Mod Roundup

Starfarer is still fresh out of the gate – but there are already several playable and very promising looking modding efforts under way.

I hope you give these a try, they’re a lot of fun already. Installing a mod is easy - here is a quick guide.

Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters
One of several mods by forum member Trylobot. Thread & download link here.

The combat has a vastly different feel to vanilla Starfarer, with some striking similarities to Star Control in how it plays out. It’s till in the early stages, but there are already three ships – the Earthling Cruiser, the Ur-Quan Dreadnought, and the Orz Nemesis.

I’m absolutely loving how this mod is coming together. Being a huge SC2 fan I’m a bit biased, though – so here are a few screenshots so you can see for yourself:

Junk Pirates
A mod by mendonca, thread and download link here.  Features an entirely new faction with 6 new ships and fighters, showcased in a series of 4 missions.

My personal favorite is the Dugong-class destroyer, pictured below. It’s got an amazing amount of firepower concentrated in a broadside, and is fast enough to run circles around anything it can’t flat-out outgun.

More mods in the rest of the post…

Read the rest of this entry »

Starfarer 0.34a Released

I’m very happy to announce that the 0.34a release is finally here!

What’s in this release?

  • Four new missions and several new ships
  • Customizable  key bindings
  • Official mod support – you can find mods in our forum
  • Gameplay and balance changes
  • Colorblind mode (edit data/config/settings.json to toggle)
  • Assorted bug fixes
  • General polish & improvements

For a detailed list of changes, check out the patch notes. The manual is also worth a look – especially for the bits that the current in-game tutorial doesn’t cover.

You can download 0.34a here:

 

What’s not in this release?

There are no big war room changes.  The current implementation is very RTS-like, which, as it’s turning out, isn’t particularly suited to Starfarer. We’re planning to move away from that and focus on letting you make strategic-level decisions, without having to worry about minor details. It didn’t make sense to make incremental changes to the current system now, since we’ll be extensively revamping it soon.

What’s next?

The big-ticket items for 0.35a are:

  • Ship refit screen
  • Ability to outfit your flagship for missions
  • War room revamp
  • “Custom Battle” option

The idea is to dig into the customization elements of the game, with custom battles providing a good testing ground for your freshly-assembled  ships and fleets – and more replay value than you can shake a stick at. Well, at least, more than regular missions.

In the meantime, once 0.35a is out, we’ll start working feverishly on 0.36a, which will provide a first look at the campaign layer.

Full Steam Ahead

No, the post title is not a pun about us getting on Steam.

Rather, I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be working on Starfarer full-time from now on.

Last week was the last at my full-time job. For a few weeks before, I’d agonized over the decision to quit. On the one hand, the security of a regular paycheck and working for a great company. On the other, a small glimpse of a possible future for Starfarer afforded by the absolutely incredible reception of the alpha release.

I’ve tried for quite a while to verbalize exactly why I finally decided to quit, and was having a hard time picking out a reason that doesn’t sound like something out of a self-help guide. “Follow your dream!”… pshaw. There certainly was some of that, but would I give up my job and take a leap into the unknown “just” to do that? I’d love to say yes, but I honestly can’t. The reality was less uplifting and inspirational.

After a year and a half of working long nights and weekends, I was, well,  tired. The whirlwind of activity after the release, while still working full-time, was more than I could handle. I got extremely burned out, stressed, irritable, you name it. Also a bit delirious due to the lack of sleep. Walking around, muttering to myself. I’m pretty sure I even heard voices once – which made me sympathize with people that do on a regular basis – it’s very unnerving.

Let me share a tweet Nicholas of Gaslamp Games sent upon hearing of me quitting my job:

 

 

 

More than you know, sir, more than you know.

It turns out, this altered mental state is conducive to making decisions you might not otherwise have the audacity to make. Something had to change, I wasn’t about to dial down the Starfarer work, and that was that.

It hasn’t fully sunk in yet. Wait, I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, and can just work on the game? And the day after that, too? And wait, no more paychecks, say hello to living out of the savings account? And I have to buy my own health insurance and pay quarterly taxes? Check, check, check, and check. It’s all still a bit surreal.

Thank you all for your amazing support. We’re off to a great start, with a growing community, a few in-progress mods, and some very positive reviews. I know I couldn’t have done this without your help, and I’m incredibly excited to finally spend all my time working on Starfarer. It really does feel like I’m living a dream.

… Guess I did come back to the self-help rubbish, after all.

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