I've been waiting for some updated news about Starbound. I've remained out of the loop for a while, so after seeing Travis mention something about an update, I thought it was time to look into it. One of the developers posted some great thoughts about the game's development, which give great insight into Starbound and Early Access gaming (http://playstarbound.com/some-thoughts-on-early-access-release-dates-the-big-1-0/).

I also found out that the developers were going to be releasing "nightly builds." This gives us access to what they have done each day. In order to access them you have to opt-in to get them (http://playstarbound.com/nightly-builds-are-live/). It is recommended to back up your game files, if you want to save anything. I did not create a back up because I wasn't too concerned about saving my current characters. After Starbound updated with the "nightly builds," I was given an error. After some brief troubleshooting, I found that I had to delete my universe and player folders along with starbound.config. This got the game running.

I also realized that all schematics seemed to be unlocked and I was invincible. Luckily, I found a post about it that said you need to turn off administrator privileges. Typing "/ruinthefun" in the game took care of all of that. While I've only spent a couple of hours with the new build, I thought I'd share some of the issues I ran into along with how to resolve them.

I'm looking forward to exploring the game again to see what's changed since the last main update. I think just even after playing it for a couple of hours has shown me some of those changes, which are so far welcome.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 02:06am

From Ty's post:

"1.0 used to be the version at which the game was released and sold. Finished was the point at which a game went on sale. By this old definition Starbound is technically finished. However we’ve obviously decided not to label the game 1.0 or finished. Yet the game is available to buy. So what does 1.0 mean now?"

Uhhhh, no.


The Quest stuff isn't done, server stuff isn't done, etc. I mean, I guess they could say 1.0 is what they have now but it's not what they promised to I don't entirely understand why they are saying the game is technically 1.0.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 02:06am

That said, interested to see you thoughts on how it plays.

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 02:11am

I think you're misinterpreting what Tiy is saying there. He's saying that, *if* we go by the definition of finished = when you sell it, then since they're selling it, the game is technically finished by that definition. By the old rules, you sell a game when it's finished, so since they're selling it, by the old rules, it's finished.

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 02:13am

He's basically saying, with the next sentence, "However we’ve obviously decided not to label the game 1.0 or finished. Yet the game is available to buy. So what does 1.0 mean now," that the old rules don't apply. So how do we define finished and 1.0 now in this new paradigm?

jdodson   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 02:41am

I may have misunderstood that bit but that may be the point entirely.

"I feel 1.0 is an arbitrary release number and it’s down to us to decide what 1.0 means in the context of our game. If anything, 1.0 exists as a guide for the people that want to wait and play the game when it’s in a state that we are entirely happy with it."

Wouldn't 1.0 be the game they promised? So a full game with quests, server support and all the bells and whistles they said they'd include and in a reasonably bug-free state? The game might be a lot of fun at points along the way, but it's not arbitrary when you describe what Starbound will consist of and they very much did describe it.

"We’ve chosen to keep upping the ante for 1.0, but that absolutely doesn’t mean that what’s available and playable right now is any less a game, any less enjoyable or any less worth the £9 we ask for it."

If I had known the game I was getting into the "beta"(as in Alpha) for was going to go like this, I would have skipped out on buying it until later. I agree the game is playable and is really enjoyable for some, but I didn't really want what I got. I mean, I knew there would be some breakage but I didn't expect it would have developed like this.

I think the communities reaction and the fact they make these statements often are proof many other people fell the same way. Said another way, they didn't write that blog post just for me, tons of people are sour on the state of the game.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 02:52am

That said, I later bought Curtis's Starbound score on it's own and it's great. So that part I enjoy immensely.

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 03:05am

Sure. I don't really like what Tiy is saying in that blog post for the most part. I agree with your interpretation of 1.0, and I think they do too, with additions. I was just clarifying that one piece.

Honestly, they never should have promised anything. No release date targets, anyway. Late 2013 became early 2014 became some time in 2014 became some time in 2015. That's a big jump. I do get the issues they're going through, and I certainly want them to do it right, but... that's a big jump.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 03:07am

Right. Software is complicated and don't fault them for taking as long as it takes.

