April 23, 2015 in News
We’d like to know on average what size party do you usually play in, assuming you’re playing in a party at all.
Your feedback will help us better design the party hud.
January 13, 2015 in News
We’ve spent some time today updating the Starbound font amongst other things.
Hopefully this font should be easier to read, contains some fun symbols and also contains a huge amount more special characters.
It’ll also be useful in the upcoming custom controls GUI.
Still have the buttons to update, but here’s how SAIL looks now..
January 5, 2015 in News
Happy 2015! We’re back in the office now and we’re hard at work on moving the unstable update to stable and fixing a few issues.
In the mean time I wanted to address some of the current problems we’re aware of and explain how we’re going to deal with those problems for 1.0
Guns do too little damage
Currently guns do too little damage, particularly guns with a high rate of fire. This is a known problem and it’s largely down to the way protection works currently. Guns that shoot a small amount of damage rapidly for an overall high DPS are unfairly mitigated due to how protection functions. We’re looking at fixing the way protection handles small damage values for the stable release.
Mining is a little dull
Mining at the moment is a little uneventful and a bit of a grind. We plan to remedy this by vastly increasing the number of underground encounters, dungeons and microdungeons you’ll encounter whilst mining. Many of these dungeons will contain some of the loot you’re looking for whilst mining and save you from simply tinking away at blocks for hours on end. We’re also going to increase the range of monsters underground to mix up the experience and look into benefits for sustaining existing mines.
There’s no reason to build on a planet
Currently there’s very little reason to settle on a planet, given the utility of the ship and the amount of space it has available to it on upgrading. We plan to remedy this in a number of different ways. Firstly, we’re going to add a planet bookmark/teleportation system. This will allow you to get directly from your ship to a base you’ve set up on a planet instantly and without travelling to that planet first. Next there will be utilities and crafting resources that won’t function on your ship and will require an on planet base. Finally there will be alternative progression paths that directly require buildings of various kinds. The nomadic nature of settling in your ship is directly in support of the combat/adventure progression path.
Monster path finding is bad
We’ve made so many changes to monsters and their abilities that their path finding has suffered a lot. We’re going to be working on it and retooling it for the next stable release. Hopefully by then the monsters should be substantially smarter.
Hunger and/or temperature is gone
We made the decision to remove hunger and temperature as stats because we weren’t happy with their current implementation. They’ll be back in some form for harder difficulty levels
There’s only one path through the game
Right now adventuring and combat is more or less a requirement if you want to progress. We intend to change that with farming and building progression paths. We’d like you to be able to progress through the game with barely any combat or questing required. These paths will likely be distinct from one another so you’re able to progress through all of them individually over time.
Quests are too fetchy/there aren’t enough quests
The current quests are fetchy because we needed to create a quest line with the engine features we currently have available to us. We’re going to be expanding quests in a big way and many of the quests currently available are placeholder. With more quest triggers we can massively expand the kind of quests available to us and we’re going to be adding some form of procedurally generated quests too.
July 22, 2014 in News
Lots more work was done today on the Novakids today. They’re now in game and functional though there’s still a great deal to do in terms of all the content that surrounds a race. From descriptions, to ships, to armor sets and weapons. Stephen is desperate to add a wild west style village at some point too.
We’ve decided that rather than craft swords, the Novakids are expert gunsmiths capable of forging guns from even basic materials. As such the Novakids are able to craft guns from the outset. We’re carefully working on balancing guns against swords so that no one race has an advantage over another. But playing a Novakid should change up the gameplay a fair bit.
Novakids are also getting a steam train themed spaceship. Upgrading the ship will add carriages to the end for extra building room.
I’ve been working on Novakids whilst Kyren and co finish up some engine features required for the next stage of progression. The engine features will allow us to create stand alone dungeon planets and shield generators to protect them. Shield generators will stop players placing or mining blocks in a given radius to force a proper playthrough of a dungeon or protect a progression fundamental structure.
Until next time!
July 21, 2014 in News
Some of this post will be lifted from a reddit comment I made earlier today. But I felt it was important enough that I should give it a bit more visibility.
I wanted to talk a little bit about early access and how arbitrary both the term ‘finished game’ and the version number 1.0 are when talking about a game like Starbound.
We receive a lot of criticism about pushing back the date of the ‘finished’ version of the game and often people claim we’ve broken a promise by not delivering that finished version already. But what does finished mean here?
The context that’s missing here is that unlike many early access games, the game is already fully playable, and although it doesn’t have everything we want to put in it yet (which is what’s holding it back from a 1.0 release) I feel we could have released what we currently have AS 1.0, outside of early access.
The average amount of play time a Starbound player has built up is around 26 hours, with many players playing for well over 500 hours. (this does not include the launcher being open).
