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Default Starfarer - Alpha Release

May 1st, 2011, 12:05
Gaslamp Games (Dungeons of Dredmor) points out the Alpha release of Starfarer, an indie "single-player sandbox style space role-playing game with strategic elements" from Fractal Softworks. Preordering gets you access to the Alpha (currently v0.33) and a 50% discount, making the price $10. They plan to use a Mount & Blade style increasing price as the development gets closer to release. Apparently Gaslamp provided the art (no big eyebrows this time), so it looks quite nice for an indie. The feature list:
  • Single player, gritty, dystopian sci-fi setting
  • Classic top down gameplay style enhanced by modern technology
  • Unique character development system – advance your story, your way
  • Assemble a large, powerful fleet or a finely-tuned task force with hand-picked officers and crew
  • Outfit hulls with your weapons of choice, and add ship systems to create crushing tactical combinations
  • Explore hundreds of star systems to find habitable worlds, rich resource deposits, and advanced alien technology
  • Impact the inter-stellar economy with your decisions – decide the fate of entire planetary systems
  • Fight to bring stability and prosperity to the sector – or watch it burn while you take advantage of the chaos
  • Runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows
More information.
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May 1st, 2011, 12:05
Sounds great. Also great to see Linux support!

I managed to get 2 people to get angry with me over my rant about Microsoft's evil game monopolising "Direct X". Pretty much, I said we didn't need it.

Ended up working out that a better angle was to praise open source and let the other guy work out for himself about DirectX and the DirectXbox360. They said "openGL sucks!!", but they were not understanding the greatest minds are also the ones making the biggest bucks from NOT going open source. Turn the same attention to OpenGL and it would be just as good.

Eventually it came back to money ruining everything again. The only reason NOT to go open source is to protect the code you want to sell. If not for money everyone would work on user tools and SDKs which were all 100% compatible with eachother by design. All assets freely available. Art, sound, etc. Things would come together lightning fast as modding communities create then evolve projects. There would be no DRM. No DLC. So much more original games not based on market research. Hell, there'd be no market research. No advertising between TV shows! No advertising anywhere! With no money, there'd be nothing to steal! Crime would vanish, no kids would grow up in poverty to become less than the true adult they could be! Seed corporations wouldn't need to worry about seedy practises like mule seeds that only grow one generation. All corporations would be able to forget about maximising profits and focus on maximising lifestyle! omg!!!

Could pretty much list any problem with the world and point out how money, if not the sole cause, is the main contributor.

So, erm… yeah… Go open source!!! /rant
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May 1st, 2011, 14:30
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
I managed to get 2 people to get angry with me over my rant about Microsoft's evil game monopolising "Direct X".
I'm with you. Directx is to me nothing but tying games to Microsoft platforms.
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May 1st, 2011, 15:28
Is there jumping?
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May 1st, 2011, 16:50
That's a RTS, disappointed.
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May 1st, 2011, 17:09
Hi guys!

Alex here, I'm the lead dev for Starfarer. Very cool to see this thread spring up! Wanted to drop by and say that I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have about the game.

Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
That's a RTS, disappointed.
You take that back! It's definitely not an RTS, not by any stretch of the imagination. The combat has some light RTS elements related to controlling the rest of your fleet - you control your flagship directly, a la Star Control.

The rest of the game (though combat is the only part that's in the alpha right now) will be an open-world sandbox rpg.
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May 1st, 2011, 17:40
Hi, Alex.

So, how exactly is combat resolved? Is it real time with pause? An active pause? Some other system?

Thanks in advance.
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May 1st, 2011, 18:08
Originally Posted by Capt. Huggy Face View Post
Hi, Alex.

So, how exactly is combat resolved? Is it real time with pause? An active pause? Some other system?

Thanks in advance.
Real time, though you can pause whenever you like. You control the flagship with WASD etc, and give broad orders to the rest of your fleet (such as "capture this objective", "move here", "retreat").

Here's a video of a full playthrough of a battle.

And here's a link to the manual that describes the controls and game mechanics in detail.
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May 1st, 2011, 18:43
The video was awesome! I'm considering pre-ordering it, but I have so little time to play games right now

Edit: the ship designs look really good.
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May 1st, 2011, 19:36
Alex that vid looks really good, what are the RPG elements you have planned? I am guessing that your main character is your ship, and you upgrade as you level up?
In the vid you were a merc escort for a miner will you be taking merc missions or will you be part of a star empire?
Thanks for the info.
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May 1st, 2011, 19:52
Thanks for the reply and links, Alex. I'll check them out when I'm home from work and surfing the Web on something other than my telephone.
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May 1st, 2011, 20:02
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
That's a RTS, disappointed.
Keep in mind that Master of Orion 2's only and glaring problem was it's ridiculously long battles. In MOO2, waiting for the computer to move in a 50 on 50 could take several minutes just sitting there.

What I want is a MOO2 with real times battles. That vid looks nice, think I'll check it out.