I do sort of fault them for playing clean up in the way that they do, it generally always sits ill with my gamer soul.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 07/22/2014 at 03:21am

Thanks for sharing the "roadmap," Jon, I nearly forgot about it. That helps show that there is still work to be done with the game. It's been a long time since I looked at it the first time, so I'm not sure how much has changed since then. Many areas do seem to be nearly complete.

I've apparently spent 170 hours into the game and I enjoyed it the first time around. At one point, I lost reason to keep going and playing, but knowing that the game's progression would change. So far, despite the issues I posted above, I really haven't had much trouble playing the game. Those issues were easily resolved. As for it's development, I think of it as a beta and a pretty good one.

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 03:31am

That's kinda the problem though. I'd call it beta right now, I suppose, and probably since you started playing. But what we got in the early days of the "beta" was definitely alpha quality.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 07/22/2014 at 03:31am

At 170 hours you have gotten your moneys worth for sure! What's your game play/progression looked like?

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 07/22/2014 at 04:05am

Yes, I've gotten my money's worth! It cost me a whole $0. As for game play/progression, I'm not sure what you mean exactly. But, I usually do the tutorial stuff and then craft what I can or want, especially weapon and armor upgrades. Eventually this process requires exploration of more difficult areas (planets in other sectors). It didn't seem to take very long to finally gain the highest gear and therefore diminished my desire to continue further exploration.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 07/23/2014 at 10:03pm

So far, my biggest pet peeve with Starbound is the new death penalty. When you die, you lose an amount of pixels and drop all the ore you were holding. Supposedly, you can go back to the spot and pick it back up, but it also, supposedly, despawns rather quickly. This is something I wish I could turn off.

I've recreated my character and world a few times for numerous reasons. The new death penalty alone is something that takes some time to get used to and therefore alter your strategy. So far, I haven't found very much copper, iron, or higher grade ore. I think most of the time, I end up finding bars in a chest.

Recently, I noticed that stairs were invisible and then I noticed that they became visible again with the new "nightly build." I thought that was a bit of a quick fix, but I also keep in mind the purpose of the "nightly builds" and what developers are doing with them. Still, so far, the game seems pretty stable as it has since I first started playing it.

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/23/2014 at 10:07pm

Really, all this talk about Starbound just makes me want to play another game of terraria. I vote with the next major patch, or the linux and Mac versions releasing, whichever comes first, we do a server.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 07/23/2014 at 11:49pm

I recently created a new character and world in Terraria. I got so far as having platinum armor. I've fought the Eye a couple of times, but it always ran away as night was ending. It's interesting to see the little changes since the last time I played it for a long time. I'm interested in new content and also wishing all versions could have the same content, or at least let us on the PC have the console content, too. =)

jdodson   Admin wrote on 07/24/2014 at 02:53am

Travis: A new Terraria server would be great. Is your Internet connection good enough to host it?

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/24/2014 at 03:00am

If we do it again we should just pay to host. I know it tanked when you were watching Netflix and I imagine the same would happen if I hosted. There are some really cheap options like .99 per month per player.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 07/24/2014 at 03:42am

Sounds good.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 07/27/2014 at 02:08am

Ugh, this game has gotten brutal! Today I have been completely unable to find any vines at all! These are needed to create bandages. I can't tell you how many times today I've deleted my character (which is now an in-game option) and recreated a new one. Still, I find the planets to seem to have no open caves near the surface. I thought that maybe I would find some on another planet, but to get my ship repaired I need Core Fragments, which are supposedly very far down beneath the planet's surface. I haven't found any yet, but I haven't gotten very deep yet as I'm finding that I have to mine my own way down looking for caves. This is probably one of those "nightly build" issues where bugs and issues are to be expected.

Another issue I've found is that the manual doesn't work right. You can click to read something, but you'll only see the very bottom of the text, not the full text. I've already said it, but I have to say it again, I hate the new death penalty, particularly that you drop the ore you were holding. It is the reason I have begun to back up my character and universe folders. Kind of like how I did with Minecraft, where I constantly backed up and reverted to backups upon death.

