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Interstellaria voted into indieDB top 100! Votes underway for top 10, and indie of year. Help needed!
December 11, 2014 - coldricegames
We threw our hats into the indieDB’s top 100 games contest… and we made it!
Wow! How exciting! It's been a whirlwind year - going from practically nothing to a top 100 game. We are overjoyed of course! Now the battle is one for the indieDB top ten, and even the indie of the year award! There are a LOT of amazing games on the list, so if we could see Interstellaria on the top ten that would be AMAZING! Send us a vote, cross your fingers, and lets see what happens! Thank you so much for your support guys!
LISTED UNDER PLATFORMER
November 18, 2014 - coldricegames
Interstellaria has just hit v0.5, and that means we're in beta! I can't tell you how excited I am to be at this point. Before I get into the gritty details of what this all means for you, let me
just say thank you for everyone who has supported the project so far. From kickstarter backers, to greenlight voters, to well-wishers, bug finders, and even idea-havers. Thank you all. It's because of you that a game has been
Here is a quick preview of something that has changed from inception, to beta
(Original title screen)
(Beta title screen)
What Is Beta?
-Mechanic complete. 90% of all mechanics are coded in. There are a few minor mechanics (mostly when on planets) that's left to do, but that'll only happen as each world is built. There's not much more coding to do. That DOES
NOT mean its bug free, there will still be issues that come up as we go!
-1/4th content complete. This might seem low for a lot of people, but the game has been built foundation up. Creating a new world is now a task of art, music, and design. What would take months for otherwise can now be done in
a week or two with good planning. That’s not to say content in game won't change. Testing will refine and change things.
-More user friendly. We've added a tutorial, several UI changes, and more to make things a lot more user friendly. Of course, we're always tweaking things (for example a text scrolling change coming soon).
If you are are a kickstarter backer with beta access, the goals will be simple
-Balance. Some things are likely overpowered, some things underpowered. The only way to know is through testing.
-Progression. When you're a developer you can breeze through content and combat quickly. Outside eyes are needed to discover where the game is too short, and where it drags.
-Content. Levels need to be tested, tried, and broken. As new content unrolls over the rest of the dev cycle, it'll also need to be thoroughly broken and rebuilt by the players. The beta is being distributed by the Humble
Store to beta backers - so you should be getting your key soon if you backed the game!
For feedback, you can alway send notes to email@example.com
There's also a nice subreddit made for feedback and discussion!
We've already built up quite a few things to test out
as well as all the races and ships to test!
Moving on, what's new since our last update overall?
Many new events are in game!
Some new gear
Suns and planets now show up as you travel
Anomalies may now show up and cause trouble
We've added an artifact log to help track important things you've found along the way
As well as a minimal view of the star map!
As well as a few UI updates
We’ve also updated ground based dialogue screens as well
Planet ghfi is now in game and has several missions for you
New side activities are also in
Also, I'm very excited say that we've added an additional "main" race into the game! That means they can equip armor and guns. The race has new ships, dialogue, and territory. I just felt like 4 was an odd number for main
races. Introducing the plant like Suna!
As always I'm sure there's more, but you'll have to play the game (if you have access) to know.
Now onto the big question - WHEN WILL THE GAME BE DONE?! I swear it's the first question everyone always asks me. If you've been following the updates, you know I decided to push development into January. This is to avoid
problems with taxes, as well as to avoid the holidays. After much discussion with everyone involved I am also considering pushing into March as well. I know this comes as a disappointment for many not involved in testing the
game, but it's important for the game to be completed and to avoid cutting corners. The goal is to have the content completed in January (or close to it) and then spend the remaining few months polishing and testing the game.
I feel the crunch in launching so close to games completion would result in too many problems.
I just ask you guys all trust me on this decision. It's only done in the interest of the game. I’ve spent roughly 10 months so far putting out weekly builds, which is sort of unheard of for most projects. I hope that the
constant progress, communication, and implantation of feedback serves to show the integrity of the project.
And finally, a simple trailer showing some of the new features!
October 6, 2014 - coldricegames
Hey all, Coldrice here. I felt like it was just wayyyy to long since the last update so I thought it'd be good to let you all know how the game is going.
The alpha testers have been enjoying big meaty bi-weekly builds. Steam builds have been coming every few days! So much clicking together... it's just awesome!