We’re all still trying to figure out just what early access is, at what stage games should go in and out of early access and what the expectations are. As Starbound stands, our sharing of our future plans aside, it could leave early access and be an entirely reasonable stand alone game. The huge number of hours people have poured into it is a testament to that, given that the games purpose is to provide entertainment. Early access for us is a means of showing people that this is a game we’re still working on, that their feedback is important to us and that there are going to be big changes. It absolutely doesn’t devalue what’s there. In fact many publications have chosen to review the game in it’s current state and given it great reviews.
And whilst I’m sorry that we haven’t yet put everything in the game that we’ve mentioned wanting to put into the game, I feel as a developer we’ve chosen to be really open and communicative and that means just talking without overly vetting what we say. Sometimes that means getting excited about a feature we want to put in but it takes a lot longer than we’d planned. Our having plans that haven’t been implemented yet also doesn’t take away from or devalue what is already there.
We’ve been criticised for not updating the game enough, especially as we said that we’d be putting out updates thick and fast. Along side that, we also warned that these updates would be buggy and broken because of the speed at which we were pushing them. We started updating the main game in this way but people quickly lost patience with small / constant / buggy updates and we took the time to move those updates to a new opt-in branch in steam. So the nightly updates *are* the thick and fast, buggy and broken updates we promised. They appear every single day. And the game on the main branch exists as a perfectly playable stand alone whilst we continue to work.
The way games are developed and sold has changed dramatically in recent years and the language we use to describe the state of a game is changing too. What does 1.0 or finished mean now?
1.0 used to be the version at which the game was released and sold. Finished was the point at which a game went on sale. By this old definition Starbound is technically finished. However we’ve obviously decided not to label the game 1.0 or finished. Yet the game is available to buy. So what does 1.0 mean now?
I feel 1.0 is an arbitrary release number and it’s down to us to decide what 1.0 means in the context of our game. If anything, 1.0 exists as a guide for the people that want to wait and play the game when it’s in a state that we are entirely happy with it.
We’ve chosen to keep upping the ante for 1.0, but that absolutely doesn’t mean that what’s available and playable right now is any less a game, any less enjoyable or any less worth the £9 we ask for it.
July 18, 2014 in News
So today the tile rendering changes were almost completed. (Just a few bugs left with platforms and pipes).
On a lot of computers you’ll see an absolutely huge performance increase because of this and we’d love to hear about how it works on yours.
So if you’re playing with the nightlies, please give it a go. It should come out some time tonight/tomorrow.
You can find out what FPS you’re getting by using the /debug command and the /togglelogmap command. You’ll see your current FPS displayed under render_fps there. If you want to see what your maximum fps is you can disable vsync via config to hit above 60.
As always, if the game is crashing on startup in the nightlies, just delete the universe and player directories (after backing them up) and delete starbound.config.
Hopefully the performance increase will be as huge as it’s been on our test machines!
July 16, 2014 in News
July 9, 2014 in News
We’ve been in Brighton today for the develop awards and gamesbythesea, so not much to report today. I wanted to share our plans for tier 2 with you though.
-warning spoilers ahead-
After repairing the ships thrusters your ship AI scans the surroundings and finds a mysterious ancient gate floating in space. Flying to the gate allows you to land and examine the gate. Which is actually a long abandoned interdimensional transport system.
Traveling through the gate takes you to an asteroid in a pocket dimension where you meet other travelers that have also found these long abandoned gates and chosen to set up a trading post on the asteroid.
The trading post will represent the first static location in Starbound. With its own lore, residents and back story. It exists outside of the procedurally generated star map in its own dimension and can also be accessed from any gate the player finds in space.
At the outpost you’ll find people to give you quests, including quests that lead to a furnace upgrade and a quest to obtain breathing apparatus that allows you to visit moons. To complete these quests you’ll need to visit planets in the solar system the gate is in.
Once the breathing apparatus is obtained players can visit moons where they’ll find structures built from/mining moon stone. Moon stone can be used to fix the ships FTL drives.
On top of all of this of course will be new armors, weapons and crafting progression.
July 7, 2014 in News
Today has been a long long day of bug fixing and balancing.
After many many play tests of the early game, including repairing your ship, rebooting your ship AI, completing new quests, new death rules and mining rules. I finally have the early game in the place I want it. It feels balanced, fluid, there’s very little to no grind and you progress quickly beyond the low tech / stranded portion of the game. The majority of recipes have had their values tweaked. Ore, minibiome, cave, chest and monster spawns have been entirely rebalanced.
I’ve been staring at a lot of these images today:
We’re moving on now to the quest generation system and connecting the new outpost work you’ve seen to the games progression. We’re building the quest system so modders can super easily add their own quests, which can be given by npcs, item pickups and even other quests. The quest system will be built on templates. A super simple example of which would be “Kill monster X and obtain item Y” where X and Y are wildcards specified in a whitelist. The idea now is to fill the game with optional tasks with cool rewards.
We’re going to be coming up with a bunch of quest templates come the morning, so feel free to leave your suggestions!