Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
I have had a very difficult time establishing the best approach to publicly discuss what has happened between Alex Mauer and Imagos Softworks. I have been as measured and responsive as I can without responding to this situation in a rash or defensive manner in social media or when confronted directly.
At this point, however, I feel it is important for me to make this statement; offering some balance to a situation that has been thus far one sided.
In short, Imagos and Alex entered into a for-hire contract for Starr Mazer, Starr Mazer: DSP and a number of other projects.
At some point last year, Alex experienced some medical issues that slowed or halted progress on these items. Imagos fulfilled our side of the agreement in that we paid for the work we received, and in some cases paid in good faith for work that was not received.
Alex left the team officially in the middle of last year citing the aforementioned health issues and a desire to refocus her life.
In Alex's time since leaving the team she has made claims to outstanding pay, the amount of which has fluctuated.
Imagos has made several attempts to broker an amicable deal with Alex, including offering shared universal rights to the DSP soundtrack as well as an equity share of the game's revenue. We have done this in good faith and in understanding of Alex's health concerns.
At one point an agreement was proposed, agreed to, but later dissolved by Alex.
Two weeks ago, Alex issued a DMCA Takedown request to Valve, forcing Starr Mazer: DSP's Early Access release to be temporarily suspended for investigation. Imagos filed a counterclaim and Alex was asked to provide proof of a rights chain violation. She did not do so. Proof of copyright and correct chain of rights has been provided and Starr Mazer: DSP was unsuspended.
Imagos was left with no choice but to seek counsel to protect our team and the interests of we who have poured our hearts and souls into this game.
Alex's claim has shifted radically over time, from not being paid for time worked to not being paid for the right project to the supposition that there was a plot to defraud her from the very beginning of the project to a handful of other versions of this narrative.
The most recent version describes a scenario in which our contract did not include or encompass Starr Mazer: DSP, which is at odds with Alex's base claim that she has not been paid the full amount of her contract for Starr Mazer: DSP.
In the end, the facts at hand are:
- Imagos had an ongoing work for hire agreement with Alex, rendering her paid for work the property of Imagos
- Imagos holds an actual copyright on all material related to Starr Mazer: DSP
- Alex was paid ~36.5k for her work with Imagos
- Imagos has no desire, and has taken no action, to commit rights violations against anyone
And most importantly:
- Imagos has made several attempts to reach a favorable resolution with Alex, both informally and finally by registered letter and communication
Alex has also attempted to release an album on Bandcamp containing the Starr Mazer: DSP tracks along with material suggesting that her fans boycott the game. She had threatened to do so to both Imagos and our publisher, Playism, if her monetary demands were not met.
When met with our extensive log of data refuting Alex's allegations, as well as our registered copyright and DMCA claim, Bandcamp removed this album.
In response to this, Alex has posted the soundtrack to her personal website, with the same inflammatory statements she'd threatened to and eventually released on Bandcamp.
Though it is within our rights to issue a request to her ISP for removal of this soundtrack, I do not feel that this is the correct course of action. I do not intend to fight a grand battle with Alex, and have decided, instead, to release our claim to the music's rights in an effort to ablate the issue and restore some semblance of personal emotional equity.
I have offered, by official letter, to release the rights in exchange for Alex's agreement to remove her disparaging claims. She has declined this option.
The tracks made for Starr Mazer: DSP have been removed from the game and replaced with temporary tracks while our new music partner composes an entirely new soundtrack. My offers to Alex for rights to this music still stand.
It is my desire that this situation be resolved amicably, and it is my sincere hope, as it has always been, that Alex can find some peace and security in her life. I can't purport to understand the gravity or scope of her health concerns and have very likely made missteps because of this, but nothing on the order of false copyright claims, negative acts toward Alex or rights violations.
This has been a personal nightmare. I have been pretty much ended, emotionally, by this scenario. I understand that Alex, as well, is suffering. I have made, and am wholly willing to uphold, numerous documented attempts to resolve this in a manner that enriches Alex for her amazing work and maintains the clear chain of rights established in our well documented working experience.
Starr Mazer: DSP is still in very active development and we have targeted a summer release. As stated in my previous comment, official release date announcements have been complicated due to some complex publisher machinations, but will be announced as soon as I can confidently do so with Playism's support.
