Starbound Has A Lot Of Trees

By Nathan Grayson on May 15th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

Frolic, tiny man. Frolic amongst the space trees.
No, seriously. This may be the most tree-rich game I’ve ever come across. And yet, while Starbound‘s latest trailer runs through woodlands of all shapes, sizes, and colors, Chucklefish chuckles in its oh-so-recognizably fish-like fashion at my pitiful notions of impressiveness. It’s designated this bouquet of majestic foliage as a “small selection of the art that will be present in the finished game” from just one of many possible biomes. “Terraria in space,” I’d say, is a misnomer. This strikes me more as Super Terraria Galaxy – yes, planetary exploration is the focus, but it’s lightyears beyond its spiritual predecessor in terms of sheer ambition. I mean, we’re talking entire randomly generated galaxies of randomly generated planets with randomly generated foliage and creatures. It sounds insane. It probably is insane. But I’m excited about a game’s trees. That has to mean something, right? Venture past the break for the full trailer.

As Adam discussed, there’s also building, crafting, combat, and penguins. Best of all, you can invite other players to visit your home planet, because you own a planet – what other reason do you need? Executed correctly, this could be an amazing, constantly evolving place to explore by whatever means you deem necessary. Granted, it’s a teetering tower of wonderful ideas, so anything less than obsessive attention to detail will probably result in a collapse that’ll have Godzilla considering other career options.

This much random generation, obviously, could result in blander moment-by-moment than a bread and office supplies sampling. Encouragingly, however, every single item in your potentially infinite universe can be examined for a description, so clearly there’s a colossal focus on giving personality to every inch of this unbelievably sizable beast.

Even so, it’d be foolish not to eye something like this with a universe-sized helping of caution. So for now, I’ll just stick with my slightly panicky refrain of please be good, please be good, please be good.

__________________

« | »

, .

61 Comments »

  1. weego says:

    If this builds on the last release of terraria with more stuff to do and make, and places to go I may just be the happiest person in the world.

  2. Zelius says:

    Well, colour me excited!

  3. wodin says:

    Have you seen the mechs you can drive around! Far more excited about this than Terraria which in itself was a great game. Seems abit more grown and to me in it’s ambition and overall description.

  4. Tom De Roeck says:

    this just looks and feels too much like Terraria with dramatic music.

    • Neurotic says:

      Yes, and WoW was EQ with a lot more dramatic music and 3D avatars wandering around a fantasy world. My only concern now is when and where do I throw my money for this randomly-generated orgasm-inducer?

      • RedViv says:

        And WoW had oh so much more to do. Which is what this game does too. And I’m equally excited about it. Exploring a new randomly generated world only worked two or three times, then the enthusiasm about Terraria was gone. Well, after 140 hours, anyway.

    • Jerakal says:

      You’re, you’re kidding right?

  5. ancienttoaster says:

    At least it isn’t as piss-ugly as Terraria.

  6. enobayram says:

    These guys are doing really great things, I hope they also pass Terraria on to someone else to continue development (or even open-source it!).

    • Bluerps says:

      Just one of the Terraria guys is with Chucklefish, and they don’t have the rights to Terraria. The other Terraria developer has said that he doesn’t feel comfortable with handing the development of the game to someone else (Gaslamp Games actually asked if they could do that).

      So (without considering mods) Terraria will probably stay as it is right now, forever.

  7. Derppy says:

    Can you just visit other player’s planet, or will this feature a full multiplayer where you can explore together?

    If it does, I’m looking forward to another series from Totalbiscuit and Jesse Cox, or at least a mass of fanboys requesting it from them until they go insane.

    I played a few hours of Terraria myself, but I find watching their series about it way more entertaining than actually playing the game.

    • Lukasz says:

      I doubt TB and Jesse gonna play this.
      2 reason:
      I don’t think they will finish Terraria before this game comes out.
      They will be probably tired of co-op, at least terraria style.
      Do look forward to WTF is which might be with Jesse.

      I also love terraria myself. almost at 100 hours of gamplay. just so addicting.

  8. povu says:

    Gotta love randomly generated… Anything.

