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Starlight Inception Kickstart

This Kickstarter from Escape Hatch Entertainment seeks to fund Starlight Inception, "a space combat experience with modern elements of strategy and tactics." Escape Hatch is headed up by Garry Gaber, formerly of LucasArts, and the post contains quotes verifying his long-standing passion for this type of game:

Our goal is to create a descendant of the space combat genre - it's a game about flying space fighters, bombers and other spacecraft, but it's also about managing the ship's power usage between shields and stealth generators, engines, and weapons. Plus, as you get further in the game, you amass quite an arsenal to pick from for missions. The game's art style is photoreal and gritty - you'll feel like you're in the middle of a big battle amongst the planets, moons and asteroids, making decisions that affect your life and the life of your wingmen, whether human or autonomous drones.

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30. Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Apr 12, 2012, 01:05 1701Tiberius
 
Hi - I'm Garry Gaber, the developer of Starlight Inception, and fan of Blue's News.

A couple points and some more description of the game:

First, why the hell Vita? I think my LucasArts stuff is creating a false impression that I now own a studio that is large. It's not true - Escape Hatch is small. Small is good in some cases, because it lets you be agile, and make quick decisions. it also lets you do things at a much better price point and efficiently.

For a small studio to survive, it has to stand out where there isn't a lot of competition from larger products. Originally PSP made sense from that perspective, but PSP couldn't handle the graphics we were throwing at it. So we thought, where now? And we looked at Vita, a touch device with twin joysticks with no space games on it, and thought this might be a place where we could shine. The reason we then chose PC was because, with modern engines (at least our modern engine) there's no such things as ports. Unity3d, for instance, has buttons to export to iOS, XBOX 360, Mac and PC, amongst others. Your chief concerns are adjusting for screen size, and setting up a control scheme which works. Vita can push polys so much better than any other handheld, that it can support near - PC graphics. So we make our art assets for PC first and foremost, and then downsample textures and (maybe) poly count for the Vita. But things like physics, gameplay, game modes, etc - they all go over with the touch of that switch. If doing the graphics for PC first means PC leads, then we can agree to disagree on this fact. In the old days, back at Lucas, a port really was a port. You basically had to rewrite all of your code to get it to work on other platforms, which led to compromises. We do not intend to make compromises with Starlight, and shouldn't have to.

As TerdFerguson said, 150k isn't enough for this type of game. He's right - but that is only a part of the budget, and the two principals, myself and my wife, Melissa aren't taking any salary for this, no matter how much comes in from Kickstarter. We are also kicking in some of our own cash to make this happen.

Regarding the art you're seeing and the teaser, these are all early concepts for the game, and culled together footage that will never be used in this form, not a real formal teaser announcement. From what I can glean, Kickstarter is meant to get projects going, not to fund projects that are far along in their lifecycle, although that definition has been changing. I might not have been clear enough on the page - we are really really early here. Like, concept doc early. Everything you currently see, logo, ships, etc. will change as more team comes aboard and we really get going. Game Development are iterative. This one is no different.

Re: Launch DLC- I screwed the pooch on this one. I put that in there originally in case we were going to do Launch DLC (i.e. Sony asked us to do it, for whatever reason), so that everyone would get it who did the Kickstarter thing. If we did it. The idea was maybe to do two fighters and an extra non-campaign mission and sell it for $.99 or something. Again, if it came up, we had it, and the backers wouldn't feel like we hadn't told them. Subsequently, I realized first, that Launch DLC is evil, we never should have mentioned it, and even though we really didn't have anything, I pledged to add two extra fighters and that mission into the shipping game. I apologized profusely, and am still apologizing and I really feel bad about this. This is something a publisher behind your company does - they protect you from your own stupid moves. But we are self-publishing and this was my own error and again, I wish I had never done it, and never will again. In my own defense, I only want to ask, when was the last time some [fill in the name of a big publisher or developer] ever decided to fold launch DLC into their shipping version?

Some stuff about the game itself, which may upset some of you, and may convince some of you that we really do have a game here that you might like, and I'm glad to answer questions after you all read this, as long as you don't tell me I'm destroying a genre that essentially doesn't exist any more...

Starlight Inception is a tactical space-based shooter in the vein of classic games like Wing Commander and the X-wing series, but with a fresh aesthetic.

There are two main game modes - one is mission based, and has a storyline following a pilot through the fourth World War, fought amongst the planets and moons of our star system. The missions are varied, including straight shoot-'em ups, rescue missions, salvage missions. All the missions contain elements of exploration, combat and in some cases, stealth and tagging the enemy for larger assaults. There is a fair amount of world building in this mode, as you interact with enemies and wingmen, sometimes discovering things or achieving things during the mission that affect the overall course of the story.

