Heart Forth, Alicia Launches Its Kickstarter Campaign

April 16, 2014 in Featured, News

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Aaand we’re interrupting our regularly scheduled program to announce that Chucklefish is publishing Heart Forth, Alicia, an epic Metroidvania RPG that combines beautifully crafted pixel art, modern mechanics and a set of immersive, unique and intertwining stories. It’s being developed by Alonso Martin.

Heart Forth, Alicia was a solo project first conceived by Alonso Martin seven years ago. He’s worked on the project on and off ever since, and he’s done just about everything– art, design, code and even some of the music, but he’s looking to speed up development with the help of other talented developers– namely Jonathan Geer, Andrew Silverman, Steve Seator, and the animation studio Fu Essence– so today they’re kicking off their Kickstarter campaign!

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They’re a fantastic group of devs working on something truly beautiful and unique that we believe you guys will love, and we’re honored to be publishing for them. :)

There’s loads more exciting information about the game on their Kickstarter and website and they’ve got some really cool backer rewards, so go check it out, okay?

You can also check out the Heart Forth, Alicia forums here.

PS – Backers get an exclusive Starbound-inspired item! ;)

I said “HEY, WHAT’S GOIN’ ON”

March 28, 2014 in Featured, News, Patch Notes

(That song is stuck in your head now– you’re welcome.)

Good morning/afternoon/evening, guys! Happy Friday to you.

This week’s been a slow week. I think there’s been some misinformation leading to people thinking that everyone’s already moved over to the UK and has settled into office life, this is not actually the case! Those of us who are moving are doing so in mid-April to early May, so while Tiy and some of our other UK employees have set up the office and have been working there, a lot of us have been scrambling around collecting necessary documents and preparing to move our lives across the ocean. Several team members were doing that this week (or coming back from GDC, or breaking their tailbones, or just moving house in the US).

I know, I know, we’ve been talking about this stuff for ages now and you don’t care, you want a big update. Sorry.

To that end, we have been working all week on bigger progression updates– some of which you may have seen teaser images of already– and will be pushing another smaller update hopefully later today, which I will post about separately once it’s up. Aforementioned teaser images:


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Ship upgrades are finally coming soon to a Starbound near you! You’ll soon start out with a ship that looks like it’s on its last legs (above, click for full size), gradually upgrading to something a bit more forboding. The example above is an Avian ship. :)

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We’re also working to improve navigation, giving you access to more useful info about planets. Answers to the important questions, like, “Will my beautiful sunlit forest cottage be unceremoniously crushed under the weight of an enormous meteor?” Here’s a WIP screenshot of the new UI (above).

And, as Tiy posted in an update earlier today, we’ve been working on the monster gen for very large flying/swimming monsters. They look cooooool and I am excited.

[STABLE] Update March 18th, 2014

March 18, 2014 in Featured, News, Patch Notes

Updating to let you guys know that everything listed in the previous [UNSTABLE] update has been pushed to the [STABLE] beta branch. We have pushed the big red button. :D

windstorm

Please let us know in the comments below if you’re experiencing bugs/crashes new to this patch. Keep in mind that we can’t account for bugs or crashes caused by incompatible mods.

Crash logs make it infinitely easier for us to diagnose and fix bugs!  Your crash log is a file called starbound.log located in your Starbound directory, which you can find by right-clicking the game in Steam and clicking Properties -> Local Files -> Browse Local Files. Open up the crash log, copy its contents, paste them into Pastebin and give us the link. :)

[UNSTABLE] Updates March 14th, 2014

March 14, 2014 in Featured, News, Patch Notes

Hey guys! We’ve been working a lot on progression this week, but that stuff’s not quite ready to be pushed yet. We have pushed a small update to unstable, though! No updates to the stable branch, as we’ve still got a bug or two to fix first. We’ll be making one more upload tonight, and then hopefully pushing an update to stable on Monday.

Remember to report any new bugs (relevant to this update) in the comments below!

  • More edge case lua <-> C++ work
  • Made songbook UI more compact
  • 2 new weathers! (ground mist and wind storm)
  • Several more Agaran encounters and objects

I’m only allowed to show you the tiniest of teaser images for the encounters (below), BUT you should check out this month’s newsletter for more news about the Agarans, cool mods, and the return of monthly wallpapers. :)

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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

[UNSTABLE] Updates March 8, 2014

March 8, 2014 in Featured, News, Patch Notes

Hey guys! Some stuff’s been pushed to the unstable testing branch. Take a look. :D

Spacedust Shower

Shiny new stuff:

  • 5 new weathers – sandstorm, snowstorm, fog, ash storm, space dust
  • A couple new Agaran hats (shroomhead3 and shroomhead4)
  • More objects for Heck! (heckpillar1, heckpillar2, hecksign)
  • Some mysterious Floran pods

