State of development and where do I go now?

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    As some of us gathered from the Starmade Discord, we know: Starmade development got a break.

    There is no official statement regarding this isssue, but it can be interpreted reading the discord chat (just search for Schema's messages) and simply by the fact that we got no News-Post in the last 8 months.

    Will development continue or will there ever be any update?
    From my perspective, there is no way we can get any meaningful update before spring 2021. And with before spring 21 I mean: Right now there is no statement stating: "There is no hope at all that we can't deliver anything anymore for the next 12 months".

    Source:
    1601628345867.png

    My question:
    Does it make sense to wait this long for an update to arrive, to pick the game up again and build stuff?

    I have so many ideas that I want to build in Starmade.


    But with the simple point of basic things lacking in building and gameplay regards that are very unlikely to get fixed for the next 12 or 18 months...or maybe 3 years...I really think its pointless to stick. - For example lightning and texture maps make it hard for me to make nice looking floor patterns - yes there are floor patterns possible that look good, but the sort of patterns I want for my floors and walls are not possible with the current lightning maps - e.g. modern white walls with a 3 layer block depth look not great; in comparission to the grey scale, where the grey wall patterns really stand out with this scifi feeling and sleek style.

    And where do I go now for the next 2 years?
    I also want to build cool stations, and it's only possible in Starmade right now. The logic in combination with public permission blocks and rails give huge possibilities. I don't know where I can get the same thrill. lol. I mean Spengies and Empyrion are nice, but they are not what I want (big block scale prevents creative builds in Spengies, and the logic is just not really nice in Empyrion). I mean Starship Evo, Starbase and Dual Universe are all in development.

    Which one of the three alternative games (Starship Evo, Starbase, Dual Universe) would you guys prefer for building meaningful stations embedded in survival gameplay or with nice logic for quest possibilities? Or would you guys stick with Starmade?
    I guess it will be Starship Evo...Starbase is an MMO, so is Dual Universe, which disqualifies these two quickly lol...


    Sorry for aking for alternative games and semi advertising other games. I think its not really bad to do so - the playerbase is diminishing anyway and talking about other games will not make a big difference. If it really angers the mods just move this topic to off topic. I thought it would be okay as we all know that people will leave Starmade anyway until there arrives an update...
     
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    starship evo is quickly becoming a game that we all wanted starmade to be,content and actual reasons to play in the works,so I guess Starship evo is the only alternative where we can have all that + amazingly detailed ships/stations ,with logic and movable contraptions
     
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    ...sad times, just when we thought it couldn't get any worse... it got worse.
    Schema did leave the back door open in January 2019: https://starmadedock.net/threads/the-gmodism-industries-gi.27337/page-8#post-375495
    ... that StarMade would not be completed in 2020.
    I will consider this as a conformation: StarMade 2020 is not happening and will not expect an update anytime soon.
    I no longer participate in Discord, thanks for the (unofficial)update!

    StarMade is without a doubt special, it is minecraft in space and I sincerely hope Schine has not forgetten its origin...
    this "pivot-point" could make or break it.
    As long as this holds true: there is simply no "best-choice" or replacement for StarMade.
    Also given the current Dev-team, with Schema being the main and only one directly coding, Starmade can not compete with the competition.
    Which while all having their own META/exploit and bug-sets are already further in developement.

    The competition: Starship EVO, DU, StarBase & Co. have one major flaw: system requirements, Subscriptions add another.
    Currently the entire Game-Industry is in a major shift towards new "high-end" hardware, leaving many behind = smaller "target-group" eventually resulting in less $ income... meanwhile minecraft is still booming to this day, (which I have never played*).

    So to answer your question:
    " Does it make sense to wait this long for an update to arrive, to pick the game up again and build stuff?"...

    Schema has emphasized "we will finish StarMade"...
    as long as this holds true: we don't have a choice but to wait and see what happens, and hope for the best.
    In the meantime refine your building style or play whatever you feel like, (OC is playing StarBase*).
    Worst-case scenario: we have v0.202.87 which we can (to a point) modify/expand and have some fun!

    Alongside StarMade I also own Avorion, Empyrion(EGS), Elite Dangerous and X-Series, (along w/other forgotten titles) and am also ex-EvE-online, depending on my mood I jump between them, and that is A-ok... for me.

    I will go out on a limb here and say: if Schine "plays their numbers right", focused on what is important, StarMade could still become a much loved game by many. The player-base would grow, instead of shrink... and sales would improve.
    Focus on the game instead of catering to exploity-META-PvP-haters searching for a place to bloat thier e-peen.
    Avorion and EGS have already proven that it works! (where PvP is not the main focus of developement).
    Even Eve-online is refocusing developement (latest news afaik).

    ... and KISS ftw! :LOL:
     
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    DukeofRealms

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    The current plan is to open source StarMade, and schema to continue its development with whoever wants to contribute.

