About this project
We did it!!! We have been funded. It's time to reveal the first and second stretch goals:
Stretch Goal #1:
An extra long SRO side mission. This will be STARDROP's epilogue mission. What happens directly after the main game is concluded? Find out with this extra long and special side missions with a new story, new locations but with nods and references to what happened before.
Stretch Goal #2:
VR has been something we want to explore and we feel that STARDROP would be an excellent candidate to implement VR support for. We are looking at the HTC Vive and with this stretch goal we will have the funds to get us a headset and start implementing VR which is fully supported by the Unreal 4 Engine.
* NOTICE: Keep in mind that our focus is on the main game and our initial promises first and foremost. We will not delay the game itself in order to have these stretch goals included on release but they will be our next priorities once the main obligations have been met.
For the last 48 hours we'll be running a referral contest. The idea is to see if we can make it to any of the stretch goals but it's mostly just for the fun of it. We've created some special prizes just for the occasion.
SURPRISE REWARD #1
SURPRISE REWARD #2
If you thought I was done giving then I have to disappoint you. On top of the surprise reward that you see above I will also include EVERY backer, regardless of pledge amount a place within the SALVAGE & RESCUE OPERATIONS: FOUNDERS MEMORIAL.
Anyone who finishes the game (or in the case of the early dev build, chapter one) will have access to the elevator leading to the "MEMORIAL" deck which is located on the STARDROCKS spaceport.
Below I will give you a glimpse into what it looks like. Besides the monument itself, there will be a computer terminal with a special message from us at Team V.
What this means is that all the backers are considered members of the people who have created the SRO initiative within the game's lore. I thought this would be a suiting gesture and it makes everyone part of the backstory within the game itself.
Our Last Stream
Had a blast streaming with some members of the team just now. Was super tired but I think we did okay. :)
Christmas is a time for giving
ECHOES: A STARDROP CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
ECHOES is a standalone side mission which takes place in a zero gravity environment. Aryn and John set out to investigate the nature why one of the SRO Relay Stations has stopped broadcasting.
The mission was created to celebrate Christmas of 2016 with our community and features short yet heart warming story. It's currently completely free and can be downloaded right here.
With ECHOES we wanted to demonstrate what you can expect from future side missions.
We also want to point out that ECHOES is not completely finished. We will continue to polish it and add more small details and fix any bugs that might be present.
Don't forget to take a look at the controls in the options menu so you know how to move around and do things. The full stop function is going to be your best friend.
We hope you all will have a good time playing it and we wish you all happy holidays.
STARDROP featured over at Epic's Unreal Engine Showcase
About the game
“When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people's hearts.” ― Lao Tzu
Quoted by Aryn Vance when asked why she joined the Salvage & Rescue Operations Initiative.
In STARDROP you'll be able to experience what it's like to be a Salvage and Rescue Operative. Explore old derelict spaceships in the main game while being able to visit a range of other various locations across the universe through a number of side missions.
During the game, Aryn and John set out on a routine salvage operation of an unknown spacecraft reported to be somewhere in the Cassiopeia constellation.
As they embark on their mission they are about to find out that there's a lot more to this ship then they could ever suspect. Aryn sets out on a journey to unravel the mystery about its identity yet she is about to discover something far more amazing than she could ever hope for.
The game spans across three space ships and will take roughly 6 to 8 hours to complete (Not counting the additional side missions). You will meet a small cast of varying yet interesting characters and a tight narrative building up to a touching conclusion.
- A strong rich story breaking from the usual dark Sci-Fi .
- Explore multiple spacecraft, Outposts, Stations and more as a salvage and rescue operative.
- Professional voice acting to drive an intimate story full of mysteries and excitement.
- A narrative driven gaming experience.
- Broad range of immersive puzzles and secrets.
- Open world based exploration mixed with narrative driven gameplay.
- Inspired by story-rich classics such as Portal, Firewatch and even Alien: Isolation.
DOWNLOAD AND PLAY THE NEW DEMO
*The Demo is not fully representative of the final game. Some minor issues, bugs and other assets are still subject to change as well as the overall quality.
In the video below we demonstrate a snippet of gameplay including narrative implementation, interactions with the world and some gameplay mechanics.
