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|Protectoratehallcurtain2 +||These curtains are so soft! I could sleep right here, leaning up against them. +|
|Protectoratehalllight +||A perfectly ordinary spotlight. +|
|Protectoratehologlobe +||Funky ball lamp! That's what I call it. +|
|Protectoratehulagirl +||Aloha! +|
|Protectorateincap1 +||I'm so sorry... +|
|Protectorateincap2 +||I'm so sorry... +|
|Protectorateincap3 +||I'm so sorry... +|
|Protectorateincap4 +||I'm so sorry... +|
|Protectorateincap5 +||I'm so sorry... +|
|Protectorateincap6 +||I'm so sorry... +|
|Protectorateinfobooth +||The info booth lady always has a useful tip. +|
|Protectoratelavalamp +||Reminds me of a bad dream I once had. +|
|Protectoratelight +||A broken light that flickers faintly. +|
|Protectoratelightrays +||Ah sol, there's nothing quite like it. +|
|Protectoratelobbybin +||A bin. Exciting! Not. +|
|Protectoratelobbychair +||Anyone looks cool sitting in this chair. +|
|Protectoratelobbylockers +||These lockers are locked. +|
|Protectoratelobbylockers2 +||My locker, where I keep all of my textbooks and pictures of bands. +|
|Protectoratelobbyplant +||A nice plant. It looks... Planty. +|
|Protectoratelobbyracebanners +||Six banners. Each represents a different race. +|
|Protectoratelobbytable +||This is a cool table! I feel cool standing next to it. +|
|Protectoratelobbytv +||It's a news program, but the volume is down. +|
|Protectoratelobbyvending +||Oh man. I've drunk way too many of these energy drinks. +|
|Protectoratemanipulator +||Soon I'll have my own Matter Manipulator! I'm excited. +|
|Protectorateportrait1 +||The first Grand Protector! He looks exactly like you'd expect. +|
|Protectorateportrait2 +||I like the look of this old Grand Protector. It looks like she was friendly. +|
|Protectorateportrait3 +||The first non-human Grand Protector. I'm sure they must have been very wise. +|
|Protectorateportrait4 +||This Grand Protector looks old, but has the friendly spark of a younger man. +|
|Protectorateportrait5 +||This Grand Protector looked like she would have had a constant supply of milk and cookies. +|
|Protectorateposter1 +||This poster features the Matter Manipulator, prized multi-tool of the Protectorate. +|
|Protectorateposter2 +||Ah, this old movie. Classic. +|
|Protectorateradio +||Ah, my radio! It's good for background noise. +|
|Protectoraterobe +||An old fashioned robe used by Grand Protectors a long time ago. +|
|Protectorateroofdetail01 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectorateroofdetail02 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectorateroofdetail03 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectorateroofdetail04 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectorateroofdetail05 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectoraterooftopprop1 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectoraterooftopprop2 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectoraterooftopprop3 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectoraterooftopprop4 +||I think it's a vent. But who cares? +|
|Protectoraterope +||It's a red ribbon. +|
|Protectoratesecuritystation +||A security station. I don't have time for this. +|
|Protectorateship +||Just as I hoped! This ship is my way out of here. +|
|Protectoratesmokegen +||Smoke +|
|Protectoratesmokeprimer +||This smoke must be coming from somewhere. +|
|Protectoratestorage1 +||These pods get launched into space to colonise worlds. They can sometimes malfunction though. +|
|Protectoratestorage2 +||These pods get launched into space to colonise worlds. They can sometimes malfunction though. +|
|Protectoratestorage3 +||I can see some pod chests in this rack. They're usually full of supplies! +|
|Protectoratestorage4 +||These breakable capsules are a life saver when you're in need of some exploring supplies. +|
|Protectoratestorage5 +||These breakable capsules are a life saver when you're in need of some exploring supplies. +|
