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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Introducing Staxel 1.2!

Staxel 1.2 is here!

With Staxel 1.2 we bring new features, countless bug fixes, and a more stable experience. In this post we’ll be walking you through some of the most noteworthy changes that we’ve implemented.

JournalTitle
The journal is our realisation of an incredibly useful feature that many of you have been requesting since launch. In its present state (as of 1.2), the journal provides an overview of all your ongoing quests. In future revisions, it will also provide detailed logs of your conversations with the villagers, keep track your relationships, let you jot down important notes you don’t want to forget, and provide access to a nifty calendar!

JournalScreenie
MusumTitle
Finally, a place to show off and display all of your discoveries! The museum will bring a dash of history to the village and its surroundings. Visitors near and far will marvel at your latest finds! That is, if you decide to donate them to the museum instead of keeping them for your personal collection!

With the addition of the museum, there are new collectables to find! Perhaps you’ll come across a Murmur merchant selling an antiquated work of art, or maybe you’ll excavate the bones of an ancient creature!


PostalServiceTitla
Max has finally managed to secure postal coverage for the village! The postal system will turn your static post box into a working one! Receive newsletters from the mayoral office, advertisements from the stores, gifts from the villagers, and all the other joys (and aggravations) that come with any mail service!

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FossilsTitle
Excavate rare fossil stones you find dotted around the island and put them through the fossil polisher. If you’re lucky you might find the remnants of a terrifying predator!

Decorate your home with your findings, or put them on display in your new Museum—under Max’s rather lax policies, whatever you find is yours to keep!
MuseumTeaser
MoreRewardsTitle
The villagers will now be much more grateful when you help them out of a jam! Better rewards and more acknowledgment can be expected for a job well done.

SteamNetworkingTitle
We’ve made a number of big improvements to the steam networking feature. Playing online should now be a breeze!

NewVillagersTitle
The village is always growing, but perhaps not quite in the ways you might expect. In 1.2, you’ll welcome two new villagers to the island, but they won’t be coming by the usual routes! We hope you’ll give them a warm welcome and solve their rather…unique situations!
EconomyAdjustmentsTitle
We’ve been constantly tweaking the economy ever since release to try get it to a more sustainable and enjoyable place. While there are still improvements to be made, we believe we’re much closer to the mark now!

That’s all for the larger features in this update, but there are many more adjustments and tweaks that you might notice during gameplay. You can find full patch notes that detail these changes below:


Changelog 1.2

Updates from 1.1.51 to 1.2.4

Big things:

  • Mail system. You can now receive mail.
  • Journal. Press J to see your current daily quests and main quests.
  • Museum sign. You can make a museum now.
  • Two New NPCs.
  • A lot of stuff to put in the museum.
  • A large number of item prices have been changed.
  • New reward items.

New:

  • Added “/plantwithering”. Turns on/off plant withering. Only recommended for large servers/build servers.
  • You can turn stone and wood back into their original blocks.
  • Added Sushi and Ice-cream recipes. Updates to other food recipes.
  • Name tags now show on map

Changes:

  • Food doesn’t get used in creative mode.
  • Pot plant beds don’t trigger house bed counts.
  • Commands can now except blobs again. (e.g. /spawnitem {“kind”: “staxel.item.NullItem”})
  • Wooden Pole Fence T and X appear in autotiling.
  • Trough should be clearer about why it can’t be filled.

Fixes:

  • Forced a minimum size of particle. (Fixes crashes due to 0 size.)
  • Lots of catchable fixes (catching bugs should no longer give you the wrong bug).
  • Fixed double Music track issues.
  • Fixed music playing in Mono.
  • Fixed ambient sound carrying to Main Menu.
  • Fixed totems displaying a notification on new scans.
  • Fixed a number of Steam Networking issues.
  • Sound should be playing in the correct ears now.
  • Selfie mode is disabled when going to sleep.
  • Catching all bugs should now be possible.
  • Fix fishing bobble particles not showing.
  • A number of behind the scenes changes/fixes to Entity Saving and Loading.
  • Fixed UI paths failing when they have spaces in them
  • Fixed Aristaeus achievement failing to trigger

Modding:

  • Game Version Class has been added. (Ways to use it can be seen in the Mail class.)
  • Watering Can particles and sound are editable.
  • Steam version will remove 32bit DLL’s before trying to load the game.
  • Polaroid has been added to NPC’s. This shows up in journal.
  • You can hide more than just the Hair layer with “hideLayers” in Accessories.
  • “notCategories” is added to AnyOfCategory achievements. To use for filtering out items.
  • Anything using IEntityLogicBuilder needs to update to IEntityLogicBuilder2.

 

Patch Note Compilation

From this point onwards, patch notes will be compiled and shared in a biweekly post. This way, we won’t clutter the announcements section while still giving major improvements and additions to Staxel the spotlight they deserve.

