Pilots are my favorite. Wedge Antilles, Fox McCloud, Kara Thrace, Hoban Washburne, Hikaru Sulu, these aces not only drive interstellar warhorses into the fray but also propel narratives into larger-than-life epics. Their skill, their humanity, their bravery, few archetypes resonate more loudly in my mind’s eye than these warriors of tomorrow.
It helps that I grew up during the golden age of space sims, when the only controller worth hooking up to your PC was a joystick. With graphics catering more to imaginations than to cutting-edge realism, my trusty Microsoft Sidewinder granted a tactile sense of immersion that is lost when fiddling with a standard controller.
By the time Y2k came along, games like Descent, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and Wing Commander were abandoned for a slew of FPS, RPG and RTS titles. The industry moved on, but many of us were forever scarred by our dogfighting days. Dare I admit I’ve played with an inverted Y-axis ever since?
Worry not, nuggets, for the lost art of barrel rolls and strafing runs looks to be coming back into fashion. While Roberts Space Industries may be making the biggest splash (see Star Citizen), many like-minded projects are dropping out of hyperspace.
With gaming systems being as powerful as they are, coupled with the imminent rise of virtual-reality entertainment such as the Oculus Rift, it may finally be time to invest in a yoke for the 21st Century. I want Starfighter, Inc. to be my first destination as I fly into the latest final frontier.
The game is being developed by veterans of the genre. Their goal is to create an experience that captures the realism of hard science fiction while facilitating high-octane space combat in an online environment. I think they can pull it off, so much so that this project marks the first time I’ve ever decided to Kickstart anything other than my lawnmower.