Major Update Comes to Starlight Inception on PS Vita

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Major Update Comes to Starlight Inception on PS Vita

Starlight Inception

In this blog, we wanted to focus on the major update (live now) that we completed for Starlight Inception, one of the only first-person / third-person space combat experiences on PS Vita.

This was our first title on Vita, and as a small indie developer with limited resources both for development and testing, a lot of folks thought we weren’t in the game for the long haul.

Hopefully this update dispels those notions. We’re committed to this product and have been working hard since its release in late April to address issues in the game, add more features, and generally polish the product. We also have plans for future updates, both to address any issues that arise from this update, as well as to expand the game and its feature set.

You can find the full release notes here. As you can see, the list is rather extensive; we’ll just focus on a select few of these in this blog entry. We’ll also be posting more videos to our YouTube channel to showcase the updates.

In Mission 02 Operation: Render Hope, you fly over a decimated Chicago in search of survivors, and get a little more than you bargained for. In the released game, we had issues with our fog generation in engine. Also, we needed to do more work on ensuring that our main HUD UI and cockpit UI were as clear as possible on Vita.

After release, we received feedback that neither of these implementations were acceptable, and so we set about fixing those issues. Here is an example of Render Hope in the original version (left) and the updated version (right):

Starlight InceptionStarlight Inception

And here is a look at the original version cockpit (left) and the update version (right).

Starlight InceptionStarlight Inception

The game models appeared too dark in missions, and more than a few users asked us to turn up the brightness. We scrubbed through every ship in the game and adjusted textures as well as brightness settings to render them as crisp and well-lit as possible. In the process, we were able to implement a new feature which allows players to select colors for their craft. This adds a great component to the game, both in single and multiplayer modes.

And speaking of multiplayer, we received feedback that it was hard to find a multiplayer game because we had created too many options for different rooms — we have made an attempt to solve this issue by adding a “Quick Match” selection which will search for the next available room of any game type and connect. If none exists, a new Deathmatch will be opened. I look forward to meeting opponents on the field of battle…

Starlight InceptionStarlight Inception

We also received feedback related to the sections of the game that take place on your capital ship, the USF Midway. We had optimized a little too much in the character department and so the ship felt like a ghost ship — not a bustling hub of activity as it would be. There is definitely a limit to the amount of characters that can be thrown on screen at one time, and we made sure we pushed as hard against that as we could.

We did a complete redress on the character animations in all of our cinematic sequences as well, and in the process added two full cinematics to the game to enrich the story. In the process, we also improved the clarity of our subtitles by changing to a more pleasing, crisper font.

Our AI had a bug which made it a little too easy in the game — this didn’t show up in our testing for release, but we addressed it for the update — the game should be more challenging now. Finally, we did a framerate analysis, stress test, and full optimization of the game to make sure that the gameplay experience was as smooth as possible.

We want to say thank you to all of our supporters who have stuck with this game and given us words of encouragement through the process. We continue to work hard to make good on our promises to you folks and hope we are delivering an excellent experience. And we’re always happy to answer your questions, and as always, listen to suggestions to make it better.

Light up the sky…

Kindest Regards,
Garry, Melissa, and the Starlight inception Team

Comments are closed.


21 Author Replies

  • Excellent job, guys! I love that you are so committed to making this game better, post-launch. People think devs “supporting” a game is creating cheap costume DLC… no.. What YOU people are doing is supporting a game and your customers.
    When Starlight Inception was first announced in the PS Blog, I was amazed, but unfortunately it received quite a lot of mixed reviews which discouraged me from buying. But after reading about this new update, I am very much interested again!

  • All fixes that should have been implemented on a finished (polished) product.
    Not just because it didn’t sell as many as you hoped.
    (I say that because most other companies once a certain amount are sold never take the time)

    Just because its the first of its kind does not mean I’m buying it, though its a type of game I am interested in.
    I find it sad people would even use that as a basis to sell a product.
    (Well its the only one, so beggars can’t be choosers, take it or leave it)

    This time I’ll leave it.

    • Our motivation is to deliver what we promise to our players because it’s the right thing to do, and work to make this game as great as possible because it is my passion – I love this kind of game, and have wanted something like this on my Vita for a really long time.

      This reply is meant as respectful clarification and information.

      Kindest Regards,

  • Although I don’t own the game, I think it is pretty good to see a developer own up and respond to gamer input to make their product better. Kudos to you and your team.

  • I know this question is in the wrong section but when does the PSN update the store? DLC for BF4 was already supposed to be out and cant find it? Anybody help please…..

  • Great news. The reviews did turn me off when the game released, and it was mostly because of the sum of issues pointed out…

    You seem to have done a great job in fixing most of them. I guess your game is now on my list of purchase

    Thank you for the hard work

    • Thank you! We are continually looking at feedback on the game to fix any future issues which arise as well.

  • i found this info on the BF4 forums page. I personally hate giving any sort of edge to the XBone, but …:(
    “Console players can find Dragon’s Teeth available in the Battlefield 4 in-game store during these times on July 15th for Premium members, and July 29th for all players:
    Xbox One & 360: 1:00AM PST — 5:00AM PST (9:00AM GMT — 13:00 GMT)
    PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 (North America): 2:00PM PST — 6:00PM PST
    PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 (Europe): 2:00PM GMT — 6:00PM GMT”

    Why cant the dlc’s download just like a newly released game?

  • I think I will give this game a try now! it’s nice to see the commitment to make this game a fun experience.

  • I skipped this at launch because the demo was so rough, despite my love for the genre. Now that I see you’re dedicated with post-release enhancements, I’ll buy it today.


  • I bought this when it came out but I hadnt’ started yet….. now I really wanna get into it. Last time I’ve seen an update like this was a PC game where devs actually cared to fix things lol….

    • Thank you for the kind words. We definitely care about this project. It is our passion project.

      Kindest regards,

  • I bought it on day one, deleted it on day two. Thank you very much for the work you’ve put in to improve the game. I’m re-downloading it right now. I honestly hope it lives up to your own expectations; I can’t imagine what you have to go through to make a game like this, but I’m sure it’s not easy. Thanks for not giving up, and I’m looking forward to trying it out again.

  • wow 2.2 gig update? I hope that REPLACES current info and doesn’t add to what’s already on my memory card…..

  • Oh and when does the PS3 version come out? I remember you all saying it was cross-buy.

    • We have an inquiry into Sony as to why the update does add space (it’s not supposed to, but in fact it does).

      PS3 is very close to release (we’re going to submit to Sony QA probably late next week), but we wanted to do the heavy work on the Vita version first and get that in player’s hands before we released any other versions. And yes, it is definitely cross-buy.

  • I bought this game on STEAM, always hoping something like this would happen for the Vita version, so that I could double dip, show support and love, as well as play the game on the go.

    With my renewed faith in your development team, I shall purchase the Vita version now.

    Thank you so much, and I hope you continue to support this game, should support be needed/desired by the fanbase.

    • We are planning more updates in the future (already compiling our list and working through it for 1.02). We want to keep improving the game, both with bug fixes and enhancements – thank you for your kind words.

  • To follow up on DragonIrons’ question in post #12, what does the overall game file size come up to for version 1.1? And if you are re-downloading the game from the store, do you still have to download the patch separately?

    (I have the original version of the game, but I don’t have enough room to install the patch at the moment. But then, I’ll probably need to look into getting a bigger memory card at some point in any event.)

    • The overall game size should be approximately 2.3 GB – I know it’s large, but there is a lot of content in this game. However, the patch adds another 2.3 GB, which shouldn’t be the case. We have an inquiry in to Sony about this, and will furnish more information as soon as we have it.

  • I love space shooters and been playing them forever since before the Wing Commander series. I’m also a heavy spender at PSN. Even for someone like me the price point of this game is insane, I’m not sure you really want to sell the thing.

  • @3 First things first, I find it extremely disrespectful to come here, witness a respectful developer supporting his game and say “I’ll leave it”. Who do you think you are? Do you know what it takes to make a game in 2014? Nobody’s asking for your money, so do us a favor and get lost.

    @Garry, I’ve read SI’s reviews. A lot of reviews, actually. I must say you’ve made your dream come true and for most sites bashing the game because of this or because of that – they’re just running their mouths because of nothing! The way I see it, most of the bugs pointed out can be patched, at least that’s what I hope, judging by this enormous 2.3GB patch size.

    Because of your support and because I like this genre, I’ll get this game as soon as I can. After all a supporter developer deserves some support as payback. Congrats, man, you’re way better than Ubisoft, which delivered us a half-baked AC Vita title and then never looked at it again. Also, could we get some SI Avatars as DLC or unlockable stuff? Keep up the great work, Man!

  • Have kept an eye on this game for awhile. Glad it is still getting attention as I love space sims and wouldn’t mind on my Vita. I do still think the price is too steep, especially after all the reviews. The day it goes on sale or has a price drop you will have a new customer, until then it just doesn’t strike me as a $20+ game. I mean the entry price is almost as much as I put down on Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen and the scope of this is nowhere near those.

    Sorry if I am being a downer. You guys are doing what most developers don’t do and that deserves a lot. Keep the updates rolling, keep the faith in the game. When the price is right I will be there to support you.

  • Do you have a rough estimate on the frame rate increase?

    • We have increased framerate to a steady 30 FPS across the board, with possible dips during intense action (which we plan on addressing in a future patch as we find them or they are reported). For the most part, the game experience should be very smooth.

  • To the people whining about the price…. this isn’t a fracking tablet game you can get for 99 cents or $4….. If you think $20 is too much for a full game you need to go play on something cheaper. Maybe go to Nintendo DS…

  • and yes this update ADDS to the game…… They didnt’ replace old files….. >.> I had ~ 16 GB on my card left….. now I’ve got ~13 GB.

    • We’ve looked into this problem and we will be fixing this by remastering the Vita version in the very near future. It should return the size of the game to the original size (or just slightly bigger).

  • That’s great news!
    I originally downloaded the trial of this when it became available and I was a little disappointed, so decided to wait before buying the full version. I will be trying this again, and thank you for keeping us updated.

  • Thanks for the clarification regarding the patch fie size. If there is any further clarification from Sony regarding this issue, will you post the info here, or in a new blog post?

    (if the “correct” patch file is more reasonable in size, I might be able to fit it into the space available on my current memory card.)

    • Yes – we’ve looked into this problem and we will be fixing this by remastering the Vita version in the very near future. It should return the size of the game to the original size (or just slightly bigger).

  • so…. it’s been a few days. Any word on why we had to add another 2.2 Gigs and it didn’t just overwrite the existing files? And what to do about it? Would deleting the entire game and just downloading it again install the game as it is NOW, or would we still have to add the 2 gig update?

    • Sorry it took a couple of days, we wanted to make sure we gave an accurate answer – deleting won’t fix the issue – it’s on our end, and it will be fixed very soon. Copying from above – “We’ve looked into this problem and we will be fixing this by remastering the Vita version in the very near future. It should return the size of the game to the original size (or just slightly bigger).”

      Kindest Regards,

  • Garry, please read:
    This review is highly recommended because it reflects most of the bugs I continue to find in-game.

    It’s worth your time, I can tell you that much.
    Hope this game gets more updates to address the remaining issues it still has in the future.

  • Garry, I recommend reading this review from thevitalounge [dot] net [forward slash] starlight [dash] inception.
    It reflects most of the issues I’ve been running through; Such issues make early missions in the game impossible to complete.

    Please read it, it’s worth your time.
    I hope this game gets future updates to address its remaining bugs. Thanks.

    • Yes we are aware of this review and are in touch with them directly. Thank you so much for the feedback.

      Kindest regards,

  • I really only logged in to say one thing and I hope someone from Sony reads this…but the VITA memory cards is why the VITA is FAILING. The price of the VITA memory cards is absolutely horrible. I absolutely REFUSE to buy anymore VITA memory cards until the price is reasonable. a 64gb micro sd card for my phone is $37, but for my Vita its $100 ….how is that even remotely reasonable. Do you know how many games I have NOT bought because of these ridiculous prices. I’m tired of deleting and reinstalling my games. So basically i just stopped buying games i play what i have and when I finish, if I even care about the game anymore..then I buy it. But guess what…9 times out of 10, I don’t buy it because my interest has shifted to something else. So sony if you want me to continue to support my VITA, you need to severly slash the price of the memory cards. Becaues THIS guy isn’t paying $100 for a 64gb card.

  • It’s not that surprising that the devs for the games actually listen to the gamers unlike the actual actual developer of the console smh

    • Thank you for the kind words. We are working hard to listen to all feedback, good and bad. We appreciate the support and the feedback to make it an even better game! We have been working on another patch so keep that feedback coming please.

      Kindest regards,

  • I have the PC version of this poorly executed and developed game. It has been early access now for over a year. When it first came out it had so many bugs it was unplayable. Three months later they added some fixes that just made the game so you couldn’t even get it to run. The controls are very sloppy even with an xbox controller that they made the game for in the first place. You go to aim at a ship the controller hardly moves then all of a sudden just jumps to where you don’t want it. Its like a frame rate jump with no frame rate jump. Next is the textures. They said they fixed those also blah blah blah. Everything is so dark. You can’t see the ship your shooting at just a red aiming reticle. You can’t move the ship fast enough to use guns so you have to use missiles which you can only buy five at the start of the game. Five missiles and fifty ships to shoot down.You have to reset up your ship, and buy more missiles before each mission which gets tiresome. Walking around the ship is like walking in a cave the lighting still isn’t fixed. One guy said the devs actually listen to you. Ya they just say yes to what ever you say then do nothing to fix it. If this game was free ware i wouldn’t waste the space on my computer.

  • ^ maybe you should play a more recently updated version of the game moron………. I havent’ gotten around to it yet with my backog but I HAVE played the first mission. And all your whining is invalid. It is very playable and it runs perfectly fine. Controls are FLUID, I can point the ship where I want it to, and hey….. I can see the enemy fighters, and even ….. wait for it….. shoot them with my guns. And this is on the tiny 5 inch VITA screen not a PC!

    To the devs…… any word yet on fixing the update so it REPLACES game files instead of adding another 2.something Gigs???

  • guess not

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