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BLACKSTAR: GDC Hands on with touchgen (mobile mmo)

MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219


Nice nuggets of info on this Mobile MMO from Spacetime Studios of Pocket Legends fame


GDC: Blackstar Hands On


By Matt Dunn, USA



  • For instance, one of the negative aspects of Pocket Legends for me was the grind-heavy structure of most of the missions.

  • This didn’t feel like Pocket Legends, it felt like a PC-quality MMORPG.

  • From what I saw and played of Blackstar, Spacetime Studios is not going to stop raising the bar for mobile MMO games.

  • Now sprinkle in some multi-level “raid” missions, collaborative in-mission puzzles, and branching storylines.

  • From what I was told, the initial launch will take place in, at most, 15% of the currently planned game world.

  • Gary mentioned one feature that I’m extremely excited about, but can’t quite mention here.

  • As a special treat, check out a couple pics I took of their concept art wall with my iPhone below, along with new screens and art pieces.



  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    GDC Update:


    • Like Pocket Legends, Blackstar will offer a 3D, real-time, persistent world to explore with friends.

    • Blackstar will offer a vastly bigger, far more story-driven world.

    • Combat too will be different, as players will be required to think strategically and employ smarter tactics then they did in Pocket Legends if they want to survive. Action situations will often require multiple steps, like taking out a guard before being able to reach a terminal to de-activate (and then destroy) a turret.

    • With over 3 million [downloads]  Pocket Legends has already proven that a Spacetime MMO can garner a substantial following. Expect to dive into the world of Blackstar on the iPhone, iPad, Android and PC by the start of Summer 2011.




    • but it also required more higher-level mechanics, like hitting switches in a certain order or turning off certain turrets to enter a specific area.

    • he says that Spacetime has about a year and a half of content already planned out.


    • on both iOS and Android devices, with a planned PC client in the near future, if all goes according to plan.

    • ...with 15% of the planned gameplay ready for launch, which equates to three separate zones with rapid leveling systems, quests, and character customization.


  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    Android now more profitable than iOS for well-known game developer:

    • First, diving into the stats, Pocket Legends is currently ""downloaded x2.5"" more on average on Android as opposed to  the App Store.

    • Also, Android users who have Pocket Legends installed play it three times more than iOS players. This last statistic though helps support a previous article we wrote about the value of the Android gamers and that mobile gaming in general is now considered the mass-market by advertisers. Android users click ads in Pocket Legends three times as much as iOS users and end up making a purchase from those clickthroughs twice as often as iOS players.

    • So what does this all boil down to for Pocket Legends and Spacetime Studios? A significant difference in revenue generated from Android over iOS the size of 30%-50% more. Even though iOS has a polished in-game purchasing system and Android's hasn't even debuted yet (next month apparently) so Spacetime has to use their own setup, Android brings in much more revenue.

    • With Pocket Legends, Spacetime Studios has an impressive statistic to brag about: while most games only see 2 percent of their users monetize, Spacetime Studios’ games monetize at a rate of 10 percent. That means that even if fewer people download the games, more people are paying. But Gattis believes this is only the beginning. “Everyone will be playing mobile MMOs in three years,” he predicts.

    • "This led  to sustop advertising on Apple and throw all of our marketing dollars onto Android," said Gary Gattis, CEO of Spacetime Studios. "It really just makes sense from a financial point of view. We've just been blown away, Android has become our primary interest."

    • Spacetime’s surprise, it actually began making more money from in app purchasing on Android almost immediately.


    "At GDC this year, Blackstar and Spacetime Studios, was without doubt one of the best things." ~

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    Gary Gattis Interview: Blackstar and More



    When will see an open world MMORPG like WoW on mobile? What kind of mobile technology is required to create a game like that?

    Gameloft has recently released Order and Chaos, which is an open world game. It looks beautiful, and we are enjoying it very much. The issues that I see are that it does not support lower end devices or connections. Half of our user-base on the iOS side plays on iPod touches. A large percentage play over 3g and Edge network. We think that today’s mobile players will continue to enjoy a hybrid experience that is not a direct imitation of a PC product. It is one thing to imitate, it is quite another to innovate.


    How many areas/zones will be available at launch?

    The launch of Blackstar will be similar to when we launched Pocket Legends in terms of scope. At least three different zones with many more following quickly as updates.

    We saw some commercial trailers for Pocket Legends. What will be the marketing strategy for Blackstar?

    We are still evaluating the opportunities, but we are looking into co-promotional activities with hardware manufacturers and telcos.


    What's the state of the game right now?

    We are playing internally on devices, I would call it pre-alpha. It is a blast, and I can’t wait to share more of it with you!

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk a little about the game.



  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    [Podcast] iGame Chat: Gary Gattis talks Spacetime Studios, Pocket Legends [UPDATE]

    May 18, 2011: What’s inside this episode:

    • Omaha Sternberg interviews Gary Gattis of Spacetime Studios about Pocket Legends, Blackstar, and beyond. Pocket Legends recently celebrated their one year anniversary by opening up most of their game locations for free. We talk about the anniversary celebration, the Mac/PC version soon to come, the mobile MMOG Blackstar soon to arrive, and more.
  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    E3: 2011 - BETA VIDEO Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles ~ Mobile 3D Sci-Fi MMO by spacetime studios.

    Full press article & video:

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    More E3: 2011 coverage: Massively reports:

    E3 2011: Spacetime Studios on the Legends franchise

    The Legends franchise continues...

    Spacetime isn't content with just this pair of MMOs; it has announced that it has at least two more in the works, with one of those slated for release later this year. "We're looking at something with a darker theme, like Dark Legends with vampires or something like that," Blanco said. "And then these guys have been wanting to do a Western theme for a while. Something dirty and dusty."

    Droidgamers: Hands-on with Spacetime Studios Upcoming MMORPG, Star Legends, at E3


    There is a whole lot more strategy-wise in Star Legends though, things that only specific classes will be able to do. So when doing instances, a balanced group will come in handy. Also, while you have your tank class, for more subtle touches the operative or engineer might be what you want to play. Gear will also be a lot more accessible in general gameplay as well


    Until then, check out the gameplay footage we have of Star Legends from E3. We promised you we would bring you video of it as soon as we can, and here it is. Enjoy! If you have every wondered about Spacetime's commitment to their games with all the new stuff rolling out, we thought that as an ending footnote you would like to know that both Gary Gattis and Fernando Blanco spent the entire convention at the Sony Ericsson booth. Now that is dedication.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    Beau Hindemann of MMOBILITY fame over at Massively plays beta Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles (30mins):

    & a write up about the experience:


    Besides the setting and the obvious example of lasers, what differences will there be between the two games that would make a player want to switch? Is Star Legends just Pocket Legends in a sci-fi skin? I'd have to say that, so far, it is. Remember that Pocket Legends is a lot further along in development, though, and Star Legends players will see a lot of that development trickle into their game. Or better yet, development might go both ways, as in the case of guild housing. While it is true that Pocket Legends players will not feel completely alien to this new game, the different abilities, classes and locations are plenty to satisfy, even if just until Star Legends becomes a more unique MMO.

    Personally, I cannot wait to see what they planned for Star Legends. Pocket Legends is dramatically different now than it was when it first came out, so I imagine the same happening to its sci-fi cousin. Space flight or custom homes would be great at some point. The sci-fi location actually opens the game up a bit more to different design than a fantasy world. After all, good technology really just looks like magic, but you can't put a robot in a fantasy world (and I'm not talking about some steampunk version). Anyway, here's to a bright future!
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