Star Explorers Version 3.0 is Here! It's the interstellar dungeon crawler. Traverse a randomly generated galaxy in your own spacecraft, landing on planets, fighting aliens, finding resources, upgrading items, exploring caves, all while seeking out a new home for the human race.
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2018 年 5 月 8 日
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6 月 24 日

The Origins of Star Explorers

This game has been accused of being a No Man's Sky clone by some players. While there are definite similarities between the two games, I wanted to set the record straight about this idea. I actually had a working version of Star Explorers up and running well before No Man's Sky had even been announced.

Now I would not try to suggest that No Man's Sky copied my idea. That would be absurd, in fact there were other games with very similar ideas that predate both games. I wrote an article about this experience here:

The Time I Almost Invented No Man's Sky

After writing this article, and releasing Star Explorers, I did indeed spend some time playing No Man's Sky. I did enjoy it, but ultimately left me a bit underwhelmed. It is an amazing accomplishment in many ways, and I don't want to put it down, or to suggest that my game is in any way better. I am too close to this project to have anything resembling an unbiased opinion.

However, I will mention a few issue that bothered me about No Man's Sky, and how Star Explorers differs on those points.

1. Crafting:
No Man's Sky seems to require that the player spend a lot of time searching for resources and crafting things in order to get from one place to another. I think I spent 50% of my play time breaking rocks. I was playing on the standard game, for the record. I found this approach somewhat tedious, as, of course, I wanted to explore more than I wanted to look at the ground breaking things.

Star Explorers has a crafting system, but it is pretty much optional. You can find blueprints for objects and gather up resources in order to create certain items. These can occasionally help you in tough situations, and there are a few items that must be crafted if you want to use them, but they are not required to win the game.

2. Planet Types:
I found that every planet I landed on had a lot of very similar features. All of them had life forms of one kind or another, and all of them had those robot drones flying around. I also noticed that every planet I landed on had other spaceships flying overhead, and I could not help but notice that there was generally a lot more "activity" than I would have expected there to be.

Now I understand how this might be preferable to some players. However, I think Star Explorers has a somewhat wider range of experience with planet surfaces. I'm not comparing the artwork, graphics and/or realism, and these are surely also important to players, but by having some planets with no life at all, and by making life somewhat rare, I feel like Star Explorers offers an experience that feels more like exploration.

Landing on a completely dead world, with only rocks, may be somewhat boring. But this experience will make the discovery of life more exciting, and memorable.

3. Size:
No Man's Sky is very impressive and even breathtaking in its scope. Trillions of stars and planets make it potentially as large as a real galaxy! However, after landing on some of those planets, it is pretty much impossible to actually explore even one of them with any kind of thoroughness. As a video game completionist, the sheer size of No Man's Sky makes it really difficult to take in.

Star Explorers creates a new galaxy each time you start a new game. Each galaxy has around 200 or so stars. Each star can have between 1 and 9 planets. Planet surfaces are much smaller than those in No Man's Sky, so if a player wanted to, they could theoretically explore each planet in the Star Explorers galaxy. The game also lets you take notes, so a thorough adventurer could realistically map out each world and complete the game within their lifetime, really within a regular game's play-time of a few hundred hours or so. There is no requirement to do this, I'm just stating that it is possible.

For me, bigger is not always better. So while I am impressed and intrigued by the vastness of No Man's Sky, I also prefer my games to be within my personal ability to actually explore.

Conclusion:
These have been just a few thoughts on Star Explorers and it's comparison to the more popular No Man's Sky. Again, as the developer of Star Explorers, I am not an unbiased judge of either game, given their similarities. But I felt the need to express my thoughts and experiences with both.

I hope you, as players, would also consider sharing your experiences too.

P.S. I fully acknowledge that Star Explorers and No Man's Sky are in different leagues as far as quality and budget. Star Explorers is priced accordingly. But many people have asked how Star Explorers differs from No Man's Sky, so I feel it is important to give some information on how they compare.
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6 月 6 日

Save Directory Issue Fixed

I have fixed the issue that caused problems when playing the game on different Windows accounts on the same computer.

So, briefly, I had changed the Star Explorers save directory from within the Star Explorers installation folder, to the ProgramData folder. This solved one problem, but introduced another one.

