Starbound

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Starbound
Starbound Logo.png
Starbound logo
Developer(s) Chucklefish Games
Publisher(s) Chucklefish Games
Designer(s) Finn "Tiy" Brice
Programmer(s) Catherine "Kyren" West
Michael "OmnipotentEntity" Reilly
Bart "Bartwe" van der Werf
Artist(s) GeorgeV
Rho
Legris
Armagon
Writer(s) Ashton Raze
Composer(s) Curtis Schweitzer
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4,[1][2] PlayStation Vita,[3] PlayStation 3
Release date(s) Windows, OS X, Linux
  • WW December 4, 2013 (beta)[4]
PlayStation Vita
  • WW TBA
PlayStation 4
  • WW TBA
PlayStation 3
  • WW TBA
Genre(s) Adventure, role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Starbound is an indie game produced by the UK-based independent game studio Chucklefish Ltd. Starbound takes place in a two-dimensional, procedurally generated universe which the player will explore in order to obtain new weapons, armour, and miscellaneous items. Starbound entered alpha testing on December 4, 2013 for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux.[5]

Synopsis[edit]

Starbound begins with the player inside a spacecraft fleeing their homeworld, each race with their own unique reasons for leaving. With nothing to guide it, the shuttle shoots into space without direction, becoming hopelessly lost in a sea of stars. As luck would have it, the space shuttle touches down on a habitable planet and an adventure begins that takes the player hurtling across the universe. Starbound contains both quests and story driven missions, buried inside its vast sandbox universe.[6] The space shuttle acts as the player's vehicle while exploring the galaxy, containing a teleport pad the player can use to teleport down to planets the shuttle is visiting, a ship locker for storing items, a fuel panel for refueling the ship, a 3d printer for creating objects, and a cockpit for piloting the ship. The interior of the ship is also fully customizable, with any blocks able to be placed in the ship.

Gameplay[edit]

The planets the player explores are procedurally generated. These planets will have unique features to them, each one having a different theme. They will have seeds (called coordinates in the game), that are generated with the world. If these coordinates are shared, they can allow a player to visit another player's planet. Each planet is unique, with different types of terrain, procedurally generated foliage, weather, day/night cycles, gravity levels, enemy appearance and behaviour, materials, colour of materials and foliage, and various backdrops.[7]

Mechanics[edit]

Many gameplay elements, such as items (i.e. guns, armour, and clothing), enemies,[8] and planets, use procedural generation in order to provide a massive variety of content. The game will feature story-based missions, quests, free world exploration, enemies to fight, and the ability to interact with and terraform the environment. Player class is defined by items that the player is wearing. There will also be a variety of space weaponry based on that of many sci-fi films.[7]

According to Starbound creator Finn "Tiy" Brice, the player will also have the ability to choose an alternative path to earn their place in the galaxy, including the ability to farm and sell crops, build buildings and charge rent to traveling NPCs or pirating spaceships and planets among other features announced.[9]

Playable Races[edit]

There are seven playable races in the game, and six in the beta:

  • Apex are ape-like creatures with naturally humanoid features. Due to a process that Apex researchers discovered, they are able to upgrade their intellectual state while degrading their physical state. There is much dissent among them, as individuals chosen for researching a better process never return.
  • Avians are bird-like creatures without wings. They believe that their wings were lost upon entrance into the mortal world from the "Aether", or their "Plane of Gods". They believe that they will regain their wings upon entrance into the "Aether", which they believe is achieved only by complete theological devotion. Non-worshipers are called "The Grounded".
  • Florans are carnivorous plant creatures. They have a peaceful appearance but are highly violent, engaging in wars with other factions of their race. At one point, they managed to conquer another race's world. They are exceptional at reverse engineering technology. It is not known if this capability has an effect on gameplay.
  • Humans are ordinary Humans. In time, Humans on Earth grew to create a single Human empire. Humans gained the ability of complete space travel at one point. Earth was a place of peace and enlightenment for many years. However, a hostile tentacle alien race had been growing inside the core. It grew to the point of destroying Earth's cities, and scattered the Human race into the universe.
  • Hylotl are an amphibious species. They are the most docile race after living under the sea for many years, eventually developing empathy toward all living races. Their strong obsession with beauty seems to be their driving notion. With their empathy for all living creatures, the Hylotl send out members of their race as missionaries to spread peace. The Hylotl were eventually driven off-world by the Florans. Although they are docile, they are very proficient in the use of weaponry. Hylotl culture appears to resemble that of feudal Japan.
  • The Glitch are robotic creatures with their mindsets stuck in the Medieval Age. The Glitch were created by an unknown race, and they are controlled by a single hivemind; their entire purpose is to build, expand, and evolve. Inevitably, they learned that they are artificial constructs when they deconstructed themselves, realizing that their inside contents were nothing more than mechanical parts. Their understanding of the world leads them to realize that artificial things have a creator. This gave them the ability of self-awareness; some Glitch accept their role as workers while others pursue the truth.
  • The Novakid (Not playable yet) are beings made out of solar energy. As the Novakids have little to no desire to record their history, little is known about their origins and any groundbreaking research is forgotten within a few generations. This race was announced when the pre-order campaign raised $500,000, and is going to be added after full release.[10]

