About this project
Starr Mazer blends two classic genres, the Point-and-Click Adventure and Classic-style Shoot ‘Em Up, into a retro-sexy sci-fi epic with modern design sensibilities, open-middled gameplay and RPG elements.
The game will feature a collaborative soundtrack by Alex Mauer (VEGAVOX, Serious Sam: Random Encounter), Manami Matsumae (Mega Man), The Protomen, Virt (Shovel Knight) and many more!
02/15/2015: Starr Mazer T-Shirt Design Revealed!
02/12/2015: Aegis Defender Crossover!
02/10/2015: Shovel Knight Crossover!
02/05/2015: Hyper Light Drifter Crossover!
A NEW GAME EXPERIENCE, NOT TWO GAMES IN ONE
Starr Mazer is more than a collection of Point-and-Click segments, Shoot 'em up (SHMUP) segments and cut-scenes. The world is seamless. You’ll walk into the Holloway-Exeter docking bay, board the Starr Wolf and control the flight sequence, blasting off to space. You’ll be bargaining deals at the bar in order to afford repairs and upgrades to your Starr Wolf and using information gleaned from characters to find hidden routes while flying between destinations. Be careful which passing enemies you attack, as not all are foes, and a few could have dire consequences. Even while facing the charging death beam of a G'ell cannon, use your charisma to dodge bullets.
OPEN-MIDDLED GAMEPLAY (OMG!)
Starr Mazer is driven by an Open-Middled Gameplay (OMG!) narrative. An entire playthrough of the game is like a season of a show, but each episode within can appear in almost any order. These episodes all have many entry points and exit points, but the core content of each episode is meticulously crafted. We record not only how a player starts an episode, but the decisions that player makes within, and how that player decides to end it. Your actions modify situations and outcomes of future episodes. As you complete key episodes in the overall narrative, the scenarios start funneling into one of a few logical and satisfying endings influenced by your actions throughout.
DYNAMIC SHMUP SEQUENCES
You'll spend a lot of time traveling between planets, asteroids, and space stations. Each time you do, the ride will reflect the state of the world. Are you flying through Tarsec sept-space as they meet a fleet of G'ell straight from depths of the Helix Nebula, or did you wait just a little longer and see scattered remnants of a great battle? Anger pirate groups and you’ll be sure they’ll find you, even in the most remote reaches of space.
SHMUPs are known for their carefully crafted sequences that encourage you to perfect maneuvers. Starr Mazer will have the best of both worlds. The developers on the team are no strangers to dynamic AI. SHMUP segments will be generated from a vast collection of hand crafted encounters that can be modified dynamically in difficulty and scale, in addition to being layered on top of other encounters. You’ll recognize tactics used by each group, as their history will provide a style in which they fly, fight, and chase.
GUTS AND BUCKS
Brick’s been out of touch stuck in a sleep-lock pod for nearly a century and a half. His skills are rusty and his wallet empty. By taking missions from all sorts of shifty folk at the Holloway-Exeter station he’ll earn bucks to buy gear and guts to increase his skills. This isn’t just a system to make SHMUP parts easier or to give you more dialogue options in the Point-and-Click parts. This is a way to customize Brick to play as you want. Use items to influence major characters. Upgrade the Starr Wolf into a dominating fighting fortress, or use your guts to become an ace pilot and never scratch the paint.
BRICK’S STORY NEVER ENDS
Because of the power of the OMG! narrative, each time you play through Starr Mazer it will be a different experience. Maybe in your first playthrough it’s not till the end that you meet Declination Jane, the galaxy’s most powerful space lord, just after she finds peace between two warring clans. You win her over, and she provides help in your last few episodes. But in your next playthrough you meet her earlier, and catch her at a bad time when she’s on the brink of war. Brick says the wrong thing at the wrong time and insights her furious wrath. Now every time you cross the BARATHA DIVIDE she makes sure to send you a gift of a battalion of warships to fight your way through.
THE UNIVERSE OF STARR MAZER
The galaxy is a cored out husk. It's one hundred and thirty years after THE GREAT WAR and any hope of unity, peace and whatever else you could want that doesn't end with you dead went out of style with microwave ovens and heavy fuel oil.
