Starr Mazer

Starr Mazer

Updates

 

Withdrawal of Support

Withdrawal of Support

In the month of January, 2017, it was mutually and amicably decided between both parties to end Higher Eclectic Ground's working relationship with the Starr Mazer universe over reasons of inconvenience.

Even so, all of Higher Eclectic Ground's contributions and efforts towards Starr Mazer and Starr Mazer: DSP's development up until then may be viewed within this Space.

Find prior updates/press releases by scrolling through this slider, or learn of Starr Mazer/DSP's status by following it across the various social media profiles linked to the sidebar of this page.

Halloween Themed Starr Mazer: DSP to Attend 4th Annual Day of the Devs!

Halloween Themed Starr Mazer: DSP to Attend 4th Annual Day of the Devs!

2nd November, 2016

Day of the Devs is next to play host to an appearance by Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access, creator Don Thacker, producer Lindsay Peck, writer Vanessa Williams and community rep. Kazuo Mayeda at The Midway Complex of San Francisco, U.S.A this year.

Organised by Double Fine Productions and iam8bit, the gaming festival will transpire over the course of Saturday, the 5th of November in its customary annual celebration of independent games, food, art and music.

Amid a field of over 50 games old, new and unreleased, visitors therein will be able to track down and play Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access in its Halloween themed state.

This of course will comprise of not just the spooky enemy variants that were injected into the roguelike SHMUP on the 24th of last month, but also the all action-packed Boss Rush Mode that had been the subject of its recently concluded Early Access contest.

'We are honoured to be at Day of the Devs hosted by Double Fine!' the team writes. 'Plus we're looking forward to hanging out in San Francisco and demoing the game; Admission is free so please stop on by!'

Winners of the Halloween Boss Rush Contest that concluded on the 31st of November meanwhile, were announced to be Steam users (>'-')>, Embakaments and B3_Custom respectively.

Each of the three will now have their choice of custom First, Middle and Last Names entered into the game's pool of playable pilots, with user (>'-')> also being awarded the official Starr Mazer T-Shirt for coming in first.

It's worth noting that this is B3_Custom's second DSP contest victory in a row, having previously conquered SK: ORE Attack!

Players can also expect to have the Halloween themed enemy and elemental variants linger in-game for a substantial while longer. As the team states --

'The fans are really enjoying many of the sprite swaps. They will be in the game until the next update but may stick around even further. '

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD.

Owners may opt to play either of the game's Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein.

Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

Missed DSP's previous public release? Scroll right on this slider!

Halloween Update Brings Boss Rush, Spooky Sprites To Starr Mazer: DSP

Halloween Update Brings Boss Rush, Spooky Sprites To Starr Mazer: DSP

25th October, 2016

Starr Mazer: DSP's Halloween themed update is officially a go, bringing to the roguelike shooter its second Steam Early Contest of the month and a plethora of sinister-looking extra-terrestrials to contend with in-game.



Entering the code tricks on DSP Early Access' title screen now launches the Halloween Boss Rush Mode.

Active till the 31st of October, Boss Rush has players assemble their own elite squadron of DSP Mk. I pilots in an attempt to defeat three menacingly powered-up bosses in the fastest personal time possible.

With crucial seconds lost alongside every pilot downed, the top three participants with the fastest recorded times on this dedicated Leaderboard are to be awarded prizes at the end of the contest period.

These include the --

- Ace Pilot Grand Prize

Add a complete custom First name, Middle name and Last name to the name pool for DSP pilots!

Plus win the Official Starr Mazer T-Shirt from Fangamer

- Wingman Runner Up Prize

Add a complete custom First name, Middle name and Last name to the name pool for DSP pilots!

- And The Top Dog Third Prize

Add a custom First name, Middle name and Last name to the name pool for DSP pilots!

All of these of course, being subject to the terms and conditions listed on the Contest's official declaration of rules and regulations.

Making their debut alongside are sprite swaps, with various in-game enemies & elements now substituted for themed variations of their usual selves on account of All Hallow's Eve.

Note that both Halloween features will require DSP's latest playable version of 0.396 to be active.

Boss Rush is Starr Mazer: DSP's second Steam Contest, with SK: ORE Attack! having previously tasked players with establishing their highest scores on a beefed-up version of the game's first level.

The Halloween Update was also shown off at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo this Saturday, the 22nd of October, where team members Kazuo Mayeda and Vanessa Williams were in attendance with DSP.

Attached are shots from the event and a sneak peek of the themed sprite swaps for your viewing pleasure.

Both features were well enjoyed and received. The team will next be seen at Day of the Devs in San Francisco, California on the 5th of November.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game's Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein.

Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

Missed DSP's previous public release? Scroll right on this slider!

DSP @ PRGE 2016 | Halloween Updates To Feature Sprite Swaps, Boss Rush Contest

DSP @ PRGE 2016 | Halloween Updates To Feature Sprite Swaps, Boss Rush Contest

20th October, 2016

Visitors to this year's Portland Retro Gaming Expo are next to be offered a go at Starr Mazer: DSP Early Access.

Held at the Oregon Convention Centre in Portland, USA, PRGE will run from Friday, the 21st of October, through Sunday, the 23rd.

Despite the Exhibitor Hall being open on both days of the weekend, the roguelike SHMUP will be seen present therein only on Saturday, the 22nd.

'Once again we are really excited to be a part of PIGSquad's retro event in Portland!' announce the development team of Imagos Softworks. 'The indie community down there is awesome and we're honoured to be invited!'

Although an official booth number is yet to be provided, the developers assure that tracking them down on the floors of the Exhibitor Hall should be no hassle.

Meanwhile DSP's first Steam Early Access contest, SK: ORE Attack!, concluded on the 14th of October with Steam user B3_Custom being deemed its winner during the team's 3 P.M P.D.T stream last Friday.

B3_Custom wins the official Starr Mazer T-shirt and also gets to add a custom First, Middle and Last Name to DSP's in-game pool of playable pilots.

Now set to launch in its wake is the Halloween Boss Rush Contest; teased last week, the Contest will have participants conquer a barrage of enemy bosses (plus added twists) as quickly as possible in a specialised level of the game's Early Access build.

They must do so in command of their squadron of in-game pilots, with the three fastest players being awarded prizes at the end of the Contest period. The Halloween Boss Rush plus guidelines will go live on Monday, the 24th of October.

This will be preceded by a Sprite Swap over the weekend, with various in-game components being substituted for specially crafted Halloween-themed elements as a build-up to All Hallows Eve.

Be sure to follow the SHMUP across social media and/or Steam to stay updated as and when these take centre stage.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game's Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein.

Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

Missed DSP's previous public release? Scroll right on this slider!