Lol, tell the boys at http://www.spacesector.com/ to give you some coverage.
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May 1st, 2011, 20:08
Hey Alex,

What will the story / exploration mechanic in the game be like? I just put in a preorder for the game, and am excited to discover what exactly there is to do in the game. The Escape Velocity series has always been a great favourite of mine; there was never anything better than charting a journey into unknown space and finding bizarre things. I like the idea of a malleable, shapable world.

Cheers!
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May 1st, 2011, 21:23
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Alex that vid looks really good, what are the RPG elements you have planned? I am guessing that your main character is your ship, and you upgrade as you level up?
In the vid you were a merc escort for a miner will you be taking merc missions or will you be part of a star empire?
Thanks for the info.
Originally Posted by Anasúrimbor View Post
Hey Alex,

What will the story / exploration mechanic in the game be like? I just put in a preorder for the game, and am excited to discover what exactly there is to do in the game. The Escape Velocity series has always been a great favourite of mine; there was never anything better than charting a journey into unknown space and finding bizarre things. I like the idea of a malleable, shapable world.

Cheers!
Your have a main character that gains levels, and has a collection of attributes and skills. Skils range from combat to scientific to industrial. You can either focus on a strong military fleet, exploration/trading, or establishing outposts to get industry going - or some combination of these.

There is no fixed story arc, but there is a backstory. The overarching theme is that the sector you're in is cut off from the rest of the human empire (the "Domain of Man" - see this illustrated lore piece). The sector is in a downward spiral - technology is being lost due to a lack of knowledge to maintain it, small wars erupt over scarce resources, etc. Whether you choose to hasten the demise of the sector and get rich and powerful in the process, or fight a (possibly futile) battle to keep civilization afloat just a little while longer is entirely up to you.

A core design principle is more power means less control. For example, if you control one outpost, you get to plan it in detail. For any subsequent outposts, you'd have to assign administrators that take care of it for you - and perhaps don't do things just how you'd like. So you should never get to a point where you're so large that managing everything is a pain - if you're that large, a lot of things just run themselves with general direction from you.

On the flipside, you have perfect control over your flagship.


Originally Posted by Noriym View Post
Keep in mind that Master of Orion 2's only and glaring problem was it's ridiculously long battles. In MOO2, waiting for the computer to move in a 50 on 50 could take several minutes just sitting there.
Yeah, that got to be real problem… About the only way around that was "Attacker goes first" and a fleet that makes sure the enemy doesn't get a turn. And making sure you're always the attacker

Originally Posted by Noriym View Post
What I want is a MOO2 with real times battles. That vid looks nice, think I'll check it out.

Lol, tell the boys at http://www.spacesector.com/ to give you some coverage.
Thanks, glad you like it! Yeah, good idea.
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May 1st, 2011, 21:46
Nice work, Alex

I was quite tempted by the feature blurb. Alas, I've been spoiled ever since Elite, so I really need my space in navigable 3D these days.
Unfortunately I don't see anyone making reasonable Elite-likes with in-depth RPG and focus on single player these days. (Actually, come to think of this, no one ever has! :O )
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May 1st, 2011, 21:50
The game looks great Alex! I've already preordered and I hope that more people will do the same. Due to work I don't have time to try the alpha, so is it possible for you guys to show some recordings of non-combat parts of the game please?

Or maybe some screenshots of stat screens? How does loot/upgrades work?

thanks
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May 1st, 2011, 22:36
I preordered as well, and alex I'm waiting on a reply to an message I sent you on colony of gamers.

It cpontrols quite well in the alpha guys, however there is very little rpg aspects in the game yet due to it being an alpha.
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May 1st, 2011, 23:12
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
Nice work, Alex

I was quite tempted by the feature blurb. Alas, I've been spoiled ever since Elite, so I really need my space in navigable 3D these days.
Unfortunately I don't see anyone making reasonable Elite-likes with in-depth RPG and focus on single player these days. (Actually, come to think of this, no one ever has! :O )
Thanks! Fair enough, there's no arguing about tastes. I've always loved pixel art myself. As a bonus, it also seems to age better than 3d and isn't such an enormous pile of work - which means more time to devote to gameplay

Originally Posted by leth View Post
The game looks great Alex! I've already preordered and I hope that more people will do the same. Due to work I don't have time to try the alpha, so is it possible for you guys to show some recordings of non-combat parts of the game please?

Or maybe some screenshots of stat screens? How does loot/upgrades work?
Thanks for your support! We've been focused on developing the combat portion up til now (though there's been a lot of design work for the non-combat part… but you can't take screenshots of design). Looks like we'll finally be able to start working on it soon - after making some improvements to the alpha in response to player feedback.
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May 1st, 2011, 23:47
Anything that's not "standard fantasy" is very welcome these days. Looking forward to seeing more of the RPG aspects.
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May 2nd, 2011, 01:04
I was hoping to pre-order, but my last bit of funds were spoken for prior unless more somehow trickles in. Looking forward to purchasing the full version somewhere closer to or beyond release!
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