Colonies and Endgame

April 27, 2015 in Dev Blog, Featured, News

Hi Guys,

We’ve been asked a lot recently about the plans for end game and colonisation. It’s been a while since we posted about future plans so I thought it’d be nice to share some basics on the colonisation feature coming to Starbound before 1.0. We’re working on this actively now, and whilst it won’t be in the next (combat) update. We do want to get the basics in in the not too distant future.

As always, everything mentioned here could change, see additions or subtractions.

We’ve been gearing up for colonisation for a while now; we’ve recently added a teleporter network feature to allow you to jump between locations quickly, even if they’re galaxies away. We’ve been giving objects new properties and ensuring they’re priced appropriately and we’ve been massively improving the NPC pathing and behaviour systems internally. All of these features are key to the colonisation system.

Object properties

To enable the colonisation system to function we’ve begun tagging objects with special properties. For example, an Apex mutant pod might have the following tags.


All of these tags, coupled with the size of the object allow us to figure out how a house is decorated and what kind of person might move in. Different NPCs will only move in if enough of a house is decorated with objects and blocks that match their interests.

Houses also have some basic requirements, like light, walls and doors. Here are a couple of examples of houses and who will move into them.

Apexscientist Glitchsoldier


Whilst the type of NPC that moves in is based on the type of furniture used, the visual appearance of that NPC is based on the exact layout of the furniture within the house. So you’re able to put your feng shui skills to the test to attract someone in particular.

Once NPCs move in they’ll offer all sorts of different benefits. Some NPCs will sell unique items, some will defend the town, some will offer quests and others will place new unique objects in their home like new crafting tables or facilities. Sometimes you’ll only be able to attract an NPC using items a previous NPC has given you, allowing for colony progression. Sometimes you’ll need objects from a unique dungeon or sub biome to attract particularly rare NPCs. For example, obtaining all the blueprints for slime furniture from the slime biome, crafting it and using it to decorate a house will cause a slime creature to move into your colony and in turn sell you a unique weapon.


Later we plan to expand on this system with enemies attacking your colony, inter-NPC interactions and various other complexities. But this initial implementation will tie together much of the exploring, questing and adventuring in the game and serves as a key part of Starbound’s end game. We may even tie the system to planet and biome type, so setting up on certain planets is the only way to attract some of the rarer NPCs.

This won’t be the only end game feature, we’re looking into randomly generated repeatable missions, farming and procedurally generated quests. As well as the final stars enabling high level versions of all the existing biomes.

We’d love to hear your feedback on this system!

April 27th – [STABLE] Bug Fix Update

April 27, 2015 in Featured, News, Patch Notes

Hey there, everyone! We’ve been reading your feedback from last week’s stable update, and it seems like most people are really enjoying the new features. We’ve also seen reports of several minor bugs, so we’ve pushed out a new update which should address most of these. Thanks to everyone who’s given us specific and detailed bug reports; it’s a huge help!

Fixes in this update:

  • Fixed a bug causing clients to be stuck in teleport cinematic if they disconnected from a server while it was playing
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent players’ ships from loading after a failed warp
  • Fixed missing outpost quest NPC, the arcade game quest is now completable again
  • Fixed a bug causing ship doors to be removed on upgrades
  • Fixed a bug locking players out of the end of the Erchius Mining Facility mission if they died after defeating the boss
  • Fixed a bug preventing the lever puzzle in the Floran Party mission from being completed
  • Fixed damage areas on ceiling and floor spikes
  • Fixed custom signs being set to ‘on’ after saving and loading
  • Fixed a bug causing the game to crash when entering a bad host name in the server join dialog
  • Fixed a rare bug in world generation which could prevent terrain from generating
  • Increased NPC energy regen
  • Greatly reduced server->client bandwidth for updating player ships
  • Made additional changes to further improve server stability
  • Included dump_versioned_json and make_versioned_json utilities for reading and writing various save data formats
  • Added a /suicide command for characters who are irreversibly stuck

Hopefully these fixes will be helpful to those of you experiencing issues. Let us know in the comments if you find anything new. Enjoy!