SK: ORE Attack! Ends Today @ 5 P.M. PDT

SK: ORE Attack! Ends Today @ 5 P.M. PDT

14th October, 2016

Starr Mazer: DSP's first Early Access contest SK: ORE Attack!, is all set to wrap up at 5 P.M. PDT today, the 14th of October.

For a period of two weeks now, players have been pushing against a beefed-up version of the game's first level in an attempt to establish their highest scores on this Leaderboard.

With nearly 100 entrants so far, the highest scorer will be picked out and applauded by the development team during today's episode of Starr Mazer TV.

Said grand prize winner will not only be awarded the official Starr Mazer T-Shirt, but also the opportunity to have a custom First, Middle & Last Name inserted into the game's current pool of playable pilots.

Also making an appearance during the episode will be the developers of Friday Night Bullet Arena, Red Nexus Games Inc.

The Starr Mazer ensemble were previously seen at this year's GeekGirlCon last weekend, showing off the latest Steam Early Access build of their roguelike SHMUP.

'It was awesome seeing kids as young as 5 or 6 pick up and play the game,' they recall. 'They were very responsive to the game and figured out the systems quickly. Even though they had no idea what a SHMUP is or classics like Gradius were -- they still intuitively picked up DSP.'

While Act II of III is currently being polished for a Thanksgiving release, up next on the docket for the month of October is yet another contest plus Halloween themed sprite swaps, the team confide.

More on that in due time. Attached meanwhile are images from GGC 2016, a shot of Daniel -- the only GGC visitor that managed to beat the first Act of DSP -- and a teaser of the Halloween sprite swaps, respectively.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game's Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein.

Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

DSP @ GeekGirlCon '16, Act II By Thanksgiving

DSP @ GeekGirlCon '16, Act II By Thanksgiving

7th October, 2016

Starr Mazer: DSP and the fragment of its crew comprising creator Don Thacker, producer Lindsay Peck and community manager Kazuo Mayeda will be in attendance at this year's GeekGirlCon!

Held at The Conference Center across the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, USA, GeekGirlCon is an annual two day commemoration of women's contributions to science and technology.

As exhibitors, artists and gaming enthusiasts take to its floors from the 8th to the 9th of October therein, Starr Mazer: DSP's latest Early Access build will be found propped up at Booth 3005 on the third floor.

Having previously attended the convention last year, the team are enthusiastic about taking their Pixeljam co-developed roguelike SHMUP to a less familiar crowd.

'We hope the Geek Girl Con goers will try out Starr Mazer: DSP and give us some informative feedback as we proceed through Early Access!', they write, also promising to bring along pins, papercraft and fliers for visitors.

Last seen at the Tokyo Game Show, DSP is currently in the midst of having its Act I of III polished amid extensive community feedback on Steam Early Access, as per this Roadmap.

Art and programming focus has also begun to transition towards Act II of the game, with the developers revealing that a Thanksgiving 2016 release for the entire Act is imminent.

Owners of the game meanwhile can also partake in SK: ORE Attack, DSP's first Early Access contest.

Players are tasked with setting their highest scores on a beefed-up version of Level One till the 14th of October, while one grand prize winner is granted both an in-game feature and an official T-Shirt.

Over 30 entries have been recorded by the Contest Leaderboard so far.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game's Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein.

Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

SK: ORE Attack Incoming!

SK: ORE Attack Incoming!

30th September, 2016

'The Japanese reception was awesome! A lot of classic SHMUP fans really enjoyed the game and many recognised its similarity to PC-engine games.'

'In interviews with them, several stated that they are happy to see more SHMUP's being created and evolving with new mechanics -- like those of the rogue elements we are incorporating. '

Starr Mazer: DSP's presence at the Tokyo Game Show earlier this month was every bit action packed; post spending over two days exploring the city of Tokyo, the trio of director/creator Don Thacker, writer Vanessa Williams and community rep. Kazuo Mayeda were exposed to both public and press openings of the expo.

While the former had the roguelike SHMUP occupy Playism's booth spaces at the Indie Hall, TGS' first press day bore witness to a conference that had the publisher reintroduce Starr Mazer, alongside other upcoming independent games from under its banner.

As the week now draws to a close, the stage for DSP's first Early Access Contest has been set.

Commencing today, the 30th of September, SK:ORE Attack will have the game's current Steam Early Access user base invited to a confrontation against a modified, beefed-up version of DSP's level one for a period of two weeks.



'From the 30th of September to the 14th of next month, players will be tasked with surviving the level, managing carbomite and establishing the highest SK:ORE,' expand the developers, with SK: ORE being both DSP's quantifiable point system and in-game currency.

'All Steam users will then automatically be placed on this Steam leaderboard, where they must compete for the number one spot.' The contest level may be unlocked by entering code Topdog at the main menu.

One Grand Prize winner will then have their real name added to DSP's pool of playable pilots, while also being awarded the official Starr Mazer T-shirt. Players who take the spot after the contest end are further entitled to bragging rights.

View a complete breakdown of the contest rules and terms on Starr Mazer's official website.

Meanwhile in accordance with the Roadmap published earlier this month, the first round of polishing Act I of the game made its way to the Beta stage on the 22nd of September.

A second round of updates to the same will follow suit, before Act I is deemed complete and rolled out to the DSP Early Access' Regular version.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Owners may opt to play either of the game's Beta or Regular versions on its Steam page, with all feedback going into its Forums therein.

Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

The Return From PAX; Starr Mazer: DSP Now Headed to TGS2016

The Return From PAX; Starr Mazer: DSP Now Headed to TGS2016

11th September, 2016

'PAX was awesome. It was the first time we showed off Starr Mazer: DSP in its three level early access form and the public loved it!'

The trio of Starr Mazer’s creator and award-winning film director Don Thacker, lore writer/storyteller Vanessa Williams and community manager Kazuo Mayeda --

-- had taken to the Washington State Convention centre in light of PAX West last weekend, wherein their roguelike SHMUP Starr Mazer: DSP stood propped up on two demo stations and a blaring 55" TV at publisher Playism's booth.

With visitors being greeted with pins and rewards of Starr Mazer T-shirts, Thacker and Mayeda further made it a point to visit the Seattle Indies Expo a few blocks away on the 5th of September.

'Though SIX's venue was small, the heart and passion you could feel in the room was enormous.', they recount.

'It was great to see fellow developers in our local area show off their latest builds of their games. As one game writer put it, "It is like seeing all of our children grow up together". '

Feedback through it all of course was abundant, with players bringing to the spotlight several DSP mechanics that were not easily understood, in-game exploits utilised in their pursuit of an official Starr Mazer T-shirt and more.

The remnants of the team's docket for September reveal that Thacker, Williams and Mayeda will now be presenting DSP Early Access to Japan's own base of Shoot 'em Up enthusiasts at this year's Makuhari Messe convention centre based Tokyo Game Show.

