Propel along side Disney, and LucasArts have unveiled a new line up of drones, based on the famed Star Wars battle fighters. Recently Game Hype caught up with Propel CEO Darren Matloff to bring you the lowdown on these impressive, flying, galatic artifacts.
Daniel Scott: So, we’re really interested in how it’s been put forward as a gaming platform.
Darren Matloff: What’s so cool about this, is that you get out the living room, it has an app, and the app is very compelling to begin with. A flight simulator, start out in the star wars universe. But what’s different with our app is that it’s using real physics of flying drones, so when you fly your speeder bike, the feeling of flying that speeder bike it’s unlike gaming. It’s like flying a real speeder bike outside, so it’s a very unique gaming experience. You work through a simulator and you move up, you have a commander in ether the rebel alliance or imperial navy, and move up in ranking. The challenge is to become a high admiral and it’s not easy, it will take people a long time to get there. We wanted to make sure it’s competitive, eventually you cannot get any higher, then by getting out there and actually battle.
John Betts: So would there be tournaments based on your rank?
Darren Matloff: So when you first get the drone, there’s only so many people you can battle with. Then when you move up the ranking system, become a squad leader, you’re encouraged by the company to start your own events, as a squad leader you can host 12 person battles. So it opens up the entire app, which can be based on ranking or against similar ranking levels, or it can be open for playing, kinda whatever you wanna do.
John Betts: Sounds Awesome, yeah, a lot of scope their.
Daniel Scott: Is there anything in the app at the moment which would avoid two people that know each other and both own drones, from shooting a sitting duck to rank up? Because if you’re basing your rank on the competitive scene, you’re not going to fight someone who claims to be high and mighty…
Darren Matloff: It’s hard for our software to know, that the two of us are friends, and I’m just gunna hover and let you hit me. *Laughs*, its one of the challenges, how it works is when you set up your star wars drone, you have a user profile. As like any other game, then as you improve your score, your kills, hits and skills, even players more advanced then you. It upgrades you for doing that, it keeps track of that in the cloud. You take that with you, where ever you go. Our goal as a company, is to have user hosted events, where you become very passionate about the product, and we sponsor you to have your own meet ups in the community. We’ll literally support you with drones, swag, all kinds of stuff. Then a couple of times a year, propel jump in and have a killer event, like a pro event with prizes, money etc.
John Betts: Yeah, to keep the competitive scene going, they definitely need to have those events.
Darren Matloff: Something that we’re working on right now, that we can’t talk about, but you’ll hear about it later, as I’m under strict embargo from Disney.
John Betts: Damn, Disney, Damn you!!
Darren Matloff: Let’s just say that we’re close to getting it done, has to do with countries around the world signing off.
John Betts You can give Game Hype an exclusive, we won’t tell anyone else! *Laughs*
Darren Matloff: Yeah, reckon I’ll get fired!! There’s a lot more to this product then what meets the eye. This is the first level, from 0-30 mph, it has all kinds of sensors that make them easy to fly, erm, when you become more skilled you can turn off the air pressure sensor and free fly. It comes with an infra-red battle system, so you can battle right out of the box, to get the higher scores you need to invest in the concentrated laser games, those laser’s make it a really competitive sport. On the back of the drone you have laser diodes and more laser diodes on the glass squares. So essentially if I wanna hit this tie-fighter advance I’ll have to hit it here, or there. When you become a very good pilot, you can hide your nose, spin, and when you have the class 1 laser upgrade kit, its different, its very much line of sight. So you have to chase the other drone and be skilled. It’s basically dog fighting with a laser tag, and the lasers are intelligent and that’s how we can make it a game, and it’s fast and intense.
Daniel Scott: Will the leaderboards and moderation be hosted by amazon, so will players be able to access and see who’s currently the best in the world?
Darren Matloff : Yeah, all that stuff will be available.
John Betts: Until we enter the pro-tournaments and I’ll be the best in world…..
Darren Matloff: Right, right *Sarcastly*
We’ll also have our own site hosting, be able to go all around the world and battle, and there’s lots of accessories coming out, we also have a series of these drones planned for the next couple of years, extensions like augmented reality, seeing through the cockpit. It’s gunna become more and more intense, the beautiful thing about it is, you buy it now, become a member of this platform and you start improving your skills. We’ll use the same platform for all new alliterations/products.
Daniel Scott: Are these continuations of the franchise, going to be re-skinned so to speak, different features and changes to the framework.
Darren Matloff: They’ll have different features, and there are different features today, like the speeder bike is a lot more nimble, harder to hit. You hit the speed bike you get more points, so there are differentiations between the products., already today, but yes they’ll be new products coming out.
John Betts: Thank you very much for your time, on behalf of Game Hype, we’d like to thank you for the invite today, thank you.
Daniel Scott: Yea, thank you, we can’t wait to play it.
Darren Matloff: Yes, thanks for coming.
Don’t forget to check out our review on the drones themselves, includes a detailed write up on the features etc. Propel’s Star Wars Force Friday event, begins August 31st, in exclusive partnership with retail store John Lewis.