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[Column] General: Excited for Starbound

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,377MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

It's not an MMO, but it is a sandbox. Community Manager Michael Bitton finds himself excited for Starbound and shares his thoughts on why.

I wanted to talk about Starbound today because I know many of you are sandbox fans here at MMORPG.com, but like me, you may have been indifferent to most of these sorts of games in the past. I think Starbound has a bit more meat on the bones and so I can see potential for the game to hit the spot for sandbox lovers out there who can put aside the fact the game isn’t massively multiplayer and enjoy its  smaller scale multiplayer possibilities.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Excited for Starbound.

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Comments

  • cronius77cronius77 Fairfax, VAPosts: 1,355Member Uncommon
    you guys should do some articles on these games in general as they might not be massive huge mmo style servers but they all have multi player servers. 7 days to die , the dead linger , star forge , planet explorers , realm explorer . All of these games are just really fun sandbox multplayer that are not all focused on full loot pvp like most sandbox mmorpgs are currently. All these little indie voxel and terraria style games are fun and addictive.
  • tman5tman5 mesa, ALPosts: 604Member
    Yeah, I get that graphics aren't everything, but do we really have no choice but to time travel back to 1987 for a decent game?
  • RidrithRidrith Mountain View, ARPosts: 336Member Uncommon
    Man I'm waiting on STEAM right now for my copy of Starbound to pop up so I can begin to download it...  I can't freaking wait!  This looks like it's going to be so much damn fun.
  • thecapitainethecapitaine West Chester, PAPosts: 401Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tman5
    Yeah, I get that graphics aren't everything, but do we really have no choice but to time travel back to 1987 for a decent game?

     

    Outside of something like massive crowd-funding (a la Star Citizen), I think the answer is yes, there's not much choice.  The costs of making "modern-looking" games is just too high for most indies.  Even so, I think a lot of these games are still very pleasing to the eye and, having come from a time when you had rough looking games but with superb gameplay, I'm more than happy to sacrifice all the sparklies for a deep, fun experience.

     

    Can't wait to grab this game; it's exactly the sort of single player game I've been hoping would get made.

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 956Member Uncommon

    I didn't know Terraria, and a first look at a game trailer I said to my self, "wth, they are the same game."  But I also know that there is the game in hand feel.  For you MB playing the games is two different experiences.  You listed, "plot, multiple races, procedurally generated worlds and creatures, randomized weapons, and space."

     

    Both games are procedurally generated, so I don't know why you even bothered to mention this.  One game has multiple worlds and space travel.  Ok that is something different between the two.  I understand that Starbound is not reusing the same textures across worlds.  Neat trick, that I first saw done in '95.

     

    But I feel the real thing that draws you to this game from the list is, plot.  By plot, I mean, story, missions, and quests.  And all of this is theme-park.  So actually what sets this game heads and shoulders above others sandbox games for you is its theme-parkyness.

     

    I am not nocking Starbound, it looks like a good game.  I suspect you worked hard not to point out that once again theme-park came to save the day.  You said that Terraria felt "unfinished" as a purely sandbox game.  Clearly what it lacked were theme-park elements.

    Pardon any spelling errors
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    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member
    Seriously? That looks like something I played on my Amiga, 20 years ago...
  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148 1, NJPosts: 6,690Member
    Yeah sorry not my cup of tea. I like my games realistic looking like it is 2013 and beyond.
    30
  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Yamota
    Seriously? That looks like something I played on my Amiga, 20 years ago...

    So does minecraft.

  • spookydomspookydom BristolPosts: 1,782Member Uncommon
    This looks like pretty good fun to me. Had no idea it even existed. Will be picking this up on payday. Nice one Mike.

    image

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    A future mmorpg will come out with this sort of design and blow the house down with it's combination of space/galaxy, planets, ships, players and creating stuff in this galaxy.
  • TrashcantoyTrashcantoy DragonstonePosts: 827Member
    Game is pretty big for an indie team. It has over 51,000 people playing it at this very moment on Steam, giving it a spot in the top 3 of most played Steam games.

