Near the Far Plane

Stranded after the year 2038, one left-behind robot tries to make its way back to humanity using only its depth sensor.

After the year 2038, most 32-bit systems stopped working properly and were subsequently destroyed.
Soon after, humanity realized that climate change would soon make Earth unable to support humanity. Work on the most ambitious project ever began, a space station called X57 to support humanity in the future. After its completion and the evacuation of every human (who could afford it), it was decided to destroy every computing device left behind on Earth to prevent a potential robot uprising. Most, but not all! Left behind in the basement of an old NASA launch facility and thought to be rendered inoperable by the Y2038 bug, one prototype robot wakes up after cosmic background radiation randomly reset its time counter.

Wear and tear has damaged its equipment over time though, so you will have to make do with the embedded laser depth-scanner. Fortunately there are power upgrades available to increase its range.
Can you find a way ouf of the complex, repair the launch facility and launch a rocket using your limited tools?


  • WASD/Arrow keys: Movement
  • Mouse: view direction
  • Left click: activate (button/upgrades/etc.)
  • Shift: move faster

The riddles are not all intended to be solvable without external resources. Feel free to use the internet to look up stuff.

If the game is too hard for you, we have compiled a document of hints, from minor hints to outright solutions. There are spoiler tags so you can only look at the hints you want to.

Hints document

Voting results


This game entered in the Team competition (16 entries).

Comments (14)

 • 4 years ago • 

This looks interesting and I'd like to play it, but throwing morse code at the player before anything happens? Gives it quite a rough start I think. Especially when the information needed to solve the codes isn't available ingame.

 • 4 years ago • 

Rendering exclusively depthmaps is quite a clever interpretation of the theme, however the creeking and clinking of the movement is headache inducing.

On my first run, I ran around withouteven knowing that I could click stuff, after having a look at your hints page I gave it a sceond try and got to the first passcode-elevator. At that point I looked at the hints and realized, that there's nothing I could intuitively pickup from them. I guess it's a game for a different audience.

 • 4 years ago • 

I like the sound design here ((though the intemittent music became a bit grating after a while)), you really get the feeling you're playing a squeeky-wheeled clunker of a robot.

The atmosphere is very good, especially in the middle part of the game, where you can see enough that it's not just a grey soup,
but not enough to see how low poly and 'normal' (in the sense that it's typical videogame scenery if you ignore the black-n-white look) the world is.

Things I got stuck on for a while & other remarks (whether it's the game or me that's at fault can be judged by the reader) only the first one isn't a spoiler so watch out:

  • Clicking stuff didn't seem to work at all on my first attempt. The day after I switched to Linux and with a bit of difficulty could get the mousepointer to be in the middle of the screen and it sort-of worked.
  • I correctly guessed that the words on the ceiling where a substitution cypher, and that the first word was supposed to be 'the'. But then the third word ended in double T and it just wouldn't fit.
    Just to be sure I went to rot13 (hoping that the substitution was just a shift) and found out the issue: FWIW: I think 'foxtrot' should be spellled with one 't'.
  • Also related to 'clicking stuff': I had a hard time clicking the top row of the blue boxes …
    to the point that I only figured out again that they should be clickable when the puzzle wasn't doable with the only the first row of buttons.
  • What's the point of the other floors in the factory? I like that I can get there, but they seem purposeless.
  • I didn't think to interact with the moon at all -- this is where I first needed the hints -- and even when I did, I had no idea I was supposed to click it.
    All other things up to that point that you can interact with have been colored. Clicking anywhere else never leads to zooming.
  • I found the pipes puzzle to be a bit tedious after getting stuck so often on the other events
    (a large part could maybe have been helped if I hadn't been playing the web version maybe?), so I looked up the solution here as well.

All in all, it's a pretty solid chunk of Myst like adventure for just two days development! :-)

@Odrez Spoiler: I just went to the light with the matching pattern to get the upgrade? … or what I thought matched the pattern. Oh so that's what the 'Q' was for!

