Starbound Progress

April 17, 2014 in News


I’ve seen some requests for information recently and whilst that info is out there I understand that not everyone uses every medium so I’m trying to make it easier to find.

So why have the Starbound updates slowed down a bit? The reason is two fold and it certainly has nothing to do with us taking the money and running.

The first reason is relocating the team. This is a complex and time consuming process that is (thankfully) almost at an end. We hope to have the entire team over here by the end of the month. Making this work has meant going through the visa process, setting up a work space, finding a new home for each person, team members driving for days to get legal documentation. It’s been a challenge.

Some people tell us that its a waste of time and there is no benefit to working in the same office when tools exist to work remotely. These people are grossly mistaken.

Starbound is a collaborative project and its biggest time overhead right now is communication. We have a team spanning multiple timezones. There are times when the expertise or knowledge of someone that won’t be around for another 8 hours is required for another team member to continue their work. Resulting in working days lost waiting for info. Explaining complex programming or architectural issues online is tricky and takes far longer, having to share files online or rebuild your game binary just to see a suggested change because you are unable to physically see another members PC is time consuming. The list of issues working in the same office will solve is very long.

This hasn’t been an easy decision for anyone. After all these are people dedicated enough to be uprooting their entire lives to come to another country, away from family and friends. Given that Starbound is a profit share they won’t be paid any extra and moving is expensive. But they’re doing it to ensure that Starbound is the best it can be.

The other reason updates have slowed down was the community response to faster updates. People like to point out that we said we would deliver near daily small updates and have failed to do so. They do not however point out that we made the decision to go back to more substantial updates because we were criticised heavily for putting out small updates without much substance (though larger updates were ongoing behind the scenes). Critics argued passionately that updates containing one new sub biome, or new guns, or new structures, or new weather was just pointless fluff and they wanted real ‘game changing’ updates. So we listened and that’s what we went back to focusing on. We’ve been working on building a new progression system, new ship upgrade system, new navigation system, new monster and combat systems, all behind the scenes for one bigger update. Bigger updates take time. You simply can’t have it both ways. Daily updates are small because small updates are all that can be produced in a day.

Once we have the team over in the UK we will be focusing on finishing our large game changing, progression update. Whilst providing bug fixes and small changes to the existing version. As well as pushing out updates unrelated to progression such as combat changes.

I hope this gives you an idea of what’s going on.

Welcome Metadept

April 10, 2014 in News

We’re super excited to be welcoming Metadept to the Starbound team.


Here’s what Metadept has to say..


Hey there, everyone, I’m metadept! I’ve been looking forward to Starbound since it was first announced and modding since the beta release, creating mods such as Sparkz and Starfoundry and helping new modders to learn about the game’s inner workings. Now, I’m very excited to be joining the Chucklefish team, where I can put my experience to use making Starbound better for everyone!

My first major task will be overhauling the monster AI system and helping Tiy and the others to add new monster attacks and behaviors, new unique monsters, and of course new bosses. The new “partparameters” configuration format that I added last week was the first step, making it easier for us to give monsters special attacks and skills that fit their visual appearance. Now, I’m changing the way that monsters select attacks to use, allowing them to have a variety of abilities for different situations. The Starbound universe is going to get a lot more dangerous in all the right ways!

In addition to general AI improvements, I’ve read through all the great suggestions for attacks and behaviors you’ve posted, and have a TON of ideas that I can’t wait to implement. I’ll also be helping to expand the Lua API and improve documentation for modders, adding more interactive objects, and hopefully even fulfilling a few of my own wishes for the game.

The future of Starbound is bright. Let’s explore it together!

Part Parameters

April 4, 2014 in News

Today we’ve been working on a new method of defining which skills monsters have access to.

We now have master lists that tie skills to monster body parts. Rather than configuring the skills on a per body part basis.

This makes it far easier for us to test individual skills and we’re going to use it to begin building lots of new monster attacks for increased variety.




We’ve also been working on the new Psi-staff weapon type we mentioned in previous posts and adding secondary attacks to weaponry.

We loved reading through everyone’s feedback on the weapons yesterday, there was lots of useful information in there. So today I’m going to ask specifically for suggestions for monster skills/attacks.



More Combat stuff

April 2, 2014 in News

So for our first combat change push (coming to unstable today/tomorrow most likely). Here are the following changes for discussion.

- Axes, shortswords, daggers, spears and some miscellaneous weapons are now aimable


- Broadswords and Hammers remain non directional but have long range and a big swing arc

- The swoosh speed is faster, meaning greater timing required (Need to test this with latency online)

- Monsters have been made 50% slower across the board. Monsters still have different speeds based on their legs however, so spider legged monsters still run much faster than the others.

- Monster jump height has been reduced

- Monsters feel heavier and knockback has been tweaked


Here are some known issues

- The rotational arm sprite breaks when it’s behind the player

- The spear is now far too good, it has always had greater damage than other weapons given how hard it has been to hit monsters with it.

