Starlight Inception Coming to PS Vita in December

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Starlight Inception Coming to PS Vita in December

Starlight Inception on PS Vita

Welcome to Starlight Inception, a first-person / third-person space combat experience coming to PS Vita in December. It contains a single-player campaign, single-player Fly Patrol (tower defense), and several multiplayer options. The inspiration for Starlight Inception was the old space sim games that we loved as kids, but with a more sophisticated, modern sensibility.

We don’t intend the fighters in Starlight Inception to be retextures of World War II fighters, but something more modern and space capable. And unlike those older games, Starlight Inception was designed to allow flight from space down to planetary/lunar environments with seamless transitions.

In Starlight Inception, you’re a young space fighter pilot assigned to the U.S.F. Midway (SCVN-41) one hundred years from tomorrow. In the first mission (included in the beta going live today) you’ll learn about your ship, the controls, and face your first enemies. This mission is the only one included in this early Beta, but it should give a taste for what this game looks like and feels like. The intention was to really integrate the training into the overall story — stuff hits the fan while you’re learning how to fly your ship, and gets the story rolling.

The finished game (planned for December) will have more than 30 hours of single-player gameplay, and you’ll be able to explore your mothership between missions — see your bunk area, report to the captain on the bridge, and visit the Pilot Ready Room where you receive your mission briefings.

The finished game will also have a hangar bay with more than thirty different fighters, bombers, and transports, each with customizable weapons and equipment to choose from for the missions. The fighters are future versions of modern day fighters like the Lightning, Raptor, and others, and they’re made to work in both space and planetary environments.

Starlight Inception on PS VitaStarlight Inception on PS Vita

There’s a deep story in Starlight Inception that plays out through the single-player campaign missions. It revolves around World War IV. You’re facing several factions of a larger organization which doesn’t agree with a United Earth — they want a national, not a world government.

We took a lot of pains to make both the United Star Force (your organization) and the Non-Aligned Nations (the enemy) realistic and believable. We didn’t want a black and white depiction of the enemies or the friendlies, and wanted to avoid the stereotypes that are usually present in these games. We wanted to depict our characters as if they were part of a very real and functioning military in a future situation.

There are ten single-player missions, each with unique tasks and objectives. In one mission, Operation: Render Hope, you’ll escort transports to the surface of Earth and into the city of Chicago so they can render medical aid to civilians. This is an escort mission that will involve repelling enemy fighters while tagging the civilian areas. Render Hope definitely has a Choplifter vibe.

In Starlight Inception, a fully integrated, second campaign has been implemented in the form of a 3D tower defense game, called Fly Patrol. You face waves of enemy fighters and capital ships advancing through Einstein-Rosen bridges (or E/R bridges), which are artificial wormholes. You can hold them off with just your chosen fighter, and/or deploy turrets for defense.

What we wanted to do with this mode was to have a unique tower defense game that used the Starlight Inception ‘verse, while giving you something else to do besides completing missions. The tower defense mode is a great casual experience, and the different missions can be jumped into quickly.

Starlight Inception on PS Vita

There are several multiplayer modes available in the full version of Starlight Inception as well. You can select from deathmatch, capture the ball, and football mode. Each has unique challenges and have been lots of fun for the playtesters so far.

There are a lot of Vita specific features in the game — we make use of the accelerometer, the gyroscope, the front touch pad, and the sticks. Starlight Inception feels great on Vita.

The music of Starlight Inception has been composed by three time Grammy nominated American composer David Arkenstone. David had previously contributed music to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and is amazingly talented. It’s been a true pleasure to work directly with David to match his musical style to the battles (and quiet stretches) that occur within Starlight Inception. David’s music has definitely captured the excitement and danger of the missions.

We wanted to offer a genuine space combat experience with Starlight Inception. In order to do that, we worked with military advisors who reviewed the script and character dialogue. We’ve also entered into a licensing agreement with Lockheed Martin for the use of fighter names and the Lockheed name. This is the first time Lockheed Martin has ever endorsed a product that portrays future products with the Lockheed name, and were both honored and excited to be able to do this. We feel it really adds to the realism of our game.

Starlight Inception on PS Vita

Finally, we wanted to say thank you to all of our supporters who believed in our game before it was a game. First and foremost, we’re working to make good on our promises to you folks and hope we’re delivering a product that is light years beyond what you expected and hoped for. And we’re always happy to answer your questions.

Light up the sky…

Kindest Regards,
Garry, Melissa and the Starlight inception Team

Comments are closed.


55 Author Replies

  • First.

    Looks pretty awesome!!! Can’t wait to check it out!!!