    • Phantoon says:

      Anything? EVERYTHING!

      Hopefully it doesn’t end up a “look at the procedural generation and also we forgot to put the game in” like Spore was.

  9. KDR_11k says:

    With procedural generation it doesn’t really matter how much world there is since it’s all generated anyway and if your current one isn’t enough you re-roll. What’s a bigger limit is the actual game content. Sure, Terraria’s worlds were randomized but the real content wasn’t the map but the items you could get and all the various tasks there were to get them. All the different biomes that play differently. That’s why a large world in Terraria is a bad idea, the actual content remains the same but there’s more filler in-between.

    Re-rolling your world in Terraria doesn’t make new biomes or new boss fights, just different level geometry and the geometry is just an obstacle like the enemies, not the core of the game.

    • wodin says:

      Randomised critters with this one though mate…

      • KDR_11k says:

        How much of a difference does it make though? You can randomize anything but the guns in Borderlands still felt samey. The random generator can’t spit out things it hasn’t been taught to produce and the latter part is the real limitation. Just varying damage and health on the same enemy patterns won’t make new enemies.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          The way the critters work is that there’s a template for each creature type, like a starfish-monster or whatever, and it has bits and bobs that can be used to generate variations on the type. It won’t just feel like a bunch of random stuff. Creature types will be specific to specific planets/biomes.

          Random guns in Borderlands felt samey because it was just too random.

          • KDR_11k says:

            The Borderlands guns had the main problem that they had a few basic types (based on the already samey real life weapon types) and the randomization was mostly on damage, accuracy and rate of fire. You were still using them the same way and the differences usually boiled down to “kills faster” and “has more range” while the guns were still all about pointing directly at dudes and holding down the trigger (aiming at the head if the gun is accurate enough). Randomized monsters will need to offer substantially different gameplay to really extend the value of the game but only the meaningful variations matter, while a monster that shoots twice as many projectiles or melees harder is technically different it only matters if the player has to think differently.

          • Malk_Content says:

            Here is an example of one of the enemy types they are putting into the game (this post won, well 2nd place, a monster creation competition.)

            http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?threads/virorbs.2689/

            The variations on attack effects and movement will make these feel rather different to play with, but the visual style and the way they attack lends a coherence to the monster type. If they can approach all, or most, of the monster with this amount of detail we should be on to a winner. Also I think once it is done generating more possible content can be a prime focus for the group.

          • Baines says:

            Random guns in Borderlands felt samey because they were samey. It was the opposite of too random. Rather, Borderlands system was too structured and too limited. There was neither enough randomization nor enough variety of ideas.

            You really need both of those for such a system.

            You need variety of ideas, so things can actually be different. Borderlands had a few basic templates, which were mostly very similar in function. And the weapon stats that were variable were fairly bland. Discounting some of the unique properties (which I will give a reason to discount in the next paragraph), Borderlands arguably has less variety of ideas than a modern Call of Duty game. Borderlands would never be confused with more sci-fi themed FPS, which tend to have alien or future-tech weapons designed to stand out with weird features. And Borderlands I’d say is overall lacking compared to Hellgate’s sci-fi/magic random generation weapons. The special properties that weren’t unique were fairly restrictive, when the developers could have opened up the system with more generic attributes/changes. (Why have only “It shoots rockets”, when you could instead make any gun template fire any bullet template? Why have a special triple fire rocket launcher, when you could instead generate a generic “burst fire” setting, with a random fire count, and allow it to be applied to every weapon?)

            And you need enough randomization so that those variety of ideas actually get freely used. This is why I discount Borderland’s unique properties, because they *were* “unique”. The closest thing to real variations on the basic gun themes (which were still fairly limited and unimaginative) were locked to specific weapons. It doesn’t matter if you implement bouncing bullets or wave paths when those features aren’t allowed into the randomization mix. But even the basic stats, as boring as they were, were fairly heavily restricted. Level was an overpowering factor all around in Borderlands, and it hurt weapon variety. A weapon with good stats just wasn’t going to matter after a few levels. And the attempt to make each weapon show corporate traits was poorly done as well.

