[Story & Gameplay] Huge Suggestions (detailed w/ pictures 'n all)

Discussion in 'Other' started by ZoumeyZ, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. ZoumeyZ

    ZoumeyZ Void-Bound Voyager

    I stopped playing Starbound soon after it was first released, and only started playing again recently, and what Chucklefish managed gave me hope, i really thought this game could never become what i wanted it to be (and i was wrong !).

    However , i still believe major changes are needed, and that's why i'm here : to put forth my suggestions, and oh boy do i have suggestions.
    I will list them in 3 different categories : STORY ; GAMEPLAY and ITEMS


    So far, Starbound's "story" mode has a dire need to be fleshed out : you start in a broken ship, and you get some logs only a few player will read. a bit of a tutorial for the first hour, and that's it. now , don't get me wrong , i'm no developper and what Chucklefish made will be forever out of my reach, but either
    go big or go home.

    PART 1 : before the game starts (new menu screen)

    Before the game actually starts, just after the character creation phase is over, you'll get a few options to choose from :

    FACTION will allow you to pledge alliegance to a single faction (or you can choose to stay neutral) i will explain in the gameplay section why this would be cool (it's not something that is absolutely needed but it would add depth)
    you can choose from a lot of different factions (some are locked depending on your race, you can't be friends with a Floran faction that is hostile to Hylotl if you're a spacefish , for instance)

    CREW will let you modify your crew (not indepth : you choose the race and the sex of 3-4 person)
    now , i said this screen should be AFTER the character creation for a reason : if you're online , you can invite a friend to your crew and therefore , you can play the intro with your friends. a crew is under an unique faction ! if your friend and you don't have the same faction ,you can't be part of the same crew.

    i know this might be impossible but it would be really nice if, if two player started together in crew mode, only one ship was made and shared for them. for all intent and purpose ,they would be considered a single player : they'd have the same quest etc....

    PART 2 : not there yet (animated intro)
    After the player is done with the crew and faction menu , a small animated intro should be played. just enough to know what/who the player is and where he is from (if you picked USCM for instance , it shows in the intro you were in the USCM, and how your ship got destroyed etc).

    PART 3 : first contact
    Now, i'm going to be honest here , i don't know what to do here. there are two clear path that could be taken :
    EITHER your start the intro sequence in a different ship than yours (i'll explain it briefly) OR you start in your broken ship as always. i'll explain my ideas with the current "your ship is broken" :

    everyone died when one of the pet you got onboard started murdering everyone. you threw it out through the airlock but you soon realised it made larvas
    one of your collegue got out of the spaceship in time through an escape pod, the other died (not your friends) you drifted around the planet for a long time before waking up and got hit by loads of asteroids since defenses were down (no pilots , no AI or anything)
    most of your ship is full with debris and skeletons. your pet is no longer here and the story starts with your character near S.A.I.L's console , which need rebooting.

    once rebooted, S.A.I.L tells you to head to the pick your stuff from the locker. there are as much matter manipulator as there are players in the crew.
    FOR THE SAKE OF THE INTRO , YOUR MANIPULATOR IS BROKEN : you can still place block in the usual way but your character (or sail , it doesn't really matter) will explain that while the materialization phase (inventory > real world) works , the dematerialization (real world > inventory ) is broken. however , it acts as a weapon !
    basic attack is a mid range melee attack. alternative fire shoot a plasma ball that destroy blocks. it will be the main way to dig at the beginning of the game.


    this is important for two main reasons : first, why would you even have an old broken sword in your spaceship ? this makes more sense. second, it teaches new players how to use alternative firing ability, and give the user a ranged attack for a short while.

    After getting the Matter Manipulator , a larva will fall from the ceiling and you will have to kill it (not much HP, it's just there for drama / teaching new players how to use weapons )

    PART 4 : Repairing the ship
    After the larva is dead , you have to go back to Sail , which will explain to you it cannot function normally since one of the ship powercore is down. he will ask the player to get the powercore powering the teleporter and put it in the main hub , so your ship can be powered up.

    the player will have to use the alternate firing mod to break debris covering the teleporter room. once inside the room, the player will see the powercore in the wall, pressing E on it will make it pop out. the teleport room lights stop shining and you have to put the powercore in the hub area of your ship. upon doing so , the hub area and cockpit of your ship will lights up , and S.A.I.L will tell you that more larva could be around, and he needs to cleanse the ship by heating up the hull and powering down light support, he then suggest that you take the remaining escape pod to the planet below , so that you do not die while he destroys the hive.


    once landed , your escape pod will have opened and will now act as a teleporter. you're now stuck on the planet while S.A.I.L is repairing your ship the best it can. S.A.I.L will mention that your escape pod was broken and did not come with the regular communication array.

