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Chucklefish responds to allegations it exploited volunteer Starbound developers

Chucklefish has issued a statement in response to multiple allegations that it exploited around a dozen volunteer contributors on the 2016 outer-space exploration game Starbound. The complaints came to light earlier this week when Damon Reece, who is credited as a writer on the game, said on Twitter that they worked "hundreds of hours" without pay on the game, which went on to sell more than 2.5 million copies less than a year after it went into full release. Reece's allegations were supported by at least two others connected to the project: Rho Watson, a graphic artist who worked on Starbound, and Christine Crossley, a concept art who said the same thing. Composer Clark Powell also tweeted to say that they "almost did the audio and music" for Starbound until he was informed that it was an unpaid job. "We're aware and saddened by the current allegations against Chucklefish regarding Starbound's early development," Chucklefish said in a statement. "During this time both the core crew and community contributors were collaborating via a chat room and dedicated their time for free. Community contributors were under no obligation to create content, work to deadlines or put in any particular number of hours. Everyone was credited or remunerated as per their agreement. "It's been almost a decade since Starbound's development first began, and from then Chucklefish has grown considerably into an indie studio that has a strong emphasis on good working practices, providing a welcoming environment for all employees and freelancers. Our doors remain open to any related parties who wish to discuss their concerns with us directly." Reece acknowledged signing a contract, saying that contributors were required to do so if they wanted to work on the game, and that they were further enticed with the promise of possible employment at Chucklefish in the future. They also refuted part of the studio's statement, saying that "deadlines were absolutely in place—if not formal, then definitely heavily implied." "I was a naive newcomer to the industry and my trust was utterly betrayed. There is no moral defense for this," Reece said. "Regardless of any contracts signed, it's massively unethical to allow workers to contribute huge amounts of content for no pay when you, the ostensible leader of the team, are walking away with millions of dollars in personal revenue share. If your game sells over two and a half million copies and your only excuse for not treating people ethically is, 'but the dozens of teenagers whose labor we exploited signed contracts,' you may need to do some soul-searching." Watson, who founded indie studio Igloosoft earlier this year and is now working on an unannounced project, was a paid contractor on Starbound but said they're aware of at least a dozen others who signed contracts to contribute to the game without pay.  "Those who were passionate and wanted to help with the game that wasn't a paid member was given a standard 'contributor contract' and told it was 'industry standard'," they said. "Put simply, it was either sign that contract and get your foot in the door or get out. A few people were happy to donate their time or just wanted to see their work in the game, but for most people who wanted to work their way up to a paid position, they'd be forced to sign that contract and waive any right to compensation." Chucklefish was founded in 2011 by Finn Brice, and has published a handful of notable indie games including Risk of Rain, Stardew Valley, and Timespinner. Starbound was its first in-house developed game; its second, the turn-based strategy game Wargroove, came out this year. Both Reece and Watson singled out Brice as the source of the pressure on volunteers to produce during Starbound's development: Watson described him as "a really smooth talker and excellent at making people assume the best and feel bad for requesting fair deal/compensation," but Reece went even further, saying that "shame is a powerful motivator and Finn Brice is highly adept at using it to manipulate people."


Starbound's long-awaited bounty hunting update is live

Sci-fi survival game Starbound, still one of the best space games on PC, has finally added bounty hunting. First announced way back in September 2017, the 1.4 Bounty Hunter update adds a new Peacekeeper faction aimed at corralling criminals and restoring law and order to the universe. You're their newest recruit. The gangs you're hunting won't be easy to find. You'll have to follow a trail that leads between planets, picking up clues as you go. Each gang has a final hideout where you fight a boss to complete the bounty. There are new story missions linked to the update, and if you follow them you'll rise through the ranks of the Peacekeepers, who have snazzy bases set up around the universe. Along with these story missions for specific gangs, the update adds procedurally-generated bounties and criminal gang "microdungeons" to battle through. Update 1.4 isn't just about bounty hunters, though: it adds rare elemental variants of certain monsters, and you're encouraged to catch them and add them to your Rare Pets collection.  It also introduces plenty of new items including drones, seven new weapons, a mining laser, and eight new armor pieces. You'll find plenty of new furniture, too, much of which is related to the Peacekeepers. The full list of new monster variants, items and furniture can be found in the patch notes. I haven't touched Starbound for years, but this may well draw me back for at least a few hours. Thanks, RPS.


