Hey there, Earth-Dwellers,
STARWHAL is about to get a name change, and we’d like to offer some explanation as to why we are doing this. After some pretty serious deliberation, Breakfall is choosing to drop the “Just the Tip” subtitle from our game, STARWHAL. This decision is being made entirely by Breakfall, on its own accord.
FEAR NOT! We're still hard at work on the game, and this doesn't come with any other changes to our master plan to bring you the ULTIMATE space narwhal combat simulation. And we’re still excited to have STARWHAL hitting gamers' couches across planet Earth on consoles in 2015! Remember you can already play on Steam. And if you don't have a sweet PS4, PS3, or WiiU in your gaming lair, other consoles are also in the works.
So why the change to the name?
The “Just the Tip” subtitle was originally the entire title of the game when it was created during Global Game in January 2013. Global Game Jam is an event where a team undertakes the challenge of creating a game in 48 hours. It’s a difficult and often sleepless task! During the jam, we needed to come up with something to name our game as we worked. At that time, Just the Tip both made us laugh, and felt like it (sorta-kinda) described the gameplay. After the game jam we wanted a more descriptive name, and the brilliant pun “Starwhal” seemed to perfectly describe the lovable neon space mammals battling across the stars. We kept the original title - Just the Tip - as a subtitle.
Unfortunately, the subtitle itself has been a bit of a contentious issue. It turns out the answer to the question “what’s in a name?” can sometimes be “a massive can of worms.” There are two main reasons we want to drop the subtitle at this point.
The first issue is representing the game as adult-oriented when it's in fact totally family friendly. It's a game about colourful, smiling sea creatures poking each other in outer space. In our experience, kids love playing STARWHAL just as much as anyone else! But we've seen some parents with children hesitate around our booth at various events. This makes a certain amount of sense; if they don't know what the game is about, the subtitle can convey entirely the wrong idea. Everyone is free to imagine whatever subtext they like, but the game isn't overtly adult-oriented, and we're happy to have all ages participate. This is especially true as we move to consoles.
The second, and for some members of our team the larger issue, is that our dumb joke really makes some people uncomfortable. At some of the events we've attended, either participants or organizers have brought up being uncomfortable with the title.
From the beginning, our intention with this project was to have some playful, maybe even immature, fun. The subtitle probably helped us get some attention when the game was initially released, but we don’t think it’s the core of what makes STARWHAL great. A lot of people shared a chuckle with a nudge and a wink at our innuendo-laden subtitle. But some people have much more negative associations with the phrase “just the tip”, and were obviously upset about it. We don’t think all game developers need to censor themselves, but the joke in the title isn’t so important to us that we want to ruin the fun for any significant number of players.
As you can probably tell from the game itself, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously when dreaming anything up in our exhausted race through Game Jam, or even in the time during development since. We’re hoping you still giggle at the ridiculous humor as you ride a space narwhal wrapped in a burrito with all your friends and family. With glowing tusks and sparkling flukes, we wish you much silliness and merriment throughout your STARWHAL adventures.
We hope you can appreciate our reasoning here whether or not you agree. We appreciate you sticking with us this far, and to all our fans, again we say thank you!
See you in the grid!