‘Nother Update, new “unstable” branch on steam.

February 26, 2014 in News, Uncategorized

So there will be a new update coming down the pipe soon, and there’s a couple of bits here that need explaining.

We’re changing the way we do releases slightly.  There will be a new “unstable” branch which you can select on steam, which will receive updates sooner than the regular branch that you get when you install starbound.  Anybody who is interested in helping us test the releases is encouraged to try it out, but please please note that unstable may destroy your saves and be generally, well, unstable.  Yes, we know this is a testing branch for our beta, which is also for testing, but we’re trying to keep the big ugly data destroying bugs to a minimum so we figure this will help.  We put some tests in your tests so you can test while you… anyway,

The next thing that needs mentioning… update sizes!  It seems every time there is a starbound update it’s 500 – 700 MB, regardless of how tiny it is.  This is due to two things:, One, our windows binaries had full debugging information because (for silly technical reasons) that was the only way we could get stacktraces from crashes.  Well, not anymore!  Windows binaries are now built at debug level 1 (as opposed to 2) which means that instead of starbound.exe being 450MB it’s more like 30MB.  So there’s that.

The OTHER thing that was causing large updates was our pak file system.  Whenever we updated pak files, we tended to completely rebuild the pak file with just a file or two changed, which was enough to make the steam binary diff system go bonkers and just basically re-download the whole file again.  This is also fixed!  We now add to the pak file in place, so minimal changes occur (and at the end of the file) that make steam deltas very small.  This is important as we want to start doing more frequent content updates (as we’ve mentioned).

That’s the good news, the BAD news is that in order to make this happen, you’re going to have to download the entire pak file again, so the first update will kinda suck (pak file format change).  But, it should get better after that.  To all those that have bandwidth caps, I’m very sorry :(

The update should include several bugfixes and updates to heck, the treasure horde, and the skyrails system at least, probably post a full changelog later.  The update will hit ‘unstable’ tonight, and probably ‘stable’ tomorrow depending on how things go.

-kyren

Enraged Koala Hotfix / Content update #5

February 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Another small update to Enraged Koala, fixes the alpha sector not being unlocked and some other small-ish bugfixes.

Adds a new Heck biome, which for technical reasons will change the universe generation process, so if you have a world and you want to keep your world accessible, make sure to go visit it before grabbing the latest patch so it’s stored in the new celestial database.  Similarly, to find the new heck biome you may have to travel to a world on the map you haven’t seen before.

Some other items and things were added, but not sure if they’re accessible yet.

Quick update

September 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Just to keep you in the loop, they only sent us the router today. They’re bringing our connection online on the 26th.

13 September Update

September 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello!

GeorgeV here.  Today I’m going to talk about a small change (still in testing) that we’ve done due to some experiences at i49.

Basically the demo at the booth went pretty smoothly except for one detail.  Towards the beginning of the game some players would get a bit confused.  The first thing you’re supposed to do when you get on the ship is read the quest that you’re being offered.  It ideally would direct you to the ship’s locker where all of your gear is.  However, apparently the ship locker wasn’t obvious enough and many players simply beamed straight down to the planet without gear and without knowing what to do.  Some players simply didn’t know where the ship’s locker is or what the different objects on the ship were leading to stuff like beaming down on accident.

The good news though is once they got past that bump in the road generally everyone was easily able to play and have a good time.  So us booth people would only need to check up on new players to make sure they didn’t get confused and beam down to the planet too early.

So we’ve thought up a few ways to address this issue.  One step is simply labeling!  Yeah, the text is a bit… texty but when it comes to playability maybe easier is better?  The booth at i49 was practically a first Beta test as we discovered several things us Devs overlooked.  It makes me look forward to the Beta Testing even more!

newship

Hopefully now it’ll be painfully obvious what everything on the ship is.  And it’s been brought up that it might be TOO texty and obvious so who knows, maybe we’ll change it.  We are still in the testing phase after all!  We also might use other systems to help make the “tutorial” even easier such as quest markers or anything that’ll help people unfamiliar with Starbound get around and play our game (at least for the early part of it).

lockeranim

Anyways, that’s that!  See you next time.  Feel free to discuss the “texty” looks.  Everything is subject to change.  :)

-GeorgeV

4th August Progress

August 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello again,

Despite today being Sunday, quite a lot happened today!  I’m a bit tired at the moment so I’m going to run through this pretty quick:

More progress on the tier 1 boss!  There are little sub-boss creatures that it spawns and they have some basic behavior now, as well as other fixes / improvements.

