28th September Progress

September 29, 2013 in News

Hi guys,

So for the most part work continued on NPCs today. The Glitch village is now entirely finished. Stephen has done a wonderful job populating it with farms, Inns, shops, wells, signs, etc

The NPCs got another brain boost. NPCs will now approach eachother and ‘silently chat’. Meaning you’ll see their lips move and youll see them emote to each other. They’re also aware of the time of day, so they’ll head out during the day, they tend to stay in at night and sleep. Their path finding has improved again, they have names and will sometimes call each other by name. Villagers will egg on the guards as they attack you, they’ll look for safety when attacked and react when they feel they’ve escaped. Villagers that see you attack another villager will call the guards.




The next step is getting NPC shops and quest givers working. These NPCs can also be used to produce travelers and wandering merchants.

Here’s a silly sped up gif:



27th September Progress

September 28, 2013 in News

Hi guys,

I’m finally back up to speed! My internet connection is all sorted out and I can finally get back into the swing of things.

So! We’ve continued to throw a whole bunch of work into NPCs. NPCs now know what ranges to use melee/ranged weapons at.

They navigate even better than.. well.. yesterday and have a bunch of additional behaviour.

We’re also working on making the NPCs match the area they come from. So previously the guard NPCs we showed off had generic guard armor.

Now Glitch guards look like this:



Rho and George continue to womp away on dungeons. George is busy finishing up a bunch of Hylotl content whilst Rho works on the Floran.

Kyren is working on some messy serialization problems that relate to how the players ship is saved.

Bartwe is tackling a small performance issue and is adding the ability to make NPCs shop keepers and quest givers.

Omni has added energy costs to the grappling hook, it now costs energy to wind it in and out.

Armagon is putting the finishing touches on the Glitch villages (roads, sign posts, farms, etc).

Progress is good!


26 September Progress

September 27, 2013 in News

Hi there!

Today the coders worked on various things such as starting the process to be able to put input abilities  into armors (like our Tech items with double jump and dash). Think stuff like Jetpacks, Wings, etc that would work on top of the Tech abilities.

They’ve also been working on getting NPC guards able to use melee weapons and doing some work on the physics to get all these nice abilities working well.

As for the artists it’s just more dungeon stuff. We should have the first pass on all the dungeons done really soon! Here’s a tiny sneak peak:


25 September Progress

September 26, 2013 in News

Whoa look it’s update time!

Today largely involved more work on NPCs of the sort we discussed in last night’s update! Honestly, you’re gonna hear a lot of that this week. Configuring NPCs is a lot of work.

The ‘villager’ NPC type was added! They’ll call on nearby guards to help them out if they’re being harmed and have (temporary) dialogue defined for three different states of danger– calling for help, encouraging the guards to attack their pursuer (spoilers: it’s probably you, you scoundrel!), and once they’ve reached safety. Here’s a gif displaying the current state of that behavior! I had admin commands turned on, which is why I’m not taking any damage. :O


Also, here’s a tiny cropped sneak peak at an upcoming dungeon.



Goodnight guys!

24th September Update

September 25, 2013 in News

Back to our regularly scheduled updates!

We’re still working on NPC AI! NPCs are currently sitting around, going to sleep when it’s night time, and more advanced pathfinding is in the works so that they’ll stop bumping into obstacles. Getting there!

NPCs are configurable via JSON and LUA files, like…most other things, really! Once this system is fully in place, we’ll be able to easily spawn NPCs of different types.

“What do all of these words meeeeannn?” Here’s my best attempt at explaining!


The NPC script folder looks like this right now! It’s got a bunch of scripts defining current types of NPCs and what their behaviors mean. Let’s take a look at the default NPC type…

Screenshot_5So NPC types define things like what the NPC may be wearing, their health and energy stats, default dialogue towards each race (not shown), and other elements of NPC behavior. The second type of .npctype file you see there is for guards, which would obviously have different dialogue, different equipment and behaviors.

This is exciting! When we’re finally able to fully configure loads of different NPCs and have them behave properly in-game, it’ll feel a lot less lonely out in space. :)

…here’s a rather interesting couple wearing a hat you may recognize from the Create-a-Hat Contest.


Most of what we’re doing to prepare for beta involves configuring each tier of the game– implementing the relevant objects, configuring things like ore spawn rates, monster types/abilities, finishing up dungeons, etc. We’ve also still got folks working on minibiomes, which are ever-useful in adding some diversity to the landscape.

I leave you with a big flowery bed from a minibiome:


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.

Daily Updates

September 20, 2013 in News

Hi guys,

Just a quick note about the daily updates. Obviously they haven’t been appearing as frequently recently but there’s a good reason for that.

I recently moved into a new apartment and I won’t have a real internet connection until the 24th. I’ve been trying to post over a 3g tether but it’s pretty much a waste of time, with the posts I write timing out and being lost.

In the mean time other members of the team have been trying to fill in for me, but they’re super busy with what they do. So expect posting to resume properly on the 24th. In the mean time we’ll try our best to keep you updated.