In order to resolve this new problem, I have moved the Star Explorers save directory to where it should have gone, to the user's local AppData folder.

Missing Save Files
Because of these shifts in the save directory, when you open Star Explorers 3.0, you may no longer see your saved game files.

FEAR NOT!

The files are still in the old save directory. So, if you have been following the "testing" version of the game for the last few weeks, you will have to:
  • go to "C:/ProgramData/Star Explorers/" and copy your game's save folder (the name you typed in when you started a new game)
  • then start Star Explorers and begin a new game with the same name
  • Finally, navigate to "C:/Users/-your username-/AppData/Local/Star Explorers/" and paste your old save folder there, allowing it to overwrite the new one.
    NOTE: AppData is a hidden Windows folder, so you may have to open "Folder and Search Options" - Click on the "Views" tab - then check "Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives" from the list.

Sorry about this inconvenience. Now that saved games are located in the correct directory, this should not be an issue going forward.

Upgrading from Version 2.1
If you were playing the default version of Star Explorers up till now, you have a couple options.

Start a New Game
Version 3.0 is more stable than the previous versions, and has a number of new features. To take advantage of this, and reduce the risk of some latent problem being carried over, it is recommended to start a new game.

Roll Back to the Previous Version
If you want to continue playing your old game, you can roll back to the previous version by right-clicking "Star Explorers > Properties > Betas" and selecting "Version2" from the drop down. This should restore the previous version of Star Explorers (2.1) and allow you to continue your game as you left it.

Bring Your Old Game into the New Version
I would not advise doing this. I cannot guarantee it will work 100% but you are free to try if you like.
  • Locate your previous save directory by right-clicking "Star Explorers > Properties > Local Files" and selecting "Browse Local Files" from the window.
  • then start Star Explorers and begin a new game with the same name
  • Finally, navigate to "C:/Users/-your username-/AppData/Local/Star Explorers/" and paste your old save folder there, allowing it to overwrite the new one.
  • NOTE: AppData is a hidden Windows folder, so you may have to open "Folder and Search Options" - Click on the "Views" tab - then check "Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives" from the list.

Contact Me
Sorry again for any inconvenience this has caused you. My hope is that this will be the most stable version of Star Explorers ever. If these initial hurdles can be overcome, then you will find a better experience than you had with the game previously, and this structure should be maintained going forward.

If you have any questions about getting your old game to work in the new version, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly at michael@schmidtworkshops.com, or simple post your questions here or on the discussion forum.
0 則留言 繼續閱讀

關於此遊戲

Star Explorers - Version 3.0

Earth has been destroyed, and humanity must find a way to survive. Star Explorers is the interstellar dungeon crawler. It attempts to capture the vastness, loneliness and desolation of space exploration. Land on planets, explore the surface as well as cave systems, ancient ruins and more on your quest to find a new home for the human race.

Reviews:

"...See, the galaxy Schmidt has created here isn't cruel. "Cruel" implies that it cares. And this galaxy is terribly, terribly uncaring..." - MagFlare – Steam User

"...This game, at its core, is about exploration, and it scratches my space exploration itch in a way that no game has since I played Starflight as a kid..." - battlescar2014 – Steam User

Current Features:

  • Randomly generated galaxy which the player can fully explore
  • Randomly generated planets, caves and other environments
  • Randomly generated alien life, either hostile or friendly towards the player
  • Combat system with aliens on planets and in caves
  • Inventory and Trade System with mothership and some friendly aliens
  • Quests from both mothership and friendly aliens, in addition to the main quest
  • Upgrade system allowing player to explore wider range of planets over the course of the game
  • Crafting system, including unique artifacts that must be constructed with ancient blueprints
  • Day/Night cycles on each planet
  • Resource management and survival in hostile conditions
  • Database of Sectors, Stars and Planets in which player can take notes and customize the names of stars and planets
  • 4K and custom resolutions are supported

Planets

Planets are formed randomly, but their conditions are based on somewhat scientific factors. The size and temperature of the star they orbit, their distance from that star, the type of surface, atmosphere, and liquids present (or not) determine how a planet will look once landed on. Players will be able to land, depart and return to planets, exploring their surfaces as well as underground cave systems repeatedly, while keeping the same features intact on each visit.

