New Funding Tier Information

Coray Seifert

Impeller Staff
Staff member
#1
Greetings all!

We wanted to get some more information out there about our higher level funding tiers - however we apparently hit the character limit for Kickstarter, so we're going to start hosting things over here!

We're confident that we will hit these funding tiers either via crowdfunding, investment or bootstrapping based on revenue after launch. In the interim, check out what we're thinking and let us know if this jives with your expectations for the game!

For more information about our crowdfunding campaign, please refer to our Kickstarter Page.!

Thanks,

/Coray & The Starfighter Team

Funding Tier Feature List

Tier 1 - Core Multiplayer Experience (New Features)
  • Single Player Bot Match - Don’t want to play online? Prefer to hone your skills offline before taking on the world? Enjoy a good comp stomp? We’re excited to announce that no matter what level Starfighter Inc. gets funded, the game will include a simple Bot Match Single Player component, where players square off against AI-driven opponents set on pure, unadulterated meatbag massacre.

Tier 2 - Big Multiplayer Experience
  • Multi-Ship Seats – You drive, I’ll shoot. Players can jump into the pilot seat while a buddy mans the turret, optimizes the ship’s performance, or manages on-board troops, drones or ships.

  • AI Carriers – AI Carriers manage the resupply and maintenance of fighters in the field. Players launch into combat from them and return to get rearmed or repaired, or to get a new ship if theirs is destroyed.
  • Troop Transports – Behemoth ships that carry troops into battle. Often the goal of these ships is to twist, bash, and smash their way through combat to dock with the target ship, then unload their troops for a boarding action.

  • Boarding – Players can dock their Troop Transports with large capital ships in the hopes of disabling key systems, key personnel or capturing the ship altogether. Players get their ship into docking range, initiate the board action, then jump into a turret to defend their bird while the Combat Troops do their thing inside the ship. Bonus points for a clean extraction.
  • Drones – A major component of warfare on the frontier is unmanned drones. Light, cheap and able to pack a punch, these small autonomous robots are launched from bigger vessels, then carry out their prescribed orders around the battlefield.
Tier 3 - Episodic Content & Narrative Backstory
  • Episodic Scripted Missions – At regular intervals, a new mission drops, moving the story forward. These missions are modularly built from multiplayer game modes.

  • Player-Driven Storyline – Players control the story! Based on how many players take a given action during a weekly mission or based on how many players succeed or fail in a given objective, the Starfighter writing team adjusts the story to reflect. Notable players, groups, ships and achievements are highlighted via this storyline.
Tier 4 - Player Governed Universe
  • Player Board of Governors – Starfighter Inc. will feature an elected Board of Governors comprised entirely of players selected by their peers to represent the player body. This group will advise the development team on how to evolve the universe while managing disputes between players, corporations and other entities.

  • Player-Created Missions – By exposing our internal content authoring tools to our players, we can harness the power of the community to create wild new things that we would never even think of! Most of us got our start in the modding community, so this is a feature that we’re very excited to roll out.

  • “Black Market” Player Trading -- Want to sell an extra weapon system or valuable engine module that players can’t get unless they're affiliated with your corporation? Hit the Black Market to get top dollar from other players, but be careful! Sell too much and you may impact your reputation with some mercenary corporations...or make new friends from shadier operations!

  • Steam Workshop Integration - Steam workshop is awesome. It allows an entire community of content creators to take part in the creative process. While we’re good at making games, the power of the community is truly staggering. As we’ve seen with games like Skyrim, empowering players to make equipment, mods, or even entire campaigns leads to incredible creativity and energy for the game.

  • Player-Owned Bases - Players can use in-game currency to permanently purchase or construct bases. Making every decision needed to run a successful near-orbit or deep space operation.
Tier 5 - Capital Ship Combat
  • Playable Capital Ships & Bases – Players control every element of a capital ship or base, from power distribution to personnel assignment, to heat management. Unlike piloting a fighter, which is more about tactical skill, piloting a capital ship is much more about strategy and critical analysis…and blowing things up.

  • Co-Op Ship Management – Players can team up to manage bigger capital ships. Players can either divide up work over VOIP or use pre-defined roles (navigator, comms, gunner, IW, etc.).

  • Capital Ship & Base Customization – Just as players can customize their fighters, they can customize their Capital Ships and Bases. While outfitting a capital ship or base can be orders of magnitude more expensive, the types of missions that can be completed can provide staggering payouts.

  • Capturable Bases – During battle, players can unload combat troops and support staff to take control of bases in order to turn the tide of battle. Some bases provide additional resources, while others provide powerful anti-fighter or anti-capital ship defense.

  • Base Customization - Just like players can tune any part of their ship, so too can they customize nearly every element of their playable bases.
Tier 6 - Dynamic Single-Player Campaign
  • Dynamic Single-Player Campaign - Objective-based gameplay challenges players to achieve specific victory conditions in designed engagements that provide both tactical challenge and narrative backstory.

