Alex Preston might be a relative unknown in the game development community, but his first game is definitely off to a good start .

Hyperlight Drifter has been ruminating in Preston’s head for years and years until he began working on it seriously at the beginning of 2013. Once the game hit Kickstarter early in September, it generated hefty amount of buzz with more than 12,000 backers pouring in over $300,000 thus far. The game exceeded its $27,000 funding goal just nine hours in.

“It’s been amazing, the love from the gaming community,” Preston said. “It can be hard and unforgiving at times, but it’s bolstered this whole thing.”

The game is far from completion, but trailers show a game that really knows what it wants to be. Preston is a graduate of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and has worked as a freelance illustrator.The pixel-art style he’s brought to Hyperlight Drifter evokes a well worn feel that fits in with a world that is built around a long forgotten civilization.

“This is my first endeavor. I just have the good fortune of knowing a lot of indie developers. It’s good contacts that will help me make a really awesome game.”

The unnamed drifter that is the protagonist of Hyperlight Drifter is a mystery, but it’s obvious that he is an explorer that is capable of defending himself. In one screenshot he steps into a room and there is a giant robot bathed in light streaming in from above. In another he’s fighting his way through scores of baddies in order to escape some  dark catacombs.

Preston is tight lipped about the details though. “I want to be secretive because it’s a core component of the game,” he said. “He’s struggling with his own disease and trying to find a cure for it.”

Preston said the game was influenced by the works of Hayao Miyazaki, the famous Japanese animated filmmaker and recently retired head of Studio Ghibli. “Miyasaki is a brilliant director, writer and animator…everything the man touches is golden,” he said. “He creates very thoughtful worlds that deal with issues of humanity, ultimate survival and longevity. The man touches on themes close to my heart.”

Hyperlight Drifter will have combat, but its intended to be a game about exploration given the nature of Drifters. It’s their job to collect forgotten knowledge and unknown history, not hack and slash monsters.

“I want to focus on exploring this vast worlds,” Preston said. “The player will be trekking across large lands, big labs and military exploration sites. Most of the stuff has been abandoned for eons.”

While Hyperlight Drifter is Preston’s first foray into game development, he’s gotten support from some notable friends. Beau Blythe, developer of Samurai Gunn, is heavily involved along with Rich Vreeland, the audio man behind Fez. Matt Nava the art director behind Journey has also shown support of Hyperlight Drifter. The current development team will most likely expand to five or six including Blythe, Preston and Vreeland once the Kickstarter ends on Oct. 12.

With the the Kickstarter doing so well, Hyperlight Drifter is headed to both Playstation Vita and Playstation 4 once it is finished. There is also a Steam Greenlight campaign underway. Preston said that he expects the game to release at the summer of next year.

“This is my first endeavor. I just have the good fortune of knowing a lot of indie developers,” Preston said. “It’s good contacts that will help me make a really awesome game.”

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Jose is a straight shooter who always goes the paragon route. He joined the team at Indie Haven to spread the word about indie games all across the galaxy. When not aboard the Normandy, he lives in the San Francisco Bay Area playing video games and plotting ways to rid the world of games like Colonial Marines.

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