‘Starbound’ To Be “Limitless”, First Huge Details Arrive

The Chucklefish team took a chunk of time out of their development day yesterday to answer questions from excited fans about their recently announced game, Starbound. During the Q&A session, the game was thoroughly outlined and many new details were discovered.

The announcement of Starbound took place only hours ago but already we have learned a lot about the game due to how open the developers, Chucklefish, are being. You can grasp the basics of the game in our post covering the reveal, but scroll down and you’ll find a summary of a lot more in-depth details from the Q&A session. Tiyuri said to us before that Starbound is to be “a mix of diablo, metroid, castlevania, terraria, pokemon + some new stuff no one has ever done before” and “maybe borderlands too” – the guy wasn’t joking!



  • “The whole universe will be available in both single and multiplayer. We’re looking at scaling the difficulty for multiplayer, but aside from that there’s no difference.”
  • The complete story, quests and universe will all be available in multiplayer; so you can do the whole game with friends
  • Multiplayer numbers should be per server and go up to large numbers
  • “Our test server is running on a terrible connection and we’ve had around 10 people in with zero troubles”
  • “Latency is pretty well handled at the moment; I play with a friend from Australia and I’m in the UK”
  • There will be PVP – “we’re looking at creating premade “Arena asteroids” that you can visit to play in an organised game mode that will keep score, etc”



  • There is no limit to the amount of NPC’s you can have as part of your crew
  • There is a limit to how many NPC’s can occupy the Space Station as each has a specific role to fulfill
  • Any surplus NPC’s can be placed on your home world where they will “set up base, have needs, and send you on random quests”
  • There may or may not be factions – humanoids of certain similarities will work together though
  • Saving NPCs is a big part of expanding your space station
  • “There are times you will have to actively carry NPCs off of a planet with your hands full, so you won’t be able to use your guns. Your friends will really need to help you”
  • NPCs will have their own homes and will send you on quests like sending you “across the entire galaxy to find a special kind of pot plant to decorate their home”
  • You will be able to evict NPCs – “it’s a secret just how you’ll do that at the moment”


Equipment And Customization

  • “We have a procedural item system that produces items on the fly. I’ve got the rocket launcher stuff open right now, and there are MILLIONS of combinations of rocket launcher”
  • “The game even procedurally generates the graphic used for the guns, right now there are 21,000 different visual styles for rocket launcher. Then, each of those styles can be coloured individually. By release time, there will be many, many more; that’s just for rocket launcher”
  • Vanity slots will be available and will be full of wacky stuff
  • “There are so many different visual styles for armor (we’re using the same random generation system as weapons) that you won’t need “costumes” as such, because armor will cover everything. But! You can equip armor to be purely visual, just like in World of Warcraft”
  • You’ll be able to obtain weapons beyond picking them up from enemies
  • Ships will be customisable – “you’ll probably be able to paint it different colors, have different color schemes, attach decals”
  • You can use any weapon you find but can only manufacture ammo for a researched weapon – “that lets us place things at key locations for missions and set pieces”
  • “There won’t be skills or traits, but items will give you skills and items will get better as the game progresses”
  • “Tech slots augment your character in certain ways. Jetpacks, short range teleporters, stomp boots”
  • Weapons come in one and two handed varieties
  • “When you equip two weapons, the left mouse button activates one, the right mouse button activates the other. So you could equip say, a sword and a pistol and use them in combination”
  • Some items require battery power which you’ll need to recharge



  • There will be mining
  • “The terrain is fully deformable, so you can go underground. Managing your city is going to be really interesting. You’re going to have control over pretty much everything”
  • There will be a UFO attached to the player’s home world which can be used to pick up and place NPC’s, as well as terraform on a large scale
  • “There are going to be facilities you can place down, that may take the form of buildings. For example a weather control station on your homeworld”
  • You’ll be able to build block by block
  • “Crafting is rather different in this game to anything else. NPCs you rescue will have knowledge of certain plans and blueprints. You’ll also be able to open a research lab on the space station, which will lead to a tech tree”
  • There will be tiers of crafting – “most of it will be done via the manufacturing facility on the station, which will reflect the various tiers of crafting, i.e. it will have levels”
  • You will be able to do basic crafting on worlds – torches and basic tools, nothing extravagant like mechs


Gameplay And Progression

  • “We never want the game to get so easy that it’s boring”
  • “Ideally we want to give players a purpose, a goal to work towards, rather than just being a sandbox”
  • “Gameplay until end game is pretty long. It is sand box based so you could rush through it at breakneck speed if you wanted to. But the concept here is for the end game to be limitless and endlessly entertaining.”
  • Each planet in the game has a threat level, from 1 – 100
  • “Planets with a threat level of 100 will always be difficult, no matter what equipment you have. When you’re at end game, NPCs will send you on quests to threat level 100 planets”
  • “In terms of mech control, we’re still looking into if you’ll be able to pilot mounts with your friends. It’s a technical challenge, but hopefully one we can overcome”
  • “Because we knew we wanted vehicles to work in the game we spent a long time making sure the terrain was easy to navigate. Things like hills can be walked up and down, no jumping required”
  • You will be able to capture enemies, take them around with you and train them to fight for you (think Pokemon)
  • “We wanted to keep the monster system relatively simple to start with. Most monsters can be trained to use ranged/melee attacks, some can be taught to fly or swim. They have inbuilt stats like defense, attack damage, speed, etc that will increase with kills”
  • Travelling from world to world will be done via a star map
  • “Our engine supports any size for planets, they can even be infinite”
  • There will be bosses
  • Money plays as a huge part in the game so the death penalty may be a monetary loss
  • Orbital Strikes can be called to wipe the surface of a planet clean
  • There will be different materials to mine and use in your factory
  • You can rename your home planet
  • Other planets can be “bookmarked” so you can find your favorites easily
  • Story missions take place on pre-generated worlds “hand crafted for specific gameplay – we want some really good platforming/combat gameplay during the missions”
  • “Quests” are different from story-based “missions”, quests will take place on random planets
  • “I want the combat to be really tight for instance, similar to Castlevania/Megaman, where you really have to think about the enemy behaviour to combat an enemy”
  • “There is both melee and ranged combat. We’re also hoping we can include shields for blocking enemy attacks”



  • “We’re looking for a really easy way for players to create their own missions, in the engine”
  • There will be an in-game mission editor, that you can use with your friends (think Little Big Planet)
  • Created missions will be playable online
  • “The editor may or may not be post-release though”
  • “Traditional” modding is planned



  • “We’ve got a couple of awesome musicians working with us. We want it to be retro style using modern synths”
  • Dirt can be displaced; monsters can kick dirt chunks at players and explosions will send it flying
  • There are random events for each planet, so something may randomly fall from the sky for instance. Chucklefish will look how to expand the universe after release



  • “It’s difficult to tell when the game will go into beta, but we are relatively far along. We’re still deciding how to do beta testing”
  • Hoping to release on Steam as well as other places to make it available to everyone
  • If it happens, Steam release will come with Steam support, Steam friends, achievements etc


You can find out more information about Chucklefish and their game Starbound over on the official website.

Thanks to Ryan Hagan for the transcript!

Valuing gameplay and innovation over everything, Chris has a keen eye for the most obscure titles unknown to man and gets a buzz from finding fantastic games that are not getting enough love. Chris Priestman, Editor-in-Chief of IGM

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