Planetary Surveys

To begin, some context: a planetary survey is something you do to figure out whether a planet is worth establishing an outpost on. There might be other reasons to do it – for example, thinking about whether gathering survey data could be a good way to earn some early-game credits, and/or influence faction behavior – but those things aren’t central to the mechanic. The main path is: find a planet, survey it, and then establish an outpost.

This implies some level of procedural generation, so that the planets and star systems you’re exploring differ from game to game. I don’t want to go into the details here – it might be worth it’s own blog post, and I’m not sure how much I want to dive into how it works in the first place, to avoid spoiling the experience – but will say that yes, procedural generation is now officially a feature.


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First Look at Modding

We’re getting close to releasing the alpha, and I’m happy to say that you’ll be able to start modding Starfarer in the very first release.

The entire focus of the alpha is on combat, exposed through a set of missions. In each mission, two fleets face each other in a scenario you’ll run into naturally in the full game. For example, the player might command a freighter fleet during a blockade run, or a small task force ambushing a carrier group inside a nebula.

Missions are the only aspect that will be moddable in the first release, but it’s just a start – we’ll expand modding capabilities to include ships, AI, factions, etc. Technically, I suppose you could add new ships in the first release (and easily tweak existing ones), since they’re all data-driven… but it’s much nicer with an actual editor. (Yes, we’ll release some modding tools.)

Ahem… back to missions!

Each mission is defined with a couple of files you can tweak using a text editor, or copy to use as a baseline for a new mission. To see what a mission is made up of, let’s take a look at a screenshot of the mission selection screen, with the “Turning the Tables” mission selected.

Mission selection screen – click to enlarge

Alright, now, things are about to get technical. And somewhat lengthy. Consider yourself warned.

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Celestial Spheres

The world of Starfarer has lovely 3d planets which roll beneath whatever chaos you are sure to wreak out in space. It is only right, for what good is space without planets to fight over?

Below: Flying an absurdly over-armed frigate past a jungle-covered planet.

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Combat Trailer

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there.

I want to introduce myself. I am Ivaylo, I hail from Eastern Europe  and I am responsible for the trailer you see below. Please post many approving comments, otherwise I will be fired. Thank you.

Because I know most of you love to multitask, while you post your comments and watch the trailer, you can continue reading this post!

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