Exciting news for Starbound fans. Chucklefish, the developers behind the game, have their upcoming Colony update with an impressive trailer showing all the things the fans can expect from the new update.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6db4718sRY]
It does bear noting that a lot of the things shown have actually been available for quite a while if you opted to partake in the Nightly Beta of Starbound. If you want to participate, you need only look for a second Starbound entry with “ - Unstable” added to it. Right clicking this entry, you go through 'Properties' to navigate to 'Betas'. In this tab you’ll be able to select a Beta to opt in to, which in this case is the 'Nightly' beta. It updates almost every day, adding in the newest features or changes that they have come up with. Chucklefish has been religiously doing this for quite some time, which should put most worries of inactivity at rest, as regular updates for the game tend to be far and few in-between.
In the video you’ll see quite a few exciting new things. The first is a spawner of an NPC, who will only drop in when the house apparently meets a few requirements. This seems reminiscent of Terraria, but this was already available for quite some time ago in Starbound, barring the actual housing requirements. It was also heavily expanded upon through third party modding in the past. Ship size expansions have also been available for a while in Nightly. In fact, the Starbound wiki shows just how big the ship can actually get, compared to the small size you were stuck with originally. Weapon usage has evolved as well, as a keen eye might have noticed one of the characters’ spear tilting a little bit (as opposed to it remaining horizontal in the past). Combat has indeed already been revamped to allow more control and precision as well as less exploitative combat.
The NPC AI also sees an improvement, both mechanically and immersion-wise. Where in the past the most interaction you could get was a comment when interacting with them and seeing them attack/flee from a wild monster, the AI will now not only recognize you but pay tribute to you as well for giving them a home. We even see a pair of NPCs mourning over what seemed like a meticulously placed grave. A new location named the Outpost is also shown, where you can trade with various merchants and receive quests.
Challenge rooms will test your ability and control of your character, requiring a show of platforming and skill. It's worth pointing out that challenge rooms have their door teleported away to another location when failed, possibly on another planet. So trial and error will probably be a less viable, or certainly more time-consuming process. The big and mysterious stone gate was also seen before, but its secrets seem to remain hidden for now. It'll be intriguing to see what adventure is hiding behind there.
Chucklefish seems really intent on giving you a vast sea of things to explore and experience. It’s not unheard of how their imagination goes places you didn't even consider. At some point they even had a plan to let you be able to settle down as a farmer to make a profit living off of your crops through selling them to NPCs.
We haven’t seen the last yet of this game and the updates only continue to prove impressive time and time again. If you'd like your Starbound game to have daily added content, trying out the beta may be worth your while if you are not too bothered by the frequent updating it’ll see. So far reports of save corruption has been lower than expected, but we are warned that it is always a possibility.
What do you think? Are these long pauses between official updates worth the wait? How has your time with Starbound been?