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Starwhal: Just the Tip Flopping to PS4, PS3

Jason Nuyens's Avatar + Posted by Jason Nuyens on Apr 30, 2014 // Developer and Lead Coffee Runner, Breakfall

It took well until adulthood to see the creation of the development superforce now known as Breakfall, but we build games on the basis of certain shared common experiences. It was true for the whole team that games were a huge part of our everyday lives as we grew up. Games were a primary source of entertainment, but we also share the common experience of using games as a focal point for our young, proto-nerd social lives.

Whether it was as kids whispering the latest videogame tricks in the playground, or elbowing each other on a sofa during multiplayer mayhem after school, the core idea is that games have always been a great way to bring people together.

For Breakfall’s latest game, Starwhal: Just the Tip, we tapped into our love of a number of game design paradigms (because now that we’re mostly grown up nerds, we like fancy words sometimes). Ideas like elegance in mechanics, simplicity in design, hard-hitting, impactful feel, and — naturally — burrito-wrapped narwhals in space, all feature prominently. But the drive to continue to develop Starwhal, and the number one principle we come back to over and over, is that this game brings people together to have fun.

Starwhal is a vehicle for that sort of experience we all cherished with our friends where the mood oscillates between giddy laughter and serious competition. Starwhal is superficially silly and narratively vacant, but somehow something so much deeper when you get a group of people wrangling space mammals in mortal combat. It’s easy to understand what’s going on, the rules are simple, but the whole thing is just weird enough that it throws everyone on to the same bizarre, but level, playing field.

Starwhal: Just the Tip on PS4 and PS3

The game mechanics and controls in Starwhal are not complex — navigate your narwhal to tag your opponent’s heart and protect your own. Of course, the narwhals themselves wiggle all over the place in spastic fits of salty marine protest, but therein lies at least half the fun.

Before players can hope to be effective, they have the added challenge of taming their own avatar. Points will be scored, but it’s all a very haphazard process during those first moments when players seem to endlessly ask “What the heck am I playing?!” Soon enough, though, the controls do give way an understanding of the narwhals’ range of precision as they soar through exotic locales in the deepest reaches of outer space.

With every new group you can almost see the light bulbs appearing above the heads of each individual (though we like to think of it as horns getting their sparkles) as the control system clicks. “I can control this hot mess of neon.” And that’s when it’s game on. It’s great for the team when we get to witness these moments, because they almost always come with an enormous, goofy grin. We think it’s this weird blend of floppy hijinx, simple play mechanics, and competitive balance that has made Starwhal become a regular name at parties and tournaments.

Starwhal: Just the Tip on PS4 and PS3

Starwhal thrives on show floors and gatherings of friends. It’s a fundamentally communal game, and we hope to bring more people in as we get ready to release a feature-packed new version for you to enjoy with your friends. Whether you’re a newcomer on board this party boat or if you’ve been with us since the Kickstarter (or even earlier), we’re excited to share all the improvements with you — features like Challenge Mode, the competitive Versus Modes, and enough neon to blind a space-pirate.

And of course, if we ever see you, be sure to receive your 100% FREE high-five from any team member. Thanks for all the support, and look forward to our upcoming console debut on PS4 and PS3.

//Add Your Own

19 Comments   4 Replies

1

+ D-Squad3 on April 30th, 2014 at 3:51 pm said:

Cool


2

+ dragon_night on April 30th, 2014 at 3:53 pm said:

OMG YES!!!! I’ve been reading all about the beta on steam and watched videos of your demoing with gamers. Looks great thanks for bringing it to playstation!!!


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    + Jason Nuyens on April 30th, 2014 at 5:51 pm said:

    So happy you’re excited! We’re excited about bringing the party to Playstation, too!


3

+ phresch_ on April 30th, 2014 at 4:00 pm said:

How come we’re seeing all these great indies coming out, especially this one, but with no online multiplayer?