Starr Mazer proper is, as well, still in very active development. We have partnered with a Arcade High (https://arcadehigh.bandcamp.com) for the core composition for both Starr Mazer and Starr Mazer: DSP.
I understand why you feel this way, and respect it.
We have been unable to properly update because we have been in a state of flux. My intention is to release a fairly detailed Kickstarter Update as soon as it is possible to do so.
We are working closely with our publisher, Playism, to resolve a number of issues and are as yet unable to say anything meaningful about release dates, though we have a target date and are working toward it.
My intention is still to release regular updates, and I am chomping at the but to start doing so.
It would be an understatement to say that I have been frustrated by some of the complication having a publisher adds. I honestly think, however, that the benefit far outstrips this, and our delay and issue resolution will ensure the game's release and wide support.
I wish, honestly, that I could say more, and will do so as soon as is possible.
I was checking for updates on the game, and discovered the DSP "spin-off" was temporarily taken off Steam, and then returned.
Reading a bit about it, it seems the issues were with copyright claims regarding the soundtrack, with composer (and at least at the time of this campaign, Imagos Softworks team member) Alex Mauer making a number of claims against the rest of the team.
To quote the main page of his website (http://alexmauer.com/):
"Overdrive is an album that was taken down from Bandcamp because of a false copyright claim by Imagos Softworks. The music was originally going to be for a video game called "Starr Mazer: DSP". The developer, Imagos Softworks, has made the following offenses:
-never gave me a contract for the project
-never signed a license agreement
-still owes me expected pay for my work
-made a false copyright claim on Bandcamp
-made a false copyright counter-claim on Steam
-using the music in "Starr Mazer: DSP" currently, without permission
All of these actions should be interpreted as an attempt to steal the copyright from its rightful owner. If you have purchased a copy of "Starr Mazer: DSP", you should take a stand against copyright violation by demanding a refund."
Since I backed at the tier that includes, among other things, "the amazing digital sound track by the legendary Alex Mauer", I was wondering if the developers can share some light on what is happening, especially in regards to the soundtrack (and Alex Mauer's presence as a composer)?
Also, is the "final" release of DSP still scheduled to be released this month, or has it been delayed?
Hi, it has been more than two months since your January comment promising this year would be better in terms of communication and there is still no update AND we are nearly a year past the release date you promised.
I respectfully request a refund.
Please rest assured that if the game ever comes out I will buy it, but I feel the trust between you and myself as a Kickstarter member is broken, hence the request.
Hey Everyone, First off.....not hating or trying to start trouble with this but I know it will so sorry about that.
My continued question is and will be...When will the game release?
I had no issue giving you my money in 2015. I let April 2016 pass without bitching. I felt a little discomfort with all of the DSP marketing back in August 2016....and I still never had my question answered.
Again, as I said in august I WILL WAIT until 2018 if need be but jesus guys, you've gotta update us on some ETA or date it will release. This is what is pissing some of us off....The new T-shirt looks nice....when does the game release?
Sweet new art and a twitch episode....But when does the game release?
I think you can all see where this is going.....I don't expect a promise or a hard date but how about a realistic launch window? Maybe Q1 2018 or Q4 2017....something.....anything.
I don't want a refund or to bitch on forums all day....I just want what I tried to help get created to be complete. Kickstarter is strange that way, we didnt buy the game or invest in your product.....We believed in you as artists, creators....people.
Please give us something. we like you have hoped and dreamed of this project. That's why we backed it. Please don't forget that.
Starr Mazer: DSP's Early Access release has been temporarily removed from the Steam store due to a copyright claim.
We're currently working to resolve this issue so you can get back to shooting the G'ell out of your atmosphere!
This has no impact on the continued development of Starr Mazer, and will hopefully be resolved with haste.
DSP is/was taken down because of a copyright infringement compliant according to the Playism store page.
Is this going to impact Starr-mazer?
Starr Mazer: DSP removed from Steam store?? What is going on?
Well, if you wanted to see the game running, then maybe you should have visited our stream once or twice and you would have seen that. The one thing you want is something Don has already given us.
It's january, and you're already wrong. That didn't take long, did it?