Flying out later today, the trio will be present during the course of both business and public days of the event from the 15th to the 18th of September at Active Gaming Media/Playism's booth.

All of this of course being conducive to their emphasis on generating hype around the shooter this month, while the rest of the Imagos-Pixeljam team further its development as per this Roadmap.

'We do know it is a Japanese crowd, a completely different culture and a situation we are not accustomed to.', they highlight.

'We'll be working closely with Playism to make sure we're not making any social faux pas! But yes, they know we'll be bringing ridiculous amounts of excitement and loudness to the booth.'

Images from PAX West and SIX are attached herewith.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a price of $9.99 USD. Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

Starr Mazer: DSP is Coming to PAX WEST, SIX; Developers Release Early Access Roadmap

Starr Mazer: DSP is Coming to PAX WEST, SIX; Developers Release Early Access Roadmap

1st September, 2016

Imagos Softworks is in for an eventful docket this weekend with both PAX West and Seattle Indie Expo (SIX) appearances scheduled.

As Seattle’s Washington State Convention Centre opens its doors to PAX West from the 2nd to the 5th of September, Starr Mazer’s creator and award-winning film director Don Thacker, lore writer/storyteller Vanessa Williams and community manager Kazuo Mayeda will be found residing at Booth 7116 through the course of the same.

Propped up against that of publishers Playism on the sixth floor, Starr Mazer’s booth will primarily be seen showing off Starr Mazer: DSP in its Early Access form.

Also joining the trio on Days 2 and 3 of the event will be Andy Dopleralski, the voice behind DSP’s flamboyant Cat Admiral that plays mentor and guide to players in their conquest against the alien forces of the G’ell.



‘Andy will be there catting it up!’ Mayeda announces. ‘We on the other hand will be giving out Starr Mazer pins and yelling about DSP next to Playism’.

Thacker and Mayeda will then proceed to attend the Seattle Indies Expo six minutes away from the Convention center at Melrose Market Studios; a one-day exhibition for independent game developers, SIX shall have them socializing and show boding from 9 -12 P.M PDT on Sunday, the 4th of September.

‘SIX is a small venue so visitors should easily be able to spot us,’state the team. ‘We're very excited to show off Starr Mazer: DSP to the public at PAX West!’

‘We can't wait to chat with existing fans and get their feedback -- or with potential new fans looking for a brand new SHMUP to sink their teeth into! If you are at PAX, stop by the booth and say hello!’

Praise towards the side-scroller meanwhile continues to pile on, with the developers having first stoked the game’s progress by addressing several preliminary bugs over the course of Monday, the 30th of August – three days after launch.

This was further supplemented by the release of a Roadmap on the 31st, which has since served to lay out a high-level plan that will be followed by DSP as it pushes towards its final build.

Said plan predominantly promises to bring about increased variation/randomization of overall playability within the game’s first three-level Act, before progressing to furnish levels four to six of Act II that are currently present in-game as but rough drafts.

Gameplay drafts of the second Act’s major boss and the entirety of Act III is stated to be ready on paper just as well, with dynamic spaceships, varietal pilots, voice-actors, weapons and intricate UI/UX improvements cited to be in the pipeline.

‘There are many other things we'd like to add to the game that are not listed within the roadmap, but they are best left unsaid until the time is right’, the plan states in conclusion.

Starr Mazer: DSP is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux compatible Steam Early Access at a discounted price of $8.99 USD. Backers of its upcoming sequel, Starr Mazer’s Kickstarter meanwhile can avail of the game at a 50% discount using this special coupon.

Starr Mazer: DSP Kicks Off To a Positive Early Access

Starr Mazer: DSP Kicks Off To a Positive Early Access

29th August, 2016

'In the mere 72 hours since its launch on Steam Early Access, the Imagos Softworks and Pixeljam co-developed roguelike shoot ’em up Starr Mazer: DSP has managed to garner for itself a wholly positive response from nearly over 40 recorded user reviews and counting.'

'While parallels drawn to classic SHMUP's of old à la Gradius, R-Type and Nemesis continue to be prevalent, a large part of this acclaim stands directed towards DSP's Art and Musical genius.'

Early Access in a Few

Early Access in a Few

25th August, 2016



Starr Mazer: DSP will commence its Early Access journey at precisely 12 AM PDT, the 26th of August, rendering active its newly created Windows, Mac and Linux supported Steam page.

Previously scheduled for an August 12th release and later pushed back by publisher Playism in favour of quality, the months since its Seattle Retro Gaming Expo appearance has seen the upcoming roguelike SHMUP dole out brand new art, dialogues and more while maintaining a closed BETA period for family and friends.

While said audience continues to test the upcoming build even now during its last few hours prior to launch, the team's Community Manager Kazuo Mayeda sheds light on the what Early Access will comprise of.

'The Early Access version will have some finished levels and some WIP levels to fill out the 1-6 levels included of the 9 level end product game,' he explains.

'We will continue to work on, with the help of community feedback, and develop DSP therefrom. Finer versions of the later levels, additional art, game systems, weapons etc. will be added in as we move forward.

The October 2016 scheduled final build of DSP will then serve to unlock the last three levels of the game, enabling players to ultimately wrap up the fight against the G'ell. Those who'd managed to help fund DSP's upcoming sequel Starr Mazer meanwhile will additionally garner a 50% discount on the prequel.

While a few images from its upcoming release lie attached herewith, those raring to grab a taste of the upcoming SHMUP can still do so by means of its free-to-play demo linked below.

Terry Hibberd Plays Forward Squadron

Terry Hibberd Plays Forward Squadron

4th August, 2016

'What a treat on the eyes it was! DSP F-Squadron instantly evokes memories of the likes of Defender, Nemesis and R-Type, games which are of my era, my generation. '

The Network's independent 'mature' game blogger Terry Hibberd jumps into the demo of Starr Mazer: DSP --

-- Goes on a trip of gaming nostalgia with creator Don Thacker, all while previewing what's to come of the Starr Mazer saga.

Catch it all on his The Musings of a Mature Gamer blog via the View More section below.

DSP At SRGE2016 | Early Access Arrives August 12th | Demo Download

UPDATE: Early Access to Starr Mazer: DSP has now been pushed to August 26th as per publisher, Playism's decision.

27th July, 2016

Starr Mazer: DSP made an appearance at the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo this weekend past, showing off the latest version of its build to a crowd craving retro-games as Imagos Softworks' Community Manager, Kazuo Mayeda puts it.

'It was fantastic!', he adds. 'The organisers did a wonderful job crafting the event with a good showing of vendors, artists and indie developers. We look forward to attending next year! '

Mayeda also breaks news regarding the Pixeljam co-developed SHMUP's upcoming Steam Early Access stint that despite being scheduled for this month, was pushed to an unannounced date of August in favour of quality.

