Halloween Update & GOG

Halloween Update

Get your spook on with these creepy Halloween masks! Be the talk of the town, or the local boogie monster if that’s more your style.

These masks are part of the upcoming Halloween update that we’re currently working on! The masks will be craftable at the pumpkin carving table, and will also be a permanent addition to the in-game catalogue during the Halloween update so you can still pick them up after the holiday is over! I don’t know about you, but I’ll be sporting the zombie chicken head. I just hope my chickens don’t mind too much…

A new scary furniture set is also in the works to celebrate this Halloween in style! Each and every room in your house will be decorated to celebrate the creepiest of holidays. Dine surrounded with cobwebs, and sleep in a coffin… what could be more festive than that?

Like the masks, this furniture set will be a permanent addition to the game so don’t worry about missing out!

That’s all I can share for now, but it shouldn’t be a long wait for these new goodies to go live. We hope you’re as excited as we are!


Staxel on GOG.com

Over the past year we’ve had a lot of people requesting a DRM-free option for playing Staxel.
We’re pleased to let you know that if DRM-free is your jam, you can now pick up Staxel from the GOG store!

The GOG version of Staxel is exactly the same as the versions you’ll find on Steam, HumbleBundle and our own website so you’re not missing out on any features by going DRM-free.

You’ll still be able to play multiplayer with your friends on Steam too! The only difference being that you’ll need to set up a dedicated server using the Server Wizard to play with your friends who are on Steam.
Servers are pretty simple to set up, but if you have any questions or are struggling to figure it out, you can always send us an email or head on over to the Discord and someone will be around to help 🙂


Next Major Staxel Update

Just to let you all know, Staxel’s next major update is in currently in the works.
We won’t be giving out too many details on this for the time being, but rest assured we’re all working hard to bring more interesting content to the game for you all to enjoy.

Keep an eye out for future issues of the Staxel Reporter where we’ll be posting updates and sneak peeks of what we’re working on.


That’s it for this issue of the Staxel Reporter. You can grab Staxel at www.playstaxel.com/store.

Or you can wishlist us on steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/405710/Staxel/

Thanks for reading!

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Staxel Changelog for 1.3.44

Major Changes:

  • Lighting fixes. Less black void.
  • Show a warning prompt instead of kicking players with high amounts of lag.
  • Signs… THAT YOU CAN WRITE ON.

Full List:

Additions:

  • Allow journal bind to close the journal while it’s open
  • Allow the “accept” button (Default: A on controller) to advance dialogue
  • Prevent a case of accidentally closing the character creator on the first world load.
  • Add a couple of lines to Farm Fan to stop her from referring to herself in third person.
  • A prompt is displayed before stealing.

Changes:

  • Made the scarf on the shaved pink sheep match un-shaved version.
  • Made powerful refrigerator be recognised as a fridge
  • Show a warning prompt instead of kicking players with high amounts of lag.
  • Your view won’t be snapped back to your conversation partner all the time.
  • Set the active inventory slot when moving items within hotbar. Instead of just between hotbar and inventory.
  • Added a slight delay before getting the next hint in the night transition overlay.
  • Changed arrows on dropdowns to a higher resolution version.
  • Reduced delay in showing the dialogue progress hint.
  • Use the randomized cobble tile when creating the town hall.
  • Changed the mouse icon that showed up in dialogue.
  • Changed some internal logic for key binding.
  • Ensure that Steam Launcher brings Staxel to the front of all open windows.
  • Hide the “allow friends joins” option on GOG version. Play with Friends button is also disabled.
  • Moved the “Inventory Direct” keybind higher in the list. So it is next to other menu keybinds.
  • Added Hay as a requirement to craft chicken coops.
  • Allow multiple gog owners to play on a server using the same credentials.
  • Unmappable key bindings are now more clear in the UI.
  • Allow escape menu to be shown while in dialogue.
  • Fancy chairs can be sat on now.
  • Added a button that you can click on night transition to continue.

