Progress on Ships!

May 6, 2014 in Dev Blog, Featured, News

Our artists have posted sneak peaks at the new ship tiers in various places, so I thought I’d give you guys a quick progress update here. :)

Omni’s been working on staffs. Basic implementation is finished and all fireable weapons are now lua-enabled! Randomly generated staffs are planned, but not yet implemented. Finally, YER A WIZARD. Or at least… soon you’ll be able to be sort of a wizard. A science-y space wizard. What could be better than that?

George’s first day in the UK office was today, and he kicked things off by teasing the new Hylotl ship design!


Rho also recently showed off some of the new Floran ship tiers, so now I’m gonna show you all 8! During tiers 1-3 you’ll be doing some repair work, but by tier 4 you get to start adding rooms! Shh, listen, flowers and vines totally work for a space ship exterior as long as you refer to them as spaceflowers and spacevines.


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[STABLE UPDATE] April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014 in News, Patch Notes

We pushed an update to the unstable branch last night!

Update 4/26/14: The unstable branch has been pushed to stable!

Here’s what’s new:

  • Updated OSX build scripts to allow it to work with OSX 10.7+ – Please let us know if this is working for you!
  • Fixed issue where Grappling hook sometimes causes a crash
  • Added new function to lua API to get item descriptor (not just name) from an entity’s hand “entityHandItemDescriptor”
  • Fix visual smelting bug
  • Made preview images flippable for asymmetric tiered doors
  • Fixed issue with build tests

OmnipotentEntity posted about the update on our subreddit earlier today as a head’s up, but I was running around at appointments and wasn’t here to do the changelog until now. Sorry for the late post! There’s a lot more work going on in separate branches that isn’t quite ready for primetime, but this patch is important in that it should allow people with older versions of OSX to be able to play– OSX 10.7.5 compatibility is one of our most common support questions! Additionally, this branch is probably going to be the new “stable” soon.

To maybe preemptively clear up a few questions, here’s a comment Omni posted in aforementioned Reddit thread:

Our automated build server had just got put on a barge to ship to England, so I spent the last 2 weeks or so recreating it with help from kyren. And I ran into a lot of complex issues with respect to OSX because our previous build VM did not support Xeon processors.

Not having a build server is a show stopper. We can’t target all of our platforms, and we can’t upload to Steam without triggering a full redownload of the assets paks, meaning that the update is nearly 600-800 MB instead of 90MB, which if you recall, we got quite a bit of flak for as well.

Additionally, most of the dev team has been either: taking care of the business of moving to another country, this includes lots of back and forth with lawyers, and running errands (ie, not being in front of the computer doing productive work.)

To reiterate: there’s a lot of work being done day-to-day in other branches that isn’t ready to be pushed just yet. It’s just taking a bit longer due to current circumstances.

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a nice weekend. :)


Monster combat changes

April 23, 2014 in Dev Blog, News

Hey guys,

So I thought I’d fill you in on some of the proposed monster changes so we can have a discussion in a similar fashion to the weapon changes.

So first off we’re going to remove knockback on monsters.


Whilst removing knockback makes little sense in the current combat climate. When coupled with additional changes we’re hoping it will lead to more timing based combat and less standing and mashing swing fast enough to knock all the monsters away.

The next change will be to the way monsters try to approach players. Rather than attempting to occupy the same space as the player, they will now aim to move to a position in front of a player. That we’re calling the “attack position”

standing change


On the left you have the old behaviour, where a monster would try it’s best to get as close to the player as possible. Doing damage through touch. On the right you have the monster moving to it’s new attack position where it will eventually lunge forwards in an attack animation into the players space. We’re considering removing touch damage on monsters to assist in this change.

Monsters in the attack position will attack the player after a windup animation, warning the player an attack is coming. Coupled with the removal of knockback, this means the player will have to dodge or block enemy attacks whilst moving into range to deal damage. Blocking is also being reworked.

Rather than shields having a somewhat complex means of mitigating damage. Shields will now have an amount of “health” as one of their stats. When the player blocks an attack with a shield a health indicator will appear above the players head.



Blocking during a monster attack will also cause the monster to be knocked down and stunned for a moment, giving you time to counter attack!

Shield health will regenerate quickly over time. However if your shields health is fully depleted your guard will be temporarily broken and you won’t be able to use the shield until it’s regenerated all the way back to full health.



It will still block the attack that breaks it however.

Blocking at the very last moment before an attack will cause a “shield parry”. In this case you will block the attack but your shield won’t take any damage.

It will also be possible to parry attacks with two handed weapons. However, unlike shields the player won’t be able to hold down the block button to ensure they block an attack, instead they *must* time it correctly or they will be hit.



A parry with a two handed weapon will also cause a stun.

We’re also working on a vast range of skills and attacks for monsters to utilise. Each will have it’s own attack position that the monster will want to move into.

Some monsters will attack faster than others, and combat will be far more reactionary and active.

Let us know what you think

Starbound Progress

April 17, 2014 in Dev Blog, 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.

Heart Forth, Alicia Launches Its Kickstarter Campaign

April 16, 2014 in Featured, News


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!


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! ;)

Welcome Metadept

April 10, 2014 in Dev Blog, 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!

[UNSTABLE] Update April 8, 2014

April 8, 2014 in Patch Notes

Hey, listen! Patch notes for today’s update! It’s not a big one for content, since we’ve been focusing on some content-related things that are taking a bit longer. This one’s more focused on fixes or changes:


  • Added case insensitive option to regexMatch, case sensitive by default -> updated pak_ignore file for case insensitive matching
  • Fix bug with background mods not being shadowed properly
  • Some general cleanup of StarAssets.hpp/StarMonsterDatabase.cpp/StarMonsterDatabase.hpp/StarRoot.hpp
  • Added timer to fix monster oscillation while in wander state
  • Fixed some objects (drain, midjar1, windstorm2.projectile)
  • Add /serverreload server side command, fix ImageMetadataDatabase threading crash
  • Cleaned up the build process
  • Retain script storage if retainObjectParametersInItem is set in an object
  • All directional swords should not override the arm frame, fixes back arm drawing bug
  • Don’t allow material ids out of the actual material id range (same for mods), fix skyrail ids by wrapping them to what they actually represent in the file
  • Added tileIsOccupied to the Lua Bindings


  • Changes to monster behaviors/skills as per this post
  • Conversion of existing monsters to .partparams, with a few exceptions


EDIT: Some extra notes for modders provided here.

A quick Monday update!

April 8, 2014 in Dev Blog, News

Good evening!

Just posting a quickie update tonight to let you know we haven’t died over the weekend! Today’s largely been a continuation of work from late last week– monster stuff, mostly. We’ve finished up adding support for the new .partparams configuration file format (see this post), fixed a bug where monsters rapidly vibrate back and forth, and worked on some more improvement to monster behavior/attacks.

We’re still working on bigger content updates- we’ll get ship upgrades and stuff out as soon as they’re ready, of course. :D We should also be pushing an update to unstable sometime tonight or early morning (no, really, I mean it!), so I’ll be posting the changelog for that tomorrow.

Part Parameters

April 4, 2014 in Dev Blog, 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 Dev Blog, 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