'Next up for Starr Mazer: DSP is the Early Access launch on Steam August 12th for PC, Mac and Linux with the full release scheduled for October 2016,' he confirms.

'After that we will be looking to expand the release onto modern consoles and mobile devices! We're coming for you brave mobile SHMUP players!'

Preceding its full release, Don Thacker will be heading to Transylvania in the month of August to record voice-overs for the recently Kickstarter-funded Point-and-Click game, Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure -- wherein the Starr Mazer creator plays Private Eye Don R. Ketype.

This will then be followed by the team heading to the Tokyo Game Show alongside publishers Playism to show off an even matured build of the upcoming SHMUP.

Till then, followers and fans of the Starr Mazer realm have now been invited to get their hands on Starr Mazer : DSP F-Squadron -- a Starr Mazer: DSP demo that up until now was majorly exclusive only to subscribers of April's IndieBox.

Simply head on to the link attached to the 'View More' section below and type in READY4ACTION within the IndieBox Download Link prompt; Share your experiences in the comments below.

Ship Orbital Bombardment | Fan Fiction By Kevin Andrews

Ship Orbital Bombardment | Fan Fiction By Kevin Andrews

20th July, 2016

Kevin Andrews' latest writing spurt sees him delve into the realm of Starr Mazer by means of fan fiction.

The Higher Eclectic Ground affiliated storyteller's contribution to the universe is set within the early years of this battle, following a DSP research crew that heads out to test an all new weapon -- but runs into enemy interference with nothing but faulty mechanics and a bumbling crew to aid itself.

'This time I'd say it was about fitting my story within another universe, and an unexplored one at that (no pun intended),' he explains. 'Attempting to match tone, and distill facets of one storytelling medium, gaming, to another, literature.'

Have a read through his short story via the View More section below.

DSP IndieBox Update, Early Access Release, RE: Play & PIGSquad Report

15th July, 2016

Starr Mazer: DSP's demo, one that was granted exclusively to IndieBox subscribers in the month of April, received its first major update earlier this week.

Adding in a sleeker, improved user interface, several new DSP Mk. I ships, pilots and a death animation, the updated build also addresses several of the issues that were brought up in Higher Eclectic's evaluation of its predecessor last month.

These include a full-screen mode, the ability to distinguish Carbomite from other elements by means of a characteristic glow and more importantly, a Death Chance meter at the top-left corner of the HUD.

Each pilot's meter comprises of specific bluish-green regions over which a marker hovers from left to right throughout the course of game-play. In the event of coming into contact with enemy fire, the proximity of the marker to said regions will determine if the pilot survives or goes down.

This is of course in contrast to the demo's prior build, wherein the team had simply stated that higher classed pilots were more 'likely' to withstand enemy weaponry.

In other news, Early Access to Starr Mazer: DSP has been shifted to August from its planned release period of July that was announced during the team's merger with publishers Playism last month,

'This was a combined decision between us and the publisher to ensure maximum quality upon early access release,' reveals Imagos' community representative Kazuo Mayeda.

The developers were also present at Portland Indie Game Squad's Drink n' Draw and Re: Play XPO in Houston, Texas, where the original IndieBox build was shown off with added full-screen support.

'The idea of a SHMUP with Roguelike elements is really winning over the crowd,' explains Mayeda in evaluation of user response over DSP thus far. 'It takes a little bit to explain it but once we draw parallels to established horizontal SHMUPS like Gradius and add our unique spin to the pilot-lives mechanic the players absolutely love it.'

'Several players at both events would retry the demo over and over again until they had enough SK:ORE and a squad of badass pilots to defeat the game. One person at RE:Play literally sat down in a chair and played for ~4 hours. With the roguelike SHUMP elements capturing players and holding on to them for multiple games, I think we are crafting something truly unique and fun the the SHMUP community will fall in love with!'

Roundups of both events can be caught by means of the two videos succeeding screenshots of the updated demo build attached herewith.

Starr Mazer Partners With Playism; Announces Early Access, Console Release

Starr Mazer Partners With Playism; Announces Early Access, Console Release

17th June, 2016 An enormous blowout of news from the Starr Mazer​ universe is upon us!

Imagos Softworks​' upcoming retro-sexy universe is now not only being published by Japan based Playism​, but also coming to the PlayStation​ 4, Vita, Xbox​ One, Nintendo​ 3DS & Wii U,

will be going into early access next month and is being cheered on by the Gears of War 4 development team of The Coalition Studio​.

Editor's Special | Breaking Down F-Squadron

Editor's Special | Breaking Down F-Squadron

6th June, 2016

Starr Mazer: DSP had sent out its first publicly available demo bundled with the IndieBox back in April.

After several weeks spent on it as a band of DSP Mk.I pilots pushing against the G'ell and their attempts at ravaging planet Thearsa CP IX, we finally lay our Synthesizer driven experience bare.

Come read and explore.

The Starr Mazer: DSP Weapon Design Contest | Winners

The Starr Mazer: DSP Weapon Design Contest | Winners

5th May, 2016

In judgement of over 70 entries sent in to the Starr: Mazer DSP Weapon Design Contest that ran through the month of May, one grand prize winner from each of the Main and Super Weapon Design categories was picked during the June 2nd episode of Starr Mazer TV.

These were Eir, whose Skull of Golgaloth snatched the title of best Main Weapon, and Von_Ozbourne whose EMP Burst bagged that of the best Super Weapon.

With both entries seen attached herewith, each of Eir and Von will have their crafted weapons and a custom pilot of their choice featured within the upcoming roguelike SHMUP.

All entries were reviewed live by the team during the course of the near five hour stream, within which each was awarded a specific score on the 0-10 scale by participating judges.

At the end of the session, the points awarded to each weapon were averaged in determination of the highest scorer from each category.

While hinting at bigger news on the horizon of the forthcoming week, Creator Don Thacker also alluded to the potential use of the rest of the Weapon Design submissions in some form during the course of Starr Mazer's journey.

Those interested in viewing the entirety of the judging process meanwhile can do so on SMTV via the 'View More' section below.

The Starr Mazer: DSP Weapon Design Contest | Ended

The Starr Mazer: DSP Weapon Design Contest | Ended

9th May, 2016

Fancy yourself a DSP Mk. I pilot flamboyant enough to conquer the G'ell?

Till the 31st of May, 11.59 P.M PDT, developers Imagos Softworks are inviting the artistically inclined to design a weapon fit for the Starr Mazer: DSP realm.

There lies no restriction or criteria for such a weapon, except that participating artists must present an image of it in action, along with a description of its characteristic traits and functioning.

At the end of the contest tenure, one grand prize winner will not only have themselves immortalized as a playable in-game pilot -- replete with a custom pixel art portrait. custom name and a database of personal details -- but also have their weapon featured within as well.

