Morning Star has an All-Star Line-Up
Big Names and Big Risks
Industrial Toys was co-founded by Alexander Seropian with the concept to redefine mobile gaming. If that name rings a bell, it should. We're talking former co-founder and president of Bungie. The man who developed Marathon, Myth and legendary Halo. For several years, he was head of development at Disney Interactive Studios.
Co-founder Tim Harris was one of the creators behind Seven Lights, who developed the MMORPG - The Continuum.
The third member of this power trio is Brent Pease, formerly the R&D manager of DreamWorks. These three men are innovators and have pushed the boundaries of the medium in the past, so one can imagine great possibilities now that they're working together.
It was their intention to put together a 'dream team' to create their first title, even if it meant spending millions to do so.
“We’re breaking new ground on everything from the visuals to the story to the ongoing support we’ll provide in the way of content, events and player involvement. It’s gonna be nuts.” - Alex Seropian
Enter the Storytellers
The developers have history when it comes to epic science fiction, and Morning Star looks to be epic.
Set 120 years into our future, Morning Star takes players aboard the MSRV-Joplin, a research vessel newly outfitted with military weaponry to explore a mysterious signal coming from within our Solar System. When inevitable disaster strikes, they’re transported across the cosmos to take part in an epic war that is not their own to undo a bunch of awfulness that goes down.
This is the logline and set up for the first-person shooter, as your character is part of crew sent to investigate the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. Without giving away any spoilers, they find it and things go very bad. How bad? How about the Sun imploding bad?
To help craft their galaxy-spanning tale, Industrial Toys turned to writer John Scalzi, the award-winning author behind the Hugo-nominated Old Man's War series of novels. He also served as a creative consultant for Syfy's Stargate Universe series. Morning Star is his first video-game effort.
“The game play mechanics will be innovative, but one thing you also want to do is give people some comfort to hang on to,” Scalzi said. “The set up for the story is familiar on purpose.”
Scalzi has embraced the differences in writing for a game vs. a novel or film which have more traditionally linear narratives. He focused first on developing the universe of Morning Star as the foundation then worked closely with the rest of the team for the progressive story. They did not just want action, then cut scene, then action etc.
Marvel, DC and Top Cow comic book artist Mike Choi is being tapped to create the graphic novel tie-in. But, even that is not going to be like the typical comic book version. Morning Star Alpha will be a free iOS app that will feature the story of Charlie of the Joplin crew and his adventures leading up to the game.
The app will be a digital comic with interactive features as well, allowing readers to do something akin to a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. It will function as a universe primer as well as a prequel.
And something innovative the developers are adding is true interaction between the graphic novel app and the game. Decisions you make in the comic will affect things in the game. Imagine reading a Mass Effect comic book before you started playing and your choices there set up things to come for Shepard and crew.
Set My Life to Music
Like all other aspects of the game, Industrial Toys wanted Morning Star to have a music soundtrack to match their next gen mobile graphics and control system, as well as their grandiose sci-fi tale.
Serj Tankian's musical reputation precedes him.
The former frontman for System of a Down has a distinguished musical career, if such a thing in heavy metal exists. The band was nominated for four Grammy awards and won one for Best Hard Rock Performance.
In addition to a solo career, he has also worked with other A-list musicians and is a social justice activist regarding the environment, animal rights and genocide.
So much of what Industrial Toys has shown or promised look to change not just mobile gaming but the game industry and the concepts of crossover media.
Also, Morning Star will have competitive play aspects. A broad MMO concept on a mobile platform is something even hardcore gamers should pay attention to. But, that was their intention all along--to bring PC and console intensity to your phone or pad.Originally Published Jul. 11th 2013