- There is a small delay ( a couple miliseconds) between hitting a monster and the monster reacting with knockback we need to look at removing


Here are some planned additions

- Two handed weapons will get secondary attacks

- Broadswords will have a short (you can’t hold it indefinitely) timed block

- Hammers will have a new swipe that does lower damage for increased knockback

- Spears are open to discussion

- A new weapon class the psi-staff is coming. A device that amplifies psychic ability to produce magic like effects. Gameplay wise this will spawn various projectiles at your mouse cursor, you’ll need to click and hold down the attack button to charge the staff before a projectile appears and moving will cancel the charge.

- Making common guns more common and legendary guns more rare

- Increasing the differences between different guns



Ship upgrades and some new shots of the office

April 1, 2014 in News

So I’m being asked a lot lately when ship upgrades are going to be pushed to the public.

The answer is not for a while yet. The reason being that they’re part of a massive progression update that we’re working on along side the small updates we keep pushing to steam.

Once that progression update is complete you’ll get the ship upgrades plus a whole lot more.


You can find six new photos of our office here:

Office beta 3!


still not finished, but getting close! It’ll be full of Chucklefish staff this/next month!

Upcoming combat changes

April 1, 2014 in News

So combat has been on the list of things to revamp for some time and we’re currently implementing and tweaking a bunch of the combat mechanics based on feedback.

Implemented so far:

* directional melee weapons. You now aim your swing with the mouse cursor. Some mods attempted to make melee weapons directional in the past and although these mods repositioned the weapons hitbox they didn’t rotate it. We now have a true implementation of aimable melee.

*weapon ‘swoosh’ stays on screen for  a shorter amount of time making you time your swing precisely

*monsters move roughly 50% slower

*monsters feel heavier

*monsters jump less high

*knock back adjusted

I’ll be continuing to work on combat for a couple of weeks and will be updating on progress regularly. Feedback is welcome. I’ll be pushing updates to combat on the unstable branch fairly often so you can give it a try.


Work on monster gen

March 28, 2014 in Media, News



Some examples of new large water/large flying monster gen types coming to the game some time in the not too distant future.

Chucklefish are Hiring

March 19, 2014 in News

Hello guys,

So Chucklefish have are hiring for a bunch of positions across 2 different projects.


- We’re currently taking applications for lua scripters to assist in the development of Starbound. This includes writing scripts for new tech, monster behaviours, weapons and more. Ideally able to attend our offices in London, but a remote position is a possibility for an ideal candidate.


Unnamed Pirate Project

Chucklefish are putting together a second team to produce a new title on a revenue share basis.

Taking a pirate theme and mixing in roguelike elements with procedurally generated zelda style dungeon running, RPG and multiplayer gameplay.

We’re looking for a range of different skills including

- 2D artists capable of a range of different styles including the ability to animate

- Programmers with knowledge of a range of languages, ideally with completed projects of some kind to show

- Sound designers

- level designers

- Other generally wonderful, talented people

Both local (in office) and remote positions are available.

mockup_with_chars  sketches1 char_sketches2


If interested send your CV / why you should be involved to business AT chucklefish DOT org


Outpost Art

March 10, 2014 in Featured, News

Part of the new progression system detailed in earlier posts is the new “outpost” planet type.

Here you’ll find all manner of npcs willing to buy your goods, give you quests and rent your properties.

Have a look at some of the new art from George, click for larger image

23rd February

February 23, 2014 in News

Hi guys,

So today we spent our Sunday having a long (5 hours!) design discussion in which we are pencilling in the finer details of the games progression.

As we said before, the current progression is entirely temporary, existing to provide temporary gameplay whilst we work on the engine. Today I want to share more with you about the games new structure and the beginning of the game.

First of all we’re removing the different universe sectors. In the final game there will be only three sectors. The sector the majority of the game takes place in, a pvp sector and a creative sector without dangers.

Instead of progressing through the game sector by sector, you’ll advance by upgrading your tech to allow you to visit planets that were otherwise inaccessible due to hazards. An example being a planet with no breathable air. Progression will be less linear and more akin to the kind of progression you find in modern metroidvanias.

We’re building the game with 3 main paths of progression that branch off later on. Farming, adventuring and building. We want players to be able to advance through the game whilst doing whatever they enjoy most.

At the beginning of the game (what would be the alpha sector in the current progression) you start on a ship with a broken fuel module, giving you access to only one planet. Through a series of quests you’re taught how to farm, find trophies in dungeons and build the beginnings of a settlement. Completing these quests will give you the pixels you need to use your ships 3d printer to produce a new fuel module. Which in turn allows progression to the other planets in your current solar system.

At this stage were introducing a new planet type called an outpost. A small and safe planet populated by members of every race. A safe haven for trade and quest taking. You’ll learn how to generate pixels through selling crops, taking quests, selling trophies found in dungeons and renting out houses in your settlement.

From here each of these roles will expand outwards as you progress (for example animal farming becomes an optional part of the farming progression).

More on that later