Deep Flare: Explorer
A pixel-art space exploration game for PC. In a time when mankind has lost itself, you must find it again by getting through darkness.
Deep Flare: Explorer
A pixel-art space exploration game for PC. In a time when mankind has lost itself, you must find it again by getting through darkness.
Deep Flare: Explorer is a story-driven, pixel art space exploration game set in our actual solar system.
With the only company of the void of space, you will set sail to the stars to find out what lies beyond the Deep Flare - a cosmic event questioning everything we've ever known about our origins.
It will be up to you, as pilot William Scott Anderson, to make the right decisions for a successful mission – even though you could end up with more questions than the answers you left your planet with…
One year into the development of Deep Flare: Explorer, we finally managed to complete a full playable demo set on Europa, one of Jupiter's main satellites. You'll get control of the spaceship's exploration module, in a quest to get everything ready for departure after an unlucky incident... but there are many mysteries hidden on the icy moon for you to unveil.
We decided to add voice acting in this demo, even if we're not sure that this feature will make it to the final version of the game. However, it was worth trying! Please feel free to give us any kind of feedback about it.
Working on voice acting gave us the opportunity to confront ourselves with each and every difficulty involved, becoming able to assess the costs and additional amount of work required by such a feature.
And we realized that these costs were not negligible. Therefore we decided to make it a stretch goal: it could be done, but we're going to have to incur much higher expenses in such a case. So, the choice is yours! If you think that Deep Flare: Explorer could be a lot better with a good voice acting, we're on the same wavelength.
For practical reasons we've split up the dubbing into three separate stretch goals. Getting to the first one will make us able to add voice acting to the in-game pivotal cutscenes. With the second stretch goal achieved, we'll also dub the in-game communications with the TSEF control center. And if we manage to reach the third, William's comments will be dubbed, as in the Europa demo.
Further details concerning the stretch goals will be added later on during the campaign.
Explore a seamless pixel art solar system
Start your engines! Open the orbital map and choose wisely which course to set and the maneuvers to make. Set the propulsion to maximum power and dart into the cold of space. Manage your resources as best as you can. You're bound to face unspeakable perils. Beware of where you're landing: the exploration starts now.
Face the hazards of a space mission
Suddenly, thunderbolts burst out of the sky above you. They’re amazing, but there’s no time to enjoy the show: it’s a meteor shower! You need to find a way out of there. Activating the magnetic shield? Looking for a shelter? Getting out of there, trying to avoid collisions? Or, perhaps, using the laser cannon to destroy the meteors? The choice is up to you, and you’ll have to face the consequences of your actions.
Unveil mysteries buried by time
What is the Deep Flare? What are those mysterious signs you found on the planets you explored? What lies behind the past of our solar system? Who are you? What is true and what's not about the things you thought you knew? Finding the answer is up to you.
About this campaign
Deep Flare: Explorer is currently being developed for PC, Mac and Linux. Nevertheless, it has full controller support, so we could also make console versions of it! For further details, keep an eye on the stretch goals section.
They talk about us
This campaign is
Late 2025. The world is on the edge of the worst economical and political crysis ever seen. In an era of rising international tensions and seemingly unsolvable energetic issues, William S. Anderson is the designated pilot of the spaceship sent off to a journey through our solar system, to investigate about a mysterious celestial event - the Deep Flare. The hostile environment is not going to be his only concern. He will have to face the unknown, his fears and worries, unravel schemes and secrets hidden by time, become pioneer of a new age. In a time when mankind has lost itself, you must find it again by getting through darkness.
The True Space Explorer Foundation
The True Space Explorer Foundation is a group of private companies, founded by Kara Walker in 1999 together with other important figures who left NASA. Their main purpose was working alongside the agency on the experimentation and realization of several projects, looking for investors other than the American government. Since 2002, the TSEF also started cooperating with ESA and Roscosmos, joining all of their projects and making a key contribution, which was not only economical, to the success of the various missions. After years of negotiations and huge costs the "Last Horizon" space center was built in the desertic region of the United Arab Emirates. Along with its facilities and most of its companies, the TSEF moved there to complete the projects underway. The foundation mainly aimed at building a lunar base, a project inspired by the first attempts to do the same made in the 1970s through the Helios mission and the Ho-Moon projects. However, the real purpose of the foundation, which was initially not meant to be revealed to the public, was the Explorer project. Thanks to the progress made and the advanced robotic technology, the TSEF began the building of the lunar base, with the aim of using it as launch site and human settlement. However, the energy and political crisis striking Europe and the Middle East caused many difficulties to the TSEF, whose budget had been heavily cut by its affiliated companies. The American government became wary of the foundation, as it didn’t renew the 20-year research agreement with NASA. Thanks to her innate entrepreneurship, Kara Walker managed to go through with the foundation's projects. It's at the very end of 2025 that the Explorer mission starts with the only pilot who fully completed his training.
