an EP by shiftBacktick

Welcome to Alpha Periphery

Today you awoke from cryogenic sleep.

The exosuit that protects you greets you: Welcome to Alpha Periphery. You were hired by the system's licensed corporation as a surveyor to assess its value. As you walk the shifting desert beneath you, it becomes clear there are more mysteries than rare metals to uncover.

This is your strangest job yet.

System Requirements

Periphery Synthetic EP is best experienced with headphones and a gamepad.

Real-time synthesis is an extremely CPU-intensive process. It will attempt to run on any machine that meets its minimum requirements; however, surveyors may experience stuttering or drop-outs when running below the recommended requirements.

Minimum System Requirements

CPU SSE2 capable (64-bit)

Recommended System Requirements

CPU 3.5 GHz Quad-Core (64-bit)
GPU WebGL2 compatible

Browser Support

The HTML5 build of Periphery Synthetic EP is intended to be played in a recent version of a Chromium-based browser, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Opera. Browser extensions that alter page behavior are not recommended. Other browsers must support modern JavaScript features, the current Web Audio API specification, and WebGL2.

Troubleshooting Performance Issues

Periphery Synthetic EP has been optimized for its recommended system requirements. Surveyors experiencing performance issues are encouraged to adjust settings on the Audio or Graphics screens. Audio stuttering can be improved by deactivating reverb. Frame rates can be improved by reducing draw distance or deactivating graphics entirely.

How to Play

Surveyors pilot a versatile exosuit capable of traversing the most extreme terrain ever explored. It comes preinstalled with a terrain scanner and limited cargo space. Scan the terrain and collect its bounties.

The exosuit is also equipped with a printer that can synthesize raw materials into new and improved components. For example, with the Wheels upgrade, it can transform seamlessly between bipedal and wheeled modes to handle unique demands.

The ingredients for success are everywhere. Surveyors may collect and synthesize them to customize their exosuit. When fully upgraded, it can overcome any obstacle.


In its default bipedal mode, the exosuit is an extension of the body. Hold the Move, Turn, and Strafe controls to move freely on any surface.

It can jump in any direction—or bunny hop continuously—by pressing the Jump control in combination with other movement controls. Even greater distances can be traversed by holding and charging Jump. While mid-air, the Grapple control can be held to brace any fall.

Surveyors will eventually desire new and improved abilities. These can be synthesized from the Upgrades screen.


When installed, pressing the Transform control toggles its wheeled mode. While driving, the exosuit gains a substantial speed boost in exchange for losing its ability to strafe or jump. However, its brakes can be temporarily suspended—to slide down slopes and perform tight turns—by holding the Drift control.


Beware, flight capabilities are only available in the full version of Periphery Synthetic EP.

When installed, holding the Thrusters control activates the Thrusters system. While flying, the exosuit attempts to maintain a safe lateral velocity, but will accelerate to terminal velocity under the effects of gravity.

The thrusters have a limited burn time which recharges passively in atmospheric environments. Their capacity and recharge rate can be increased by upgrading their respective subsystems.

By upgrading the Gimbals subsystem, the exosuit is capable of changing the direction of its thrust. Hold the Move and Strafe controls while thrusting to apply it in the desired direction.

Similarly, the RCS system allows the exosuit to turn while mid-air by holding the Turn controls. While turning, the exosuit attempts to maintain a safe rotational velocity.


Beware, travelling through portals is only available in the full version of Periphery Synthetic EP.

Surveyors may occasionally enounter portals to different worlds in the Alpha Periphery system. Step inside to travel instantly to their exits.


By pressing the Scan Terrain control, surveyors can gain new insights into their surroundings. Using it often is key to completing all objectives.

Terrain Sonification

Many worlds have atmospheric features which obstruct visibility. With the scanner, surveyors can visualize local elevation differences—and collectible objects—with sound.

Scan results are represented as streams of tones. These extend outward to form a 200-meter semicircle ahead. Level terrain is carefully tuned to Middle C—with each octave corresponding to 50 meters of difference.

Object Sonification

Scanned objects emit bright pings from their respective locations. These should not be confused with the darker echolocation ping, which returns where the ground meets eyelevel.

The scanner will automatically lock on to the nearest collectible object. This produces a notification sound which indicates its relative altitude. This is followed by a constant navigational sound which provides further assistance. Importantly, it is quietest when objects are directly ahead.

The scanner will ignore objects that are obscured by impassible terrain—or would exceed cargo space if collected.

Special Functions

The Functions screen holds the exosuit's most interesting capabilities. It can be accessed from the menu—or directly with a special hotkey.


Surveyors are alerted whenever they have enough materials to synthesize a new upgrade for their exosuits. From the Synthesis screen, they can browse their inventory and available upgrades.