I think I've been crystal clear in what I'd like to see - I think we all have.
That being said, I'm so sure that this is complete horseshit at this point that all I have to do is sit back and wait to be right.
Here is what is gonna happen in 2017, and I'll roll back in December or so to say I told you so.
1. Starr Mazer DSP will be aggressively marketed and promoted at video game events.
2. There will continue to be really annoying KS updates about Starr Mazer DSP sent to us.
3. Starr Mazer DSP will continue to fall in value as it continues to be increasingly marked down through sales and the like, as is usually the case. I also wouldn't be surprised to see it in a bundle, which is pretty much the end of the road. This is before it comes out of 'early access', by the way.
4. Starr Mazer updates will be limited to random, fragmented assets - we won't actually see anything running in a game, just 'here's a picture of an alien' or 'here's a picture of a UI' or 'here's a sound effect of a gun'
5. The game gets formally pushed to 2018.
Oh, and then in 2018 the game gets cancelled. But let's take it one year at a time!
See you at Christmas.
@Will You already do look foolish. If you're not interested in watching a twitch show that was specifically made for updating the backers and showing off the work Don and Co has made, then that's on you. If you're not interested in joining a Discord server so you can directly talk to several of the people working on the game, okay, that's on you as well.
You refuse to look at the stuff Don has already showed us, but at the same time claim he has nothing to show. What more can Don and the Imagos team do? You're being purposefully obtuse, refusing to give a single inch by looking at the stream while behaving like a child and expecting a KS update (or just more info on Starr Mazer, you aren't being very clear what you want or how you want it) for the sake of your own satisfaction. Give me a break. None of us need to work to make you look real stupid, you're doing a great job on your own.
I honestly don't think you even care about whether Starr Mazer is going to come out or not, you just want to rock the boat at this point. You honestly do not deserve any further attention.
That's great. I don't believe you.
Post some of this stuff you claim to have and make me look real stupid.
Alright, Will O'Neal, I'm going to have to put a kibosh on your witch hunt.
You have no idea what you're talking about. You've said as much. I get that you're not interested in our social media or twitch presence (though you have no issue spitting on us on twitter), and no interest in talking to us directly, as many of our fans/backers do on our discord channel. You're not interested in any kind of actual communication beyond your oddly specific crusade in the comments of this kickstarter.
You don't seem interested in the actual campaign, or the spirit of kickstarter. You missed interviews where I've detailed both the budget and scope of our game (the KS accounted for less than half of the funding - that was on the front page of IGN, for instance.) Or the well documented fact that we paused development on UI/UX to develop Mazer Maker, which has been announced and demonstrated as the tool with which we are building Starr Mazer. Or the fact that DSP is being built by Pixeljam, with me providing direction and my team providing art. Or the fact that we moved publishers last year.
None of these things seem to interest you. You want your $15 worth, and are willing to bray at my team to get it.
We're working on the game. Everything has taken longer than expected. Welcome to video games. We have our engine, our dev tools and a new UI/UX. We've got 38 story module sketches and reams of dialogue written and internal demo episodes that are failures and internal demo episodes that work. We've been working, and are working, on this game. Full time. With every ounce of love and respect it deserves.
My job - my promise - is to make this game. Your $15 gripe is my childhood dream and if you think your grandstanding will make an ounce of difference in the 100% of myself I'm putting into this game with my team you are sickeningly mistaken.
I don't owe you what you're asking for. You don't get to see whatever you want whenever you want. I owe you, and 5,054 other backers - MANY of whom are in regular and positive contact with me and my team - a game. And god damnit we're making that game.
I would like to appeal to whatever part of you has ever worked on whatever part of the games you have worked on in asking you this: how do you think it makes myself and my team feel to get taken down by you while we work our souls out for our game? Do you imagine we've chosen to take longer out of anything but the struggle to make it? Do you think the additional funding required to keep us going has just fallen out of the sky? We've had successes and failures in the making of this ambitious title. It has been hard. Do you realize how crushing this kind of response can be to a team who is in the thick of it?
I don't think you care.
I've hurt well beyond your $15.
