It was close, but no cigar: Starfighter Inc., a game billed by its developers as a realistic space combat experience fell short of its fundraising goal when the Kickstarter campaign ended on Sunday. Donors (including this author) pledged a total of $226,831, which was about $23,000 short of the project’s $250,000 goal. However, the crowdfunding miss won’t stop the game’s development. It’ll just lengthen it, some of the Starfighter Inc developers at Impeller Studios told Ars.
“Having a small and dedicated team, along with some angel funding, would have added additional crowdfunding features and shortened the schedule. But even failed crowdfunding can be good, as it has jump-started our community by connecting the team with thousands of fans, including your wonderful readers,” Impeller told Ars. The game is now on Steam Greenlight and the studio is shooting for full Steam integration, “including Workshop and SteamVR.”
Dancing with myself
Our first cover of Starfighter Inc. was met with a mixture of enthusiasm and skepticism. The game’s pedigree was so impressive it was almost awe-inspiring, with a roster of developers starring people who have worked on games like X Wing, TIE Fighter, Crysis, And desert battle, among other things. And judging by the descriptions of the project by the developers – as a different kind of game in the same vein as X wing And TIE fighter– it seemed like a slam dunk, especially given the recent surge in interest in space combat sims led by Star burger And Elite: Dangerous.
But from Starfighter designers at Impeller Studios were clear that they intend to take the game in a different direction Star burger And elite, creating a focused player-vs-player experience that Starfighter lead designer David Wessman describes as “World of tanks meets Counterattack in space.” A strong campaign-based single-player experience – a gameplay component absolutely central to almost every traditional space combat sim – was treated as an afterthought, and that didn’t quite go down well with some readers. Questions about the single – player campaign made up a significant portion of the 166 responses we received.
In our email exchange on Tuesday, Ars asked executive producer Coray Seifert and the Impeller team directly if they thought the lack of an initial focus on single-player gameplay hurt the campaign. The answer is worth quoting in full:
This is a great question. We absolutely understand that PvP multiplayer games are not for everyone. That said, even in our multiplayer version we try to create the same kind of player engagement that some of our favorite single player games of the past offered… If you think of our game as a participatory adventure with complex situations and continuous plot lines – just like a modern TV series like Game of Thrones, but in a future space-based environment you get closer to our vision. In addition, we will offer different types of roles in our game, so that not everyone has to be a fighter pilot soon [reflexes] and off-the-charts pilot skills. There will be support and information roles that invite other types of players into the action and story.
Yes, we are thinking single player. We all want to develop single player campaigns, not instead of our multiplayer, but in addition. With designers like David Wessman and storytellers like Rusel DeMaria, we’re confident that our multiplayer missions will be just as intriguing and fun to play as the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, and it’s fair to say that a single player campaign follow a successful launch of the first PvP version.
No more crowdfunding – at least for now
For now, the team plans to focus on developing the core game rather than trying out another crowdfunding campaign. The question of what to do with the game’s Kickstarter-exclusive reward tier ships remains up in the air – the studio plans to take preorders soon, so it’s always possible the additional ships will be offered as pre-order bonuses.
“One of the areas we heard a lot about was the concept of backer-only ships,” Seifert explains. “The goal, of course, was to offer something unique to our backers, something only they would have. While this isn’t a unique idea and some players loved it, other players were concerned that access to a unique ship would give backers an unfair advantage. .. Now that the crowdfunding campaign is over we’ll be going through the feedback we’ve received and chatting with the community to see what makes the most sense for these first ships so that goes a long way to saying ‘stay tuned height!’ “
A net positive result of the crowdfunding, as Seifert mentioned, was getting the Starfighter Inc. community established. “We will absolutely stay connected to our community now and during game development, post-launch, and throughout the lifecycle of the game. Starfighter Inc.Seifert and team said in their statement. “We are active on social media and our forums because for us community is the engine of the game – the players themselves.”
Ars is engaged in the development of Starfighter Inc. as it heads towards release, and we hope to have gameplay impressions once Impeller Studios has something for us to play.