Astroneer concept art
|Developer(s)||System Era Softworks|
|Publisher(s)||System Era Softworks|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 4|
Astroneer is a sandbox adventure game developed by System Era Softworks. The game was released through early access in December 2016 before a full release in 2019. The player is tasked with colonizing planets, creating structures, and mining resources. Astroneer has no set goal or storyline, though each planet holds challenges for players to complete.
Astroneer is a sandbox adventure game played from a third-person view. Its open world planets, wherein terraforming can take place, are subject to procedural generation, with the exception of some planet specific resources. The player controls an astronaut (called an astroneer) who navigates on foot, or by rover or spacecraft.
Craftable items include rovers, buggies, spaceshuttles, storage silos, atmospheric condensers, research chambers, component smelters, batteries, generators, turbines, and solar panels. For example, Ammonium can be converted into hydrazine fuel for an Astroneer's spacecraft, or used in its raw form to create a limited-use thruster. When low on oxygen, the Astroneer recharges by staying near craftable tethers, which can be chained over long distances to prevent suffocation. As of the game's full release, an "oxygenator" is required to provide extended reach of oxygen when tethering.
Every Astroneer has a Terrain Tool, which allows the player to gather resources and reshape the landscape. Resources, such as organic material, quartz, lithium, ammonium, and resin, are neatly packaged by the Terrain Tool into convenient stacks. These stacks can then be snapped into slots on the Astoneer's backpack, storage units, research chambers, etc. Certain resources, such as titanite or clay, can be smelted or combined into more advanced materials. The Astroneer also has the option to research and craft upgrades to the Terrain Tool, which can be plugged and unplugged at will.
Other than the Terrain Tool, the Backpack is the Astroneer's main tool. The Backpack functions as the player's inventory and HUD, with two quick-use slots, eight storage slots, a basic 3D printer, a small internal power supply (shown by a column of yellow segments), and a built-in oxygen tank (shown as a horizontal blue bar). The Terrain Tool, which also has three slots that can be used for storage, hangs from the side of the Backpack when not in use. The Backpack also contains the Research Catalogue, which the player uses to unlock new crafting blueprints.
Development and release
Astroneer was announced in October 2015 by System Era Softworks and is developed with the Unreal Engine 4. The art style is composed of texture-less environments, conceptualized by artist John Liberto. Co-founder and lead artist Paul Pepera died on March 27, 2017, 4 months after Astroneer's early access release.
Astroneer was first released in early access for Windows and Xbox One on December 16, 2016 before it officially released on February 6, 2019. A PlayStation 4 version was released on November 15, 2019.
|2019||SXSW Gaming Awards||Gamer's Voice: Video Game||Won|||
|2019 Webby Awards||Adventure Game||Won|||
|Best Art Direction (People's Voice)||Won|
|Best Game Design (People's Voice)||Won|
|Best User Experience||Won|
|Best Visual Design (People's Voice)||Won|
|2020||2020 Webby Awards||Independent Creator||Won|||
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