View Full Version : Demo pitch - Birthstar update

03 March 2005, 10:04 PM
A couple of weeks back, I posted with a help wanted ad for a project called Birthstar: Frontline. We are still very much in need of some top-notch artists and animators to help out with our production. What we're trying to do is complete a demo for the purposes of presenting the demo to game publishers in order to acquire funding to complete the full game.

The premise of the game has a very deep backstory of which is not actually touched up in the first game; we want to create a franchise here. Birthstar places you in the shoes of one of 16 troops that are deployed in the recon assault team Tango-88. Tango-88 is usually the first to fight, and sometimes the ONLY to fight, both in small-scale skirmishes, and larger scale battlegrounds. Tango-88 utilizes every member of it's team; each member has a role to play, a job to assume. These jobs can range anywhere from the marksman, to the medic, to the anti-air man, to the anti-air loader. Each member's role is key to the success of each mission. We're stressing co-op play; we want to maximize this gametype's potential for greatness and fun.

The storyline itself takes place about half a millenia in the future. Human's have left Earth in favor of the stars, and have formed two distinct coalitions. The Tusten Confederation are definitely more militaristic, more industrial by nature than the UCS (Unified Core Systems,) who favor a democratic approach to their life and their military. Earth has become more than a wasteland to the Tustens; in their eyes it is the mecca of their civilization, and they become quite religious in their ferver to acquire it. The UCS control it however, and are convinced the Tustens are just trying to start a war between coalitions. Thus, the Tustens begin to encroach on UCS territory, conquering planets and galaxies in their march towards Earth. When they begin to attack the Republic, (one of the more staunch allies to the UCS,) the UCS is forced to join the war.

For seventeen months, the Tustens and the Republic have been at a tactical stalemate. The Tustens have been throwing everything at the Republic defense and slowly but surely have been chipping away. At the same time, they have been maneuvering reserve forces to the Republic outworlds in order to stretch the Republic defense until it snaps. It's working.

Meanwhile the UCS has been routing and staging forces to prepare for a mass reinforcements operation. Special Forces units, Tango-88 included, have been doing espionage and insurgency missions into Tusten territory and during one of hese missions three members of Tango-88 were killed in action. Now, they have been fed replacementts and have been rotated back to their assigned company, Charlie-18 of the 2-1-21st, ready for their new assignment.

Gameplay-wise, we really want to focus on a solid co-op experience. In the full-game, every member of the 16 man team will be playable; for the demo, 8-10 will be available. We also want to revolutionize the way tactical games are played by providing a sophisticated command structure within the team; orders pass down the ranks, the captain, (Capt. Remus Harlan,) is the only one who can communicate with the OPSAT, (who is orbiting the planet with a satellite view of the planet below him/her.)

We want to complete this project by the end of summer. About half of the first mission will be playable, (which is still a decent amount.) We are working with the Unreal Engine, ( used to create games such as Unreal Tournament 2004, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, Pariah; the list goes on and on.

I'm going to be very clear about payment here, because it has been quite the bone of contention on other forums. We cannot offer payment for your services. If we do this thing and get a publisher lined up, you will receive payment based on the amount of work you have done for us. If we are unsuccesful in acquiring a publisher, then this'll end up being one hell of a mod experience for the UT2k4 community, :).

We want to make this game because it's the game we want to play.

Here's some conceptual art, and a weapon render or two.

03 March 2005, 01:44 PM
This really looks like an awesome project, id love to help, but i dont have a solid portfolio to show yet. Is there any other way for me to join the team, maybe through an assigment I can complete?

03 March 2005, 03:18 PM
The concept art looks really cool indeed.
I would love to help with modelling the enviroments. But I've got a bit of a time problem at the moment. So are there any deadlines? Or better, is there some more info about the project available?

03 March 2005, 04:36 PM
droidoz: I need to see a portfolio from ya in order to be able to have you do some work for us. In a couple of weeks we will have a website with forums available, and it'd be great if you could help us build a community! :)

PJanssen: I'm going to edit the original post with some more info. What happened was I had this big huge post and I went to post it and crapped out for a couple of minutes and it lost my post.

*Post edited*

03 March 2005, 06:25 PM
Ok, that clears up a LOT :)

I already suspected it seeing that first model, but it's indeed going to be a game I see. That, and the reason of the project, changes a lot of course.

