PC Gamer

Last week's PC Gamer Show featured an Early Access game, which prompted a larger discussion around the PC Gamer office: how do we feel about the rise of paid pre-release? Since Minecraft made us more comfortable with the idea of selling incomplete games, we've seen dozens of PC games embrace paid alphas and betas as part of their development process—everything from MechWarrior Online to H1Z1 and Heroes of the Storm. But as studios benefit from early feedback and funding, are they giving back enough in return? Tom and Evan sat down to talk it over. 

Share your thoughts on Early Access with us in the comments.

The PC Gamer Show appears every Friday. Hit us with PC gaming questions in the comments, and we might answer them in next week's episode! Or tweet @pcgamer with a question using the hashtag #AskPCGamer.

Community Announcements - JP
  • Mods can now be loaded via ZIP files from the Mods\ subdirectory of the game's install directory. Each ZIP is loaded as a simple virtual file system which can contain directories that mirror the main game scripts and override their behavior. A file called "init.lua" in the top level of each ZIP's directory structure will run when the mod is loaded, allowing you to perform any needed initialization. See the MyDemoObject.zip there for a simple example mod, which adds a new buildable object with its own artwork.
  • Arrow keys now pan view same as WASD keys.
  • "show_hints" flag added to bootconfig.cfg, set it false to disable the Hint system entirely.
  • Fixed: Unsuited citizens in a vacuum don't enter "sucked into space" immediately.
  • Fixed: Turrets don't spawn in derelicts and docking ships as intended.
  • Fixed: Various UI issues when resizing game window.
  • Fixed: Held weapons don't appear correctly on spacesuited characters.
  • Fixed: Research datacubes don't display properly.
  • Fixed: Ships dock onto pending construction.
  • Fixed: Base Seed Pod can start encased in an asteroid.
  • Fixed: Turrets don't display properly when scanning for threats.
  • Fixed: Raiders kill people imprisoned in brigs.
  • Fixed: Ship engines don't sort correctly with nearby walls.
Community Announcements - JP
  • Fixed: Citizens no longer place stuff on shelves, always have "stuff" need unsatisfied.
  • Fixed: Dropped ore disappears.
  • Fixed: Various rare crashes.
Community Announcements - JP
  • Completely rebalanced the galaxy map. Where you choose to build a new base matters a lot more now.
  • Raiders will no longer attack and destroy Airlock Suit Lockers - leads to too many obnoxious situations.
  • Tuned hint message priority and visibility durations.
  • Each entry in EnvObjectData.lua can now specify a sprite sheet, making it possible to create custom objects with new sprite sheets.
  • Fixed: Visible doors in unexplored derelicts always appear as broken airlock doors.
  • Fixed: Goals and base stats aren't wiped when starting a new game.
  • Fixed: Incapacitated hostiles prevent room claiming.
  • Fixed: Alerts display for hidden non-citizen illnesses, allowing you to select them in unknown territory.
  • Fixed: Player can drag camera while dragging new construction in Construct mode.

1.03
  • Character limit on character/room/object renaming.
  • Fixed: After ~45 minutes of play, events stop occuring for long periods of time.
  • Fixed: Crash on insufficient matter.
  • Fixed: Tutorial base shifts position on galaxy map.
  • Fixed: Construct menu items highlight improperly.
  • Fixed: Turrets can't fire through open doors.
Community Announcements - JP
(1.01 was released shortly after 1.0 and contained a few crash fixes.)

