Hey everybody, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’ll be talking about biomes and take a look at the new pets. Enjoy!
Many of you will be excited to hear that we’ve recently begun work on adding different biomes to the Staxel world! Let’s take a look at what’s in the works.
The forest biome is the first biome we started working on, and as we only recently started working on biomes it’s currently the only one that’s screenshot ready. Right now it doesn’t offer anything other than a pretty zone on your island, but we aim to give different biomes real purpose so in the future you might find cool stuff in there that you won’t find anywhere else!
The next one in the works is likely going to be more of a wide open space, something along the lines of a meadow or a savannah. We’re very excited for the new biomes as it will be a great way to break up the island. Now, we need to do something about the ocean of flowers…
We’ll definitely be posting pics when the next biome is ready so make sure you keep an eye on any of the following:
The variety of pet breeds in Staxel has just grown! Before, at the end of the tutorial you could only recieve one type of breed for both cats and dogs. Now, however, you’re rewarded with a pet of a random breed! But who cares about what I’m saying? Let’s look at some cute pet pictures!
D’awww, just look at these adorable dogs! The new breeds are bloodhounds, dalmation, and border collies. There may be more breeds in the future but these should do for now at least! Now let’s put the dogs safely away and bring out the cats.
You have no idea how hard it was to get them to line up for this picture… does anyone have any antiseptic? Anyway, here they are! We’re hoping these extra breeds should help your pet feel a bit more unique to you.
That about sums it up for the new pets. We’ll certainly be adding new pets in the future other than cats and dogs, so there’s more to look forward to in the pet department!
Hi everybody, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’ll be talking about how our visit to EGX Rezzed went and take a look at the new merchant district currently being worked on. Enjoy!
If you’ve been following our social media you’ll know that a few of us went to EGX Rezzed in London to exhibit Staxel. This will be a little update on how it went!
I’ll start off by saying the convention went amazingly! All of us who went have done a good few conventions between us, but we all agreed that EGX Rezzed was our best one to date. We got so much positive feedback and a lot of useful input, it was awesome seeing so many people excited for Staxel!
A few of our community members even dropped by and hung out with us! It was really great to put faces to the usernames we’ve been talking to for ages now.
We brought 500+ stickers with us just so we didn’t run out, we never print enough. Well, I’m very proud to announce one of my biggest achievements in life. I handed out the very last sticker within minutes of the closing of the last day. Yep, you read that right, I’m amazing!
We also met a lot of the other devs exhibitting their own games. We saw so many promising games being made by some very talented devs, and had a blast trying them out!
We made a huge list of input we got from the players, and also things we noticed players struggling with. Since we got back, nearly two weeks ago now, we’ve had some calls and injected all the issues we found into our development plan. We’ve fixed quite a few of the issues found at EGX Rezzed already, but still have more to go!
All in all, EGZ Rezzed was absolutely awesome. We all had so much fun and was definitely worth doing. We made some friends, got a lot of positive input and grew our buglist even more. Well, it’s important to find bugs sooner than later!
New Merchant District
Among many other changes, we’ve given the merchant zone a second pass. It’s not totally done yet but it’s close so today we’ll be having a look at what’s changed there.
Currently 4 merchants sell their wares behind some counters in the town square. Not for long though! Each merchant has been given their own cart to sell their goods at. With each design unique to the store type, this should really pretty up the vendor zone. The merchants seem happy at least!
As these carts take up so much space, they’ve also been graciously gifted a new plot of land by the Mayor. Thanks Mayor! The new ‘market district’ is a small plot of land just below the town square with enough space for all the current carts, and extra space for any future merchants who show up!
With more merchants, browsing goods will be more fun and you’re more likely to find something you’d like to buy! Right now the new merchants stores are ‘building, animals, seeds, clothing, and furniture’, so there’ll be plenty to choose from!
That about wraps it up for the new merchant zone, as I said it’s still a work in progress but you won’t need to wait long for it to go live as it’s nearly done. Thanks for reading!
Hey everyone, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’ll be talking about the upcoming EGX Rezzed we’re attending and also have a look at a general development update. Enjoy!