A thing that is important to me, and I think to all others too, is about the payment thing. You say that people will only get payment after funds are aquired. But are there any garantuees you can give people before starting, like contracts or something?
I know that this is a hard nut to crack, when it comes to dealing with money which is not yet there or even certain to come (I have the same experience with the MinasTirith project)

About me joining the project, I'm not sure if I want to yet. I would like to work on a project like this surely, but the futureplans make me a bit doubtfull you know. I obviously don't want you to walk away with my work once you've found funding.
And another thing is that I have no experience with game modelling. I have quite a lot of experience with highpoly archicetural modelling (see the Minas Tirith Project, I'm the project leader and lead modeller there). But it would be a very nice challenge for me.

03 March 2005, 07:05 PM
There are contracts we give team members, but I can't really say anything more, (silly legality issues.)

Any and all work you do for us you can use in your portfolio after work on the demo has been completed; so no worries about us walking off with your work, :)

You look like a talented modeler, what is the range in poly's of some of those shots? They don't look overly high to me..

03 March 2005, 07:30 PM
This one ( for instance has about 15.000 TRI's. Mostly caused by the detailed decorations in the windows on the backside: here (

Most buildings of this size are a bit lower in their tri count though.

Any and all work you do for us you can use in your portfolio after work on the demo has been completed; so no worries about us walking off with your work,
What I ment is that I would of course not want to make something which someone will use to make a lot of money with, without ever seeing one single penny myself you know. I'm not saying that you'll do something like this, but I just like to have some certainty on this.

03 March 2005, 07:53 PM
Hmm.. well, once the pitch has been completed, we will not use any of the art assets created for the pitch in the final game. We will be switching to a next-gen engine.

03 March 2005, 07:57 PM
Still, you use the pitch to get your funding. So I would really like to see something about that in a possible contract.

03 March 2005, 08:04 PM
I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at. I'm slow though so I probably just haven't explained something. If you could go into further detail that'd be great. Like I said before, if we gain funding, you get paid for the amount of work you've done.

03 March 2005, 08:09 PM
That's exactly the thing where I would like to have certainty about. Like, how much? when?
What if you don't pay? That kind of stuff.
The thing I absolutely don't want to happen is that the work that I would do for a project like this, results in funding, and then I hear nothing anymore. I mean, what you're actually doing is asking for people to work for free on a project with a clear commercial intention. If you don't tell something about payment in a contract that is.

03 March 2005, 08:13 PM
That's what I said before, a lot of that stuff is in the contract and I can't discuss it on a public forum. The way pay is actually dealt with is it's deferred payment. You sign a waiver when you start working for us that basically says if we make money on this you are owed x amount of money. Can't really discuss how much 'x' is here either, :)

03 March 2005, 08:18 PM
Ok sorry, that wasn't really clear to me. We'll discuss things like that later then, privately.

So could you give me some details on what you'd like people to do on the project? Things like polycount limits, deadlines, that kind of stuff. You know, what you expect from teammembers.

03 March 2005, 09:15 PM
The ability to work towards milestones is absolutely necessary. We have a detailed schedule and goalsheet we work towards.

You would be in close contact with our level designers, as your work would be requested, and implemented by them.

Above all, communication, (on private forums and through msn/aim,) is the most important thing.

03 March 2005, 09:43 PM
I'd like to join your art team.

03 March 2005, 07:05 PM
Hey Marc, do you have any experience with Unreal technology or the toolset? Also, if you could send me a portfolio or some samples of your work that would be great. Also, Pjanssen, if you would like to further this discussion, if you could e-mail me at

03 March 2005, 09:18 PM
Nothing serious game-wise, I used Unreal Ed as a teaching tool at my last job. For work samples check the WIP threads in my signature, and my website.

Above all, communication, (on private forums and through msn/aim,) is the most important thing.
So the WIPs for this project aren't allowed on cgTalk?

04 April 2005, 06:27 PM
Definitely could use a character artist. Question, do you create your own art for the character models?

And no, unfortunately this has to be kept within the team.

04 April 2005, 08:42 PM
do you create your own art for the character models?
I can do concept sketches for characters.

04 April 2005, 05:48 AM
@rdaly: I don't have much free time at the moment to work on new projects. Actually, I don't have any free time at all. I hope that I will be able to work on this project within a few weeks. I'll contact you by then.

04 April 2005, 02:10 AM
@Marc; check your e-mail, :)

@pjanssen; Alright, just let me know when some time frees up. We're on a fairly rigorous schedule come summer, so just know that beforehand.

@anyone else; We're still definitely looking for artists and animators looking to get in on some Unreal Technology modding, so give us a shout at

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