Starbound 1.4: Bounty Hunter Update

Starbound 1.4: Bounty Hunter Update We're excited to announce the release of Starbound 1.4 - the 'Bounty Hunter' update! In this update players can become bounty hunters, seeking out criminal gangs through missions and climb the ranks as they rebuild the Peacekeepers and restore law and order to the universe. There's also new elemental variants of many monsters, which have a rare chance to be encountered - if you see one be sure to capture it! In addition there's a ton of new furniture, objects, weapons, and fun new stuff - including drones, password keypad locks, a laser mining tool, and a sports car! https://youtu.be/cJUh9gjEuOs We've been working on this update for a long time, thanks so much for being patient while we took the time to get it just right! Here's an outline of all the changes; Starbound 1.4: Bounty Hunter Update Bounty Hunting New procedurally-generated quests that see the player travel to worlds and into space, hunting down criminal gangs New Peacekeeper stations for bounty hunters – work your way through promotions and restore law in the universe Take the fight to criminal gangs at their hideouts, including a climatic final mission & boss fight! New quests: Becoming a Peacekeeper, Rookie Assignment, Rising through the Ranks, The Good Fight, Keeping the Peace, Going after the Occasus New generated bounty quests New generated criminal hideout microdungeons New Music Four new music tracks by Starbound composer Curtis Schweitzer Rare Monsters Elemental Monster variants - they are capturable, and earn progress in a new collection. New Collection: Rare Pets collection New monster variants: Fire Gleap, Electric Voltip, Poison Smoglin, Ice Peblit, Albino Poptop, Electric Anglure, Fire Bobot, Poison Bulbop, Electric Capricoat, Ice Crabcano, Electric Crutter, Ice Fennix, Elecrtic Hemogoblin, Ice Hypnare, Fire Lilodon, Poison Mandraflora, Ice Miasmop, Ice Narfin, Fire Oogler, Poison Nutmidge, Ice Orbide, Electric Petricub, Poison Pipkin, Electric Quagmutt, Ice Ringram, Poison Scaveran, Elecrtic Snaunt, Poison Snuffish, Poison Sporgus, Fire Taroni, Fire Toumingo, Poison Trictus, Electric Yokat, Electric Ignome, Fire Lumoth, Poison Pyromantle, Electric Skimbus, Fire Spookit, Fire Squeem, Fire Wisper, Ice Agrobat, Poison Batong, Poison Bobfae, Fire Monopus, Poison Paratail, Fire Pteropod, Cultist Scandroid, Ice Crustoise, Ice Iguarmor, Fire Oculob, Poison Pulpin, Ice Snaggler, Electric Tintic, Fire Gosmet New Furniture Egyptian set: Egyptian Bed, Egyptian Chair, Egyptian Crest, Egyptian Pillar, Egyptian Statuette, Egyptian Table Office set: Office Cabinet, Office Computer, Office Desk, Office Desk Lamp, Office Noticeboard, Office Scanner, Office Server, Office Stapler, Office Table Peacekeeper objects: Peacekeeper Chair, Peacekeeper Computer, Peacekeeper Desk, Peacekeeper Door, Peacekeeper Emblem, Peacekeeper Rusty Emblem, Peacekeeper Furnishings, Peacekeeper Lamp Post, Peacekeeper Mug, Peacekeeper Notes, Peacekeeper Painting, Peacekeeper Tall Poster, Peacekeeper Wide Poster, Peacekeeper Store, Peacekeeper Table, Peacekeeper Vending Machine, Peacekeeper Poster Neon objects: Bounty Board, Neon Hologram, Neon Lamp Post, Neon Magenta Light, Neon Peacekeeper Emblem, Neon Store, Neon Triangle Occasus pieces: Cultist Airlock Door, Cultist Airlock Hatch, Cultist Banner, Cultist Chest Other: Dark Computer, Extractor Drill, Hanging Guardian, Mech Platform New Teleporter: Peacekeeper Teleporter New Wireable Object: Numeric Keypad Other New Additions Drones: Peacekeeper Drone, Mining Drone New Weapons: Neo Magnum, Neo Magnum-E78, Neo Magnum-RX, Neo Magnum-ZZZ, Glue Sprayer, Lazercaster, Stun Grenade New Tool: Mining Laser New Unique Monster: Cosmic Intruder New Mission: The Dantalion New Boss Encounter: The Swansong New Armor: Captain Noble Head, Cultist General Hood, Cultist General Tentacles, Groucho Glasses, Pharaoh Headdress, Sheep Hat, Shirt Top, Peacekeeper Set (Peacekeeper Hat, Peacekeeper Shirt, Peacekeeper Trousers) New Figurines: Cosmic Intruder Figurine, Swansong Figurine New Mech Parts: Neo Laser Mech Arm, Peacekeeper Mech Body New Augments: Peacekeeper I Augment, Peacekeeper II Augment, Peacekeeper III Augment New vehicle: Red Sports Car New world spawn vehicles: Dropship, Mini Tank, Mini UFO, Sportscar, Jeep New object tags: Cultist, Egyptian, Peacekeeper, Office New Tenants: Egyptian, Peacekeeper, Office New blocks: Sloped Glass Panel, Polygon Platform New currency: Peace Credit Changes and fixes Changed the crafting requirements for all mech parts to match materials in the system where the blueprint is found. Changed name of 'T-Rex' fossil pieces to 'T. Rex' Fixed bug where Triplod Figurine was not properly awarding credit to the Collections Library Various lua bindings added Added /setdungeonid command Updated instrument audio position to follow the player Display for gendered armor in tooltips Add hover state to mission/crew/tech interface lists For radial tile brushes, damage tile center instead of tile origin Allow equalsSelf material render rule to also match on hue Add a glow to inventory button when inventory has new items Add a cooldown to ouch noise Remove monster families and variantParameters Allow bursting particle emitters multiple times in the same frame Fix latch object animation bug Only suffocate if mouth position is inside collision geometry Fix energypickaxe animation state Fix projectiles not dealing damage if spawned after the parent projectile has died Minor bugfixes We hope you all enjoy this update, please let us know what you think on Twitter or Discord! We'll also be streaming the update live on our Twitch channel later this afternoon if you'd like a preview! Starbound 1.4: Bounty Hunter Update