Fixes:

  • Fixed some bad layers in Male Swimsuits, Bermuda Shorts
  • Added some methods to quickly update lighting before full information is received from server.
  • Added extra protection for weird ui scale values.
  • The Tool area region no longer sticks around after switching from the creative shovel
  • Fixed replaced tiles leaving behind compound fillers. This fixes some cases of invisible blocks.
  • Fixed the screen growing past the monitor size, when switching from borderless to windowed mode.
  • When a field gets assigned a null in json, ignore the field when parsing the blob. Fixes some weird issues.
  • Don’t crash on CancelCharacterCreator if current design was not set yet.
  • Track file access conflict issues on BinBlobDb with more detailed error messages. To find some unusual crashes.
  • Fixed a crash for Docks when a dock is provided an item with no code or tile code.
  • Fix some threading issues.
  • Fixed a float precision issue causing animations to not play at 60fps after 2 hours of gameplay.
  • Don’t crash when saving, while feeder has just been spawned.
  • Don’t throw an exception when muting a player for a second time.
  • Don’t trigger selfie camera mode when using ALT+F4 to close the game.
  • Don’t leak sound effect instances when skipping sounds.
  • Avoid cleaning up GameContext multiple times, and solved some race conditions concerning cleaning up GameContext.
  • Fix an issue with reloading pets.
  • Several hardenings of code surround chunks.
  • Hardening against null item stack exceptions.
  • A fix was applied to some failures to directly connect to a player.
  • Removed the server list from the client and server wizard.
  • Fixed Cecile’s Model showing a different skin tone on the shoulder.

Modding:

  • Certain DLL’s are now blocked from loading. This is to stop issues with certain old mods crashing the game.
  • By default, Mod Manager only asks to update mods if you own the mod.
  • By default, Mod Manager does not ask to run content builder on new versions of the game.
  • Both options above can be turned off by finding the file in the /mods/ folder.
  • Mod manager’s command line parameters have been clean up. The only input changed is steamLauncherCheck (e.g. -steamLauncherCheck 10.0.0 instead of -steamLauncherCheck -version 10.0.0)
  • Fixed villager definitions being outdated in Asset Manager.
  • Fix Modmanager not detecting that some mods needed to be uninstalled before being reinstalled. Should fix cases of files being left behind.
  • Added Mail definitions and Quest Definitions to the Asset Manager.
  • Check if files are missing from the bundle after Mod Manager does its checks.

Staxel Changelog for 1.3.42

New:

  • New pants have been added.
  • Players lagging badly for more than 60 seconds will get kicked from the server.

Fixes:

  • Fixed all villagers being considered a quest villager.
  • Allow controllers to get to the cog button in the single player world select.
  • Various sound fixes. Out of Memories should be less common.
  • Added some more grace time to effects. Some sounds should play more reliably
  • Updated Festivals in Asset Manager. This fixes previous issues.
  • The old mailbox is no longer searchable in catalogues.
  • Better error message when trying to connect to a multiplayer server, and the port is invalid.
  • Fixed a case where pet houses could spawn Farm Animals and crash the game.
  • Allow animations to play during night transition, so the player’s animation tate is correct on wakeup.
  • Fixed Oscar final quest being broken.
  • Harden FillPotWater against Dispenser Component being null.
  • Improve the reported server lockfile error, by finding the process currently holding the lock to the lockfile.
  • Made some changes to make certain errors easier to catch.
  • Some very small technical changes.

Staxel Changelog for 1.3.40

New:

  • Added the ability for any tilestate to dispense (water from fountains & wells)
  • Added particles and sounds for catching bug entities
  • Added –disableFullscreen and –disableSliders commandline options, which are used by the steam compat start option to make the game more likely to work or work around
  • stuff the user broke in menus.

Changes:

  • Made control hints more visible, and redesigned the mouse fully.
  • Made larger lighting batches.
  • Assert qb layer is of inbounds size.

Fixes:

  • Fixed Farm Fan being removed after festivals where she was the host.
  • Fixed inventory getting stuck and dropping items.
  • Fixed a bug with particles.
  • Fixed low drive space detection.
  • Fixed stir entity action & boiling station particles looping forever
  • Fixed a bug with the order shipping manager that causes the game to crash.