    MMOs currently playing: -
    About to play: Lord of the Rings Online
    Played: Anarchy Online (alltime favorite) and lots of f2p titles (honorable mentions: 9Dragons, Martial Heroes, Dekaron, Atlantica Online)

  • AnirethAnireth Posts: 600Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by thecapitaine
    Originally posted by tman5
    Yeah, I get that graphics aren't everything, but do we really have no choice but to time travel back to 1987 for a decent game?

     

    Outside of something like massive crowd-funding (a la Star Citizen), I think the answer is yes, there's not much choice.  The costs of making "modern-looking" games is just too high for most indies.

    Thats not true. Nearly every popular engine offers a free or cheaper version, be it Source, Unreal or Cry Engine. Or take Unity.  They all make it relatively easy to get started. As long as you are not paying anyone there are no costs anyways, and you have to learn to work with one of them anyways, unless you want to write your own, which is even more complicated.

    Add that maybe starting out with a full blown game from the scratch where you need to make several million dollars to recuperate the cost may not be the smartest move as a new team, either. How about realizing your game as a mod to a pouplar game first?

    Both Puny Human Games and Unkown Worlds started as mod teams (Dystopia, one of the most critically acclaimed Source (Half Life 2 etc.) mods and Natural Selection (which had a bigger playerbase). I think there might be more mod teams that made the jump to indie.

    And to think that some of the most popular multiplayer games today either started out as mod (Counterstrike, Team Fortress) or even as map (Dota, which lead to Dota 2, LoL, HoN etc. Some of the people involved with the orginal Dota now work at Riot, some at Valve..).

    This harks back to "the costs are too high".  Or have a good idea like Notch did with Minecraft, which initially didn't cost him a thing besides his time, make some money with it and then do a "more visuallly appealing" game.

    There are exactly two reasons why the only indie games we see currently are either multi-million dollar games funded through crowd-founding or voxel based: The availabilty of crowd-founding, mostly through Kickstarter, and the success of Minecraft (despite not being voxel based).

    It's just like what WoW did to MMOs: There is one succesful game that prints a lot of money, and everyone thinks he can join in on the fun with literally no effort. And then they wonder why it doesn't work.

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    And then I'll rise with the tide with a lust for life, I'll
    Amass an army, and we'll harness a horde
    And then we'll limp across the land until we stand at the shore

  • HeafstaggHeafstagg Edmonton, ABPosts: 170Member Uncommon
    I think its a great looking game. That's besides the point though, too many people judge a book by its cover, so to say. How about giving it a try before you jump the gun. The game is flat out awesome.

    image
  • Abion47Abion47 Provo, UTPosts: 1Member

    You say that like all a game needs to look amazing is a solid engine. While it certainly helps, you need more than just an Unreal, Unity, Source, or what-have-you license. You need the art. Models, textures, particles... you need it all. Those things take a lot of time to make, potentially even longer than the programming of the game itself. And the more "realistic" a game is trying to be, the more detailed the art needs to be, and the longer it's going to take to make it. Not to mention there really aren't that many people around who can do all that, and the ones that exist aren't cheap.

  • causscauss sonnegaPosts: 668Member
    Yesterday I finally played some Starbound. It. is. amazing. You really have the feeling you are on some alien planet (the music helps A LOT to create that atmosphere).
  • VhyleVhyle Newark, OHPosts: 8Member

    When I first heard about this game, I thought it was a rip off of Terraria, but that is not really the case.  Redigit, the creator of Terraria, stated enough from his own posts on the Official Terraria site to make me believe they are two different games.  Aside from a few aspects both games share, they are totally different games.

    I'd love to get a copy of this game, as I've invested a lot of time into Terraria, I'd like to see how Starbound feels to me.  It looks like a lot of fun, I hope Chucklefish has success with this title.  I want to see how far it goes.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,916Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Heafstagg
    I think its a great looking game. That's besides the point though, too many people judge a book by its cover, so to say. How about giving it a try before you jump the gun. The game is flat out awesome.

    IF I don't like side scrolling games, if I have no interest in gathering resources or building, as well as have no love for 80's nostalgia in gaming, would I like this game?

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

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  • thunderCthunderC miami flPosts: 473Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Originally posted by Heafstagg
    I think its a great looking game. That's besides the point though, too many people judge a book by its cover, so to say. How about giving it a try before you jump the gun. The game is flat out awesome.

