Indie Interviews: Warballoon, Star Command
Independent games, especially smaller ones, often have a hard time making themselves known. Smaller indie games are often obscured by the shadows of both million dollar game productions and better known indie titles alike, and don’t get the attention they deserve. GameAspect.Com therefore hopes to shed some light on these games, and all the wonderful new ideas they bring. This is a feature in which I interview indie developers about their upcoming and recently released titles.
Filling in for Michael who started this series I interview the team from Warballoon as they develop their new game Star Command.
So what’s your game called, and what’s it about?
Star Command has the player becoming a captain of a starship. They will hire and name their crew, build rooms, upgrade weapons, and fight hostile aliens. The player will research new technologies, promote crew members, and explore alien systems.
Who Is The Team working on Star Command?
Steve Tranby is the developer extraordinaire, Justin and Jordan Coombs are the Designers and Art Directors, and Parker Coombs is our 4th brain in the room. 5th brain if you count Justin as two brains – which most humans should. Our company is called Warballoon.
What inspired you to start developing this game?
The idea for a Spaceship Management game goes way back for us – we have really old concept are on our website. But with the onset of popular indie games and the low price-of-entry to mobile game space led us to the idea we could actually do this thing. We also played games like Sword and Sworcery and GameDev Story that further confirmed games could be great on a mobile phone.
What do you feel this game is doing that others aren’t? What aspects of your game would you say are unique?
Think of Star Command as a much more in-depth title than most are accustom to for mobile games. Star Command asks the users to do more than a simple parlor-game. The ship will feel like YOUR ship – your crew, your rooms, and your captain – Some more unique things in the game include firefighting on-ship damage, trying to launch a torpedo while simultaneously fighting off invaders in your hallways. You also get a feeling of exploration as you hop from planet to planet.
What games, if any, do you draw inspiration from? Do you tend to draw more from gameplay or from basic design concepts?
GameDev Story from Kairosoft, Metal Slug series, X-COM, Civillization, TF2. We draw gameplay from mainly our experience as gamers, and then from the heavyweights like Sid Meier, Shigeru Miyamoto and Satan – lots of inspiration comes from the Dark Lord of Pain and Suffering.
What are some of the challenges of developing an indie game?
Funding for the duration of the game, not knowing if you are ‘doing things right’, revisions to things that aren’t working that you can’t help but think someone with actual experience at this would have avoided. Keeping the games scale realistic. Actually getting the thing done – that is the rub.
In order to fund this game, you’ve taken the Kickstarter route. What brought you to this decision?
Well the initial idea came from Micheal Tseng who is making an upcoming mobile game TURF Geography Club. He had a funny kickstarter video and Jordan and I thought “We should do this.” The response was fantastic. Truly Kickstarter is a fantastic means for people serious about their idea to get amazing excitement and funding from the good people of the planet earth. The community is unreal – and the people @ Kickstarter are very helpful.
Star Command is primarily an IOS game any plan to bring it to PC or any consoles?
We are die-hard PC gamers – and so we plan on releasing for PC after Android, and hopefully Windows Phone. Consoles are a challenge – for better or worse they only invite bigger, more developed companies to the party. Star Command would rock on 3DS.
Any plans for any games after this one?
Yes, and particularly more for Star Command after the initial launch. We have plans to launch our next campaign starring the Evil Cortexians – also we have already started a little Away Missions as a DLC.
And finally, where can our readers find out more about the game, keep updated, and show support for Star Command?
The Games Website is: http://www.starcommandgame.com/
Thanks very much for taking the time to answer these questions. I and I’m sure many other people are eagerly awaiting to play this game!