Updates Wednesdays

Comic 350 - My Game is worse than yours

Posted on Tuesday, the 26th of March at 11:00 PM, 2019 in 2019

Author Notes:

DanVzare Tue, 26. Mar 11:00 PM, 2019 edit delete
Before anyone tries to correct me, Starbound still has a sandbox in it, but it isn't a sandbox game anymore. And yes there is a difference. I mean even Dungeon Keeper 2 had a sandbox in it, but no one has ever called that a sandbox game.
And I am willing to explain what exactly a sandbox game is, what a sandbox is, and how it differs from an openworld.

So recently, I revisited Starbound. The last time I played it was in 2015, so I figured they must have improved it a lot since then. So I got the game, transferred my save file, and started it up, only to realize I couldn't load my character. I thought this was odd, since I remember the creators claiming a long time ago that there would be no more character wipes (which a quick check proves I'm right, as they did that in Furious Koala back in 2014).

But my character was from four years ago, so I figured I shouldn't be too surprised. I figured it shouldn't be too hard to get myself up to where I wanted to be. But oh boy, was I wrong. They have pretty much ruined the game.

Now the only versions I've played was Perturbed Koala (the first version), Pleased Giraffe (the thirteenth version), and 1.3.4 (the latest version). Now I must admit that I didn't originally like the changes I encountered going from Perturbed Koala to Pleased Giraffe, but this was mostly because they were changes, and I obviously didn't like change. Pleased Giraffe was without a doubt way WAY better then Perturbed Koala, but you can only experience a game for the first time once. And even though at the time I preferred Perturbed Koala, even I had to admit that they improved many things in Pleased Giraffe. So yeah, that one was on me.

Now when I played 1.3.4, I was expecting basically the exact same as Pleased Giraffe, but with more stuff.
Well I couldn't be more wrong, because they basically redesigned the whole game again to have an even stronger focus on plot. The plot pretty much takes up the entire game now (with no way to skip cutscenes either). It takes hours just to get your ship off the planet, and even longer to leave the solar system, what's up with that?

And don't get me started on the number of things they've actually REMOVED!
That's right, they've removed loads of stuff. So you know that it is not just my opinion that they've ruined the game, they have quite literally ruined it.
Now some things that have been removed, obviously makes sense, such as the star maps. Which were used to unlock the later sections of the game. They were removed because that aspect of the game was changed. They were only there so they had a playable game for early access.
Now some things that they've removed can sort of be justified for theme purposes, such as the heck biome, the rust biome, and the tentacle planets. But I still miss those things, and they are kind of debatable on whether or not they should have been removed.
But lets not forget that they've removed a lot of stuff for seemingly no reason at all. Generated monster used to make all sorts of animal sounds, now they all go "boop". Loads and loads of micro-dungeons have been removed. A whole bunch of items and weapons were removed (all of which I believe added more variety to the game). Most if not all of the ingame lore was changed for seemingly no reason. Craftable elevators were removed. You can still find them ingame, but you can't make and set them up yourself now. They're only for dungeons now. The awesome unique portraits for the ship's computers were all removed and replaced with generic looking ones. And with all of that I've barely touched the surface on the number of things removed from the game.

I mean who does that! Who spends countless days adding content into a game, only to remove it.

Ah well, at least there's mods to "fix" the game. Although really, mods should never be a requirement.

And I guess at least the community still hasn't changed. I looked up if anyone else thought the same thing as me. And of course there was plenty. And of course the Starbound community were extremely hostile to those people, because the Starbound community believes that the Starbound creators could do no wrong, as they continue to enforce a dogma on behalf of the Starbound creators. (Seriously, the term "suggestion" is practically considered hate speech among the Starbound forums.)

Although if I had to say one good thing about the newest version of Starbound, it would be the combat system. They finally made it good! (At least from what I've played.)


Geeky Meerkat Wed, 27. Mar 5:16 AM, 2019 edit delete reply
I remember the hopes and dreams I had for that game while it was in development. There had been some distinct promises they didn't live up to and also some vague promises that they just sort of let fizzle into nothing.

It feels like they had some grand complex design in mind, realized it was too hard and so cut things back so that it could still be a fun game but without even the hint of all those complex things they decided not to do.
DanVzare Wed, 27. Mar 4:22 PM, 2019 edit delete reply
I know right?
While researching into the game to see where things went wrong, and to see if it was just me. I stumbled upon all of the old posts where they talked about what they had planned for the future.

They had a great plan! And I would have loved to play that game!
While I can understand changing some parts of that plan (such as your spaceship basically being what is now the outpost, as you search for a new home planet), most of the changes I just can't understand.

I guess it must be like you said, they had some grand complex design, and realized they couldn't do it.
Although It doesn't explain why they removed so much that they HAD made. (I heard somewhere it was because of framerate issues, but the game runs perfectly with it all reimplemented with mods.)