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Vilio - the beating heart of the Toron nebula - exploded last September, becoming an ominous red giant in the process. Luckily, and somewhat miraculously, no one was hurt, though a galaxy wide electromagnetic pulse shuddered through our fleets, nullifying mining ships and colony vessels as well as our Special Forces fighters. Power and communication ceased instantly; those ships now survive on fossil fuels, remote and helpless. A rescue mission was launched in October; those craft are now expected to reach Toron in approximately ten months time. This much you know.
However, close monitoring has revealed that Villo has begun to collapse in on itself, the spectral red light bending inwards to form the beginnings of a black hole. The speed of collapse is debatable, but at best we expect Vilio to be a full-blown black hole within a year.
As we expected, our director of operations was invited this morning to brief the government on the current state of our Quarp Drive project. It was concluded that all resources necessary for the completion of our testing period should be redirected as appropriate; their intention being to use our prototype Quarp Jet as the basis for an immediate rescue mission.
Being the lead test pilot, you are the obvious choice to take the lead on this mission. Since we only have the one prototype craft, you'll have to go it alone, and we'll provide support as soon as possible.
I would like to end the brief there, but unfortunately the situation has become even more complicated. Our warring neighbours have seen potential reward from our misfortune, and have deployed a fleet of ships to prey upon our helpless drifters for precious minerals and our coveted technologies.
You'll begin your mission in the relatively safe zone of the Toron outer rim. Once there you will locate and rescue any drifters you find, protecting them from scavenger attacks. Good luck.
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When we first decided to create a space shooter, we knew we couldn't compete with the likes of R-Type or Ikaruga, so rather than attempt to recreate a classic with a small budget (and ultimately disappoint fans of the genre with a lack of variety and longevity), we looked at inventing a completely new game mechanic, so that our game would be judged on its own merits.
Firstly, we came up with a reason for why the world should be constantly scrolling. Have you ever played a scrolling shooter and wondered why you can't just turn around and shoot the stuff you missed? This is never explained.
So, in our shooter, there is a reason the world scrolls vertically, and a reason that you can't turn around: everything is being sucked into a giant black hole!
PLAYER IS KING
Ok, that's cool, so now let's give the player the power to bend the rules we've just created, and let them do something they've never been able to do in a vertical shooter: Teleport!
Awesome, now the player can save other people that are being sucked into the black hole, because the player can get out of the situation nobody else can; they've got a prototype ship capable of teleporting!
Now we have a game that's worth making.
With these two small but very significant changes to the genre, we have a completely different game to other shooters. Fans of the genre will understand how to play the game, and will find it fun and challenging, but they will also be playing in a way that is new and exciting.
We believe this is what indie game development should be about; using a platform like minis to do something original; designing a game specifically for the category, that has a budget scope by design, and doesn't try to cash in on clones of classic games without delivering longevity and variety.
If you follow our progress, if you buy our games, this is what you will come to love about FuturLab.
We do things the right way; with care, originality and creative excellence.