It’s only been two weeks since we took Staxel to San Francisco and now that we’ve had a little breather we’re getting ready to take it out again. This time it’s EGX Rezzed in London!
EGX Rezzed is a gaming event that stems from the larger EGX Convention normally held in Birmingham. One of the main differences is that Rezzed has a stronger focus on indie games.
We’ll be exhibiting Staxel at a stand in the expo for the entire length of the convention, so if you’re planning on attending, be sure to come and pay us a visit! It’s always exciting for us to be able to see people play Staxel and get their feedback and first impressions on the game.
We’ve had a giant banner printed out specifically for the event so don’t worry, it’ll be very easy to find us.
As usual, we’ve printed out a bunch of stickers to give away at the event.
If you see us, make sure you come over a grab a few to add to your collection.
EGX Rezzed is taking place on Thursday 30th March to Saturday 1st April at Tobacco Dock in London. We’re really looking forward to meeting people from the community and if you aren’t attending, don’t worry, we’ll give you a full update on the event in the next issue of the Staxel Reporter!
Today I thought I’d give you an overview on what we’re currently working on in preperation for the upcoming convention. I won’t be going into much detail, but you can expect a more detailed look on some of these in the near future!
Callum is currently working on pet games, starting with ‘fetch’. It’s already working pretty well! This’ll add some more interaction between you and your adorable pet.
Phil is doing work on the furniture store. The furniture store is going to be a building, as opposed to the market stalls found in the town square. Stock will cycle every day so be sure to check it often!
Speaking of furniture, Razz is working on a new furniture set! Expect to see more about that soon.
Joe has been working on an improved starter tutorial. You now start out in the town hall and Farm Fan gives you a tour around before leading you to your farm. This second pass to the tutorial will be a much smoother intro to Staxel and some of it’s features.
With EGX Rezzed coming up fast, Conor is running around doing all high priority art tasks as they’re requested. Things are getting pretty busy as they usually do before conventions. Conor, we need boulders, stat!
Bart is working on optimisations and bug fixing to ensure a smooth experience for our players at EGX Rezzed.
As you can tell we’re incredibly busy right now and will be for the next two weeks at least, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted with all the fun stuff! Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our discord community! It’s a pretty casual server where you can find out the latest info or just have a chat with us and the rest of our community. We hope to see you there!
Hi everybody, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’re going to show off the new villagers, and take a look at the new village!
The first pass of the village is finally done and in-game! That’s right, if you start staxel up now and create a new world, you’ll notice a path that leads from your farm directly to the new village. So let me give you some juicy details before you jump in-game!
After our first village build we realised we weren’t happy with the current selection of blocks. They all seemed a bit too gloomy, so SteampunkStein did some experimenting and came up with a fresh style and a bunch of new blocks!
Using these new blocks we built a house for each one of the new villagers. The buildings are likely to change in design in the future but it’s certainly a start! Each villager has their own home and will always head back to it when they’re finished with their business in the village.
There are also some ‘special’ buildings. Right now we have a town hall, a tavern, and a grocery store. The town hall is where the Mayor can usually be found during the day. The grocery store is stocked full of cooking ingredients and other necessities and the tavern is ready to serve you after a long day of outdoor work.
The town square is basically the heart of the village. It’s usually bustling with busy villagers and usually it has market stalls with merchants trying to sell you and other their wares. In the future, however, the town square will also be a place that hosts festivals and celebrations!
As I said, this is only the first pass on the village and still needs a great deal of work. That being said, we’re very happy with how it’s all coming along and we can’t wait to see how far we can push it!
We recently introduced you all to ‘farm Fan’, our first villager… well now we have a whole village worth of them! Now they’re still early in development but I figured it’s still worth clueing you all in on what stage they’re at.The villagers are in the public release already so if you want to check them out for yourself just hop in-game! Right now we have several villagers all with temporary designs which will change in the future. Even so, they all have a unique personality and look about them already!
When joining and moseying on over to the new village, you’ll find it buzzing with village life as the locals go about their day. Right now you can have a very brief, one way conversation with the villagers, but we still have work to do until all the planned functionality is there. You can usually find them hanging out in their homes, the town square, hanging in a ‘chill spot’ or sometimes even the tavern!