  • Hide back walls in construct mode when cutaway view is enabled.
  • Clearer visuals for Tear Down vs Vaporize wall tile orders.
  • If user tries to save during an event, save happens once event has run. Prevents various event state bugs.
  • Balance: Difficulty ramps up over slower time, final siege takes longer to happen.
  • Fixed: Security sometimes doesn't respond to Beacon in correct numbers.
  • Fixed: Tutorial conditions aren't completed when keyboard shortcuts are used.
  • Fixed: Final siege goal triggers prematurely.
  • Fixed: "Ghost helmets" appear on citizens during certain animations.
  • Fixed: Turrets don't attack hostiles in some cases.
  • Fixed: Some AI issues relating to survival situations.
  • Fixed: WASD keys function in full-screen menus.
  • Fixed: Pathfinding crash.
  • Fixed: Can't place weight benches.
  • Fixed: Crash building or hovering some objects.
  • Fixed: Time doesn't pause when starting a new game.
  • Fixed: Tutorial doesn't load correctly when selecting Outpost EZ-101 in Galaxy Map with resized window.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Hitting the space bar.

A game’s launch is usually such a happy affair, all streamers and balloons and fruit punch and jelly and ice cream and cartwheeling clowns, but it’s a little bittersweet for Spacebase DF-9. It’s not the game Double Fine wanted it to be, nor the game advertised to Early Access purchasers. DF scaled plans down last month as announced they couldn’t afford to keep making the sim space station, and would simply get it to a stable, finished-ish state then release the source code.

Spacebase DF-9 version 1.0 launched this week, also bringing players a virtual party bag containing the source and a free copy of Hack ‘n’ Slash. HnS owners were given a copy of Spacebase too.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

As of yesterday, Spacebase DF-9 is now in version 1.0, and while it's not quite as feature-packed as many were expecting, developers Double Fine have thrown in a little treat for current owners that might help to smooth things over a bit. If you bought the sci-fi base construction management sim during its Early Access phase, you should have just received a copy of Double Fine's Zelda-like Hack 'n' Slash on the house.

The same is true in reverse, meaning that owners of Hack 'n' Slash have just been given Spacebase for free on Steam as well. Moreover, the two games are now available in a double-pack, if you want both and have neither, and you can live with DF-9's dialled down ambition. There's a healthy 40% discount in place for Spacebase on Steam over the next week, and this applies to the double-pack as well.

We weren't too fussed on Hack 'n' Slash in our review, stating that it "starts as a clever game about game design, but ends up feeling like homework". You'll find our thoughts on Spacebase DF-9's Early Access version here.

What does update 1.0 add? Well, it adds a tutorial mode, a new goals screen, and a "Pirate Megafleet", in addition to the following list o' stuff.

