Garry Gaber Introduces Starlight Inception For PS Vita and PC, Now on Kickstarter

April 5, 2012Written by Garry Gaber

Starlight Inception has a big storyline, and with luck, one that will be told over several games. It takes place just before the outbreak of World War IV, with an Earth and space colonies still smarting from the nightmare that was World War III. And contrary to Einstein’s predictions, we didn’t come out of that war with only sticks and stones, but rather a fragile peace akin to the days after World War II. That peace is shattered when outlaw nations attack and obliterate five world cities a hundred years from tomorrow. The rest of the world and the colonies of the Solar System form an alliance to fight the enemy and their instrument to do so is the United Star Force, a future analog to our Navy and Air Force. And you just happened to join the service a few days before with a major chip on your shoulder and something to prove…

The game itself has several gameplay modes, but the biggest difference is between a casual mode, made for players to rush into the cockpit and start blowing things up, and a hardcore mode, which is more strategic, giving players the chance to outfit their spacefighters with weapon systems, equipment and other enhancements before combat, as well as power management and inflight controls to manage your fighter and its semi-autonomous robotic UAV wingman. And speaking of that spacefighter, it isn’t a thinly disguised World War II fighter – it takes into account the many changes that have occurred in air combat and the various mission packages that can be assigned to those aircraft in the past sixty-five years, extrapolated into the future.

The single player game has two distinct opportunities for play – the linear mission which takes the player through World War IV, and the nonlinear “spokes” of each planetary “hub” – where players get to engage in a combination of tower defense by deploying turrets and fighter-to-fighter combat as they defend the fleet. Both of these modes have their share of decision-making and achievements to keep players engaged for many hours.

The multiplayer game is planned to have several modes as well, including a deathmatch and capture the flag, as well as defend the base. On the Vita, we’ll support ad-hoc multiplayer and we also will have support for Steam multiplayer as well.

There will be a multitude of different fighters to fly, with varied configurations, and players will accumulate the chances to use and configure them as they gain more prestige, a little like cars in Forza or Gran Turismo.

We’re planning to add numerous features to the game to excite new players to the genre, as well as to enthrall players looking for that old school experience. And drawing on the experience of creating AAA titles at LucasArts, we’ll have high quality art, professional sound work, amazing music, and professional voice talent contributing to the production.

But this is a large bite for a small studio to make, and so we’re also turning to Kickstarter, a crowd sourcing site which has received a good deal of attention lately, to help meet our funding goals. Kickstarter allows us to go directly to fans of this genre, and give them the opportunity to back a game. But we at Escape Hatch Entertainment will provide the rare opportunity also to have visibility into the process. We are hosting a special forum for Kickstarter backers and for invited guests from the modding community to observe, give feedback, and help shape the design and art of the game if they are so inclined. We are going to show the game as it steps through development, giving regular updates and being responsive to the forums and to our fans. We’re also going to tap into the local Austin game and art community to solicit aid on the project.

When we meet our Kickstarter goals, my wife and I will also be adding to the budget of the game, both by not taking a salary, and by contributing our own funds to making this dream a reality.

One of the questions that comes up quite often, is “Why PlayStation Vita?” “Will you have to dumb down the game to make it work on the handheld?” That’s actually two questions, but the answer is that we chose the Vita particularly because of its amazing technical prowess, twin joysticks and front and rear touchscreens. Those touchscreens will make it so much easier to control ship systems and functions than a regular controller. Imagine touching a living graphical interface that grows to give you access to dozens of choices, all while flying in combat, or using the rear touchpad to swipe-control your wingman. And never mind the OLED screen and graphics capabilities.

Not to say that the PC version won’t be a lot of fun to play too. But we won’t be making compromises for either platform, but rather playing to their strengths.

My dream is to see the fans and the soon to be fans of space combat games be able to play this new take on the genre. I have a vested interest.

Two of those soon-to-be fans are my own sons.

Kindest Regards,
President and Chief Creative Officer
Escape Hatch Entertainment, LLC

For more on Starlight Inception, stay tuned to PSLS for an interview with Gary later today.

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