Some villagers, however, play a special role in the village and depending on that role changes their behaviour. Maximillion the Mayor, for example, will usually make time in his day to go to his office in the town hall while Rowan stays loyally stationed in the tavern, ready to serve thirsty villagers and farmers alike!
We will carry on improving the villagers until all our plans for them have been achieved. There’s still plenty of work to do but we’re making great progress!
Hi everybody, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’re going to show off the new villager, ‘Farm Fan’, and take a look at the new pet system!
Farm Fan (The First Villager)
We’re very excited to introduce you all to ‘Farm Fan’ (we asked her for her name but this is all she’d give us). She’s the first villager you’ll meet when beginning Staxel for the first time!
She is an absolute farm fanatic, completely hooked on all aspects of farming! We’re talking posters of farms on all her walls. She has an abundance of knowledge when it comes to farms, and she’s excited to help you get started with your role as the village’s new farmer! She can be a bit pushy, sure, but she just loves farming so much.
When you start out fresh on the farm, she’ll visit and ask if you need any guidance on getting started. She’s really quite clever and will walk you around the farm showing you the important parts. She can teach you how to use tools, how to plant crops and tend to them properly, how to ship your goods and much more! She does her best to explain things thoroughly so you don’t feel like you’ve been thrown in the deep end.
If you’re pretty satisfied with your farming knowledge you can tell her that you don’t need any lessons and she’ll head back to the village where she’ll continue about her day. She’s just another villager after all. A villager with an intense obsession with farms. If you ever change your mind though just strike up a conversation with her, she’s always happy to give advice!
We feel ‘Farm Fan’ will be a great help when introducing new players to Staxel, and we can tell she’s excited to help! She marks an important milestone as she’s Staxel’s first villager. The first of many!
I’ve been excited to talk about this feature for a while now, and I can finally give you all the scoop. The first pets have recently been added! It was inevitable really, who can imagine a lively farm without its resident dogs and cats scampering about?
Every pet needs a pet house and a food bowl, these are important when it comes to pet care as a neglected pet will become sad and disobedient. If you love and care for them properly, a happy pet will sometimes bring you a gift to show it’s appreciation. You might have noticed the little area next to the pet house in the picture, that’s where your pet will deliver any presents it finds for you, so make sure to keep them happy and well looked after!
A happy pet is a loyal pet, your companion will follow you around while you perform your day-to-day tasks, so no slacking! You need to set a good example now that you’ve got a cute little best friend on your heel. If you’d rather let your pet play while you work though, you can tell your pet to relax and it will stop following you and just hang around.
As of now, at the start of the game you will have an option between either a cat or a dog, but we’ve got some other plans for pets in Staxel too, not only will there be a selection of colours for your dogs and cats, but we’re thinking of adding other domestic animals at some point in the future. I can’t go into it just yet as nothing’s been decided, but be on the lookout for new types of pets somewhere down the line.
Hi everybody, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’re going to talk about our new development focus & take a peek at merchants which are currently in development.
New Year, New Milestone
Back after the holidays, the team’s at full capacity again working on Staxel. At the end of November we had just finished a major milestone, ‘Sprout Edition’, which had a heavy focus on the farming aspect of Staxel.
Before we began working on our next milestone, we took the month of December to work on our own features within Staxel as a way to wind down a bit throughout the holidays. We actually got some very cool stuff out of it. Here’s a few pictures of some of the features we added over December.
Anyway, back to the meat and potatoes of this article, now that we’re back from our holidays we’re beginning work on our next major milestone! This milestone has a heavy focus on what’s beyond the farm. I can’t go into much detail on what that involves but I’ll give you a peek at some, and I heavily emphasize some, of what this milestone entails:
– Island –
So far you’ve been starting out in an infinite world, but what we’re planning is that you’ll actually be starting on a randomly generated island of a fixed size.
– Seasons –
The shifting seasons will have a big impact in your farm life so best be prepared!
– Villagers –
We’re finally starting work on villagers. These residents will breath more life into the village. Talk to them, play with them, do them favours, and befriend them. They are your neighbors after all!
