Interstellaria makes indieDB’s top 100! Votes underway for top ten, and indie project of the year!

INTERSTELLARIA IS LISTED UNDER PLATFORMER

I threw my hat into the indieDB’s top 100 games… and we made it! Wow! How exciting! Now the battle is one for the indieDB top ten, and even the indie of the year award! There are a LOT of amazing games on the list, so if I could see Interstellaria on the top ten that would be AMAZING! Send us a vote, cross your fingers, and lets see what happens!


2014 Indie of the Year Awards via Indie DB

again, INTERSTELLARIA IS LISTED UNDER PLATFORMER

Interstellaria hits beta

Interstellaria Hits Beta

What are your orders captain? Interstellaria has just hit v0.5, and that means we’re in beta! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be at this point. Before I get into the gritty details of what this all means for you, let me just say thank you for everyone who has supported the project so far. From kickstarter backers, to greenlight voters, to well-wishers, bug finders, and even idea-havers. Thank you all. It’s because of you that a game has been built!

Here is a quick preview of something that has changed from inception, to beta

(Original title screen)

(Beta title screen)

What Is Beta?
-Mechanic complete. 90% of all mechanics are coded in. There are a few minor mechanics (mostly when on planets) that’s left to do, but that’ll only happen as each world is built. There’s not much more coding to do. That DOES
NOT mean its bug free, there will still be issues that come up as we go!
-1/4th content complete. This might seem low for a lot of people, but the game has been built foundation up. Creating a new world is now a task of art, music, and design. What would take months for otherwise can now be done in a week or two with good planning. That’s not to say content in game won’t change. Testing will refine and change things.
-More user friendly. We’ve added a tutorial, several UI changes, and more to make things a lot more user friendly. Of course, we’re always tweaking things (for example a text scrolling change coming soon).

(Original UI)

(Beta UI)

If you are are a kickstarter backer with beta access, the goals will be simple
-Balance. Some things are likely overpowered, some things underpowered. The only way to know is through testing.
-Progression. When you’re a developer you can breeze through content and combat quickly. Outside eyes are needed to discover where the game is too short, and where it drags.
-Content. Levels need to be tested, tried, and broken. As new content unrolls over the rest of the dev cycle, it’ll also need to be thoroughly broken and rebuilt by the players. The beta is being distributed by the Humble Store to beta backers – so you should be getting your key soon if you backed the game!

For feedback, you can alway send notes to
There’s also a nice subreddit made for feedback and discussion!

We’ve already built up quite a few things to test out

as well as all the races and ships to test!


Moving on, what’s new since our last update overall?

Many new events are in game!



Some new gear

Suns and planets now show up as you travel

Anomalies may now show up and cause trouble

We’ve added an artifact log to help track important things you’ve found along the way

As well as a minimal view of the star map!

As well as a few UI updates

We’ve also updated ground based dialogue screens as well

Planet ghfi is now in game and has several missions for you

New side activities are also in

Also, I’m very excited say that we’ve added an additional “main” race into the game! That means they can equip armor and guns. The race has new ships, dialogue, and territory. I just felt like 4 was an odd number for main races. Introducing the plant like Suna!




As always I’m sure there’s more, but you’ll have to play the game (if you have access) to know.

Now onto the big question – WHEN WILL THE GAME BE DONE?! I swear it’s the first question everyone always asks me. If you’ve been following the updates, you know I decided to push development into January. This is to avoid problems with taxes, as well as to avoid the holidays. After much discussion with everyone involved I am also considering pushing into March as well. I know this comes as a disappointment for many not involved in testing the game, but it’s important for the game to be completed and to avoid cutting corners. The goal is to have the content completed in January (or close to it) and then spend the remaining few months polishing and testing the game. I feel the crunch in launching so close to games completion would result in too many problems.

I just ask you guys all trust me on this decision. It’s only done in the interest of the game. I’ve spent roughly 10 months so far putting out weekly builds, which is sort of unheard of for most projects. I hope that the constant progress, communication, and implantation of feedback serves to show the integrity of the project.

And finally, a simple trailer showing some of the new features!

Where’s da beta at Coldrice?!?

It’s almost here I promise!

I think this in a previous update, but it’s hard for me to let go. I’m always waiting for one more thing, one more bug, one more piece of art… it’s hard to say “ok this is beta now go!”