  • Reactive Enemy AI - AI not only effectively pilots against the player, but uses battlefield awareness to make intelligent and surprising decisions in response to the player.

  • Voiceover-Driven Story - A cast of talented voice actors brings the backstory of Starfighter Inc. to life, providing backstory and narrative relevancy to gameplay. Radio transmissions communicate the key details of the story, which provide complementary information to core gameplay to those players who want more story in their space shooter.

  • Co-op Gameplay - Blowing up stuff in space is more fun with a friend! Team up with a co-pilot or wingman to take on the challenges at hand in a squadron or gunship. Worried about auto-balancing? Don’t be! These missions should be challenging enough for even the most veteran pilots!
Tier 7 - Scripted Cinematic Single-Player Campaign
  • Scripted Single-Player/Co-Op Campaign – A more traditional, heavily scripted set of missions that are played in linear order, this Campaign serves both as a way for players to try out a wide variety of ships, but also to dive deeper into the story behind Starfighter Inc..

  • Story-Driven Cutscenes – Beautiful pre-rendered cutscenes tell the backstory of Starfighter Inc., providing context and relevance for gameplay.

  • Cinematic In-Game Events – Those water-cooler moments (usually centered around something blowing up in spectacular fashion) that provide instant excitement and tons of fun. It’s important to us that we tell our story primarily in-game, and these cinematic moments are our vehicle for that.
 
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#2
Let's see.

Tier 1 - Core Multiplayer Experience (New Features)
Sounds good. Some single-player sounds good. It's not clear to me how many RPG elements you plan: What decides which ships you can fly and which weapons/equipment you can add to them? Depending on how you do this the initial offering of six different kinds of ships seems a bit thin. You seem to have six different 'roles' and one ship in each role. This is fine if the game works like XvT, but if you expect the player to gather resources/money/xp of some kind and buy their ships, then you probably want some kind of upgrade path within each role, not just one ship.

Tier 2 - Big Multiplayer Experience
Multi-Ship Seats: I'm sure you mean Multi-Seat ships? :) Though, the other one also sounds fun. I have bad experiences with this one from other games. My experience is that it is boring to sit in the non-pilot seat, and that usually you can do more damage flying separate ships. At least make sure that the non-pilot has something interesting to do, and that it is worth her time.
AI Carriers: Sounds awesome.
Troop Transports, boarding and drones: Meh, whatever. No strong opinion.

Tier 3 - Episodic Content & Narrative Backstory
Meh, whatever. No strong opinion.

Tier 4 - Player Governed Universe
Meh, whatever. No strong opinion.
Mostly. Again it's not clear to me how the bases would work. I expect this to be like XvT, in that you get a combat mission, launch straight into that, and then leave afterwards. I do not expect it to be any kind of open universe. So where does the bases fit in?

Tier 5 - Capital Ship Combat
Sounds awesome. I'm all for big bases and capital ships designed and controlled by players.
Let's say I have a base, and have put a lot of time and effort into it, then I can take it to battle and it might get captured or destroyed? And I would lose all that work? I don't think I would want that. I hate it when stuff I built gets destroyed.

Tier 6 - Dynamic Single-Player Campaign
Sounds good. I like having a game with a story that has a beginning and an end, and that I can play and finish.

Tier 7 - Scripted Cinematic Single-Player Campaign
Meh, whatever. No strong opinion.
 
#3
T1 - Great
T2 - Multiseat ships - Neutral, sounds nice but will it be fun?
T2 - AI carriers - Great
T2 - Troop Transports - Very Negative, not another FPS module /hint
T2 - Boarding - Very Negative, see above.
T2 - Drones - Neutral, always liked drones but will fighters still have a chance?
T3 - Sound nice, player driven events can be fun
T4 - Governers - Very Neutral, doesn't excite me.
T4 - Player missions - Positive, but .... are these player PVP traps?
T4 - Black Market - nice
T4 - Steam Worqx - nice
T4 - Player bases - Nice, if without Troops and Boarding.
T5 - Capital ships - GREAT - This should be T3 and the FPS in T2 parts should be T6 (last)
T6 - Nice, should be T5, before FPS parts.
T7 - Neutral, in this stadium it doesn't add much. So why bother?
 
#5
Tier 2: Troop transports and boarding
I like the idea of troops and boarding - just if the troops aren't players (definitely not via an fps module) but more like ordnance. I'm hoping this is the case, as you don't list the difference as Pilots and Troops, but as Players and Troops.

You've mentioned a troop management option as part of the multi-seat ships. I'm imagining this as having a little screen where you can give squads of troops orders (no RTS elements here, just basic ones)
For example, squad one -> disable weapons; squad two -> secure hangar; squad three -> take bridge.
Each squad could have some minor stats attached: health bars/remaining squad size/ammo reserves.
You could get little one-line feedback messages from the troops "affirmative"/"meeting heavy resistance"/"taking casualties"/"objective secured"

Make sure you reinforce squads that are having trouble, or retreat in time to prevent too many casualties, as troops may be a finite resource in a battle (or at least take a lot longer to respawn than rearm/heal)

You could also improve your chances by where you latch on to the enemy ship - to use star wars terminology, you aren't going to take a star destroyer's bridge if you board from it's pointy bow end.