            You can do randomization poorly or well, and Borderlands, when it comes to variety of results, did it very poorly indeed.

  10. Lobotomist says:

    Can gaming get any better ?

    :)

  11. Skeletor68 says:

    CANNOT WAIT!

    I’m gonna buy 2 copies and multi-play with my gf who has a mac, a feature sorely lacking in Terraria for us. She must have logged around 40 hours in that game so really excited about this.

    I also hope Jesse and TB start a let’s play for this when they finish Terraria :)

    • Bluerps says:

      Heh, yeah, I can picture that.
      TB: “Ugh! Finally we are finished with this game.”
      JC: “I died soo much!”
      TB: “I have had enough of it since Episode 5!”
      JC: “I never want to see another slime!”

      TB: “Soo… shall we begin to play Starbound?”

      Episode 1: Jesse is bad at this game too

  12. Devrey says:

    Sure, nice trees. I am more impressed by the way your character walks up slopes. Navigating those in Terraria is a pain in the ass.

  13. frightlever says:

    Thought of this for some reason.

  14. Breadline says:

    I’m a Starbound rocket ship and your heart’s the mooooon
    And I’m aiming right at youuu
    Right at youuu

  15. Phantoon says:

    I wanted Terraria because it looked neat, and was.

    This game, I have expectations for beyond “it will be fun”.

    It cannot possibly live up to them- and if it does, it will be the game Spore never was, but should’ve been.

    • Jerakal says:

      A-men. Spore, especially the space segment, was one of the bigger disappointments I’ve endured from a company over-hyping a game.

  16. sneetch says:

    Loved Terraria, I played over 100 hours of it last year, this looks like it’ll be even better.

  17. deadly.by.design says:

    ’90s side-scroller nostalgia, go.

  18. Bluerps says:

    For some reason, this gives me a very mild Spore-vibe. As in, “alien landscapes with maximum variety and almost no depth”. But that’s probably just because not much has been revealed about this game, yet. I’m eager to learn how the actual game will work!

  19. rustybroomhandle says:

    5.. 4… 3… 1… offblast!!

  20. squareking says:

    Looks fantastic. We need more 2D forest-em-ups.

    Don’t want to toot the entitlement horn, but does anyone else feel kinda miffed about development stopping on Terraria? I mean, just an update where we can walk over 1-block high stairs would be great.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Toot toot! No… free updates forever should never be what you expect from any one game purchase.

      • Jerakal says:

        Especially a $5 purchase, hell I’m surprised they updated it as much and for as long as they did, give these guys a break.

      • Bluerps says:

        I would have complained if they had never updated at all, because the game was a bit unfinished when they released it, and they said that they would continue development. But after the updates that introduced the surface jungle, the “clothing” armor slots and the NPC housing interface, the game was pretty well rounded and felt complete. Version 1.1 was more than anyone could have expected.

        • Memph says:

          It’s just a shame that without severe efforts a hard-mode world would quickly become engulfed in corruption and/or hallow.
          Still, I clocked 288 hours (according to steam) across 3 worlds, having far, far more fun than 2 quid should have gotten me. And even then I only really stopped playing and building because all my friends did. My hopes are (probably a little too) high for this.

      • Bonedwarf says:

        Disappointed they stopped, but they added snow in the big final update, so I’m pleased. (I’m a sucker for snow in games.)

  21. Chmilz says:

    Anyone get NES Startropics nostalgia when the see the Starbound name and logo?

  22. MythArcana says:

    If they go Tard Network exclusive like Terraria, I will be extremely disappointed…again.

  23. DarkFarmer says:

    Starbound looks amazing, can’t wait to play it. This video reminds me of Tiny Wings in how the trees colors and shapes are generated, gorgeous proc-gen porn for us proc-gen fetishists. This is my uninteresting response to this story just to show my interest in the game.

  24. Lemming says:

    If I can examine the inventory and crafting options to work out how and what to build in-game without getting attacked by blobs and zombies constantly It might get more than the 10 minutes I gave Terraria.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>