The Future of Starbound: Mods, Directors And PvP

Everything is amazing.

Starbound is absurdly popular, which leaves people dying to know where the space exploration/crafting/fighting game, currently in alpha, is going to go next. Rather than drip that information out over a period of months with incrementally more revealing trailers, developers Chucklefish have just done big ol’ blog post full of information. Future features include: sweeping changes to the progression system; a PvP endgame set in ‘Sector X’; Director Mode, which lets you act as a kind of dungeon master; support for sharing user-made missions; and mods.

Oh, also Chucklefish themselves are opening an office, making a new game, and publishing a bunch of other people’s games. Geez.

That’s a lot of news. More news than just one blog post can handle, but I’ll pick out a couple of highlights. The endgame sounds like it could be absurdly good fun:

So eventually you’re going to get through all of the missions, you’ll have the best gear and you’ll be looking for a new challenge. This is where sector X comes in. Sector X is a collection of planets in which PVP is enabled by default and players battle over controlling various planets. To take part in the battle you first have to form an organisation (in game), which gives you access to a space station shared by other members of your organisation. The space station doubles as a ship that any captain in the organisation can control and is constructed from blocks and objects for full customization.

The PVP in this sector is entirely optional, players choose whether or not to attack each other or work together. Monsters, quests and events will be strong enough to be challenging even with the best tools in the game. And in game events, invasions and so on will keep the experience fresh.

Starbound’s planets are procedurally generated, which means there’s an essentially infinite supply of them. That’s important, when the fun of the game comes from exploring new planets and leaving your mark on them, but it opens up greater potential for PvP as well. I’m imagining that “mark” players leave behind might grow rapidly destructive.

Chucklefish are also helping publish other games, including “Stardew Valley, Halfway, Treasure Adventure World, Wanderlust Adventures and more.” Though the largest news of the lot might be that they’re beginning work on a second game, though they’re keen to stress that its creation won’t slow development on Starbound:

We’re going to be producing a second game along side Starbound, with an entirely new development team. We’ll be looking into hiring UK developers for this project shortly (CVs to if you’re interested!) This won’t slow down the production of Starbound at all, worry not, I will be assisting in the design but we’ll be working with entirely new developers. At the moment we’re still in the stage where we’re kicking around ideas, one that keeps popping up is a top down, open world, multiplayer pirate game.

Which is maybe flippant, or the most casual game announcement ever. Seabound confirmed.

Go read the full post and feel the warm fuzzy feeling of talented people being successful.


  1. BTAxis says:

    I’m a little uncomfortable with the “PVP end game” as described. It feels to me as if I’m having an MMO forced on me at the end of my single-player experience.

    • derbefrier says:

      if your playing it as a single player(as in offline, not on a server with other people) how are they forcing anything?

      • BTAxis says:

        From what they wrote, I got the impression that sector X is a persistent online server. Though I could be wrong. And though you can simply stay away from sector X either way, it is implied that you need to go there if you want the end-game content.

        • Chalky says:

          Try the game out and it will quickly become obvious that what you’re suggesting doesn’t make any sense.

          The reason they didn’t explicitly say that it isn’t that is because nobody is going to think that a single player game with dedicated servers and client side characters is suddenly going to morph into a persistent online game in the last tier of content. It’s a pretty bizarre idea that couldn’t possibly work.

        • ender1200 says:

          Sector X will Only be Presistent PVP if you are playing it on server. If you are playing it Single player it will not force you to go on server and will have single player fitting content.

          From the AMA on reddit: link to
          Morefire31: “I want to be able to build a space station in single player, with my own npc’s, not much of a multi player kind of guy, will that be possible?”
          Tiyuri: “yes!”

    • orcist says:

      Ugh… After three years of readership I am registering now, today, to ask you if you have read the article completely? PVP is optional and you can always play singleplayer.