  • All Famous Citizen tier customer names added to Credits and random citizen name pool.
  • Disaster Menu can be enabled with a secret key combination and used to unleash disasters on your base.
  • Many new sound effects, including crowd noises in rooms based on their current population.
  • Many small UI polish items. Look and feel of UI in the Citizen/Zone/Object Inspectors is now more consistent.
  • Brig and Residence assignment UI improvements: X button to clear an assignment, clicking the assignment button a second time cancels out of pick mode.
  • "Execute" button in citizen action tab causes security to immediately target this citizen. Use responsibly!
  • Asteroids are treated like walls for the purposes of object placement.
  • Citizens who are sleeping in beds that get destroyed wake up and become annoyed.
  • Clicking an object in the Contents section of a container s Stats Tab selects it.
  • Improved mouse wheel, middle mouse, and keyboard view zoom behaviors.
  • Vaporizing a wall with an object hanging on it vaporizes the object and refunds its matter.
  • Dropped research datacubes will preserve their claimed for research state. Scientists will try to drop them off somewhere in the base even if there isn t a Research Lab.
  • Citizens flee when someone is having a tantrum nearby.
  • Emergency Alarms in rooms with no/disabled alarm panels turn off.
  • Price of Dark Matter Reactor increased from 450 to 600.
  • Tooltip for a research datacube shows the blueprint it contains.
  • New Spaceface logs: cuffed, escaped from brig, needs shelving, security starts exploring a beacon, security finishes exploring a beacon.
  • Duty skill increases when morale is high, up to a 25% bonus per duty task.
  • Security citizens take their helmets off if they get into a brawl with another citizen.
  • "Flavor" text and descriptions for all objects that were lacking them.
  • Start new bases with time paused.
  • Balance: Many small changes to citizen morale and duty efficiency.
  • Balance: Turret damage output increased.
  • Balance: Buildable objects are more resilient.
  • Fixed: Dozens of crashes and AI issues.
  • Fixed: Scrollable views such as the Job Roster don t display correctly in non-16:9 aspect ratios.
  • Fixed: Decals remain after a tile is vaporized.
  • Fixed: On loading a savegame, citizens who were sleeping are awake and restart their sleep cycle.
  • Fixed: White helmets display on citizens when playing certain animations.
  • Fixed: Citizens exercise, play games, and hang out in functioning airlocks.
  • Fixed: Lower right UI buttons shift to left even if there are not enough alerts to warrant this.
  • Fixed: Job Roster columns highlight on hover incorrectly.
  • Fixed: Non-citizens in unclaimed derelicts do not react to dangerous situations.
  • Fixed: Botanists do not repair damaged or destroyed hydroponics cultures.
  • Fixed: Citizen talk and thought bubbles do not draw correctly.
  • Fixed: Exiting Job Roster / Research Assignment screens minimizes the Hint pane.
  • Fixed: Killbots bleed.
  • Fixed: Killbots get sick.
  • Fixed: Player can hover and select some objects or rooms within hidden areas.
  • Fixed: Security duty citizens flee in rooms with active alarms while doing certain tasks.
  • Fixed: Removed debug power visualization mode.
  • Fixed: Security Beacon location isn t preserved across save+load.
  • Fixed: Flipped text on the Alarm Panel.
  • Fixed: Turrets in space can t be deactivated.
  • Fixed: Breach ships don t play VFX when taking damage or exploding.
  • Fixed: Text overlaps UI in several miscellaneous places.
  • Fixed: Matter counts up/down from previous session s total when starting a new base.
Oct 27, 2014
Community Announcements - JP
In addition to hundreds of bug fixes and polish items, this release adds a Tutorial Mode for newcomers and a Goals screen that gives players objectives to work toward. These and many smaller improvements knit the game together into a more complete experience for 1.0.

The game’s Lua source code is now available in the game’s install directory on all platforms. Usually this will be in your Steam directory, under SteamApps\common\SpacebaseDF9\Data\Scripts. If you own the game you can modify these files and distribute your modifications to other users as you like. A large portion of Spacebase is written in Lua, so there are relatively few limits on what you can do with this.

The 1.0 release also sees the game’s price drop to the science-fictionally appropriate price of $20.01 US. In addition we’re introducing a new bundle of our two community-voted Amnesia Fortnight turned Indie Funded projects, Spacebase and Hack ‘n’ Slash, for $24.99. As a bonus for the customers who have supported us thus far, anyone who already owns the game gets a free copy of Hack ‘n’ Slash, and anyone who owns Hack ‘n’ Slash gets a free copy of Spacebase.

As we’ve done with all our alpha releases, we’ll roll out minor updates in the next few days or weeks to fix any issues that come up.

Thank you so much for your support and patience for the past year. We’ve learned a lot and are proud of what we managed to accomplish, and it’s all thanks to your support.
Community Announcements - JP
Major Features / Enhancements

New Tutorial Mode teaches basic game concepts. Access Tutorial Mode by selecting “Learn to Play” from the pause menu or by picking Tutorial Outpost EZ-101 on the Galaxy Map.

New Goals Screen tracks player progress towards persistent goals, such as “50 citizens on base”, “Researched all technologies”, etc.

Later in the game hostile forces now show up in greater numbers and combinations, culminating in a visit from the Pirate Megafleet once your base becomes successful enough. Survive the onslaught to complete the game’s hardest goal.