Tiy put in a brand new monster generator!

Bartwe (with a small assist from me) continued working on bugfixes and trying his mad dash of trying to get starbound working under Visual Studio.  There’s a good reason we’re doing this, and it’s because the way we compile on windows is getting old and finicky and creaky (MinGW) and it’s causing us a lot of headaches.  Well, to be frank supporting even the latest latest MSVC compiler is giving us headaches too, but it’s nice to have options :P  This I think is JUST about working finally, so woo.

Omni worked on some weapon tweaks and more bugfixes today.

Artists did artisty things with a few new objects and UI work.

And I pushed a fun new feature… The lighting for morning / midday / evening / night is now much more configurable and also configurable per biome / star.  This sort of completes omni’s previous work with getting lighting colored based on the planet’s star, except now the background sky and parallaxes and all the things not lit in the main world layer are also colored and match nicely, and the effect is overall really good.

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25th June Progress

June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Waz everyone! I guess it’s my turn to supply you with the daily update!

It’s a small-ish update today – Tiy continues his description marathon. So far all of the Apex objects are done and each have 7 different descriptions for every race, which we tested ingame today. It was actually pretty fun! A lot of the objects have descriptions that tie into each other – examining a cupboard as an Apex would reminisce about a past rebellion, but examining it as a Glitch would notice a hidden camera inside.

Even though D3D was implemented yesterday, it had a couple of bugs that needed to be combed over, so thanks to Kyren it’s totally completely in and working now. I tried it myself a few hours ago – the performance is very noticeable as a Windows user.

Furniture work continues – between George and I, we’ve completed all of the tier-based furniture bar the final tier, which we’re trying to find a theme suitably awesome enough to merit the highest tier. Each tier will have a basic set of craftable furniture, and we’ve tried to get as many themes as we can into it, ranging from antique cast-iron, to futuristic sci-fi, to spikes and eyeballs. The sets consist of: Chair, Table, Switch/Console, Bed, Light and Door. I also did a bit of work on the player ships, which are one away from being completely finished.

That’s all for today! Thank you, good night!

Not.. Not the 8th of June progress update

June 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hallo,

Today saw a couple of cool developments, particularly with some of our lovely contributors.

ArchVince has fixed the last few (known) bugsin his new terrain code, and has merged that in!  This means that a couple of our  terrain generators (mountain and canyon) look a lot better than they have been and are a lot more interesting and navigable.  They look awesome, good job Arch!

Bartwe has been working on a very important change regarding status effects that will allow us to have lots of status effects defined by data rather than hard-coded, which will make working with status effects much easier.  He’s now done with his change, but unfortunately not before losing about 12 hours and his sanity on a massive debugging session.  It’s over though!  I feel for ya man, good job.

Omni continues working on the 3d printer interface and associated non-interface code and is nearly done, as far as I know.  Go omni! you can do it!

I continue to be embroiled in a multiple-day change for humanoid NPCs phase 1.  I’ll have more to say about that once it’s in place, which hopefully will be late tomorrow.  I’ve also made an update to our physics code that should allow other parts of the code to easily mod physics behavior temporarily, so that things like status effects can slow you or increase your mass or friction.  It’s a pretty minor change, but hopefully it will go along well with the status effects stuff that bartwe is doing.

The artists continue their artisty work on things like ship improvements, legris continues his work on intro sequences, and Tiy has been experimenting with a cool new “ship design” that we’re not sure will make it in or not, but damn is it cool!

Aaaaand…. I’ve saved the most important for last.  We have a new code contributor named “jordo” that has been helping us lately, and he’s super smart and capable, and has already being a huge help.  He has been doing some monster AI work and, just recently, implemented the most advanced, most important feature in all of Starbound…

Are you ready???

The fishes swim away from you!!!

Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 5.56.48 AM

Kyren out.

31st May Update

June 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Heya folks.

Sorry, but today’s update is going to be a bit of a short one.  Most of the group had some responsibilities to take care of.  There’s always a few people taking care of business, and they generally don’t get mentioned in the updates.  Today just happened to have most of everyone busy with life.  For instance, I spent most of the day mopping and vacuuming my girlfriend’s floor.  But I came online to rescue you, dear reader, from a completely missing update.

Tiy and Kyren worked mostly on the server.  Trying to get WordPress plugins installed and make things work.  Since the move there have been a few issues, which we’ve been working slowly but surely to resolve.  Hopefully, things should be getting better, but this shit is time consuming. :/

Legris finally finished the Avian Introduction Story Cutscene.  It’s very pretty, but we cannot reveal it because spoilers, etc. :(

Kyren is working on enemy monster mechanics still.  She’s doing, among other things, “fish flopping on land” AI.  Fun stuff.  Next on the plate according to Da List is humanoid enemies, that can have equipment and weapons just like you.

I’m still pecking away at the options menu.  Sorry about the delay.  I had a bit of life get involved, and it turns out that my window for actually spending quality time with the girlfriend ends tomorrow at 9AM.  This is sad for me, but wonderful for you, because it means I’ll be focusing a lot more on work.

Armagon is working on an Avian Airship dungeon.  Think SMB3 style.  It’s pretty neat.

Bartwe did a very minor change to humanoid drawing order to fix a subtle issue with faces.

And that’s it for today!  Some of the things that you’ll see in upcoming days is putting the respawn animation into the game, working on making ships upgradable in game, and more!

Server Downtime

March 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hi there. I have wonderful news. We’re not dead!

Our server had a hard drive crash. We knew it was coming, but because kyren and I are both system administrators and programmers, we allocated our time to the game rather than to the server, (perhaps incorrectly).

We had complete backups, so no data was lost permanently. We also took this opportunity to migrate to a new server with a RAID1. The new server is physically located in England, rather than in Chicago. Which might means some extra latency to you folks in the US, and less latency to you guys in the UK. You shouldn’t notice it much though. Special thanks for the folk at Creeperhost for supporting us through this. Things probably would have gone much worse without their tireless help.

Work is still being performed on the server right now. I’m setting up a backup system and some monitoring tools. There might be some hiccups as I install stuff, etc. So we’re not quite back up to 100% yet. Just wanted to open up the site again ASAP.

Hopefully, we’ll have an interesting content update for you guys soon. Rather than a boring technical BS update. But at least it’s better than “ERROR ESTABLISHING DATABASE CONNECTION”

Navigating the Stars

January 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello, George V here!

We’ve decided to show you how you’ll be navigating the cosmos in Starbound. You’ll be going from planet to planet, system to system, and sector to sector. You’ll discover odd new worlds and species as you bravely travel where someone may or may not have gone before!

Accessed from your ship’s console you’ll be able to open the Navigation Menu.

Currently in this example you’re in orbit around a gas giant named Delta Aura IV which you cannot land on. You may scan the gas giant for resources and other treats and then be on your way.

You click on one of the gas giant’s moons. It is called DAIVS-II, a scientific name you can change on a whim. Revealed is some basic information about the moon including the fact that you may walk on it. Initiate the FTL to go into orbit if you want but for now we’re zooming out!

With a right click our view becomes a view of the local planetary system. You may click on any of those celestial objects to get basic information on them or even visit them. Make sure you have enough fuel!

With another right click you’ll zoom out further revealing a much larger area. Each of those is a dynamically generated planetary system with suns, worlds, and even more to discover! Walk on planets, moons and much more as it’s not only planets and moons that you may walk on and visit. Click on them to view their info (there’s no fuel cost to simply look) and travel the stars!

I think with this brief glimpse you can see how BIG this universe will be and hopefully how fun it will be to explore, share discoveries with friends via seed coordinates, and do so much more.

Now, this is all subject to change as we continue to develop the game and test it out. Everything is a work in progress. Nothing is set in stone but we thought we’d give you a look into what we’re currently doing with the development of the game.

Until next time…