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Starr Mazer: DSP Kicks Off To A Positive Early Access

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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.

We are absolutely ecstatic about releasing Starr Mazer: DSP,’ the team writes. ‘We’ve worked really hard to create a polished first act for SHMUP players to sink their teeth into.’

‘Seeing the positive reception on Twitter and on Steam has all of us hyped up and excited to continue working on DSP. We look forward to hearing feedback from fans so we can build the best possible roguelike shoot’em up we can!’

A prequel to Imagos’ Kickstarter funded, 2017 scheduled point n’click-shoot ’em up blend of an adventure titled Starr Mazer, DSP entered Steam’s community-guided development model at midnight, the 25th of August, with a promotional price of $8.99 out of its standard $9.99 tag that currently lasts until the 1st of September.

In very retro side-scrolling action it follows the events of THE GREAT WAR — a near eternal battle between the inhabitants of planet Thearsa CP-IX and the alien forces of the G’ell that ultimately establishes the tone and course of events that are to transpire within Starr Mazer.

En route, players are tasked with commanding a fleet of DSP Mk. I pilots that span humans, aliens and a dog over three Acts of bullet-packed, chiptune ridden levels that culminate in a showdown against the G’ell super-ship The Adamastor.

Given the game’s fascination for roguelike elements through it all though, the traditional lives/continue system of classic shooters is done away with to have players rely on soaring through the adventure in a singular play-through.

This is enabled by hoarding in-game currency called SK:Ore, that one must use to handpick a progressively advanced team of distinctly characterised pilots over multiple attempts.

While this escapade is meant to last an entirety of nine levels however, DSP’s Early Access arrives with only levels 1-3 of Act I fully furnished. Levels 4-6 of Act II do unlock there after, yet these are but rough previews of their final counterparts.

‘We have a very specific plan of what we want to do in the game that we will stick to’, addresses Kazuo Mayeda, Imagos’ community manager in relation to DSP’s Early Access development course.

‘We are taking player feedback into consideration though and will be making changes along the way with them in mind.’  PixelJam Games’ Steam announcement over the weekend further went on to affirm the same, with the developers promising to commence bug-fixing through the course of Monday, the 29th.

The best place to leave any and all game-play related feedback then is the game’s own Steam-based forums. 

Moreover console and mobile releases for Starr Mazer: DSP — originally announced during the official declaration of Imagos’ partnership with publisher Playism — are still very much in the developers’ domain of interest;

although Mayeda states that it is a subject for after the roguelike SHMUP is fully past its current Windows, Mac & Linux supported Early Access stage.

Conceived as a passing feature for a scene in creator Don Thacker’s 2013 creative feature film, Motivational Growth, and successfully Kickstarted on 21st February, 2015, Starr Mazer is an upcoming retro-modern fusion of the Point N’ Click and Shoot ‘Em Up genres that was originally due for a summer release this  year.

Featuring modern game-play brainwaves such as the unpredictability of narrative unfolding and sophisticated role playing elements, the tale of a DSP Mk. II pilot — that wakes up amid an intense bout of amnesia in the aftermath of the galactic GREAT WAR and sets out to unravel the mysteries of his universe — was postponed when the fleshing out of the team’s self-developed content creation tool Mazer Maker consumed more time than was originally estimated. 

In order to fill the void while also preparing players for the lore and SHMUP barrage that was to eventually hit them with Starr Mazer’s release, Starr Mazer: DSP was announced last Winter as a collaborative PC/Mac/Linux/Mobile venture with indie game developers PixelJam games.

Notably, those who helped back the original game on Kickstarter are being provided with a 50% discount on Starr Mazer: DSP via this rather explanatory coupon retrieval form.

‘Next up is PAX West, PAX Six and the Tokyo Game Show. All in September,’ Imagos’ calendar now reads. As always, returning fans and those entirely new to the Starr Mazer universe can catch up and tune in to progress via its Higher Eclectic Space.

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

News

starr-mazer_special-edition-boxIn The Biggest Starr Mazer Leak of 2016!, the June 16th, 2016 episode of Imagos Softworks’ weekly Twitch program taking followers behind the scenes of the upcoming retrowaved inter-galactic saga of Starr Mazer, fans were treated to the public unveiling of Japanese publisher Playism‘s newly established partnership with the Mazer universe.

Flanked by story-writer Vanessa Williams and developer Auston Montville, creator Don Thacker announced amid a hail of confetti that both the upcoming PixelJam games co-developed SHMUP of Starr Mazer: DSP along with its Kickstarter funded sequel of Starr Mazer would fly under the Playism banner henceforth. This immediately left certain followers perplexed, particularly given how it was announced back in August last year that Adult Swim Games had picked up the publishing reins.