Minor Improvements / Bug Fixes
  • All “Famous Citizen” tier customer names added to Credits and random citizen name pool.
  • Disaster Menu can be enabled with a secret key combination and used to unleash disasters on your base.
  • Many new sound effects, including crowd noises in rooms based on their current population.
  • Many small UI polish items. Look and feel of UI in the Citizen/Zone/Object Inspectors is now more consistent.
  • Brig and Residence assignment UI improvements: X button to clear an assignment, clicking the assignment button a second time cancels out of pick mode.
  • "Execute" button in citizen action tab causes security to immediately target this citizen. Use responsibly!
  • Asteroids are treated like walls for the purposes of object placement.
  • Citizens who are sleeping in beds that get destroyed wake up and become annoyed.
  • Clicking an object in the Contents section of a container’s Stats Tab selects it.
  • Improved mouse wheel, middle mouse, and keyboard view zoom behaviors.
  • Vaporizing a wall with an object hanging on it vaporizes the object and refunds its matter.
  • Dropped research datacubes will preserve their “claimed for research” state. Scientists will try to drop them off somewhere in the base even if there isn’t a Research Lab.
  • Citizens flee when someone is having a tantrum nearby.
  • Emergency Alarms in rooms with no/disabled alarm panels turn off.
  • Price of Dark Matter Reactor increased from 450 to 600.
  • Tooltip for a research datacube shows the blueprint it contains.
  • New Spaceface logs: cuffed, escaped from brig, needs shelving, security starts exploring a beacon, security finishes exploring a beacon.
  • Duty skill increases when morale is high, up to a 25% bonus per duty task.
  • Security citizens take their helmets off if they get into a brawl with another citizen.
  • "Flavor" text and descriptions for all objects that were lacking them.
  • Start new bases with time paused.
  • Balance: Many small changes to citizen morale and duty efficiency.
  • Balance: Turret damage output increased.
  • Balance: Buildable objects are more resilient.
  • Fixed: Dozens of crashes and AI issues.
  • Fixed: Scrollable views such as the Job Roster don’t display correctly in non-16:9 aspect ratios.
  • Fixed: Decals remain after a tile is vaporized.
  • Fixed: On loading a savegame, citizens who were sleeping are awake and restart their sleep cycle.
  • Fixed: White helmets display on citizens when playing certain animations.
  • Fixed: Citizens exercise, play games, and hang out in functioning airlocks.
  • Fixed: Lower right UI buttons shift to left even if there are not enough alerts to warrant this.
  • Fixed: Job Roster columns highlight on hover incorrectly.
  • Fixed: Non-citizens in unclaimed derelicts do not react to dangerous situations.
  • Fixed: Botanists do not repair damaged or destroyed hydroponics cultures.
  • Fixed: Citizen talk and thought bubbles do not draw correctly.
  • Fixed: Exiting Job Roster / Research Assignment screens minimizes the Hint pane.
  • Fixed: Killbots bleed.
  • Fixed: Killbots get sick.
  • Fixed: Player can hover and select some objects or rooms within hidden areas.
  • Fixed: Security duty citizens flee in rooms with active alarms while doing certain tasks.
  • Fixed: Removed debug power visualization mode.
  • Fixed: Security Beacon location isn’t preserved across save+load.
  • Fixed: Flipped text on the Alarm Panel.
  • Fixed: Turrets in space can’t be deactivated.
  • Fixed: Breach ships don’t play VFX when taking damage or exploding.
  • Fixed: Text overlaps UI in several miscellaneous places.
  • Fixed: Matter counts up/down from previous session’s total when starting a new base.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Dwarf Abort-ress more like.

Last week Double Fine announced that Spacebase DF-9 development was coming to an end. The issue was that hundreds of features that had previously been listed as “maybe possibly” coming to the game were no longer to going to be delivered, replaced instead with the release of the game’s LUA codebase so the community could add content themselves.

People are understandably peeved. Tim Schafer has now commented on the game’s Steam discussion forum in response to some of the common questions about what happened.

… [visit site to read more]

...

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