I'm going to go back to my milestone delivery. If you want to talk to me directly, as has been available to every backer of this project, you can find me in Discord nearly 24/7. Be warned, though, there will likely be a lot more astroturfing there. Only I think they call it support.
As I mentioned in earlier comments, I will be making an effort to make much more informative kickstarter updates with much more SM proper content. Look forward to those.
Guys, please knock it off with the astroturfing. None of us who are asking these questions wants a recap of a Twitch stream. Why you would spend your days on Twitch or moderating a Discord channel for an indie game that was funded two years ago and does not even exist is beyond me, but it isn't any of my business.
Let's get to the core of this: I don't believe this game exists. I don't think there is a serious build of it that the developers can show us, even after all this time. I believe all of the money went into the development and promotion - event-based promotion in particular - of Starr Mazer DSP, a game that is not Starr Mazer. I believe the real plan of Imagos Softworks is to continue funding and finishing Starr Mazer DSP until it is out of Early Access, which will probably take the rest of the year at least.
Along the way, I expect a few Starr Mazer 'art leaks' at best, but there is no game. Starr Mazer DSP may have begun as an innocent side trip, but it has now become the main event.
I think that is what all of us essentially believe. I think you know this is what we all believe.
And it's a major problem. Because even if you're somehow morally resigned to the idea that Starr Mazer DSP will ultimately turn the money back around and ultimately fuel the real Starr Mazer, it strikes me as very unlikely that this can happen. Starr Mazer DSP has fewer than a hundred reviews on Steam. It's a nice little indie game! I like it!
But it ain't a hit.
And it isn't gonna be one. And no way in Hell is it gonna claw back the $200k it took off of Starr Mazer to develop and promote itself at every goddamn game event I can think of for the past two years.
So can we just get some overdue candour here: What is the real plan to get this done?
I'm not trying to be a jerk. I just don't like having my intelligence insulted.
Please tell us the truth.
Guys, seriously this has been one of the most talkative kickstarter's out there, you just have to look where they tell you to for the info, which is certainly not gated, just go there and see the info.
Now yes, the last few months have been quiet for everyone, but that happens. It's not as though information has been held back, if you don't want to look at the information provided to you because it's not in the place you want it to be, that's on you, not the devs.
To be honest, I have a hard time empathizing with people who complain about the lack of content updates and also refuse to look for updates outside of kickstarter. There is an overabundance of information out there (primarily our through the twitch stream and the community Discord server). I get that it would be *more convenient* if they also posted a new KS update with every twitch stream, but you really need to come off acting like there is dead silence from Imagos.
I moderate both the Starr Mazer Discord and Twitch channels, and I have *NEVER* seen any of you complainers in either of those places.
TL;DR : From my point of view, if you want to complain about the "lack of info", at least make it *appear* like you've looked for information outside of KS.
Just a quick addition. I think we here on Kickstarter, who do not follow your other social media projects, really just want an actual update to Star Mazer proper. That's all we are asking for. Something visual, hard evidence that the project is progressing. Because it sounds like several of us here now fear this thing will not come to fruition.
So what I've gathered reading the comments and replies is that you think your backers are tired of updates so you've stopped updating. The last one was in November saying "Hey come look at our Twitch channel for some tangible Star Mazer stuff".
Your takeaway should have been "Our backers haven't seen any evidence of a game here on Kickstarter. We keep spamming them with stuff unrelated to the main project."
QUESTRON, no other project I've backed has worked like this. I'm relighting my torch that I threw in the river in August because, here I am again, with the same concerns.
PS - Communications arei important in a crowdfunding, that's also true and must be sayed.
I'd like to ask to the owners of some comments to throw their torches to the river.
Crowdfundings work like this. Patience. I have crowdfunded and delivered games on my still account UNplayed... I think these guys showed enough proffesionality to have my trust one, two, or three years...
Hi, I'd also like to add my opinion as you say you are getting conflicting comments.
The image you have created for the project is a poor one due to rare - and more importantly - spammy updates. It looks like instead of treating us with respect for believing in you you'd rather avoid feedback and "sell" us other things. Yes I am not an investor, nor a customer, just a backer through KS, but I would definitely be reluctant to back you again.
I am also a software engineer (10+ years) and yes, it is hard to estimate and difficult to do; yet no firm deadline, no clear plan, no communication is a recipe for failure.