Beware, several materials are only available in the full version of Periphery Synthetic EP.

Materials are scattered throughout the star system. To collect them, surveyors must get close and have available cargo space.

Surveyors can inspect their inventory from the Materials screen. Each material type has a maximum capacity independent from one another. They can increase their material capacity with the Cargo Racks upgrade.


Beware, several upgrades are only available in the full version of Periphery Synthetic EP.

Available upgrades can be browsed from the Upgrades screen. Select a system to view its subsystems. Select a subsystem to view its current bonus, next upgrade cost, and modify its level. New systems become available as their required materials are discovered.


Surveyors may occasionally encounter significant places of interest. These are added to the Destinations screen when scanned. Selecting a destination will transport surveyors to it automatically.

While traveling to destinations, time will pass at a rate proportional to their distance. It could be the next day upon arrival.


Surveyors may occasionally have deeper thoughts. These are added to the Perceptions screen for later reading when acquired. Topics include new discoveries and interesting interactions.


The exosuit supports a variety of input devices. Although remapping of controls is currently not available, alternate control schemes have been provided where appropriate.

Keyboard Controls

The exosuit's keyboard controls support play with one or both hands:

Action Key 1 Key 2 Key 3
Forward W Up Arrow Numpad 8
Reverse S Down Arrow Numpad 5
Turn Left Q Left Arrow Numpad 7
Turn Right E Right Arrow Numpad 9
Strafe Left A Numpad 4
Strafe Right D Numpad 6
Jump / Thrusters Space Numpad 0
Grapple / Drift Left Control Right Control
Sprint / Turbo Left Shift Right Shift
Transform R V
Scan Terrain F
Confirm Enter Space
Back / Game Menu Escape Backspace
Functions Tab Backquote (Tilde)
Next E Numpad 9
Previous Q Numpad 7

Access Hotkeys

Hotkeys have been provided to quickly jump to screen elements. Press numbers 1 through 0 to focus the element at that position. If the desired element is already focused, then it will be clicked instead.

Additional keyboard shortcuts have been provided to quickly access certain UI elements with a screen reader while in-game. They can be used by first holding either Alt key:

Action Button
Coordinates 1
Heading 2
Velocity 3
X-Coordinate X
Y-Coordinate Y
Z-Coordinate Z
Previous Notification Page Up
Next Notification Page Down

Mouse Controls

The exosuit can be controlled with a mouse in tandem with a keyboard for an immersive first-person experience:

Action Button
Turning Mouse X-Axis
Vertical Look Mouse Y-Axis
Jump / Thrusters Mouse 0 (Primary)
Grapple / Drift Mouse 2 (Secondary)
Transform Mouse Wheel
Scan Terrain Mouse 1 (Wheel)
Back / Game Menu Mouse 3 (Back)

Gamepad Controls

The exosuit supports standard gamepads such as an Xbox controller. Other controllers can be configured with a utility like x360ce:

Action Button 1 Button 2
Forward Left Stick Right Trigger
Reverse Left Stick Left Trigger
Turning Right Stick
Strafing Left Stick
Jump / Thrusters Right Bumper
Grapple / Drift Left Bumper
Sprint / Turbo Press Left Stick
Transform Press Right Stick
Scan Terrain A
Vertical Look Right Stick
Confirm A
Back B
Next Right Bumper
Previous Left Bumper
Game Menu Start Select

Instrument Controls

An instrument can be played on the initial splash screen:

Action Button
Play Note Right Stick
Volume Right Stick
Pitch Bend Left Stick
Vibrato Left Stick
Octave Up Right Bumper
Octave Down Left Bumper
Pan Right Right Trigger
Pan Left Left Trigger
Major Pentatonic Scale D-pad Up
Diatonic Scale D-pad Right
Minor Pentatonic Scale D-pad Down
Chromatic Scale D-pad Down

Haptic Feedback

Feel the exosuit as it interrogates the terrain. Vibration can be reduced or removed entirely from the Controls screen.

Touch Controls

Periphery Synthetic EP does not currently support touch beyond its menus. For best results on mobile devices, a gamepad is strongly recommended.


Periphery Synthetic EP is developed in accordance with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 at Level AA conformance. Its menus are fully operable with a keyboard and screen readers such as NVDA.

Photosensitivity Warning

The exosuit can produce certain strobing patterns when moving at high velocities over terrain. Please navigate to the Graphics screen to make adjustments—or deactivate them entirely.


Please direct all support requests through the platform from which Periphery Synthetic EP was acquired:


This project would not exist without your generous support and feedback.

Special thanks to the folks who have heard this concept grow since its genesis—especially my partner and the audio gaming community. You experienced firsthand how its components were designed, built, and rearranged into something greater.

The following typefaces belong to their respective owners:

Thanks for playing!