Bug fixes:

  • Possible fix for repeat keys never triggering callback, hence resulting in old data being used (e.g. after holding backspace to clear account in server connect dialog).
  • Unix & Windows LockFile implementation, also fix bug with texturing flag not being moved during operator=
  • Fixed sit alignment on tier10 chair
  • Much improved variant <-> lua handling
  • Assorted engine fixes (e.g “Tag manifest as windows 7 compatible, trying to work our way out from under compatflags”)

v. Enraged Koala Patch Notes

February 18, 2014 in Featured, News, Patch Notes

Not guaranteed to woo space monsters. :(

Roses are red
The dirt on Alpha Tau Aur 5472 IV is blue
This update is a bit late for Valentine’s Day
Oops

This update will allow us to add new biomes and make changes to worlds without the possibility of the player losing their world. There will likely be one more world wipe sometime in the future when we finalize the universe layout. This won’t include a character/ship wipe, though, and you can still back up your worlds.

A ton of work has gone into our patching system. After this update, we’ll be able to push content updates as and when they’re completed, rather than waiting for big engine updates to be completed. Updates after this patch will come at a near daily rate.
Additional goodies:

  • Valentine’s Day items including swords, costumes, decorations, bow, etc
  • Engine feature, tech can now be granted by armors
  • Keybinding reconfiguration, minus the UI (you can reconfigure keys through a config file- check here for a tutorial)
  • Server stability fixes for servers with many players
  • New death animations
  • Engine feature, all objects are now scriptable and interactive
  • More Avian weaponry
  • Projectile changes
  • Dogs can now be captured (lots more pets coming soon)
  • A bunch of new items and smaller pieces of content
  • New (actually sounds good!) microphone instrument with sounds provided by Smooth McGroove!
  • Bug where warping to magma/volcano biomes caused crashing was fixed.

Additional content has been created (new biomes, etc) but will come out just after this patch, as it needs to be adapted to the new content update system.

*Note: We did an oops and missed some of the content updates when we uploaded the patch, so we’ll be putting out another patch a bit later today that includes the missing stuff (the Valentine’s Day items, new microphone sounds, possibly some more).

The future of Chucklefish and Starbound

February 4, 2014 in Featured, News

Hi guys,

It’s been a while since we posted an update as we’ve been feverishly working away on the game. But we’ve had an increasing number of requests to detail what the finished game will be like. So I wanted to go into detail on what we consider the finished Starbound experience to be (subject to change! as always). As well as where Chucklefish is going in the future.

 

The future of Starbound

The following is a collection of some of the broad changes coming to Starbound in terms of progression. Not included are smaller self contained features like ship upgrades, vehicles and so on.

Progression

As it stands, almost the entirety of the progression in Starbound is temporary. Built quickly to enable some basic gameplay during beta.

The final game will be structured differently.

The current 10 tiers of gameplay will all play out on the same Starmap, with each tier introducing hazards that can only be overcome by progressing through the previous tier and completing a mission at the end of each tier.

To access a mission at the end of each tier you need to obtain a certain number of pixels.

An example of this progression would be:

Play through tier 1 and gain enough pixels too.. > access the tier 1 mission > fight tier 1 boss > gain oxygen tank tech > now able to access tier 2 planets with non breathable atmosphere

 

Obtaining Pixels

Obtaining pixels will be key to progressing through Starbound. To access the mission in each tier you must first gather a certain number of pixels.

Currently obtaining pixels in Starbound feels like a bit of a grind. Particularly given the pixel death penalty and the high cost of various pixel sinks. In large part however this is down to unimplemented features being missing.

In the finished game you’ll be able to earn pixels in a multitude of different ways, essentially allowing you to play through the game the way you want to play. If you’d like to become an intergalactic farmer, growing and selling crops, keeping livestock and so on. The farming feature will be fleshed out enough for that to be your means of pixel gathering. On the other hand, if you prefer to be an adventurer, taking quests and gaining pixels as rewards. That route is just as good. Perhaps you prefer to be a builder, charging npcs rent based on the quality of the homes they inhabit. A pirate, robbing towns and ransacking villages. A tomb raider, gathering rare artifacts.

There will be many different routes through the game, each just as deep and profitable as the last. Each will branch out and become more complex as the player advances through tiers, unlocks new technology and becomes more proficient in their chosen skills. Essentially we’re describing the gameplay equivalent of a tech/skill tree.

 

End game

So eventually you’re going to get through all of the missions, you’ll have the best gear and you’ll be looking for a new challenge. This is where sector X comes in. Sector X is a collection of planets in which PVP is enabled by default and players battle over controlling various planets. To take part in the battle you first have to form an organisation (in game), which gives you access to a space station shared by other members of your organisation. The space station doubles as a ship that any captain in the organisation can control and is constructed from blocks and objects for full customization.

