Heat Signature gameplay trailer showcases randomly-generated galaxies

Heat Signature

It has been 220 days since the last Heat Signature trailer, according to designer (and former PC Gamer writer) Tom Francis, and so here's a new one. Trailer is probably the wrong nomeclature, actually, because clocking in at just over 11 minutes, the video includes plenty of gameplay detail, with Francis providing running commentary throughout. Of note are the randomly generated galaxies (which are still very pretty), explanation of how factions work, and the dangers posed by an icy, infinite vacuum and the practical value of throwing wrenches in confined spaces.

What I find especially appealing about Heat Signature is the randomness underlying the whole thing. Francis does pretty well as he plays, as you'd expect from the guy who's making the game, but he still manages to get himself into all kinds of scrapes. In fact, he put some of his more interesting moments together in a much shorter (and swearier) video of Heat Sig out-takes, saying "the game broke in about 20 different ways" while he was making the trailer.

"The game now procedurally generates a huge galaxy of colourful nebulae, dotted with hundreds of space stations, linked by trade routes that carry supplies between all the outposts of each faction's empire," Francis explained. "Your take missions to intercept ships flying those routes—stealing cargo or assassinating VIPs to break the supply chain, leaving space stations isolated and ripe for capture."

Heat Signature certainly seems to be coming along nicely, and Sam and Tim were suitably impressed by it when they took it for a spin in a March preview. Public testing hasn't begun yet, but you can sign up to be notified when it does at heatsig.com.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.