Here’s an example. the UI has had a few more adjustments. Planets and stars have also been added the background
TKOJdrX

Or polishing off a few of the pirate encounters to include diplomacy aspects as well

pirate

Either way, I promise it’s right around the corner. Now what to expect? Well as far as I plan it’ll be just like the alpha in a lot of ways.

1) Many things could still change based on player feedback. The majority of things that have evolved up to this point are mostly due to dev plan. After the beta point only play testing will really change aspects of the game.

2) Constant content related updates. Gone will be the glory days of every afternoon revealing a newly coded feature. Instead we’ll be hitting planet design, ship design, and the almighty ETC really hard.

3) A much more “open” view. If you weren’t around to back the kickstarter for alpha/beta you will at least be able to SEE more of the things that are going on with the game. During alpha I was pretty strict with information in and out.

4) There will probably still be bugs, however the kind of bugs will be a lot more tame in comparison to challenges we saw during the alpha. It won’t be long before we start optimizing a lot of the game, and it’ll mostly be scenarios which cause a crash but can be easily found and fixed.

Once more I’ve had a number of questions re: early access. The beta will be the decider on this. Again, I’m not eager to sell an incomplete product – but I also see no problems with letting people in either. However if early access were to take away from launch day sales then its not worth it.

I don’t want to ramble, so I’ll stop here. I’m working hard – promise!

Working it towards beta

Ah yes, the word that strikes fear into my heart. Beta. It’s almost time, and there are so many things I’d like to see done before I say “lets go beta backers!”

Ultimately, the game will most likely follow the same pattern as it did for alpha. Instead of waiting for the very end of alpha development I’ll likely just let everyone in right away so I have people spotting bugs and issues well before the final beta build goes live. If you backed at the beta level, get excited! But not too excited… it is still in development! Side note for press types – the final alpha will be available soon for you guys to pick up and play with!

That being said, things are still rolling along as usual!

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STATUS REPORT

Hey all, Coldrice here. I felt like it was just wayyyy to long since the last update so I thought it’d be good to let you all know how the game is going.

For those of you participating in the alpha you know I’ve been putting out big meaty bi-weekly builds. If you have a steam key via humble you may have noticed builds coming every FEW DAYS. whew! It’s been exhausting and insane how much has been done in the game. Its such an evolved beast from when this all started!

Usually most people don’t tune into my updates for the idle chat :). Its all about the GIFS!!!

WHATS NEW

First, let me preframe this with the fact that these shots are in no particular order so some UI/background things are a bit inconsistent. Trust me, you’ll know which ones are older, and which ones are newer

Planets are getting awesome

whisps

unhappydeath

smoke

bigguy

bombflower

newdoodads

We’ll be adding in a artifact log as well to help you keep track of the important items you pick up. This is not a quest oriented game – but I don’t want to make it difficult to remember that one last tip you got on where to go
card

slab

We’ve also been working really hard on the AI/interface for planets. There are now a ton of options for “auto” ai as well as different ways for your crew to work together. We’ve added offscreen icons to keep track of your guys, fast toggle with tab, and pausing

offscreenicons

planetpause

massselect

masscombat
teamwork

The best part is a lot of the new updates and changes have actually been in space phase. Lets dig in a bit more in depth on this one

tacticalpause

Tactical pause

newtrade

New trade menus. We’ve opted for physical space stations instead of little menus to represent space stations

scrollmap

Scrollable starmaps

IJ

Kickstarter backer custom characters are starting to show up as random encounters!

newstars
FINALLY better stars!

eventsonmap
In an effort to remove RNG that works against you we’ve put the random events/encounters right on the map.

asteroidsonscren
Being close to asteroid encounters shows up in the background. We’ll be slowly adding more as we go.

visiblecombat

Oh hey, combat is finally visible on screen. It was a debate on how we wanted to go with this, but I think this is the best choice ;)

autoai

Better AI for hunger and sleep

obstacles

I’ve also implemented obstacles during combat. These can allow you to avoid fire or protect an important ship. Be aware, the debris that has precious loot also acts as obstacle – only it’ll be destroyed when it.

randomevents

I spent a lot of time overhauling the presentation and feel of random events. One thing I never liked about these text events from other games was… well.. the text. Nothing but text. It was a simple change up to add a simple animation but I think it makes a big difference. Also, its REALLY fun making the graphics:

robotevent

idunnoevent

asteroidevent

podevent

As always, I’m sure I’m missing something – but there has been so much development its hard to keep track sometimes!