      The end game content sounds like a GREAT idea and I believe, hopefully, to be a GREAT environment to foster a creative and competitive RP community. 1998 Ultima Online comes to mind. This could be a beacon for great RP guilds like the Shadowclan Orcs and Yew Militia. I am ecstatic abut this news. Sadly my video died and I cant play anything at all.

      • BTAxis says:

        Nowhere in that entire post does it say “you can always play singleplayer”. It says you don’t HAVE to attack other players if you don’t want to, which is not the same thing.

        Mind you, it also doesn’t say multiplayer is mandatory. I may be jumping to conclusions here.

        • derbefrier says:

          i dont know if you have actually played the game(sound like a no) but you don’t have to join a server to play the game. you can play offline if you dont want to interact with other people.

          • BTAxis says:

            Considering they haven’t implemented sector X yet, I don’t see what the current state of the game has to do with anything.

            However, I did do some digging and saw this:
            link to

            I think that’s pretty conclusive.

          • derbefrier says:

            huh he said in the reply its not an MMO thing, seems to back up what i have been saying. Also sector X is in the game this very moment. I know, I have been there. I guess if you wanna pretend the current state of the game doesn’t matter that’s fine but you are just wrong here dude. accept that and move on

        • TheNotchyToad says:

          The article you linked in a reply says exactly what you are hoping for that it won’t be an MMO thing.

        • Neki says:

          There’s single player, and there’s multiplayer. Obviously there’s no PVP in single player. And sector X is implemented. And yes you are jumping to conclusions, and they’re wrong.

    • MajorManiac says:

      Looks like you have learnt that user comments on the internet are also PVP MMOs.

      Personally I prefer Co-op games, but it does seem most people prefer to dominate others.

      • dE says:

        RPS is usually a bit less snarky than that, but he seems to have struck a nerve. Or people are having a bad hair day.

        • frightlever says:

          Or he’s being a deliberately obtuse dick. He’s looking at a comment from the dev that says definitely no MMO and interpreting that as being MMO confirmed. Once, you might put it down to a mistake but multiple times? He’s trolling.

  2. Lobotomist says:

    I honestly shitted my pants. The features mentioned set the game (as massive multiplayer) to be more ambitious and have better features than any sandbox MMO to date.

    I know some will say its not MMO. And its true. It can be played as single player game, or be played as MMO on so set up server.

    The game is turning out to be surpassing even its own hype. And that is amazing feat.

    • derbefrier says:

      yeah its already pretty fun as it is too, just needs more content. I already have ~40 hours in it and its great fun. I have been running a server with a few friends and its been great. WE pretty much finished all the content thats there now and we are all patiently waiting for a finished game.

  3. geldonyetich says:

    “Chucklefish has just done gone full-on immersion.”

    “Chucklefish have just done big ol’ blog post full of information.”
    Dang it, reading comprehension, why do you have to lead me on like that?

    • Felixader says:

      What were you thinking? Oculus Rift for Starbound confirmend? X-P

      • Uboa Noticed You says:

        Now that you mention it, Track IR for Starbound COULD potentially be cool. Instead of having to use the Ctrl key to move the camera, you could just move your head slightly.

  4. dorn says:

    Blog summary: “Our hats are made of MONEY!”

  5. dontnormally says:

    “top down, open world, multiplayer pirate game”


  6. Freeden says:

    So, my one concern with this is how modding will be handled. PvP sounds great, but not against players who have modded their weapons and armor to ridiculous levels. Maybe I skimmed something or missed it in the article, but I don’t see how that will be addressed. If players are going to create insta-kill weapons, I’d rather just not touch PvP.

    • comediac says:

      From what I read servers will need to have a mod installed in order for players to use the mod and if a player has a mod that the server doesn’t have they cant connect to it. So if someone does create an insta-kill weapon, everyone on the server can have it, but only if whoever runs the server adds it to the list (which they probably won’t). Also, according to the post, if a player is missing mods that a server requires the server would just send them the mod instead of forcing the player to tack and download it manually, which is nice.