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    • Jul18

      StarMade v0.198.485 New Tutorial Videos, Fixes, and Optimization

      Greetings, Citizens ~


       

      This is a small update that adds a new tutorial series to the game meant especially for new players.  These tutorials should provide players with enough information to understand the basics of the game and begin building.  We will update the tutorials and release additional videos as the game progresses.


       

      Furthermore, we’ve implemented some fixes and optimizations:

       

      ~ Inventories pulling large amounts of items previously caused immense server lag, visible even in single player. This release almost completely eliminates the lag, therefore squishing yet another cause of the dreaded server lag popups. This fix not only improves the speed of pulling, but of all inventory operations.

       

      ~ The visual glitch of placing LoD shapes (such as console and light bar) onto transparent blocks has been fixed

       

      ~ Significantly improved the rendering speed of structures comprised of many transparent blocks (e.g. ice asteroids and certain ship/station designs).  A bug in the drawing engine caused this by drawing concealed faces (such as the hidden face between adjacent ice and rock) despite the player being unable to see them.  This lowered frame rates while viewing the structures due to the large number of unnecessary polygons being drawn.

       

      ~ T1670: Fixed importing sectors

       

      ~ Previous news post mentioned 2 outdated config values but it is different in-game as you probably noticed:

      • Fixed Trading guild share is 5%, not 20%

      • Trading guild share per system is 1%, not 2%



       

      As always, thank you for playing StarMade!

      ~ The Schine Team

       
       
    • Jul13

      StarMade v0.198.476 - The Trading System

      Greetings, Citizens ~

      HOTFIX #2: fixed game lagging out in multiplayer (low fps). Also fixed a NullPointerException at Startup (happened semmingly at random)

      HOTFIX #1: fixes sector sizes being capped to 5000

      This update marks an important step in the overall progress. The trading system will be used throughout the universe -- not only by players, but in the future by NPC Factions as well.  This will create a dynamic economy throughout the universe, and should make gameplay much more engaging.

       

      Trading System

       

      The most important part of the trading system is the Trade Network. This network makes it possible to access inventories and prices without having to visit the stations themselves (or even having them loaded). Not only can they be accessed, but they can also be modified, meaning stations may trade with one another regardless of their distance and loaded states.

       

      The Trading Guild itself handles trades made using the Trade Network.  This means anyone can trade with any other shop in the network, given they have sufficient credits to pay the Guild its fee.

       

      Trade nodes

      A station with a shop module can now opt-in to the Trade Network. This option is only available to the owner of the shop. There are also now more options added for shop owners, such as the ability to let their faction, allies, or everyone use the shop as an owner (except for the right to add/remove owners, of course).

      Everyone with that permission can make trades at that shop and set the prices. Keep in mind not to leave money and blocks in a shop with a broad ownership, however.

       

      Player Shop Capacity and added functions

      Player shops now require capacity the same way storage blocks do. You will need to connect cargo blocks to the shop in order to expand its capacity. However, shops also gained some of the functionality of storage blocks: they can now pull items (and be pulled from), which should make it much easier to manage shop inventories.


       

      Setting Prices

       

      As before, there are two type of prices you can set per block: the price that you want to sell blocks at, and the price you want to buy blocks for.  Players can now also impose a stock limit, preventing blocks from being bought or sold past that limit, thus allowing reserves for ship building, repairs, and the like.

       

      Players can set Prices both within the Shop tab as before, or within the new Set Prices tab. If the shop is in the Trade Network, this tab publishes all credit prices in real-time. The previous shopping permissions (located within the Options tab) still apply, but only to local trading -- that is, trading with ships that actually visit the shop.

       

      Placing Orders

       

      To place an order, go to the Trading tab.  This lists all shops within the Trade Network in a sortable and searchable list. Select a shop of your choice and click its [Order] button to bring up the order menu. Alternatively, you may search for offers by block type instead. This fetches the buy/sell prices for that particular block type from the server, making it easy to find the best price for specific items.

       

      The order menu allows you to buy and sell from other shops. The availability of purchasable items of course depends on the target shop’s inventory and stock limits. Likewise, the amount of inventory that a particular shop can buy from you is limited by its cargo capacity and stock limits, as well as its credits.

       

      The top of the menu lists the price/profit for a trade. Since the Trading Guild is handling the actual trading, they require a delivery fee, as well as a share of the profit based on delivery distance.

       

      The delivery price itself depends on distance and quantity of ships used.  As every ship has a fixed amount of cargo space, certain order volumes are more cost-effective.  Example: if you buy only a single block (or a single block over the capacity of one ship), you must still pay for the use of that entire ship.

