Video Gaming

Indie Gaming: StarMade

R.I.P 2012 to ????

I first encountered StarMade back in Winter of 2013, back then Minecraft and voxel games had become all the rage and StarMade posed itself as the space equivalent to the popular fantasy game.

StarMade was an Alpha stage game being created by a solo developer based out of Germany. The game was ambitious and what I initially started playing as an Alpha release was already very fleshed out with players (alpha testers) all being able to build wild and wonderful spaceships of insane size. The game featured a near endless universe of random cookie shaped planets and randomly place pirate bases with pirate ships that randomly attacked at the most inconvenient times.

Over the years that followed the game got a much needed graphics boost, a full render procedurally generated universe with stars, planets, asteroids and random stations, a improved building, blueprint and manufacturing overall with recipes and constructors and finally a combat overhaul.

It was perhaps affect much of the good stuff had been completed that the problems started. The developer who had been working so insanely hard to complete his project started to allow the community to get ever increasingly involved in decision making of what direction the game should take. This proved to be a bad idea as it started to drag the developers focus away from aspects of the game that needed to be worked on in order to appease a minority of players who were getting very close to the developer.

Over time, promises made about delivering of new features and content were scarified in favour of redevelopment of existing aspects of the game that had been thought completed years prior. One example of this was the apparent recoding of the power generation aspect of the game that had gone through not one but 4 separate rewrites over the years, the first system was fine, but people complained it wasn’t good enough so it was changed to do something else, this then happened again and again and again. In fact the near entirety of the past year has been pretty much dedicated to the current rewrite and apparent balancing of the new power system for the game (4th rewrite at this point).

It was back in late Winter of 2017 when I finally decided the game was heading nowhere, every month I would load up the games website and expect to read an exciting new post about an massive new feature the developer had now incorporated, but alas I was always disappointed. It was the 3-4 month gap in news in 2018 that finally did it for me, I had hoped so hard that StarMade would have the same success as its fantasy voxel cousin Minecraft but I just couldn’t see it happening, expecially when the community had no drifted away to newer Alpha / Beta stage games like Dual Universe and Empyrion – Galactic Survival both of which had rapid and visible cycles of development.

So it with that realisation that I bid StarMade farewell after nearly 4 years of gameplay, it was fun while it lasted but frankly it’s time to move on. I expected far too much from you and you could never really deliver on your promises. That is not to say you didn’t try, but somewhere along the way you get yourself into a loop of constant redevelopment that was neither needed or necessary and it took you away from the work that needed to be done in order to be a success.

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