The core systems are an impenetrable cabal of aristocratic solar-states and the badlands at their border, clear up to the BARATHA DIVIDE, are filled with pirates, prospectors, colonists and cowboys in ceramic-alloy mess makers.
Little bastions of hope are scattered among the detritus. Little societies spinning in oblong orbits with sticks pointed outward and hopes turned in hoping to make it another cycle without some mercenary band of space-pop trying to pound their way in.
The galaxy needs a hero.
The Holloway-Exeter Station
"Ain't nobody e'r left outta' Holloway richer'n 'ay came in. Aint' nobody came up inta' Holloway deader'n 'ay left." -- Supchup Tanglewarn, Space Pirate
The Holloway-Exeter is a frontier town packed into a spinning ringed cylinder orbiting the fourth moon of the third planet of a dying star; a great place for a mercenary pilot like Brick to find himself at the pointy end of some clatter and sin.
A century worth of gentrification has built layer upon layer of complication and perturbation onto the small outpost Brick once knew. Now the rich line the outsides of seedy den within, and have no idea of the crusty society which lives deep within their walls.
The BARATHA DIVIDE
The BARATHA DIVIDE is that place you imagine you'll end up when you kick it if you spend your life kicking over lemonade stands and ripping tags off of mattresses. It's the big empty; a kind of black local space looks into and gets lost. It is the end of everything and the beginning of nothing. Some don't even think reality works out there.
It's also where the G'ell come from.
The Helix Nebula
Tearing a multi-dimensional rift smack dab in the middle of sea of conflict was the Helix Nebula. For some its arrival has been an inconvenience or a loss of wealth, spewing all manner of terrors and lost souls into the once corrupt but stable district this side of the DIVIDE. For others it’s an omen of a greater prophecy, and the time of a new god.
For Brick it’s one hell of a way to earn a few bucks from superstitious investors.
There is no other known race so perfectly bred for combat. The G'ell have learned from a history of violence and stepped up to survive at the brink of extinction. This single minded society holds a million year grudge that has turned a few pockets of the universe into suicide districts.
The G'ell are a race of meticulous mathematicians, incorporating advanced calculus into every shot. Their attack patterns would look beautiful if you weren’t stuck in the middle of a parabolic demise.
Brick M. Stonewood
Brick M. Stonewood (the “M” stands for “Metal”) is a remnant of an older time. A time where men were men and truth spilled at 60km/s from the barrel of a gun. Found by ingot miners in sleep-lock, drifting in a LOKATT MkII DSP eject pod and revived at the Holloway-Exeter Station, Brick is a man driven to unlock the secrets of his past and the strange mysteries that lie just beyond the DIVIDE; a specialist with a ceramic alloy steed, the Starr Wolf, and a fate to make among the stars.
The Lokatt MkII DSP Special Assault Frame "Starr Wolf"
"She's a world class rig, this beauty. Built of tri-cordal folded breon and pitch molded bitanium and armed to the hilt with all manner of noise makers and jail breakers. An imperial body with the smarts of an Exeter planet-pop and the guts of a top suit smuggler's tail. The Wolf's got a way with space, you see. She's hungry with her curves. She'll dance a fancy to dazzle but has the stuff to let fly when it gets to be a tussle. She's got a screaming howl and a ripping bite. Magna-casters bristle from her snout and she's carrying chain-dump slips to crackle the hull of anything smaller than a capital boat with a right fat uniformed commander in a big comfy chair. And she's all mine. I'm her captain." - Brick M. Stonewood
"One hundred thirty in the sleep is what we fly-boys used to call a raw deal. The full turnover. The reset button. Every Tom-Tom, Blaze Rider and Hooch-man you knew is dust and there you are with nothing but your grin and your chin. That's what it was for me on the Exeter, unfroze and lonely with the stink of kraz on my breath and a big dumb scowl. Nothing to lose but my guts and nowhere to go but sideways into the deep. That was what came of the Thearsal Knife, the whole-wide hero of THE GREAT WAR. Reduced to pan ash and staring at pin darts through the bottom of a bottle. And then I met Bunny." - Brick M. Stonewood
Bunny Bitshift is not what she appears to be. Not to you, anyway. You see a girl with a wicked grin in a bunny suit. That's because you're a million years too early to this party. You've come with your eyes out of time. Just like Brick.
