How Starpoint Gemini: Warlords Found a Home on Xbox One

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Xbox Wire.

Back in 2007, three brothers who were hardcore gamers decided that playing games wasn’t enough. So, we started dismantling games and creating mods for popular titles. It was fun and creative, and after a while we decided to build an entire game from scratch. The genre was not in question — we all grew up on Star Trek and Star Wars — so making something in space was a childhood dream for all of us.

In 2010 our first game Starpoint Gemini was released and following its relative success, we finally moved out from the old kitchen in our parent’s apartment to a proper office. A few more people joined the team and then project Starpoint Gemini 2 was launched. Now a few years later, Starpoint Gemini 2 is our first big success. It was a much larger and ambitious project, and was very well received by players.

Starpoint Gemini: Warlords Screenshot

Coming to Xbox One

On many occasions we would get messages from players complaining that consoles lacked hardcore gameplay experiences — our game is definitely different than others on Xbox One. But we didn’t know if that actually meant something good or bad. And around that same time, Microsoft started to support indie studios and development — we had great support and help from their staff. It made it easier for us to access the platform and prepare extensive modifications required for Xbox One.

For the console, we created an entirely new HUD system and added controller support and the result was rather unique for Xbox One. A lot of players in the Xbox community told us they appreciated these more complex games. It was also great to find that the Xbox One hardware had no issues with handling our own built engine. Now following upon these great experiences, the third game in the Starpoint Gemini series, Starpoint Gemini: Warlords, is being developed with Xbox One requirements in mind. This game will be several times more extensive in terms of gameplay elements and longevity than its predecessor with all DLC and post-release content from the PC version included on the Xbox One edition.

Starpoint Gemini: Warlords Screenshot

How to Approach Starpoint Gemini

Our games emphasize open world space and capital spaceships — no single-seater spacecraft or fighting in the galaxy by yourself. You have your crew and a captain with skills and abilities that increase with every action you take. These skills impact the potential of your crew and all the weapons and modifications you make to the ship under your command.

All starships have weapon placements all over the hull and our recommended in-game camera would be “turret view” that allows you to rotate the camera during battle and still remain in control of firing. When enemy ships gets behind you, no need to desperately try to turn around — your rear turrets will take care of that. You can also use auto-fire to let your crew choose targets and discharge light weapons at any enemy target in range and in adjacent firing arc.

Starpoint Gemini: Warlords Screenshot

If you’re in close combat with multiple enemy ships, you can use the “mark target” option to focus your fire on a single enemy, taking them down one by one. Alternatively, you can also acquire a ship with a cloaking ability to vanish from radar. When it comes to general advancement, we recommend keeping to freelance missions, exploration, and mining at the start of the game. This won’t alienate rival factions and will give you time to muster your strength before challenging them on a broader scale. And if you are in dire need of credits, remember you can always travel to a distant asteroid field and pick a fight with pirates. In these situations you can also use your troops and try boarding enemy ships. If you capture it intact, you’ve got an entire ship to use or scrap for credits… a lot of credits.

Behind the Tech

All of our games are created from an engine built in our own studio. It’s called Whale and each of our games have received their own iteration of this engine. Advantage of this approach is the ability to implement exactly the features we need, and to adapt them to every individual situation. Plus, it gives our games quite a unique visual appearance.

Starpoint Gemini: Warlords Screenshot

We also created a streamer system that loads objects and effects on the fly, removing the need for any loading points despite the game being extremely large in terms of geographical size. Starpoint Gemini: Warlords will also use Whale engine, but a highly upgraded “mark III” version. The latest edition of this engine is modified to use all benefits of Xbox One hardware, and tests conducted so far prove performance will be top notch. In addition, a new launcher system will also allow for easier upgrades and maintenance of future DLC’s and expansions.

What’s Next From Little Green Men Games

Our next game is Starpoint Gemini: Warlords, coming to Xbox One in February, 2018 and will be our largest project ever. The core mechanics of Starpoint Gemini 2 will be kept in place, but completely revamped with a massive layer of 4X strategy. You’ll be able to take command of your HQ, build structures, govern your faction, expand borders, and use multiple fleets. All of this will be coupled with direct tactical simulation, meaning you’ll be able to command your Empire tactically from above, but also join and direct your armies and lead them to victory. This new concept was born in the community following thousands of suggestions and ideas. Our decision to give players much greater influence spawned this extraordinary hybrid project, but we are positive these changes will be awesome.

To stay up to date on all things Starpoint Gemini: Warlords on Xbox One, be sure to visit the Starpoint Gemini website and stay tuned to Xbox Wire.


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