       

      Keep in mind that buying/selling will send an individual Trading Guild fleet, because orders have different shops as starting points. Also: Trading Guild fleets are only virtual at the moment and therefore cannot be intercepted nor raided … yet. We will add this feature in the coming weeks, along with some of the NPC faction features. This will also include an upgrade to fleet AI.

       

      Active Trades

      Once you click [ok], all credits of the trade will be instantly added/removed from shops in the trade. All bought/sold blocks are also instantly removed from the shop and loaded onto the Trading Guild fleet. When the fleet has reached its destination, it will transferred the cargo to the destination shop.

       

      The shop’s Trading tab displays all trades to/from that shop. Shop owners will also receive a message when a trade completes, as well as a faction message (if applicable).

       

      Galaxy Map

       

      Active trades to/from your personal or faction shops are visible on the galaxy map. Every shop within the Trade Network is also visible on the map. In the future, we will change how the map handles and shares information between players.

       

      Trade Config

       

      Currently the values used in the Trade System are adjustable in the blockBehaviorConfig.xml (open with any text editor).

      When other features get added, these values will change:

      • Cargo Hold of trade ship: 1000 volume

      • Cost per trade ship: 1000 cr

      • Cost per system travelled: 300 cr

      • Travel time: 1 sector every 3 seconds

      • Trading guild flat share: 20%

      • Trading guild share per system travelled: 2%

      New LoD Blocks (and graphic changes)

       

      To test the integration of the LoD (Level-of-Detail) system with existing blocks, we have replaced the mushroom (found on red planets) with a model that uses LoD.  As you travel further from the model, it will reduce in complexity, thereby improving graphics performance. The LoD system will make use of multiple steps in the future to help further improve performance while retaining proportional detail.

       

      Additionally, we’ve added a new block: the light bar. This block will make hallways look quite nice, but of course can be used in a variety of other ways. Unfortunately, due to the block requiring 24 orientations, it currently cannot be switched off; there are plans to fix or work around this problem soon. We are aware of some glitches in the graphics on the light bar. Those will hopefully be fixed till friday.


      We have been slowly working on optimising our textures and their application, meaning less occupied VRAM. The footprint of our planet LOD textures, Non cubic model emissive maps and some UI sprites have been cut by up to 80%. We will continue to further streamline our assets wherever possible.

      Asteroid Tweaks

      • Generation is now 2-3 times faster.

      • Configurable asteroid sizes within server settings

      • Some FPS improvements for ice asteroids, more to come soon.

       

      Fleet Contest Results

      Results of the Community Fleet Contest have been made publicly available, you can find the thread providing more details here: https://starmadedock.net/threads/community-fleet-contest-results.25911/
       

      Bug Fixes

      Unlisted bug fixed: shop panel could be unusable after logging out and in again without exiting the program.

       

      T1595 GLibC 2.12 native libraries included for CentOS 6

       

      What comes next

       

      After a bug fixing round this week -- and maybe next week (two releases) -- more features will follow. We will also add the faction NPC system and make it usable on existing galaxies.

       

      The coming months will probably one of the most important times in StarMade history as it will define the transition from framework-building to actual gameplay.



       

      As always, thank you for playing StarMade!

       ~ The Schine Team

       
    • Jun19

      StarMade v0.198.219 Custom Shapes, 7 Languages, reworked GUI graphics & new Asteroids

      HOTFIX #4:

      ~ fixed sound switching off completely at some instances

      HOTFIX #3:

      ~ fixed 32bit SIMD lib
      ~ code is now lwjgl3 ready (still waiting to switch for more stable GLFW version, and new launcher to deploy java as lwjgl3 requires java8)

      HOTFIX #2:

      ~ further optimized Asteroids to generate even faster
      ~ fix for crash using SIMD if wrong processor information was provided by OS

      HOTFIX #1:

      ~ fixed crash with shadows
      ~ fixed chinese language not working
      ~ updated language file to latest version
      ~ fixed Structure HP being negative due to Integer overflow (only happened when SHP amount was achieved with mostly one block type)

       

      Hello, Hola, cześć, Здравствуйте, Bonjour, こんにちは, 你好, Hallo players

       

      This one is a quite big one. A lot of things in the pipeline have finished, while others are still being worked on.

       

       

       

      New Asteroids

      A new (faster) system for generating terrain noise has been added. This system has tweaked asteroid generation to produce larger and more natural looking asteroids.