WHATS TO COME

Well so far every update I’ve made has been MASSIVE… and I hope to keep that momentum! I love making this game, and it’s come to the point where it doesn’t matter how well it does – I just want people to play it. So what is there to look forward to?

CONTENT MODE: We’re almost done with all the systems that will be in place. Of course as testing continues things can and will change, but its a big difference in dev time. Weeks spent building things is pretty fun!

BUG FIXES: The latest build (For alpha testers) featured a long list of bug fixes, and the next one in about a week will feature even more. I’m very keen on polishing what’s already in place

BETA: we’re almost there guys, I promise! I don’t want to dangle things in front of you all, but its close! We’ll be seeing the final alpha build very soon, and then I’ll open up testing to all the beta peeps. I’m really dedicated to having a very solid experience, and so I’ve delayed a beta release to work on “On more thing” week after week

By the way – alpha testers humble HAS distributed steam keys. Please check your e-mails or accounts!

BUT COLDRICE, WHAT ABOUT RELEASE?

Ok here’s the fun one. I get that question a lot. Everyone wants to know when the game will be done. It’s scary to quote times (which I already did with Kickstarter!). Truthfully a lot of bad things have happened recently with Kickstarted games and so many people are gun shy about it all. I HOPE my track record of producing weekly updates to the game proves that I’m dedicated :)

That being said, a few things have changed about the release date (sorry !!!!)

First – no matter what I will be pushing the release into January. There are a multitude of reasons, but the ones that most everyone can understand is

A) Taxes – It would be unwise for me as a business to take in any money in December. I would end up spending a large sum on taxes. I would rather push it 30 days and not have to worry about it. Truth be told, the kickstarter itself ended up paying quite a bit in taxes (nearly $4k) because the company didn’t have enough deductions by the end of the year. Ouch :(

B) Steam sale – I don’t want to launch anywhere near the winter sale.

So what does this mean? Well hopefully it’ll give me more time to add in a few more side planets and items. I don’t intend to squander any extra time!

ultimately I will continue to update the game for you guys to play, as well as keep you guys notified here. I figure (and hope!) that any complications or delays would be understood.

Moving along, there has also been a LOT of question on twitter regarding Early Access. At this point we are all a bit unsure of Early Access. I don’t want to ever be perceived as trying to do a cash grab or scam gamers for a quick buck. Everyone involved in Interstellaria is leaning AWAY from Early access. I have not fully dismissed it for a few reason.

a) I get requests to get into testing all the time. I feel a bit bad saying no, but I really don’t want to undercut you guys with a cheaper price.

b) Most people don’t know the costs of game development.

I’ve had a lot of people (including other devs!) ask how it felt to have 28k to make a game. The truth is its a very small amount. The final take home after fees was 26k. We immediately (between music, some equipment, licenses, fees) invested 20k into the game to ensure that no matter what the entire development is covered. That might seem crazy, but those who do development understand how cheap we’ve been running. We’ve been able to keep our overhead remarkably low. That has left around 6k for the rest of the year. Needless to say I didn’t quit my day job!

Between 40 hours of work, and an average (and I keep track!) of 42 hours a week on game development (remember, I’m a solo dev) I definitely burn the candle at both ends. It’s easy to rack up these numbers because I truly do love making games – there isn’t a thing about it I hate. Now knowing all those numbers, you can see how any influx of money is incredibly helpful. From buying new things for the game itself, to simply being able to swap hours from work and spend more time making the game (and hopefully bringing it to your hands faster!) .

That being said, Early Access will only happen if I feel it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the myself, or the game. I’d rather work all the hours and release something that people enjoy then potentially damage the game before it’s even out of the stables. It’s not a no. Just a statement of my intentions.

Alright, serious chat over. I’m going to get back to it. You can always e-mail me for comments, feedback, or ideas – but twitter is ALWAYS the best. I’ll respond quick! I’m super pumped for Interstellaria, and I hope you are too!