Staxel Changelog for 1.3.34 to 1.3.39

Hey everyone, this blog post marks a change into how changelists will be done from now on. Not only will our steam megathread be updated (which can be found here however the megathread will only be updated once DeamonHunter gets back from his break as I can’t edit his post myself.) but we will make a Steam solo post on each new build too! Not only that, but we will be posting patchnotes on this blog as well.

The changelog for the most recent build will always be pinned in our Steam discussions so whenever you’re looking for the patch notes they’ll be pinned in General discussion.

With that said, here are all the noteworthy changes that have been made for Staxel 1.33.34 to 1.33.39

New:

  • Allow user to hide the feedback form in future.
  • Force Download mods when opening Mod Manager.
  • Players are now asked to remove incompatible or banned mods.
  • Added functional bin and stop merchant sites accepting zero value stacks.
  • Added a shelf where modders where modders can have their items spawn in the store.
  • Added effects & actions to dispensers.
  • Added a “Cobble Moss” tile, similar to weeds, for use in adding aesthetic overgrowth to non-farmland tiles.
  • Add gating to totem requirements and display ??? if the quest isn’t active for that player.
  • Game now displays a lag notification.
  • Added option to auto-pickup items within a certain distance around the player.
  • Added –disableFullscreen and –disableSliders commandline options.

Changes:

  • Game now detects duplicate keys in json blob files.
  • Added alt stages to rare mushroom plant to accommodate rotations.
  • Game now checks if the player is looking at a villager before throwing throwables.
  • Town hall pedestal dock is now available to buy.
  • Added contentbuilder check for category concept & fix missed villager regards.
  • Added additional check to Cirahnas part in Oscar’s junk queen quest.
  • Removed the old postbox from the catalogue.
  • Allowed many of the common grasses to spawn mixed seeds, increased mixed seed rate slightly.
  • Stop interrupting action cancellations when fainting.
  • Added some missing essentials to the building store.
  • Removed fossil category from polisher.
  • Included dock contents in structure export/import
  • Removed questItem status from giant mushroom since you can get it as many times as you need.
  • Player is now prevented from sleeping during the morning.
  • Apply and persist random villager likes.
  • Made fairies emissive to match lore.
  • Game no longer recalculates the lod and lighting on watering and cropgrowth.
  • Removed the dialogue functions of the tutorial script.
  • Lag notification now hides and shows timers.
  • Made control hints more visible, and redesigned the mouse fully.
  • Made larger lighting batches.

Fixes:

  • Work done to the dialogue format.
  • Fix Farm Fan being able to talk about needing to go see Farm Fan.
  • Fixed Farm Fan not correctly returning to normal dialogue after the gift dialogue has been triggered.
  • Improved error message on config code collision.
  • Fixed some wall objects acting like vines.
  • Simple fixes for a lot of Leif bugs.
  • Fixed some rosemary quest issues.
  • Fixed a bug with Oscar and the Trash Fairy.
  • Made Aliza only visit the cash register in the building store.
  • Fixed beet interference bug with the tutorial.
  • Make most counter tops not push out from walls.
  • Fixed dialogue issues with Oscar.
  • Fixed massReplacer docking.
  • General optimisations.
  • Fixed spinkler performance issue.
  • Fixed issues with particles not correctly resetting after resize.
  • Fixed inability to pick up flowers.
  • Fixed merchant dialogue locking.
  • Minor cleanup of unused code.
  • Fixed fainting waking the player up at midnight.
  • Fixed naming issue with the double beds.
  • Fixed issues with docking.
  • Fixed issue with flashing wall torches due to not building emissive color into cached mesh.
  • Reduced tilestates by improving replacetile and merging the remove/place into one action when possible.
  • Fine tuned reliable network.
  • Fixed bug with sleeping on multiplayer servers.
  • Fixed Farm Fan being removed after festivals where she was the host.
  • Clamped values to avoid generating a NaN.
  • Game now asserts qb layer is of inbounds size.
  • Fixed low drive space detection.
  • Fixed inventory getting stuck and dropping items.