17th September Update

September 18, 2013 in News


Today was an awesome day, because today Omni’s long-awaited grappling hook tech– while still in need of tweaking– was finally ready to show off. It’s reeeaally fun!

Armagon started work on the Glitch village “dungeon” map, which is one we’ve been really excited to see in all its procedurally generated, Armagon-designed glory.

And Bart continued his work on NPC behaviors! It’s been really interesting to watch how they’ve evolved, intelligence-wise. Sleeping, sitting down and no longer walking into walls. Good stuff.

While we’re posting videos, last night Bart uploaded a video of the developer livestream we recorded late one night at I49! Loads of people missed out on it at the time, so here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Today we addressed some questions and feedback about communication/how we spread information, and how we can do better. It’s been a long day, but I’m working on getting the website up to date with the sort of news we regularly post on the forums, IRC and elsewhere that doesn’t quite make it onto the front page. So, look for all that plus the roadmap to be updated by the end of the week! Apologies if it seems like we’ve sort of slacked on it.

Goodnight, guys!

16th September Progress

September 17, 2013 in News

Good evening!

Today we’ve focused a lot on adding a bunch of the enemies our artists have been creating to dungeons, adding unique behaviors/AI, and configuring loot pools. Hooray, loot!

We’ve also continued working on friendly NPC AI, with NPCs becoming gradually less stupid as we go. Now NPCs will say different things depending on your species, jump over little gaps in terrain, turn around when they’re walking into walls, using emotes, etc. Y’know, the important things. Maybe someday soon they will actually become self-aware and when that happens…well… *shudder*

Screenshot_2Although…this guy’s got nothing to say to me. Think it might have something to do with the gun?


Earlier today Rho introduced a new monster! Sort of a tougher version of GeorgeV’s controversial sewage-based monster, The Po. This one’s proving a bit controversial as well…


Obviously, crude toilet humor isn’t for everyone. We don’t expect everyone to agree that a giant walking sewage golem is hilarious, and we don’t plan on adding more poop-based enemies. :P

Starbound’s not an overly serious game, though. It’s got elements of serious storytelling and the opportunity for serious roleplay, but overall it’s meant to be entertaining, and we like throwing in some humor where we can! Usually it’s a little bit more subtle, but hey. Sewage monster kind of fits in with a sewer-themed dungeon. Sorry if that’s not your thing! I believe we’ve got enough serious-business intimidating monsters to make up for it. :)

Anyway! Onwards to tomorrow, lovely Starbounders. Goodnight!

September 14th & 15th Update

September 16, 2013 in News

Hey guys, another double-update for you! I apologize for the tardiness on these posts, but rest assured everyone has been very busy working and a lot of really great stuff has made its way into the game these past couple of days. Of course more unique dungeon NPCs have been thrown into the mix, with some really cool AI behaviours being hammered out by the ever-talented Jordo. We now have NPCs that can chatter to themselves (right now for instance, they say “open sesame” when they open doors) and we’re very close to having them deliver dialogue when interacted with. The rest of our coders have been making sweeping optimizations under the hood, improving a lot of functionality that was lacking in places, all in the name of making a better (and more mod-friendly) game.

The wire system in particular that was put on the backburner a few months ago is finally getting some much-needed attention. While previously you could rig up doors to switches and it would work well enough, there were a handful of very specific functions I was still waiting on. One really cool addition in particular is that we can now attach wires to objects with AI like automated turrets and security cameras. This paves the way for things like alarms going off when a camera spots you, summoning more enemies, and locking you in until the alarm is stopped! Soon I should be able to start really going to town with some trap and puzzle orientated setups (there’s are a couple of dungeons I’ve specifically avoided starting on until these functions were ready).

As per usual, this past week I’ve mostly busied myself with this work on the dungeons. I’ve pretty much wrapped up on the prison for now, though I’ll likely come back to it after we launch the beta to add more content and expand it further (it’s already pretty big). It’s been interesting to tackle an inherently darker dungeon like this one, and I’ve occasionally surprised myself with the results I can get with creative use of just a handful of different block types.

Visiting hours are open!

I’ve long appreciated games that can tell the player a story purely through the design of the environment itself. Games like Bioshock and Half-Life 2 are still firmly in my mind as two of the greatest examples of this craft, and I’ve tried my best to imbue my work with this same kind of magic. Obviously there are limitations I have to deal with, I certainly couldn’t create something with that amount of detail in a retro-styled game like ours, but I’m hoping that when players will happen upon one of the prison blocks in this dungeon, they’ll be able to look at the contents of every cell and piece together just what kinds of people were kept in each one.

They said they would come back.

Thank you for your continued patience guys! I realize the tensions are high as many in our community are keen to play the game right now, but rest assured we’re doing everything we can to get the game into your hands in a truly enjoyable state as soon as possible! We’re continually humbled by the sheer amount of passion and eagerness on display from our community, and we’re very fortunate to have you with us! Please bear with us a bit longer!