|Protectoratestorage6 +||These breakable capsules are a life saver when you're in need of some exploring supplies. +|
|Protectoratestorageempty +||An industrial looking storage unit. +|
|Protectoratewallbanner +||A big bright Protectorate banner! I wish I could fit one in my dorm. +|
|Protectoratewastebin +||Someone should empty this waste bin... I'll do it later! +|
|Protectoratewaterdispenser +||Good old H2O. +|
|Protectoratewatertank +||This water tank is bust! The water must've leaked through the roof into the room below. +|
|Protectoratewindbanner +||A big bright Protectorate banner! I wish I could fit one in my dorm. +|
|Protectoratewindbanner2 +||A big bright Protectorate banner! I wish I could fit one in my dorm. +|
|Protectoratewindbanner3 +||A big bright Protectorate banner! I wish I could fit one in my dorm. +|
|Proximitysensor +||A proximity sensor. +|
|Proximitywallsensor +||A proximity sensor. +|
|Pumpsign +||A very useful sign. +|
|Purplegumdrop1 +||Sweets! Yes! +|
|Purplegumdrop2 +||Sweets! Yes! +|
|Pussplumseed +||Apparently these taste great... For some reason, I'm hesitant to find out. +|
|Quillandink +||I'd take a ballpoint pen over a quill any day. +|
|Railcraftingtable +||I can craft rails here! Perfect for getting around. And around, and around. +|
|Rainbowbed +||A wonderful, colourful bed. I can't wait to sleep here. +|
|Rainbowchair +||What an awesome chair! +|
|Rainbowchest +||I hope there's a pot of gold inside. +|
|Rainbowdoor +||This door is just begging to be opened. +|
|Rainbowpainting +||Wow, wow, oh my god. Look at that painting of a rainbow. +|
|Rainbowtable +||I can't wait to eat at this table. +|
|Rainbowunicornstatue +||A unicorn statue. I always wanted a pet unicorn. +|
|Rainbowwoodbed +||Waking up under a rainbow would be fun, I think. +|
|Rainbowwoodchair +||A neat looking chair. +|
|Rainbowwooddoor +||A rainbow door. +|
|Rainbowwoodsafe +||This red chest looks alarming... or exciting? +|
|Rainbowwoodtable +||This wood looks great whatever form it's in. +|
|Randomfountain +||I wish I had some washing up liquid to pour in. +|
|Recreationalvehicle +||Some ancient broken down vehicle, it's pretty much junk. +|
|Redalert +||Uh oh, what's does that mean? +|
|Redball +||Gotta be careful not to smash this bauble. +|
|Redcandycane1 +||It looks like a real candy cane. Should I try eating it? +|
|Redcandycane2 +||It looks like a real candy cane. Should I try eating it? +|
|Redcandycane3 +||It looks like a real candy cane. Should I try eating it? +|
|Reddangersign +||A little danger never hurt anyone. +|
|Redflask +||This smells like orange cola. +|
|Redgumdrop1 +||Sweets! Yes! +|
|Redgumdrop2 +||Sweets! Yes! +|
|Redlight +||A moody red light. +|
|RedlightBroken +||This light's on the blink. +|
|Reedbed +||It's a jungle-themed bed. Or... is it genuinely made of wood and reeds? +|
|Reedchair +||It's not a very comfortable chair, but it does look cool. +|
|Reedchest +||There's some good weaving going on here. +|
|Reedclock +||A cute clock, shame about the monotonous ticking. +|
|Reeddesk +||It's a wooden desk with reed drawers. +|
|Reeddoor +||A door made of wood and reeds. +|
|Reedlamp +||It looks like a reed, but it's actually a lamp. +|
|Reedseed1 +||Reeds. +|
|Reedseed2 +||Reeds. +|
|Reedseed3 +||Reeds. +|
|Reedseed4 +||Reeds. +|
|Reedseed5 +||Reeds. +|
|Reedshelf +||There's a book here called 'Ruminations During a Crisis'. I'll leave it - someone else may need it. +|
|Reefpodseed +||A reefpod is sweet, salty and crunchy. Reminds me of popcorn. +|
|Referencegenerator +||-todo- +|
|Refinery +||It prints money! Sort of... +|
|Repairo +||Good old Rob Repairo. He's got a cheerful face, and he fixes things! +|
|Researchstation +||I can craft specialised items here! +|
|Retroscifibed +||This bed is as retro as it gets. +|
|Retroscificabinet +||A cabinet with a distinct curve. +|
|Retroscifichair +||I've always wanted a hovering chair shaped like an egg. +|
