Thought Bubbles

Hello. We’re back from Christmas break.

Starmancer should probably be released this year, so that’s good news. We have rough estimates for Alpha, Beta, and Release, but they’re only estimates and don’t mean much.

We’re still getting the game ready for Alpha. Right now that mostly involves polishing, optimizing, and adding a few forgotten features.

One of those forgotten features is thought bubbles.


A colonist’s face isn’t very expressive. This makes it difficult for a player to care when their colonist is trapped in a toilet and starves to death.

The blank stare hides the inner turmoil

The blank stare hides the inner turmoil

About equally important, it’s very difficult for a colonist to visually provide feedback when it’s hungry, cold, sad, happy, or tired.

We don’t want to force the player to go menu diving in order to understand the current state of the game. You should be able to watch a colonist and learn if anything is wrong.

Thought Bubbles

Our solution to this problem was to display thought bubbles whenever a colonist forms specific memories.

We have thought bubbles for all sorts of memories: being tired, seeing death, making new friends, losing friends, peeing your pants.

Some random thought bubbles

Some random thought bubbles

Here’s a suffocating colonist to demonstrate:

At least he had a cool haircut

At least he had a cool haircut

Are we implying that the Starmancer can read the thoughts of the colonist? Maybe. But it’s also possible that the Starmancer can read body language and converts it into thought bubbles for its own deranged purposes.


By the way, colonists form memories as they do things in the station. Memories can be permanent or forgettable. Watching pirates slaughter your best friend is probably a permanent memory. Being tired is something that you’ll forget after a few days.

When a memory is created it can optionally trigger the display of a thought bubble.

Memories can also be talked about in conversation. Listeners will acquire these memories and store them as “second-hand” memories. They can then talk about second-hand memories and continue spreading them. This is the basis of the rumor system.

That’s It

This was a fairly short post, but thought bubbles aren’t very complex.

Have a happy January 11th.


Change Log


  1. Verified that all needs work correctly

  2. Verified that all jobs work correctly

  3. Fixed some bugs with holding and dragging deletion

  4. Fixed some UI bugs

  5. A 1x1 foundation will now build both the floor and the wall (previously it didn’t build the wall)

  6. Implemented visuals for when an object is selected

  7. Implemented wall painting


  1. Created material for mouse over selection.

  2. Added all object descriptions.

  3. Fixed an issue with the colonist carry animation.


  1. Implemented thought bubbles

  2. Fixed a bug with directional access positions

  3. Improved performance of foundation tool

  4. Improved how claimable objects are found

  5. Chefs will no longer select recipes if they lack the required objects or required food.

  6. Fixed an issue with UI elements changing positions