Development[edit]

Starbound was formally announced by Tiyuri in February 2012,[11] with a tiered, Kickstarter-style, pre-order opening via the Humble Store on April 13, 2013. Tier options included a copy of the game, an invite to the beta, and a download of the game's soundtrack, as well as game-related "rewards", such as naming an in-game NPC, designing a hat or weapon, and having a statue of oneself designed to be placed in the game.[12] Within 24 hours of the pre-order opening, over 10,000 people backed the game, contributing over $230,000 to fund the game's development.[13] By April 29, 2013, the Starbound pre-order had reached all three of its stretch goals by raising over $1,000,000.[14] The game entered its initial stage of beta and was released on Steam on December 4, 2013, receiving over $2,000,000 in pre-orders prior to its launch.[15]

By January 6, 2014, Starbound had sold over one million copies.[16]

Starbound received its latest official content update on February 18, 2014, featuring Valentine's Day items and new death animations. [17]

Starbound is written in C++ and uses a custom game engine.[18]

Chucklefish Games has a website and a forum dedicated to the game in which they answer questions and help people with the current problems with the game.

Audio[edit]

Starbound's soundtrack is being composed mainly by American composer Curtis Schweitzer, but also features pieces composed by Jeremy "Solatrus" Iamurri of the Homestuck Music Team.[19]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 70.00%[20]

Award[edit]

Award Result
"Most Anticipated Game of 2013" (Indie Game Magazine) Won[21][22]
"No. 1 of Indie of The Year 2013" Won[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ahmad, Shahid (August 20, 2013). "Gamescom Indie Avalanche: N++, Volume, Hotline Miami 2". PlayStation.com. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Raze, Ashton (August 20, 2013). "Starbound: Extraterrestrial Sandbox Adventure Coming to PS4". PlayStation.com. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ McWhertor, Michael (August 20, 2013). "Fez, Starbound and Velocity 2X coming to PS Vita". Polygon. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Starbound on Steam". Store.steampowered.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Twitter / mollygos: IT'S UP, it's live". Twitter.com. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  6. ^ "About | Starbound". Chucklefish Studios. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Nathan Meunier (May 24, 2012). "Preview: Starbound". GameSpy.com. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Twitter / Tiyuri: "So, Fridays will be "tweet ..."". July 13, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Starbound devs detail huge future additions to progression, PVP, and missions". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  10. ^ "Stretch Goal 1". April 13, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ Priestman, Chris (February 17, 2012). "Tiyuri Unveils His Upcoming Game 'Starbound'". indiegamemag.com work=Indie Game Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ Rossignol, Jim (April 13, 2013). "Starbound Pre-Orders Prove Somewhat Popular". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. rockpapershotgun.com. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ Sykes, Tom (April 13, 2013). "Starbound pre-orders bring in over $230,000, game seems 'bound' for success - News - PC Gamer". PC Gamer. pcgamer.com. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Starbound Pre-Order". Playstarbound.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  15. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (December 4, 2013). "Starbound beta lands on PC, Mac and Linux today". EuroGamer. eurogamer.net. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  16. ^ Suddi, Aran (January 6, 2014). "Starbound Reaches Over One Million Sales". The Sixth Axis. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  17. ^ "v. Enraged Koala Patch Notes". Chucklefish. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  18. ^ "FAQ - Starbound". Chucklefish. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  19. ^ Reilly, Michael (June 16, 2012). "Music in Starbound.". playstarbound.com. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Terraria". GameRankings. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  21. ^ Gnade, Mike (2013). "The Best Indie Games of 2012 Chosen by You in Issue 30". The Indie Game Magazine (IndieGameMag.com) (30): 14. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  22. ^ Mike, Gnade (February 4, 2013). "IGM Readers Choice: The Best Indie Games of the Year 2012". indiegamemag.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Indie of The Year 2013 feature - Indie DB". 

External links[edit]