|Retroscifidresser +||A dresser so unfashionable it's fashionable. +|
|Retroscifilight +||A spotlight fit for any modern dwelling. +|
|Retroscifitable +||This table looks like it could tip over any minute now. +|
|Retroscifitv +||Finally, a TV that looks as out of date as the medium itself. +|
|Returnconsole +||The gate control panel. It must be as old as the gate. +|
|Returnoutpostteleporter +||A handy link to the Outpost. +|
|Riceseed +||Rice. Good for when you're hungry and want to eat thousands of something. +|
|Robot +||All the other robots I've met have been mostly friendly, I bet this is too! +|
|Robothenegg +||It's a robot hen egg! I think robot chicks may be even cuter than normal ones. +|
|Roboticcraftingtable +||A robot table! The revolution begins! +|
|Roofvent +||A vent for the roof, I bet a few people have tried getting inside. +|
|Root1 +||These roots look like brown tentacles. +|
|Root10 +||These roots look like brown tentacles. +|
|Root2 +||These roots look like brown tentacles. +|
|Root3 +||These roots look like brown tentacles. +|
|Root4 +||These roots look like brown tentacles. +|
|Root5 +||These roots look like brown tentacles. +|
It came to me that I needed a workshop or the sort, where I could put all the vanilla crafting stations in one little area. Then again, I did not want to simply lump all those stations together in a single room. Those kinds of rooms are so boring to look at. I needed to hit a balance between aesthetics and function. I also decided a big room on a station would do the trick. Introducing the Grand Tech Workshop! (However grand it might actually be...) So. This little blocky sphere includes (first left side, then right): - a fashion corner (fabrics). It has a few sewing machines and looms for your inner Edna to let loose. There are mannequinns spread across the show floor where all the best of the batch can be displayed. - a mechatronics lab (wiring), fitted with facilities to build and every kind of electronic gadget you can imagine. If you're feeling like a mad scientist, you can animate your personal electric zombie or murder machine in the capsule (teleporter). If you're not feeling super mad yet, you can also safely seal your glorious creation in the capsule and test it for 30 years before unleashing it on the unsuspecting world. - a little medical station, - for your most unexpected incidents. - a studio for inventors, engineers or architects, - you name it! It contains a little reference library for moments when inspiration does not hit you. - a security room. You can never be too safe or far from the protection of the Minipax. - a room with a downsized reactor (smelting ores). It powers the rest of the workshop. To adjust for temperature, two AC units are conveniently placed next to the reactor. And no, the sphere does not contain a computer. - a general workshop for your... umm... workshop needs. Just know that trimming armour isn't free here. - a rail manufacturing and storage hall. - a warehouse. ---///--- Boy, did decorating this little station sphere take a lot of planning and thinking! I initially thought that a couple hours of working would get it done, but nah. I can't even estimate how much time I've invested into this. 30 hours +- 10 hours? +- 20 hours? Impossible to tell. Big props to everybody out there who have done way more detailed builds than this! Technically I don't have every single crafting station there is in the vanilla game, as of 1.3. It's missing things like the pet station, kitchen counter, fossil station etc. I've got plans for a station cafeteria and museum. Maybe a zoo or the sort would be nice too, I'm not sure about that yet. #starbound_build#starbound
A description of tropes appearing in Starbound. Crafting and upgrading it allows you to, in order, breathe on airless moons, shield .. except they're cloned in a capsule full of liquid and injected with the serum that turns them . The Snugget (Novakid racial pet) is a small bunny-like animal that's also made of star matter.
