Welcome to Starlight Inception, a first-person / third-person space combat experience coming to PS Vita in December. It contains a single-player campaign, single-player Fly Patrol (tower defense), and several multiplayer options. The inspiration for Starlight Inception was the old space sim games that we loved as kids, but with a more sophisticated, modern sensibility.
We don’t intend the fighters in Starlight Inception to be retextures of World War II fighters, but something more modern and space capable. And unlike those older games, Starlight Inception was designed to allow flight from space down to planetary/lunar environments with seamless transitions.
In Starlight Inception, you’re a young space fighter pilot assigned to the U.S.F. Midway (SCVN-41) one hundred years from tomorrow. In the first mission (included in the beta going live today) you’ll learn about your ship, the controls, and face your first enemies. This mission is the only one included in this early Beta, but it should give a taste for what this game looks like and feels like. The intention was to really integrate the training into the overall story — stuff hits the fan while you’re learning how to fly your ship, and gets the story rolling.
The finished game (planned for December) will have more than 30 hours of single-player gameplay, and you’ll be able to explore your mothership between missions — see your bunk area, report to the captain on the bridge, and visit the Pilot Ready Room where you receive your mission briefings.
The finished game will also have a hangar bay with more than thirty different fighters, bombers, and transports, each with customizable weapons and equipment to choose from for the missions. The fighters are future versions of modern day fighters like the Lightning, Raptor, and others, and they’re made to work in both space and planetary environments.
There’s a deep story in Starlight Inception that plays out through the single-player campaign missions. It revolves around World War IV. You’re facing several factions of a larger organization which doesn’t agree with a United Earth — they want a national, not a world government.
We took a lot of pains to make both the United Star Force (your organization) and the Non-Aligned Nations (the enemy) realistic and believable. We didn’t want a black and white depiction of the enemies or the friendlies, and wanted to avoid the stereotypes that are usually present in these games. We wanted to depict our characters as if they were part of a very real and functioning military in a future situation.
There are ten single-player missions, each with unique tasks and objectives. In one mission, Operation: Render Hope, you’ll escort transports to the surface of Earth and into the city of Chicago so they can render medical aid to civilians. This is an escort mission that will involve repelling enemy fighters while tagging the civilian areas. Render Hope definitely has a Choplifter vibe.
In Starlight Inception, a fully integrated, second campaign has been implemented in the form of a 3D tower defense game, called Fly Patrol. You face waves of enemy fighters and capital ships advancing through Einstein-Rosen bridges (or E/R bridges), which are artificial wormholes. You can hold them off with just your chosen fighter, and/or deploy turrets for defense.
What we wanted to do with this mode was to have a unique tower defense game that used the Starlight Inception ‘verse, while giving you something else to do besides completing missions. The tower defense mode is a great casual experience, and the different missions can be jumped into quickly.
There are several multiplayer modes available in the full version of Starlight Inception as well. You can select from deathmatch, capture the ball, and football mode. Each has unique challenges and have been lots of fun for the playtesters so far.
There are a lot of Vita specific features in the game — we make use of the accelerometer, the gyroscope, the front touch pad, and the sticks. Starlight Inception feels great on Vita.
The music of Starlight Inception has been composed by three time Grammy nominated American composer David Arkenstone. David had previously contributed music to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and is amazingly talented. It’s been a true pleasure to work directly with David to match his musical style to the battles (and quiet stretches) that occur within Starlight Inception. David’s music has definitely captured the excitement and danger of the missions.
We wanted to offer a genuine space combat experience with Starlight Inception. In order to do that, we worked with military advisors who reviewed the script and character dialogue. We’ve also entered into a licensing agreement with Lockheed Martin for the use of fighter names and the Lockheed name. This is the first time Lockheed Martin has ever endorsed a product that portrays future products with the Lockheed name, and were both honored and excited to be able to do this. We feel it really adds to the realism of our game.
Finally, we wanted to say thank you to all of our supporters who believed in our game before it was a game. First and foremost, we’re working to make good on our promises to you folks and hope we’re delivering a product that is light years beyond what you expected and hoped for. And we’re always happy to answer your questions.
Light up the sky…
Garry, Melissa and the Starlight inception Team