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Star Explorers  

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October 17, 2018 08:49  

Came out last month on Steam https://store.steampowered.com/app/502720/Star_Explorers/ and you can also find it on the indie site itch.io

From the Steam page

Star Explorers:
Earth has been destroyed, and humanity must find a way to survive. Your job is to help the human race, those remaining on the mother-ship, to find another earth-like world to inhabit. Star Explorers attempts to capture the vastness, loneliness and desolation of space exploration, along with easy to learn, old-school shooter mechanics.
Reviews:
"...See, the galaxy Schmidt has created here isn't cruel. "Cruel" implies that it cares. And this galaxy is terribly, terribly uncaring..." - MagFlare – Steam User

"...This game, at its core, is about exploration, and it scratches my space exploration itch in a way that no game has since I played Starflight as a kid..." - battlescar2014 – Steam User
Current Features:
Randomly generated galaxy which the player can fully explore
Randomly generated planets, caves and other environments
Randomly generated alien life, either hostile or friendly towards the player
Combat system with aliens on planets and in caves
Inventory and Trade System with mothership and some friendly aliens
Quests from both mothership and friendly aliens, in addition to the main quest
Upgrade system allowing player to explore wider range of planets over the course of the game
Crafting system, including unique artifacts that must be constructed with ancient blueprints
Day/Night cycles on each planet
Resource management and survival in hostile conditions
Database of Sectors, Stars and Planets in which player can take notes and customize the names of stars and planets
4K and custom resolutions are supported

Planets
Planets are formed randomly, but their conditions are based on somewhat scientific factors. The size and temperature of the star they orbit, their distance from that star, the type of surface, atmosphere, and liquids present (or not) determine how a planet will look once landed on. Players will be able to land, depart and return to planets, exploring their surfaces as well as underground cave systems repeatedly, while keeping the same features intact on each visit.
Exploration
Fuel, ammunition and oxygen will all have to be carefully managed if the player wants to survive the long search for an earth-like planet. While many planets will be too hot or cold, or without an atmosphere, there are also worlds of liquid methane, ammonia, sulphuric acid and more, that have developed their own unique evolutionary cycles. Each kind of alien plant, tree or animal is pieced together randomly, making for a unique experience for each player.
The Star Explorers universe is not a friendly one though, it can be cruel and indifferent to the struggles of its inhabitants. If you're not careful, you might land on a planet that's just too hot, or too cold, or enveloped in a cloud of corrosive acid, and not live to tell about it. Upgrading your space suit will unlock these otherwise impossible worlds to further exploration.
Inventory, Upgrading and Crafting
Exploration will allow the player to discover many things, including tools and resources that will help in further exploration. Among these are raw materials, weapons, armor upgrades and blueprints that allow you to craft helpful items. Armor upgrades will increase your space suit's resistance to heat, cold and other environmental hazards. Some weapons allow you to access areas that may be closed off to less experienced adventurers.
Caves and Ancient Ruins
Star Explorers may be the first interstellar dungeon crawler. Traversing the dark, hidden places and caves is necessary to find the resources required to complete the game. Discover the crumbling remains of an ancient culture and learn the secrets of its mysterious people. In Star Explorers, exploration and investigation are rewarded with special items and locations that many players may never find. If you are someone who likes to look around every corner, then this is the game for you.
Generative Design
Almost everything in Star Explorers is produced generatively. From the locations of stars and nebulae, to the surfaces of planets and their features, every location is different, and every play-through offers unique challenges. Even the music heard in game is generated in real time, and is based purely on the parameters of the player's environment. Each planet, cave and other location has a unique sound-track.
Shaders and Options
Star Explorers has a number of visual options you may choose from. Among them is the “Old-School Pixel Shader” which offers a unique, low-resolution experience. The graphics are not really at pace with newer games, but real-time shadows, bloom and a smoothing shader are also available for those who enjoy a slightly more contemporary feel. You also have control of your field of view, mouse sensitivity and game/music volume, along with options that may help the game run more smoothly on older hardware. See the manual for full documentation.
The Future of Star Explorers
After a year of Early Access, Star Explorers has arrived at a point where I feel it matches my original design document. Fulfilling my promise to have it completed in a year was important to me, but that does not mean I am finished working on it. I have many other ideas I may choose to add to the game's content. Chief among these are the following:

Space battles with alien ships
Boarding and exploring alien spaceships
More variety of celestial objects, like moons, asteroids and more
Alien cities on certain planets
I even have a mechanism for Time Travel (this is really outside of the original idea, but I am intrigued by the possibility of doing this anyway)

At some point in the future, I may begin work on these new features. The timing and consistency of these potential future updates will depend largely on how well the game is received by its audience. The more I hear from players, the more likely I will stay motivated to continue on this project.

System Requirements
Minimum:
OS: Windows XP / Vista / Win 7 / Win 8 / Server 2008 / Server 2012, 32 Bit or 64 Bit; DirectX 9.0c or above.
Processor: AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: 64 MB video card
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 1 GB available space
Sound Card: Yes, if you want to hear anything.
Additional Notes: Other older hardware may work, but has not been tested.