Competition winners will be selected by the team themselves during the June 2nd episode of Starr Mazer TV on Twitch, at 3 P.M PDT.

All art entries and corresponding weapon details must be submitted via the submission form linked to the 'View More' section of this update, which also specifies the format, resolution and other official rules pertaining to the same.

For any additional queries, feel free to get in touch with the development team by leaving them a comment below.

The 2016 PAX East Adventure

29th April, 2016

Starr Mazer: DSP was at the PAX East Gaming Convention from the 22nd to the 24th of April in Boston last week, but not on any pre-meditated plan to showcase itself.

Instead, a portion of its development team were present with the intention of helping RocketCat Games set up booth, which soon translated into the establishment of the Pixeljam co-developed prequel's own halfway through the weekend.

Illustrated to visitors was the very DSP demo that makes it to IndieBox's April Editions, supplemented by banner graphics and flyers that were quickly assembled by the team's Writer Vanessa Williams and Artist Max Lorenzo.

As for the visitors? Have a look at this short reel documenting their response. Also viewable in this update is an all new Gameplay trailer centred on the IndieBox build.

Starr Mazer: DSP arrives to PC, Mac, Linux and mobile devices this August.

Voicing F Squad! Starr Mazer Behind the Scenes!

19th April, 2016

In our prior announcement of the arrival of Starr Mazer: DSP's pre-alpha demo to this month's IndieBox, we'd alluded to the game's use of character voice-overs.

Given that DSP brings only a barrage of SHMUP action and no particularly fleshed out narrative, these voice overs exist to purely lend character to the squadron of DSP Mk.I pilots players control in their war against the G'ell -- making small talk, lending humor to battle and spurring the player on.

Interestingly, none of the voice-overs that are featured stem from professional voice actors but rather, from Seattle, Washington based indie game developers known and related to the Imagos Softworks team themselves.

Here then is a fun little compilation of the multitude of buddy actors in action under the guidance of Starr Mazer creator Don Thacker, released in celebration of the DSP demo release!

Play Starr Mazer: DSP With The April IndieBox | Deadline 18th April, 2016

Play Starr Mazer: DSP With The April IndieBox | Deadline 18th April, 2016

17th March, 2016

With this month's Galak-Z: The Dimensional focused IndieBox​ -- a Collector's Edition of a singular indie game that is shipped to loyal subscribers every month -- arrives the first, publicly available pre-alpha demo of Starr Mazer: DSP​.

By booking their copy of the Box's April issue by the end of 18th this month, fans will avail of a redeemable code that will have them fight off the 'G'ell' while in command of a squadron of DSP Mk.I pilots during THE GREAT WAR.

Learn all you must of the upcoming Starr Mazer duology, its demo's features and the IndieBox itself via the link below, pronto!

Starr Mazer - Year One

15th March, 2016

Illustrating just how far they've come in the year since being crowd-funded on Kickstarter back on 22nd February, 2016; the Starr Mazer team debuts 'Year One'.

A montage of their journey thus far, the video was released by the team en route to the Game Developers Conference - GDC in San Franciso, California a few hours ago, where they're showing off Starr Mazer: DSP's build progress along with an updated, expanded version of their 2015 Ludum Dare game, Melissa: A Game of Choice.

Don Thacker Plays The Latest Build Of DSP

19th February, 2016

Sure, this looks easy; a hundred & forty seven tries later. This ladies & gents, being Starr Mazer: DSP's most recent build in action.

Creator/Director Don Thacker took to Starr Mazer's Twitch abode this Friday to test the upcoming Shoot Em Up in action, take a few notes and stream himself at it.

Overlaid on a series of temporary, pre-constructed backgrounds, the build purely served to show off various in-game enemies, movements & advanced weaponry, inclusive of even a The Last Starfighter's 'Death Blossom' inspired snow-ball styled attack.

Of course as Don later went on to explain, the final game will contain more elaborate, fleshed out levels and even a full-fledged narrative. The full-length version of the video with Don's narrative can be found linked below.

Brick is away on a mission; leave a message after the beep.

14th February, 2016

Just another day on the job for Starr Mazer protagonist, Mr. Brick M. Stonewood.

Seen here of course, is his butt-kicking Starr Wolf against one of many rough pieces of background artwork the development team have been playing with.

DSP Enemy Animations & Sprite Fall

11th February, 2016

A little sneak peek -- a trippy one at that -- into Starr Mazer: DSP's world.

Illustrated here are two Vines from DSP's development mashed together -- the first, a looping preview of DSP's new enemy animations & attacks that is still being worked on, followed by a psychedelic fall into the game's sprites and pixel art tiles.

With Alex Mauer's Synthesizer doing all the necessary work in the background of course; It's the 80's all over again!

The Demon Wall

5th February, 2016

The Demon Wall, Starr Mazer protagonist, Brick M. Stonewood's latest foe debuts from concept to pixel form!

One of the many vicious villains encountered on Stonewood's space epic, while the Demon Wall itself is no major boss it certainly won't be acting that way; near invincible, once encountered, its sole purpose will be to occupy a demonic amount of space and force players to the edge of their screens.

Still work in progress, the Demon Wall was of course conceived by Art Director Maximo Lorenzo in its concept form, before being pixelated by Imagos Softworks newest addition, Pixel artist Kirk Barnett. Hang on for more.

Starr Mazer January Update

30th January, 2016

Months of updates & snippets aplenty have finally led to this; one, singular video trailer from Imagos Softworks showing how far their upcoming PNC/SHMUP Starr Mazer has come & where it currently stands.

Released yesterday, the trailer not only shows off more of the updated game-play mechanics & functioning of its content creation tool 'Maker Maker' against Alex Mauer's retro music -- but also offers viewers their first, full-fledged look at the game's upcoming Pixeljam developed prequel, Starr Mazer: DSP.

All of which, was also explored in our recent exclusive look at Starr Mazer's development over the months and its immediate future, 'Starr Mazer Still Cooking; Prequel DSP First Look'.

Etsy Sunspark's Sunspear

28th January, 2016

Take a step into Esty Sunspark's world -- her ship basically, but hey, the same thing!

An alien pilot, Sunspark will be one of Starr Mazer's more prominent characters -- striving to be the best of the best pilots and always up for a challenge against protagonist Brick M. Stonewood.

Legend has it she's flown through the Sun -- twice, before eventually blowing it up. Seen here, is a quick remodelling of the ship that enabled her to do it, the Sunspear, as part of the game's ongoing development.

This remodelling of course, is the handiwork of Kirk Barnett -- the newest addition to the Imagos Softworks team as introduced in our special feature 'Starr Mazer Still Cooking; Prequel DSP First Look' last week.

Starr Mazer Still Cooking; Prequel DSP First Look

Starr Mazer Still Cooking; Prequel DSP First Look

23rd January, 2016

It's been exactly a year since Imagos Softworks took to Kickstarter to successfully crowd-fund their upcoming retro sexy point n' click, shoot 'em epic, Starr Mazer.

