Gamers Delight: Pillar 4 in Point Developing Sci-Fi Games
By Jacob Mathias
Beginning on Facebook and expanding onto mobile devices, Pillar 4, an independent video game developer housed in Stevens Point, is working to expand their library of science fiction strategy games.
Pillar 4 founder Phil Peterson has been developing games his entire life.
“I was three and I made board games,” said Peterson. Originally planning to design pen and paper table top games, Peterson said that as the popularity of those has declined so he decided to move into video games, which had decreasing development costs.
Pillar 4’s first two releases Starfall: Frontier and Starfall:Ronin were released for Facebook and iPods respectively. Ronin was originally released as a Flash game called Starfall:Aphelion Squadron for a Flash in a Flash contest.
Starfall:Ronin has sold a few hundred copies since it’s release on Sept. 30, 2012 according to Peterson.
“Mobile devices are just one of the easiest markets to get into,” said Peterson. “The app store is the most profitable…that was just kind of the quick and easy choice to get our first handful of casual games out there.”
Pillar 4 hopes to expand into the desktop computer gaming market in the future.
The name Pillar 4 comes from an element of game play in the universe that Peterson invented for his games.
All of Pillar 4’s games take place in the same universe invented by Peterson with the Starfall games taking place in the galaxy of the same name. Peterson is currently working on an interactive timeline to show where the current and upcoming games fit in the universe’s storyline.
“It starts at the beginning of the universe and ends at the end of the universe and it covers 18 different planets, 15 different alien races. It’s like 24 billion years,” said Peterson who’s been researching and developing his universe for over 10 years. “Every event on this timeline is potentially a game.”
According to Pillar 4’s website, “Starfall:Ronin is a turn-based strategy shooter for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Give your ships their orders, including where they should move and if they should activate any of their abilities, then watch as the action plays out simultaneously with your opponent. Stay out of range of the enemy ships and try to maneuver into a strategic position to do the most damage. Have your fleet work together, drawing fire with one of your stronger ships, while maneuvering your faster ships in from behind.”
Pillar 4’s first release, Starfall:Frontier, a turn-based strategy game was released on Facebook and Congregate. It has since been taken offline but Peterson said it had a strong following with dedicated users.
“They were taking notes on paper and developing crazy strategies,” said Peterson.
“We will be re-releasing that for mobile devices.”
Another casual game set in the same universe as the Starfall games is currently in testing by Pillar 4.
Starfall:Ronin can be found on iTunes for 99 cents. Visit Pillar 4 games on Facebook and www.pillar4games.com