Meet the modders determined to add nudity to the least likely games

The contents of this article are not safe for work. I totally get why people jerk off to Skyrim. I'm not trying to be facetious here. From an objective, ontological perspective, I get it. If you're going to spend half a decade playing the same game—furnishing living spaces, brewing potions, brokering peace between the Nords and the Imperium—it makes sense you might also want your character to fuck.  "Other people enjoy an immersive experience but I'm not about that life, I'd rather just look at some boobs." Hearthstone modder Whiskey_And_Cigars This is an emphatically, painstakingly immersive role-playing game with real characters and real emotions. If Bethesda wasn't focused on selling their wares to as broad an audience as possible, there could even be some romantic, Hot Coffee-lite functionality built into Tamriel. Regardless, a truly prolific community of libidinous modders inevitably picked up the slack, constructing mods like " big naturals bodyslide preset " and " Whiterun Brothel Revamped ," which empower the exact sort of fantasies you'd expect. It's a tale as old as time; where there are videogame communities, there are probably sexy mods for those communities. All that being said, the existence of pornographic Hearthstone mods threw me for a loop. Hearthstone is a wonderful game. It's also about the least sexy thing Blizzard has ever made. Yes, there's a small amount of world-building—something about a magical tavern where Warcraft characters play a CCG—but design-wise, it's about as removed as you can possibly get from the complex pageant that makes Bethesda RPGs so ripe for horniness. And yet, the world's thirstiest modders were undeterred. One of the top upvoted posts on the r/LewdGames subreddit (which is the primary bazaar for stuff like this) is called "An In Depth Guide to Lewd Mods For Hearthstone." It's essentially a directory, written by Reddit user Whiskey_And_Cigars, that points us in the direction of Whorestone , which replaces the card-art in base Hearthstone with a set of nude portraits for Jaina, Tyrande, Scarlet Crusader, Nemsy, and pretty much every other female presence in the game. There's also Monster Hunt Additions , which does the same thing for the single-player content added with The Witchwood expansion, and Boards, which simply projects pervy images across the game's battlefield. It’s as if you were playing Hearthstone directly onto a Playboy pinup. r/lewdgames Keen to understand why a largely cartoonish card battler would provoke such feelings of desire in, well, anyone, I decided to speak with the modder in question. Whiskey_And_Cigars said he understood my confusion. He totally recognized why Skyrim, or Fallout, or The Witcher represented more traditional conduits for gamer lust—considering those are all games where you encounter other humanoid beings, instead of digitally rendered hunks of cardboard. As it turned out, there was a simplicity to Whiskey_And_Cigars' doctrine that I couldn't help but appreciate: "While I do play Skyrim with mods, I just really like playing Hearthstone," he explained. "I see that other people enjoy an immersive experience… but I'm not about that life, I'd rather just look at some boobs." "I'd rather just look at some boobs" is the defining aesthetic treatise of the lewd mod revolution—fundamental proof that such a basic desire can apply to just about anything, even the proverbial children's card game. Inevitably, this creative drive for constant titillation is not limited to Hearthstone. Shadowverse, one of the many other digital CCGs bobbing around the Steam marketplace, has attracted its own community of randy reskinners, who convert the already buxom anime girls in the card art into images that leave even less to the imagination. The person responsible for the Uncensored Shadowverse mod tells me he thinks most people use his work for "pinup" purposes. Meaning: they aren't actively whacking it in the middle of a tense match. "I try to keep the art I use in my mods as decent as possible," he says.  