As you can see from the above spec the game has not been tested on Windows 10 and I can say that I have had an issue with the mouse, but otherwise it seems to be running fine so far. What I will say about it, is that it is a very retro styled space sim and reminds me of games from the early 90s in both it's graphics and gameplay. most people will probably just thinks it's a No Man Sky clone for Windows 95 but the dev has given a reply to the question on the Steam forum about what games inspired him https://steamcommunity.com/app/502720/discussions/0/1735462352493098590/ he also says that he is working on the space combat side of thing and should be coming in future update. Also it very cheap, under a fiver and only 150 MB download which was a bit of a surprise.

This topic was modified 11 months ago by DarkOne

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November 23, 2018 11:04  

I like to think of this game as NMS for windows 95.

Anyhow it looks like the dev is still working away, as he say their will be a version 2 soon. no idea how you get into the Beta version of the game, as I can't see anything on Steam.

From YouTube.
I have updated the latest beta version of Star Explorers (1.6) with a vastly improved terrain reload function. It it take only around one tenth of the time it used to take to reload a planet!

This makes a huge difference during gameplay, especially when you are exploring a planet with multiple caves.

There is also a new and improved terrain generation function. Instead of procedurally generating a planet's terrain at the moment you land, the game has a database of pre-generated terrains that it simply picks from. This is more time efficient (though not as dramatic as the reload function shown above) and it reduces the likelihood of terrain errors.

The new beta version also contains alien spaceships that you can fight in outer space, laser cannons on your spaceship to help you do so, and the ability to board those alien ships and explore them too. Be careful, robot sentries may still be guarding the ship's secret cargo.

These updates are already available if you opt into the beta version of Star Explorers on Steam. Once I have completed testing, and added a few other important features to the game, I will make an official 2.0 release announcement.

Thanks for playing Star Explorers!


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January 17, 2019 07:07  

Good to see he is still working on the game https://steamcommunity.com/games/502720/announcements/detail/3306106230675811224 just needs to update the main branch.


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January 19, 2019 04:55  

New vid about some of the changes made to the beta game, hopefully we will see this in the main game soon


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February 7, 2019 09:25  

Completely missed this but the game has now been updated to version 2 om Monday. https://steamcommunity.com/games/502720/announcements/detail/1737729728280269517

Need to have another go at this.


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February 10, 2019 05:23  

new vid for the game.


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June 7, 2019 06:55  

Star Explorers has been updated to version 3 https://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=502720 along with some new features and bug fixes.


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June 16, 2019 00:54  

new trailer for the game.


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November 12, 2019 12:23  

Look like the dev is testing version 3.8 https://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=502720 with some pics on Steam.

 

Planet Atmosphere Tweak

I have done a bit of graphic work on the planets. Now, instead of one translucent atmosphere sphere, I added two more, so the atmosphere will appear a bit hazy when orbiting a planet. Also the outer sphere has a sort of inner layer, creating a slight glow on the side of the planet opposite from the star.

Take All Button

Due to popular demand, the "Take All" button has been added to caches and storage panels. This allows you to take every item available, if you have room in your backpack, at the click of a button.

Fixed Planet Storage

While testing the take all button, I also encountered an error where caches on planet surfaces and in caves would not properly record which items were placed in them, or taken out. I think this is resolved, and these should work consistently again.

More Nebulae

I added more and larger nebulae when generating a new galaxy. This is purely a cosmetic change, like the planet atmospheres mentioned above. But I think it may add more variety and color to each play through...

 

 

This post was modified 11 months ago by Pinback

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November 12, 2019 15:14  

Sounds like it has a lot in common with NMS, I read over the steam page and Star Explorers seems promising and the price is really cheap at $5. Recommended resolution is 1280x720? Hmm Why? 🙂 granted it could be played on really any PC today. I am concerned a little about interactivity with either aliens or the environment, in the videos it kinda looks bare?


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November 22, 2019 14:41  

The game is a bit bare but  it looks and feels like it was made 20 years ago, so the interaction about the same as you would expect from an indie game from that era.

And the main game is being updated to 3.8 tomorrow.

Normally I would have waited until the 4.0 release to update the default version of Star Explorers. However, since a major bug was discovered, I felt it would be best to remove that as soon as possible. The latest version 3.8 is more stable than the previous 3.0 release.

IMPORTANT: If you have been playing the 3.0 release and want to continue, you can go to "Star Explorers > Properties > Betas" and select "Version3" from the drop down to reinstall that version of the game. Otherwise you should start a fresh game in version 3.8.

If you have not been following the announcements, here's a quick run down of the main changes:

Fixes

Engine Updated to A8 - This fixes a number of issues that some players experienced
New Shader Effect - Posterize
Custom Save Folder - check for instructions in the "Custom Path" folder
Fixed crash in the Star Chart
Switching or Reloading a weapon now prevents it from being fired
The speed of the mouse is now factored into camera movement
Item generation is now optimized to generate a wider variety of items
Alien generation is also optimized similarly
UFO damage will be more noticeable
UFOs should now have a glowing effect, and should be more visible
Camera tilt has been increased to 90 degrees (used to be 60 degrees)
Fixed issues that occurred when returning to Main Menu after starting a game
Bug with planet storage caches caused items to be mixed up

New Features

PDA treasure maps are now available in the game
Mapping tool now shows coordinates on planets
More and larger Nebulae are spawned in the galaxy
"Take All" button added to cache panels
Improved planet atmosphere graphics

As always, Star Explorers is an ongoing project. Feel free to reach out if you encounter problems or have any questions!