Special to Game Losers by B. Pearlstein
About a month ago, I bought Starbound in its beta stage through Steam Early Access. It’s a game that’s been called a Terraria clone, not at all unreasonably: you explore procedurally generated 2D worlds, collect materials, and use them to craft survival gear and build shelters. The central thematic difference is that Starbound’s narrative and aesthetics are distinctly sci-fi, with players traveling from planet to planet. I haven’t played Terraria, so I went into Starbound with an interest in the premise but no idea of whether or not I’d enjoy the gameplay.
It turned out that I did, probably more than was good for me. On several occasions, I tried to play “a little” Starbound at night, and stayed up until morning. I’ve explored the mod forum and downloaded a few mods, giving me a wider range of planet types and craftable objects, but that was after I was already thoroughly hooked.
One evening, though, after I had played about 35 hours of Starbound, I realized I wasn’t really feeling excited or entertained. There’s a turning point that occurs for me, and I suspect for others, after I’ve played a game I love for a long enough period of time. The gameplay I used to find so compelling begins to feel like going through the motions in a joyless series of chores. The only way I’ve ever found to reverse this is to put the game aside and return to it months or even years later, when I’m no longer jaded to it. This is a big problem with games that are designed to be played daily, like the Animal Crossing series or virtual pet websites, because the player is punished for inactivity with negative consequences in the game world. The longer you go without playing, the worse things will be when you decide to play again – which can discourage players from returning at all.
The gameplay genuinely is repetitive, owing to the fact that the player is encouraged to spend a very large amount of time hunting and mining. Like Terraria and Minecraft, Starbound places heavy emphasis on mining the land for mineral resources, depleting them, and moving on to repeat this in a new area. Manifest destiny. Starbound takes this a step further: you can essentially empty out whole planets, and this is presented by the gameplay as an effective strategy. The backstory provided for the human race in Starbound states that the nations of Earth went to war over the limited resources in their solar system, which almost feels like a sneaky criticism of the game’s structural principles. But then the problem was made irrelevant by a giant space tentacle hitting Earth until it blew up. Oh, well.
Narrative seems to be the one aspect of worldbuilding that Starbound has developed least. I noticed my boredom while I was playing as the first of three characters I’ve created, Doreidia, who belongs to the Floran race. Florans are carnivorous plant people with a culture that feels uncomfortably close to the stereotype of “savage” tribal warriors, which is not only problematic but also uninterestingly simplistic. At least the fact that they have the technology for space travel is a change from the stereotype, although they mainly travel through space for the purpose of killing and eating as many different creatures as possible.
Doreidia’s home planet – not the Floran homeworld, but a randomly-generated planet I built a fairly nice shelter on and set as home in the ship’s navigation system – is one of many variations of Starbound’s forest biome. In this particular variation, brains hang on the trees’ branches like grapefruit, and the background parallax image shows an endless forest of giant green brains with no trees attached. Glowing embers fall instead of rain, creating small, brief wildfires on a daily basis. Despite all of this, it’s one of the more hospitable planets.
On this occasion, I was away from my home base, on another planet in the same solar system. This one was covered in snow, ice, pools of toxic green “water,” and many types of strange creatures, most of which were vicious. I had traveled there because I needed to mine coal and ores.
Why, though? I suddenly wondered. I had taken it for granted that I needed to mine coal and ores, because that’s what you do. Exploring planets in Starbound, which had kept me entertained for many late nights over the past few weeks, had begun to feel like work.
For whatever reason (optimism? stubborness? the kind of compulsive behavior that playing games can cultivate?), I continued my tedious task. I set out from my makeshift shelter to head as far as I could in one direction, stopping to dig up any ore I saw or explore any cave entrances I ran across. Stepping into a cave is always scary for me, because the darkness underground means you never know what’s going to happen. Hostile alien creatures can leap out from any direction, and frequently do. You can fall into a puddle of poison goo – or even worse, into a deeper pit, sustaining fall damage and finding yourself lost in total darkness. Starbound is by no means a horror game, but I am, by all means, a frightened baby rabbit, so navigating a dark cave with the constant threat of monsters jumping out at me is something I find stressful. This was not helping with my lack of enthusiasm.