4

+ tusunami on April 30th, 2014 at 4:24 pm said:

I don’t really know what to think of this but this really does look quite appealing but yet out of the ordinary but yet interesting.


5

+ paulogy on April 30th, 2014 at 4:27 pm said:

Awesome. I love that I live in a time when a game like this can come to my home console(s)


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    + Jason Nuyens on April 30th, 2014 at 4:57 pm said:

    Yeah, we’re really excited as well! Everybody knows the optimal way to play a space narwhal combat simulator is on a couch!


6

+ wilfareus on April 30th, 2014 at 4:43 pm said:

Please consider a Vita release!
#BestOnVita

and Cross-Play (and Cross-Buy)


7

+ OnTheBus666 on April 30th, 2014 at 5:48 pm said:

Yessssss I want this game now!


8

+ BlueGnosis on April 30th, 2014 at 6:04 pm said:

Such color! And Narwhal feelings!


9

+ anti-altair16 on April 30th, 2014 at 6:23 pm said:

UVRFBNUVBC AMAZING! It has my favorite things! Neon, awesome 80′s sounding action, over the top music and my new favorite, NARWHALS! Seriously sorry about the caps but holy crap, this is going to be so much fun. You don’t understand my excitement. This is the first time I’m seeing this.


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    + Jason Nuyens on April 30th, 2014 at 7:31 pm said:

    No worries, as writing in caps is a common side effect of first-time STARWHAL wranglers. Strap in and enjoy the ride – this space boat is on a one way course to FUN.


10

+ TheBlueCrow on April 30th, 2014 at 6:48 pm said:

I laughed when I saw the gameplay, in a good way! I’m looking forward to this. All of these announcements for local co-op indie games for the PS4 has gotten me charged up. Add me to the list of cross-buy requester.


11

+ unrealist_ on April 30th, 2014 at 7:09 pm said:

haha whoa, I saw a Solaire themed Narwhal, nice.


12

+ iREVOLTER on May 1st, 2014 at 6:00 am said:

This thing is CRAZY! Now just add a Cross-buy option please ;)


13

+ Paulo250685 on May 1st, 2014 at 6:48 am said:

Hello guys. My name is Paulo and I’m from Brazil. First of all congratulations for the excellent work that you’ve been done. I can’t wait to play this game on my PS4. Sorry for the question but….. I saw a blue shell in the trailer, and it’s an iten that belongs to another game company. Isn’t it cause you trouble? I mean puting this in another game platform? Congratulations again.


14

+ MazdaGuy80 on May 1st, 2014 at 7:14 am said:

Played this game while it was in it’s early stages, not even released. Living in Ottawa has it’s benefits :)
A friend of mine is a good childhood friend with one of the developers for Breakfall
Loved the game and looking forward to enjoying on PS4.


15

+ PanTheMan16 on May 1st, 2014 at 9:17 am said:

Only one question: Why did I have to enter my DOB to watch this video? lol


16

+ ECisMe on May 1st, 2014 at 9:39 am said:

Thanks for not forgetting about the PS3!!! :)


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    + Jason Nuyens on May 3rd, 2014 at 6:07 pm said:

    We are overwhelmed by the positive response by both new and old fans.

    Much <3 to you all!


17

+ yentair on May 1st, 2014 at 2:41 pm said:

lol, “Just the Tip.” Too funny, can’t believe you get to keep that name.
They made Stealth B@stard change it’s name to Stealth Inc. How ridiculous is that?


18

+ Poonjo on May 2nd, 2014 at 8:35 am said:

Unfortunately, friends and family are a few thousand miles away from me for the next little while. No way to play with people on my friend list, couch multiplayer only?

Then I will have to wait ’till it goes on sale it seems… Like TowerFall and all the other great indie games that could’ve sold 100x more copies had they incorporated some kind of online play…


19

+ Elvick_ on May 4th, 2014 at 1:32 am said:

Looks like fun, but I have no one to play with so it’d be pointless for me.


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