Poll: Feedback on Party Size

April 23, 2015 in News

Hi guys,

We’d like to know on average what size party do you usually play in, assuming you’re playing in a party at all.

Your feedback will help us better design the party hud.

To vote click here

April 23rd – How to retrieve your home planet!

April 23, 2015 in Dev Blog, Featured


As you may have read in our patch notes, the newest stable update saw the ‘home planet’ feature replaced by planet bookmarks and direct teleporters. This meant that existing characters would lose track of their home planets, as they’d no longer have the ‘home’ marker.

But never fear! Ideally you’d have written down your planet’s coordinates, but either way your home planet still exists and is intact and you can find it using the following method. :)

Elite Space Hobo from our community beat us to posting a guide, which you can find here.


  • Find your universe folder. Typically, it should be located in SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Starbound\giraffe_storage\universe.

Screenshot 2015-04-23 11.24.57

  • Right click -> sort files by date last modified. If your planet’s been heavily customized/built upon, it should be one of the larger files. If you visit it frequently, it should also be one of the most recent.
  • “What do all these numbers mean?!” World files with names like: mean that you’ve visited a planet with the coordinates X -270623995 Y -279217314.


  • Put the coordinates into your ship’s computer and… hopefully, voila! Planet located! If not, try some of the other planets in your universe folder.
  • Now that you’ve found your home planet, don’t forget to create a bookmark. :)

I hope this proves helpful! We’ll be posting our daily progress update later, as usual. See you then! <3

April 21st – [STABLE] Update Notes

April 21, 2015 in Dev Blog, Featured, Media, News

Afternoon everyone!

We’re happy to say we are releasing a new Stable Update today! Nearly every change has already been covered in a previous blog post from Metadept, with the stable update also including even more bug fixes, plus huge server stability updates!


Before I get to the actual patch notes, please read this big red warning text:

As of this patch, the ‘Home’ planet feature has been replaced by planet bookmarks and direct teleporters. EXISTING CHARACTERS WILL LOSE THEIR HOME PLANETS! Make sure to write down your home planet’s coordinates or leave your ship in orbit so that you don’t lose track of its location.

Now, on to the good stuff!


  • Players can now save planet locations in the cockpit navigation interface
  • Select a planet, then select ‘Add Bookmark’ to bookmark it
  • Select a bookmarked planet from the list to set it as your navigation target


  • Players can now place and register teleporters on planets
  • Interact with a teleporter to add it to your list of registered destinations, which you can return to from any other teleporter
  • Can also be used to teleport directly to party members
  • Find Teleporter Cores in the world
  • New Outpost store, the 2-Stop Teleshop, lets you use a Teleporter Core to create various types of teleporters to suit your style
  • Breaking a teleporter destroys it, but refunds the Teleporter Core
  • Outpost store includes a teleporter you can register for easy access to the outpost


  • After logging out, players will be returned to the place in the world where they left (rather than back on the ship)
  • Mission dungeons will persist for 10 minutes after all players have left, allowing continuation of a mission after dying
  • Mission dungeons now have teleporters at the entrance and exit, should help clarify how and when to leave
  • Players can no longer be attacked while teleporting
  • Players can no longer initiate another teleport while teleporting
  • Teleport cinematic while destination world is loading



  • All player ships should now be inhabited by a non-combat pet corresponding to the character’s race, in one of a wide variety of color options
  • Pets will investigate held items and various ship objects
  • Pets can be fed and will develop preferences for certain foods
  • Terramart now sells several pet-related items
    • Food Bowl to keep your pet fed while you’re busy adventuring
    • Pet Ball for your pets to play with
    • Pet House for your pets to sleep in adorably


  • Ancient Gates now have another destination, a huge and ancient ruin
  • Gives a few clues about Starbound’s overarching plot… so mysterious!