The TSEF Hangar
William Scott Anderson
William Scott Anderson, born in 1990 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only pilot chosen by the TSEF for the Explorer project. His mother died of cancer when he was 4. He grew up with his paternal grandparents. He became interested in literature, especially in the old Norse one. The vikings and their raids, their great journeys across the sea and the legends speaking of the discovery of magnificent lands, had been with him until he became adolescent. Since he couldn't afford to go to college, when he came of age he preferred to accommodate one of his passions: flying. He joined the Air Force to become a pilot. His passion for literature and the great explorers never changed and became an inspiration during his training years. He left the Air Force in 2021. By that time he was interested in space flight, mainly because during that period many American private companies for the drilling of asteroids were born, but he soon realized that there was no future for them. In 2022 he decided to participate in the recruitment procedures to become a test pilot of the TSEF, but his skills were noticed and he was picked up and included in the Explorer project’s training, which lasted for about three years. The founder of the TSEF, Kara Walker, gave him the chance to check the progress of the Explorer mission as observer. It was then that William realized the true meaning of the Explorer project and the foundation: opening up a new horizon for humankind. In the meanwhile, he got married and had a child with one of the company’s managers. In 2025, he was chosen as the only pilot of the Explorer project. He kissed his family and got ready to leave.
Concept art of a young William
The Explorer Project
The Explorer mission is the personal vision of Kara Walker and is based on the ideas and visions that her father showed her when she was a little girl. The great objective of the mission is to bring back humankind to the age of the great explorations and discoveries, when brave seamen started exploring the oceans looking for new lands to be colonized. It was then necessary to start from the bottom and turn the mission into a space research project with the aim of bringing a human being to landing on other planets, trying to lower the chances of death as close as possible to 0%. Building a module allowing a human to freely travel in space, landing on other celestial bodies and take off again, began a scientific priority. During the first years of the 2020s, even though the work made led to unprecedented results in the field of space research, Walker realized that the effort already made was still not enough. Since there wasn’t much time left, she decided to create the prototype of a modular spaceship, which will have been able to be extended later on thanks to the technologies developed during the mission itself. The official objective became the creation of a module capable of transporting a human crew from the Moon to Mars and back again in safety. It was clear since the very beginning that the project envisaged a greater mission, but the focus on this latter objective led the foundation to the incredible result of the launch of December 2025, when finally the Explorer module took off towards the Moon.
Concept art of the EX-07A
In Deep Flare: Explorer, you’ll take direct control over the EX-07A spaceship, piloting it throughout your journey and managing its components in order to adapt to the difficulties you will find on your way. When you land on a celestial body, you will be able to undock the exploration module – a small and agile exploration spaceship - through which you can access places you wouldn’t reach with the EX-07A.
The game mechanics are inspired to old milestones such as Lunar Lander, Gravitar and Solar Jetman. However, you can explore the whole solar system and the journey will follow a non-linear plot line, based on the actions of the player.
One big seamless map
There are no such things as levels in Deep Flare: Explorer. Each celestial body has its own orbit, there are no invisible walls or borders obliging you to "complete a part of the story" before proceeding with the journey. Whenever you wish, you can freely start your engines and leave towards a new destination.
However, each planet, moon or asteroid has its own threats to be faced. Acid rains, unendurable pressures, extreme temperatures, solar flares, asteroid fields… Space is no cozy place. It’s up to you to explore it: will you be up to the task?
Structure and Fuel
Anything that can kill you first needs to pass through your spaceship to get you. The TSEF did a good job with the building of the EX-07A spaceship, but it’s obviously impossible to create something indestructible. Violent crashes, too high temperatures, corrosive substances and whatever else may damage the spaceship’s structure and compromise its functionality. If this isn’t enough to take you out, remember: you must always check on the available fuel! You are completely alone in space! No one’s going to pass by and give you a lift, so you’ll need to manage with great care your resources.