  • As someone obsessed with Astronomy I will definitely be checking this out. Glad to hear you’re putting work into the story as well. Can never go wrong with a good story :).

    • We take the story very seriously, and have a full single player story-based campaign, in addition to letting players have the freedom to stroll amongst the decks of their carrier between missions. The voice acting is sounding great (we just heard a session with several of our lead characters today, and the actors are doing a great job).

  • So this is goona be like star wars on psp ah ha

  • thank God it’s a beta, I thought it was another bad free to play game

    • I’m a gamer too, and not a big fan of free to play, and so this game isn’t structured that way. This is truly a beta though – there are definitely bugs to be found.

  • This looks awesome. Will definitely be picking up in December unless it is unrealistically priced. How I miss you, Colony Wars.

  • “And unlike those older games, Starlight Inception was designed to allow flight from space down to planetary/lunar environments with seamless transitions.”

    And just like that you have my attention!

    • The Mars mission is really interesting and fun – you can see details from orbit, descend to the planet and those details get bigger and bigger until they look like should. Also, an atmosphere kind of transitions around you as it would if you were descending to a planet. It’s pretty trippy…

  • I’m not really a fan of 3D space sims/fighters, but glad to see the Vita getting some love. I had watched some videos on Steam and can certainly see this appealing to those that like the genre.

    • Thank you! We really felt that this was a genre that needed some attention on handheld (as well as other platforms), and the Vita was really the optimal platform to do this with, given the dual analog joysticks, touchscreen and graphics muscle.

  • im too happy to give you questions right now, sir. download in progress. :)

  • is this beta or release date for the full game?

  • For those wondering about priced, it’s currently priced at $20 on Steam, so I would say it’s safe to assume this will fall within the $15-30 price range on Vita.

  • Beta is LIVE it is (1.4GB) with 13 Ratings already a 4.92

  • Could be good.

    Do not think much has went into this, but, have only seen trailers.

    I know I would buy it, if it had some depth.

    • This beta release is only really scratching the surface of the game. There’s a lot more coming in the full release.

  • That sounds awesome! And one of the few Indie games I am excited for on Vit? I’ll buy day one :)

  • So how can we get the beta? Sounds like a promising game. I’m interested.

  • vita needs games, thats all i can say

  • its free on psn store

  • Interesting, will have to keep an eye on this one. Thanks for the information.

  • This looks promising. And yay, another new Vita game, thanks!

  • Menu interface needs some serious work. Its way too cluttered on Vita. Not sure about the “deep story” but the Tower Defense mode and MP sounds great!

  • Wait a second. A new Vita game that isn’t a glorified iPhone app or a fighting game? Is that even allowed?

    Seriously, though, this looks like one of the most ambitious Vita titles yet. It’s nice to see something that might use the hardware to its full extent.

    • We are definitely pushing the device to its limits, both in terms of graphically challenging scenes and processing capabilities, and we are still tweaking assets and code to reduce slowdowns and framerate issues.

  • Depending on the price, I may have to pick this one up. I’m absolutely drowning in Vita games right now though.

    • We want to be very fair in our pricing – it was an expensive game by indie standards, but we want Starlight Inception to be accessible, fun and feel like we gave something of value to gamers.

  • So cool that you’re making this. Tried the beta and its good. Looking forward to more.

  • Definitely going to give this a shot. You just don’t see games like this anymore.

  • Love space combat, especially when it has a story. Looks awesome and I would love to have this on my vita. All this talk of a beta, is it something I can download and try now? Time to go check the store… Thanks for bringing this to the Vita!

  • I plan on buying this day one can you pre-order digitally the only problem that I have with it is that it isn’t open world but oh well

    • Not strictly open world, but there are exploration objectives built into the missions, and you never know what might be planned for future additions/enhancements…

  • I just played through the beta stage, and I have a few observations.

    +The game “feels” right. I was never lost or disoriented while playing, which can happen with someone like me that doesn’t play a lot of flight games. It reminds me of Birds of Steel.
    +The music put me in the right mood for the game.

    -Switching between left and right missiles is clunky and, at times, unresponsive.
    -The text is too thin and difficult to read.
    -The HUD is very busy and clutters the screen.
    -The Invert Y-Axis option doesn’t seem to change anything.
    -The voice acting is poor and pulled me out of the experience.

    I have mixed feelings. The gameplay is very solid, but I feel like the trappings are a weak point. The beta does a good job of demonstrating gameplay, but it’s missing the biggest leap that the game promises, which is being able to go from space to the lower atmosphere of a planet seamlessly. Considering that the game is being prepared for a December target date, it seems like there is a lot of work to do …

    I love the idea, though. I’m willing to keep a close eye on it and buy the game (for the right price) to support games like this going forward.

