Salvage & Rescue Operations - STARDROP


Hi Everyone
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.


Final Thoughts
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.

Hi Joure,

Just watched your kickstarter video, have a little feedback.

First, you URGENTLY need to cut the first 32 seconds from your lead KS video. Maybe you were going for the whole jodie foster contact silent thing, but it is not working, especially in a kickstarter context. That first 32 seconds is all you’ll get with most kickstarter browsers and if all you do is flash up some white text with no audio, you haven’t got a chance :frowning:

Second, I chose 32 seconds because as soon as the girls voice kicked in and I saw those gorgeous 3d graphics, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. You absolutely should just cut straight to that (also, the voice is great).

Ok, next one is getting into subjective personal preferences, the whole “their poor families must be so worried thing” would have been alright as a one off comment, but the dialog felt like it got stuck on it long enough that it began to feel like the whole game was going to be about listening to this girl talk about how sad it was all the time and that made it seem like it was going to be a sort of grays anatomy in space. My wife watches that show (as far as I can tell) expressly for the purpose of having a good cry when some inevitably heartbreaking situation occurs (every darn episode), which if you can’t tell is exactly why I avoid it like the plague.

Of course, that might be exactly what you’re aiming for. If so, then I think it’s safe to say you’re right on target. If not, then, hmmm, you might want to rethink your trailer…

So that one’s not really a criticism, more just letting you know that that was the impression I got from the video.

And finally, did I mention that the 3d graphics are gorgeous? Because they are :slight_smile:

I agree with IoFlow on the first 32 secs for sure but the video looks and sounds good man good job great skills keep it up !!

Thanks a lot for the feedback, I highly appreciate it, I’ll cut down the text and see how it feels and looks. I do agree that it was a bit of an experiment. I did want to put the universe into some context I’ll try and work around it. I’ve never watched grey;s anatomy haha but I am trying to set the tone of the game to have some of these moments. It’s been one heck of a ride so far preparing the whole thing and I bounced the trailer off of a bunch of people you’re the first to mention the text being too long. in hindsight I totally get what your saying, for a KS campaign !!!

Also thanks for the compliments, put a lot of hardwork and love into that trailer (and the game :slight_smile: )

Thank you very much, I’ll do my best to improve on it asap !!!

I agree with the 32 seconds as well. I really wish I had time to play the demo, I hope I can get around to it sometime later this month. Best of luck with your funding goal :slight_smile:

I’ll echo everyone about the trailer; slow to start but as soon as the narration begins, the pace picks up nicely. Good luck on your Kickstarter Campaign :slight_smile:

Hey guys, sorry for the late reply. I’m having troubles with me editing software and haven’t been able to actually edit the trailer. I’ll continue to try and find out what’s going on. Other then that thanks for all the feedback, highly appreciate it !!!

Hey Joure! This looks amazing, the environments look stunning and the ideas you are going for are intriguing. I had to do a double take as I noticed some of the Modular SciFi assets in there. It’s cool to see how people use them in their projects. I wish you the best of success on your kickstarter, you and your team keep up the incredible work! =)

Edit: The cover art is giving me some Mass Effect 1 vibes too, which is really cool!

Hi everyone, I pretty much rewrote the entire main post as I didn’t want to create a new one.
So please take a look if you’re interested and share your thoughts if you have any. :slight_smile:

Looks great, I hope you get to do the VR bit.