Staxel 1.3 – Friendship Update is Live!

After a lot of hard work, we’re very proud to say that ‘Staxel 1.3 – Friendship Update’ is now live! Let’s take a look at some of the new content you’ll be seeing in game.

The New Friendship System

The main aspect of this update is adding more depth to the villagers. You can now build relationships with your neighbours by talking with them on a regular basis, giving them gifts, doing them favours and completing their ‘Friendship quests’!

Befriending a villager comes with certain benefits; when you get to know them well you might receive some special gifts, and if you take a liking to one villager in particular, you can even invite them to become your roommate! It’s important to choose your best friend carefully though, as you can only have one roomie at a time!

Villager Behaviour

Along with all their new dialogue, the villagers’ daily behaviour has been upgraded too. You might find villagers doing more day-to-day activities like shopping in the local store, or having conversations with each other. We’ve found that these changes breathe much more life into the village, and Leif seems pretty happy about it too!

More Quests

Villagers each have special ‘Friendship quests’ for you to complete, if you choose to. I certainly don’t want to spoil the fun by going into detail here, but I will say you’ll really be seeing your neighbors’ personalities come out with this update. Each villager’s quests are unique to them, so by helping out you’ll learn more about them and build a stronger relationship to boot!

New Festivals

We’ve added a new fully-fledged Springtime festival, along with a ‘mini festival’ of sorts. Of course, I’m not going to reveal too much about either of these, but what I will leave you with this cheeky sneak peek.

New Content

Along with all these new systems, we’ve also added a lot of new content too. New outfits, accessories, furniture pieces, toys, and even new pets! Some of the new gear can only be collected in specific ways (for example, completing friendship quests), so I’m sure all of you collectors will have a blast gathering all the new loot!

This isn’t all you’ll find in 1.3 though, for further information on the changes you can read the changelist below (note that this isn’t an exhaustive list). The best way to find out what’s new is to update Staxel and give it a spin! We’re all pumped with how it’s turned out and can’t wait to see what you all think of it. Have fun!

CHANGELIST

Major new content:

  • Friendship system: Befriend the villagers by giving them gifts, conversing with them, or completing daily quests.
  • Roomies: Help out a villager enough, become their best friend, and maybe they’ll agree to move in with you! All you need to do is given them a certain special item and make sure you set up your own home’s signpost!
  • Gifts: You can now give villagers items by pressing the correct button with the item selected.
  • New quests: More than 35 new quests spread across 11 villagers, spanning several friendship storylines (Leif, Eris, and Jamie will receive theirs in a future update).
  • New pet type: Unlock an entire new species of pet through Rosemary’s quests! Not even the whole dev team knows what it is!
  • New faces: New storylines bring with them interesting new individuals!
  • New hats: Who doesn’t want more hats?
  • New furniture and tiles: Even more ways to decorate!
  • Quest items: These specially marked items are extra hard to lose:
    • They can’t be dropped or thrown away.
    • They will always end up in your inventory, even if it is full. They’ll even throw out a random item to make room if necessary!
    • Placeable quest tiles will always return to the inventory when broken.
  • A new festival: Springtime brings with it a tiny disaster.
  • New building tools: Tape measures simplify judging sizes, along with many other handy tools to make building a cinch!

Detailed 1.3 Changelist:

Added:

  • Reputation and reputation levels
  • Reputation icons displayed in nametags
  • Reputation can be gained by:
    • Talking
    • Giving Items
    • Completing daily quests
  • The ability to invite villagers to be your roomie upon completing their questline
    • Roomied villagers will hang out at your house
    • Roomied villagers will have extra special dialogue
  • A new species of pet
  • A new festival
  • Dozens of new quest items
  • New hats
  • Conversations with Murmurs (Merchants)
  • Postboxes and signs can have extra criteria:
    • Must be away from town
    • Must not overlap with another totem
  • Villagers can go shopping in the village
  • Villagers can converse with each other (only used in quests for now)
  • Dialogue can be used to spawn villagers, tiles, and more

