Meteor showers, space combat and NPCs who get wealthier as their surroundings become more opulent – just three of the ump-hundred intended updates for Starbound, the already bewilderingly intricate survival game from indie outfit Chucklefish. The developers have laid out their plans for all to see and decide: are they best laid, or could they be unfolded still further?
The list is, by Chucklefish’s admission, “non-exhaustive” – a collection of all the future features discussed on forums, in interviews and elsewhere, but not a comprehensive map of Things to Come.
“As always,” notes developer Tiy, “things are not set in stone.”
The highlights include, oh, everything. But try, for starters, the ability to rewire a planet’s weather systems on a macro level. Then salivate to the idea of randomly rolled monster abilities that correspond with their appearance, toxic planets, and (“way in the future”) the chance to board other ships.
Assassin’s Creed IV: the perfect gateway drug to future Starbound.
Here’s the list in full:
- NPC Spawners & Building Logic: NPCs will scan the structures you build around them and the contents of chests; they will have improved inventories/behaviors depending on how valuable their surroundings are.
- Macro Terrain Changes: Affect an entire planet’s terrain and weather
- More Planet Scanner Data: See details in the planet scanner like planet occupants/dungeons
- Underground: More secrets will spawn below the surface
- Space Combat: Way in the future, expect space combat and the ability to board other ships.
- Spaceship Dungeons: Very large, size of a planet.
- Biome Hazards: Sandstorms, icestorms, meteor showers, toxic planets, airless planets.
- Ore & Difficulty: Higher difficulty planets will have improved ore distribution
- Story Missions: Eventually each tier will end with a story mission that ends with the bosses you see now.
- Ship Navigator Changes: Still not set in stone; but the new idea is to give a local map with fog of war. Instead of sector buttons you have to fly out of a sector and into the next one by uncovering more of the star map. The final sector would be infinite.
- Smoother Difficulty Curve: Better indication of the difficulty of an area. Difficulty will change within tiers as well as between tiers. There will be fractional difficulty (for example, Difficulty 1.12 in tier 1 would be easier than Difficulty 1.52, while still in T1)
- Monster Generation: Right now, monster parts just have stat boosts, but eventually rolled monster parts will affect their behavior and abilities. For example, monsters with spider legs can climb walls; fiery monsters inflict burning. You might get a burning spider dropping on you from the ceiling. Projectiles may be tied to specifically generated heads. Biome may influence monster part generation.
- Mini-Map: Rotating circular map showing highlights only such as the location of friendly players, spawn points–but no major details. For the details you’d use a mapping item to create a map as you travel.
- Teleporters: Stargates between planets and eventually between servers.
- Dramatic Planet Modification: Not going to be implemented any time soon. Ability for players to modify huge chunks of planets through things like orbital bombardment; removing the entire first layer of a planet and leave behind a lifeless surface.
- Tech Priority: Eventually all techs can be active at once, but a categorization system is in the works to assign priority to conflicting techs, preventing issues. A hotkey to switch the active tech will be added as a temporary workaround until the priority system is completed.
- Server Commands: More server commands and control for chat and port listening.
- Villager AI: Villagers will aggro when you steal from them and follow you more aggressively.
- World Storage: Improve world storage and organize *.pak files to improve modding. Add launcher integration.
- Spawn Points: Change spawn points on individual planets.
- Controls: Reconfigure controls; keybinding.
- Ship Size: Upgrade ship/increase size.
- Racial Armor: Racial abilities will not be inherent but will be tied to racial armor. For example, Avian armor can glide downward.
- Capture Pods & Mercenaries: May be able to capture NPCs with pods. Summon NPC Mercenaries by using the pod as a beacon.
- Reduced Wipes: Working on a system to patch without requiring as many character wipes in the future. This will require one more wipe and that’s it.
- Other Changes: Colorblind Mode & Engine Optimization. FTL animation being revamped to reduce memory strain.
The difficulty curve is already being chiselled away at, if the last, mod support-headlined Starbound patch was anything to go by. Have you encountered any particularly notable cliffs, beyond the tangible kind that inhibit planetary traversal?