Tiers 4/5: player driven universe/player stations
I'm hoping that this isn't a move towards a large persistent universe, we've got that in spades with ED and SC - I've pledged to both, and while good, I'd like something with a lot more by way of scripted mission (even counter strike style) whereby If I screw up, I can discuss tactics with my team and try again, not have to spend hours in the game grinding my way back up to my previous position after having lost a good chunk of my investment. I'd like a game where all I'd lose is statistics and rank standing.

Player station wise, I get this image in my head where a whole load of high-ranking players spawn in a game, as stations, bedecked with weapons, troops and impenetrable shields, and all they can do is stare across the void at each other, not a ship to be seen...
on a more serious note, if players choose to spawn as a station, have it as a vote-able commander slot, or maybe first-come-first served where players have a station or maybe quadrant of a station, all set up how they've customised it - so maybe one player can manage all the fleet support and docking in their quadrant, and the players next to him/her can concentrate on the station defence. Don't share the damage either, a station with one quadrant gutted would be preferable to players than the entire thing blowing up just because one player didn't buy any shields or armour.

Tiers 6/7: single player/co-op
This is the kind of stuff I want - and what I was imagining as soon as I heard "from the creator's of x-wing". Nomatter how good the wing commander series was, I kept coming back to x-wing and tie-fighter, even before the re-release with the XvT engine. What I'd like to see is another set of single player/co-op campaigns in the style of Balance of Power, where you can drop friends into any ship slot in a few player enabled squadrons. Even if this doesn't happen on release, I'd be more than happy to drop full game price on an expansion covering this sort of thing.

Okay, this got a fair bit larger than I intended, better stop now...
 
#6
WoW, I'm really impressed by the scope of your ambition for the game.
I must confess that I didn't expect this much when I first read the KickStarter page !
I really hope you are not just over inflating our/my hopes to better crush them up later !!
You really have my attention now and I am getting ready to multiply my initial pledge by 13 lol

One question thought !
(might be my first bug report :) )
at 200$ pledge you specify - All Backer-Only Ships
then you go on to add - Backer-Only "Pegasus" Assault Transport at 250 ???
That makes it ambiguous (in my eyes at least) !
So the question, just to be crystal clear, is :
Does the "Backer-Only "Pegasus" Assault Transport" actually come with the 200$ "All Backer-Only Ships" pledge ?


as for The Tier Feature List:

T1 : I love you ! This is a must !! Thank you so much !!! I agree with all the "reasons" you already gave, and there is one more.
We don't all have access to a 100% reliable connection !!! We can only hope that this will change by the time the game is released.

T2: Sounds great, but I agree with Pildskaden, the challenge will be to
"make sure that the non-pilot has something interesting to do, and that it is worth their time."

T3 to T7 : It all sounds really great !
In fact, it seems almost too good to be true, and well, that makes it a bit scary !
So many horror stories about crowd funded projects making big promises and delivering basically nothing !

I will go a against the flow of the previous comments here :
I do wish that all the above mentioned Combat Troop/Support Staff/Boarding actions could actually be done through a FPS !
but since, obviously, not everybody will/does agree with this, you could do it later,
as long as you keep the option open in the way you write the code from the beginning.
It could then be sold as a separately Expansions.
And once that was launched, players would have an Option to use the default AI troops or real live human combat troops.
Using ones friend first to fill up the ranks and then a choice of other random players and/or standard AI.
A player owning both the game and this expansion, who is part of a multi-crew ship, could choose to jump out with the troops,
to keep things interesting :)
And all land based resources/assets from the main game could be shared by the player with his real life friends owning the Expansion...
If your AI's are truly "Reactive and Intelligent" in both the game and the Expansion, players not wishing to use this feature would loose nothing while players who do will gain a hole new dimension of play !


I would also humbly suggest not to make a mistake that almost everyone out there seems to be really stock on.
Do not try to re-invent each and every little wheels of the game all by yourself !
You already seem to realize this with Steam Workshop Integration...
You should also keep an eye on unofficial forums and be ready to integrate some or your fans in the official team or buy their add-ons off and integrate them yourself to improve the game by leaps and bounds ! Doing so also helps to stay current with the latest cracks and hacks to be able to block or even better use them against their users :)

I can already suggest many people who have developed great tools/add-ons for other games experience that could be very useful to you. If the devs of those other games were too proud or dumb to recruit the available ones, maybe you won't be :

for your Voiceover-Driven Story : http://hcsvoicepacks.com/
and to add voice command control to some or all the ships functions, the dev of http://www.voiceattack.com/
If you need someone with great skill and ideas in UI development check out Eventure at :
https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=103401

This really well made forum is a great start by the way !
Not many out there are this full of great features and this user friendly !!!
 
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