Salvage & Rescue Operations - STARDROP
STARDROP has been in production for over two years now.
I myself have been pretty much working on it alone on the development side of things.
This includes game design, level design, sound, story, dialogues and much more.
It’s not easy and the game is certainly not perfect but I am content with where it’s heading.
The game has launched into Early Access last week, on June, 1st and I wanted to take some time today and update this old post.
About The Game
STARDROP is a highly narrative single player experience which is fully voice acted.
The game is build around the idea of making a game that is fun and light hearted while at times not afraid to deal with a few heavier topics.
Gameplay consists out of exploration and unraveling the main story line while interacting with a multitude of interfaces,
solving mild puzzles and a hint of stealth gameplay among other things.
In the distant future…
Space travel, exploration and exportation are a booming industry. Ranging from mining, colonization and commerce.
Despite best intentions accidents still happen and sometimes ships get lost. This resulted in the creation of the Salvage and Rescue Operations Initiative.
STARDROP is a story-driven Sci-Fi adventure and exploration game.
In STARDROP you play as a Salvage and Rescue Operative.
Explore old derelict spaceships in the main game while being able to visit a range of other various locations across the universe through a number of side missions.
Gameplay consists out of exploration with light puzzle and stealth elements while at its heart a strong narrative experience.
The game is typically light hearted in nature but reserves enough room to bring some more emotional aspects to the table.
During the game, Aryn and John set out on a routine salvage operation of an unknown spacecraft reported to be somewhere in the Cassiopeia constellation.
As they embark on their mission they are about to find out that there’s a lot more to this ship then they could ever suspect.
Aryn sets out on a journey to unravel the mystery about its identity yet she is about to discover something far more amazing than she could ever hope for.
- A strong engaging story breaking from the usual dark Sci-Fi.
- Explore multiple spacecraft, Outposts, Stations and more as a salvage and rescue operative.
- Professional voice acting to drive its story full of mysteries and excitement.
- A range of light environmental puzzles and a touch of light stealth mechanics.
- Open world based exploration mixed with narrative driven gameplay.
- Inspired by story-rich classics such as Portal, Firewatch and even Alien: Isolation.
Cinematic Cut Scenes & In-Game Cut Scenes
One aspect of our approach is to give certain parts of the game a more cinematic feel by using more traditional cut scenes.
We’ve done our best to keep them at a minimum and only add them in parts of the game where it adds to the overal story.
These scenes help invoke a rich universe complete with its own history and lore set far into the future.
More important than our cinematic cut scenes are our in-game cut scenes.
You play as Aryn Vance who is a Salvage & Rescue Operative working alongside her close friend and partner, John Kindley.
We believe that some of the best story telling in video games is done while you’re in direct control of the character.
Most of our scenes are done this way to keep the player immersed and feel like being part of the world while experiencing these scenes.
I’m pretty sure you can tell which franchise was our main inspiration for taking this approach.
Venture Into The Unknown
In STARDROP the player will be able to explore a number of ships as well as other structures through side missions such as a relay station and a mining outpost somewhere on a distant planet.
The main portion of the game is set on board two old spacecraft that hold their own secrets.
The game is designed to offer players the freedom to explore while offering enough guidance not to get lost.
The further the player gets in the game the bigger these ships get.
These ships have kept their secrets for over 5 centuries and the player gets the chance to uncover what these secrets are.
On board these ships the player will be able to read crew logs and emails or listen to audio logs painting an ever more vibrant image
of the lives of the people that once served on board them, what happened to these ships, and more importantly, what is happening on board right now.
Light Puzzle Elements
The game offers a variation of light puzzle elements throughout.
To us it was important that the game is fun with the right kind of difficulty when it comes to problems and obstacles to overcome.
Therefore the puzzles that players come across in the game will remain light, however,
those who want to uncover these ships secret areas will have to put in a bit more effort trying to unravel them.
There’s a lot more I could get into but I just wanted to make a neat short presentation of the game.
I also wanted to point out that a lot of the in-game assets are made using a number of asset packs
from the Unreal Marketplace.
I wanted to highlight one particular artist who’s work has been invaluable, namely, SEJonF.
His style and quality are incredible and I have had the honor of having a few chats with him
here and there.
I also wanted to do a shout out to the entire Unreal Community, you guys are amazing.
Rama for instance and his insanely useful plugins and many others who’ve made working
on the game so much more helpful. Thank you.
Thank you for reading and if there are any further questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me.