Starship Troopers: Extermination Devs Have No Regrets Moving To Unreal Engine 5

"It was the toughest decision we had to make early in development but one we do not regret."

Story Highlights

  • Starship Troopers: Extermination is a first-person sci-fi action by Offworld Industries.
  • The title is set to launch in late 2024 on current-gen consoles and PCs.
  • We interviewed Peter Maurice, the Project’s Lead, over an email Q&A session.

Soon after working on Beyond The Wire in 2020, Offworld Industries started its next project, Starship Troopers: Extermination. It was announced in late 2022 and released as an early access title the following year.

After staying in early access for a year and a half, the developer announced the title’s late 2024 release window during the Summer Game Fest. While the game wasn’t available on consoles during its early access, it has been confirmed that the title would also be coming to the current-gen consoles.

To learn more about the game and how the past year has helped the team develop it, we spoke with Peter Maurice, the Project Lead of Starship Troopers: Extermination, over an email interview

Starship Troopers: Extermination
Starship Troopers: Extermination Has Been In Development For Around 2 Years – Image Credits: Offworld Industries
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Starship Troopers: Extermination?

Peter: I am the Project Lead responsible for the Starship Troopers: Extermination team. I get the privilege to lead an exceptionally talented and passionate team of developers on this game. Our team is made up of a group of amazing and diverse people who love and respect the Troopers Universe dearly, and that clearly shows in the game we have made and in every update we add to it.

When did the idea of developing a game based on the Starship Troopers: Extermination IP first come to mind? Do you feel that the game has successfully lived up to the expectations established by the franchise's movies?

Peter: The game idea was born during an in-studio mod creation session for our hugely successful PC game Squad. A few teammates made a rough mod using Starship Troopers influences and realized it was a fun experience; they then went back to the drawing board and pitched the idea to the studio, then Sony Tristar, and the rest, as they say, is history. We believe the game during early access has lived up to the film, and we will continue to deliver on this pre and post-official launch.

Although the overall reviews on Steam have been highly positive, how does the community feedback help develop the game?

Peter: We are a community first here at Offworld, and engaging and supporting the community are things on which we pride ourselves. We are actively involved in all our official channels, discussing the game, their feedback, and sharing info on upcoming game updates. We have recently released our Beta playtest on Steam and are actively receiving feedback on all upcoming updates well before they are released. The community feedback was a big part of how we approached our new class redesign; they told us what they liked and did not like about our original 3 classes. We used this feedback to craft the 6 existing classes, and we continue to look to the community for their feedback as we work with them and look to create new class archetypes in the future.

Starship Troopers: Extermination
Starship Troopers: Extermination Is Finally Launching Later This Year – Image Credits: Offworld Industries
Do you believe that launching Starship Troopers: Extermination in early access has been effective in meeting fans' expectations?

Peter: Honestly, any time a game enters early access, it is met with a myriad of fan expectations, as many studios treat early access differently. For us as a studio, our goal for early access was to finish the game with the community, ensuring we engaged with the community at every opportunity to stay on course and realize our vision for the game. Did we meet fan expectations? I think we delivered early and often since going into early access, with homages to the film lore and the introduction of fan-favorite weapons and bugs. The one area we want to improve is bringing more iconic moments from the films into the game; we have big plans for this at launch by introducing a terrifying bug from the movies.

Considering the abundance of exceptional first-person sci-fi action shooters in the gaming industry, was there any particular title that served as inspiration for the team before you started working on Starship Troopers: Extermination?

Peter: The inspiration for the game came from the film’s reverence within the studio and how much fun it would be to play in that world. Of course, the game’s roots came from another Offworld game called Squad.

As you guys have progressed well over the year with the game's development on PC, do you still have no plans to release the game on consoles?

Peter: We want to be where the players play. We launch the game out of early access for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S consoles on October 11, 2024.

Starship Troopers: Extermination
The Title Has Been Well Received During Its Early Access Phase – Image Credits: Offworld Industries
Moving from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5 during the development of Starship Troopers: Extermination is quite a big move. Are you satisfied with this change, and could you share your experience working with the new engine?

Peter: It was a long road through the upgrade process, and we are still walking down and learning at every stop along the way. It was the toughest decision we had to make early in development but one we do not regret. In order for us to make a living, breathing, compelling game, we needed to get on the latest and greatest tech from Epic!

Speaking of the engine, what were some of the challenges the teams faced during the transition from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5?

Peter: Moving Engines was a monumental task and one that everyone on the team felt we needed to do, but at the time, we were not prepared enough for the amount of problems and technical challenges we would have to overcome. The transition of the engine needed to be done at that time because the game was not completed, so it was still small, and some of the bigger features we wanted to do down the road were just not possible on the existing engine, so it made sense to do it early in development. These features include carnage, nanite, lumen, and Galactic War.

If we had not done it, we would not have been able to do it later as the task would have been too technically challenging for us to do, plus we would have had to change the game’s vision. The transition was one of learning and opportunity for us as a small team to grow from. It was and continues to be a challenge for us. However, we have dedicated an entire sub-team to help us through these, and we are turning the corner on the performance and learning sides. Our team is really coming to grips with the new systems that the updated to 5 system afforded us. We use Nanite and Lumen’s power in every aspect of our art pipelines. We are seeing the fruits of these laborers with the upcoming 0.8.0 update.

Now that the 0.7.1 update for Starship Troopers: Extermination has been released, what other exciting updates can players expect from the title throughout 2024?

Peter: We have many major updates coming to the game. The next big one coming is 0.8.0 Carnage on Planet X-11; this update introduces a swath of performance improvements and game optimization.

Starship Troopers: Extermination
It Is Also Coming On Cloud Gaming Service Like GeForce Now – Image Credits: Offworld Industries
Given the recent success of Helldivers 2, it appears that the genre is gaining popularity. Do you believe that this trend could have a positive impact on the prospects of Starship Troopers: Extermination?

Peter: I think the success of HD2 is good for the industry in general; we are forging our own path towards release, and we wish nothing but success to all our fellow developers in the industry.

Since it is an indie title, were there any features you couldn't implement due to a lack of resources? Can you tell us about them?

Peter: Nothing comes to mind; we have an internal feature roadmap that has been going on for many, many years. I can say this: if you have seen something in the movies, there is a good bet it will show up in the game down the line!

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers? Something we haven't touched upon yet.

Peter: Thanks. Get ready for more Bugs, Planets, Classes, and more as we reach the official launch and beyond!

YouTube video

Starship Troopers: Extermination is a first-person sci-fi shooter developed and published by Offworld Industries. The title has seen great reception during its early access phase and is set to launch on October 11 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. We thank Victoria Alberto for taking part in our interview.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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