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An indie game project with the goal of reviving our favorite game type, the epic space adventure! By mixing favorite aspects of classics like StarFlight, Star Control, SunDog, Universe, and Tradewars, we hope to bring what we loved as kids to the current generation. Quirky aliens, arcade space battles, planetary mining, and adventure around the galaxy -- should keep us busy developing for a while. The project is a family affair, Wife on art, son on music, and code-monkeying by me. We are currently in early development for the PC,Mac,Linux platforms... XboxOne or PS4 if we can swing it.

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2 comments by friken0 on Nov 14th, 2014

Work is progressing well on the planet landing / dropship mechanic of StarDiver.

Orbit to Surface:

UI isn't in yet, but there will be an altitude indication on the side and you use thrusters to slow decent. Movement is similar as in-space but with drag and vertical thrusters. Depending on planet gravity it will be easy/hard to have a soft landing. For those who are not sure where I'm going with this, the genesis port of starflight had my favorite planet roving. It will be similar... but a mix of it and some other ideas I'm kicking around. I'm after a bit of a hybrid between starflight, star control, and sundog. Instead of a rover like starflight, once landed you can send out crew who will be automated explorers and stay within a radius of the dropship. your gameplay will be trying to keep them alive and dropship undamaged while your they scan for minerals, biologic data, and any special storyline things like artifacts, tech, civilizations etc.

Surface to Orbit:

I think mining in general for space games is a polarizing mechanic. Some gamers love it and can do it for ages while others find it tedious and terrible that it exists in the first place. Resource building will be needed in our game, but we plan on offering a handful of methods to achieve it. scrapping ship remains after battle, surface mining, asteroids, skimming gas giants, a few gambling sort of options tied to story etc. Hopefully we can make mining fun for a lot of gamer types and for those that hate the idea of it give them an alternate method of getting resources that they do find enjoyable.

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Tsukigames Nov 30 2014, 3:29pm says:

I liked how you mentioned it is a family produced game, this is very unique. Wish you the best luck on your project.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AlfredoTheSpectre Nov 11 2014, 2:47pm says:

Cool, looks almost like Space Pirates and Zombies. ;)

But seriously, I love those backgrounds and the Art-Style.

Hope we will see more of that, so keep it up!

+3 votes     reply to comment
ledernierrempart Nov 7 2014, 3:58am says:

very nice game :d. very good so far. but i can't just wait and play it, have to ask questions :p.

well in the case of battles, will spaceships have some customizable weaponery? like the missile ship, can we by new missile type? not especially more powerfull but missiles that act in a differente manner than the classic ones? for exemple instead of standard missile why not gauss shells lesspowerfull but with more projectile per salvo. or one with big aoe when hit or reach limit range.

or maybe add a special component you can add to your ship that allow you to use a special move with a little panel of those different moves per races to choose.
(in special moves i think of fighter reinforcment, little boost, special missile or projectile, temporary shield system(like few seconds) things like that.)

what am i afraid of is that playing the same ship with no evolutions or changes in it might be boring after a long time play.(yes i guess they will be lots of different ships to try :p. but a game with rpg elements should have a kind of evolution for the character the player is playing :) )

then why not add some 2v2 or fleet vs fleet(in case of fleet fighting each other in the cmapaign (AI fleetin this case))

i didn't knew star control or the other games you used to create this one but i knw a game a bit similar which had very nice features: 'transcendence'.

for the 1v* debate, i think having a 1v2 is good. i mean when fighting AI it will be a kind of nice challenge. if you plan more, more than 1v3 will be too difficult. then 2v2 could be also nice or even some *v* with * the same number as for special fleet vs fleet event.

well thats my ideas for now :) it is not request, just ideas :p

continue the good work!

+3 votes     reply to comment
friken0 Creator
friken0 Nov 9 2014, 12:14am replied:

Great feedback thanks! We are planning on having ship levelups and tech research options for ships. Levelups will make everything slightly more effective and give the gamer a reason to try and get good with a specific ship design. Tech upgrades will be very storyline and race specific. An example for the krex would be salvo tech to launch two warheads per tube. Info for new tech will be discovered through exploration and/or story discussions w alien races.

We are still playtesting and debating on 1 on 1 or 1 on few type combat. We have been working on ship vs station combat as well. The honest reality is we want to do so much more than what our tiny team can practically do. We are a year into this project and likely have a year left or more. We are planning to attempt a kickstart so maybe if we can raise crowd-funding we can afford to get some more programmers on it. Thx for the ideas and interest

+2 votes   reply to comment
-Farflame- Aug 28 2014, 11:55am says:

It looks really nice and interesting, congratulations. Revive gameplay of Star Control and similar titles is good idea, but Im worried about one thing. And that is lack of innovation or improvement. To make basically the same game as SC may be enough to make some fans happy (and the outcome may be good) but I think there is room for improvements (well, there always is...) that can make the game even better.

For example combat system - devs of SC doesnt have many options when they were designing combat. Nowadays it can be enhanced into small fleet combat without the need to completely change core gameplay. Imagine one main ship (classic SC-style) + few (just few) AI wingers. Wingers listen to your basic orders (attack X, help me attack, defend, fight on your own...) and consist of different types of ships (defensive, support, anti-fast enemy...) depending on players choice (or they can be upgraded to have such roles). You start the game as lone ship but in the course of a story you may recruit some alien captains as winger(s) or get support (ships and ship upgrades) from alien races. So player will control one ship like in old games and wingers will add another tactical layer. More aggresive player can prefer support wingers so he could fight mostly alone, while others may play more defensively and use aggresive wingers. Enemies will have different preferences too so it will make combat more diversified and engaging (closer to real fleet combat).

So I dare to ask - what is new or improved in StarDiver? What is different from SC?

+2 votes     reply to comment
friken0 Creator
friken0 Sep 8 2014, 10:55pm replied:

Hi Farflame. thanks for the input. While we are big star control fans we are also big fans of starflight, sundog, moo and other classic space games. Considering Star Control is over 20 years old and only one of many influences the differences will be numerous. One aspect we are still debating as we playtest is one on one combat vs one/many or even ai controled wingmen. So far the most fun has been the one on one combat. It really ends up having that rock paper scissors vibe of picking which ship is best against which enemy... or which ship you are best at using for a given foe. I love fleet battles in good rts games, but I find it to fall apart in action games. Of course other's mileage may vary.

+1 vote   reply to comment
-Farflame- Sep 17 2014, 12:06pm replied:

Thanks for answer, friken.
- Could you name at least one of these differences?
- 1 vs 1 SC combat - I see but it feels very staged and arcad-ish. Maybe we have different visions about SC-genre - for me its not pure action game.
- I dont find this idea "rock paper scissors vibe of picking which ship is best against which enemy" appealing so much. Its based mostly on trial and error, not skills or tactics. Learning stage may be fun but after that fun factor goes down IMHO - because you already know the best solution (which ship to pick) and combat came to be much easier and all the same. Just my opinion.
- Maybe you could make wingmen optional feature. In wingmen mode you would fight more numerous enemies (with better AI). But it would need more work and testing. I dont know if its doable for you.

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black-lodge-games Jul 5 2014, 10:01pm says:

Found you guys on Twitter, love that you shared your Greenlight Concept stats, and I love the art and direction of this game. Looking forward to playing it!

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