Sorry that we haven’t been posting much or pushing Alpha updates. We’ve been skipping those in favor of directly working on Starmancer, so that you can play sooner.
In the time it takes to test the patches or write the posts we can add 1 or 2 new things to the game.
Victor and I are going to EGX!
This is really exciting for us, because we’ve been making games together for over 7 years, and we’ve never met!
We’ll be at the Chucklefish booth, where you can ask us questions, compliment our haircuts, and play Rock–paper–scissors.
(We’ll also have a playable Demo of Starmancer, and some sweet stickers)
It’s in London, from the 17th to the 20th of October. You can view more information on their website.
Airlocks are (mostly) finished. They’re finished enough for the short term.
Airlocks can be placed inside the station (to prevent the transfer of atmosphere between rooms), outside the station (to extend the amount of oxygen in the colonists helmet), or on the boundary between inside and outside (to allow colonists to travel between the interior and exterior of the station).
Only 1 side of an airlock can be used at a time, and airlocks take much much longer to open than doors.
Once colonists travel through an Airlock, they put on a helmet, but only if the atmosphere on the other side of the door is non-liveable. If you’re curious, the oxygen in the helmet is 20 degrees.
There’s some small things that aren’t finished with airlocks, but we’ll fix them up if we have time (later). Right now, the airlock doesn’t require any source of oxygen, for example, so you could use it even if your station had completely run out of oxygen (possibly you could cheese it by placing lots of airlocks to prevent suffocation)
We separated colonist’s mind (their ego) from their body (sleeve).
Now, when you harvest a colonist from a Biotank, you’re given 3 Egos to choose from. 1 ego is the mind that used to belong to the new body. The other 2 egos are random.
Each ego has their own skills, so you can select a mind that will best integrate into your station, as long as the mind and body are compatible.
(By the way, we’re not planning on showing ego perks, because then you’d rarely pick a colonist with bad perks, and bad perks are fun)
Egos have an “affinity” rating with sleeves. This value represents how easily the ego accepts their new body. It’s randomized (permanently) for every colonist.
The current randomization values are:
Random Affinity Modifier: -50% to +10%
Mismatched Attribute Modifier: -50% to +10%
Some colonists will naturally be better suited at changing bodies.
Attributes are things like sex (this is the only sleeve attribute we currently have). Placing a female mind into a female body will be easier than placing a male mind into a female body. Unless that specific ego randomly decided that it prefers bodies that are different from their source body.
Every colonist will acquire sleeve sickness when they’re uploaded into a new body (unless they have an affinity rating of 95% or higher).
Sleeve sickness is a perk that increases need drain rate, prevents colonists from working, and decreases movement speed. It is not permanent.
As affinity rating decreases, the chance of acquiring bad perks increases, including: crippled, anxious, aggressive, and disgusting.
If the mismatch is really high, there’s a chance that the colonist will instantly be given the manic perk (the one where they kill everyone on sight) or a permanent sleeve rejection perk.
Ego selection is something that I’m really excited for, and I hope you are too.
You can now customize your core when you create a new game.
You can choose the eye type, eye color, body type, and body color.
This has no gameplay impact.
In the future we might add “Player Perks” that you can somehow acquire over time. These would affect the entire stations.
Colonists gain skills faster
Objects break less frequently
Crops require less water
The player would not pick these perks when you first start playing. I’m not a fan of permanent gameplay decisions, especially when you first start playing a new game.
When the game is new to you, there’s no way to make any meaningful decision. At best, you’d be selecting perks that sound useful.
We added a system where hints will be shown to the you, based on your actions.
These hints take the form of dialogue from your A.I. Assistant (currently named “K.A.T”).
Our intent is to help new players figure out what to do, but without feeling like a tutorial. I think that games only require tutorials if they’re designed poorly, but there’s a lot going on in Starmancer. We’re not trying to hold your hand—we just want to point new players in the correct direction.
You will only see each hint once, and the text is short, so hopefully it’s not too annoying if you already know the information. You can also press the “OK” button to automatically finish the text.
Most of the hint text isn’t this “thematic”, and all of it will probably change before Starmancer is released.
This isn’t super exciting, but it is something that we implemented.
You will now see messages in the center of your screen when certain things happen. Like when a colonist dies, a trade ship arrives, a colonist is starving, and in a few other circumstances.
Colonists can no longer walk through each other. This makes the colonists feel more “solid”, and possibly encourages the player to create optimized station layouts.
If 2 colonists are blocking each other, they’ll walk through each other, this prevents them from getting stuck in an infinite loop of blocking.
Remember, we’ll be at EGX! So if you’re in the London area, stop by!