I hope you will improe on the above and come out with the game to prove this impression wrong.
I'm going to have to go in the opposite direction of recent comments I think. As someone who has played DSP (which is a well made game, btw, coming from someone who doesn't traditionally play or enjoy bullet hell type shooters) and who is actively following the development of several kickstarter darlings that have been delayed (Bloodstained, Toejam and Earl, and this game among others) I completely understand where you're coming from. Though I don't make games, I do work in software development, and I know that there's a lot of complicated in and outs to this whole process. I'd rather have a late and awesome game than a game rushed because you felt like you have to commit to a deadline.
As to updates, I will agree that getting more information out there would be super awesome. Even going the IGA/Bloodstained route and just doing a once a month update with a few little pieces of information would be enough for me, I know every time I've seen the art assets I've been super hyped so far, so more, even in rough or incomplete-subject-to-change fashion would be even better.
Keep doing what you're doing guys! Plenty of us are excited to see where this is all going!
I'm in the dark on everything that's gone on in the comments section but I believe a lot of people have soured on this game for good reason. Don, Alex, Josh or whoever else on the team is reading this, you did put an April 2016 deadline on this game and it still hasn't come to fruition. I'm almost to point where I'd like my money back if you guys don't show some sort of progress about the game. Even more, I DON'T CARE about the other crap you guys keep promoting and marketing through this project. I put money down because I thought Starr Mazer was worth it. I just hope this doesn't become like Confederate Express... if you saw what happened to that mess.
I wanted to hop in and agree with others who have commented. For awhile I actively regretted backing this project because my inbox was being flooding with backer updates about anything other than the thing I backed.
It's gotten to the point where I can't even remember what Starr Mazer was supposed to be because of all the noise of this other stuff you're trying to promote. I feel like I've been hustled, and you've used our good will to build a marketing email list instead of a game.
I don't know what DSP is, and you've frankly soured me to wanting to learn more about it with the way you've handled this whole thing. It feels like you got side-tracked by whatever this other stuff is, and at this point I just consider my pledge a waste of money.
It's great to hear that I can look forward to more Starr Mazer updates and that you will stop keeping things so close to the chest. I will be watching closely over the next few updates for these!
You may have taken a very small number of comments about not revealing much too close to heart, though I can't find any of them on here - on the comments here, for pretty much every update in the past year, the only thing that I can see an overwhelming number of requests for is more updates and content related to Starr Mazer.
I don't see anyone saying that they would be frustrated to see new things from Starr Mazer that may change in the future. Can you direct me to these comments? I would love to understand their train of thought given the length of time it has been since we've really seen anything new from Starr Mazer proper at all.
Also, outside of those people, whereas two years ago backers may have been not interested in the minute details of the project, they may be more interested now simply for the purpose of wanting to know that it is still actually moving forward.
Again, try to put yourself in our shoes: If you were us, and you were looking at your own activities, would *you* believe that Starr Mazer is actively in development?
I would welcome other backers to chime in, but I think given where we are at now I would happily see a new UI / UX and other screenshots that may change in the future, if only to know that all of your efforts are not concentrated on directing and promoting DSP.
Thanks for your consideration! I hope your next update will be a huge look at Starr Mazer and where it is at - but please do put it behind spoilers for anyone who doesn't want all the awesome surprises ruined! :)
Thank you for your follow up. I hear you and you can look forward to more Starr Mazer-centric content.
I think I can fall on two points to explain our focus on the team/events and DSP:
1) We're in the deep dark "crank on the game until there's something awesome to see" phase. I've already posted concept art of characters that we've written out of the game, and have been worried that showing off stuff that might change - the UI/UX for example - might frustrate backers, as have sneak peeks in the past that have changed. This is def a razor's edge scenario for me. I will be super honest in saying that for every comment we get requesting one thing, we get another requesting the opposite and this has put me into a kind of null state in regard to requests. I've basically just kept things close to the chest. I'll loosen up, however.
2) We genuinly do want Starr Mazer: DSP to do well. Though we're not primarily developing Starr Mazer: DSP - that falls to Pixeljam - I AM directing its development, and we ARE providing art and it IS a major part of the Starr Mazor franchise. Also, as the owner of the franchise and rights-holder, any positivity that comes for Starr Mazer: DSP - financially or otherwise - goes into making Starr Mazer the best game it can be.
