Earth has been destroyed, and humanity must find a way to survive. Star Explorers is the interstellar dungeon crawler. It attempts to capture the vastness, loneliness and desolation of space exploration. Land on planets, explore the surface as well as cave systems, ancient ruins and more on your quest to find a new home for the human race.
"...See, the galaxy Schmidt has created here isn't cruel. "Cruel" implies that it cares. And this galaxy is terribly, terribly uncaring..." - MagFlare – Steam User
"...This game, at its core, is about exploration, and it scratches my space exploration itch in a way that no game has since I played Starflight as a kid..." - battlescar2014 – Steam User
Planets are formed randomly, but their conditions are based on somewhat scientific factors. The size and temperature of the star they orbit, their distance from that star, the type of surface, atmosphere, and liquids present (or not) determine how a planet will look once landed on. Players will be able to land, depart and return to planets, exploring their surfaces as well as underground cave systems repeatedly, while keeping the same features intact on each visit.
Fuel, ammunition and oxygen will all have to be carefully managed if the player wants to survive the long search for an earth-like planet. While many planets will be too hot or cold, or without an atmosphere, there are also worlds of liquid methane, ammonia, sulphuric acid and more, that have developed their own unique evolutionary cycles. Each kind of alien plant, tree or animal is pieced together randomly, making for a unique experience for each player.
The Star Explorers universe is not a friendly one though, it can be cruel and indifferent to the struggles of its inhabitants. If you're not careful, you might land on a planet that's just too hot, or too cold, or enveloped in a cloud of corrosive acid, and not live to tell about it. Upgrading your space suit will unlock these otherwise impossible worlds to further exploration.
Exploration will allow the player to discover many things, including tools and resources that will help in further exploration. Among these are raw materials, weapons, armor upgrades and blueprints that allow you to craft helpful items. Armor upgrades will increase your space suit's resistance to heat, cold and other environmental hazards. Some weapons allow you to access areas that may be closed off to less experienced adventurers.
Star Explorers may be the first interstellar dungeon crawler. Traversing the dark, hidden places and caves is necessary to find the resources required to complete the game. Discover the crumbling remains of an ancient culture and learn the secrets of its mysterious people. In Star Explorers, exploration and investigation are rewarded with special items and locations that many players may never find. If you are someone who likes to look around every corner, then this is the game for you.
Almost everything in Star Explorers is produced generatively. From the locations of stars and nebulae, to the surfaces of planets and their features, every location is different, and every play-through offers unique challenges. Even the music heard in game is generated in real time, and is based purely on the parameters of the player's environment. Each planet, cave and other location has a unique sound-track.
Star Explorers has a number of visual options you may choose from. Among them is the “Old-School Pixel Shader” which offers a unique, low-resolution experience. The graphics are not really at pace with newer games, but real-time shadows, bloom and a smoothing shader are also available for those who enjoy a slightly more contemporary feel. You also have control of your field of view, mouse sensitivity and game/music volume, along with options that may help the game run more smoothly on older hardware. See the manual for full documentation.
After a year of Early Access, Star Explorers has arrived at a point where I feel it matches my original design document. Fulfilling my promise to have it completed in a year was important to me, but that does not mean I am finished working on it. I have many other ideas I may choose to add to the game's content. Chief among these are the following:
At some point in the future, I may begin work on these new features. The timing and consistency of these potential future updates will depend largely on how well the game is received by its audience. The more I hear from players, the more likely I will stay motivated to continue on this project.
UPDATE: The problem described in this article has been fixed as of 8:00 pm, November 4th 2018. I am leaving it here for its informational value.
UPDATE 2: If anyone else is experiencing this problem, the solution is fairly simple. First, log a support ticket with the Steamworks Support. Secondly, send a tweet to Twitter.com ... he has been fixing the issue for all the developers who have encountered this issue.
As of November 3rd, 2018, you can no longer purchase my game Star Explorers from the Steam store. This was not my decision, it actually sold quite well during the Halloween Sale, but somehow Steam has disabled the buy button ever since.
I have contacted Steam support and logged a ticket to help resolve the problem. Hopefully, the issue will be resolved soon. However, so far, I have not heard anything back from them.
Some customers have approached me outside of Steam in order to see if they can get the game directly from me. I am advising patience for now. I'm sure it's just a temporary glitch. However, if the problem persists, I may have to consider this option.
As an alternative, the game is also currently available on itch.io at this link: Schmidt-workshops.itch.io
This version of the game does not support Steam Achievements though, and many players prefer to have those.
This comes at a critical time, as I am in the process of a major update to the gameplay and user interface. I am also updating and refining the marketing and branding of the game, to help prospective players get a better idea of what to expect if they purchase it. Instead of the tagline "Worlds of trial and discovery," which sounds nice but doesn't really tell you much about the game, I am using "The interstellar dungeon crawler." This shows that it's a game set in outer space, but that the gameplay has an emphasis on exploring planet surfaces, underground caverns and ancient ruins.
Here is the new image I'm using. It is not as elegant, but I think it provides a lot more information about what to expect in the game.
I am still working on this, and marketing was never my strongest point, so I am always open to feedback.
The biggest new feature to the game is the inclusion of alien spaceships that one can encounter in outer space. They may be hostile or friendly, just like aliens you meet on planet surfaces. Moreover, you will be able to fight them (if necessary), and board them in order to explore their interiors.
Here is a very quick preview of an outer space dogfight (still under development)...
Waiting on Steam
For now, I will just have to be patient and hope that Steam has time to attend to my request. Steam has always been a great platform for selling games. I don't think anyone would even know about my games if it weren't for Steam. However, this is a frightening indication of just how much I and other indie developers rely on them.
So, to answer the question: Why you can't buy my game on Steam anymore ... I don't actually know the answer. Hopefully things will be resolved soon, or Star Explorers may die a slow and painful death. My other games, Rocket Blasters and Anomalies do not seem to be effected by this problem.
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