Thacker was quick to dispel all potential speculation by affirming that it was mutually decided to have the assortment of Starr Mazer products — inclusive of content creation tool Mazer Maker, DSP and its successor Starr Mazer — supported by a single publisher. ‘Yes, we super were with Adult Swim and it was awesome! But we were architecting the future of Starr Mazer and it turns out, we had Starr Mazer: DSP, Mazer Maker — and all of us decided that the best course of action was to find a single publisher would take the entirety of the Starr Mazer universe and go crazy with it’, he stated.

Senior Content Manager at Playism Dan Stern has reportedly been a fan of the game’s concept ever since the dawn of its Kickstarter back in 2015 — a point emphasised by him in his meetings with the developers at this year’s Game Developers Conference and PAX East gaming conventions. This eventually translated into the Imagos team visiting Japan to assess their home market before a deal was finally laid on paper by both parties.

I think the coolest thing about Starr Mazer is its story — I’m a story nut. Starr Mazer merges art styles I love with a serious approach to storytelling that I think is going to be all fun’, Stern explained alongside Marketing Manager Meghan Bridges during the stream, both of whom had tuned in live from Osaka, Japan. Bridges further added to this by stressing that Playism’s focus would lie in bringing the saga amplified public interaction via giveaways, event appearances — beginning with the Tokyo Game Show in September — and loads of surprises.

starr-mazer_screenshot-07The announcement also opened up a myriad of others from Thacker as a result of the partnership, the highlight of which was that Starr Mazer would be arriving on the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Mobile devices, Nintendo 3DS and the WiiU apart from its Steam releases for Windows, Mac and Linux — all of which bar the PC releases were up until now tentative given their dependence on unaccomplished Stretch Goals.

Said PC release is scheduled for somewhere in the early period of 2017 as per its creator with the subsequent console releases coming a while later — of course, Kickstarter Backers will be granted the opportunity to pick their choice of platform. Furthermore, while DSP on the other hand is slated to arrive on Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile devices in the month of October this year, it is to be preceded by an Early Access release come July.

Conceived as a passing feature for a scene in Don Thacker’s 2013 creative feature film, Motivational Growth, and successfully Kickstarted on 21st February, 2015, Starr Mazer is an upcoming retro-modern fusion of the Point N’ Click and Shoot ‘Em Up genres that was originally due for a summer release this  year.

Featuring modern game-play brainwaves such as the unpredictability of narrative unfolding and sophisticated role playing elements, the tale of a DSP Mk. II pilot — that wakes up amid an intense bout of amnesia in the aftermath of the galactic GREAT WAR and sets out to unravel the mysteries of his universe — was postponed when the fleshing out of the team’s self-developed content creation tool Mazer Maker consumed more time than was originally estimated.

2016-05-28 (4)In order to fill the void while also preparing players for the lore and SHMUP barrage that was to eventually hit them with Starr Mazer’s release, Starr Mazer: DSP was announced last Winter as a collaborative PC/Mac/Linux/Mobile venture with indie game developers PixelJam games.

A prequel, DSP will have players control a squadron of DSP Mk. I pilots in the midst of the GREAT WAR, collecting SK: Ore that functions as in-game currency to equip themselves with better quality weapons & ships, fending off twisted beasts and letting loose a plethora of classic space-flick inspired attacks, all the while attempting to resist an invasion of extra-terrestrials known as the G’ell. A vertical slice of the same, Starr Mazer: DSP Forward Squadron, was recently bundled with the April edition of IndieBox.

Besides an open invitation to the The Biggest Starr Mazer Leak of 2016! — followers were privy to no prior knowledge of what said leak would entail. The team built upon this by playing an exclusive promo-spot for Imagos Films — Imagos Softworks’ motion picture centric counterpart — before streaming a two minute reel of gameplay from Playism’s games appended with the Starr: Mazer universe’s own.

2016-05-28 (10)

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Viewer gigaganon1988 was the first to predict the Playism partnership there from, earning for himself a collection of eight of the publisher’s games; this further commenced a barrage of opportunities for other viewers to win prizes themselves by similar interactive means during the course of the stream. The end of the it was finally marked by user Gillaxian — affiliated with the Canadian Gears of War 4 development team of The Coalition — who wasn’t one to leave out his appreciation for Thacker’s creative ensemble.

‘A few of us up here at The Coalition in Vancouver wanted to say that we’re really excited about the Starr Mazer news today and have taken the time to listen in on the broadcast,’ he wrote within the chat.While we’re working on finishing off Gears of War, there are handful of us who had Kickstarted it. Congrats on Playism’s signing and we’re all rooting for you guys.’

Be sure to leave the team their much deserved cheers and as always, for more such surprises to come and a recap of all that has been — drop by the saga’s Higher Eclectic Space.