Thank you again for talking to me about this - your frankness and obvious concern are very heartening.
I appreciate your response. You mention presence and successes, and that spurred me to realize what I think may be missing from the updates you've been giving here on Kickstarter, and on Twitter as well: A lack of content specifically related to Starrmazer itself.
I just took a brief look back through the updates, as well through the @starrmazer Twitter account. Essentially all of the content falls into one of three categories:
1. The team at gaming events
2. Starrmazer DSP
3. Features of other games and devs on Starrmazer TV, your Twitch channel.
Simply put: Where is the Starrmazer content? Where are the screenshots? How about a look at this UI you rebuilt, or previews of some of these interesting story segments?
One recent update actually did mention something about Starrmazer proper: An art reveal on Twitch. After doing that reveal, why not post those revealed images? Or provide them in a KS update?
Maybe the problem is that all of the updates to Starrmazer proper are only being provided via Twitch, and not here or on social media.
Try to put yourself in our shoes, and imagine that we don't watch Starrmazer TV. Look through your Twitter media history and these backer updates. If you were us, would *you* believe that Starrmazer proper was well underway in terms of development?
Please share content that will give us confidence in your progress. I think that is the biggest missing piece.
Thank you for this comment. It is very eye-opening to see this perspective and definitely colors our view of our approach to social media.
I think I would be deeply remiss to not point out, however, that all of the marketing and promotional stuff is actually work, and part of the job of making and, further, selling this game. We're absolutely posting the highest point moments, and absolutely highlighting the positive momentum of our work, but to think that we are concentrating on this in a way that distracts or otherwise threatens the creation of this game is incorrect. Especially under the idea that we are doing so to obtain/maintain some kind of cultural status rather than just plain trying to get visibility up for Starr Mazer.
I think that's our fault. I think we focus a LOT on posting our presence or successes, and very little about working a 30hr stretch or relocating UI/UX elements or writing 35 modular story segments that all interact with one another but this is not because we didn't want to, or didn't try.
I feel like we're on some kind of razor's edge with communication. Too many KS updates and we get messages, emails and comments about how we're spamming our backers. So we create a newsletter and various social aspects. This leads to other backers being concerned that we expect them to look to places outside of KS for updates and, further, pointing out that the content of these social posts or streams or whatever are not what is expected.
When we started SMTV it was to provide a look into the game's development. We had writing streams, music creation streams, art streams and code streams. We took those on to be informative, and we did so outside of the scope of our working hours - it was *additional* work we took on to provide insight. This was met with a resounding "meh", so we pared back to an SMTV variety show with tons of production updates and some other exciting content. Even THAT has been pared back. Though some of it is fun at times, *all* of it is work.
I think that needs to be made evident: going to events is work. We may look like we're having a great time, and we may ACTUALLY have good times at times, but there is a *vast* difference between going to an event and working a booth at that event. This work is part of the trade. It is part of the path to a successful release of a game. We put far, far less of our effort into posting social media or going to events than we do in making this game, and even those efforts are limited. There is a reason you only ever see 1-3 of us at any given event; the rest are spending that time making this game.
As for a clear path to a release date: I can state very openly that establishing a ship date, and hitting it, is a priority. We have learned and grown a lot since 2015, and the game is better for it.
It is our hope - my hope - that you can recognize the spirit of a campaign to kick-start a collaborative project that is the realization of the hopes and dreams of numerous people who want desperately to deliver something wonderful to you.
Keep your eyes/ears open to further updates, as we believe 2017 will be a red letter year for Starr Mazer, and for you, our backers.
I very much appreciate your perspective and comments,
What I find troubling about the abundance of communication from other facets - the streaming, the going to events, the social media posting - is that it seems to represent an enormous amount of effort that could have instead gone into producing the game in a timeframe closer to your original estimates.
I get that doing all of that marketing and promotional stuff is a lot of fun, but the optics of it when you are so far behind with so much of our money is horrendous - especially without any kind of commitment to a release date.