 


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November 26, 2019 08:25  

And version 4 is due out, that was quick. like the bit about the free towel 😎 

In celebration of the official 4.0 release of Star Explorers, I am offering everyone a towel (in game) free of charge! Use it as needed.

Important Notice!

Receiving your free towel in no way obligates you to write a positive review of this game! I will not remove the free towel from the game, even if the number of positive reviews remains stagnant for another three months. It would be absurd to think I would even suggest such a thing.

What's New?

As it turns out, I will probably not be able to do much with Star Explorers in the near future, so did not want to delay the 4.0 release indefinitely. This is pretty much the same as the 3.8 release, but I have added one new, special fun feature. You guessed it, it's a towel. If you start a fresh game, you will receive a free towel in your starting inventory. This should motivate any stragglers to start a new game already, and experience the joys of Star Explorers 4.0

Use the towel ... if you dare!

As Douglas Adams mentions in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a towel ... “is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

I will leave it at that. Enjoy the game. Don't forget to report any bugs here, as usual, but also let me know what you think ... it feels like things are improving slowly, and this is a much more robust game than it was when it first came out. If you are enjoying it, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. Maybe write a review, if you haven't already. Just an idea. Enjoy your towel.


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December 18, 2019 12:42  

Seems their was a bit of bug in the last update to the game but should be sorted out in tomorrows update.

Star Explorers was not starting up for an unfortunate player. However, he had the good sense to let me know about it. By getting a little bit of feedback and having him run an updated version of the game under the testing branch, we were able to zero in on the cause.

4.1A includes this slightly modified script that should mitigate the issue for any future players who may have encountered the problem.

 

The Problem in Detail

For anyone interested, the problem was caused by a script that looks at the available monitor resolutions on the host computer. For reasons I cannot remember, the script only allowed up to 29 different resolutions. This caused the script to get stuck in a loop when it was run on a computer with a higher number of possible resolutions. I have increased the number of possible resolutions to 300, so hopefully it will not happen again.

I will be having a closer look at that script though, since it should not have behaved that way to begin with. It would be best if it did not have any limit to the number of resolution ratios, to keep it future compatible.

 

Thanks to the Players

If you are someone who purchased the game, and were not able to start it, please consider trying it again now. I know a lot of people who encounter a crash like this, and I don't really blame them, will simply leave a negative review and get a refund.

But, I am grateful to all of you folks who brought the problems in this game to my attention. In this case, it was actually pretty easy to fix. Sometimes these things can be tougher and take more time and patience. In any case, this game would never have become what it is today without the help of players who give feedback. So I thank you all!


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August 7, 2020 14:57  

And a new update for NMS WINDOWS 98 edition, really must give this another go as it's been a while since I last played it.

Ultrawide Monitor Support

The new version supports ultrawide monitors, and will more easily scale to any desired screen resolution. Menus are no longer fixed to the window size, and are more flexible as a result. Here's what ultrawide Star Explorers looks like...

Screen Resolution

In a related story, the game has been updated with a more intuitive screen resolution dialogue. Now, instead of a limited list of options to choose from, the menu offers every available screen resolution based on the monitor being used.

New Interactive Guide

In this update, Star Explorers has gotten its first, proper tutorial!

If you want to try it out, go ahead and start a new game, and keep the interactive guide button set to "on" when you are typing your name in.

Right now, it will introduce you to all the main steps you need to complete the first mission. It offers some freedom of movement, but will limit what you can do while performing some specific tasks.

Percentage Counter

It also provides a "Percentage Complete" counter, so you will know how far you have to go till the guide is finished.

What Does it Cover?

Right now, the Interactive Guide covers the following:

  • The Help Menu
  • Opening the Computer Console
  • The Star Chart Overlay
  • Ship Movement
  • Combat Mode
  • Warping
  • Accessing the Star Chart
  • The Target Sector
  • Orbiting Planets and Leaving Orbit
  • Landing on Planets
  • Planet Exploration
  • Cave Exploration
  • Finding Acknexium Crystals
  • Launching the Homing Beacon
  • The Details of Charting Stars and Planets

That's all the basics of the game. After this, it leaves you alone to explore and learn on your own. The whole thing can be completed in a few minutes if you already know what you are doing, for testing purposes. Or, for new players, it could probably be finished in a 30 minute session.

It is broken up into small sessions, but there is some freedom of movement between these sessions once you start warping to stars and exploring planets.

Old Version

If you were already playing Star Explorers, and do not need widescreen monitor support, you may want to activate version 4.5, the previous default build, if you have any trouble with the new version. To do this, go to "Star Explorers > Properties > Betas" and select "version4" from the drop down menu.


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