First, let me preframe this with the fact that these shots are in no particular order so some UI/background things are a bit inconsistent. Trust me, you'll know which ones are older, and which ones are newer
Planets are getting awesome
We'll be adding in a artifact log as well to help you keep track of the important items you pick up. This is not a quest oriented game - but I don't want to make it difficult to remember that one last tip you got on where to go
We've also been working really hard on the AI/interface for planets. There are now a ton of options for "auto" ai as well as different ways for your crew to work together. We've added offscreen icons to keep track of your guys, fast toggle with tab, and pausing
The best part is a lot of the new updates and changes have actually been in space phase. Lets dig in a bit more in depth on this one
New trade menus. We've opted for physical space stations instead of little menus to represent space stations
Kickstarter backer custom characters are starting to show up as random encounters!
FINALLY better stars!
In an effort to remove RNG that works against you we've put the random events/encounters right on the map.
Being close to asteroid encounters shows up in the background. We'll be slowly adding more as we go.
Oh hey, combat is visible on screen. It was a debate on how we wanted to go with this, but I think this is the best choice ;)
Better AI for hunger and sleep
I've also implemented obstacles during combat. These can allow you to avoid fire or protect an important ship. Be aware, the debris that has precious loot also acts as obstacle - only it'll be destroyed when it.
I've also overhauled the random event display. It looks a lot more friendly, and fun!
As always, I’m sure I’m missing something – but there has been so much development its hard to keep track sometimes!
WHATS TO COME
Well so far every update I’ve made has been MASSIVE… and I hope to keep that momentum! I love making this game, and it’s come to the point where it doesn’t matter how well it does – I just want people to play it. So what is there to look forward to?
CONTENT MODE: We’re almost done with all the systems that will be in place. Of course as testing continues things can and will change.Now weeks are spent building things!
BUG FIXES: I’m very keen on polishing what’s already in place.
BETA: It's almost there guys, I promise! I’m really dedicated to having a very solid experience, and so I’ve delayed a beta release to work on “On more thing” week after week.
BUT COLDRICE, WHAT ABOUT RELEASE?
Ok here’s the fun one. I get that question a lot. Everyone wants to know when the game will be done. It’s scary to quote times (which I already did with Kickstarter!). Truthfully a lot of bad things have happened recently with Kickstarted games and so many people are gun shy about it all. I HOPE my track record proves my dedication!
A few things have changed about the release date (sorry !!!!). First – no matter what I will be pushing the release into January. There are a multitude of reasons, but the ones that most everyone can understand is
A) Taxes – It would be unwise for me as a business to take in any money in December. I would end up spending a large sum on taxes. I would rather push it 30 days and not have to worry about it. Truth be told, the kickstarter itself ended up paying quite a bit in taxes (nearly $4k) because the company didn’t have enough deductions by the end of the year. Ouch :(
B) Steam sale – I don’t want to launch anywhere near the winter sale.
So what does this mean? Well hopefully it’ll give me more time to add in a few more side planets and items. I don’t intend to squander any extra time! I figure (and hope!) that any complications or delays would be understood.
Moving along, there has also been a LOT of question on twitter regarding Early Access. At this point we are all a bit unsure of Early Access. I don’t want to ever be perceived as trying to do a cash grab or scam gamers for a quick buck. Everyone involved in Interstellaria is leaning AWAY from Early access. I have not fully dismissed it for a few reason.
a) I get requests to get into testing all the time. I feel a bit bad saying no, but I really don’t want to undercut the kickstarter backers.
b) Most people don’t know the costs of game development.
I’ve had a lot of people (including other devs!) ask how it felt to have 28k to make a game. The truth is its a very small amount. The final take home after fees was 26k. We immediately (between music, some equipment, licenses, fees) invested 20k into the game to ensure that no matter what the entire development is covered. That might seem crazy, but those who do development understand how cheap we’ve been running. We’ve been able to keep our overhead remarkably low. That has left around 6k for the rest of the year. Needless to say I didn’t quit my day job!
Between 40 hours of work, and an average (and I keep track!) of 42 hours a week on game development (remember, I’m a solo dev) I definitely burn the candle at both ends. It’s easy to rack up these numbers because I truly do love making games – there isn’t a thing about it I hate. Now knowing all those numbers, you can see how any influx of money is incredibly helpful. From buying new things for the game itself, to simply being able to swap hours from work and spend more time making the game (and hopefully bringing it to your hands faster!) .