Please focus more on developing the game and less on these peripheral things that seem to have more to do with enjoying the social aspects of indie developer culture than they do with creating the product you were funded to do. Thanks!
We hear you loud and clear.
We'll be making an effort to do just what you've suggested: to distill our flow of news and updates into more frequent Kickstarter updates. We've been reticent to do so, offering a newsletter and many other facets of information outlet, because we were receiving complaints of *too many* Kickstarter updates.
We'll try to hit a happy medium. Keep your eyes peeled!
I backed and paid for this two years ago. Back then I was really excited, and as a long time fan of the Graphic Adventure genre, this ticked all the right boxes for me. I appreciate you guys have Mazer.TV and crossovers and dozens of updates cross promoting other stuff - but i've gotta be honest - I really don't care about any of that. It was a fantastic looking trailer, I pledged my money, and have sat waiting patiently for two years. I'd really like some firm details on the project I have supported because I thought it was worthy of my hard-earned cash. How is the game progressing? Are there any timelines to a release? When can I expect something tangible, and specifically about Starr Mazer? You came to Kickstarter for funding - so I feel you should be filtering any relevant information about the project through here too. I don't want to go hunting for information and visiting all your social accounts. I've gone off the boil with Kickstarter with so many projects either not being completed or taking years :(
We're looking at 2017 right now.
As for updates, we've been pretty sparse on the Kickstarter updates due to other backers complaining that we were updating too much!
The game is absolutely still being developed, and you can catch a TON of information about it from our social accounts, as well as our weekly development stream at http://starrmazer.tv.
Any word on a release day? I have not received an update in a long time. Not sure if the game is still being developed. Thanks.
You'll see both! We've been holding off on sending our backer reward survey because we're using BackerKit,which only allows one major survey. As we have numerous story and NPC backers, as well as a number of bonus goodies to offer at survey time, we want to ensure our survey is as complete as possible.
Also, Imagos Softworks has primarily been working on Starr Mazer. We've shared some recources (art and myself) but the bulk of development is being done by our friends at PixelJam!
I understand that Starr Mazer will be delayed and that priority is on DSP, but what's happening to the rewards, especially the t-shirt (STARR MODEL)? I have the feeling neither will I see Starr Mazer nor the Shirt.
We apologize for the late release. To bring Starr Mazer to life with the quality we feel it deserves has taken more time than originally anticipated. Rest assured once we have a beta of Starr Mazer that meets our standards, we'll be delivering it to backers for previewing.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Imagos Softworks Partner
Hey, after being this late on the release, the least you could do is offering Beta acces to everybody.
Also strongly agree with Jesse Hayes points. :(
Beta for Starr Mazer will be available in 2017. Beta tier backers will receive an email once it is available to play. The Early Access version of Starr Mazer: DSP is available now on Steam.
Hey there cats! Any update or ETA on the beta? I've re-read all the KS emails a couple times but didn't see anything about it. Thanks for your time!
Keep an eye on your email. Updates will be coming soon. :D
Hey there! I really enjoyed Starr Mazer DSP, but am realizing that it's been quite some time since any real news or updates on Starr Mazer proper.
2017 is no longer that far off, and I would love to see an update on the progress the team is making!
Thank you! This little project with Pixeljam has got the team pumped! We're full of ideas for SHMUP segments for Starr Mazer! We really hope you enjoy this little arcade shoot'em up while we continue to write and craft the dense web that is the Starr Mazer OMG system.
There will be a little bit more DSP news as it approaches and hits full release. Rest assured I will be keeping you guys up to date on all things Starr Mazer related as well as we move into the future.
At least now it's out we won't need to hear anything more about DSP.
+1 for more Starr Mazer related news here
I must admit that I am involved in quite a lot of kickstarter projects so I sometimes just scan the news and do not read the whole text. Because of all this DSP related stuff you send I did not understand until today that it is an independent game ;)
Really thought for a while that it is a little side project designed as a thank you for backers because of the long time this project takes.
