For a short summary Siderophobia is a horror game set in space, where you pilot a space ship. Siderophobia’s main gameplay comes from navigating the space around you with the limited vision you are provided.

This post will go a bit more into the Technical design behind Siderophobia’s graphics.

In the game most objects around you are completely invisible until you send out a Sonar like signal which lights up the area around you.

This effect was done using shaders in Unity.

For those who are unaware of shaders, it is essentially code that is ran for every pixel on the screen on the GPU.

The main reason I am making this post is to advocate for learning shader code for whichever engine you currently use. Shaders provide extreme stylistic freedom while also being highly optimizable. 

The effect I used for Siderophobia is fairly simple in design but I decided to make it the main focus of the game to showcase how powerful shaders can be. Usually, people will skip over learning shader code and just use whichever shader is provided by their engine. I consider it a waste of a feature. 

As textureless shaders are done using math they are more expensive than using plain textures but also scale with screen size providing the same effect no matter how zoomed in or out you are. I decided to challange myself by making all of the UI using custom shader code as well. To note this is more expensive than just using sprites.

By setting the clear tag on my cameras to “Don’t Clear”, I have essentially told Unity to write new frames on old frames, some people know of this effect by noclipping out of bounds in old video games. The effect essentially stacks frames making the entire screen seem distorted and wrong but when used correctly It can also give a feeling of movement lag which is what I aimed for.

Siderophobia was for me, an experimental take on a horror game using graphical programming, I personally think that if someone with better game design knowledge than me had the ability to write shader code they could create very clever games.

You can purchase Siderophobia at this link: