Jack Mamais - Project Director, David Wessman - Lead Designer, Zach El-Hajj - Technical Designer / Concepts Engineer

We are live on Kickstarter

Our names and photos are on our studio website:

Our Proof: Impeller Studios

Comments: 1440 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

rob132128 karma

X-Wing vs TIE fighter was my favorite space combat sim of all time.

Do you foresee a revitalization of the genre today that can capture the same magic of the original series? ( excluding your game of course)

Wessmaniac90 karma

I think that's exactly what you're seeing happen to the genre today. Games like Elite: Dangerous, EVE: Valkyrie, Star Citizen, No Man's Sky, and many, many more show that there is clearly an audience for space games. We're thrilled to be part of this renaissance!

RF_Technician50 karma

Will this game be PVP Only?

jackmamais55 karma

We are mostly PVP, but we are going to offer some single player missions too!

Wessmaniac62 karma

Like Jack said, PvP is our main focus, but we will not be exclusively PvP. We'll have single player tutorial missions, and we're planning to have single player "reward" missions that will be driven by major story points as the game's narrative evolves. We are also looking at adding PvE missions as soon as possible.

tokihamai25 karma

How easy do you think this game will be to pick up for those that are used to less realistic space games like the X-wing and Wing Commander series?

Wessmaniac40 karma

X-Wing and Wing Commander veterans should find Starfighter Inc pretty easy, actually. Paradoxically, the more sophisticated systems present in modern fighters such as the F-35 make them easier to learn and fly than their predecessors. We're taking advantage of similar principles in the design of our Pilot Vehicle Interface. You'll probably feel a little disoriented at first, but in our experience, most players start to feel like they know what they're doing within as little as 15 minutes. We'll also be offering a variety of tutorials. But, as with any skill-based gameplay, master will take some time and effort!

davemograph21 karma

How will guys be tackling ship customization?

And sorry if this is already stated on the Kickstarter but what scale of the maps in this game? Will I be able to fight between two capital ships duking it out etc?

Wessmaniac31 karma

We plan to make ship customization quite extensive. Initially, you'll be able to choose different configurations for each flyable ship, and we'll be offering a growing number of cosmetic options as well. We will also be adding the ability to upgrade individual components.

Typical battlespaces will be about 200 km across.

davemograph15 karma

Great, I grew up playing games like Freespace 2 and none of the games that have released so far have really tackled the sense of awesomeness that game has IMO.

Hoping your dogfights are epic. I backed both your kickstarters, hope this one is successful. You guys should try hitting up the mods at /r/games and see if you can do an AMA there or at-least crosspost this one.

Wessmaniac8 karma

Thanks so much, davemograph! We're looking into your suggestion right now. (We're kind of noobs at reddit.)

RolandKayman21 karma

Will you please put in an easter egg referencing The Last Starfighter?

Wessmaniac44 karma

You mean something like a Death Blossom? ;-)

BadassDeluxe20 karma

When is X Wing and/or Tie Fighter going to be remade for modern gaming!? I would buy it right this second.

Wessmaniac26 karma

Hi, BadassDeluxe! As I noted in my answer to orangeleopard, I don't think Disney would fund such a project. I'll expand a little on the reasons: AAA budgets are ridiculously huge these days, and big companies tend to avoid risk. A complex flight combat sim is only going to appeal to a fraction of the audience that a simpler, arcade action game is going to have. Even if it is Star Wars.

SirJuggles14 karma

Hot dang Blood Wake there is a name I haven't heard in a long time. That was an under appreciated gem. The setting was original and interesting, the mechanics were fun, finding a boat to fit your play style was a blast, and the water physics and graphics were ahead of their time. I may have nostalgia glasses on but that's one of the games often cite as an overlooked treasure.

Your portfolio certainly stretches back pretty far in modern gaming history. Any thoughts on the perceived decline of simulators, especially compared to the glory days of X-Wing?

Wessmaniac11 karma

Thanks, SirJuggles! I feel the same way about Blood Wake! I think the decline of simulators was due to an unfortunate confluence of factors. 1) Games got a lot more expensive to make, and publicly traded companies are notoriously risk averse. Why invest $20 million on a game that only a fraction of the players can enjoy when you can invest in games that almost anyone can enjoy? 2) The industry shifted in a big way toward console games - largely in response to piracy. Consoles, unfortunately, have very poor controls for simulator games. 3) I suspect a lot of the audience from that time simply got older and too busy with family / work to devote the hours needed to really master such games.

Edhorn8 karma

Another question, how much combined time have the team spent browsing Atomic Rockets?

Wessmaniac8 karma

I spend time on Atomic Rockets EVERY DAY!!! Every time someone joins the team, the first thing I do is send them to Atomic Rockets. One of my big hopes is that Starfighter Inc will earn their Seal of Approval! In fact, because Atomic Rockets has been such a vital resource for us, I support the site on Patreon myself, and Impeller Studios does as well!

CakeLawyer7 karma

How about for once someone makes the controls like a model planes mode 2?! I stopped playing all the games because the controls suck

Wessmaniac10 karma

We already support various HOTAS controllers, as well as mouse and keyboard. We're looking into a variety of non-standard controllers as well. Ultimately, we know you can't please everyone so we will also be allowing players to customize their controls.

RF_Technician6 karma

First Person views only? Or, will you support third person, Arcade Mode, views?

Wessmaniac18 karma

There will be 3rd person views available. The ships all have a variety of sensors embedded in their skins, as well as very powerful computers on board (a Decision Support System), and each ship is also data-linked to all allied ships so they can share all of their sensor data as well. Your DSS can then simulate an external view from any angle.

acompanyofliars5 karma

Hi Jack and Zach! First of all, I wish you luck on your current venture!

We live in an age where the sci-fi space sim seems to be enjoying a bit of a comeback. Higher profile games like Elite:Dangerous and Star Citizen have gained quite a bit of coverage, and there is also the more "indie" development games like House of the Dying Sun and Everspace. My question is how exactly do you intend to stand out among your peers and capture a section of that market for yourselves?

As a secondary question, how are planning the flight model of your game? Something closer to Newtonian physics, or are looking at more of a "WW2 planes in space" control style?

Wessmaniac9 karma

Hey, acompanyofliars! The simple answer is that we are focusing 100% on combat, and we're doing everything we can to respect the science so that our space combat is as realistic as we can make it. We're not relying on any of the standard tropes: FTL, shields, stealth, artificial gravity, etc.

Our flight model is based real physics - Newtonian physics is correct.

stramjummer5 karma

What were some of your favourite influences/inspirations that help you make a game like this?

Wessmaniac19 karma

X-Wing vs TIE Fighter because, hey, 8-player space combat! During the development of X-Wing and TIE Fighter, the team spent a lot of time playing games like Doom, Descent, Command & Conquer, so we always wanted to add multiplayer. But as much as I loved working in the Star Wars universe, it was basically WWII in space and I always wondered what it would be like to simulate realistic space combat? I grew up watching the Apollo landings live, and I wanted to be an astronaut, so I've been a space geek for practically my whole life. Starfighter Inc. is the culmination of a lot of hopes and dreams!

zKaltern4 karma

I just want Freespace 2017. Will this game satisfy my craving? (I backed it last week, beta level, so hurry up! :D )

Wessmaniac4 karma

Thanks for your support, zKaltern! The Freespace games were great, and we think Starfighter Inc may be just the thing to satisfy that craving (at least until they make another Freespace game.)

orangeleopard4 karma

The X wing series was amazing. The perfect amount of "complicated enough to feel like you're actually flying a starfighter, but not too complicated like DCS." is there a plan for new x wing games?

Wessmaniac5 karma

Thanks, orangeleopard! I can't speak for Disney, but the complicated nature of the X-Wing series doesn't seem like the sort of project they would fund. I think it's more likely that they would make another console title like Jedi Starfighter. I'd love to be proven wrong, though!

KenpachiZed4 karma

What does real science imply exactly? Is this game just a realistic space combat simulator ?

Wessmaniac9 karma

Please see Zerraspace's answer below. If that's not sufficient, please ask for any additional clarification you need.

Wessmaniac3 karma

Thank you, everyone! This has been a lot of fun. So many questions! We hope we answered everything to your satisfaction. If not, please follow up on our Kickstarter page, or through Facebook or Twitter. We plan to hold additional AMAs to discuss other aspects of the game during the campaign, so please keep an eye out.

For additional information on the project, please see:

Starfighter Inc Kickstarter Campaign

Starfighter Inc on Facebook

Starfighter Inc on Twitter

Starfighter Inc on Gamepedia

Starfighter Inc on Alienware Arena

Impeller Studios

Impeller Studios on Facebook

Impeller Studios on Twitter

Impeller Studios channel on YouTube

Impeller Studios on Twitch.TV

seriouslees3 karma

In a real science space combat sim, how do the dogfights pan out? Doesn't it often end up being a series of jousting matches?

Wessmaniac3 karma

A lot depends on the starting positions, vectors, and delta-v of the different forces. Sometimes, it does feel like a jousting match, but in our playtesting we've seen some pretty gnarly furballs.

You_Rebels_Come3 karma

Did you ever play I-war, or Independence War 2? Those had the best space physics I ever happened across...

Wessmaniac6 karma

Yes! I loved those games! Sadly, I must confess I never finished them (the curse of being a game developer.) I remember when I-War came out how much it seemed like it was originally intended to be a Babylon-5 game, and the player's ship was going to be a Whitestar.

rhodohilo2 karma

Is this game going to have the frustration factor that Asteroids had? i.e. once the ship was set in motion, getting it to right itself would be a task in of its self, and having dogfights would be a combination of navigation and combat techniques...?

Wessmaniac4 karma

While our physics model allows for this (ships continue to roll/move in whatever direction you set them to until counterthrust is applied), we also offer some pilot assistance so that your ship's DSS will interpret your intent accordingly. We have also designed some "hotkey" commands for simple maneuvers (180 flip, match course with target, etc.)

monkeyhouse1432 karma

I love the X Wing games. Will I like this game?

Wessmaniac3 karma

Thanks! I loved making them! If the thing you liked most about the X-Wing games was the gameplay, then I think you will absolutely love Starfighter Inc. If the thing you liked the most about those games was the story-driven single player campaign with cinematic cutscenes, then you might not. Starfighter Inc will have lots of narrative, and our lead writer, Rusel DeMaria, wrote the novellas that were included in X-Wing and TIE Fighter.