About this project
Throughout the years there have been several takes on the bridge simulator concept, yet none of these simulators have captured our imaginations like our favorite Sci-Fi shows. They always seemed to fall just short.
The reason is simple, none of the previous simulators have injected players directly into the game and allowed us to fully express ourselves while we play. That's why we love and obsess over the shows! The team would express their ideas and communicate together to come up with awesome ways to solve problems utilizing each of their unique character traits. Hail makes each and every player a part of its universe, putting the focus on player expression and communication.
Hail is a product of its time. We're just now at the point where thematic video chat in a 3D world has become possible. It's the perfect inflection point of a technology becoming useful for a meaningful and interactive gameplay experience.
The core premise of Hail is simple. Each episode will begin with a scenario setup, think of the captain's log from Star Trek. After the initial setup you and a friend on another ship will be left to deal with a challenge based on the collective yet limited resources of your two ships. You will discuss those capabilities over the main viewer and devise a plan to execute and progress the story utilizing your own unique strategies and tactics.
Simple right? And yet, there are limitless possibilities for story telling, role-play, cooperative puzzle solving, and great conversation! Hail represents a unique combination of several great mediums, science fiction, video games, and video chat. Since this is a new and unique take on science fiction, the possibilities are wide open.
Please join us on this adventure, and together we will seek out new technologies and gaming civilizations. To boldly go where no game has gone before!
Update #11, Inside Hail - David Helgason
As we near the end of our campaign we were lucky enough to speak with David Helgason, the CEO of Unity Technologies. We covered the basic path that indie game development tools followed as well as the potential of the Unity Asset Store, which paved the way for the creation of Hail by providing the initial marketplace for our 3D Rendered Video Chat.
Update #10, The LAST WEEK!!!
We are now in the last week of this Hail Kickstarter campaign. We've come so far in the development of Hail's story. Initially, we were a tech demo in search of meaning. Now we know where Hail begins and we know where we want to take it. Our episodes have a nexus from which we can create compelling content and connect it all together with a new technology that has never been used like this before.
Please SHARE HAIL (try the tech demo with a friend at www.starhail.com) with everyone you know this week and help us connect the dots to make Hail a reality!
Also, please enjoy the latest concept art from Vince White, a complete mini-comic that sets the stage for Hail.
Update #9, Hail's pilot comic
Vince White has been instrumental in helping us craft the Hail universe. Over the past few weeks we've worked hard on its structure and set the stage for amazing story telling and gameplay. Although this isn't finished yet we wanted to share it with the community.
Also please be aware that we're in the last 2 weeks of this Kickstarter campaign and we need everyone who's backed us so far to tell a friend. Make it personal, tell them that you want to play this game WITH them. We're doing something amazing here but we can't complete it without more support!
Please enjoy the latest fruits of our labor!
Update #8, Gamasutra Interview with Mike Rose
Mike Rose of Gamasutra was kind enough to chat with us about Hail and the potential of 3D rendered video chat inside the game world!
Update #7, In space, all you have is your SIGNAL...
As the weeks have progressed Hail has evolved from the simple idea of a bridge simulator with video chat to a game featuring a rich narrative on the human condition. This latest concept art from Vince White features an infected member of The Cold boarding your ship. The great thing about Hail, is that it's not just a bridge simulator. Since it's a first person game we can do cool and dynamic stuff like this IN GAME. We want to focus on the bridge simulation experience but we're not limited to that and it's very freeing to be working on a concept with such potential to simultaneously tie into a niche, incorporate new technology, and allow creative expression!
Update #6, Inside Hail - Kishi Bashi
This is our second live chat from inside Hail. Kishi Bashi spent some time talking with us about his new album, a coinciding mobile game, and the possibility of contributing some his amazing talent to a musical track for Hail!
Update #5, Concept Art: The Cold
We've been working hard on the background story, rules, and characters that will define the universe of Hail. While working closely with our new team members Vince White (comic book creator, Will Power) and Pat Doyle (champion strategy gamer and author, Federation Commander), we have come up with this concept for The Cold, a life-sized virus race that appends themselves to humanity. The specifics of their interaction are still top secret but we hope that you enjoy this concept art from Vince White.
Joe Hill and Jeremy Alessi had a great conversation about Hail, Hampton Roads, and the pursuit of great entertainment!
Midnight Status and Hail received a local nod for creating entertainment gaming in Hampton Roads, VA, which is typically dominated by government work. Thank you Tara!
Yesterday, Jeremy Alessi and Vince White had a chat inside of the Hail tech demo. Vince is an amazing artist and story teller who has successfully funded several projects on Kickstarter and will be brining his talents to Hail. Watch as these two local creators talk about Hail, concept art, Will Power, and stories with life lessons.
Thank you everyone for supporting Hail during the first week of our Kickstarter. We have had tremendous success so far and we are all so excited to deliver this new and excellent gaming concept. Please continue to share the project with your friends and help us to build the Hail community.
Also, Justin's been busy this week crafting a new bridge for a race that grafts organic material onto a mechanical superstructure. They are known as the Norkian Raiders. Check it out!
Risks and challenges
Hail is a new and unique concept that we really want to do "right". For that reason we would not be completely surprised if the game takes longer than expected to deliver. A production delay is the biggest risk with this project because there are no genre conventions to follow. We have some ideas on where to draw our conventions from but Hail is unique enough that many new tools, technologies, and design conventions will be created alongside the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Hail is planned for Windows PCs and Mac OSX first. We are contemplating Linux if people want it. Then we will look at tablets next. The game is completely cross-platform so there are no restrictions technically of where it can go.
We have lots of experience using character animation, lip sync, and voice acting for serious games projects we've done in the past and it's possible that we may incorporate these characters into the game in addition to characters that come to life through the main viewer. We have to experiment with these things to see what makes sense. Hail isn't about necessarily recreating any one particular bridge we've seen in various Sci-Fi series. It's about puzzle and problem solving through communication and limited asymmetric ship capabilities and it's also very much about the players role playing. If 3D NPC crew characters make sense and are fun then we'll have them.
Hail's final budget is to be determined. We are using Kickstarter and the $100,000 goal as a qualifier for the investment of additional resources. That said, Hail has significant engineering, art, audio, and video recording needs and the $100,000 will be distributed among these endeavors. The creation of the experience is our primary goal.
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