In my ongoing efforts to discover new video gaming talent to bring to the attention of the gaming community, I recently came across a game called Stardrop on Kickstarter; a first-person science-fiction story-driven game set in space developed by indie outfit Team V, and lead designer Joure Visser. I recently got in touch with Joure, who agreed to answer a few questions I had about the game, and what the developmental process has been like thus far, and these were his answers:
What were the influences behind Stardrop?
I have played a whole lot of games in my time and I take inspiration from all my experiences up until now. The Metal Gear Solid and Half-Life series’ have been huge inspirations as well as Alien Isolation I mentioned. Then there is the Portal series, which had brilliant writing. Mass Effect, Resident Evil, Life is Strange and so many more. On top of that, I love movies and Gravity, which is another big inspiration. And lastly but probably most importantly are my wife and daughter. I’ve contemplated various subjects throughout my lifetime, things that I find important and I merely am trying to add a little bit of what I’ve learned and what is important to me through some of the themes that I’ll cover during the game, but mostly just positive things. Ideas and thoughts that reinforce a more positive state of mind while reflecting on some of the bad things as well.
What has the developmental process been like?
Well, I’m not done of course but so far it’s been very organic. I prefer letting my projects flow naturally. This way I can tweak and/or change things relatively easily. I have a group of individuals I could ask for and everyone has been incredibly supportive and involved. This project means a whole lot to me but it’s good to know I’m not alone.
How close are we to seeing the finished product?
Not too close. I have yet to start on the Dropship and then the STARDROP itself, which is quite a large ship. Luckily I have most of the core mechanics in place and we mainly have to expand on these. It makes working on the rest of the game a lot easier and we expect to be able to finish the game within the year. But I wouldn’t want to promise this as a fact. Anything can happen during development. The demo was made within 8 months and 6 out of those were primarily prototyping game mechanics.
What has been the most exciting aspect of development?
Seeing Robert Ducat and Aryn Rozelle bring the two main characters to life. On top of that seeing the game take shape must have been one of the most exciting aspects. I guess how the game has been received by my friends and people, in general, caught me off guard and I did not expect that.
What has been the most challenging aspect of development?
Working full-time with very, very little funds, or basically none. I have put all that I could spare into this. My computer is breaking down, my mouse button is starting to not register clicks, my GPU is running on one of its two fans, oh and my monitor recently started to show scan lines. These things make it hard to work on the game.
How well has the game been received so far?
The worst I’ve gotten so far has still been positive. I’ve yet to receive a fully negative review of the demo, mostly reviewers end up nitpicking or looking at minor flaws which is totally fine. Even when we’re done with the game I’m sure there will be things that are imperfect.
What platforms are you looking to bring the game to?
We’re planning to bring the game to the PC, Linux, and Mac, Unreal Engine 4 has made it incredibly easy to port the game over to these platforms. We hope to end up on consoles as well but that mostly depends on if we can get a partnership with either Sony or Microsoft as we need dev-kits to be able to port the game properly.
Were there any specific science fiction series that inspired the creation of Stardrop?
I would say that Alien Isolation was the game that finally kicked me into gear and brought together a bunch of thoughts and ideas that made me decide on a theme and genre.
Do you have any advice for aspiring developers that may be reading this?
Don’t give up and work hard; very, very hard. Interact with your community and with other Indie developers out there. Support each other and make sure that even during all the hardships you are still having fun. Your love and dedication towards the game will get noticed, I truly believe that and I believe that’s why STARDROP is well received in general.
Where about on the Internet can people find you?
and I’m always open to receive an email:
Do you have anything else to add?
I’ll be honest and the Kickstarter campaign seems to be stalling. Thanks to everyone who did back us and whatever happens I will keep working on the game until my pc finally breaks down. But the game will be made, one way or another.
Thank you for this interview
I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank Joure for agreeing to our question and answer session for the blog, and to wish him the very best of luck with Stardrop. If you like the look of the game, you can back it on Kickstarter here :
Thanks for reading.