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Starhawk

LightBox's Dylan Jobe Talks Starhawk

Fans of Incognito's 2007 multiplayer-only Warhawk have been waiting for a few years to find out what new studio LightBox Interactive is up to. Made up of former members of the Warhawk team and led by Incognito/SingleTrac vet Dylan Jobe, Lightbox recently revealed their new game at an event in Austin, TX. Starhawk is the spiritual follow-up to the team's last game, and it once again lets gamers take to the skies or keep the battle on the ground. This time around, the new Build & Battle system allows players to drop in support structures and base defenses during the battle, introducing light RTS elements to the equation. We'll have a full preview in the next issue of our magazine, but you can check out the first details in our interview with Dylan Jobe right now.

The 1995 Warhawk was single-player only, while the 2007 Warhawk was multiplayer-only. Tell us what we can expect from Starhawk in terms of mode breakdown.

With any great shooter, you always end up logging way more hours with multiplayer than single-player. But just because you log way more hours on multiplayer doesn’t mean you should short-change single-player. We weren’t really happy with (2007’s) Warhawk’s single-player so we ended up cutting it, it just wasn’t coming together. With Starhawk, our single-player has come together really quite well. It’s got fresh new mechanics, a new cool world, and it’s one that I feel really good about keeping in the game.

Is it going to be comparable to other single-player campaigns in terms of length?

Yeah, you look at a lot of shooters out there and they can fluctuate. Some shooters are like five hours, and you can beat some in like eight. From my perspective, a marketing guy is always like “you gotta be at a minimum of whatever hours.” I think there’s some truth to that. If you release a game that’s too short, you’re kind of short-changing the players. But at the same time, quality trumps everything, right? So we’ve laid out a number of missions. Which ones actually stick in the game, we’re not sure yet. There’s a lot of editing that goes on. I think our single-player campaign will be comparable to Call of Duty or the other key shooters out there.

A lot of developers will split up their campaign and multiplayer teams. Is that the case with Starhawk, or is it all one team?


Splitting the team, from my experience, is not necessarily the best thing to do. There’s a couple reasons why. Sometimes studios have all of their network programmers in a separate department, and then their gameplay programmers throw stuff over the wall and then they just strap it to the network. That’s not really solid. That’s not necessarily a good way to go. Our approach that’s working out pretty well for us is all of the gameplay programmers are required to make all of their stuff online, right from the get-go. In our co-op mode, when you can fight against A.I., you’ve got a couple guys fighting together as Rifters against the Outcasts, all of the A.I. code and all of that stuff is already synced across the network. Our game is very, very network-integrated from day one, because everyone writes the network code. Even our game designers that write scripts for missions or multiplayer modes, they do all the synchronization themselves.

Starhawk will contain a four-player co-op mode. Will the entire campaign be playable this way?


Looking at it, this story is about Emmett Graves. Do we want to introduce another character to kind of mix things up? We actually said “no, we don’t.” We would much rather create a mode even though it costs more from a production standpoint, we’d rather create a new mode from the ground up that is really geared for co-op. For example, the demo you saw here, we were protecting that rift, and building our defenses and all that. Our co-op mode allows you to do that. You have four players, you all play together, you share rift energy, and you try to survive as long as you can.

Comments
  • Shoot, I'm excited. Warhawk was/is awesome. This looks good.

  • this makes me -> :)

  • I never got to play Warhawk, and by the time I got high-speed internet, only the bamfs were left online and I'd heard bad things about noobs trying to jump into that world.

    This looks pretty sweet though =D

  • wow dan, late night or early morning?

  • I wasn't a fan of Warhawk but I'm still kind of intrigued by this one. The single player and especially the co-op stuff sounds kind of fun.

  • ...Warhawk wasn't to good I heard...
  • It looks alright, I'll wait for the review.
  • Reads awesome.

  • Love Warhawk! This looks 100 times better! On my "Gonna Pre-Order The *** Out of This" List

  • This is definitely a game to make Xbox gamers(including myself) jealous :/

  • IMHO the game looks rather boring and bland but heres hoping future gameplay trailers change my mind.

  • Warhawk was so much fun. If they are putting a single player mode in here, it better not be multiplayer maps with bots in them. If it is, I will pass. Brink burned me for the last time.

  • Neat. I might check this out, but will probably wait for a review.
  • Warhawk was my first PS3 game, and man was it awesome. Can't wait for this.

  • Another PS3 exclusive I'll keep my eyes on.

  • NOOOOO, i was so hyped up for this and i still want it. but 4 player split-screen was something i really loved about warhawk, and not i'm sad it doesn't have it!, i had nights of fun playing with my buddies online and offline. Well i could probably manage but am a bit upset, otherwise great looking game.

  • B-)

    Too cool bro!

  • And the next super ambitious project that has catapulted to the upper regions of my anticipation list iiiisss...