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Dev Diary #1 – The Player Ship

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We’ve been working really hard to make Stars of Icarus the best game it can be and we’d like to give you an insight into that process. To involve you all a bit more, we will start to provide you with detailed information about some of our core game elements on a regular basis. Today we’ll kick it off with the player ship.

We started with the blockout phase, finding a basic shape. We felt it was important for the ship to have a simple triangular form, in order for the player to have a clear sense of direction. At the same time, we wanted it to be unique in some way. Our number one choice, the military fighter look, worked but it was slightly too generic. However, since we wanted the overall feel to be strictly human (not alien), we took it from there and tried out a couple of design variations. Ultimately we ended up with a parting down the middle and slightly unconventional wings. After a debate about the position of the cockpit, we placed it right at the center, where it fit in naturally.

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We wanted to have an authentic look from the start of the design phase, even at pixel-size. Read more…

Announcement: Stars of Icarus

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Stars of Icarus

Crunchy Leaf returns with Stars of Icarus, formerly known as Project Elite, preparing to redefine what is possible in Flash-based top-down space shooters. The game will let you explore uncharted space and will offer a deep combat system, while also featuring RPG elements. As you explore, you will hone your skills, learn to think on your feet, outmaneuver your enemies and upgrade your ship with newfound technology.

If this sounds like your thing, feel free to follow us on facebook and twitter.
If not, you should still follow us on facebook and twitter! You never know, we might just surprise you!

Crunchy Leaf is back!

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Hey, we’re back! Did you miss us?

After almost 2 years of radio silence, we are back, up and running. Now in a small talented team we’ve found ourselves an office in Berlin and are working on a brand new project which will be announced very soon. To stay up to date, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter!

Modding an Indie Space Shooter

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While searching for good top-down shooters I stumbled across 3030 Deathwar, a real gem of an indie game. It combines gameplay elements from the classic Elite, like trading and various mission types, with walking on space stations and derelicts in the style of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.

Here are some screenshots

Most of the criticism of the game has been for the harsh difficulty curve and slow progress (I read about one guy taking 8 hours to fly to the next system). But luckily, the developer has released modding tools and updated the game since to address some of these issues.

As noone had done so yet, I thought I would give it a shot and create a balance mod for the game. My main goals were to speed the game up a bit and make it a little more accessible. I also balanced out the mission rewards, to encourage the player to take some of the cooler missions, like photographing planets and finding lost people.

Oh, have I mentioned that the game is free?

You can download the complete game, with updates and the clgMod, ready to go.

And here are the full changelist, the SpaceSimCentral thread with the vanilla game and all related downloads, and the developer’s website. Oh, and please drop an upvote if you’re on Reddit!

Hanging out at the bar in 3030 Deathwar

Dodo gets a Video and an Update

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I made a short trailer for DodoVsDarwin. It also shows some of the later level content, so in case you haven’t seen the soldiers or the baby Dodos yet, go check it out!

The game itself got a small update as well. I fixed some minor glitches that were still bothering me and tweaked the player movement a little. It’s still available right here.

In other news, I am still working on Project Elite. After going through some gameplay prototypes, it is going in more of a free-form direction now, where the player gets to explore on his own. A more substantial update on it’s progress should be forthcoming soon.

DodoVsDarwin Screenshot

Project Elite Pre-Alpha Demo

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There is now a pre-alpha tech demo with the two levels shown in the video, that you can now watch live (with varying outcomes, as the ai behaviours are somewhat randomized).

There is also a benchmark you can run. It will measure your system’s performance using a very taxing test level and display a score out of 100 when you mouse-over the button next.

I’ve been getting some feedback on the benchmark and it’s been very helpful. It seems most systems run it quite well (70-90 scores), but running multiple applications in the background slows down the game considerably. So I might have to add some sort of note at the start of the game, or offer some graphics options to turn off some of the visual features.

I would appreciate any feedback on the demo levels or on benchmark scores!

Update: Rock,Paper,Shotgun ran an article about the game, featuring this demo as well as the video. You can read it here!

PreAlphaTechDemo

Project Elite on Facebook

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Project Elite now has a facebook page.

I realize I am updating the blog too infrequently to get people to regularly check for news. So if you want an easier way of tracking the game’s progress, you can now use the facebook page instead.

In other news, I’ve been getting some great feedback on the demo and video. Perhaps I will post some info on the tech behind it in the coming days.

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