– Merchants –
Merchants will be the retail connections who allow you to purchase equipment, furniture, clothing and almost anything else you could think of. You’ll be able to sell your produce and the items you gather on your travels to Merchants too.
– The Village –
A village wouldn’t be a village without houses, literally. We’ll soon be working on the village where your friendly neighbourhood villagers will reside. This also means new building materials so keep a lookout to spot these in-game.
We’re very excited to be working on the rest of the Staxel world and we have so many ideas! I only mentioned a small amount of what we have planned for this milestone so be sure to keep an eye out for future Staxel Reporters for more insight on the upcoming new features.
Also, if you fancy a chat with our community or us devs, join us on our discord server!
We’re currently working on adding merchants to Staxel. So far all buying has been done through the in-game Honey.Comb catalogue, however, we want players to hit the town with their hard earned petals and go on a shopping spree!
Here’s a mock up of one of the merchants Conor did. This merchant will be selling their goods at their own market stall. Store inventory changes every day so be sure to keep checking back if you’re trying to find the last item missing from your furniture set!
Here’s an early mock up of what the vendor’s station could look like. It’s very likely to change but this should give you a rough idea of what to expect.
We want a good variety of stores for players to hop between. Some of our current ideas include:
We’re still figuring out some of the specifics with merchants. For example, we’re thinking you can only buy things from your catalogue you have owned before.
As we’re still working on merchants and still figuring out their finer details some of what you’ve read here could possibly change, but we’re really happy with how things are going and we hope you’re as excited as we are!
Hey everyone, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’re going to talk about ‘Staxel – Sprout Edition’ & our December plans.
Staxel – Sprout Edition
We have just put out a new build which marks the end of development for a major milestone for Staxel! With a lot of work and a lot of care, Staxel – Seedling Edition has just sprouted. It is now ‘Staxel – Sprout Edition’!
When we put out ‘Seedling’ at the start of this year it marked a playable sandbox game with a creative mode and not much more. ‘Sprout’, however, is much more! With ‘Sprout’ the game is now playable outside of the original creative mode. Starting with overgrown land, a rundown house and no more than a fist full of petals, it’s up to you to start turning a profit and to revitalise this old farm. It’s going to take a lot of work, but you’ve got all the right tools for the job. If you don’t, you can always place an order using the catalogue!
A lot has changed since we put out ‘Seedling’, here are a few of the major changes to Staxel.
Playable non-creative mode
Selling and shipping station
Wide range of crops, berry bushes & fruit trees
Docking stations and storage
Major UI overhaul
Majorly improved cooking/baking system (Still needs plenty more recipes)
Majorly improved character creation & customisation
Much more stable/optimised
Major tool improvements
‘Return Home’ button
Sound effects overhaul
Entity persistence (for entities and players so you don’t lose progress)
Now that ‘Sprout’ is complete it marks the end of a specific development focus and the start of the next one. I’m not going to go into much detail about what that entails here, but what I will say is that now we have the farming area sorted it’s time we started working on what’s beyond the farm. Make sure to follow our updates in to find out more about what we will be working on for ‘Sapling Edition’!
It’s been one very busy year for us. Staxel is much closer to what we’ve been envisioning, our team has grown by 4 new members and our community has grown too! Staxel has made a lot of progress and we plan on making much more progress next year!
If you don’t already own Staxel, you can pick it up here for $10 (USD). If you already own Staxel, then no worries! All you have to do now is update and you will be on the new ‘Sprout Edition’. Have fun!
We’ve almost reached the end of another year and our plan for December is a little different than usual. The last few months leading up to sprout have been quite intense with everyone pushing hard to get content ready in time for the big update. So we’ve decided that for December, we’re going to change things up and have a bit of fun.
Over the coming month we’re all going to be working on fun little side projects that each of us have personally wanted to play around with. It’s going to be a chance for us to take a breather, get creative, and generally take a small step back to appreciate all that’s been accomplished this year. So keep an eye out for some interesting new things in Staxel that you might not have been expecting!