And yet in its 4 months on the community, with the vast amount of news & updates let out by the team within that period, we felt that perhaps you might have been a bit disconnected, if not confused about the game's progress.

No more. Today we not only recap everything Starr Mazer on the community thus far, but also speak the future.

Come tune in.

Starr Mazer GUI Preview

22nd January, 2016

Synthwave, Purple hues, laser beams and space turrets.

Besides what is a newly iterated UI design, this snippet in particular displays the team's efforts to integrate both point n' click and shoot 'em up action into Starr Mazer's retro blend in the best way possible.

This is visible via various click-able actions on the UI's lower portion -- while the game's protagonist Brick Stonewood dodges his way through a barrage of enemy fire. What's more, the snippet also shows off the development of 'reactive' portraits -- seen as Brick's mug in the lower-left corner now emotes!

But of course, that is not all. There's massive tweaks being made to art, music while full-fledged development of the game's prequel, DSP progresses -- more on which we'll be bringing you via an exclusive look from our Editorial Desk soon.

Scut Bot Remodel

30th December, 2015

Can you ever go wrong with a bit of Starr Mazer pixel art?

As development on both the upcoming retro space epic and its prequel DSP progresses ahead of their respective early-2016 release dates, we thought we'd drop you this little gem before the year ends.

The art process that you witness here in the GIF, is a remodelling of the 'Scut Bot' - the Starr Mazer prototype's primary boss that spends its time breaking down raw materials in space, mining asteroids and other exciting stuff with his gang of Scuttle Bots.

This remodelling is the handiwork of one Kirk -- part of the Mazer Art team who will be assisting Art Director Maximo Lorenzo in the development of pixel assets over the course of the next few months. Rad, huh?

Melissa: A Game of Choice Gameplay Preview

15th December, 2015

It's here. Imagos Softworks' Ludum Dare 34 interactive, innovative media experience - 'Melissa: A Game Of Choice' - is now live on the Game Jam's web-portal for the world to play.

We've been through it twice, thrice, four times really - and are thoughts continue to race in circles. Before we go into those thoughts though, we want to play the game with you. Simply head down to the game's Ludum Dare page linked below, and play all 15 minutes of it to your heart's content.

Note that the game is graphically disturbing and it is advised that you prepare for this before playing.

Once you're done and voted of course, we'd like to hear your theories and thoughts about the game's narrative. We'll be running a discussion all day on our Facebook forum at facebook.com/groups/HigherEclectic/ and perhaps involve the Imagos team as well. Go!

Melissa: A Game of Choice | Ludum Dare 34 Entry

Melissa: A Game of Choice | Ludum Dare 34 Entry

14th December, 2015

'Melissa: A Game Of Choice' - Imagos Softworks' Full motion video based game entry into the ongoing Ludum Dare 34 Game Jam finally reveals its name; teasing a whole 'new media experience.'

A full 12 hours since we last announced the team's participation in the Game Jam, an alpha of its build is now ready - replete with a bare bones version of the 'interactive experience' that had us interact with a graphic video to control our actions in first person, a hint of Alex Mauer's reverberating, gritty 1980's theme and quite a bit of psycopathy!

Yes, we took a good whirl at the build and while we don't want to disclose much just yet, know this - this could very well be narrative genius. Here's a look at one from the game's cast, Ian Hubert, preparing for his role as 'Geoff' behind-the-scenes.

With the team now working on colors, VFX and a lot more audio & sound effects, Melissa is set to go live within the next 12 hours! Feel free to look out for Melissa's final form on its Ludum Dare page linked below.

Ludum Dare 34 Participation Announcement

Ludum Dare 34 Participation Announcement

14th December, 2015

As we speak, the Starr Mazer team hastens to prepare its entry for Ludum Dare 34 - a Game Jam that currently has developers creating games on either of the 'Growing' or 'Two Button Control' themes within but 48 hours!

Well, only part of the team - being as all of Starr Mazer's coders are focused on Mazer itself, Imagos Softworks' Don Thacker, Vanessa Williams, Alex Mauer and Kazuo Mayeda are left to rely on but their film-making skills to save the day; here's a shot from behind the scenes.

That's right - while the team is sticking by the 'Two Button Control' theme, Kazuo tells us that what they're gunning for is more Full motion video oriented. How cool is that?

With the game jam ending in slightly over 24 hours, the team will be revealing their game only on their beloved SMTV twitch stream on the 15th of this week, along with its ongoing art competition's winners.

Holiday Fan Art Competition | Deadline - 14th December, 11:59 PST

Holiday Fan Art Competition | Deadline - 14th December, 11:59 PST

8th December, 2015

The season of giving everyone - and Imagos Softworks, the team behind the ultra-cool retro-themed indie PNC/SHMUP Starr Mazer is giving away even more ultra-cool merchandise!

The team is inviting all artists to submit their best Starr Mazer 'Holiday Themed' Fan-Art by the 14th of December, 11:59 PST.

One grand prize winner takes home the Starr Mazer T-shirt and custom character art imprinted on a shikishi board, while two runners up bag a trading card, all developed by Art Director Maximo Lorenzo himself!

All entries will be shown off on the team's customary Twitch.TV broadcast on the 15th of December at 3 P.M EST followed by an announcement of winners at the end of the show.

Have a careful read of the rules, regulations and submission criteria in the link below and get started now!

Starr Mazer: DSP Announcement

4th December, 2015

You aren't going to believe this but hey, believe it anyway - The upcoming indie retro point n' click/shoot 'em up space epic Starr Mazer is getting a prequel. And it's almost already here!

Over the past year, as the epic has evolved at the hands of Lead Developer Auston Montville, Music composer Alex Mauer and Art Director Maximo Vitaly Lorenzo - the team's game-play programmer Miles Tillman of Pixeljam Games has, in Creator Don Thacker's own words, 'had very little to do'.

And what does he do with that spare time? Build and create an all new Shoot 'em up adventure within the Starr Mazer universe, before the entire team is hit with a brainwave - instating this 'new game' within the Starr Mazer timeline in a way that will shed light on the original game like never before and calling it, 'DSP'.

And so, with an intended release period of EARLY 2016 and directed by the Starr Mazer team themselves, DSP will put players in the shoes of the leader of a pack of DSP Mk I Pilots - in the MIDDLE of The Great War - as they taken down an onslaught of the 'G'ell' in one 'rogue-like shoot 'em up'!

In community manager Kazuo Mayeda's own words - 'We're going for a Fallout Shelter before a Fallout 4 Scenario'. Epic? We think so too.

NSman's Don Thacker Fan Art

NSman's Don Thacker Fan Art

17th November, 2015

The internet is a strange place isn't it? Even stranger is the imagination of artists that lurk it.