I'm thinking about posting in the forums about these issues, although they may already be known. When I first tried to play it today, it crashed. It would not load my character. Although I searched for a resolution to the particular error I was having, I found that deleting my character resolved the issue.

Still, I keep playing. I want to see how the game has changed. I like the feeling I have now that I'm participating in the beta version of the game now that updates are much more frequent with the "nightly builds." This has peaked my interest in the game and given me more reason to play it.

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/27/2014 at 03:06am

Yeah, like I said earlier, nightly builds are GOING to break and things aren't going to work the way you want them to.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 07/27/2014 at 04:05am

Yeah, I mean at least they came out right and said that. I do expect some things may be broken. Some times it seems minor and doesn't really matter and sometimes it just bites. I've found an underground cave system connected to the usual underground "base" that I've been finding. While exploring one section of the cave, I noticed there were no vines hanging from the cave ceilings like usual. Near-surface caves seem to have pretty much vanished. Originally, they weren't so hard to find as there were multiple cave openings on the surface. Now, I can't even find one. Maybe it's a world-generation issue that will be resolved soon.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 07/29/2014 at 01:15am

It's official. I have spent only 1 hour more playing Terraria than Starbound. Steam says I've spent 203 hours in Starbound now. It's kind of hard to believe, but then I think the counter starts when the launcher is opened, not when you click to finally get in the game.

I've spent a lot of time lately playing Starbound with the nightly builds. I've been following some messages on the forums about them as well, particularly regarding issues I'm having. Yesterday, I finally was able to get some fiber from thorny bushes deep underground where I also finally found some core fragments (needed to repair ship). With my ship repaired, it was time to move on to another planet, hopefully one that contained vines for fiber farming.

Unfortunately, that's about as far as I got. I traveled to one planet, some how completely ignoring the danger level and was killed quickly by aliens. After repairing the ship, the computer tells you to check out a gate. It seems it was referring to an outpost, there are currently two of these in my system. Unfortunately, beaming to the surface is basically a death wish as it is made up almost entirely of lava with no safe place to land and no room to move. The player can then die or beam back to the ship. Sometimes, beaming to the surface of an outpost also crashes the games. Sometimes, also, it will be completely void except for stars in the background. So, while outposts have been created or added, they are currently broken.

Outposts are now important for game progression. Also, in order to exit the current system, the player must repair the ship's FTL drive with moonstone. I tried to fly to another planet, but the ship kept moving or "jumping." It made the sound that it makes when it finally arrives to the planet, but it didn't stop or land.

It seems to me that the nightly builds are released at 2am EST, so I look forward to new updates. In fact, I think I now have more reason to look forward to them in hopes that the major issues I've found are fixed. Also, I'd like to note that I'm not trying to use this space to complain about the game, more of that I'm reporting the progress of the game regarding the new nightly builds. =)

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 08/02/2014 at 12:17am

While I've complained about the lack of near-surface caves and vines, I finally found some vines growing in a cave. They just aren't as common as they were. It also dawned on me to farm for plant fiber. This has been successful and cool because I hadn't really bothered with farming much until I needed plant fiber.

I read that the infinite FTL jump bug was fixed, so I'm hoping to be able to visit another planet. I already know where some Core Fragments are, I just created a silver pickaxe to mine them. I believe outposts and asteroid belts are still death traps, from continued reading of posts in the forums. Gates have apparently appeared, too.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 08/02/2014 at 02:18am

While much of the information about each planet seems to be missing, outposts are no longer death traps. On some of them, there appears to be a gate, but nothing of use. Others looked like what you'd expect in a space-age outpost with a fuel station and NPCs. Other than storing items, I'm not sure that anything is useful in them yet, but it's cool to see some progress.

I seem to have unlocked some other necessary items, like a Metal Working Station, which help in crafting better gear and using better materials. So, today's nightly build seems to be showing some improvements.

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