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Starbound updates slowed while team moved to UK

A million copies of Starbound sold

You might have noticed that Starbound’s updates have slowed of late. The Early Access game started with daily releases adding new biomes, items, and features but in the past month that slowed to a trickle.

“The reason is two fold and it certainly has nothing to do with us taking the money and running,” explains the game’s creator, Finn Brice.

“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.

“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.

Starbound is a collaborative project and its biggest time overhead right now is communication. We have a team spanning multiple timezones. There are times when the expertise or knowledge of someone that won’t be around for another 8 hours is required for another team member to continue their work. Resulting in working days lost waiting for info. Explaining complex programming or architectural issues online is tricky and takes far longer, having to share files online or rebuild your game binary just to see a suggested change because you are unable to physically see another members PC is time consuming. The list of issues working in the same office will solve is very long.”

The other reason for slowing the release of updates is because the community complained about the small updates that were released more frequently. “We were criticised heavily for putting out small updates without much substance,” Brice says. “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. We’ve been working on building a new progression system, new ship upgrade system, new navigation system, new monster and combat systems, all behind the scenes for one bigger update. Bigger updates take time. You simply can’t have it both ways. Daily updates are small because small updates are all that can be produced in a day.”

With the team all working out of the same offices by the start of next month we should start seeing the pace of updates pick up again soon (but not too much).