       

      Thanks to native libraries and SIMD instructions this new system has a large performance increase over the previous system, therefore asteroids should generate faster and put less load on the CPU by doing so. Comparison testing has shown around 7 times performance increase compared to the old asteroid generation.

       

      Further native library usage will be used for other CPU heavy parts of the game. This means, we now have the speed of C/C++ for the performance critical parts, while still keeping the convenience of java.

      Custom Shapes

      The engine now supports custom shapes. Those shapes can pretty much be any 3d object. The game automatically handles natural Level of Detail. That means that from afar, shapes will automatically turn into either cubes, “sprites” (like current flowers for example), or completely transparent. Objects further away will not have any decrease in fps that way. The distance at which objects blend to blocks can be adjusted in the options.

       

      We are adding just a few decorations for now to test the limits and how players will use it. There will also be functional objects later. However, these objects should never be a main build component. If needed, more restrictions can be done like a limit on objects per area (client sided), to avoid slower computers lagging out.

       

      The shapes we will add in this build are a Pipe and a Console, both of which can be found in General -> Decoration -> NonCubic.

       

      In following updates, there will also be options for physics meshes. For ship vs ship collisions, the cube (or nothing) will always be taken.

       

      More shapes will be added over time, as the process to make new ones and get them into the game is very straightforward. Also depending on tests we will replace existing shapes like flowers, capsules, and light rods with custom shapes.


       

      New Languages

       

      Thanks to the awesome translators that helped us, StarMade now supports seven new languages:

      French, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese Traditional, Polish, and Spanish!

      The system we have set up for translations is very easy to maintain and add new or changed strings without messing up the code at all.

      Languages packed with the game have most strings translated; translations may not be accurate. As translation progresses, we will update language packs and add new ones. It's a community effort, so if you can contribute, the translation project is here: http://translate.star-made.org/ . Anyone is free to edit, simply sign up and translate!


       

      Reworked GUI Graphics

      We have reskinned the User Interface with a cleaner theme akin to our main menu. The noisy and heavier elements of the older design often cluttered up the denser menu structures. We hope this new theme not only helps with legibility, but allows us to easily scale up our assets to higher resolutions in the future.

       

      Further fine tuning will take place in the coming weeks with updated HUD elements currently being worked on.






       

      Bugfixes

      First and foremost: Logic Lag when loading in an object has been fixed. Inner logic (weapons etc) are also now loading a lot faster by using more Threads, but keep in sizeable tiers, so small calculations don’t fill up the queue and can be handled much faster.


       

      T1540 Exit Test Sector brings up Tutorials instead

      T1512 tutorial tile menu isn't constrained by menu size

      T1509 new tutorial menu doesn't end processes when closed

      T1484 Log spam...too much yhole (PDLDLKDJLKDJLKDJLKDJLKDJDLKJD)

      T1352 Faction Permission Block Texture bug (Pixel texture pack)

      (Fixed Linux/Mac crash on startup when sound system cannot be initialized)

      (White lines appearing on White hull fixed - no phab report)

       

      Development Timeline

      To coincide with this release we’ve put together a thread covering the progression of development of the game. This should give a better impression as to what is planned as well as what’s directly ahead. You can find the thread on StarMade Dock here:

       

      https://starmadedock.net/threads/starmade-active-development-timeline.25541/



       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~The Schine Team

       
       
    • Jun5

      StarMade v0.198.146 - Tutorial Videos & New Lighting

      Hello players,

       

      In our quest to make the game a lot more accessible, another important step has been done: Tutorial Videos.

       

      #Hotfix:

      ~ Fixed issue where "Play in Background" isn't shown on the automatically played intro video
      ~ Fixed issue where F8 didn't open the Tutorial Selection Screen
      ~ Fixed backside of angled shapes being drawn, even if adjacent to an opaque face
      ~ Fixed wedges side triangles being drawn both in transparency and opaque (rest of the angled shapes will follow soon)
      ~ Fixed crash on mac when playing any video

      Tutorial Videos

       

      The engine can now play videos ingame. You can either watch it in a player or in the background while you play.

      At the moment, the videos available are those from our youtube channel. We will be improving, optimizing, and expanding them for ingame tutorial usage. Also, while at the moment, the videos are 720p, in the future we will try to offer a low quality offline option with the ability to stream full quality directly from youtube if possible. It may be a while before a full series of quality videos are available.

       

      We will also be looking into implementing an ingame browser for our wiki and link that to the game, so you could look up info about a block or a system via a context menu.