On a side note to that, one of our community members, Mighty_Borlaug, is creating a Christmas event. This is going to be a community event that you’re all welcome to participate in. Basically, there’s going to be a dedicated server put up for the purpose of building a Christmas village, and that means lots of modding! If you’re interested in taking part in building or modding some Christmas items, be sure to have a chat with Mighty_Borlaug on the Discord. Us devs plan on getting stuck in too!
And with that said, we hope you’ll all enjoy the new update, it’s one step closer to full release and we’re all excited for what we’ll be working on in the next month. As always, if you haven’t already, come and join the community on our Discord channel or wander on over and have a look at the Forums.
Hey everyone, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’re going to talk about the newer character creation menu and the work we’ve been doing on SFX.
New Character Creation Screen
The character creation screen has had a major overhaul. We covered this briefly in issue #16 while it was still a work in progress but now that the main components are in place (there are still a few little tweaks left to complete) I thought we’d look at the new system in a bit more depth.
The biggest difference you’ll notice is that designing your character now consists of 4 stages (indicated by the 4 tabs at the top of the interface.)
The first of these tabs is where you’ll decide on your character’s most basic defining traits. This is where you’ll choose your character’s gender, their species, skin tone and personality type (the last of which doesn’t have any impact on the game at this current stage).
For the time being your name is set to the name you chose when you signed up. This may change in the future.
The second tab is all about hairstyles and headwear. In other words, this is where you get to accessorise your head! There are plenty of hairstyles to choose from, long luscious locks, short cropped and smart, edgy mysterious fringes, we’ve got them all. Alternatively, if your hair isn’t your strongest feature, there is a more than ample supply of hats to suit any occasion.
In case you hadn’t noticed, you’re also able to change the colour of your hair, as well as many of the available hats by using the colour palette at the bottom.
They say you can tell a lot about a person by looking into their eyes. This couldn’t be more true in Staxel as eyes are the most prominent facial feature you’ve got going. This is the third tab and it’s where you’ll design your character’s face. Again, notice the colour palette at the bottom, you have a wide selection of eye colours to choose from. Get an outlandish look with purple or orange eyes, or stick with something more traditional like blue or brown.
There are plenty of eye styles on offer as well, so you’ll always be able to get your point across, even without saying anything.
And so we reach the fourth and final tab of our customisation journey; the clothing section. In Staxel, clothes are going to be collectible items, so you won’t start out with every piece. Think of this tab more as your wardrobe, once you’ve collected a new item of clothing it will show up in this panel. As I’ve mentioned in previous Reporters, we’ve got loads of ideas for stylish outfits and clothing designs so get prepared to dazzle onlookers whatever the occasion!
New Sound Effects
Over the past week or so we’ve started working on the in-game sound effects. You may have noticed some weird noises playing back while interacting with things and browsing through menu and inventory screens.
This is because we decided to start off by setting up the sound effects directory but didn’t have anything to put in there, so I decided to take the initiative and create a selection of purpose built sounds to act as placeholder. Sure they’re just a bunch of recordings I made of myself blowing raspberries and tapping things on my desk, but who can really tell, right?
Thankfully we’re starting to get somewhere with it now and it won’t be long before things start sounding like you’d expect them to.
Currently, we’re working on a lot of tool sounds, which are mainly simple whooshing sounds as well as more unique sounding tools like the smoker gun and milker. We’re also getting started on sounds for UI navigation, this can get quite tricky as finding a pleasant balance of subtle but informative can be harder than it seems!
Sounds effects have the potential to really bring a game to life, and this is what we’re trying to achieve with the sounds you’ll hear in Staxel. We want to add sound elements and variety to nearly everything you’ll be interacting with while playing the game.
So now that you know, keep an ear open the next time you play and see if you can hear anything new. We’ve still got a way to go but you should start noticing things making their own noises pretty soon!
Hi everybody, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’re going to talk about the new starter farm and have a look at the new in-game clothing objects.
New Starter Farm
Up until this point, whenever you join a fresh Staxel world you’ve been thrown into a very flowery wilderness. Not anymore though, as we’ve just added the ‘starter farm’! I’m going to talk a bit about what that is exactly. Quick note first, the new farm isn’t in the release build just yet. It will be soon though!
You now begin the game on a starter farm. It has a good amount of land, but it’s very overgrown. It’ll take some work to clear the land to make space for your crops, barns, pens and so on.
