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Today I’ve been working on a new sub-biome that you’ll encounter: A swamp environment.
I’m currently working on some biome specific plant life and fauna, including some huge swamp trees! There’s still a lot of assets to create for the biome, but I’m pleased with how it’s looking. I’ve added the pine tree from the garden biome for size comparison:
The rest of the team has been working on finishing up Tier 1, balance testing, fixing bugs etc.
In addition to this, a lot of work has been going into crops and cooking recipes! No doubt you’ll be hearing some more about these soon.
Until next time, have a good evening!
Hey there! Have we met before? Today I’ve been working on adding detail to the first mission you’ll find in the game. Kyren has added a mission tab to the AI window so you can access them from your ship. If you’re in a party when you are deployed, your friends will go with you so you can play through together! After all, spacefaring is an experience best shared with good company.
This will be in the Nightly soon enough, if you’d like to take a sneak peek! What could be lurking down there in the dark anyway?
What a week this has been! lots of progress has been made, but I’m only going to focus on a few things for this update. As mentioned by Armagon in his earlier post, the food system is currently undergoing a huge rework. Everyone should say hello to Rosiedeux, who’s been working diligently on reworking Crops, Recipes, Craftable foods and more!
Now you’ll encounter more crops on the starting planet, meaning you’ll be able to collect ingredients and create food much earlier in the game. This greatly expands into the later tiers, allowing you to craft more complex foods by combining multiple ingredients.
A big change to the game is that alongside bandages, you can heal by eating food! Certain foods will heal you more than others, and higher tier foods will give multiple status effects, such as jump and run boosts!
To prevent buff spamming, the “well-fed” status effect will appear when you eat a food item, temporarily restricting you from eating more until it wears off. As an example, Fish & Chips will increase your max health by 20 points (until the ‘Well-Fed’ status wears off), while restoring 3.5 health points for a period of 60 seconds. Keep in mind that these will continue to be tweaked as they are added to the game, and will vary massively depending on the complexity of the food item.
Rosiedeux has mapped out which biomes and tiers you’ll find specific crops and ingredients in, including their buffs and durations. I won’t spoil anything by revealing all the details, but we now have around 200 recipes and 35 crops. Armagon is now going through the process of adding these to the game, while myself and Rosiedeux work on spriting the new ingredients. We’re also planning for you to be able to purchase more complex and rarer ingredients from the Infinity Express store at the Outpost. Crop Seeds will also potentially be available at the Terramart.
In Other News:
There’s been a lot of work going into the quests and missions system. The team has been working very hard on it, and you’ll hear about that shortly, but I will share this little thing:
I spent some time today tweaking and prettying up the parallax layers for the desert biomes. I’ve felt that some of the backdrop art could look much better, and I spent some time replacing a particularly ugly one with a new backdrop piece. I’ll be doing several variations of these to spice things up a bit!
So I started work on adding shield generators to the existing dungeons at the end of last week. I’ve gotten a few done so far. Some have been relatively easy to handle, chiefly the dungeons that already had places naturally suited to the addition of a shield generator, with appropriate obstacles in place.
Others have involved a bit more work. With our dungeons now having wire functionality, I was able to do a lot of the stuff I’d wanted to do with the Apex test chamber dungeon since I first started it.
To give a better idea of what you’re looking at in the video, the player entering the facility will need to power things back up before they can progress any further. There is now a shield generator, but you aren’t going to be able to get to it at first. Two sets of doors restrict your access and you’re going to have to find the two switches that open them. Each switch opens one layer of doors. Only when you’ve activated both will the shield generator be exposed to you.
Presently in our nightly the shield generator just gets turned on and off by player interaction, but the intent is that you will have to smash them yourself. Once the generator is disabled you gain access to one last reward room where you might find something quite nice inside! Disabling the generator also restores the player’s ability to take the dungeon’s objects and blocks, as well as their ability to place blocks inside it.
This all is fairly simple when you describe it, but making it actually work has been a bit of a nightmare, since I have wires that appear in different rooms in random locations so I had to wrap my head around how best to use the logic gates, which I’m still relatively new to using. I had to make sure the brushes worked dungeon-wide and the pieces that were needed always appeared. I mean, take a look at this!
There’s still some functionality I’ll need before I can truly finish the dungeon as I originally envisioned, chiefly the ability to have traps and hazards controlled by wires. I ideally wanted the teslaspikes to only turn on when the player walks into the room (so you don’t know what the room is like until you get there), and to turn off when the switch at the end of each path is thrown (so you can travel back to the entrance in relative safety). I’ve already worked out precisely how I’m going to do this when the trap wiring functionality is added, but as this is more of a polish thing, its going to have to wait for now.
It’s been fascinating to see how something as simple as having a light turn on and off under specific circumstances can be incredibly involved. Still, it’s great to have this kind of control over the wiring system now. I don’t expect every dungeon will receive this treatment but I thought you might find it interesting to see how I’m using it so far. For now I’ll continue to update the other dungeons with our shield generators.
See you later folks!
It’s been a busy week already, and it’s only Wednesday!
We’ve completed most of the content and basic configuration for the first few tiers of the new biome and crafting progression, so we’re now working through the game one tier at a time to fix bugs, balance numbers, and generally tie everything together. There are a few more biomes to add (particularly at high tiers) and some exciting things like missions that we’ll be working on as we go along, but this mostly involves intensive playtesting and cleaning up all of the new (and old) issues we discover.
GeorgeV and the other artists continue to add more content, including a few more items to liven up the Garden biome. Armagon is configuring weapons and adding shield generators to dungeons. I’ve been fixing bugs and improving biome configurations. We’ve also gotten a good start on numerically balancing the combat and crafting for tier 1 (and discussed how this will relate to the overall progression). Too many small improvements to list!
Kyren also just finished a revamp of the liquid system. The main visible difference is that liquid is no longer compressible, so the total amounts of liquid in large pools will make much more sense, but the rendering methods are still the same. The more important benefit of this is that large quantities of liquid will now settle much more quickly and won’t lag out servers, so we can now start real work on ocean planets.
We’ll be posting more about Oceans and other biomes soon, once we get into the relevant content tiers, but I did just a bit of preliminary testing with Oceans in the new water system and I’m very excited about the prospect of filling them with life!
Today I spent time working on the starting planet’s garden biome. Those of you playing around on the nightlies might have noticed it needed a little bit of love.
The first issue was the lack of variation in foliage, so I spent some time drawing some additional pine trees. Metadept tweaked the biome settings to generate more flowers and bushes.
The second thing was the parallax background. The rolling hills were beautiful, but it looked a bit flat with the trees only available in the foreground. I fixed this by adding a few parallax layers with pine trees of various scales amongst the hills.
Lastly, the mountain skybox. I spent some time making it look unique, with tiny pines, grasslands and flowing rivers.
Here’s the culmination of these tweaks below:
The rest of the team has been busy working on bug fixing, starter quests (including quests that generate when you pick up certain items) and the game’s first mission. I expect you’ll be hearing about these in the near future!
Until next time, have a good evening!
“Starbound is one of the most impressive never-ending games I've ever played.”
9 – Polygon
“Starbound's delivering on its core promises even in its early access incarnation.”
“This might be a bare-bones version of the game to come, but boy, check out those bones. The game's minutiae will be mapped out across various wikis for years to come, and many mechanics will be added and refined, but even now, Starbound is an enticing journey of discovery that reminds you just how exciting it can be to stare at a sky full of stars.”
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