A whole galaxy of sex mods I suppose there is some tradition here, when you consider the long history of murky backroom poker games and pool halls, with the walls paneled with torn-out centerfolds, and the cardbacks replaced with a calendar's worth of Playmates of the Month. Still, as I investigated further, the unlikely nude mod scene continued to subvert my expectations. I stumbled across a website called LoversLab , which Steven Messner wrote about in relation to Skyrim previously, and positions itself as a paradise for all sorts of niche porn mods.  A mod that uses the Sexbound modding API. Someone created an API for Starbound, the spacefaring pixel art building sim, called—of course— Sexbound . It "aims to enable creators to quickly and easily create prefab and custom sex interactions in Starbound." Here's a just a snippet of its description: Please, note that the NPCs have been enabled to automatically climax.  If your actors use the pregnant plugin, then you can expect a village's population to grow steadily over time. Remember, you can increase the "trimesterLength" in the core pregnant plugin to slow down population growth since it will take longer for an NPC to give birth. If pixel art doesn't suit your fancy, there are other head scratchers, like a lesbian-oriented rework of Crusader Kings .  The most thrilling and beguiling discovery I found on the site was the shockingly active scene surrounding Paradox's Stellaris. For the uninitiated, Stellaris is a fairly buttoned-up grand strategy game set in the deep recesses of space—you colonize planets, you work your way through serpentine tech trees, you build a Dyson Sphere around a white dwarf and watch as the surrounding solar system dies a silent, frozen death. Safe to say, I have never gotten a boner while playing Stellaris. Which also holds true for Hearthstone, but at least Hearthstone is colorful and playful and doesn't force you to stare at line graphs. An unusually SFW image of Stellaris's sex mod, which includes species traits like "high volume ejaculation" and "aphrodisiac cum." Clearly, dear reader, I was not imaginative enough. I made contact with a mad scientist named TheMan221, who has constructed a mod called "Sexual Gameplay" (seriously), which literally morphs the mechanics of Stellaris into a game of carnal conquest. I just like the combination of sci-fi and porn. TheMan221 In his universe, each of Stellaris' space-faring races are bundled with a few "sexually-themed" traits, which can lead to a number of "interbreeding" events. For example, one trait enables you to lay eggs in the members of an unsuspecting rival clan, thus dropping their population rate. A perfect symbiosis of bizarre teratophiliac fantasy, and tactical gamesmanship. Finally, you can live out your oily intergalactic fantasies in grand strategy form. "I still think a game like Stellaris is immersive, but on a different level. Making lewd mods for it fulfills certain niches that a game like Skyrim cannot, like commanding a civilization of nudists bent on conquering the galaxy (people like me have weird taste,)" said TheMan221, when I asked him why he's captivated by the titillating promise of an empire building sim. "I just like the combination of sci-fi and porn, as well as the larger scale that things are happening ." I'd guess that Blizzard and Paradox aren't stoked that some of their beloved creations have become fuel for the latent libido that courses through the games community, but there's little those publishers can do, as these mods are unsanctioned and stay on the client machine—your Hearthstone opponent will never know you're looking at far more lascivious card art than they are.  There's a depressing but wholly unsurprising dude-ishness in wanting to play Hearthstone with naked ladies, and the mod scene is most definitely a boys' club—as evidenced by the telling lack of male nudity. But it's hard not to laugh at the absurdity of it all, and how brazen their compulsion to see smut at all times appears to be. You have to blow through so many red lights, so many well-intentioned warnings and concerns, to arrive at a Stellaris porn mod. That's a wicked dedication to horniness I can't help but grudgingly respect. Blaze your own oversexed path. Colonize a planet if you must. Just be sure to clean up afterwards.


