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About Starfighter Inc.

Starfighter Inc. is a hard science-fiction based multiplayer space combat simulator being developed and published by Impeller Studios. It is currently in development for Windows machines. VR support has been announced and the studio currently lists Oculus and SteamVR as partners. The basic game will be free-to-play, but will offer various perks for purchase. Monetization strategies are focused on cosmetic and audio customizations that have no direct influence on gameplay.

Background

The game is set in a dystopian future 200 years in the future, in which corporations are engaged in a surreptitious "shadow war" as they ruthlessly exploit the resources of the solar system. All aspects of the game are based on known science and engineering. In Starfighter Inc. nothing is "just made up."

Players take on the role of private military contractors working as combat pilots, weapon systems officers, drone operators, and electronic warfare specialists. Playable ships include a variety of nuclear-powered single- and multi-crew fighters, reconnaissance ships, strike craft, and support ships. Weapons include lasers, railguns, and missiles, as well as electronic and cyber warfare capabilities. Each player will have a personal hangar to keep their ships as they progress in the game. Players will also be able to upgrade their ships with a wide variety of hardware and software upgrades.

Success in the game is dependent on a player’s ships and gear, their tactics and ability to work together as an effective combat team, but ultimately, the single most important factor is player skill.

A notable focus in the game is on the "bottom line". Contracts specify not only the mission objectives and terms of engagement, but also the limits of compensation. Players must strive to be as efficient as possible in achieving mission objectives. Taking to much damage and using up too much propellant and munitions may result in zero financial gain for the player. There is a strong incentive to disable and capture opponents rather than simply destroy them. Enemy ships can be salvaged, and their crews may be ransomed back to their employers.

Ship Types

The studio has released info regarding six ships currently in development so far, four of which are playable:

Shrike-class light fighter: A result of a cooperative research and development project by a consortium of major corporations, the Shrike is optimized for light mass and high acceleration. It can be equipped for a variety of roles including reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and interceptor. And while the original spaceframe has been around for decades, it is still an extremely capable platform when equipped with an up-to-date suite of Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance sensors. In the ISTAR configuration its mission is to reach the engagement zone as quickly as possible, gather intelligence on enemy dispositions, and provide targeting information for friendly ships.

Hyperion-class heavy fighter: A heavy fighter ideally suited for strike missions, the Hyperion is among the most heavily armed ships available and packs enough firepower to take on ships many times its size. With an array of three laser CIWS and the strongest armor in its class, it is capable of flying right into the teeth of the enemy to deliver the fatal blow. Like most ships in the Starfighter universe, its modular design allows it to be configured for a variety of other roles as well and it makes a formidable electronic warfare ship, and can even be configured as a "battle rider" in which it carries a pair of Shrikes in place of its normal weapon pods.

Pegasus-class heavy assault transport: Originally conceived of as a heavy assault transport and equipped with exceptional armor protection, enormous propellant tanks, and specialized capture and breaching systems, the Pegasus was built to chase down and disable enemy ships and deliver espatiers for boarding, all while holding off any hostiles throughout the entirety of the operation. It has since proven to be an extremely flexible platform with many possible configurations including drone mothership, tanker, and missile truck.

Thorncatcher-class medium fighter: A medium-sized space superiority fighter with a tetrahedral engine configuration that provides it with incredible maneuverability and staying power. Armed principally with missiles and torpedoes, it is a formidable opponent whether used offensively or defensively.

Dromedary-class medium tanker: A fully automated medium tanker designed to safely and efficiently deliver liquids and gases throughout the solar system. The Dromedary is a very successful design and exists in huge numbers. The fleet makes up a virtual pipeline upon which the interplanetary economy is utterly dependent. Any disruption in the flow of resources is guaranteed to trigger an armed response.

Atlas-class heavy carrier: Amongst the largest ships ever created, the Atlas was originally built as a mining ship but modified to serve as a long duration carrier. While dependent on its fighter wing for offensive power, and supposedly armed with only point defense turrets for self-protection, its four enormous mass driver thrusters can destroy almost anything hit by the trail left in its wake.

Multiplayer Combat

Players join together as a fighting unit, choosing from among a variety of independent and corporate sponsored private military corps (PMCs). While individual player/pilots may earn a reputation within the game, each PMC also has its own reputation – from “white hat” groups that follow strict legal guidelines to more “ethically flexible” outfits willing to do almost anything for pay. In addition to reputation, the game will feature loyalties, rivalries, bounties and rewards based on a what you do and how you do it.

Mission scenarios include a wide variety of tactical situations, typically with asymmetrical forces and objectives. A handicapping system has been designed to ensure all players have a fair chance of advancement.

Narrative

Providing context for the mission scenarios is a richly detailed narrative that tracks the behind-the-scenes machinations of the many factions and megacorporations struggling for dominance in the solar system. This background story is constantly shifting based on the actions of a diverse cast of main characters, each with their own ambitions, rivalries, grudges, and sometimes sketchy past histories, all resulting in multiple simultaneous interweaving plots and events that often lead up to major conflicts. Players determine the outcomes of key battles, and this will decide not only the fates of individuals and companies, but will also influence the direction of the overarching story itself.

Added Features

Among several additional planned innovations, and for the first time in a game of this kind, there will be specialized single-player missions and bonus opportunities, mysteries to solve, unanticipated plot twists, and a chance not only to rack up an impressive record as a mercenary fighter, but also to gain fame and fortune as part of the ongoing story.

About Impeller

Impeller Studios is a USA based game studio led by industry veterans with an international team that includes developers in Australia, England, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Scotland, and New Zealand. The studio is partners with companies such as Alienware, Logitech, Nvidia, Oculus, Thrustmaster, and Valve. Impeller supports internship programs from several universities across the globe, including NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences and the Champlain College Game Studio.


Impeller’s debut title in development, Starfighter Inc. (SFI) is a PC & VR hard core space combat sim based on realism and led by project director Jack Mamais, (MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, Far Cry, Crysis), lead designer David Wessman, (X-Wing & TIE Fighter series, Blood Wake, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, Saints Row), and veteran game writer and author of original Star Wars fiction for the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, Rusel DeMaria as narrative lead. In addition to the main game, the studio is also developing a supporting comic and a pilot multitasking test for web, mobile, and portable VR including GearVR.

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