The PVP in this sector is entirely optional, players choose whether or not to attack each other or work together. Monsters, quests and events will be strong enough to be challenging even with the best tools in the game. And in game events, invasions and so on will keep the experience fresh.

 

Director Mode

On top of sector X, one major part of the replayable content will be director mode. Director mode exists within a separate Starbound client that allows admins to connect to their servers with a range of new tools built to control the action for their players. Admins in director mode (there can be multiple), will be able to spawn blocks, items, monsters, npcs at will. Take direct control over them, have them speak and interact with players. Essentially director mode allows admins to take on a similar role to that of a dungeon master in D&D, creating scenarios and stories on the fly to ensure players never have the same experience twice.

 

User made mission sharing

Using in game wiring tools players will be able to create their own mission maps and challenges that can be shared with other players. Custom missions installed on a server will be available to all players at any point and will function as instances. Parties will be able to enter these instances together as many times as they like.

 

Mod support

We’ve taken steps towards better mod support recently with the implementation of a .pak file system. Essentially condensing an entire mod into a single file. We’re not far away from also implementing a system for servers to share these pak files with clients on connect. This will allow mod authors and server admins to entirely overhaul the vanilla starbound experience for the players on their server.

 

Server security

We’re implementing a range of security checks to minimize cheating on a broad scale. But for admins that desire absolute security we will also eventually be implementing server side characters, including server side accounts and the option to require a new character the first time a new player connects. We want to empower server admins to create a unique experience on their server.

 

Update Schedule

Currently our update schedule relies entirely on waiting for engine updates to be finished before we are able to push any content updates to steam. After the next update we’re actually changing the way we work and separating content updates and engine updates. What this means for the end user is that content updates will hit several times a week instead of once every week/two weeks. The game will constantly evolve and you may find new things every time you log in.

 

The future of Chucklefish

So that’s Starbound, how about Chucklefish as a company?

 

Opening offices

We’ve actually just signed for a new office that we’ll be opening in London in the next 2 or 3 weeks. It’s a very exciting time for us, we’ll finally be working in the same room right in front of each other and our productivity is going to improve massively as a result. We also intend to provide some temporary office space for the games we publish and assist on. We’ll be blogging about opening the office soon, complete with photos and whatnot.

 

Publishing

We’re going to continue helping out smaller indie companies publish their titles. Games on the horizon include Stardew Valley, Halfway, Treasure Adventure World, Wanderlust Adventures and more. We’d like to progress more in this space and assist indie developers make their games profitable without giving away huge percentages of their income away to predatory publishers.

 

A second game

We’re going to be producing a second game along side Starbound, with an entirely new development team. We’ll be looking into hiring UK developers for this project shortly (CVs to [email protected] if you’re interested!) This won’t slow down the production of Starbound at all, worry not,  I will be assisting in the design but we’ll be working with entirely new developers. At the moment we’re still in the stage where we’re kicking around ideas, one that keeps popping up is a top down, open world, multiplayer pirate game.

 

 

 

Changelog for v. Furious Koala

January 26, 2014 in Featured, News

You can find these patch notes on the launcher screen, but I thought I’d paste ‘em here for easy access. We’re aware there may be issues with a Steam update crashing the Mac build at the moment! It’s an issue with Steam– disable the Steam overlay to fix it in the meantime. Also hot-fixing an issue that causes stutter for people on lower-end computers and making the unpacker safer to use. Patch really soon (like today, not a month from now).

Changelog for v. Furious Koala  26/01/2014

Hey there Stargazers and Sports Racers, it’s been quite some time since the last patch, and we have some very large changes dropping this release.

Code Changes:

  •  Absolutely massive changes to disk serialization (sorry reversers), which will allow us to never need to wipe players or ships again, and hopefully never need to wipe worlds again.
  • Related, we now have a proper versioning system for save files.
  • Added difficulty levels and permadeath characters to the game.
  • Packed assets into databases (speeds up startup significantly), and included asset packing and unpacking utilities with the distribution.
  • This should also allow for easier distribution of mods, and easier construction and management of slimmed down distributions for dedicated servers (official server paks coming soon.)
  • Fix some graphical glitches with the wire nodes.
  • Fixed some pretty nasty deadlocking bugs with networking.
  • Fixed some very strange memory leak bugs stemming from a gcc lambda capture bug.
  • Fixed various crash bugs related to a number of different issues (more specifics listed in “Info About the Upcoming Patch“– thanks for the bug reports, keep em coming)
  • Speed up improvements with falling sand and other projectiles.
  • More efficient databases storage layout.
  • Documentation for lua functions have been written, and we’re going to release them soonish.
  • Removed NaN floats from the code for performance reasons (reenabled -ffinite-math-only), we had been using them to signal that the float is disabled or in an invalid state, but we have a system for that now.
  • Some internal changes that make maintaining code much happier for us, including better enum to string handling and much faster compiles.
  • Other minor things, too numerous to list here (see “Info About the Upcoming Patch“).