    He's waiting on a couple of non-StarMade stuff to finish up before we can consult with a lawyer on whether this is feasible for us and the best approach going forward.

    The license would most likely be GPL v3, which would allow anyone to run, modify and distribute StarMade's code (not other assets like textures, music etc.).
     
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    In light of the above post...
    The current plan is to open source StarMade, and schema to continue its development with whoever wants to contribute.
    After thinking about all this a bit I am compelled to withdraw my above answer and give a new one...

    If Schine does not start doing things differently, I suspect StarMade will never be finished.
    In this case I am forced to answer no, there is not really any reason " to pick the game up again and build stuff " if you are not happy with its current state.
     
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    Nauvran

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    In light of the above post...


    After thinking about all this a bit I am compelled to withdraw my above answer and give a new one...

    If Schine does not start doing things differently, I suspect StarMade will ever be finished.
    In this case I am forced to answer no, there is not really any reason " to pick the game up again and build stuff " if you are not happy with its current state.
    Not having a reason to build is the same as not having a reason to paint or sculpt
     
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    Yeah, if we don't see a major update in the next year then this game will probably be dead and gone; not forgotten though. I played the absolute hell out of Starmade, it's literally my most played game of all time. Too bad I discovered it when I was a broke 20-something or else I would've bought scores of copies...
     
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    I fear Open sourcing the game won’t help, it’s already techie enough :)

    I would make a dedicated ship designing software out of the engine.
    Only load one system to test yours ship/fleet against npc ships.
    Look at “the gratuitous space battles“ unique gameplay idea and adapt it.
    Get a graphic/UI designer to make the interface look less Linuxy and more AAA game.
    Get a Sounddesigner to make it sound expensive.
    Sell as a different product.

    schema : I think you did an incredible job in building this engine! You should be proud of what you achieved. Don’t let the critics get you down!
     

    DrTarDIS

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    I fear Open sourcing the game won’t help, it’s already techie enough :)

    I would make a dedicated ship designing software out of the engine.
    Only load one system to test yours ship/fleet against npc ships.
    Look at “the gratuitous space battles“ unique gameplay idea and adapt it.
    Get a graphic/UI designer to make the interface look less Linuxy and more AAA game.
    Get a Sounddesigner to make it sound expensive.
    Sell as a different product.
    Sounds like what you want is exactly the kinda mod thing an open-source would make possible, so I think you are thinking of a wrong definition for open-source.
    -By the way, You Personally CAN change a lot of the GUI: those files are completely open for you to edit and use relative placement coordinates. I've personally moved the various status bars much closer to the reticle and shoved warning messages off-screen more than few times when I bother actually playing.

    schema : I think you did an incredible job in building this engine! You should be proud of what you achieved. Don’t let the critics get you down!
    Yeah, Schine Engine IS good from pure voxel render point, schema should always get props for that! They did REALLY GOOD engine optimizations more than few times too. I remember the work just before crafting 2.0 significantly improving the game and server performance. Also, the first fix for object stacks causing overflow and server crash was a great bug-stomp!
    Hopefully they understand that "make a spreadsheet and do some math&graphs before you put something in" bellyaching is meant to be constructive for the actual gameplay, what parts of it kinda turn the previous successful optimizations into a two steps forward one back shuffle without a detailed plan.

    On Modding and de-obfuscating/open-sourcing in particular:
    Some actual gameplay flaws are already being patched over with a few of the recent mods. (Shout-out to JakeVanV for dreaming up LowMade for large-entity FPS issues, and the other mods hopefully patching up broken systems and giving some QOL TLC that can't be done with purely config file edits.)
     
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    Not having a reason to build is the same as not having a reason to paint or sculpt
    Blender is free & easy to use. Great UI and can actually be applied to other things. I'm loving it.

    Great news about the open-sourcing.

    Years ago I said that this game would make an amazing ship-building sub-system for a 4X game with automated RT combat resolution (toss all the ships from competing fleets into a sector box and let the AI duke it out or player can control ships - w/e). I still think it would be excellent for that purpose; just needs to return values for victory and ship condition to the parent thread after each encounter.

    Lots more could be done as well.

    If they open source it, it's probably time for some community fund raisers to develop versions that satisfy the different factions needs for the game. Honestly, opensourced with the option for forks to be re-sold commercially by their respective development teams the game could see renewed value within a few years.
     

    Nauvran

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    Blender is free & easy to use. Great UI and can actually be applied to other things. I'm loving it.

    Great news about the open-sourcing.

    Years ago I said that this game would make an amazing ship-building sub-system for a 4X game with automated RT combat resolution (toss all the ships from competing fleets into a sector box and let the AI duke it out or player can control ships - w/e). I still think it would be excellent for that purpose; just needs to return values for victory and ship condition to the parent thread after each encounter.

