Starsector 0.97a Release

Update (02/17/24): hotfix for a campaign music volume issue, an infinite credits exploit, and a other few minor issues. Full list of changes here; please re-download the game using the links below.

Update (02/13/24): hotfix for a post-battle crash if you have made a deal with a pirate station king.

Update (02/12/24): another hotfix with some fine-tuning of the colony crises, and a number of bugfixes.

Update (02/08/24): a hotfix with some fine-tuning of the colony crises difficulty (generally reducing it), an improvement to escort AI, and a number of bugfixes.

Update (02/03/24): a hotfix for a few comparatively minor bugs, including an infinite credits exploit and crash related to a specific mission.

Starsector version 0.97a is now out!

  • Use exciting new abilities for getting around the Sector – Reverse Polarity and Generate Slipsurge
  • Engage with new Colony Crisis mechanics with unique in-depth events that flesh out every major faction and have their own rewards (replaces Hostile Activity)
  • Explore the Orion-Perseus Abyss and a new mysterious star system found deep in abyssal hyperspace
  • Add a new low-tech phase cruiser (the Grendel-class) to your fleet
  • Use the new “Escort Package” hullmod to amp up your destroyers and cruisers when used in combination with larger ships
  • Take advantage of more powerful elite skill effects and the revamped Cybernetic Augmentation skill
  • Discover more unique encounters, from castaways on the far fringe of the Sector to brewing trouble in the spacer bars of the Core

It’s worth noting that the Colony Crisis event, despite being just one bullet point, make up the bulk of the content in this update! One might think of each faction-specific event as a new mission, and some of these are very involved, both mechanically and in terms of new writing.

As always, there are also many smaller changes and additions, including balance adjustments, polish, ship AI improvements, bugfixes, and modability improvements! There are also a couple of new music tracks used when interacting with certain entities in the campaign.

The full patch notes, and the comment thread, are here.

You can download the new version here:

(Alternate download links, please try the above first: Windows Mac Linux)

As always, thank you so much for your support!

screenshot_release0951a

 

New music for Galatia Academy

The next update comes with new music for one of the key early locations in the game, the university space station – Galatia Academy. Most locations and encounters rely on background music shared by the faction the player is dealing with, but Galatia Academy will be the first location to get a unique piece of music not used anywhere else in the game.

As a composer this is very exciting for me because for the first time I get to move from a broad, zoomed out perspective of planets, star systems and large factional groups to the up-close intimacy of airlocks, hallways, private rooms, and most importantly: individual people!
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Codex Overhaul

First off: what the heck is the Codex? It’s basically an in-game encyclopedia where you can look up ships, weapons, and so on. The current implementation is very, very old and and this point really showing its age – frankly, it’s clunky and not very useful, but on the bright side, it’s also not strictly speaking a required feature, so it was fine to leave it be for a while. I’ve been on a roll with QoL work lately, though, and the game is certainly far enough along now for a proper Codex rework, so I decided to jump into it – I’d have to do it at some point!

I started working on the Codex update with a sort of standard question to get my bearings, design-wise – “why is this in the game?” That’s a question with sharp edges, because if there isn’t a good answer, then maybe it should be cut instead, and the time and effort put into other things. Obviously, that didn’t happen, or we’d have a much shorter blog post!
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Save/Load UI, Autosave, Intel Map Markers, and More

Since the previous release, I’ve been working on a bunch of quality-of-life features. This wasn’t exactly¬†planned – at least not specifically for right now but these were all things that had to get done at some point, and now is as good a time as any. Perhaps a better time than most, even, since I’m feeling oddly motivated to work on these. Part of it is upgrading from Java 7 to Java 17; it’s nice to see the game running more smoothly – and in a similar vein, it’s satisfying to bring some older parts of the game up to par.

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Simulator Enhancements

The combat simulator in Starsector is essential to the experience – you need to be able to adjust your ship loadouts effectively, and being able to test out changes quickly is a key part of that. Imagine having to get into a real fight just to see how your new set of weapons performs! That simply wouldn’t do. This means that the simulator was added early on in the development process. This also means that it hasn’t quite kept up with the times, and was very much due for another look.

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