Fixes:

  • Allow all numpad buttons to be mapped; some were missed by mistake
  • Fix pets colliding with doors while following their owners
  • Fix some cases of Journal entries duplicating
  • Fix an issue where postbox/totem sale pools couldn’t be expanded with new tiers
  • When checking for an item in a players inventory, the clothing slots were skipped
  • Fixed some dialogue issues, which resulted in getting stuck in conversations

 

Modding:

  • Added a large number of extra Dialogue Commands
  • Added functionality to fishables to be active during certain quests, or while certain totems exist
  • Added functionality to plants to drop seeds when broken at certain stages
  • Allow villagers to be farm animals
  • Added village global variables for dialogue
  • Added personal cross-villager variables for players in dialogue
  • Add the ability to defer dialogue commands, limited to a small handful of commands for now
  • More extensive dialogue validation
  • Regards are now included in villager npc files
  • Dialogue pools blocked by friendship levels are included in villager npc files
  • Fixed an issue where a misnamed dialogue command could still be validated
  • Fixed an issue where farm animals, and pet models were not checked
  • Fixed bodytype layers in some animals
  • When creating translation files for dialogues, the content builder will now filter to .dialogue and .npcconversation files.

 

Plus countless other minor changes lost to the wind.

 

We’re getting close to 1.3

Hey everyone, I think it’s about time we gave you some insight into how development of our next major update is going. Spoiler alert: It’s going great!

Just to remind you, this update is not live yet. This update contains some ambitious plans, the main features we mentioned before are:

Friendship and Roomie System

Our next update mainly concerns Staxel’s quirky villagers. We’re adding tons more dialogue content and progression to them and you’ll be able to get to know them all a whole lot better.

If there’s a particular villager you’re getting along with super well, you’ll even be able to roomie up with them!


Pet Shop

This will be the main hub for anything related to your fluffy companion. The store will sell pet accessories, tools, and even some new pets – sorry Fido!
Pets are one of the aspects we’ve received an overwhelming amount of requests to add on to. Having this system in place will mean we can easily add new pet breeds to Staxel without too much fuss.

New Festival

As development continues we’re trying to add more and more festivals. The 1.3 update includes a mysterious new Springtime festival, but I don’t want to give away too much on it just yet. We’re sure you’ll all love it though!

So now that we’ve covered what you’ve got to look forward to, let’s talk about the current stage we’re at with everything.
All of the new dialogue and quests have been written up and are currently with the translators. There’s a whole bunch of new text in this one as you’d expect, we really wanted to put the focus on the villagers and give them a lot more depth. In the meantime, we’re busy making sure everything is implemented correctly and we’re about to enter the testing phase, (we need to make sure that absolutely everything is working correctly and that none of the new features could possibly end up breaking the game).

Besides being busy with that, we’ve been sprinkling in some all-new content along the way! While most of the team are busy with implementation and testing, others have been working on some fun new items you’ll be able to get in the game. (Particularly some Summer-themed ones!) Now, I have no intentions of spoiling all the new content but I can give you a cheeky glimpse at some of the new Summer stuff at least.

Along with these delicious summery treats, we’re adding swimsuits, beach gear, and toys! Take some time off from the farm and go enjoy the beach! Did somebody say water gun fight?

I’m going to stop it here though before I get in trouble.

We can’t wait for 1.3 to go live, we’ve all been working very hard on it! This update contains a lot of changes to how Staxel will be played, and we think everyone will enjoy what it will bring to the table. The villagers are much more fleshed out now, and with another festival in the pool you will all be able to celebrate the release of 1.3 in style!

Thanks everyone for giving this a read, I hope you’re all as pumped for 1.3 as we are! I can’t give you a specific release date, but what I can say is it’s not long now!