The aesthetics are key to the era of media Starr Mazer strives to evoke. In that time, art was forged despite limitations and beauty crafted in 16x16 pixelated tiles. From this we have embraced a style that is not just nostalgia, but a representation of a period of time in gaming. Our artists have managed to imbue the essence of that generation into the game. The art in Starr Mazer isn't something that could easily run on a 16-bit processor, but it looks like what you remember those games looking like the first time your cathode ray tube blasted the RF input out of the most advanced gaming technology of its time.
The original concepts and designs come from Jérémie Périn, a writer, animator, and director for TV animated series, video games, and short films. Well known among animators, pixel artists and retro fans for his amazing video "Truckers Delight", we're thrilled to have Jérémie involved as a concept artist.
These designs are being realized into the game by Christina Antoinette Neophotistou, who is a rising star of the pixel art world. Having contributed to everything from full published games to weekend game jams with art, music, and design, Christina has proven herself as a pixel painting machine to be reckoned with.
Starr Mazer The Official Soundtrack
In Game Brick Voice Mail
Starr Mazer Cinematic Poster
Physical Copy of Starr Mazer the Video Game
Backer Exclusive T-Shirt
Modified Lokatt Mk II DPS Special Assault Frame 'Starr Wolf' 1/100th scale 3D model
'Sunspear' 1/100th scale 3D Model
VO Cast Personal Message
An NPC of your design in Starr Mazer
Design a Vicious Horizontal Scrolling Foe
Multi-Stage Boss Design
Fate of the Cosmos
Be a Legend
+ Early Access Beta
+ Digital Soundtrack & Digital Concept Book
+ Brick Voicemail
+ Cinematic Poster
+ Physical Boxed Copy
+ Backer exclusive T-Shirt
+ 3D 1/100th Scale Starr Wolf Model
+ 3D 1/100th Scale Sunspear Model
+ Personal VO Cast Message
+ Custom NPC
+ Pixel Portrait
+ Custom SHMUP Enemy
+ Custom Multi-Stage Boss
+Design a Complete Custom Episode
+You will be forever remembered as a playable DSP MkI Pilot
Starr Mazer is a game that’s been developing in Don Thacker’s mind for a decade. Every hour spent clicking through puzzles and burning through credits were inspirations for a greater game. Each aspect of the characters, universe, and message of Starr Mazer have been solidified. The only thing the game needed was an opportunity. That time is now. Through Don’s work in the game and film industries he’s met a host of skilled individuals, always considering if they could be part of the team. He’s now found the people to do it. They have the passion and understand what this game can be. We have the team that will make Starr Mazer the absolute best game it can be. Now we just need you to want it as much as we do. We want to be supported by the people who have always wanted this game, but never knew how to ask. We want to be supported by people who understand this vision and know that, if made uncompromised, this game will be better than any game we could have made on our own. Really, we just want to give you the absolute coolest game we can possibly conceive.
The majority of the team is currently building Starr Mazer as a part-time passion project. The amount we're asking for will enable the whole team to work full-time on Starr Mazer and bring Brick's story to life.
Risks and challenges
Don has over 15 years of combined experience in programming, making award-winning films, and game development. His passion & history with the classics of each genre has provided the skills he needed to do justice to the concept. Starr Mazer's art is built off of the strong concepts of a renowned artist, and executed by one of today's most skilled pixel artists. He's found developers who build comprehensive game systems with amazing speed. He's brought together a team who can build and share it with the world.
However, a game of this scale and precision requires more commitment than the whole team's current schedule can provide uninterrupted. Without funding, this project would be stretched over the course of many years as the team moonlighted, if life doesn't get in the way. With your funding we can hire the whole team full time and guarantee a ship date of April 2016.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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