    PART 5 : Roaming the planet
    the player is now on a randomly generated planet (it may be possible for what i'm suggesting ? idk). somewhere on the surface you will see an unique dungeon (can't be found on other planets) where another pod is crashed. S.A.I.L will tell you it come from your ship, and that the communication array are missing. you will have to follow a trail of blood into a carvern and you'll find one of your crewman with a small antenna underground. (it would be nice if the character made fun of the crewman for sticking an antenna underground and thinking it would work). the character's pet is with the crewman and can be taken back (otherwise it'll return automatically later in the story)

    once you stick the antenna on the surface and activate it , you will hear an FTL engine close and after a quick chat with the pilot, will get teleported to a giant ship that will act as the first hub in the game.

    PART 6 : Damn penguins
    You will be teleported to the HUGE ship teleporter room and be greeted by its captain , and after a quick chat you can explore the station and find your ship docked at the hands of penguins who are repairing it. i always thought of them as some kind of thug so i thought they would do the same old "we're forcing a service on you , now pay us" : they repaired your ship, now you owe them. you will need to do some chores around the ship, that kind of thing, until they let you leave with your ship. you can still enter it through the airlock, though!

    Also , most tutorial mission available at the Outpost will be on this hub, since it's the first one.

    after you gain access to your ship, you will be able to progress the current way : go to the outpost, and start with the mission to get your FTL engine working. (penguins are jerk , they didn't replaced the broken crystals !)
    during one of the mission in the hub, you will have your broken manipulator replaced.

    you may have noticed that you don't need fusion cores anymore : in my opinion they were downright useless.

    What about that other idea ?
    as i said earlier, i'm torn between starting with the player ship and another one. let me explain :
    +makes more sense : you have a crew , you have an alien invasion, and your ship is 3m² at most.
    +is a lot better for scenarisation
    +actually makes the job easier for the dev (they have to make a single big ship, not one for each race.
    +makes sense about the alien invasion : while on a small ship you can see where the larvas are ,on a much bigger ship they can hide so heating up the ship is one of the only solution.

    Beside , very few things needs to be changed : penguins took your ship and are scraping it. they let you keep your S.A.I.L and they are selling you a ship. you own it after a mission.

    what do you think ?

    Starbound's gameplay is top notch, and i really like the small touches like being able to have your character's opinion and thoughts on objects and items. however , the "star" part of "starbound" is still greatly exagerated, or maybe it's the opposite and you spend the majority of your time with stars , and not on the ground : while you discover new planets , most of them have too much similarities, and in the end you just end up teleporting away when they don't have interesting stuff inside.

    to fight this problem, there are two main solutions :
    1 - change the way ships and ships upgrade are handled
    2 - Adding way harsher environemental hazards, and way to deal with them
    3 - Changing the ore generation entirely
    (this will grently extend gametime for almost everyplayer , and it won't make it a chore ! )

    the main problem with starbound (for me at least) is that when i see a planet , i go around it as quick as possible and see what i can find. if there's a dungeon i raid it , otherwise i just leave the planet and go to another, until i find something nice. which makes planets totally useless : most player haul their stuff in their ship and just fly from planet to planet. i believe changing the way ships are handling FTL travel and how they are getting upgraded would make the whole game a lot more balanced for every kind of player

    at some hub in the game, you should be able to buy ships upgrades. not getting them offered like right now , but actually bought.

    right now in the game there are 5 tiers of ships , and each time they upgrade the ship get bigger.
    i believe you should get an option for :

    having a bigger ship with a bigger fuel tank at the cost of more fuel per FTL travel (we're talking 1000s unit of fuel on the biggest ship)
    having a faster ship ( almost instant FTL travel on tier 5) with a very reduced fuel cost.

    this should garantee that players that hoard their stuff on their ship and players that choose to live on a planet get the disadvantages and advantages : you might want to take the faster FTL upgrade at the cost of space , forcing you to settle down, or upgrade your ship to be a massive transport frigate or something.

    beside, it would make fuel an actual enemy of the player ! right now, it's just a problem once in a while , but imagine having to fill the tank of a huge ship with tens of thousands of fuel unit inside !