Exploration

Fuel, ammunition and oxygen will all have to be carefully managed if the player wants to survive the long search for an earth-like planet. While many planets will be too hot or cold, or without an atmosphere, there are also worlds of liquid methane, ammonia, sulphuric acid and more, that have developed their own unique evolutionary cycles. Each kind of alien plant, tree or animal is pieced together randomly, making for a unique experience for each player.

The Star Explorers universe is not a friendly one though, it can be cruel and indifferent to the struggles of its inhabitants. If you're not careful, you might land on a planet that's just too hot, or too cold, or enveloped in a cloud of corrosive acid, and not live to tell about it. Upgrading your space suit will unlock these otherwise impossible worlds to further exploration.

Inventory, Upgrading and Crafting

Exploration will allow the player to discover many things, including tools and resources that will help in further exploration. Among these are raw materials, weapons, armor upgrades and blueprints that allow you to craft helpful items. Armor upgrades will increase your space suit's resistance to heat, cold and other environmental hazards. Some weapons allow you to access areas that may be closed off to less experienced adventurers.

Caves and Ancient Ruins

Star Explorers may be the first interstellar dungeon crawler. Traversing the dark, hidden places and caves is necessary to find the resources required to complete the game. Discover the crumbling remains of an ancient culture and learn the secrets of its mysterious people. In Star Explorers, exploration and investigation are rewarded with special items and locations that many players may never find. If you are someone who likes to look around every corner, then this is the game for you.

Generative Design

Almost everything in Star Explorers is produced generatively. From the locations of stars and nebulae, to the surfaces of planets and their features, every location is different, and every play-through offers unique challenges. Even the music heard in game is generated in real time, and is based purely on the parameters of the player's environment. Each planet, cave and other location has a unique sound-track.

Shaders and Options

Star Explorers has a number of visual options you may choose from. Among them is the “Old-School Pixel Shader” which offers a unique, low-resolution experience. The graphics are not really at pace with newer games, but real-time shadows, bloom and a smoothing shader are also available for those who enjoy a slightly more contemporary feel. You also have control of your field of view, mouse sensitivity and game/music volume, along with options that may help the game run more smoothly on older hardware. See the manual for full documentation.

The Future of Star Explorers

After a year of Early Access, Star Explorers has arrived at a point where I feel it matches my original design document. Fulfilling my promise to have it completed in a year was important to me, but that does not mean I am finished working on it. I have many other ideas I may choose to add to the game's content. Chief among these are the following:

  • Space battles with alien ships
  • Boarding and exploring alien spaceships
  • More variety of celestial objects, like moons, asteroids and more
  • Alien cities on certain planets
  • I even have a mechanism for Time Travel (this is really outside of the original idea, but I am intrigued by the possibility of doing this anyway)

At some point in the future, I may begin work on these new features. The timing and consistency of these potential future updates will depend largely on how well the game is received by its audience. The more I hear from players, the more likely I will stay motivated to continue on this project.

Regarding Windows 10

Version 3.0 has been updated to work with some of the newer security measures in Windows 10 and other recent versions of Windows.

系統需求

    最低配備:
    • 作業系統: Windows XP / Vista / Win 7 / Win 8 / Server 2008 / Server 2012, 32 Bit or 64 Bit; DirectX 9.0c or above.
    • 處理器: AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium
    • 記憶體: 3 GB 記憶體
    • 顯示卡: 64 MB video card - 1280 x 720 screen resoluion recommended
    • DirectX: 版本:9.0c
    • 儲存空間: 1 GB 可用空間
    • 音效卡: Yes, if you want to hear anything.
    • 備註: Other older hardware may work, but has not been tested.
    建議配備:
    • 作業系統: Windows XP / Vista / Win 7 / Win 8 / Server 2008 / Server 2012, 32 Bit or 64 Bit; DirectX 9.0c or above.
    • 處理器: AMD Phenom II X4 965 or Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz
    • 記憶體: 6 GB 記憶體
    • 顯示卡: 256 MB video card - 1280 x 720 screen resoluion recommended
    • 儲存空間: 1 GB 可用空間
    • 備註: Shader 2.0 support

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