This? This is a piece of Starr Mazer fan art, created by a certain Mazer NSman of the Tumblr disposition. Its abstract significance? We'll never know.

But what NSman's FanArt does depict - is Starr Mazer's Creator/Writer/Director Don Thacker, trident in hand, riding a Unicorn that has an uncanny resemblance to the game's developer, Auston Montville. Cryptic, no?

Starr Mazer T-Shirt

Starr Mazer T-Shirt

14th November, 2015

You may be badass. But are you - rockin' an 80's themed Bouffant hairstyled, cigarette smoking Brick M. Stonewood imprinted Starr Mazer T-shirt badass?

Well you can be. Maximo Vitaly Lorenzo, the retro-styled space adventure's Art Director is now hard at work converting the rest of the world into a Starr Mazer cult, one T-Shirt at a time!

A recent partnership with Fangamer led to Lorenzo designing the groovy blue Tee that you see on the left, packed with bizarre one-eye creatures, space-jets and everything, for die hard fanatics of the game.

He's loved it so much, that he's now experimenting with an alternate pattern for a whole new T-shirt altogether - a sneak peek of which can be seen on the left.

Should you feel the need to spruce up your wardrobe and turn heads on the street, the T-shirt on the left is available for but $24 on Fangamer via the link below.

When not initiating people to the cult, Lorenzo also finds himself re-designing and populating key locations within the Starr universe - previews of which we'll be bringing you once they're complete.

Sketches W - Alex Mauer

8th November, 2015

8 bit pixel art? Check. Insanely flashy laser guns and even ludicrous space-ships? Check. Grumpy antagonists and Cheesy one-liners? Check. Unreal hairstyles? Check. Retro styled PNC/SHMUP Starr Mazer has all the makings of a 1980's space adventure but wait - where's the Synthpop?!

One of Imagos Softworks' guiding principles in Starr Mazer's creation is to produce an action packed outing that invokes nostalgia in ever bit of its design - while keeping game play and storytelling updated to modern standards. 'Nostalgia in HD' as they so fondly call it.

Fundamental to 'Nostalgia In HD' is music. In the team's own words, the music of Starr Mazer will FEEL like what we remember old sound effects from the Nintendo Entertainment System being but will SOUND like an effect from today.

This is what the team's music composer Alex Mauer - the man behind Vegavox, the world's first Chiptune album to be released on a ROM cartridge - is working on.

In order to bring about Nostalgia In HD, Mauer is currently experimenting with not only amplifying the bass associated with 8 bit music (Chiptune) but also with adding external sound effects to existing chip tune. Wonder what that will sound like?

Here's one of several samples or sketches composed by Mauer for the team to play around in the Starr Mazer space with

Mazer Maker Sneak Peek #2

31st October, 2016

'It's like - I am building a game for people and they're going to use that game to make games for other people. I want to make the process of making the game, as much fun as it's going to be playing the game.' - Auston Montville, Game Developer, Starr Mazer.

Last week we brought you a sneak peek at the Mazer Maker - a Unity based, Mario Maker inspired game creation and publishing tool in development for Starr Mazer's developers and writers that allows them to create and modify their own levels within the game via a simple drag and drop interface.

We'd previewed what the interface looks like, how it functions and so forth and well - last night Starr Mazer team members Montville and Kazuo Mayeda took to TwitchTV to dive deeper into the Mazer Maker's layout and functioning amidst an audience of fans.

They spoke functionality, progress, Montville's various seating positions at work, Undodog and even Japanese puns. Watch it here and be enlightened.

Mazer Maker Sneak Peek

Mazer Maker Sneak Peek

22nd October, 2016

Thus far, we've looked at the fascinating trailer to Starr Mazer, we've looked at what makes it unique and we've had a taste of how well received they were at the Indie Game Con​ in Eugene, Oregon​ earlier this month. It is now time to track where development of the actual game lies.

In what is the first of many sneak peeks into Starr Mazer's development process, we are shown a preview of the 'Mazer Maker' by its creator Auston Montville​.

Inspired by Super Mario Maker​ - a game creation and publishing tool that allowed users to create their own Mario levels for the Nintendo​ Wii U​ - Mazer Maker is a tool being created for Starr Mazer's developers and writers alone, that will allow them to create and modify their own levels within the game via a simple drag and drop interface.

What this means, is that writers and other team members can design and extend the game without having to learn its complex JSON code - dropping characters, triggers, dialogs and so on into a simple interface as seen in the image.

The map that is seen in the image at the centre of the interface, indicates the flow of events within the game from left to right - wherein events occur only after preceding events have completed and vertical events indicate concurrently occurring ones. Weirdly satisfying, yes?

Auston is currently in the process of creating multiple iterations of the software for the team - hoping that this streamlines the game's development for a Spring 2016 release.

Starr Mazer Goes To Indie Con.

10th October, 2016

As the Indie Game Con held their second annual gathering at Eugene, Oregon earlier this month from October 2nd to the 3rd, Imagos Softworks were present with their first ever public build of Starr Mazer.

The team made available to an audience of 1000+ visiting gamers, playthroughs of two of the game's point and click section along with another boss filled shoot 'em up level. With each player allotted 25-35 mins to have a go at said levels, the game itself was fairly received by those in attendance.

Moreover, Indie Game Con's Executive Director Ted Brown had only the nicest things to say about Starr Mazer - calling it 'a childhood dream' come true as heard in this short run down of those present at the convention.

The World Variable

1st October, 2015

While we raved on about Starr Mazer's storyline, retro art style and fusion of genres last week, careful readers would have noticed us write that we hadn't even mentioned the best part of the game. What were we talking about?

You see Starr Mazerr differs from traditional Point and Click games in the fact it's storytelling is in no way linear. Each of its levels happen to be procedurally generated, meaning that no single play-through of the game will ever be the same.

The story of the game, its individual levels and even its ending will depend solely on the choices the players make, their performance within the game and a host of other variables - each combined to form an artistically engaging, enjoyable and re-playable gaming experience like no other.

How does this work? Watch creator Don Thacker and developer Auston Montville explain it all in a video here prior to their appearance at PAX Prime - Seattle in August, earlier this year.

Introduction & Trailer

26th September, 2015

It's a hundred and thirty years after The Great War, and the galaxy is one goddamned mess. No surprise there, right?

There's nothing worth looking at anymore and whatever is, lies behind the BARATHA DIVIDE - a vast expanse of nothingness that happens to be shrouded in alien mystery anyway. Enter Brick M. Stonewood. Middle name 'Metal'.

Locked in sleep in the vastness of space, Stonewood's fortune leads him to be discovered by a bunch of lousy ingot miners, revived and made whole again. But he's still lost - no memory, no peace.

