Earth is gone ... Humanity is faced with extinction...Star Explorers is about discovery and exploration. Traverse a randomly generated galaxy in your own spacecraft, landing on planets, finding resources, upgrading items, all while seeking out a new home for the human race.
All Reviews:
Mixed (19) - 63% of the 19 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
May 8, 2018
Developer:
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Recent updates View all (94)

June 20

Version 1.3 in Beta

A couple new features have been added to the beta version of Star Explorers.

Updated Star Chart- Again
The star chart has been updated again, the mothership is now represented on as a green mothership shaped icon.

Inventory Overhaul
Inventory, trade and cache boxes now have some enhancements. First, when you take in new inventory, it will check to see if you already have the same type of item, and will add to the existing amount, if the item is stackable. Okay, yes this functionality already existed, however, there was a problem if there was an empty slot before the existing item. Now it will check all the slots first, then, only if that item does not exist, will it add the new item to the empty slot. I hope this makes sense.

Secondly, an amount slider has been added to all inventory transactions. Previously you could only choose the amount when selling items. Now you can choose a specific amount when buying or selling from a trader, and when taking or placing items in a cache.

How Are We Doing
Star Explorers is improving as a game, and the numbers are reflecting that. Although it is by no means a run-away success, and sales numbers have fallen dramatically since the first week of it's full release, they are starting to creep upwards again. Maybe it's too early to call this a trend, but have not seen that happen with any of my previous games, outside of a sale or some other external marketing effort, so I'll take it as a good sign.

Secondly, the average amount of time users spend playing the game has gone up a lot since its original release back in 2017. I'll take this as another good sign overall. Also there is a small but growing core of players who are spending a lot of time in-game. This trend could explain the increase in sales activity, since other Steam users will be able to see what games people are playing, and may become interested as a result ... so keep playing!

Star Explorers has been described as a slow burner. It's a bit open ended and maybe a bit bewildering to new players. But as you get used to the controls, and begin finding your way around the gaaxy, you will be creating new experiences. The procedural nature of the game will ensure that each play-through will be unique, with it's own challenges and rewards. I would encourage players to stick with the game, and give it a chance to get interesting before throwing in the towel. Also, I am still totally open to feedback, so if you have a problem or a suggestion, don't hesitate to contact me, or just open a discussion here on the Community Hub.

What's Next
These positive trends, however slight at this point, are helping me to keep focused on the game. Improvements will be slow but hopefully steady, until I have depleted all my energies. The next fixes will include improving the game's interactivity. Standing a little too close to a console or item sometimes makes the hand icon disappear, I need to improve this. Also, the current star chart has similar issues when you are attempting to select a star or planet. Holding the right-mouse button and rotating the view will help in the current state, but I want to make this a better experience as well.

Casual mode is another aspect I want to work on next. I've found a number of players feel the game is too hard (including my own kids) and I want to offer an option for those who would just like to explore, without the challenges of survival. While I like the idea of adding this option, I still would want to encourage players to try the "real" game. To do this, I think I would have to do something kind of drastic, like disabling inventory. There would be no need to collect items, materials, upgrades or weapons if there is no survival aspect to the game. So inventory and trade would not serve any actual purpose, right? Anyway, just thinking out-loud at this point. Any feedback is welcome.

Thanks for playing Star Explorers!
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June 10

Beta Update 1.2

A couple new features have been added.

New View Screen
I widened the viewscreen in the ship to allow the player to see more of the galaxy from the console. Since I was thinking about updating the interior of the ship, having a wider viewscreen would be the first issue to address. That probably won't happen for a while though, so for now I added this simple fix.

Updated Star Chart
The star chart has been updated. Instead of presenting data as a kind of spread sheet, it is not a, interactive 3D Map. It still displays the exact same data as before, i.e. only sectors, stars and planets that have been scanned, but presents them in 3 dimensions.

You can still read specific information, change names and take notes as before, and warping to stars is still accessible from the new chart. In addition, there is a little green pointer that represents your spaceship. I plan to add the mothership next.

Left click on sectors, stars and planets to access their information. Right clicking will allow you to rotate the camera, and scrolling with the middle mouse will allow you to zoom in and out. It still feels a bit clunky, but it is a work in progress.

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About This Game

Star Explorers:

Earth has been destroyed, and humanity must find a way to survive. Your job is to help the human race, those remaining on the mother-ship, to find another earth-like world to inhabit. Star Explorers attempts to capture the vastness, loneliness and desolation of space exploration, along with easy to learn, old-school shooter mechanics.

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

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.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / Win 7 / Win 8 / Server 2008 / Server 2012, 32 Bit or 64 Bit; DirectX 9.0c or above.
    • Processor: AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 64 MB 3D video card 1280 x 720 - 1280 x 1024 or 1280 x 800 screen resolutions are supported
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Yes, if you want to hear anything.
    • Additional Notes: Other older hardware may work, but has not been tested.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / Win 7 / Win 8 / Server 2008 / Server 2012, 32 Bit or 64 Bit; DirectX 9.0c or above.
    • Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965 or Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB video card 1280 x 720 - 1280 x 1024 or 1280 x 800 screen resolutions are supported
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Shader 2.0 support
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