Daily Deal - Starbound, 40% Off

Today's Deal: Save 40% on Starbound!* Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are! *Offer ends Tuesday at 10AM Pacific Time


1.3.3 Hotfix Patch Notes

Original Post Hey, everyone! Things are busy here as we’re still hard at work on the 1.4 update. A number of players have been encountering a crash bug when switching between weapons of the same type, so we decided to address that with a hotfix update rather than waiting for the next patch. While we’re at it, though, we figured we’d throw in one more useful feature: category tags for Steam Workshop mods! The mod uploader tool now allows you to select one or more tags for your mod, and these can be used to filter searches in the Workshop. Hopefully this will make it a bit easier to sort through the amazing variety of available mods! On the development side of things, we’ve been focusing on exciting events for you to encounter in pursuit of your bounty targets. You didn’t think it was going to be simple, did you? (CLICK FOR GIF) In this example, your investigation is stymied by a code-locked door with your target tantalizingly out of reach. You’ll need to use clever social engineering to obtain the code from an unwary underling in order to progress. We’re very excited about the procedural possibilities for this patch, and hope you are too. If you’ve got ideas for cool or silly things you’d expect to encounter on a bounty hunt, let us know in the comments. Until next time!


1.3.3 Hotfix Patch Notes

Original Post Hey, everyone! Things are busy here as we’re still hard at work on the 1.4 update. A number of players have been encountering a crash bug when switching between weapons of the same type, so we decided to address that with a hotfix update rather than waiting for the next patch. While we’re at it, though, we figured we’d throw in one more useful feature: category tags for Steam Workshop mods! The mod uploader tool now allows you to select one or more tags for your mod, and these can be used to filter searches in the Workshop. Hopefully this will make it a bit easier to sort through the amazing variety of available mods! On the development side of things, we’ve been focusing on exciting events for you to encounter in pursuit of your bounty targets. You didn’t think it was going to be simple, did you? (CLICK FOR GIF) In this example, your investigation is stymied by a code-locked door with your target tantalizingly out of reach. You’ll need to use clever social engineering to obtain the code from an unwary underling in order to progress. We’re very excited about the procedural possibilities for this patch, and hope you are too. If you’ve got ideas for cool or silly things you’d expect to encounter on a bounty hunt, let us know in the comments. Until next time!


Bounty hunting is coming to Starbound

Starbound, the spacefaring sandbox, will be filled with criminals awaiting capture and judgement, making work for bounty hunters, in the 1.4 update. Players will be able to become a space cop, arresting naughty humans and aliens for the Peacekeeper faction.  If you decide to walk down the path of a righteous crook-snatcher, you’ll need to hit up the bounty board, beginning your mission to clap some naughty criminal in irons. Catching them won’t be simple, however, warns developer Chucklefish . “Tracking down one of these criminals isn’t a straightforward affair though—you will have to follow leads across multiple planets, raiding safehouses for your next clue, or fighting off members of your target’s gang. Sometimes you’ll have to take targets alive as well, using the Peacekeeper device known as the Long Arm. This gauntlet lets you handcuff targets remotely, but requires careful aim to lock down the perp!” Chucklefish will spill more details over the coming weeks.  


Starbound 1.3.2 Changelog

Hello, Starbound has been updated with some minor gameplay changes and bug fixes. Everyone on Steam should see the update immediately, but those on GOG and Humble may need to wait a little while for the files to update. ːSBmmː Check below for patch notes! ːSBmmː Additions & Changes Reduce cost of player station parts Show some system information on hovering over stars in the navigation interface Show system name on the system screen in the navigation interface Properly beam away a player's mech when a player beams off the world Deploying to asteroid fields puts you in a position related to where in the field your ship is Allow any number of script panes with no source entity. Add player.interact lua binding Keep player from starving when in a mech Bug Fixes Various NPC and Monster behavior fixes Fix issue where player ships from other systems would be visible on the navigation screen Fix issue where deploying to a party member could result in deploying a mech to their ship Improve jarring movement of the sky during flying and warping Fix issue where inventory items would count twice in crafting interfaces Fix parameters argument for spawnnpc console command Fix issue allowing the player to fly the ship before fully repairing it


Starbound 1.3.2 Changelog

Hello, Starbound has been updated with some minor gameplay changes and bug fixes. Everyone on Steam should see the update immediately, but those on GOG and Humble may need to wait a little while for the files to update. :SBmm: Check below for patch notes! :SBmm: Additions & Changes Reduce cost of player station parts Show some system information on hovering over stars in the navigation interface Show system name on the system screen in the navigation interface Properly beam away a player's mech when a player beams off the world Deploying to asteroid fields puts you in a position related to where in the field your ship is Allow any number of script panes with no source entity. Add player.interact lua binding Keep player from starving when in a mech Bug Fixes Various NPC and Monster behavior fixes Fix issue where player ships from other systems would be visible on the navigation screen Fix issue where deploying to a party member could result in deploying a mech to their ship Improve jarring movement of the sky during flying and warping Fix issue where inventory items would count twice in crafting interfaces Fix parameters argument for spawnnpc console command Fix issue allowing the player to fly the ship before fully repairing it


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