  • NPCs and ground monsters now jump accurately and reliably find paths across complex terrain
  • NPCs and ground monsters are much better at avoiding and escaping liquids
  • NPCs and ground monsters should become stuck MUCH less often


Screenshot 2015-04-21 13.53.03


  • Can be found underground on Radioactive worlds
  • Includes various unique items and a new furniture set


  • Reworked Apex, Avian, Floran, Glitch and Hylotl name generators to be much less (but still a little bit) silly.
  • Changes to melee weapon responsiveness, damage sounds and visual feedback. Lots more of this coming in a future update!
  • Ranged weapons now have varying accuracy depending on the weapon type, quality and rate of fire
  • Player energy now refills much more rapidly and has a shorter delay before regenerating
  • Various improvements to server architecture which should greatly improve server performance and stability
  • Various improvements to internal handling of Lua API calls which should greatly reduce CPU usage, particularly in areas with many monsters or NPCs
  • Many small improvements and fixes to objects throughout the game, including updating 3d printing costs in preparation for future additions to the game’s economy
  • Scroll bars can now be clicked and dragged properly
  • Fixed several bugs with codexes. Codexes are now retained across universes. Existing players will, unfortunately, have their codexes reset.
  • Moons are now generated with solid cores to help avoid falling out the bottom
  • Several improvements to grass placement, also add underground ceiling grasses to several biomes
  • Fix bug where music volume changed in combat
  • Several small improvements to AI interface
  • Removed the annoying levitation status from random status pods
  • Added extra functionality to the “test” Json Patch operation (supports “inverse” tests and existence test through omitting “value”).
  • Added optimizations and cyrillic character fixes for Hobo font. Thanks to user dsp2003 for this fix!


Existing characters and universes are safe (aside from the codexes and home planet, as listed above). However, a few of these changes may require a new universe or new planets to take effect. Hope you all enjoy the changes, and for those of you playing on the Unstable branch, let us know if you find any bugs or have other feedback!

17th of April – NPC Art!

April 17, 2015 in Dev Blog

Afternoon everyone!

Today we’re able to show off what Necotho has been working on, some high-res art of all the new NPCs that have been shown off so far in sprite form. It is still a work in progress, with more to be added in the future!

npc_conceptartEsther, Tonauac, Koichi, Nuru and Lana.

15th of April – Tiled!

April 15, 2015 in Dev Blog

Afternoon all!

We’ve been busy building additional missions today. Tom has been working hard adapting a program called Tiled to make our mission building process quicker, this also involves working on the way Tiled works with Starbound.

Below is a look of what Armagon has been working on, using Tiled he’s been designing a new Avian mission.


We’re hoping to make this adaptation user friendly enough to release it to public one day!

Kyren has been working on a new server code, which essentially reworks the way client messages are sent, making it much more efficient and stable. There will be at least one more unstable update involved in this while the last few bugs are being worked out of the system.


13th of April – Our Heads are Spinning!

April 13, 2015 in Dev Blog

Hello, it’s a new week and we’re back at work after a nice weekend and are going at new content as much as ever!

We’ve worked on various things including more weapons, more concepts, more enemies, more missions, more stuff. Here’s a few hints:

swordsSome of the new swords by Supernorn

AvianDroneAnd an enemy drawn by SamuriFerret for a future mission

See you later with more Starbound stuff!

10th of April – Behold! A Blogpost!

April 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hey there, happy end of the week! I’ve been working on some assets and layouts for the next mission, which I’ll hopefully be able to show a bit of when it’s a bit more complete. GeorgeV, Supernorn and Necotho have been continuing work on the NPC characters that you’ve all been seeing us develop for the past few weeks.


“It’s very unfinished!” – George

Kyren, Metadept and the programmers are working on an update to the Unstable branch, which is set to be released tonight. Those playing on the Unstable branch can look forward to that!


I hope you all have a good weekend. Until next time!

9th of April – More NPCs and more progress!

April 9, 2015 in Dev Blog

Hello, George here!

Molly is on vacation/holiday. So the rest of us will be filling here for a bit. :)

Today we did more work on NPCs including Nuru, Tonauac and Koichi. We’ll continue to work on these characters more and more.
nuruDoris TonauacWalk runhylotyl

We’ve also been working on some sound effects and ambient soundscapes for various areas such as the outpost and the teleportation cinematic, as well as continuing to address the in-game economy.

Lastly the programmers have been fixing bugs in the current unstable branch in preparation of an unstable update which will hopefully be coming really soon.

Until next time!