23rd February

February 23, 2014 in Dev Blog, 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

 

 

 

22nd February

February 22, 2014 in Dev Blog, News

So we’ve had one of the first quick content patches go out, it added some new tiles and the beginnings of a new underground biome as well as a few smaller bits and pieces. You’ll see more updates like these hitting in the coming days.

Modding

So with our new content delivery system were also going to be able to include mods in the Base game faster. Which mods would you most like to see become part of Starbound? Answers in the comments please!

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.

20th February Blog post

February 20, 2014 in Dev Blog, News

Hi guys,

Such a busy day today. We’ve finally signed everything we have to sign for getting the keys to the office and arranging immigration for the various members of Chucklefish coming to the UK from abroad. It’s been a lengthy process but one that’s going to have wonderful results. Working in the same room is going to make us much more efficient and creative.

The next step is to get the office painted on Monday, get the furniture delivered and get desks set up.

We’ve decided to use these as dividing walls, as they’re cheap and attractive.

The programmers have been putting the finishing touches on the system we’re going to use to push updates more frequently. Essentially we’re separating content updates and engine updates. Content updates are going to be pushed to the server as and when content is finished being produced, we’re no longer going to wait on engine updates to push them out at the same time. This also means engine updates will get additional internal testing.

The artists have been working on a bunch of new content that’s pretty much ready to go as soon as this is done. We’ll also be adding the best/most fitting mods to the game with increased frequency.

The pace is really going to pick up.

These content only updates won’t increase the version number, so modders don’t need to worry about continuously updating their mods.

 

I’ll be posting here with details whenever we post small content updates. We’ve decided against full changelogs because we’d like players to discover what’s new themselves. I’ll also be updating you on goings on with the new offices and other things we’re taking part in.

This is an exciting time for both Starbound and Chucklefish!

 

 

Hotfix 4 for Enraged Koala is out.

February 20, 2014 in Dev Blog, News

This hotfix addresses the issues with deleting containers in world.  It also introduces an auto-backup on upconverting files from old versions, as well as a unix log style rotating backup.

If your containers have been deleted from your world, the only thing we can recommend is restore from backup.  The data is gone and we cannot retrieve it. :(

If your ship’s locker or ship’s fuel hatch are missing, you will need to delete your .shipworld file.

We addressed an entire class of incomplete/interrupted connection bugs by being more strict about data reads.

We fixed the drop item chain dropping stuff bug.  Fixed home planet functionality.  Fixed confusion around error messages during dungeon generation.  Fixed crash issues related to shipworlds being reset. And fixed some issues where some Variants compared incorrectly leading to some unexpected behavior.

Finally, for you modders, there is a new vlist() lua function to complement the vmap(), also because of ambiguity with moving data to and from C++ we recommend using the vlist and vmap types for consistency, but if you pass in a regular table we almost always do “the right thing.”

Enjoy.  I’m going to go get drunk now.

Issues surrounding hotfix 2 for Enraged Koala

February 19, 2014 in Dev Blog, News

WARNING: If you have not yet started playing, please make a backup of your ship file, which is located in your steam folder/player/*.shipworld and backups of your world files located in your steam folder/universe/*.world

CLARIFICATION: We’ve already pushed a partial fix for this issue that ought to prevent more containers from being erased.  Please let us know if this is not the case.

A few hours ago, we pushed a second hotfix to Enraged Koala to fix an issue with seats and beds not being interactive. It worked fine in our limited test cases, but we quickly discovered after pushing from community feedback that it was deleting containers from some preexisting worlds.  Some of these were things like the shiplocker and fuelhatch which cannot be legitimately obtained in the game, rendering that ship unplayable.

The only fix for this issue right now is to remove your shipworld and allow the game to regenerate them, or restore from backup if you have one.  You will lose the contents of your ship if you do not have a backup.

We are all deeply sorry for the lost data, and will work hard in the future to prevent issues like this from occurring.

For those interested, here’s a quick technical write up on why this happened.

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 Dev Blog, 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. :)

spiele