    • Thank you for playing the game and for such a well thought out set of observations!

      I agree with all of the pros. :)

      Regarding the cons:

      Because of lead times with Sony, this is a fairly old snapshot of the game, and although we are aware of these issues, we were unable to fix them before the beta released. In order:

      -Switching between left and right missiles is clunky and, at times, unresponsive.
      -The text is too thin and difficult to read.

      [We’ve been aggressively tweaking the control schemes and the readability of text on the Vita – this has been improved since the beta was created]

      -The HUD is very busy and clutters the screen.

      [We’re working on a HUD-lite mode that would remove some of those elements or at least make them less obtrusive. It’s always a trade-off on screen real-estate but we’re working to make it something players can work with while still relaying the necessary information.]

      -The Invert Y-Axis option doesn’t seem to change anything.

      [This is a bug (fixed now) – my apologies for this.


    • (CONTINUED) -The voice acting is poor and pulled me out of the experience.

      [All voice acting in this beta was placeholder, and was performed by myself and my wife. We are currently recording and integrating voicelines from professional actors for the final release. Putting scratchtrack into a game as you go along is a common practice since it exposes story bugs and other level bugs that might lead to confusion on the part of the player. Even this well fleshed out, fairly short mission has had revisions since we created this beta.]



      I have mixed feelings. The gameplay is very solid, but I feel like the trappings are a weak point. The beta does a good job of demonstrating gameplay, but it’s missing the biggest leap that the game promises, which is being able to go from space to the lower atmosphere of a planet seamlessly. Considering that the game is being prepared for a December target date, it seems like there is a lot of work to do …

      [The rest of the game is built (minus final voice and some multiplayer coding, which should be done in a couple days) and being polished as I write this.

      But the team felt that giving a taste of the game was important for this beta, and so just including one mission that we could take to as close to a final experience was what we set out to do. So the fact that you like the gameplay is really great – just understand that we are working aggressively to bring the rest of the experience up to that quality level.

      Thank you again for the feedback.

  • So at the top it says first person/third person… does that mean that you can play in either at any time or are there just certain parts that use either?

    I hate anything first person… but this sounds like it could be interesting, so if I can play it in third person, I might just give it a try.

    • While you are flying, you can switch from a 3rd person view (the default), which is outside the ship, to a 1st person view which is through the cockpit. When you are wandering around your carrier between missions, that mode is 1st person, but the time spent in that mode is totally up to the player. You can walk to the ready room and get into another mission immediately or take your time and explore the ship.

  • So Garry, you said Star Wars and BSG are influences. Are you also a fan of Wing Commander and Tie Fighter/X-Wing? If so, then yes. :)

  • ummmm what the hell is the beta listed under on the Vita Store????? I looked under PS Vita Games, scrolled through Free to Play, scrolled through Indies, looked in Demos and even in Minis and Apps. It’s not listed anywhere.

    Only way I found it was using the search and typing in Starlight………… You might want to actually PUT it somewhere. Not everyone follows PS on twitter to keep aprised of releases.

  • @DragonIrons it shows up under new releases on the Vita store

  • Unseated.

    This is yet another reason that Vita TV should make it to the US before Japan. Call up Andrew House right now.

  • I was playing the beta earlier today (err… yesterday…), and it was actually really fricken awesome. Still needs a good amount of polish but I’m really enjoying the overall feel. Only thing I don’t like about the mechanics is aiming is a bit… oh I dunno, clunky? I can’t find the right word for it, but it’s just a bit weird enough to throw off my aim. Maybe I’m just too used to Strike Suit Infinity… (The mechanics of that game are really smooth, that’s the game to look to if you’re looking for good mechanics)
    But other than that, switching between 1st Person and 3rd Person is really cool, I’m digging the HUD style (floating text just gets me man), and… FRIGGEN SPACE SHOOTER ON VITA HECKS YEAH.

    Can’t wait to play the final version in December!

    • Thanks for trying the game and the kind words! Yes, we’ve put a lot of work into making targetting as fluid and easy as possible, and I really dig Strike Suit Infinity too!

  • Forget the beta, I’ll just go ahead and get the full game. This sounds awesome!

    Any chance of a retail release?

    • Absolutely. We’re working on a full release for December for North America with Europe following shortly after.

  • ah that’s too bad… well we’ll see, if I am truly able to not spend any noticable time in 1st person, might still give a try. But even a short bit is usually enough to annoy the hell out of me.

    Either way, hope the game does well for you guys.