With nothing but a ceramic-steel steed he calls the Starr Wolf and a packet of cigarettes by his side, Stonewood ventures into the BARATHA DIVIDE - uncovering its mysteries and discovering his past. This ladies and gentlemen, is Starr Mazer​.

 

About

 

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For a million years now, Don Thacker has been blazing through Point n’ Click adventures and Shoot ’em ups on his beloved TurboDuo gaming console. Along the way he happened to get involved with a multitude of game studios as game designer/developer — Pixeljam, XGen Studios, RobotLovesKitty, Rocketcat Games and TOO DX.

But Thacker wasn’t satisfied, for all those 80’s cartoons and action fests had inspired in him a dream; one of creating a point & click, shoot ’em classic of his own replete with the art, music, action, fun and story-line reminiscent of the retro games he had grown up on, yet infused with the game-play standards of today. ‘Nostalgia in HD’ as he loved to call it.

tumblr_o2x315NkeJ1u7dpdyo1_1280That dream became Starr Mazer; a game of the Point n’ Click/Shoot ’em up that started off being featured only momentarily on Thacker’s 2013 creative flick Motivational Growth in video form. Fresh off the movie’s success, he moved to begin putting together a creative ensemble of his own, christened it Imagos Softworks and finally set about taking Starr Mazer to the gaming world.

A hundred and thirty years after the raging Great War between the inhabitants of Thearsa CP-IX and the G’ell, Starr Mazer introduces a goddamned mess of a galaxy. All that remains worth exploring is the BARATHA DIVIDE — a vast expanse extra-terrestrial mystery — and the Holloway Exeter, a frontier town packed into spinning ringed cylinder orbiting the fourth moon of the third planet of a dying star.

Enter Brick M. Stonewood, once DSP Mk.II pilot engaged in the thick of THE GREAT WAR, found drifting aimlessly in sleep-lock by a bunch of Ingot miners before being revived with absolutely no memory or recollection of his past. Equipped with nothing but his trusty ceramic-steel Starr Wolf airship, blaster and a few too many packets of cigarettes, Stonewood sets out on a brutal 1980’s PNC-SHMUP  journey to uncover his past and the mysteries of the BARATHA DIVIDE — one man at a time.

Gameplay

Starr Mazer aims for high-replayability by keeping both the PNC story and SHMUP levels of each playthrough procedurally generated and significantly different each time. In this regard it strives to differ from traditional PNC adventures of old which were linear in their storytelling and did not yield anything new on subsequent playthrough’s.

The narrative progression of each play-through uses Open-Middled Gameplay (OMG!) in that the story modules kick off predictably and the endings are varied and satisfying, but what happens in between is up to the predetermination of the story creation algorithm as well as the choices the player makes, performance in the SHMUP segments and a host of other environmental / chronological / enigmatic variables.

Status

The game took Kickstarter by storm in early 2015, procured funding by February 22nd and was originally slated for a Summer 2016 release. Delays incurred over the development of various in-house software tools for the same however caused the team to push back its launch date to Early 2017 for Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo WiiU.

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Prequel – Starr Mazer: DSP

Filling the void that precedes Starr Mazer’s release is Starr Mazer: DSP; announced in Q4 2015, the PixelJam Studios co-developed prequel takes place at the beginning of Thearsa CP-IX’s confrontation of the G’ell. With the planet’s inhabitants having only just stumbled upon enemy technology, players must take control of a fleet of newly formed DSP Mk. I pilots as they finally begin to push against the aliens.

In a  barrage of side-scrolling SHMUP action, players must resist the G’ell’s forces using an arsenal of classic space-flick themed weapons and artillery, collecting SK: ORE to ramp up their pilots’ and ships’ capabilities, all while being drawn into the events that ultimately set the tone for THE GREAT WAR and Stonewood’s arrival in Starr Mazer.

Set over nine distinct levels spread across Three Acts that culminate in a showdown against the G’ell super ship The Adamastor, DSP also infuses its own roguelike twist into the traditional lives/continue system by having them hand-pick their own team of distinctly characterised pilots in an attempt to beat the alien forces over a singular attempt.

While a demo for the same titled Starr Mazer DSP: Forward Squadron was bundled with April’s IndieBox, Starr Mazer: DSP entered Windows, Mac and Linux supported Steam Early Access with three of nine (Act I of III) of its populating levels on the 26th of August, 2016. The game continues to evolve therein via player assisted feedback, with its complete build scheduled to arrive by October 2016. 

Publisher

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAM8AAAAJDM0M2EwMDNiLWI4NTItNDA0Ni1iOGFkLTA4MzA3NmE2YzE3MwBoth Starr Mazer and Starr Mazer: DSP are being published under the banner of Japan-based Playism.

 

 

2016-08-14

Enter The Code ‘READY4ACTION’ & Download Your Copy of The Starr Mazer: DSP IndieBox Demo!

About Imagos Softworks

 

imagos_console

Imagos Softworks stands create gaming experiences that takes the kids of today to the games that made the kids of yesteryear, devouring as many pizzas as they can while at it.

don-thacker

Don Thacker, Creator/Writer/Director

Born in Los Angeles, California, besides working at the aforementioned gaming studios Don Thacker is also known for his work in directorial work in films such as  Motivational Growth (2014), Weapon(2011) and The Mockingbird (2013).

 

 

 

auston-montville
Auston Montville, Game Developer

A designer and programmer with nearly a decade of experience, the most notable achievement of Montville’s heavy attention to detail is the WiiU game Sportsball wherein he designed, programmed and conceived art under the TOO DX Game Studios banner.

 

 

 

alex-mauer

Alex Mauer, Musician & Co-Founder

An original music composer specializing in electronic, chiptune, and vintage synthesizers, Mauer is best known for ‘Vegavox’ — the first ever music album to be released on hand-made music cartridges.

 

 

 

 

vanessa-williams

Vanessa Williams, Writer/Story Editor

An award-winning short film writer, Williams most enjoys writing within the science-fiction genre. She also functions as creative partner at Imagos.

 

 

 

 

maximo-lorenzo

Maximo Lorenzo, Art Director

Leading a band of freelance artists at Imagos, Lorenzo has under his belt a multitude of visually illustrative artworks conceived for comics such as Ghostbusters, Domokun, Popgun, One Hit Knockout and games such as Enter The Gungeon and Pixel Noir.

 

 

 

 

kazuo-mayedaKazuo Mayeda, Community Manager

With several published films of his own, Kazuo Mayeda tends to the Imagos Community — issuing press releases, setting up weekly streams while also ensuring Higher Eclectic Ground is up to speed on the progress of their projects.

Imagos Softworks
Washington, USA
Retro Shoot 'em Up/ Point n' Click
Coming Early 2017 On PC & Consoles; Prequel Starr: Mazer DSP Out Now On Steam Early Access

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