Starbound – A Love Letter of Sorts

Forgive my slight sloppiness, I might just be a little excited.

What do you get when you mix Terraria with more stuff to do, truly varied places to explore, multiple races, story missions, and space? Starbound, of course! The little 2D sandbox game that could, would, and will become the truly procedurally generated exploration sandbox that will make my (and maybe your) gaming year.

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It’s really not hard to list off all the reasons I and the rest of the sandbox community are so excited about Starbound and what it brings to the table. The game is so ambitious that it’s more difficult to not get excited than it is to actually be excited. True fax.

I honestly can’t wait for you, Starbound.

Races

Starbound has seven confirmed races, with the seventh having been confirmed when the game reached $500,000 in backer donations. Each race is distinct in look and (yet to be revealed) crafting recipes and gear. A player’s choice in race will not affect their stats or abilities.

 Apex – An ape-like race that traded their physical traits for higher intellectual capacity.

 

 Avians – A tribal and deeply religious bird-like race sans wings.

 

  Floran – A tribal plant-like race with a taste for fresh meat.

 

   Human – Hey, they’re humans. What more can I say?

 

   Hylotl – A fish-like race with three eyes.

   Glitch – A robot race with programming allowing them emotions and desires.

 

     Novakids – A species made of gas, full of potential but lacking in attention spans.

The range of races is diverse enough for anyone to be able to find a race they can relate to and enjoy playing. I personally am most interested in the Hyoltl, Avians, and Florans; but everyone has their favorite(s).

There is a character creator available to forum users on the official site. Head on over if you want to take a crack at what’s been revealed so far.

World Generation

Perhaps the most exciting thing about Starbound is the massive amount of change from one planet to another. Chucklefish promises that no two planets will be exactly the same, with several variables changing from one location to another. Plant life, weather, gravity, monsters, difficulty, day/night cycle, and more are meant to vary.

Starbound’s random nature is perhaps the best use of the word “random” we’ve seen in quite some time. With everything being procedurally generated and made to sate even the pickiest of sandbox fans, we can be sure the variety of environments found in the game will be some of the most diverse to be seen in a game yet.

The random nature of the game is what has me so excited. Biome differences are standard fare in sandbox-style games, but making each area and biome a unique experience is what stands to make Starbound a stellar game when it’s released, if it’s pulled off well. Exploring in Minecraft, Terraria, Don’t Starve, or any other game within that same vein is fun but predictable. Taking away that predictability is what’s most exciting here, and is what’s going to take Starbound that extra mile. That is a mile I want to walk.

Oh, right. Did I mention the monsters are randomly generated? Because they are:

Roadmap

Normally, a development roadmap isn’t worth mentioning past a few sentences, but..

They usually don’t look like this:

The attention to detail in the roadmap should be a good indication to you how much effort and love Chucklefish are putting into the Starbound project. Not only is the roadmap pixelated gorgeousness, but it gives solid numbers, information, and looks into the game’s developmental cycle. I feel a pang in my heart each time I look at it. This isn’t a simple sandbox title — this is a labor of love, by and for people who love to explore, create, and above all: people who love to play video games.

There is so much going into the game, it’s hard not to drool at the prospect of getting our grubby hands on it. Chucklefish is putting their heart and soul into the game, and it shows.

Comparing this to Terraria is too easy. While a good game in its own right, Terraria isn’t on the same level that Starbound will be once it’s released, if everything we’ve been shown comes into fruition. There’s a “good game” and a “genre-defining title”, and Starbound looks to be the latter times a thousand.

All we can do now is hope that it lives up to the promises Chucklefish have made so far. Come on and be awesome, Starbound. I don’t want almost a year’s worth of hype to be for naught.

Signed,
A faithful future fan


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Author
Image of Ashley Shankle
Ashley Shankle
Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.