The extraordinary technology of the EX-07A will be there to help you. Without it you could never complete your mission. Your spaceship is capable of adapting to a wide range of environments through a modular system allowing you to use different pieces of equipment how you see fit. Each difficult situation you will find yourself in can be overcome in many ways, each of them having its own pros and cons. A sandstorm strikes you on Mars? You could fight it by trying to escape, but this might burn a lot of fuel. You could abandon yourself to the winds, and risk crashing against a rock wall. You could look for a sheltered spot where the storm can’t reach you. If the circumstances allow you to do so, you could even create a shelter for yourself. Only your ability to get ready to the difficulties you may meet, and your readiness to manage complicated situations, will decide the future of your mission.
You can't find the right piece of equipment for the occasion? Perhaps you should craft it! Not only will the EX-07A allow you to adapt to the environment by switching among the available tools, but also to build new ones by using the materials you can find all around the solar system. In addition to the pieces of equipment, you will be able to craft fuel out of the materials you will gather: always make sure of carrying a good supply of it, otherwise your journey in space could be surprisingly short. As you travel, you might get materials you can't find on Earth through which assembling experimental equipment...
Even though it's our home, we actually know little about our solar system. There are still many, many questions left unsolved: your task will be answering to one of them... but, of course, while looking for its solution, you may as well come across more questions. As you visit a planet and discover its peculiarities, you will be able to complete dossiers to be sent to Earth. Beware though! - The secret may be lurking behind every corner. You and only you can decide where to investigate and how thoroughly. However, every move you make has its own risks and you might end up finding out that... There are certain things it's better not to know. The choice is up to you.
The soundtrack is strongly inspired to the Space Opera style, with an effort to recreate the typical atmospheres of the science-fiction genre covering the period from the 1960s up to today, even though it’s also been contaminated by the typical style of the great RPG milestones. Here’s some examples of the in-game themes (They’re going to be a little different in the final version).
ShippingTiers from #8 on include physical rewards that will be delivered via courier service. After assessing several solutions, we chose for each area the less expensive service available. By selecting a tier including physical rewards, you can specify through Kickstarter directly the area of the delivery. However, some locations (Which we couldn’t include for technical reasons) have a different shipping cost from those of the country they belong to.
- Azores Islands
- Ceuta and Melilla
- Canary Islands
In case you live in one of these areas, please send us a private message including area and tier chosen. We’ll answer providing you the exact cost for the shipping!
Heartfelt thanks to:
- Chiara Rocco, Claudio Saracino, Francesca Celati and Jeff Shapiro for helping us with the dubbing
- Caterina Ciampi for the scientific consultation
- Jacopo "Jappo" Pettini for the audio consultation
- Francesco "Cydonia" Cilurzo for his support
- Villa Veronica B&B for giving us a place where to shoot the video commentary
- Filarmonica Puccini and Rock Factory Siena music school for giving us a place where to dub the backstory videos
- Alessandro Paradisi for the logistical support given during the exhibitions
- All of you who are showing your appreciation by viewing this page!
Risks and challenges
The main challenge we're facing in order to realize a project like ours concerns its uniqueness.
As long as the gameplay and the narration are concerned, Deep Flare: Explorer doesn’t follow a predetermined format. It's made of features you've already seen, but not all of them in the same game and not the way we will show.
This is a great responsibility for us: will it work?
We believe it will and many other people who tried the game said so. However, there's still a lot of work to be done to bring this project to its full potential.
Another problem is that the plot and the narration of Deep Flare: Explorer are closely bound up with its gameplay, and this makes it harder to tell you in advance how the game will be without spoiling the story.
The narration is the main point of another difficulty we’re facing since it’s the cornerstone of the experience we’d like to create, but at the same time we want to give the player full control over his actions. It’s not easy at all to put these two things together. There are solutions for that: we tried to implement some of them in the demo. Still, there’s a lot, a lot of work to be done.
And finally, the contents we'll make are a lot. We're talking about the whole solar system. It's in 2D, and this should make things easier somehow: but it's still the whole solar system.
How will we be able to achieve all of this?
It's easy: we know we can make it. We made the demo we're showing you and, even though it might not be perfect, it includes all the main features of the project: Plot, Exploration, Atmosphere. We're prepared to work day and night and make any sacrifice in order to complete Deep Flare: Explorer. We've been doing it for the past year and we're ready to do it again.
Because we believe in it. We really do.
Matteo, Michele, Andrea, Paolo, Simone, Gabriele and MattiaLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)