Thank you Imagos and specifically Don Thacker, I still support you guys and would never try to hurt Star Mazer or your team, It just felt .... well as I stated below. I will do my best to keep up with everything but I am in the boat of being a bit too busy to always check other sources, for that I apologize, I have apparently missed a lot of info along the way and that is on me not your team. You clearly are as transparent as possible and I just want everyone to know that I'm still all in on Star Mazer. Please continue to make an awesome game and I will wait even until 2018 if need be, I just need a little more communication and as Don stated that will happen so again I can't thank you guys enough for taking the time to clarify everything. I wish everyone at Imagos Softworks the best.
@Mark Showalter & @Jesse Hays,
Hey guys! I *totally* see your point and completely see where you're coming from. In considering your situation(s), I feel I would likely feel similarly to you. For that, I apologize.
It's easy for us to keep our blinders on and really only kick out the bigger updates for large news like crossovers or DSP related info; it's the loudest stuff we've got right now while we're in the content valley building away at Starr Mazer.
To Jesse's comment about releasing DSP and hoping that pays for Starr Mazer: We've got an incredible publisher in Playism, and Starr Mazer is fully funded. Though we do plan to push some percentage of the proceeds from DSP into Starr Mazer, we'd considered that free value to our backers; more resource support for the dollars you put in.
I will commit to making many more Starr Mazer proper related updates here, and not just on our social media channels. We've been SUPER transparent about our process, but I realize that some people rely entirely on Kickstarter updates for news, and we should be taking that more into account.
Thank you again for backing, I appreciate it a great deal and look forward to your responses to our game.
If you have any questions directly for me, you can pop into our Discord channel at any time (https://discord.gg/0zrroJMHCs7F5hYi) or email me directly.
I need to echo Jesse's sentiment here. These updates seem to deal more with crossovers, promotions and DSP way more than content pertaining to the game we've backed. I get you built a tool to help the game come together but it would be nice to get more updates to things that pertain to the main game.
Hello! I'm sorry you feel this way. I can tell you progress is moving forward on Starr Mazer proper. Vanessa Williams is very busy writing the game, incorporating backer ideas and forming the base of the OMG system. The game's narrative system is far more complex than traditional morality dialog trees found in most storytelling games. Vanessa is tasked with writing episodes full of variables that have a base state that can be affected from previous episode decisions from just about any other episode. Every episode has tons of ways to enter it and tons of ways to exit storywise. Conversations are not a few levels deep but often have 10+ responses/actions that can be pooled from depending on various World State Variables. In short, the game is being developed but mostly on paper.
Starr Mazer: DSP is a joint effort between Pixeljam and Imagos Softworks. The game is much smaller in scope when it comes to the story. It is a 9 level arcade game vs. Mass Effect levels of writing. Our art team, led by Maximo Lorenzo, is using their time wisely to develop assets and workflows for DSP that can be used in Starr Mazer as well.
In short, the heavy lifting for Starr Mazer is being done right now, Mazer Maker and writing. Once it wraps up art team will swoop in the create beautiful assets, animations and environments and everyone else will begin building episodes.
I hope this answers your question about the delays and how DSP fits into this. We understand it is very ambitious and we are all working hard to make it a reality. If you would like to discuss this further please leave a comment or email us at social [at] starrmazer.com or chat with us directly on the Discord channel at https://discord.gg/0zrroJMHCs7F5hYi
Hey everyone, sorry to come here and cause trouble but I am a Star Mazer backer and EVERYTIME I read about DSP I feel a little cheated. Why is there going to be a game called a prequel released before the original? I understand that it is supposed to be a separate team making this game but come on guys.....How can a game be a "prequel" when a "prequel" by definition is released after the source material. Am I missing something? When I asked in April about the missed release of Star Mazer I was told the "mazer maker" pushed the game into 2017 and yet here is a complete game coming out before 2017. This is all adding up to make me feel cheated. I backed Star Mazer expecting a neat game that you showed in the trailer......what I keep getting is updates about a game based on the game I supported that has yet to be released. guys.....this is starting to feel like a bad joke. I was backer 624 because I believed in your ideas....now DSP is coming out and what I backed isn't coming out until much later....it almost seems like my money went to develope this "side project in DSP" and you guys are hoping it sells enough to finish Star Mazer. I really hope this isn't the case but guys distracting us with the DSP stuff really makes Star Mazer seem to be vaporware to me. Please please please try to convince us backers that I am wrong, I really hope I am.