Space has always been the ultimate frontier and humanity took to the stars to explore them.
Space travel, exploration and exportation are now a booming industry. Ranging from mining, colonization and commerce. Despite best intentions accidents can happen and sometimes ships get lost and in time, forgotten. This resulted in the creation of the Salvage and Rescue Operations Initiative.
As much as technology has advanced there's sadly still room for error. Accidents happen and ships can break down. Outposts, stations, and all other kinds of structures are all still susceptible to breakdowns and malfunctions or accidents caused by human errors.
You play as Aryn Vance, who is accompanied by her friend, pilot John Kindley. They are Salvage and Rescue operatives seeking old derelict spacecraft lost in time or ships, outposts or space stations that are in need of help or take on missions to search through old derelict space craft and determine what happened to it and its crew so they are able to inform the people they left behind and and offer them a chance for clossure.
What a good story means to us
One of the major aspects that fuels our determination is the fact that the main story campaign is something you won't typically experience in the Sci-Fi genre. While we play around with a lot of aspects typical of what you'd expect from a solid science fiction experience the most important factor for us is the personal emotional aspect.
We guarantee that the ending of STARDROP will be something truly special and hope, without spoiling anything, to leave you with a better appreciation of what it means to be alive and around loved ones.
We also believe that an ending should be something special. For STARDROP we will make sure that the experience is just as meaningful as the main journey was and it will all be told in-game, no cut scenes to take you out of the immersion very much like how Half-Life 2 and the Portal series present their scenes while the player remains in full control.
A story is just as rich as its details. The main story is important but so are the smaller ones. All throughout the game small little details can be found telling their own story.
During the main game, John and Aryn set out on a routine salvage expedition of an unknown spacecraft reported to be somewhere in the Cassiopea constellation.
Aryn will board the ship not knowing exactly what to expect. This adds a flair of mystery and uncertainty to the game's atmosphere. The gameplay in STARDROP is made up of contextual components. This means that everything in the game has its place and there is a reason for why things are the way they are.
Exploring an old spaceship comes with a lot of excitement and wonder along with the mystery of simply not knowing what to expect. To accommodate that sense of excitement the game will be designed around that very principal.
STARDROP avoids repetition in its story and gameplay as much as possible. Every area should feel new and unique as well as telling its own story.
ZERO GRAVITY EXPLORATION
While exploration is generally done under normal circumstances there are instances where Aryn will have to use her APD suit's "Zero Gravity Propulsion System". Aryn will be able to maneuver through open space or within structures where there's no gravity present.
These sections will be sparse within the main campaign to keep them exciting but we've already began work on a side mission taking place explicitly within zero gravity and are planning for at least one more because it is a lot of fun.
Zero gravity exploration adds a whole new layer to the existing gameplay mechanics and we're very excited to take full advantage of this new feature.
All throughout these ships there will be power generators, control panels, elevators, a security system to avoid as well as other various interactive objects such as computer interfaces and systems where you can read emails, listen to audio logs and more.
All of these interfaces will add to the exploration aspect of the game and are carefully integrated into the game's narrative and may offer a solution to an obstacle in Aryn's path or they might just simply provide some background information.
Some of these interfaces will be able to open doors, reboot a mainframe or power up a generator. They all make up for an intricate system where everything is interconnected.
Aryn is also able to pick up and inspect objects. Some of these include comm devices, notes and other various random objects.
THE APD HELMET
During her explorations Aryn will have to rely on her helmet's APD (All-Purpose-Design) Functions, installed with visual enhancements and the ability to inspect her surroundings, spot security cameras and interact with the control panels by using the suit's basic flashlight or the more advanced Object Scanner utility system.
The flashlight needs no introduction. It serves it's purpose and is a valuable tool that has stood the test of time. It might not be as high-tech as the other functions available, it still does what it does best. Light up dark areas.
The Object Scanner is Aryn's most valuable tool when it comes to exploring old ships and other locations. The Object Scanner lights up anything of importance that Aryn can interact with. While obvious in most cases, using the Object Scanner frequently makes life that much easier. It also helps greatly in discovering secrets.