Fun Changes:

  • It’s no longer the holiday, so we’ve removed the holiday stuff for now, we’ll put them back when we have a better way of enabling it for holiday time.
  • PVP is now forced enabled within Sector X.  If you’re in a party there’s no team damage though.
  • All player drops are persistent now.  So if you accidentally throw your diamond drill down a mineshaft, you don’t have to suicide trying to get it back before it disappears.
  • New Monster attacks (gravity slam! gust attacks! other stuff!)
  • Fixed Legendary Weapons damage (adjusted up to be more… well… Legendary.)
  • We’ve put in new Techs (such as a Glitch Mech).
  • New biome type enabled.  Savannah.
  • Boss Lore!
  • No more eating bandages and stims, they have their own thing now.
  • Better, more featureful .abc file support, and we have Wanderlust music in the game now.  (Thanks Leth and D2!)
  • Made NPC chatter more configurable and slightly more varied.
  • Added new objects (such as lava biome treasure chests).
  • Added new items (like nightsticks and bonesaws).
  • Sword swooshes are only active for 0.6 seconds instead of 0.9 seconds.
  • Making cooldown times actually matter without slowing down combat.  Also fine tuned their hitboxes.
  • Viking helmet?  Viking helmet.
  • Watch out for landmines.
  • Various changes to treasure drop pools (like Avian Guards actually dropping their guns…)
  • Minor tweaks to existing armors to make them look better.
  • Medieval Furnace now actually acts like a Furnace. (Rejoice).
  • Graphical upgrades to some existing plants, and new plants.
  • Lots more secret stuff! :OOO

We look forward to hearing what you think about the patch.  It was a very big one this time around.

Info about the upcoming patch!

January 14, 2014 in Featured, News

Revolvers

A sneak peak at revolvers!

Heya! Long time no front page post.

After taking it easy over the holidays, we jumped straight into preparing the next patch. The reason it’s taking awhile? Bug fixes. Bug fixes everywhere. They can be a little slow-going and unpredictable, but I think you guys will find the improvements worth the wait!

We’re still working on a few things, so you can expect the patch in about a week’s time. Not all patches are going to take this long, of course. :)

 

Fixes:

  • .ds_store issue affecting OSX 9.1 users (A bug where Finder created an invisible file called .ds_store in the player folder which caused the game to crash).
  • A number of character creation/selection screen crashes related to loading corrupted save files
  • An issue that could prevent the launcher from starting (MSVCRT.dll)
  • DirectX crash bug (303 bug)
  • Several memory leaks, including the slow-but-significant server memory leak a lot of people were experiencing and GUI memory leak
  • Fixed a crash bug related to GUI controls
  • Reduced memory load of FTL animation
  • .abc files with comments no longer crash the game, plus various .abc fixes as far as key signatures/timing
  • A number of issues with players spawning underground
  • A bug where players spawned outside the ship if they’d previously saved the game while in the Captain’s Chair
  • Right shift key was not working as a shift key, now it is
  • An issue tech slots were unusable under certain conditions
  • Wiring system fixes– wires are rendered below UI elements, wires no longer break when crossed into an unloaded sector
  • Added image metadata caching, improved assets caching
  • Added a jeep mech that was supposed to have been in the last patch, but had mysteriously gone missing!
  • Object flipping issues
  • Sped up the crafting window
  • Fixed a sound issue that occurred after many concurrent weapon hits
  • Characters no longer blink while sleeping in beds
  • Assorted minor performance improvements

 

Additions:

  • New game modes! Permadeath and drop-everything-on-death modes.
  • Revolvers, pulse rifles, hand grenades, shivs, Floran needlers, Floran thorn hammer
  • Human guards now wear soldier uniforms
  • More decorative hats! Yay, hats!
  • More random encounters
  • Possibly more content, if it’s finished on time!

 

Of course, there’s also the highly anticipated/possibly feared final character wipe– this patch contains a fix for save files so after this, you won’t need to worry about our patches destroying your characters or ships. This patch will wipe everything– characters, ships and worlds. It will definitely be the last time we’ll need to wipe characters or ships, and will hopefully be the last time we’ll need to wipe worlds. This explanation from Kyren should help clarify things a little:

“The problem is that the organization of planets may change so if they go muck with a planet, how do we put it in the celestial map? Or if they build on a biome we remove, or something. So no promises, but we’ll try. But promises on the player / ship.”

I hope that clears up a lot of your questions and concerns about the upcoming patch and wipe– I’m just as excited as you guys are. :)