The second game mode is a sort of strategic defense of your mothership, where you deploy turrets and engage in ship to ship combat to defend against incoming marauders. This mode is more geared toward players who just want to get in a cockpit and begin engaging the enemy (i.e. casual players).

Both modes have achievements locked to them, as well as gaining the player command prestige for objectives met and side quests. Command prestige is the currency of the game, and allows players to 'purchase' better ships, better weapons, better equipment, better drone wingmen.

In addition, there is a multiplayer component, where players can play head to head or on teams in various modes, including deathmatch, capture the flag, defend the mothership, etc.

The game can be played both in 3rd person, outside the ship, tethered camera mode, or 1st person through the cockpit mode. The UI is planned to have at least two modes - a HUD like treatment and a more realistic, rendered cockpit view. So, please reconsider, Wildone - you can meld the game to your will - we want to give choices.

The game will be tuned for joysticks, flight yokes, game controllers and keyboard and mouse combos on the PC (I loved Freelancer's control scheme, even though I still prefer a yoke or joystick), and will take advantage of the twin joysticks, and front and rear touchscreens on the Playstation Vita. Because the Vita is such a technologically advanced handheld, there shouldn't be any dumbing down going on between the two platforms. I said it above, but will reiterate - in our minds and the design, the gameplay is the same on both platforms, with the primary difference being the obvious control schemes and optimizing assets for the size of the screen.

I know physics are very important to players of this kind of game, and I know we'll be tweaking the feel of the ships until launch. Our early prototypes used a very arcade-y feel, more akin to Wing Commander, but we are still tuning aspects of this approach, looking at adding Newtonian elements, within reason. Several space sims have done the Newtonian thing really well, but sometimes this results in a ship that's hard to control. And never mind the fact that things like missiles become sort of counterproductive in a real Newtonian model of space, pushing your ship backwards with an equal and opposite force every time you fire one.

Our promise is that we'll be working toward a model that is fun for the player, and that doesn't get in the way of the gameplay. It may be something new, and I hope you guys can accept that.

As you can probably see, we really want to give the player lots of options when playing the game, but this isn't what costs money - it just costs time as you track down bugs. That's why we left ourselves such a long development cycle to build the game.

We're going to be posting more information and a little more concept art (better quality) in an update in the next day or so on the Kickstarter page. If you guys give us a chance, I promise I won't break the genre, and I'll deliver a game you can enjoy.

In addition, I read all the forums that talk about us, and it is shaping the game we're going to build. We're resolved not to make this a transparent process, and everyone's opinion matters, even detractors, even though we can't act on everything that's said. I can't promise I'm going to visit places often that are kicking the shit out of me every other post, but I do try and read everything.

Thanks for reading my short novel, and for those of you who do choose to support our efforts, my sincerest appreciation...

Peace,
Garry
 
Previous Post Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
    Date Subject Author
  1. Apr 7, 11:53 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart nin
  5. Apr 7, 13:40  Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart ASeven
  17. Apr 7, 16:59  Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart The Half Elf
  18. Apr 7, 17:12   Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Wildone
  2. Apr 7, 11:56 title CommunistHamster
  3. Apr 7, 12:15  Re: title nin
  10. Apr 7, 14:42   Re: title Creston
  20. Apr 7, 18:10  Re: title jdreyer
  21. Apr 7, 18:23   Re: title Crustacean Soup
  22. Apr 7, 21:11   Re: title Lord Tea
  24. Apr 7, 23:27    Re: title Draugr
  23. Apr 7, 22:46   Re: title ViRGE
  4. Apr 7, 13:18 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Cutter
  6. Apr 7, 13:41  Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Dmitri_M
  7. Apr 7, 13:56 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Trevellian
  8. Apr 7, 14:08 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart theyarecomingforyou
  9. Apr 7, 14:15  Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Dmitri_M
  11. Apr 7, 14:48 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Annex
  12. Apr 7, 14:51 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Bhruic
  13. Apr 7, 14:58 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart saluk
  14. Apr 7, 15:41  Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Draugr
  15. Apr 7, 16:20   Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart TurdFergasun
  16. Apr 7, 16:30    Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Crustacean Soup
  19. Apr 7, 17:44     Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart TurdFergasun
  25. Apr 8, 09:04 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Cutter
  26. Apr 8, 09:44 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart SXO
  27. Apr 8, 12:49  Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart nin
  28. Apr 8, 13:25   Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Dmitri_M
  29. Apr 9, 00:41    Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart Digitalfiend
>> 30. Apr 12, 01:05 Re: Starlight Inception Kickstart 1701Tiberius


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