Starsector 0.96a Release

Update (5/20/23): a hotfix for a number of bugs, a few balance and QoL tweaks, and a return of the Pegasus to most of its former glory. Full list of changes here; please re-download the game using the links below.

Update (5/13/23): a hotfix for a number of assorted bugs, significant changes to the Hostile Activity mechanic (aimed at both dialing it down and increasing its interactivity), and number of other changes and improvements.

Update (5/6/23, 2:00pm EST): a hotfix for a crash when viewing the Hostile Activity intel in some circumstances.

Update (5/5/23, 3:15pm EST): a hotfix for a crash when viewing the Gilead shrine intel after visiting the shrine.

Starsector version 0.96a is now out!

  • Take on new missions exploring the story of the Luddic Church and the Sindrian Diktat
  • Cut deals Warlord Kanta’s pirates or Luddic Path fanatics to stop their attacks… though peace may come at a high price
  • Fly new ships, including 5 new capital-class hulls and numerous smaller vessels
  • Acquire new weapons, including a lineup of missiles that shoot lasers (“Directed Energy Munitions”)
  • Face faction fleets with distinct identities driven by the new ships and weapons
  • Deal with hostile activity at your colonies and master hyperspace navigation using the new “Event” system
  • Build hullmods into ships to gain unique bonuses
  • Additional illustrations, portraits, descriptions and encounters help bring the Sector to life

In addition to these, there are a slew of smaller changes and addition, including balance adjustments, bugfixes, modability improvements – along with a new exploration music track, and faction music for the Persean League!

The full patch notes, and the comment thread, areĀ 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!



Narrative in 0.96 aka Movie Night With David

I’d like to take a moment to talk about the development of narratives in the last update, and maybe in the game in general. I should note: this is a process post, not a lore-dump. So this is about how I went about coming up with these ideas and implementing them, not what Baikal Daud’s favorite flavor of ice cream is. More on anti-lore later. But yeah, I’m dying to talk about all of this but I have to play it fairly close to my chest to avoid spoiling what we’ve got in mind for the long game.

Two things first.

1. As anyone who’s written creative fiction knows, it’s terrifying to work on something for over a year and then show it off to who-knows how many thousands of people all at once. Especially in a field you’re not really ‘proven’ in (though, uh, arguably this feeling was far more pronounced with the introduction of the Galatia missions. There, yes, I was legitimately freaking out a bit. This time, much more confident and comfortable.

… Nonetheless, not everyone is going to like what you do. But I’ve been in games for, what, almost 15 years? And shipped at least one trainwreck. C’est la Vie! Regardless: You’ve all been very kind.

2. And: I know you guys want narrative payoff for the hanging plot threads at the end of Galatia, for the Gates, and now for the fate of the Church and Askonia. And I want to give them to you! But we have to do it when we have the mechanics in place to do it right. I know that sucks to hear, but I think playing the long-game will pay off. (- I think the narrative slow-burn that eg. Andor did was really, really smart because the payoff was fantastic. I have no idea how Disney executives approved that show and let them get away with what they did.)

Oh yeah, this is going to have spoilers for v0.96 story missions. You’ve been warned!

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Hyperspace Topography

I’m not sure where to start with this, exactly, because this is something that pulls together a bunch of different systems, using the “Event” infrastructure (introduced in the previous blog post) to tie it all together. So, let’s just start… in HYPERSPACE!

Primarily, this is a system that interacts with slipstreams. In brief, those are temporary passages in hyperspace that can make travel much, much faster and enormously more fuel-efficient. One of the problems, though, is that it can be a little hard to plan for – there are some general indicators of where they are and where they might take you (i.e. the direction they travel in is seasonal, you can use the Neutrino Detector ability to find them, and so on), but I think for a lot of players, that doesn’t quite add up to being “enough” to make slipstreams as useful as I’d like them to be.

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Hostile Activity

One of the design goals for the campaign layer of the game is that it should present the player with opportunities for combat. This doesn’t mean that everything you do in the campaign has to lead to it, but it’s a good thing to always keep in mind, regardless – how does a feature of a mechanic give context (and meaning) to combat, or lead into it directly?

If you’ve been following the game, this is something you’ve probably read before. So, in brief: this post is going to talk about some aspects of how establishing colonies leads the player towards combat. This already happens in the currently-released version of the game, and the changes I’ll talk about here are about three things: cleaning up some of the rough edges of the current approach, creating a system that makes it easy to add a variety of encounters, and building some infrastructure that can be used for other purposes, in particular implementing the endgame.

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The Pilgrim’s Path

So you’ve already heard the Good News? Blessed are you in the eyes of Ludd, already and truly. Do you count yourself among the Faithful, or has a sense of spiritual longing brought you to this shrine? Perhaps you’ve visited Beholder Station before? Have you contemplated the clouds of Kumari Aru, that sacred cradle of xenolife, which may be observed from the inner shrine? Many pilgrims speak of feeling a spark of the divine when contemplating the multitudes of Creation…

This is a sort-of a part 3 in the faction series but with more of a David-style focus, that is, on the writing, world-building, and implementation of a new set of missions, though I admit that the word “quest” in this case might have the right feel.

(I would carry on Alex’s blog title series but I simply can’t bring myself to write the word “uniquifying” more than this once. It’s just, *shudder*, one of those words.)


All of which is to say: I’m going to be writing about some new content for Starsector which involve the various Luddic factions: the Church, the Knights, and a touch of the Path. In particular, this is a new mission which involves visiting a series of Luddic shrines, having some encounters along the way, and taking a stance on Luddism in general.

There will be spoilers herein, but worry not, Citizen! There’s no SUPER ALABASTER REDACTED to bring the fury of COMSEC down upon us. That said, if you want everything to be a surprise, then you won’t want to read this post. But if you’d like a peek into the design and creation of some of the introductory content for the Luddic factions, then read on. We’ll start with some general background, design, and process discussion then actually show off new content as the last section. You’ll get another warning before that starts up.

Let us begin in the beginning, with first principles that flow from the essential question: What the heck is Luddism?

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