Starbound Progress

April 17, 2014 in Dev Blog, News

Hi,

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.