The helmet's secondary function, the Vision Scanner, aids Aryn to see her surroundings when the flashlight simply won't be able to. It will always light up walls, floors, ceilings and other objects without fail but it also eats more power.
Aryns DataPad keeps track of her mission objectives. It keeps the player focused on the main goal while leaving room to explore and set his own course. John will be there to provide up to date information and what Aryn needs to be worrying about.
CREW AND SHIP LOGS
Other DataPads can be found throughout Aryns journey. These logs can contain vital information or clues to secrets as well as simply building a backstory to what life was like on board of these ships and its crew.
Other functions include always knowing what time it is (it shows your computers system time), how much time you have been playing after you booted up the game and what location you're currently in within the game.
Besides the main story campaign STARDROP also has a number of side missions to play once the main campaign is completed. The side missions can be either more challenging or simply offer a completely new story and take on the game.
We have two missions already fully playable and another in production. One let's you explore a mining outpost after it started sending out a distress signal and another one where you have to explore a Communications Relay Station in Zero Gravity.
The SRO side missions receive the same kind of treatment as the main campaign does regarding production values. While these stories may differ in scope and length they'll be fully narrated just like the main game.
The name Kevin MacLeod should ring a bell to some. Many have probably heard his music a number of times before without knowing it. He has many songs online available completely for free and not asking for any royalties.
We have been using his music for quite some time but we really needed a personal soundtrack for the game and because we think he is an amazing composer it seems that he often does not get the recognition he deserves. We have therefore approached him, asking him if he was interested to work with us and as it turned out he was very much so and have started collaborating with him.
Most of the music in STARDROP has yet to be completed but we wanted to share with you two tracks that we feel evokes the kind of emotions a game like this aims for.
Track: Exploring the unknown
Track: On board the SD-01
We want STARDROP to be supported on as many platforms as possible.
The current dev build of STARDROP is only compatible with Windows but we plan to support the game both on Linux and Mac OS.
Both Linux and Mac OS are natively supported by Unreal Engine 4 and once the game is finished we will start porting it over to each platform respectively.
How this works
Backers will receive both a Steam Key and an Itch.io Download Key for the DRM-Free version of the game which will grant them access to the game's latest build.
Itch.io enables us to be able to deliver STARDROP DRM-Free. You will receive a download key that you'll have to claim for obvious reasons but the game itself is a simple download away and requires no additional apps or any other hindrances.
We've chosen to go with Itch.io for our DRM-Free version of the game so that we can easily send out updates and keep everything centralized and organized.
STARDROP has an App ID and we are therefore able to distribute the game via Steam Keys to our backers once the campaign deadline is reached.
STARDROP will continue to be updated on both platforms throughout its development cycle with new side missions and content releases before the final release (The main campaign will remain our primary focus).
Once the main campaign is being finished we will launch into Early Access for two months both on Itch.io and Steam. This will enable us to further grow our community as well as being able to gain more feedback from a larger pool of players which will also help us to pinpoint any bugs we might have missed and make sure the game is as optimized as much as possible before we release the finished game.
STARDROP is simply put, a labor of love. Love for science fiction, love for the many games that inspire us and a love for telling acompelling story with interesting characters and an engaging universe.
Currently we have the first chapter fully playable and we're able to distribute the game through Itch.io and Steam (other online storefronts will follow). We'll be able to send out download keys to our backers once all the funs have been collected.
While the first chapter still needs work regarding assets and optimization, the story aspects are all in place. The core gameplay mehcanics have all been fully implemented and we're ready to steamroll ahead and focus on creating the rest of the game.
On top of that we are also working on a number of side missions. These missions enable us to further prototype new gameplay aspects while also further expand the universe of STARDROP while we continue to work on the main campaign.
STARDROP is built using the Unreal Engine 4. EPIC's amazing engine and tools enables us to take full advantage of its fast iteration and production pipelines. This means we'll be able to continue polishing STARDROP in a fast-paced manner.
We plan to release the game into Early Access in August 2017 and release the finished product to Steam and Itch.io in October.
STARDROP is made by a very small team of individuals with an incredibly tight budget to the point where a lot of things we need are unavailable due to this restriction. The proposed funding goal will cover all necessary costs to get the game completed.
Some of these costs include:
- General production costs, such as licenses, assets, etc.
