For these of you unfamiliar with Starbound, it’s an open-ended sandbox recreation with a powerful give attention to constructing and crafting, like Minecraft and Terraria. It presents a complete universe of procedurally generated worlds that you may journey between at your leisure. A robust design precept of Starbound throughout its growth was “a narrative in a sandbox,” which introduced the staff with some fascinating design challenges to beat!
We had a number of targets that we needed to achieve in order that Starbound would stay as much as its intention of presenting a typical video-game storyline with development, with out the participant being pressured on to a linear path. With a recreation like Starbound, gamers would need to really feel like they’re free to perform any duties they need, however we additionally needed to ensure that they wouldn’t miss the storyline!
We determined that the sport’s storyline can be separated from the “sandbox” areas of procedurally generated worlds. There can be set hand-crafted missions with a boss to defeat on the finish, and gamers wouldn’t be capable to dig their approach by way of these areas like they might on the sandbox worlds. Nevertheless, they’d be capable to use all their tools and weapons that they’d gathered of their travels, in order that these missions wouldn’t really feel too disconnected. These missions would all be non-compulsory apart from the primary one – that approach, a brand new participant wouldn’t unintentionally miss the storyline totally however wouldn’t be pressured to hold on with it in the event that they didn’t need to.
Lastly, we had to determine tips on how to encourage the participant to discover between the story missions, in order that they wouldn’t be given the chance to finish all of them right away and to additionally encourage gamers to discover by way of the sport’s greater problem sandbox worlds. We selected a system the place gamers must “scan” objects and speak to NPCs on new worlds to construct intel, which might make them unlock the following mission. This meant that gamers must journey to new worlds and discover new civilizations to progress, that means they’d additionally encounter new content material, objects, and enemies on the best way! We discovered that with this methodology, gamers who have been solely within the story content material might play by way of the sport fairly effectively, but additionally gamers who would like to take their time and discover the universe at their very own tempo would additionally discover loads of motivation to take action.
Starbound took us a few years to finish and is a labor of affection – it additionally introduced us with loads of enjoyable design challenges to unravel! Whether or not you’re an previous fan or a newcomer, we hope that you’ll take pleasure in it on Xbox One when it releases later this yr!