       

      This is just the beginning of the new tutorial system, and we will further expand on it with dynamic suggestions, so that if a new player puts down a block, the tutorial system would suggest a video or a wiki entry based on that.

       

      Currently, video audio only work with OpenAL sound enabled, however, for anyone having problems with that system, and other languages, there will be full subtitles in any supported language available in the future.

       

      Speaking of languages. We are close to releasing the first bunch of translations, and that will probably happen in the next release. For more info about translations, visit https://crowdin.com/project/starmade


       

      New Lighting System

       

      As most of you know, the shading on structures, especially on angled shapes has serious problems with lighting.

      The reason why those errors persisted so long, was because the lighting normalizer required a full rewrite, and to make things worse, is one of the most brain scrambling things to implement. However, it was time to do it, and the new system is now able to be easily adaptable to new blocks. Fixing any remaining lighting errors and other related glitches should now be a lot easier, as the new system is now modular and abstract instead of just one big pile of if-then-elses, which grew with every new block shape added.


       

      Here are a few comparisons:



       

       

      (inserted when copying to sm.org)

       

      There’s a minor issue remaining where your ship mode view can’t see through non cubic blocks such as wedges or corners. We’ll make sure this is resolved in the next hotfix.

      Main Menu Additions

      We’ve added a few improvements:

      • You can rename local worlds with the right click context menu.

      • Advanced settings for local worlds now has a Save and Discard changes button. Previously it only saved when starting a world.

      • Ability to use the default astronaut skin again, an X appears next to the Skin select button that deselects your custom one.

      Bug Fixes

      The initial loading has been improved to take a little less time. There is still some things to be done there to speed it up further.

       

      A few tasks were fixed too, lighting and tutorial tasks not included:


       

      If you notice any issues with the new lighting, please make a bug report on our bug tracker Phabricator
       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~the Schine Team

       
    • May22

      StarMade v0.198.131 - The Main Menu

      Hello players,

       

      A new update has just been released, and it’s a special one. We can finally say goodbye to the ugly startup settings dialogue and welcome our new Main Menu.

      Hotfix# 0.198.133


      - fixed tutorial
      - fixed totorial not being usable if player leaves and reenters a game from main menu
      - added delete/export context menu to local universe menu
      - added saving of manual server entries
      - fixed cpu being high in empty sectors
      - fixed several crashes
      - fixed error handling to not be in the background (might still happen rarely)
      - fixed crash on encryption exception
      - fixed mouse vanishing when being put in the main menu for any reason while the mouse is grabbed ingame
      - fixed storage blocks not being connectable to logic (storage -> logic as indicators of full/empty)
      - fixed adv. single player settings using wrong values
      - antenna modules and conduits are no longer rotatable
      - light blocks have slab variants
      - server filters save now

       

      Main Menu

      A lot of things had to be done to give players the best possible experience starting the game. We designed a new GUI theme from scratch. Most importantly, you’re now able to switch from server to server or to a single player universe without having to restart the game. Not only that but once the game resources are loaded, they stay loaded. So switching worlds or servers just takes seconds.

       

      Furthermore, all advanced graphics options like texture pack and its resolution, shadows, AntiAliasing, etc, are now available ingame and don’t need a restart.

       

      The server list has also been implemented for the menu, with the ability to set and filter by favorites. Not only that, but your last game, be it single or multiplayer, will be remembered and you will be able to join that Universe again with just one click.

      World settings previously stored in .cfg files are now accessible via the main menu making the customisation of your single player worlds much easier.

       

      Tons of minor changes have been done to the game and GUI to make error handling better.

       

      We hope you enjoy the new Main Menu. From now on, we will focus more on game features, while at the same time work on better usability, like finally finding a better solution for the current tutorial.

       

       

      New Gear Model

      A new model (and sprite) has been created for the Grapple Beam.
      12vABfp.png

       

      New block

      Only 1 new block this time: Ice wedge!

       

      Bug fixes

       

      A bug causing an unusual long shutdown time of a server was fixed. Several reasons strange server behavior has also been fixed (but hard to explain ;) )

       

      T963 Mass not affecting turn rate when docked

      T829 Language Editor unable to exit by clicking "exit" under "file"

      T785 Certain tool windows close Connection Setup when unnecessary

       

      What’s coming next?

      We’ll do 1 more week of polishing and tweaking the main menu so make sure to report any bugs you find on our bug tracker Phabricator. After that it’s another week of the usual bug fixing to prepare for the next big step.

       

       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ the Schine Team