There are a lot of good space sims out there and we certainly drew inspiration and learned lessons from them. For us, though, Chris Robert’s masterpiece Wing Commander series captured the very essence of what makes space sims so compellig. Chris Roberts and his team at Origin systems created a compelling mixture of sci-fi and World War II history, all told through the perspective of a skilled pilot that the player could relate to. The Wing Commander series was a triumph of great game dynamics and offered a highly immersive, branching plot line which made you feel that you were Colonel Blair. Your choices mattered. Your performance influenced the outcome of the war. You formed meaningful relationships with your shipmates, and the quality of your relationship with them affected their performance. That is what drew us to Wing Commander as a universe we wanted to tell a story in.
The movie-like feeling from classic Wing Commanders is unfortunately partialy gone. One of our main goals in creating Saga was to provide a strong story that offers compelling characters in thought provoking situations. We quickly learned that without a budget and a sizeable team can not emulate the performance of Chris Roberts and Origin Systems. Cut scenes between missions have always been one of the hallmarks of the Wing Commander series, they were used to drive the story forward. We are mostly limited to in-game dialogue and scripted sequences to perform that function. Mission elements and dialogue flesh out characters' relationships and motivations, all while expanding the overall narrative. This approach also allows us to take the original mission design and carefully refine it borrowing elements from critically acclaimed titles such as X-Wing, Tie Fighter and Freespace. The fact that there are just a few cut scenes makes conveying story a delicate operation. Nonetheless, I think the net result ended up being a lot of fun for the game player, and that's the audience we had to please.
Lastly we would like to thank everyone who voted for us during this year's competition at the IndieDB. You are amazing!