Morningstar: Something Old, Something New

by on Feb.11, 2015, under featured, Morningstar

Morningstar was originally released as a Flash game in May 2009 on Newgrounds and Kongregate. While a lot has remained the same, in particular the story and most of the locations, just as much has changed between then and the upcoming updated release. We’ll be taking a look at these differences here.

The most notable difference is that the graphics have received a major overhaul in the remake. Where the Flash game had a much grainier and low resolution experience artwise, the new one has crisper and much more detailed high resolution artwork.

With this upgrade came some other changes to the way the game is presented to the player. One thing that has changed is that the original game allowed you to pan around a much longer screen in some areas that has since been modified to include several static shots. This is done mostly to make the user interface more streamlined and easier to use on mobile devices in the future.

Another area that has changed is in the way that the two live characters are portrayed in Morningstar. In the original we can see headshots of Novak and Powell as they’re talking, so you get an idea of what they look like. There is no voiceover, though, so you don’t know what they sound like. The opposite is true in the re-release. There are no headshots when they talk to each other, but they are fully voiced. The banter between the two men, however, is practically the same between both versions of the game.

The user interface also received a pretty substantial facelift as well. In both versions you see the world through the eyes of Powell in first-person view, with the overlay being his suit’s helmet visor. The Flash version had you essentially “pixel hunt” for the hotspots by moving the mouse cursor around the screen hoping to get a flash of text notifying you of an interactible object or screen transition. In the new version, however, they make it a lot easier to find out what Powell can interact with. When you mouse over the screen, the helmet’s “heads-up display” will automatically single out each area of the screen that you can click on. And it will leave the marker there even when you move away from it.

The final major difference between the “old” and the “new” is the ending. The updated release has been extended a bit to include an extra puzzle and more interaction with the environment before heading back to the ship one final time. You can check out Morningstar’s improvements next week on February 17.


Serena Nelson
Social Media Intern
Phoenix Online Studios




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