Like many of you, I excitedly boarded the Starbound hype train. After a few weeks of reading the nearly daily updates, watching the update videos and talking to friends, I was hooked. I wasn’t alone as many people on Cheerful Ghost and all over the internet were really excited to see play Starbound. In April of 2013 the Starbound beta hit and over the next few months the Starbound fans funded the game at 4 million dollars! We sailed through the three pre-order bonuses of the new race, collectable fossils and starter pets. My excitement level was crazy. Clearly this game would be the answer to my prayer for an awesome open world building game in space that took the best elements from Minecraft and Terraria.

As the 2013 was nearing an end Chucklefish let us know the game beta would finally release. To be able to finally play Starbound was like a nerds dream come true. When the beta date hit, I refreshed the Humble Store got my key and frantically kept checking Steam to be able to download the game on my Mac. Later that day the game downloaded and I started a fresh character. The game was beautiful, the score was moving and the game was fun. I didn’t understand the weapon level system, the game was way too easy and the entire universe was really empty but none of that mattered because I was high on Starbounds glow. I sunk many hours into Starbound over that first week but as my play time grew the games flaws started to become more apparent.

Chucklefish mentioned the game would be buggy. They said the game wouldn’t be finished. I kept that information in the back of my mind as I played but as the games oddities increased, my excitement waned. I decided to walk away from the game a bit to give them a few months to fix the games biggest flaws. I came back to the game after Chucklefish said to expect no more player wipes. I figured that would be a good time as i’d have some permanence to my game. After a few days of playing a bug hit the game wiping out all my treasure chests. After this bug hit I also noticed how much the game hand’t really progressed in those few months.

Recently, Tiy posted something to the Chucklefish blog that I wanted to respond to.

"Tiy: The first reason is relocating the team. This is a complex and time consuming process that is (thankfully) almost at an end. We hope to have the entire team over here by the end of the month. Making this work has meant going through the visa process, setting up a work space, finding a new home for each person, team members driving for days to get legal documentation. It’s been a challenge.

Some people tell us that its a waste of time and there is no benefit to working in the same office when tools exist to work remotely. These people are grossly mistaken.

I am currently a Software Engineer that works for a very large company and we have developers distributed all over the world. My team consists of people spanning Oregon, Washington DC & Brazil. There is no question that having all development centrally located can be helpful. That said, working remotely in tech isn’t crazy. Having team members that span different timezones does take some organization and care. One mechanism is to have people flex work hours a bit to accommodate the team.

"Tiy: The other reason updates have slowed down was the community response to faster updates. People like to point out that we said we would deliver near daily small updates and have failed to do so. They do not however point out that we made the decision to go back to more substantial updates because we were criticised heavily for putting out small updates without much substance (though larger updates were ongoing behind the scenes). Critics argued passionately that updates containing one new sub biome, or new guns, or new structures, or new weather was just pointless fluff and they wanted real ‘game changing’ updates. So we listened and that’s what we went back to focusing on."

When you say you are going to do something and then later change your mind, I can see why people would be frustrated. I read the big update post where they said they were changing the way Starbound development happened to push out quicker updates and thought it was a good idea. That said, I don’t really care to much about HOW they update the game, there are lots of ways to develop software. Whatever works best for them, is totally fine.

Which I think is something worth considering. I don’t think Starbound fans care much about how Chucklefish makes the game, they just want the thing they love to be awesome. Enraged fans take to the message boards and Reddit to complain about Chucklefish relocating it’s staff to the UK or the update changes not because they ultimately care about how someone runs a company. People are complaining because the thing they lovingly funded isn’t the way they want it to be. Chucklefish could open a moon base to continue development and as long as the game was awesome, no one would care.

That said, development of the game has vastly slowed down since it’s beta launch and it's not entirely clear where development of the game is.

At the end of the day I think Starbound is a rad game and wish Chucklefish to an awesome final launch. Alongside that, it’s been a wild ride tempered by some disappointment felt by many fans. All that needs to be done at this point is to make Starbound awesome and I have no doubt it will be. Angry rage filled fans have a way of coming back to sanity when things turn around. And ultimately we all want the same thing, for Staround to be awesome.

Azurephile   Super Member wrote on 04/23/2014 at 01:56am

I haven't played Starbound yet, I've been waiting. I'm glad to get an update on the development of the game. I've been wondering when it would be released. I feel like I can sympathize with Chucklefish in trying to have a central hub of developers. Sure there are remote tools out there and such, but I think that face-to-face contact will be a big help. It would also solve their time management issues. I'm sure that once everyone's together then development will speed up and hopefully we'll see that in the quality of the game.

As for when to play Starbound, I'm still not sure. I believe all I have to do is tell "someone" that I'm ready and he'll hook me up (yet again and gratefully). If that offer still stands "T" *cough*, then I'm probably ready for it as I've been playing Minecraft and growing tired of it (playing and not knowing why I'm still playing it). Otherwise, as stated above, I'm sure once the team is together then that will be a great time to play or prepare for a significant update or release date.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 04/23/2014 at 04:31am

Face to face does have advantages for sure. I've seen working remotely work out fine, but each company is different.

I think things will improve as well. It's a great game and I hope things get.. More greater smile

Azurephile   Super Member wrote on 04/25/2014 at 11:19am

As I mentioned in Travis's Minecraft post, I've been watching one of my favorite YouTube gamers, Paul Soares Jr. Before playing Minecraft, I watched his "Survive and Thrive" series. I just recently finished watching his "Paul Plays Minecraft" series. I noticed he has some Starbound (and Terraria) videos as well, so I've started watching those. Initially, when I first saw video of Starbound, I thought it looked a bit ugly, but after seeing more of it, that initial impression is fading. The game looks like a glorified Terraria, which is good really. I like some of the game mechanics I've seen so far. It's cool how gravel works in the game (like water) along with sand. There also seems to be LOTS of items. I'm also curious about how to tell if an alien is friendly. Apparently some are and some aren't, but even the friendly ones can be killed. Anyway, the game does look interesting and I look forward to watching more of Paul's videos. It may be getting time for me to jump in the game.

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