Based in Solihull, United Kingdom

Founding date:
April, 2014


Press / Business contact:

@ShallowSpace1 on Twitter
ShallowSpace on Facebook

Shallow Space Early Access - Oct 21st 2015


Special Circumstances was formed April 2014 by James Martin. Born out of a passion for the RTS genre, the studio is currently working on a backstory and RTS game framework for a game universe called ‘Shallow Space.’


James set to work on the idea early 2014 and quickly attracted the support of John Harper. At the time John had completed his first official Elite novel ‘And Here the Wheel’ and was published late 2014 by Fantastic Books publishing. John became enthralled in the idea of Shallow Space and began constructing a timeline and supporting literature.

James continued to progress the 3D prototype game and then invited Alex onto the project. Bereft of funds as we were Alex set about creating the effects to be used in Shallow Space and sold them on the asset store to raise additional revenue. To this day Alex runs a successful business called Forge3D and is one of the top sources of sci-fi effects available today.

Once the game established itself further Mike Myers reached out to Special Circumstances about a possible collaboration, after hearing his work in the band Captain Panic! & Systek, James quickly welcomed them onto the team. Mike Myers joins with Justin Wray to form ‘Section 9’ providing exquisite and mesmerising backing to the Shallow Space universe.

Work on Shallow Space continues as the Special Circumstances team widen the net everyday through the power of social media, John Harper and James Martin continue to guest blog on a number of sources and the team has just taken on-board a 2D and 3D artist.

Confident that progress is now assured Special Circumstances have opened up the Shallow Space game for pre-purchase with the intent that the income will offset the rising costs.

Shallow Space is scheduled for Early Access release this fall (2015) on both Steam and Humble Bundle DRM-free.

Shallow Space

The first game to be set in this universe is to be called "Shallow Space" which is an ambitious 3D Real Time Strategy game set in outer space. The game borrows cues from the iconic titles such as "Homeworld" and "Nexus: The Jupiter Incident" in the method of control and the planned story-driven campaign.

And while, We cite these tiltes as our sources of inspiration, when we examined the gameplay of these two great titles; Nexus as an RTT game with absolute control over each ship and system; vs. Homeworld as an amazing RTS featuring en-mass warfare - we felt that the ideal command experience lay somewhere in-between.

Ships in Shallow Space large and small are grouped into Wings and then Flotilla. Perks and attribute bonuses earned by player progressed Officers and equipment earned in-mission, will influence ship attributes and available abilities in those formations.

The player gets a certain amount of points to spend to configure their forces before a mission. They can pick ships they've preconfigured and setup Flotillas for various tasks, these tasks are further underlined by a "Class" system which will denote the Company or Regiment the Flotilla is "borrowed" from granting bonuses to that role. (Examples include "227th Highlanders" (Assault Practitioners,) "178th Pioneers" (Support & Acquisition,) "07th Wasps" (Carrier Command).

Each of the players Officers grant bonuses to the amount of ships that can be commanded and therefore, the amount of slots to put ships into. The player will get a certain number of MP (military points) to spend before each mission, but they likely won't be able to fill their Battlegroup with the allowance and should instead pick the mightiest of Capital craft with a keen support function. The player can then use that support function to gather resources and construct more ships in-mission in a more standard RTS fashion.

Abilities such as "Short Range Jump" will allow the player to instantly withdraw your forces from battle, terrain altering ship modules will allow them to shape the vast arenas teaming with NPC life, into meaningful areas of operations and the heavy customization features will mean the player can play out the mission exactly as they want to, rewarded by many areas of progression including RPG-style character advancement and additional ship variants and modules. Of course this all counts towards the replayability of the game, which will be an additional focus. Other examples of diverse tactical choice would include:

  • Missiles/Torpedoes will come in different types for different jobs
  • A wide choice of Carriers and Corvettes
  • Ships can be rigged with different type of weapons (Turret and Fixed) with differing damage types (Energy, Kinetic, Precise.)
  • Blueprints to Hull and Weapon variants can be found in-mission and the game will feature a random loot drop system for the Single-player campaign.
  • Ships can be configured with hull and weapons modules for seemingly infinite combinations.

In addition to all the customization, the Wings/Flotilla system allows us to do some very clever things with the AI and the planned Officer/Crew RPG features. The player will complete RPG-like activities and complete tasks with their custom fleet such as collect incidental missions from NPC forces, hunt out enemy fortifications and progress the main quest-line set by command as well as resource collecting, unit construction and all the standard RTS fare.

Along with all this we are modernising the games assets to implement the very latest of technology with PBR rendering and the ability to ship the end game with 4K textures.

The game is a single player, campaign driven type with skirmishes, multi-player planned for the skirmish modes at the least (with co-operative play likely) and we start Early Access on the 21st October.


Omega YouTube

Symphony  YouTube


download all screenshots as .zip (23MB)

There are far more images available for Shallow Space, but these are the ones we felt would be most useful to you. If you have specific requests, please do contact us!

download logo files as .zip (355KB)

Awards & Recognition

  • "Indie of the Year 2014." - IndieDB Top 100

Quotes & Articles

  • "It’s very much there, looking familiar in UI and control mechanisms, as well as the bulky ships and piercing beams. But where it varies – procedural generation throughout the campaign, for example – is what’s caught my eye."
    - Ben Barrett , Rock, Paper, Shotgun
  • "This game is going to be so good it hurts!"
    - Josh Parnell, Limit Theory

Team & Repeating Collaborator

James Martin
Founder, Lead Developer

Alexander Kazmirchuck
Technical Artist, FX Artist

John Harper

Mariusz Czelusniak
UI Design

Enver Dzekoev
Designer, 3D Artist

Mathias Koehler
Designer, 3D Artist

Micheal Myers

Justin Wray