You also begin with a small home. It’s pretty run down, so it’s up to you to show it some love and fix it up! It looks like the garden needs a bit of work too. Best grab your tools!
You’ll certainly need to do some cleaning up and repairs. The house comes with very basic furnishings but not much else. It would be a good idea to get stuck in with farming as soon as you can so you have the funds to furnish your new home further, and perhaps expand it!
With this home you’ll be starting with the bare essentials. It comes with a bedroom that overlooks the ground floor, a small kitchen, a catalogue station and some storage units.
It’s worth mentioning the design of the starter farm might be changed every so often as we add more features and get closer to our vision for Staxel. A bathroom might be a good idea actually…
Well, that’s about it for the starter farm. I hope you like what you see, and there’s still plenty more to come!
New Clothing System
Currently, clothing is just changed on the character creator screen… that’s it. We’re currently working on a new system so that clothing pieces are now actual items in-game!
So now clothing pieces are real objects you can place in the Staxel world. We want the player to be able to build a wardrobe unique to them, or perhaps try and collect every clothing piece! That’d prove to be quite a challenge though, as we plan to have a huge variety of clothes.
There will be numerous ways for you to get new clothing. You could buy them from the local clothes shop, get some new clothes as a reward for completing a favour for a villager, recieve them as a gift, or trade with your friends!
The clothing system is still a work in progress but it’s a feature we’re very excited about. There’s a lot of room for creativity and we’ve got plenty of ideas for stylish new clothing sets which you’ll start to see trickling into the game soon. We’re even thinking of adding a mannequin object sometime in the future for you to display your favourite outfits on.
Hey everyone, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we update you on how Minecon went, and give you a tour of our Staxel village.
Back from Minecon!
As some of you may know, we were invited to show Staxel off at Minecon! This year’s Minecon was held in California, which was a big trip for the team members who went. I thought this would be a perfect chance to give you all an idea of how our experience was.
The three of us who went to Minecon were me (EGadd), Bart and Razz. Bart set up the booth, which turned out great! Also, we got assigned a green-coloured booth. We don’t know if it was randomly given to us or if they chose it to go with our game, but it was definitely the perfect colour for Staxel.
We had plenty of gamers (and even some non gamers) from all ages trying out Staxel. They gave us awesome feedback, and plenty of compliments too! Bart jotted down pages worth of notes for us to address post-Minecon, which we’re already working through and making nice progress.
Character creation still needs work, but it was definitely a hit with the kids!
All in all it was a fantastic experience. Having the chance to actually watch people play Staxel is a very enlightening part of the development process. It gave us all lot of feedback on what we’re doing right, and what needs improving so we’ve arrived back with a clearer idea of what needs focusing on and how to develop certain features further.
Tour of Our Minecon Village
The team built a mockup of a very small village for the gamers at Minecon to play through. Right now in Staxel you’re not spawning in an existing village, you’re just thrown into the wilderness. The plan is you’ll be starting with a run-down farm in a small village, and it’ll be your job to revitalise the farm and turn a profit.
I took a few pics of the mock up village showing an example of a more successful farm in a very small village, let’s have a look.
This house is a moderate size. The kind the player will be starting with will be much smaller and more of a fixer-upper. For example, your garden will be filled with weeds, maybe some windows will need replacing, cobwebs need removing and more odd jobs for you to take care of along those lines.
Here’s a large barn we built for the larger animals, and a little enclosure for the chickens! We’re not sure right now if the player will be starting with a barn or if they will have to build one themselves.
A partial look at the front field. We planted assorted veggies to show the players at Minecon some of the variety they can expect from crops.
The main straight that goes between some stores and houses. It climbs up the cliff to lead to a large inn and another house. There’s also an abandoned mine before the turning which you can see in the pic.
Here’s the inn and house that have been built on the upper layer of the village. The inn has a great view of the town and farm!
We were wrapping up taking the pictures when it started raining, so we decided to get an early morning fishing shot!
That about sums up the village we built! It’s a very small village compared to what will be generating in the future, but it does give you a rough idea of the game we’re envisioning. I hope you enjoyed the pictures!