    IF I don't like side scrolling games, if I have no interest in gathering resources or building, as well as have no love for 80's nostalgia in gaming, would I like this game?

    No

     

  • thunderCthunderC miami flPosts: 473Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by cronius77
    you guys should do some articles on these games in general as they might not be massive huge mmo style servers but they all have multi player servers. 7 days to die , the dead linger , star forge , planet explorers , realm explorer . All of these games are just really fun sandbox multplayer that are not all focused on full loot pvp like most sandbox mmorpgs are currently. All these little indie voxel and terraria style games are fun and addictive.

    Yeah I agree I would love to see MMORPG start dedicating a section of the website to so called "Offline MMO's" or Games that border on mmo status such as this one ,minecraft,ect ect.....

     

      There are so many good games in "this genre" that really get no publicity and you pretty much just stumble upon by accident or mostly word of mouth through forum posts. 

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,575Member Uncommon

    Lack of depth in Terraria? Hard to take OP seriously with that line.

     

  • KaeriganKaerigan None Of Your BusinessPosts: 689Member
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Lack of depth in Terraria? Hard to take OP seriously with that line.

     

    Especially after the latest updates...

    <childish, provocative and highly speculative banner about your favorite game goes here>

  • thecapitainethecapitaine West Chester, PAPosts: 401Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Anireth
    Originally posted by thecapitaine
    Originally posted by tman5
    Yeah, I get that graphics aren't everything, but do we really have no choice but to time travel back to 1987 for a decent game?

     

    Outside of something like massive crowd-funding (a la Star Citizen), I think the answer is yes, there's not much choice.  The costs of making "modern-looking" games is just too high for most indies.

    Thats not true. Nearly every popular engine offers a free or cheaper version, be it Source, Unreal or Cry Engine. Or take Unity.  They all make it relatively easy to get started. As long as you are not paying anyone there are no costs anyways, and you have to learn to work with one of them anyways, unless you want to write your own, which is even more complicated.

    Add that maybe starting out with a full blown game from the scratch where you need to make several million dollars to recuperate the cost may not be the smartest move as a new team, either. How about realizing your game as a mod to a pouplar game first?

    Both Puny Human Games and Unkown Worlds started as mod teams (Dystopia, one of the most critically acclaimed Source (Half Life 2 etc.) mods and Natural Selection (which had a bigger playerbase). I think there might be more mod teams that made the jump to indie.

    And to think that some of the most popular multiplayer games today either started out as mod (Counterstrike, Team Fortress) or even as map (Dota, which lead to Dota 2, LoL, HoN etc. Some of the people involved with the orginal Dota now work at Riot, some at Valve..).

    This harks back to "the costs are too high".  Or have a good idea like Notch did with Minecraft, which initially didn't cost him a thing besides his time, make some money with it and then do a "more visuallly appealing" game.

    There are exactly two reasons why the only indie games we see currently are either multi-million dollar games funded through crowd-founding or voxel based: The availabilty of crowd-founding, mostly through Kickstarter, and the success of Minecraft (despite not being voxel based).

    It's just like what WoW did to MMOs: There is one succesful game that prints a lot of money, and everyone thinks he can join in on the fun with literally no effort. And then they wonder why it doesn't work.

     

    Editing some sentences from my post has obscured its meaning.  I was speaking mostly of a game's visuals, which is certainly one of the biggest differentiators between indie games and AAA efforts.  As good as some of those mods-turned-standalones are, as rich as the Minecraft experience is, none of them have the budget to look as good (graphically, not necessarily aesthetically) as their better-financed competitors.  Art continues to be the major money siphon and the simplified or so-called retro look is one of the answers devs have come up with to stay within a tight budget.

  • WolfhammerWolfhammer KetteringPosts: 697Member Uncommon
    Sorry but I left side scrolling platform games behind around the mid 80's.

    image

    image

  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 dublinPosts: 2,735Member
    It's like watching HD for years and then going back to standard definition. Starbound looks like a great concept but i have moved on visually.
  • TolrocTolroc Wendell, NCPosts: 99Member Uncommon
    Like the OP, I have tried Minecraft and Terraria and have not been able to get into them. However, I am really excited about Starbound mainly for the reasons he listed. I downloaded it last night and hopefully be able to play this evening.
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