My latest cave entrance exploration was taking me a little deeper down than usual. It was a pretty cave, as alien death-caves go, due to the blue crystalline ice that made up most of its walls, but that was no different from this planet’s shallower tunnels. I dug pathways through tight spaces, drained or covered up toxic puddles, opened a few capsules full of pixels (in Starbound, loose pixels serve as both crafting material and currency), and claimed all the ore I could find. I kept expecting to hit solid stone with no ore embedded in it, just as I always did, and return to the surface, just as I always did. But the tunnels kept going.
My surroundings started to change. At some point, while I must have been focused on digging, the ice walls transitioned from standard blue to surreal purple. What got my attention immediately was the water – real, non-toxic water, crystal-clear and almost certainly cold enough to be unpleasant for an adventurer who hadn’t come prepared with snow gear. This was new and interesting, I thought. It turned out to be just the beginning.
Caves in Starbound are generally not very expansive; they can descend far underground, but in the form of narrow passages between small caverns, rarely bigger in comparison to your character than a small house. I had unconsciously formed the assumption that no matter how deep the cave I was in would go, it would never get substantially wider.
After wading through several pools of underground spring water, I emerged in… what was it? A cavern, but evidently on the large side. I put a torch on the wall; it seemed to illuminate only a very small portion of the space I was in. Using blocks of ice I had collected while digging, I made a platform to jump out onto so that I could get a better look. The cavern continued on, dark and empty and seemingly endless. I made more platforms to jump across – I was creating and playing a platformer, I thought, baffled but amused – and left more torches on the walls.
I was in an enormous subterranean space. Once, when I was a kid, I took a tour of a system of caverns, and their size alone was awe-inspiring. Somehow, this is exactly how I felt in this fictional, two-dimensional ice cave: like I was a tiny speck come face-to-face with the power of nature. I am fully aware that that’s one of the dorkiest statements I’ve ever made, but that doesn’t make it any less sincere.
Any moment now, I kept thinking, a monster would come lunging out me, ending my experience of wonderment. It didn’t happen. I saw an alien creature that looked hostile, but when I approached it, my axe raised, it didn’t attack. This happened two more times, in a row, all with different kinds of creatures. Most aliens in Starbound will attack players on sight. This was some weird accident of the random generation system, but its surrealness felt perfectly in tune with the immense, violet-colored, crystalline cave.
I went further down, opening the pixel capsules that now appeared in comically large amounts, sticking out of cliffs and lining deep pools. I saw more things I’d never seen before: exciting new environmental hazards, in the form of sharp, unnatural-looking spikes dangling overhead and poison-thorned vines in coiled clusters underfoot. I tried to destroy them by hitting them with my axe, which had no effect, before I figured out that they could only be removed with the matter manipulator, Starbound’s all-purpose terrain-shaping tool. Whoops. There’s a saying that a man with a hammer treats every problem like a nail; I wondered when I had started treating everything in the game like a fight.
Pickaxe and matter manipulator in hand, I kept tunneling away. Altering the landscape to make it more suited to your needs is pretty much outright necessary in games of the, uh, mine-and-craft genre. It’s another aspect of the implicit imperialist/colonialist values in these types of games, but I had always taken it for granted as the way things had to be. Now, while traveling even further down into the cave, I realized I wanted not only to explore the beautiful space I was in, but also to leave as much of it as I could intact. At one point I had to drain water from a good-sized crystalline pool, and I felt a little slap of sadness. I made sure at least some of the water poured down into a basin of ice beneath the original pool, trying to at least imitate its structure. Once again, my sense of awe at the beauty of nature had somehow extended to procedural generation coding.