    • The first person mode in the beta is switchable, and the camera defaults to third person, so you can completely avoid it in the beta, plus it’s free – you should give it a try if you get a chance. :)

  • Hi Garry,

    I downloaded & tried the beta last night. I think your team has done an excellent job with this game. Like yourself, I was a big fan of the old space sims (Wing Commander, X-wing & TIE Fighter, Freespace), and I really feel this captures that essence.

    Great to hear that additional polish is being applied as well. Even though the dialog in the beta is placeholder, I like the authenticity and the military jargon used within.

    Had I gotten wind of the Kickstarter when it was underway, I would have gladly made a contribution. But I’ll do the next best thing by supporting this game when the full version is released!

    • Thank you for the kind words. We just recorded the bulk of the dialog acted by professional voice talent, and it is going to sound a lot cooler than the placeholder dialog. We made a lot of effort to make it authentic, using military advisors (former Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines) to read our early drafts of the script and we listened to their advice. In addition, we did a lot of research to make sure the jargon we were using was accurate and authentic, even in a military unit 100 years from tomorrow.

  • Also, I wanted to ask: Will the final version have Trophy Support? If so, any idea at this stage how extensive the list will be (i.e. will it have a platinum?)

    • Yes, the final version will have Trophy Support. The list will be as extensive as Sony lets us make it….best I can answer right now.

  • Thanks for the reply and it’s really great seeing you replying to many of the posts here – having des actively involved with the community is always a great sign. I’ll definitely try the beta now :)

    • Cool – I take player’s opinions very seriously. I was heads down, deep in work for the past couple days, but will be stopping back to check this page as often as time allows.

  • I WANT THIS…… Is the beta available in eu ???

    • That’s a complicated answer. We just uploaded a candidate to the EU, and we’re waiting to hear back a date. A European release is complicated by multiple languages, a different approval process and a greater lead time, but I can tell you that there is definitely going to be both a beta and full release of the game for SCEE – the plan currently calls for localizing the game into four languages – French, Italian, German and Spanish, with possibly more coming down the line as well, and we are VERY committed to an EU version of the game. As soon as we know a firm date for the EU beta, I will pass it along.

  • So when its described as like the “old space sims” what does that mean? Like Wing commander, X-Wing/Tie Fighter, Freespace games?

    • Yep. But we like to call ourselves the rebellious stepchild of those games. We are something new and different, with a more modern approach.

  • Played the beta and enjoyed it! Really captures the space feel. Great music and sound effects.

    – missiles don’t always fire when I hit O
    – I don’t feel like my ship is really moving through space. I don’t feel the speed increase when redirecting power to thrust

    Why release in December ? I’d like to see more polish and a release in feb-March. Tons of competition in December too

    • We won’t release until we feel it is finished and polished, but December seems the most likely timeframe. There is always competition, but most of the bigger titles should be out by end of November. There are no other games like this that I know of on the Vita as well (which is one of the reasons we did it in the first place – I really wanted a game like this on Vita). :)

      We’ll definitely look at the missile issue. As far as moving through space, we have completely revamped the effects since this beta…

  • Been looking forward to this so I’m glad you guys are aware of the problems and working to fix them.

    Will online MP be Cross-Play with PS3?

  • Will this game have a physical release as well? Digital games are great, but I’m hurting for Vita space, and owning it physically would be awesome!

    • I sympathize – my Vita is stuffed with games too. At this time, we are only planning a digital release, and to prepare you, it is going to be fairly large (several GB) – we want to deliver a game that fully takes advantage of the Vita platform, and has lots of ships to fly, lots of single player missions (two full modes) and a robust multiplayer, and that takes space. If there are enough requests, we would definitely consider a physical release.

  • I am BEYOND excited for this game! I loved Privateer, Tyrian, and Freespace!

    Will this game have branching storyline like those aforementioned games? Even though most of them converged on the same ending, I loved experiencing a story that was unique to my choices and capabilities.

    Will this game allow for bartering, trading, and taking protection/diplomatic missions in addition to combat?

    Can I send commands to others in my squad?

    Are there any GLBT characters in the game?

    Will I be able to play a multiplayer games with the PS3 version using the same PSN account? Some games support online cross-play between Vita and PS3, but not from the same account and its really annoying.

  • Why the hell isn’t this available in EU? So disappointed as this is my ideal kind of game and I would love to play it even in beta!

    • Please check out the response at 38, and just know that it is coming, but we are not in complete control of the process…

  • Memory’s always a problem on the Vita. Please, please, PLEASE, tell us there’s going to be a retail release. This game looks great so far (especially after your addressing of the Cons above).

