Stardale - Game

by Chris posted on May 6, 2014
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Still working on the patcher, hit a few little snags getting it to send data (kept stalling after a few files were sent) - which are now resolved! :) It works as expected and I've brought it down to one memory error. Other than that, the patcher will now dynamically update a client with a list of files as dictated by the server. So the server can push new clients/asset files, etc. This is good for our internal tools so I can update item makers working remote but more importantly, great for the Stardale game client as we will be able to use this for the official Stardale patcher later on when we start opening up for alpha, beta, and release. For the record, we're not using a third party updater but instead we've built our own.

On another note, after watching Cosmos the other day I was thinking of a few more cool ideas to implement into Stardale. Last Sunday's episode discussed the great extinctions on Earth. What does that have to do with Stardale? In terms of atmospheric pollution, as you further develop your planet on Stardale, more pollutants are released into the air. The more energy you burn, that carbon is put into the atmosphere. In Stardale, as you reach later technologies one of the research tree's would be air filtration and air scrubbers. Not sure if anyone's ever heard of CO2 air scrubbers but someone began researching "synthetic trees" to be used to clean CO2 out of the atmosphere in real life. I think it would be a fun little item to have in-game and for a system in place in game to monitor air pollutants that you output as you build on your planet. Cleaner air could have other positive effects in game, such as faster health regeneration.
by Chris posted on May 4, 2014
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Happy Sunday / Game of Thrones day everyone! I spent the day today relearning how to program a tool to handle large file transfers between server and client within C#. I wanted to easily push updates for the item tool I've been discussing in other posts; this would be easier for Kane (and myself when working remote) to patch in updates automatically rather than manually downloading every change I make in the future. Anyway, it's just about complete now. It works flawlessly to transfer small/large files, having tested a file transfer of 1.6GB without any data corruption! Now I just need to clean it up a bit before finalizing this aspect of Stardale.

Tl:dr; today a baby Stardale software patcher/updater was born! Will eventually be used to update Stardale client but right now used for internal tools.
by Chris posted on May 1, 2014
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We've been continuing to develop and integrate more features into the item maker. As I mentioned previously, we've built our own in-house item maker tool to create the template for procedurally generated stated items. We've come up with some additional features about power distribution, creating a power grid, and getting power from generators to other in-game placed objects. Likewise, we've been putting together a long list of items and sorting out the tech tree.

ElSato (Jose) has been creating some characters for the game. As you can see below in the rough sketches he's done, he's turned my little green man that I drew for Kane into something much better! It's nice to finally have a real artist on the team! :)

by Chris posted on May 1, 2014
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Hey everyone, I'd like to welcome a new member to our small team working on Stardale. Jose, also known online as "ElSato", has agreed to help us create the artwork for Stardale. Jose has a lot of experience creating digital art and has previously created the artwork for dozens of other games for PC, mobile platforms, PS3, XBOX 360, and even Nintendo DS, having worked on titles such as Thor and Skullgirls. Feel free to check out his website to see some of his impressive work. We welcome him and are happy to have him with us.

Welcome aboard, Jose!

On another note, we are officially incorporated and have turned our basement into the official "Stardale Studio". We went out yesterday to replace the basement lighting with swivel Ikea lamps after the fluorescent tube lamps in the ceiling were driving us all crazy with flickering, resulting in painful head aches -_-. The new lighting has definitely created more of a "lab" or "studio" environment!

by Chris posted on Apr 8, 2014
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Last night I continued working on developing the item forge and user interface, hooking it all in together. It's moving along as the pieces slowly come together. Within Stardale there are different levels of item forges and depending on the tech level you intend to build with, you may require a more comprehensive and higher tiered forge as you level up on the tech tree.

With that in mind, while Stardale will definitely be a creative game for players that just want to mine and build, at the same time, we want to ensure there is an element of exploration not only in what you can dig up and find underground or off world, but also through research and development. If you've ever played a game called Alchemy Classic on Android, the premise of the game and what made it fun (at least for me) was just mixing and matching items together to see what they could turn into when combined. I want to incorporate this sort of idea into Stardale's item forge where players can mix/match items, maybe throw in wood, stone, but also throw in a special gem to create a more powerful pick axe; or maybe you're building your ship and refining fuel, you throw in refined ores, uranium, a few other elements, and then you decide to throw in something random and crazy for fun and discover you've just created a new fuel yet to be discovered. With that said, devoting your time and energy to this may be lucrative if you plan on selling items within the in-game economy.

Anyway, that's all for now!
by Chris posted on Apr 7, 2014
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Welcome to the first official Dev Log on the Stardale website! I've previously been posting Dev Logs on Stone Legion (a gaming community run by Kane and myself), however, now that we have a website up and active dedicated to Stardale, instead I will post here.

What is Stardale?
Stardale is a multiplayer procedurally generated game where players can craft, mine, explore, build, research, as well as buy, trade, and sell through an in-game economy. Players will find an expansive galaxy of planets allowing players to conquer other worlds, forge alliances, and try to expand their control of the Stardale universe. Stardale's planets are procedurally generated to ensure worlds are unique and diverse. Players must build, research, and tech-up in order to take claim over their planet, to defend it, and to move beyond their home world.

Where are we at in development?
We're past half way in development to v1.0. The procedural map generator is complete (which is a big component of the game). The item class library is 80% complete, back-end server 30% complete, and overall status of the game to v1.0 being just past 60% complete.

At present I'm currently working on building a UI (User Interface) for the game and interfacing it with the Stardale class library I have written for game items. The items of Stardale will largely be procedurally generated so that the stats are unique on each item. For example, if you forge a pick axe or laser rifle then there's a chance of having better/worse stats depending on your skills, as well as the item giving bonuses for certain stats, such as health, stamina, oxygen, and more. Nonetheless, although the items are procedurally generated, they still require an item template to base them off of. With that in mind, building a game is not just building a game, it's also building the tools around it to make the game work. While I could "hard code" the items into the game, I do not think that would be a clean approach for several reasons.

Firstly, I want to ensure this game is available for mods given many people enjoy customizing and running their own flavours of games (minecraft being a big example of this with all the modded servers), thus hard coding simply isn't a nice thing to do to a modding community. Secondly, it makes it a lot cleaner and easier for us to add items in expansions as I can simply use the tools created now.

Anyway, I'll continue to post logs on a regular basis. We're currently looking to hire an artist to develop some of the artwork for our game. We have a very limited budget at the moment, however, we welcome talented pixel artists to send us a PM if interested. Please include a link to your portfolio of artwork if you are interested.


P.S., The horse in my signature is to celebrate Game of Thrones being back on for another season! I just quickly drew it in photoshop, however, hopefully we have an artist soon who can create some real artwork for Stardale.
by Chris posted on Apr 4, 2014
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Last night I spent some time reorganizing the website theme. Until we hire someone professional, hopefully this theme will suffice. I think it looks pretty good but perhaps a few colours need a bit more adjusting with better colour coding.

We're currently looking for an artist to begin creating some of the artwork for Stardale. To-date I've created placeholder artwork in photoshop but I'm no professional artist. I've posted an ad at Deviant Art and also set up some advertising at York University (my old school) in case there are any art major's interested. If anyone reading this is interested, please send me a PM with a link to your portfolio.