    TL;DR : either get a big ship which need loads of fuel or a small one which has almost instant FTL drive and doesn't need much fuel.

    Like i said earlier , right now planets have a big problem : they're all samey, what you can find on one planet you can mostly find on others. which mean that players will just get their favourite loadouts and spam FTL travel until they find an USCM facility for instance. and when they do find one on an hostile planet , they just need to get the best implant they have and bam , no more problems.

    this really is a flawed system so, i thought about it and i believe each "hostile" biome / environnement (poisonous atmosphere, etc....) should have multiple solutions in the form of suits. i made a quick list to give you an idea.

    New biome hazards :
    Pressure: depending on how many water is above your character, you'll start taking damage and get crushed to death.
    Void: on airless planets, or in space, you'll die if you don't have the proper outfit
    High Gravity Planets: you'll get crushed to death if you don't wear the correct outfit.

    Biome Hazards and how to deal with them :
    Pressure : Hard Suit /Diver Armor
    Void : Hard Suit / Space Suit / Tight Spandex suit (they actually exist , look up Space Activity Suit)
    High Gravity Planets : ExoSkeleton ? High-tier Armor ? they would make you faster and jump higher in normal gravity planets
    Temperature : EVA Suit...

    you get the idea, for each hazard there is an outfit that is needed, or a vehicle that a player NEEDS to use to survive...
    thoses would make the game a lot more interesting , since you can't just jump at the bottom of oceans now, you have to work to get to your objective.

    All that biome talk may be too hardcore for you, but don't reject the idea yet, you're going to miss the best.

    remember when i said that all the planets were too samey ? well here's the solution, demanding (somewhat) minimal efforts (well not really but yeah) : procedurally generated ores. now i know what you're thinking, but this can be made with a bit of tinkering, and it shouldn't be as hard as it thinks.

    just like in real life, ores are actually made out of a lot of different materials. some gold ore has metal in it etc....
    now if we take this idea and extrapolate it, you get randomly generated ore for each planet (along with a name for it)
    i'll make an exemple first , and explain how everything works afterward.

    you just travelled to a planet , looking for gold. you teleport down to the surface and you immediately find a new kind of ore you've never seen before. that's normal , ore tils are randomly generated (color , texture....)
    you break it, and upon entering your inventory it is named "???". now , like the good miner you are , you always carry your Portable Ore Scanner (if you're a scrub , S.A.I.L has one integred)


    after placing the ore in the slot and pressing Scan , you get this : it's a list of all the basic metals and how much of them your ores contain. the 0,1 and 2 correspond to the equivalant of an ingot you get when melting it.

    after scanning it , your ore gets a name depending on what it is made of (something that sounds scientific). pressing the "rename" button allows you to rename your ore to something new , and after you did so everytime you pick more of that ore, it will be called by the name you set.

    now , you look at your scanner, and you sigh because this ore is exactly what you didn't want : lots of everything except gold. by "smelting" it , you would get 2 pieces of coal , almost one piece of copper , a third of iron , one and a half silver and a 2/3 of gold, and no platinum (the list goes on , you could slide it to include rubinium and all that crap on higher tier)

    you still think it's good enough and mine a bunch of it, and the return to your ship/colony. now, you can't stick that ore in a furnace like we used to, that's too barbaric. we're classy Sci-fi gentlemen, and we need a Material Dissociator (or something) which will take your ore and break it to its most basic component. every ingot is equal to 10 unit of something, so you'll get :
    20 units of coal; 8 units of copper; 3 units of iron; 15 units of silver; 6 units of gold ....
    and then, you'll be able to smelt that !

    now you may tell me that i's incredibly complicated and in the end , completely useless and you're exactly right. but this brings something planets don't have yet : an interest is finding and keeping them : imagine finding a planet where ore you get is a 2/2/2/2 , you would be in miner heaven !

    there are so much parameter you could change around that ! the actual ore density on the planets , the ore level (how much total materials you get out of a single ore) , that kind of stuff. it would bring change.

    beside having your own 2/2/2/2/2/2 ore called Bling-um is baller as fuck

    Here lies the gameplay ideas that don't really fit in any of the other categories

    Ocean biomes
    Ocean biomes need a lot of work. a picture is worth a thousand words :
    notice the 3 house that are owned by inbred hylotl. this is boring , everything is lighted up (even underwater)

    now , the brand new ocean planet , to give you an idea,
    the dark red represent the hylotl cities
    the green line represents the pressure treshold (at this point, you die if you don't have the right suit)
    the red line represents the depth where light no longer shine from the sun OR from the seabed. at this point , the only lights are bioluminescent wildlife or manmade. just imagine being in some kind of mech , walking at - quite literally- the bottom of the ocean, flashing your light everywhere until some kind of eldritch horror starts attacking you.

