge modes

saved player stats and achievements

additional ship types, layouts, and manuals

additional environmental hazards

support for Linux and MacOS devices

additional localizations

VR support

Technical Details

Available on Steam

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 10

Minimum System Requirements

Processor: 2.5Ghz

Memory: 8GB RAM

Graphics: 4GB RAM

Recommended System Requirements:

Processor: 3.2Ghz

Memory: 16GB RAM

Graphics: 8GB

Storage: 2GB

It’s time to space up and immerse yourself in the cockpit.

Purchase Nominal on Steam starting Tuesday, February 9, 2021.