    Lots more could be done as well.

    If they open source it, it's probably time for some community fund raisers to develop versions that satisfy the different factions needs for the game. Honestly, opensourced with the option for forks to be re-sold commercially by their respective development teams the game could see renewed value within a few years.
    I still have access to 3DS Max, issue is not the program, it's not being able to get into the mindset again.
    Doesnt help that Im getting rusty and havent really done much 3D in the last 3 years

    it still as amazing ship building game, if you can get yourself to build :U
    Well if you import ships into blender and clean them up or make a new mesh from them then you could easily mod them into Homeword or something like that
     
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    As some of us gathered from the Starmade Discord, we know: Starmade development got a break.

    There is no official statement regarding this isssue, but it can be interpreted reading the discord chat (just search for Schema's messages) and simply by the fact that we got no News-Post in the last 8 months.

    Will development continue or will there ever be any update?
    From my perspective, there is no way we can get any meaningful update before spring 2021. And with before spring 21 I mean: Right now there is no statement stating: "There is no hope at all that we can't deliver anything anymore for the next 12 months".

    Source:
    View attachment 57472

    My question:
    Does it make sense to wait this long for an update to arrive, to pick the game up again and build stuff?
    I guess?
    I have not really played in quite a while, just been waiting, and waiting.
    I mean i could sit and build stuff offline, but that is semi pointless.
    Online wise, all of the servers i have played on have shut down their starmade hosts and moved on.

    There are some servers running, across the pond, but the latency is not so great, and the population is just too small.

    Too much unfinished and too long of gaps between updates, so many people have moved on to other things.

    In some aspects, the power update was not so bad, i mean it does free you from designing a ship around a flying reactor brick
    but not enough other much needed things came with it.
     

    DrTarDIS

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    Let's just hope the console-game they're woking on teaches Schemax how to KISS controls and GPU stuff, and that it can backport well to the main shine engine.

    The whole scroling gunner game with a "screw your neighbor" twist will hopefully be enough to satisfy, but not too much causing over-extension.
     
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    The current plan is to open source StarMade, and schema to continue its development with whoever wants to contribute.

    He's waiting on a couple of non-StarMade stuff to finish up before we can consult with a lawyer on whether this is feasible for us and the best approach going forward.

    The license would most likely be GPL v3, which would allow anyone to run, modify and distribute StarMade's code (not other assets like textures, music etc.).
    From someone that joined an open source game project as a developer, I have a few bits of advice on this: If you expect the game to continue to be developed by the open source community because you no longer have the time or desire to work on this project, then it won't go anywhere period. Open Source isn't some magic solution to get a ton of free developers to start working on your software. You will still need to maintain creative control, setup projects, and continue to write code or the project is dead.

    As much of a fan I am of open source, I honestly think it is a bad idea for games. What you really need is a kickstarter campaign to hire more devs, and start dumping money into advertisements, even put a donate button on all the star-made.org/starmade.net pages with funding goals. This game isn't very well known at all right now, but most that run into it, especially after playing mine craft, generally love it. Compared to other universe games, this is the easiest to get started in, and yet builds can become as complicated as you like.

    The other big issue? This game may be alpha, but continuing to change game mechanics is a problem for folks. I know I've taken a break from playing to wait until the next update, knowing my ships probably wouldn't work. Power 2,0 was a huge update, granted, it was a good one (although, I would like to see shaped/directional conduits so two conduit blocks can be placed next to each other and not automatically connect--it would allow for tighter builds, and make the conduits look more interesting--and adding this doesn't have to break existing conduits designs). I'm sure many are holding out for Universe 2.0.

    With universe 2.0, please settle on how all ship systems will work AND LEAVE IT ALONE. Add to it, but the functionality should stay pretty much the same so nobody will feel they need to flush their ship designs down the drain with the next release. Universe 2.0 should mark StarMade's beginning exit from Alpha. Go ahead and start charging for the game. Minecraft required you to pay for it even before it was completed. Go add loot boxes (I'm joking! Don't ever add loot boxes).

    Oh, and make the game multi-threaded, then multi-system to allow for larger game servers. The game is already divided up into sectors/systems which works well for the idea of "zones", you just have to deal with the transition between zones, and feeding multiple zone data into the client during those transitions. This doesn't have to be in Universe 2.0, but the code should be moving in this direction to allow for this.
     