 • 4 years ago • 

I love the art idea it's very refreshing and a great take at the theme! However I didn't go far in the game because I felt quickly stuck without any idea of what to do even after looking at the hints ^^
I think my biggest issue is with the level design, I felt lost very easily and couldn't understand the layout of the place I was in. When walking in the corridors it's very difficult to understand if we are moving or not because of the lack of visual reference.
Still the artistic direction makes it an interesting entry, well done!

 • 4 years ago • 

Very interesting take on the theme and an interesting concept. It would have been nice if the game was self-contained, instead of relying on outside knowledge to complete.

 • 4 years ago • 

Like the people before me already said: Cool interpretation of the theme!
I got stuck quite fast as well though and didn't have enough motivation to force myself through.
Maybe start with a couple of easy puzzles to get a feel of the concept?

 • 4 years ago • 

The graphics are amazing and I like the idea of no HUD. Music is also on point. Nevertheless, I couldn't understand what I can do in the game. There is a manual, but I believe games should be playable without external instructions.

The thing is, I really liked the vibe and visuals. I was intrigued by this aspects alone just looking at screenshots. I believe the game has a lot of potential if learning curve would be more welcoming. Or if you consider your audience to be hardcore quest lovers, then I thing everything is ok as it is :)

 • 4 years ago • 

I really liked the way you used the theme here, the depth rendering was cool and I liked the way the puzzles became available as you gained more energy points to increase the range of the sensor. The puzzles were fairly difficult; I would never have gotten far without the hints given (don't know morse code off the top of my head).

 • 4 years ago • 

Overall the use of the theme is great.
However, the puzzles were difficults and a more progressive difficulty would have engaged me more in the game.
I'm not really patient… so this game wasn't really meant for me ^^

 • 4 years ago • 

For me the stand outs in this game are the way the theme is used, the originality of the game and the sound design. Although I don't find the music very fitting to the game, the sound design of the sound effects is very atmospheric the way they trigger in the environment.

Even with the hind, the game is hard to control and "grasp". To me, mostly because the graphics are atmospheric and also quite unclear. There seem to be conveyor belts, but I can't see them for instance.

 • 4 years ago • 

Dang, I really want to play this now, but after just a few of minutes, I'm getting a headache from the eye strain… This is why I can't play games with first-person cameras, ugh. But I love puzzles, and looking at your hint sheet made me wish I didn't have this debilitating ocular disability…

 • 4 years ago • 

Stuck at the elevator. The Morse code seems to be just about the second upgrade. No idea about the letters in the ceiling… Yeah, that's about it. Myst was never my thing and I don't like walkthroughs.

If I can't beat it, I can't rate it.

  • 4 years ago • 

@HuvaaKoodia Check out the hint document for a hint on the letters. It's not a walkthrough but just gives a few hints.

The riddles after this one should be easier to solve and I think you'll be able to solve them without hints.

 • 4 years ago • 

Clever interpretation of the theme, and a good backstory! However, the puzzles are inhumanly hard. A good puzzle, once solved, should trigger an "aha, I could have known that, why didn't I think of that sooner!" moment when the pieces fit into place. Not a "what, how could I possibly have known that" moment.

In this case, I got to the second upgrade: the Q pointed at the corridor blinking the letter Q, and that's where it was, although I grasped that only later after brute-force trying each corridor in turn. Then I got stuck. I decoded the letters, going clockwise from the red Q, as AMIDQNX, and the one on the central tower as Y. There is no clue whatsoever that a Caesar cypher is involved, and even after looking at the hints and trying +7 and -7 I only end up with gibberish containing letters that can't be entered at the keypad -- besides, it only takes 5 characters and there's no clue about the order either. So by that point, I found the puzzle too obtuse even for my tastes, and gave up.

Nitpick: cosmic background radiation is pretty constant, weak, and mostly microwaves; it wouldn't penetrate the robot's outer shell. Maybe you meant a cosmic ray instead? It sounds like sci-fi but those things are real and probably better able to flip bits.

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