Not content to reinvent FPS for touchscreen, Industrial Toys deepens the experience with Morning Star Alpha graphic novel

Actions in game and comic will 'inform each other'

Not content to reinvent FPS for touchscreen, Industrial Toys deepens the experience with Morning Star Alpha graphic novel

I've been the industry longer that I can now actually remember, but I don't think I've ever been game-teased as much as by Industrial Toys.

Set up by Bungie co-founder Alex Seropian, the US studio is out to reinvent the first-person shooter for touchscreen devices.

It's been working on its debut game Morning Star for over a year.

And that's where the long tease comes into play.

I've spoken to a bunch of Industrial Toys guys - all lovely people - over the past 12 months. But have I got to play the game?

I've not even seen it.

Into the vapour

I still have faith, even if our most recent meeting proved to be another dry well....

But the folks at Industrial Toys are - very psyched about their new interactive comic book.

Called Morning Star Alpha, and due to be released on iOS prior to the game, it's much more than a comic book tie-in.

For one thing, it fills the 120 years of alternative future human history between now and when the game is set; when earth picks up an alien message from within our solar system and triggers the Morning Star protocol.

Well-known sci-fi author John Scalzi is behind the words of the game and the comic, and he's been working with concept artist Mike Choi (known for X-23 and Witchblade comic books).

Not only has this collaborative been important to provide content, context and depth for the game - for example the character concept sketches were used as the basis for the 3D models - but the comic book will feed directly into the experience.

For example, the way you 'play' Morning Star Alpha in terms of your choice of interaction with various characters, your collection of items etc will be logged and inputed into the game as a save state when it's released.

Similarly your in-game actions will also impact the story in Morning Star Alpha as both game and comic are updated.

Master plan

"The game and comic inform each other," Seropian explains.

"I consider them one package, a unified concept that provides us with a layered approach to the characters, the plot and the gameplay."

Scalzi is also keen to point out that the experience provided by the two is discrete.

"There's a story for the game and a story for the comic," he says.

"It's two narrative arcs which have some interactions between them. But you have a complete experience in each."

You can get some idea of the sort of choices involved in Morning Star Alpha in the branching conversation options above, between our hero Charlie Campbell and an angry marine.

You can also check out various characters' background details in the novel.

And everything you do in Morning Star Alpha will be recorded and logged in the company's server, which will be reflected in your experience in the game.

Check out the Morning Star Alpha sneak peek video and an interview with Alex Seropian below.

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Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.