Below the huge halls of purple ice, there was a slightly smaller chamber, still very large, made of dark green dirt and rockslide-prone gravel. There were also traces of what appeared to be masonry. I squeezed through some of the smaller passageways and found much more of this brick-like material, which the game text informed me was “soft brick,” a description that I think raises more questions than it answers. The brick-paved areas of these small side tunnels were lined with tiny lights, like streetlights, that burst into pixels when hit with any tool.
At the end of a path of these streetlights, I found a miniature house. What? What was this? It looked like a plastic dollhouse, but that didn’t occur to me until later, because my first thought was that there were gnomes dwelling deep beneath the planet’s surface. Pressing the key used to interact with objects did nothing. Attempting to inspect the house only resulted in my character telling a Floran knock-knock joke.
I looked around more and found more houses, but no sign of any inhabitants. Was this an ancient gnome city, buried over time by the weather? Had gnomes been here very recently? Was it them who put the spikes in the ceilings, to ward off intruders? I found tiny houses at the bottoms of underground lakes, their streetlights dimly glowing; I saw a tiny house in a hollowed-out area of brick and dirt, completely cut off from the tunnels. I saw a tiny house with a white picket fence.
I finally gave in to my curiosity and used my matter manipulator to try to pick one of the houses up, so that I could see its name and description in my inventory. It couldn’t be done – the house broke apart, leaving pixels for my character to take. That was probably supposed to be seen as a good thing. I was well-equipped to obtain pixels, ores, and other items that the gameplay designated as valuable, but I had no tools that would help me study this strange world.
There isn’t anything in the game display to show you the passage of time while you’re underground, but I think I must have been down in that cave system for an in-game week. I can pretty safely estimate it was about two hours of real time. I knew that the deeper I went, the harder it would be for me to find my way back to the surface, but if I left this cave, how would I ever find these wonderful little corners of it again? As I tunnelled, I dug up all the ore I came across, but my compulsion to collect items wasn’t the driving force anymore. I wanted to keep going.
Eventually, I fell a long way down into a wide, dark area, where I took heavy fall damage and was attacked by hostile creatures ready to finish the job. Much like Earth’s problem of finite resources, my problem of returning to the surface was solved through complete annihilation. After the oddly charming Floran respawn animation (shown with the other races’ equivalents here), I was back on my spaceship. The consequences of dying in Starbound can be adjusted during character creation, but at minimum, death results in the loss of about 30 percent of your collected pixels. I could see that I had lost a substantial number. It didn’t feel like a big loss.
What I was driven by on this expedition was my desire to explore. Starbound encourages exploration, in theory, but its gameplay more strongly encourages mining for resources. This can make exploration seem like a byproduct of material-gathering, rather than something to be enjoyed for its own sake. Without my noticing, my attention had shifted entirely to the game mechanics, and my enthusiasm had waned.
My experience was by no means a universal one. “Fun” is totally subjective: what’s fun for me could be boring or stressful for you, and vice versa. Players enjoy different activities, from mining to fighting monsters to building elaborate space-mansions. I found out that I really like taking in the game’s visuals, and constructing narratives where they feel absent or incomplete. I’ve made up a lot of details about Floran culture. What does it mean when a game’s poor worldbuilding both irritates me and inspires me to make it better?
Starbound bills itself as an open world, a sandbox, something you can play with however you like. Despite that ideal, though, the gameplay itself prioritizes and rewards some types of activity more than others. Maybe that’s unavoidable, since games can only contain a finite number of possible actions. What I think Starbound’s design really gets right is that even with its prescribed goal of winning wealth and glory, there’s still room for players to decide what kind of game they want to play. There’s an infinite universe out there, all yours to conquer if you choose – and when I realized I’d rather just travel it as a sightseer, I discovered I could choose to do that, too.
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The pet retailer where she obtained him from – extraordinarily clueless and with little or no real interest However one among our first actions was to make an appointment with a bun-savvy vet who Starbound Petspossums and take it to the Pet Shop in one of many cities and use it at the Pet Capsule Vending Machine.
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