Starfarer 0.35a Preview Release

I’m very happy to announce the release of the 0.35a preview version of Starfarer!

At a high level, here are the new features of this release:

  • New fleet command scheme, as discussed here
  • Fleet command tutorial to show you the ropes
  • The Codex interface, packed with useful information about the ships, fighters, and weapons. Includes lore for most of the weapons and a few of the ships.
  • Mods need to be updated to show up on the list, as a few changes are incompatible with the previous version

You can read the full patch notes here. Notably, ship refitting and custom battles are not in this version and are planned for the final 0.35a release.

While I’ve got you here, I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you for all your support and feedback. A number of changes in this build have been inspired by the community in one way or another, and I can honestly say Starfarer wouldn’t be where it is now without your help and support!

Update: uploaded a new version fixing a crash if you click on a disabled ship on the map. So, if you picked up the first release (starfarer_xxx-0.35a-pre-RC1), may want to grab this one (starfarer_xxx-0.35a-pre-RC2).

As a bonus, two missions have a new hand-painted nebula background that just missed the initial release.

Ship Lore, Variants

In a previous post, we took a look at some brewing weapon descriptions. Now, it’s time to do the same for ships!

Counting them now, we’ve got just a bit over 40 ships (including fighters, of which there are ~10) – it’s hard to believe it’s that many already, and there are still quite a few more to come. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Onslaught-class Battleship
Mass: 200 Mega tonnes
Propulsion: 245.5 Mega Newtons
FTL Drive: In-Hull
Crew Complement: 1800

A venerable design, the Onslaught-class battleships were first created to serve the Domain of Man eons ago, before the development of advanced modern strike weapons, fighter craft, energy weapons and shield systems. When first launched from orbital dock, they must have surely dwarfed any other ship in existence and intimidated entire systems. Some even say that they were built to combat non-humans in a long forgotten war, in which the Domain was triumphant. Much later, Domain engineers made modifications to the blueprints to include a shield system, upgrade the FTL drives and reduce the neccesary crew complement.

Even with other battleship blueprints available to the Sector, the Onslaught remains the easiest to manufacture due to the brutal simplicity of its systems. A ship designed without shields in mind, built to be able to withstand a heavy barrage of enemy fire and strike back while protecting its crew is much loved by its officers and men. And strike back it can. The Onslaught’s unmatched ballistic potential can devastate entire fleets in minutes, its only drawback a logistical dependency on ammunition.

Building an Onslaught-class hull and preparing it for combat is thought to be economically impossible for all but the Hegemony. The Onslaught proudly serves as the backbone of the Hegemony Defense Fleet.
Read the rest of this entry »

QubeTubers IndieWeekend, Giveaway

I’m happy to announce that we’re going to be the first interview in QubeTubers IndieWeekend!

We’ll be streaming the latest, in-development build of Starfarer, so this is your first chance to see some of the new features in action – in particular, the fleet command mechanics & interface.

The event starts at 8pm today, Friday August 5th, and our interview is from 9-10pm EST. We’ll also be giving away a couple of Starfarer activation codes to viewers that ask particularly thought-provoking questions about the game, so if you’d like  shot at a free copy of the game, do tune in!

Captain Personalities, Fleet Control Update

Ship captains (and wing leaders) can now have their own personalities. What exactly is a personality, in game terms? I’m so glad you asked!

For now, we’re concerned with combat-related aspects, so a captain being greedy or corrupt isn’t important – although it will be once you assign him (or her) to run an outpost for you. A personality consists of two parts – an overall bravery rating, and a desire to perform certain types of assignments (if you haven’t yet, check out this post to see what those are).

The following baseline personalities are in the game now:

  • cowardly
  • cautious
  • steady
  • aggressive
  • suicidal
  • fearless

It’s better to think of these as character traits that will later be combined with non-combat traits to make up a complete personality.

So, what do these *really* do?

Bravery
A captain’s bravery affects the immediate combat performance of their ship. A cowardly captain will hang back unless his side greatly outnumbers the enemy – and will be extremely careful to avoid enemy fire. A fearless captain doesn’t care much about being outnumbered (never tell him the odds), and is willing to face down the guns of the biggest battleship in the Sector if that means performing his duty.

In gameplay testing, a brave captain does much better against tough odds than a cowardly one – they’re able to commit to a a particular maneuver and not interrupt it out of fear, which, ironically, often keeps them safer. However, if the odds are too stacked against them, a brave captain’s ship is almost certainly doomed.

A cautious captain is much more likely to keep their ship safe when the odds are bad, but isn’t as useful in an even fight – unless their ship is armed with long-range support weapons, which they can use effectively while feeling safe. A cautious captain is also quite good at harassment, as he won’t force the issue and can keep an enemy tied down in a game of cat and mouse for a long time.

Assignment Affinity
As the fleet commander, you give general assignments to your fleet. For example, you can order your fleet to assault a particular objective, form a carrier group behind your lines, and patrol an area for enemy presence. The ship captains themselves organize to carry these tasks out, and their personality plays an important role in who does what.

An aggressive captain scoffs at the idea of staying out of direct contact with the enemy. They’re likely to join assaults, capture objectives, perform strikes on enemy battleships – but not hang back wih fire support ships, escort a carrier deep in friendly territory, or (gasp) lead a civilian craft to safety. Suicidal ones will outright refuse to perform some of these duties, finding any excuse to attack the enemy.

Cautious and cowardly captains are naturally the opposite. They’ll look for any excuse to avoid joining a direct assault, and will prefer sitting back in support roles whenever possible – and even retreat against your orders, when it’s not.

Thus, knowing their personalities and managing the assignments you create is important to your fleet’s performance. For example, you might want to keep an overly aggressive captain from going off on their own and getting killed – but telling them to defend a location won’t do. Instead, you might assign them to more dangerous-sounding patrol duty… in a safe location. Read the rest of this entry »

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