Starbound Balancing Depth with Simplicity

Starbound might be filled with various detailed systems, but that doesn’t stop it from being open to new players.

In order to give players the ability to create and populate entire 2D worlds, Starbound has to have deep, detailed tools. You can’t just hand the user a pickaxe and hope for the best, but it’s also important to keep the movement-to-moment action simple enough for newcomers to quickly grasp. It’s a true balancing act, but one that developer Chucklefish believes it has under control with Starbound.

“We’ve done a lot to try and keep our various UI elements as simple and easy to understand as possible,” community manager Molly Caroll said in an interview with Gameranx. “You’ll start out with a set of recipes and unlock more as your equipment advances, or by finding blueprints while you’re out exploring.

“Hovering over objects in the crafting window will show you what materials you need to make them, and you can search for recipes or filter them by category. Pretty clean and simple.”

That doesn’t mean that the team never worries about making the game too complex. That fear has always been a consideration when implementing any new features.

“It’s a big game and making sure all of the elements work well together can be a challenge, but we try to keep things as simple and cohesive as we can,” she said.

Expect to see a Steam beta for Starbound by the end of the year, with the final game coming to PC, PS4, and Vita sometime next year.