    I’ll gladly pay the premium (so $29.99 if you were gonna charge $19.99 for digital) to have a hard copy of this.

    • We’re collecting feedback and definitely considering a physical release. At this time, we are only planning a digital version, but plans do change…:)

  • I tried the beta, and it seems interesting so far. (I remember going from the Colony Wars trilogy on to Freespace and Freespace 2, and would definitely welcome a similar space combat setting making its mark on the PS Vita.)

    I had a few questions:

    *At this stage of development, is there any advice yet as to how large the full game’s file size will be for Vita?

    *Do you know if the game would be Vita TV compatible? We still don’t know for sure if that device will appear in the West, but it would be handy to note if it will work in the event that it does (or if someone were to play it on an import model).

    *If the answer to the above is yes, is it possible to have the finalised HUD and text options be flexible enough to work well on a TV screen, as opposed to the Vita’s OLED (or the LCD on the -2000 model)? Or if there are any of the features in the title that may benefit from the use of the DualShock 4, as opposed to the DS3?

    Good luck with the rest of the development process, and here’s hoping we’ll actually see some Vita TVs sold in the West for the game to be played on, alongside the handheld Vitas which the game will be played on when the time comes.

    • “I am BEYOND excited for this game! I loved Privateer, Tyrian, and Freespace!”

      Thank you for the kind words!

      “Will this game have branching storyline like those aforementioned games? Even though most of them converged on the same ending, I loved experiencing a story that was unique to my choices and capabilities.”

      We put our efforts into a solid storyline with lots of configurability and choices for ships. In a sense, they are your characters in this game. There is a lot of choices to be made, some exploration based, and some combat based, as well as an entire tower defense mode.

      “Will this game allow for bartering, trading, and taking protection/diplomatic missions in addition to combat?”

      No, no, yes.

      “Can I send commands to others in my squad?”

      There are between one and three AI players in your squadron, and you can send commands to them independently during a mission.


    • “Are there any GLBT characters in the game?”

      Yes. The United Star Force’s underlying principle is that everyone is treated as an equal member of the organization. Discrimination of any kind is prohibited.

      “Will I be able to play a multiplayer games with the PS3 version using the same PSN account? Some games support online cross-play between Vita and PS3, but not from the same account and its really annoying.”

      No guarantees on this yet – at the very least, we are planning to support cross-save functionality, but we’ll have a better answer on full cross-play in the coming weeks.

    • Sorry – I posted the reply from @plaztiksyke here by accident.

      Here is the reply for @Nerroth –

      Size will be on the large size (several GBs) – this game has a lot of content and a lot of gameplay – we wanted to make a full game for Vita, not a port, not a less than full blown effort and we wanted to push the system graphically . The end result of that is a large game…

      We are planning on releasing this game on PS3, so that controller is supported, and there should be nothing in this game that invalidates its use on Vita TV, if it becomes available in the States. I for one would love a Vita TV. We just can’t say the game would work for sure until we can test it with one, and until it becomes a US Product as well. As far as HUD and other elements, we’d have to see what the device allows us to do first – we have alternate HUDS that look great at higher resolutions.

  • Color me friggin impressed.

    The landing mission reminded me of the x-wing training missions back in the day.

    It also has a wing commander vibe to it. I never heard of this until I was on the PS Store today, or I surely would have backed it.

    Good work, team, I know this is a beta, and reading your responses (that answered all of my issues with the game) I am chomping at the bit for release.

    • Thank you for the kind words. X-wing is near and dear to my heart. It is one of the reasons I applied to LucasArts in the first place. :)

  • I played the beta earlier. It seems like it could be fun enough once you really get into it (as opposed to just this beginner/tutorial mission). I’m hoping that by december, you really put some polish on it. The graphics were a bit underwhelming and the hud was not great. I came across a momentary stutter in the framerate, but it didn’t last long. I don’t know how much will/can be changed by december, but I’m still leaning toward getting this one.

    • We are pushing the Vita graphically and content-wise with this game, and so there are going to be some framerate issues that creep into the final game. We’re are aggressively improving and polishing all elements of the game…

  • I’ve backed the game on Kickstarter and my Vita is eagerly anticipating its release. Thank you Garry for bringing a Space Opera to PlayStation.
    If only Sony could give us a new COLONY WARS on the PS4…imagine that, it would be a true nextgen showcase.

    • Thank you for backing the game – I hope you’re blown away by the final version – it’s come a really long way. Yeah, it would be really cool to have a big space game like this on PS4, wouldn’t it???

  • will this game be on a disc or just a digital download from ps store?

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