- A Git repository so we'll be able to share the project with each other to better streamline and coordinate our workflow.
- Hardware replacements in case something breaks down.
- Other costs include Marketing and PR. We will make sure to choose wisely regarding what kind of advertisements we spend our money at and will be targeted at our core audience.
- 4 high quality desktop backgrounds.
- 3 movie style designed digital posters.
- High quality posters in JPG and PDF format.
- Access to the current build on Steam and all future updates.
- Digital Soundtrack consisting all the musical tracks from the game.
- Receive access to detailed production information.
- Updated throughout development and post release.
- Write a personalized text log that can be found on one of the ships.
- Record an audio log that can be heard during Aryn's travels.
- Create a crew member of your likeness or designed by you, which will be a crucial character to the story.
- Help design an SRO side mission completely from scratch with us.
- The mission is tailored to your own wishes while in line with the existing gameplay mechanics and the universe STARDROP takes place in.
- You're allowed to come up with text logs and an audio log as well as the nature of the mission (Rescue mission on a ship, Salvage mission on a space station, etc.
- We will be there every step of the way to guide you with the process and offer suggestions when a request or idea is not feasible until we have found a compromise.
- Creative freedom is highly encouraged.
Team V has changed a bit over time. Unlike most game development studios the voice actors are just as much part of the team as all the other artists. Everyone involved with the project is considered part of the team.
For STARDROP I do not want to end up with a large team without being able to compensate everyone for their hard work. Right now we have a tight, dedicated core group of individuals. Most of us have worked on commercial projects before and are able to carry a game's development cycle from start to finish.
We have a number of special events planned throughout the campaign. We'll be doing a number of Dev-Streams, interviews with some of the Voice Actors and we'll have a christmas gift planned as well which we will announce soon
My Twitch Channel: justagamedeveloper
Over the course of the campaign I will create a small side mission for STARDROP where I will go over design principals and what it roughly takes to get a level made.
We will announce other events as well so keep an eye out on our updates.
I just finished my second stream and I noticed the audio volume is incredibly low. I will do my best to fix that in the upcoming streams.
I'm not much of a seasoned streamer or public speaker for that matter, I do have a lot of fun talking about the game and whatever topic crosses my mind.
I've created a new play list on YouTube for all the Kickstarter related Twitch Streams and will keep updating them here.
We love our community and we will make sure to keep in touch with you guys. If you want to stay up to date with what we're doing or what is happening with STARDROP then please follow us on our social media outlets.
If you backed us or not it doesn't matter we still would like to say thank you for your time to look at our campaign.
Take care, TeamV
Keep in touch with us
Risks and challenges
Team V is very small. We've made sure to keep the team at the right size so we can keep development focused and streamlined. This will also keep overall costs low while being able to get the work done as intended.
Just like any other game the risks and challenges include:
- Delayed release due to unforeseen setbacks during active development.
- Changes in gameplay features when further prototyping other elements, which may include polishing.
- Changes within the team due to personal issues that may be out of their control.
We're confident that none of these will become an issue. The team is very close and everyone is incredibly devoted.
A lot of time has gone into pre-production and prototyping the bulk of the gameplay so time-management is much easier to control at this point.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, there is. Besides the demo we also released a standalone Christmas themed side mission as well with its own story not directly linked to the main game. You can find the download links in the main campaign page near the top.
When the campaign goal is reached and all the funds are collected and transferred we will begin sending out keys for either the DRM-Free or the Steam version of the game depending on which version you've chosen.
The game will be around 6 to 8 hours (not counting the side missions). We take a more organic approach towards the development of the game. This means no filler or any other ways to stretch the game's length.
The game currently runs on Windows however Unreal Engine 4 supports Mac OS and Linux natively which means that the game can be packaged for those platforms. We will make sure to secure the hardware needed prior to launching the game officially.
Yes. We will have achievements that mean something such as finding certain secrets or being able to complete the game without ever triggering the alarm for instance. As for trading cards, we have already started work on them and we'll finish them up close to release.
Yes. We would hate to see the ending of the final game get spoiled by let's plays but we're not against it. This means that the demo and ECHOES can be streamed or put on YouTube and yes. this also means monetizing your video or stream.
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