Starlight Inception: The First Interview

Along with a guest post about his studio’s Kickstarter campaign for a PS Vita and PC space combat title, Starlight Inception, Escape Hatch Entertainment President and Chief Creative Officer Garry Gaber has also given us an exclusive look at the game in the first interview for the project. In the interview, he discusses features that would be included in the game, the studio’s choice of PlayStation Vita as a platform, and more.

The Kickstarter page for Starlight Inception seems to indicate that the game would have players balancing asset usage, etc. — something that casual fans of the genre may not be into or find intimidating. Is Starlight Inception more for hardcore fans of space combat? If not, what’s being done to make sure that anyone can pick up and play the game?

This is a great question. There will be two primary modes in the game –- one which is geared toward casual users who just want to get into the game and fly a fighter right away, but not delve into some of the deeper aspects of the game; and one for the more hardcore players that allows for configuration of fighters, loading out weapons, more game modes. A user basically can choose when they begin the game which door they will enter and tailor their experience accordingly.

How would you classify the style of action in Starlight Inception? Is it more arcade- type with some management elements or is this a more serious space combat game?

The casual experience will be much more arcade like, while the hardcore version will add more serious elements.

How exactly does story factor into the game? How is the story being told (in-game, via cutscenes, etc.)? Also, the Kickstarter page says that Starlight Inception will have players “making decisions that affect your life and the life of your wingmen, whether human or autonomous drones” — are these focal story points or are they just in- game combat scenarios?

There are several game modes in Starlight Inception as you travel from planet to planet. There is the non-linear sort of tower defense mode where you can launch and defend your capital ship from incoming attackers via deployed turrets and ship to ship combat.

Then there is the linear story based missions that move you from planet to planet as you advance. The story will be told through a series of cinematics and in-game action. We’re trying to keep the progression of the story as tied into gameplay action as possible, while still weaving the tale in a definable direction.

Drones are robotic wingmen and rather expendable (but also invaluable when you’re in a combat situation), whereas there are also humans in the equation. And yes, if certain wingmen are killed, that will affect the story.

What is the scale of the “galaxy” (for lack of a better term) in Starlight Inception? What percentage of planets in the game will players be able to fly over atmospheres of? Will these be regular experiences in the game or are these more set piece-type moments in the game?

You will have the entire solar system available to play in, focused mostly on the planets of the solar system. We’re still working out things like transitions between space and planetary environments, and the different ways that ships behave in both environments, because we want the experience to feel different. The idea is to include this possibility in the story based missions as set pieces, but we would also like to expand this to multiplayer where appropriate.

Roughly how long is Starlight Inception planned to be? How many hours of gameplay will the title offer?

The linear story based missions should be between 4–6 hours, depending. The non-linear single player TD mode is essentially endless, as is the multiplayer experience.

The page mentions there being a beta for the game — is that an online multiplayer beta? If so, will that online multiplayer experience carry over to the Vita version as well?

We know that we can support a Steam beta with multiplayer. As long as the Vita and PlayStation Network support this functionality, we would love to have a beta up there as well.

If there’s going to be online multiplayer, how is Escape Hatch Entertainment going to be able to sustain an online multiplayer component for the game? Is the funding for that built into the $150,000 budget?

We’re hoping that the built in connectivity on Steam and Vita do most of the work for us.

To learn more details about Starlight Inception continue reading on page two.

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