Star Explorers 2.0 is Available!
Star Explorers has been updated to Version 2.0!
It is recommended that you start a new game. However, I have confirmed that old games will load in the new version. However there may be some hidden bugs that will show up later if you choose to do this.
Here is a high level list of all the changes that have happened since version 1.4 (the previous version)
- Asteroids - these floating rocks can be shot down and sometimes valuable minerals will be released
- Alien UFOs - UFOs may attack your ship on occasion
- Lasers - Luckily, your ship is now equipped with lasers
- Ship Repair - Taking damage in alien dogfights necessitated the creation of a ship repair kit
- UFO Interiors - Once you disable a UFO, you can enter and explore its interior - these are procedurally generated like caves and ruins
- Improved item interaction - picking up items on planets and in caves has been improved and is more responsive in Version 2.0 - it also provides a reward sound when you pick things up
- Terrain Generation - I created a different script for generating terrain, it's a complex issue, but the short story is that terrains will now be generated faster with less room for errors
- Terrain Regeneration - Landing on a planet a second time will load the same terrain. This used to actually take longer than the initial landing, but now it is much faster. It used to take up to a minute to reload a terrain, now it averages around 15 seconds or so - this is especially helpful when exploring caves, since you may have to reload a terrain several times on one visit to a planet
- Improved Star Chart - the star chart has been completely overhauled with new and improved graphics, more responsive controls and color coding for easier interpretation (with the optional upgrade available at your local mothership)
- New Main Menu - the main menu script was rewritten, allowing you to access it from in the game - previously you had to restart the game to get back to the main menu
- Video Options - an optional border was added to the windowed version of the game, allowing you to change its position if desired - changing video options does still require a restart of the game
- Storage and Backpack Upgrade - For those explorers who find they are running out of room, I have included upgrades for the ship storage and backpack - they come at a price, and are available in limited quantities at your local mothership
- Updated Mapping Tool - the mapping tool used on planets and in caves has been updated, it now saves cave locations between visits to a planet, even when those caves have not been entered, it also allows you to drop custom map markers (yellow) which are also preserved between visits
- Difficulty Levels - You can choose from Casual, Easy, Normal, Hard and Arduous modes
- Unloading Weapons - weapons can be unloaded as long as you have room in your inventory
- Updated Main Mission - the search for an Earth-like planet is not an easy one - accordingly, the last phase of the mission has been modified to require a bit more searching - good luck out there!
- Caves preserve crystal locations - previously if you left a cave it would lose all the information about any remaining crystals or minerals - now these things are preserved between visits
- New Planet Features - rare giant crystals and other surface features have been added, increasing the variety of planet types and appearances
- Bug Fixes and other improvements - too long to list here, but tons of bugs have been reported and addressed since the beta was released in September - I wish I could say the program is bug free, but that is a mythical beast that never exists in the real world - still it is unquestionably much more stable than any previous release of the game
I don't think I am done with Star Explorers. I think a version 3.0 is somewhere out on the horizon. However, I will be stepping back for a while to attend to some other things. With that said, I will be checking in here regularly, and any remaining bugs that are reported will be dealt with accordingly. Also, though much has been done to address issues of game balance, I think there may be things that can be tweaked based on user feedback.
With that said, though I have tested the game thoroughly, it's always possible for me to miss things. Several beta testers have provided detailed feedback, and most of those issues have been resolved. Still, with a procedurally generated galaxy, it's difficult to account for every possible combination and potential error.
Starting a New Game
If you do encounter a bug, I would love to hear about it. However, if you are planning to do this, please start a new game with the new version first. Previous saves of the game, if played, may have latent bugs that will appear. These may very well have been addressed in the new version, but since they were formed in the old version, they may reappear if you load those old saved games.
I look forward to hearing from all of you, seeing your screenshots, reading your reviews, etc...
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