A Sandbox of Stars

This week was GDC, and wow, what a week it was! I had a chance to demo the latest version of SubLight to a bunch of folks, and nothing beats seeing people play your game in person! If you want to check that version out, it’s currently available for download here.

This release of SubLight includes new features, fixes for bugs, and the beginnings of a new gamemode: sandbox. While I’m driven to create a fleshed out narrative for SubLight, I also want it to be repayable, and more importantly, playable throughout development. As a fan of sandbox games, I love the challenges that come with making a sandbox game. To start, I added some features inspired by Seedship, a great game that you should totally check out and support the creator of on Patreon. This game has always been on the back of my mind as I’ve created SubLight, and anyone that’s played it will see the resemblance. However, I’d love to expand on the core experience of this game, adding visuals, more interactive narratives, and strategy for how the player explores the galaxy.

Hunting for Planets

The biggest addition to the latest SubLight build is the new, core gameplay loop. You’re now searching for a habitable planet to settle on. Every time you move to a new system, there’s a chance of finding a planet to scan. Some planets can be fully scanned, while others need a surface probe sent down to complete the scan. You only start with 10 surface probes, so you have to use them wisely. Some planets will be too difficult to scan completely, even with a surface probe. If this happens, you’ll see NOT SCANNABLE appear in the system readout. Currently, there’s no way to find out what that is without settling the planet, but in future versions I’m going to add a way to upgrade your orbital and surface scanners to find out what these values are.

Check out the video below for more on what this looks like!

Trails

As you explore, a trail is left behind to show where you’ve been. It ends up making some fun looking constellations, and has inspired me to work on showing other ark’s trails in a future update. It could provide an intriguing path for players to follow and investigate.

SubLight Original Soundtrack

Our composer, Ian Earle, has done an awesome job with the latest track for SubLight, check it out!

Trailer Incoming

I spent some time last week on a trailer, I’m really excited to share it with all of you! The visuals are all done, and now I’ve passed it off to Ian so he can do his music magic. More on that in a future post!

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