We’re happy to announce our new 2D shoot ’em up project WESTGUNNE. With Stardust Vanguards now behind us, we’re moving back to a horizontal shoot ’em up! While it isn’t our older, cancelled project Heaven Variant, WESTGUNNE will borrow heavily from our previous designs. In the end , if you liked what you saw of HV’s gameplay, WESTGUNNE’s will play better and be a true realization of that game’s design, expanding on those design principles. While we are shifting the visuals to 2D, the game’s visual presentation will have much more personality and better animations since we won’t need the budget and time requirements necessary for 3D assets and animation. Plus our armor system has already become deeper since we can more efficiently piece together enemies and tweak them fairly quickly. I can already vouch for the better armor system, but we’ll show that to you soon enough. Suffice to say, we have more armor on enemies right now than we ever did in Heaven Variant, and these ships look cooler when half-destroyed to boot. We’re very excited when it’s all said and done.
So what we learned from Heaven Variant’s failure we’re applying to fully realize a modern shoot ’em up, and with Stardust Vanguards now successfully released on Steam we’re ready to rekindle the flame with our first love: shoot ’em ups!
I still offer my sincerest apology to fans that wanted Heaven Variant, it was with a heavy heart that we cancelled that project, but I want to make sure you know that we’re not going to mess this one up. We’re scaling back to 2D to one day get back to that kind of development, but we don’t want to fail ever again. Back then, we let a lot of you down, and I know a few fans may not trust us at this point, but think of it this way: we started Stardust Vanguards to get back on the saddle. And we successfully released it. We used Unity for SV, and we’ll use it for WESTGUNNE so we’re already very familiar with the toolset. We also have HV’s core design, concepts, and world to work with. So the cool thing is a lot of the heavy lifting is already prepped for us (including music, too). We’re already well into the game’s own development, too. With the shift to 2D, I can guarantee a much more precise gameplay experience than HV’s 3D visuals had, and while we will lose a little bit of the cinematic experience that a 3D camera naturally offers, I think we can still achieve a very exciting 2D experience that has it’s own cinematic qualities in it’s own right. And I think my artwork will be hell of a lot better this time around, too, with a few years extra practice! We’ll push for the best highly-animated pixel art we can. I want to be clear to say this isn’t a 2D remake (or demake) of what we had in Heaven Variant, but we are heavily borrowing from the design, visuals, setting, and, well, the titular character “Eind Westgunne” (who we still receive loving emails about regularly from a few die-hard fans telling us they miss his loudmouth ways). It’s possible a few landscapes you saw in our old trailers could make it into this game, so it could be similar, it could be different, but it is wholly it’s own project. We’re in a continuum and we’re building off of what we’ve learned. I’ll be damned sad if I can’t create a space colony destruction sequence with a blue-screen of death on the sky simulator, though. In fact, if anything, with hand-animated 2D art, I have even more control and flexibility over exactly what kind of events can be possible, much better than we ever had in 3D.
We’re lean, we’ve learned from our mistakes, we’ve successfully released a new game just a few months ago, and we’re firing on all cylinders. We’re ready for this. Let’s rock!
And one last super special shout out to everyone that’s supported STARDUST VANGUARDS on Steam and Humble! We appreciate your support and we hope you’ll take this next journey into game development with us, too! Hit us up with your comments on Twitter and Facebook!