When discussing the founding of Starward Industries, game director Marek Markuszewski brings up all the points you might expect from a new team. The company wanted to gather a group of experienced but still-passionate developers, all focused on the idea of creating something ambitious despite the studio’s smaller size. The surprise, however, comes from the studio’s approach to narrative. According to Markuszewski, Starward looked for stories that weren’t already “exploited” by media when figuring out its first project. It wanted to tell a story that hadn’t been told.
Admittedly, where Starward landed was a story told before – almost 60 years ago, in the novel The Invincible, written by Stanisław Lem. In it, the crew of the Invincible spacecraft investigates the planet Regis III for its missing sister ship. There they discover self-replicating machines that, over time, become more hostile. It ponders questions about what it means to be alive, the ever-increasing role of technology in everyday life, and has more than its fair share of retro-futurism, proper nouns, and heady jargon.
For Starward, comprised of developers previously from CD Projekt Red, Techland, and more, it was the right fit for its narrative ambitions – something dense and literary. And for what it’s worth, video game adaptations of novels are relatively rare.
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