Notice about the Staxel Forum

This announcement is just to let you all know that we’re going to be closing down the community forum. While we’ve had a great time on here since it started, community activity has mainly moved over to the Staxel Discord (with a lot of other activity happening on the official Reddit and Steam Discussion pages)

The main reasons behind this decision are:

– We’ve been having trouble keeping the bot spam under control, whilst only a few slip through the filter to public view, it’s really quite bad behind the scenes and it’s become quite difficult to manage.

– With the introduction of GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) there are quite a few changes which will need to be made regarding accounts and registration.

At this point, considering the reduced forum activity, we feel that closing the forums is the most practical way forward. We also feel that the community experience will be better for everyone if we can focus our attention on a few select places instead of spread out as it currently is.

We hope you all understand, and we’d love to see you make the move over to one of our other community platforms if you aren’t in there already!

Early development

Hey everyone! Today I thought we’d do something a little different. This article is going to take us back to Staxel’s humble beginnings where we’ll take a look at some old screenies and concept art. Enjoy!

A very early mockup of the transition of seasons.
A very early mockup of the transition of seasons.

Staxel’s been through a lot these past 4 years. Starting in 2014 it was originally going to be a puzzle game until the team decided to steer it towards the farming, village-life game it is today!

Mockup of showing more of the puzzler idea.
Concept art of an individual divot
Concept art of divots in the world
Concept art of divots in the world

Originally you were going to be based on a farm that was transported into the middle of a waste land, along with other ‘divots’ of land from other parts of the world. These ‘divots’ were going to contain a puzzle to solve. The reason we moved away from this idea was because creating these divots proved to be far too time consuming to create just one, where we wanted a lot more.

image2

The first two years were heavily focused on engine work. Staxel uses a custom engine which has been developed in-house since the start of the project. While we’re constantly working and improving on our engine, the real content only started being put in a couple of years into development. As you can see above it was well worth the effort! We still have this server somewhere, and us devs boot it up once in a blue moon for a lil’ bit of nostalgia.
mockup
Here’s the first mockup we did for one of our original Staxel characters, “Jen”. It’s actually pretty close to the mark when you look at the style we finally settled on. The main differences being the upper body and the level of detail each villager has.

o6d4knN

And here is the very first Staxel character, our mascot, Harry. I don’t remember exactly what we were working on when we were adding these but I think it might have been rendering. We had hundreds of these titans scattered across the game world, forever looming over the players. I must say, logging in was much less terrifying once these were taken out.

JIC73lX

Here’s a screenie of when we were working on the render distance. This one was taken before we’d done any fine tuning on the world gen, and before we had thought of the idea of an island. Back then the world generated infitely. We decided to go with an island because we felt the player didn’t need an infinite amount of space and thought it would take focus away from the farming and village life aspect of Staxel.

e4DBpWr

I’m going to finish up with this old gem. This one was taken within the first couple months of development, where we jokingly titled it ‘Wardrobe Simulator 2014’. It’s always so bizzare going through these old screencaps and realising how far Staxel has come! While Staxel is all well and good now, I sure am going to miss all those wardrobes.

Upcoming 1.3 Update

Hi Staxivilians

We’ve been quite busy with bug fixing and design but we’re ready to share news of what we’re working on for our next major update

💞 Friendship System
Work has started on our friendship system, this will consist of the following

– Each Villager has a storyline to follow
– Give gifts, help them out or talk to them to increase your friendship level with your favourite villagers
– Once you reach a new friendship level new events will trigger to learn more about them.
– At the highest level you can get your favourite villagers to become your roomie

🐶 Pet Shop
– You will be able to build a pet shop in your town which will allow you to buy new pets, customise them and some other small features.
– There may be some new pets to choose from too, but you’ll have to wait and see !

🌽 Crop Quality
– You will be able to grow and cultivate better quality crops depending on the soil you plant them in and how you take care of them while growing.
– Better quality vegetables will give you more money, better recipes and may even win you a prize
– There may even be some rarer vegetables to grow for the ultimate farmers out there.

🎆 More Festivals
– Keep an eye on Max as he tries to bring more festivities to your little village

🐛 General Bug Fixing
– As usual we will continue to work on bugs to make your play experience even better