That being said, Early Access will only happen if I feel it doesn’t compromise the integrity of myself, or the game. I’d rather work all the hours and release something that people enjoy then potentially damage the game before it’s even out of the stables. It’s not a no. Just a statement of my intentions.
Alright, serious chat over. I’m going to get back to it. You can always e-mail me for comments, feedback, or ideas – but twitter is ALWAYS the best. I’ll respond quick! I’m super pumped for Interstellaria, and I hope you are too!
August 15, 2014 - coldricegames
Lets just land the whole ship
Well here we are - the update I've been waiting to give all month. Its been difficult keeping everything under wraps - but I have to let the cat out of the bag at some point!
A few months ago I had the opportunity to get some good in person play time with a few people who didn't know me, or my game. The amount of notes that arose from that event was staggering, and fantastic. That, combined with notes sent to me from the alpha testers, made me formulate a plan to make sure the game "felt" the way it was meant to. The first step in that was to improve space combat, so a few months ago I showed off a new system of combat that was more interactive, interesting, and unique:
This was really exciting to make, because it simply took the existing code, and modified it to work with multiple ship instances instead of just one. Fairly simple to switch over, and after a week or so of alpha bug testing it was working like a charm.
Then it was on to planet phase. The tricky part of this was the planet phase was not fully complete yet, so even without changes it would require a lot of coding. After playing with a few options to make it a bit more fun (including procedural content, which I placed on the back burner) I was able to mock up something that was piqued every ones interest. It would again reuse existing code, but this time from both the planet phase and the space phase.
<strong>NEW PLANET EXPLORATION MECHANICS/CONTROLS</strong>
Instead of just spouting a lot of words, lets just let the gifs do the talking first
allow you to use all your crewmen
And I mean all (Auto harvest AI in action)
They're pretty good and finding their way
Even if they're not armed, they will MESS STUFF UP
all interaction still work as before, a new layer of code has been added for pathfinding and item harvesting, but otherwise its the same game.
Even simple levels are a lot more "alive" now
This allows for some fun new locations
The first question people asked - what happens if you take off without your crew? Well you're given a prompt. Otherwise, they're left behind.
a few menus were updated for this change up.
Its likely this new change will worry a lot of people - but in terms of scope there's not much worry. Its done! Just like when space combat was renovated there will be a bit of time where its buggy. An example is the the new tutorial has a bug in it - which will cause the inventory to not open sometimes preventing you from moving on! Eek! Alpha testers: version B will be live this weekend to patch up the error.
In addition, I have and always will be super open to suggestions and feedback. Be aware due to dev cycle I can't always get right to an idea right away, but I have a very hefty list of ideas, and many of them have been used. Hit me up here, or better yet on twitter!
I'm sure there's more, but much of it was covered in the last big update. For now, I'll leave you with this smug human captain.
May 27, 2014 - coldricegames
A big reason for a lack of posts is I've been trying to cram as many things into v0.3 as possible before letting it go live (which should be happening later tonight for our alpha testers!). I just kept saying to myself "oh, ljust one more thing!" But I knew it was time to draw the line and release the next build.
Whats new, you might ask?
ALIEN RACES + SHIPS!
They say pictures are worth a thousand words, and each gif has a lot of frames...
Now a shrewd person might notice the UI has changed... considerably. I loved the ornate detail on the first version, but as we added features it began to get a little out of hand. Here's out first revision:
and then the next
hey wait... what's that on the bottom?
Whoh, fleet based combat!?
This gif is just an illustration - we've strapped more guns on the ships than the ships are supposed to have...
That means, of course, you can manage a fleet of ships instead of just a single vessel. It's nice because now you wont have to choose between all the cool ships
This is as literal as "game changer" can ever be. Looking back at it now, it's crazy how much of a difference this all makes!
Not to ignore our ground segments, I've also gone back and did a complete overhaul of the combat aspects of traveling to planets. It's a LOT more exciting now
The camera is much more "alive" now and the effects are wayyy more fun to look at.
Among this update are several small things that are difficult to put into gif form - so I've uploaded a new video for you all highlighting the new mechanics
Oh hey, if you'd like to support the development I've also put up a pre-order page at http://mastercoldrice.com/interstellaria-kickstarter-paypal-page/
Thank you steam players for all your support! Greenlight has helped keep that fire under our butts to continue to do our best!