    i also noticed they always get 2 type of big fish (maybe more but i never got any world that did this to me) that number needs to go UP !


    all throughout this suggestion you may have heard about Airlocks.
    there is something i really like in science fiction and it's E.V.A : going outside your spaceship while it's still in space.
    Airlocks are needed in a ship because, well that's your doorway, and it's even mentionned in logs. and i believe adding them would only make your ship look more lively (maybe more , "full" , so to speak ) and would allow you to get outside on two occasion : while in a HUB where your ship is docked (first hub for instance) or while in an asteroid belt.

    right now, they have gravity, and you teleport to them, i think it would make a lot more sense to have Zero-G implemented into the game (just like how your arms can rotate around your body, your body can rotate around the world), and the control shouldn't be too hard to implement (WASD for a linear movement , Space+A or Space+D to rotate) this would make things a lot funnier , and would make some mission totally wild ! can you imagine fighting on a space station with the gravity turned off ?
    either way, i believe asteroid belts should be worked on a lot since IRL they offer the best way to get metal it seems.

    basically , the thing i have in mind is , you FTL to an asteroid field and your ship is actually in the world (around the asteroids). you can now leave through the airlock, and fly around with a special backpack* to mine the ore and other object of interest (they would have no gravity and fly around ) until you grow bored. you then return to your ship (your compass should point toward it , or something ?) and fly away.


    some broken ships and pirates ship dungeon would be nice, to spice things up. or droids gone crazy, flying around and shooting on sight ? even miners , the possibilities are endless.


    i mentioned escape pods a lot so i'll explain quickly what i mean : for a set amount of money you can buy to your local spaceship-related dealer drop pods. you can only buy two at most. when you see a planet that you'd like to colonize , you can just get in the pod and drop it. doing so will result in a small base being built around the impact zone (totally randomized on the map , not actually where you'd teleport) and by small , i truly mean small : only a few blocks wide , it has a vertical bed you can sleep into , and an antenna sticks on top : that's right , your drop pod is the base.

    it has a teleporter, a bed and an antenna, which upon activating call settlers (a bit like the deed , except they don't give you money) i find this to be really useful for players who'd use the fast and small spaceship : they can easily kickstart a colony since you get a place to teleport and guards who can protect you soon after coming to a planet.

    you could have different escape pods which would be totally used differently. imagine if someone removed them and just placed bombs or something instead , you now have toperdoes. or chest , or something. you could literally ask for support when starving by stuffing food in your escape pod slot and asking S.A.I.L to launch it to you , or something. ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES , I TELL YOU !

    IMO, vehicles in starbound should be a way to play the game, and not a way to complement it. as i said earlier , submarines would be useful because they would be one of the only way to reach the bottom of oceans , for instance.

    here are some sketch of what i'm talking about :[​IMG]

    while the bottom two vehicles ( a mech and a submarine) would be able to sustain the ocean pressures all the way down, the top one (i imagined it to be the equivalant of a hylotl's car) wouldn't be able to do so, but would still be able to travel a lot faster (and still deeper than without a sub at all)

    the mech, which is ripped straight out of Metal Slug , would be made for utility and combat , while the yellow submarine would be made for exploration. and that's what i'm getting at : different vehicles should have different abilities.

    differents vehicles should be able to destroy block for builders , shoot at stuff... and should be available wayyyyyy earlier in the game (the hovercar should be in the player's inventory after 3 hours tops , not more)

    Also, NPCs having vehicles on planet would be incredibly cool but it would be really hard to make "nicely" (where would they come from, where would they go, and how to stop them from glitching out etc...)

    TL;DR : Vehicles should have uses , from exploration to building (or destroying). maybe be race themed ?

    I really wish to know what you think of it, and i'd like to get as much feedback as possible ! i'd also love to hear what the developpers and other staff think about this :)

    if you have something you dislike, or that you did not understand feel free to ask me or PM me or even if you believe you could make one of my suggestions better , feel free to tell me here on to PM me.

    Also , sorry for any bad english you might spot, i'm really tired and "where/were" , "thought/through/though" and that kind of stuff really look too much alike for me to differenciate them.

    Bai bai :lickitung:
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015

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