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    DukeofRealms

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    If you expect the game to continue to be developed by the open source community because you no longer have the time or desire to work on this project, then it won't go anywhere period. Open Source isn't some magic solution to get a ton of free developers to start working on your software. You will still need to maintain creative control, setup projects, and continue to write code or the project is dead.
    This not the reason for us to consider open source, and we really wouldn't have the resources to verify and integrate so many large contributions. This has already been discussed in other threads, discord and in the google doc here: Thoughts and research on StarMade open source

    What you really need is a kickstarter campaign to hire more devs, and start dumping money into advertisements, even put a donate button on all the star-made.org/starmade.net pages with funding goals.
    We will not do any community fundraising like kickstarter or the like. We do not believe a game that has sold for this long should do that.

    This game isn't very well known at all right now, but most that run into it, especially after playing mine craft, generally love it. Compared to other universe games, this is the easiest to get started in, and yet builds can become as complicated as you like.
    We have no issue getting new players, we have issues keeping them. This is why we have avoided advertising/marketing. Retention rates are very low, there simply is not enough gameplay for the average user to stick around.

    The other big issue? This game may be alpha, but continuing to change game mechanics is a problem for folks. I know I've taken a break from playing to wait until the next update, knowing my ships probably wouldn't work.
    As far as we're concerned, this is old news. We do not want to touch power or weapon systems unless we have to. We have no desire to. Systems should be finalised in the Universe update and certainly before any marketing.

    With universe 2.0, please settle on how all ship systems will work AND LEAVE IT ALONE. Add to it, but the functionality should stay pretty much the same so nobody will feel they need to flush their ship designs down the drain with the next release. Universe 2.0 should mark StarMade's beginning exit from Alpha. Go ahead and start charging for the game. Minecraft required you to pay for it even before it was completed. Go add loot boxes (I'm joking! Don't ever add loot boxes).
    The universe update has always been scheduled to mark the end of alpha. We really have 0 interest in changing core systems, the Quickfire team and Schine should absolutely finalise all major system mechanics for Universe update. But, keep in mind, the Universe update is not about ship systems. Additionally, since all the way back in 2013, we established the game would only be free to play during alpha, so yes, the universe update will also mark the end of free to play.

    -----

    The trouble with restarting StarMade development, is that schema is now at a point that there are no "small" tasks left. Everything left to touch is a big project. There are mountains of work remaining, which prevents him from just working here and there in his free time. If development is restarted, the primary goal would be to work towards a game mode that is achievable with the least amount of resources. We don't have any grand plans, those can come later, once there is actually some proper gameplay.
     
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    This not the reason for us to consider open source, and we really wouldn't have the resources to verify and integrate so many large contributions. This has already been discussed in other threads, discord and in the google doc here: Thoughts and research on StarMade open source
    Ah... okay. I would avoid the GPLv3, and just write your own open source licence. Ideally one that also allows you to absorb other absorb mods into the base game code under a compensation agreement already lined out your open source license so there would be no need to negotiate further. Anything that improves speed or game performance/stability is up for grabs because it only involves modifying existing code, not creation of new features/assets.

    There should also be a something so that servers can check the client and only permit unmodded clients to connect to a server, or at least restrict what mods are allowed.
     
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    DukeofRealms

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    allows you to absorb other absorb mods into the base game code under a compensation agreement already lined out your open source license
    I'd like to see examples of a compensation agreement + custom license to ascertain how effective that approach would be. I like the idea, but I get the feeling this is going to cost us more in legal fees than other options. If you can share any, that'd be awesome :)

    Anything that improves speed or game performance/stability is up for grabs because it only involves modifying existing code, not creation of new features/assets.
    That sounds reasonable to me.

    There should also be a something so that servers can check the client and only permit unmodded clients to connect to a server, or at least restrict what mods are allowed.
    I think this is already a thing, or is planned to be. If you haven't already, check out Starloader: https://starmadedock.net/threads/starloader.31618/
     
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    Clearly Starmade is a passion project, considering Schema's been working on it for nearly a decade. Just like some of my long-term projects in this and other games, sometimes you need to take a little break for a few months to reignite your passion for it. I think given the state of the world this year, a break from development is perfectly reasonable.

    Starmade is still my favorite game, even if I haven't played it in several months as life gets busy. I love the creative freedom and depth of design possible. The universe update is a daunting task, I'm sure, so a clear mindset will hopefully help Schema push through and see his vision become a reality when the time is right. Even as it sits, Starmade is an incredible building game with far more advanced building features than anything I've ever seen. That in itself is something to be proud of.

    DukeofRealms schema I just wanted to put a little positivity out there for the small team that made my favorite game, you guys are awesome!
     
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    DukeofRealms - thanks for these updates. I hear your point on not doing community fundraising, but the approach does leave me wondering how to best support the project going forward? There are lots of games in this genre and I play all of them, but I love Starmade and would gladly join a Patreon or something like that to help support the continued life of this truly precious gem. I would also support DLC, though I know that can be controversial (gah, people bitch about everything, don't they! LOL).

    Anyway, just a fan who is used to paying a subscription for things he likes and who would like to support Starmade in that way as well...