We will keep this section readable and succinct. For more detailed and technical patch notes, see http://wiki.playstaxel.com/Changelog

Brief Overview:

New Stuff:

  • Staxel is now running in 64 Bit:
  • Staxel now uses FNA.
  • Cards and Emotes are now avaliable!
  • Steam Networking.
  • New camera mode, “Selfie Mode”, when pressing X.
  • New hats.
  • New recipes.
  • Flowers drop petals for crafting.
  • Commands can now get players with spaces in names by surrounding names with “”. (i.e. /kickplayer “Hah You Can’t Kick Me”)“
  • Tutorial Skip for players who have been through the tutorial once before.
  • Text Speed option. It can be made 5x faster.

Due to 64bit, the following changes have occured:

  • Less Out Of Memory Errors. Less Purple Screens.
  • Improved lower end performance. Performance Stability should be increased.
  • Graphics Card usage is down.
  • Disk Usage is down.
  • Note: Reported memory usage (RAM) is up. This is due to Staxel not hiding memory in the Page File anymore.

Changes:

  • All postboxes and signs (Totems) have two tiers. Shops won’t immediately die when you take their boxes. Important signs also give a warning when you break them.
  • A lot of price changes have been made.
  • A lot of work has been done to lower Hard drive usage. It is now under control.
  • World generation and Level Of Detail generation have been sped up.
  • Tutorial changes, most for those not the admin of the server.
  • Animal behaviour is more reliable. They also have more trouble jumping over fences. (Still an area we are working on.)

Fixes:

  • A large number of fixes were made. Game should crash less, and more systems should work as expected.

Full Steam Ahead

👋 Hi everyone !
It’s been crazy since release so we’ve been busy processing all the feedback we’ve received.
We want to let you know our goals for the next major update so that you know what to expect.

💻 Improved steam networking
We know some people have had some trouble setting up servers and playing with their friends. Since this is a big part of our game we want to make it as easy as possible.
We’re currently looking into improving steam networking so it won’t be difficult for new players or people who don’t know how to port forward.

📕 Journal to track your progress and goals
After hearing that some people get lost or don’t know what they need to do in game, we’ve decided to implement a journal that will contain a lot of info and will track your progress along with any quests you have.
For example, what buildings you have been asked to make or who to deliver that package to!
We hope this will create a better experience for people who want to have all that info in one place.

🎣 Museum
We’ll be adding a museum questline which will allow you to add a museum to your village.
Add your bugs and fish to complete it so that you and your friends can view your collections in style.

🗣️ More quests and stories
We’ll be adding more quests and stories for villagers so that you can continue helping out the people in your town.
This will also include better gifts for helping them out so it will be more rewarding !

In addition to that you will also see us upload small updates with bigfixes and small changes.
The very rough timeline we  have for all these features to be implemented is around 1 month.

Staxel Is Now Available!

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After nearly four years of development, and our team growing from a small two-man operation to nearly a dozen hard-working developers, we have finally published Staxel to Steam! As you can imagine we’re all feeling a mix of excitement, pride, and nerves over this and we can’t wait to see what you all think of our game so far. While we still have so much we’d like to do, we think you’ll all certainly enjoy what’s already there!

aaa

As you can see, Staxel has come a long way from its humble beginnings. It started out as a basic creative builder, with not much other than an open world and a handful of tools and building blocks. Since that point we’ve kept on adding more and more of the content and systems we’d had in mind until we reached a point where we were happy to show the world what we’ve got. It’s been a wild ride so far, but now begins a totally new phase for Staxel, and we’re super excited to get started!

This brings us to a very important point, and one we’re forever grateful for. We’d like to take a moment to thank our fantastic community for all the support you’ve given us and for all the fun we’ve had with you over the past few years. We’ve had a blast gaming with you, chatting with you and spitballing ideas. All the way from the tiny IRC channel we started with to the busy and friendly Discord server we hang out on together now. Thanks guys, we’ve seriously loved every minute of it, and without you, it goes without saying we never would have reached this point!

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With that, we hope all of you have a blast with Staxel! Keep an eye out as in the coming days we will be posting another article outlining some of our plans for Staxel’s development, including plans for new features and such!

You can get involved with our community through the following links:

Staxel Reporter – Issue #37: Mines, Steam Testing & Doors

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Staxel Reporter – Issue #37

Hey everyone, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’ll be talking about the addition of Mines in the world-gen, Steam testing for Staxel, and we’ll take a little peek at a building piece a lot of you have been requesting for quite some time. Enjoy!


Mines

It’s been said that if you listen carefully, you can hear the faint echo of Winters whistling away while he works tirelessly beneath the surface, creating the mines which will soon be gracing the landscape in Staxel.

Mines are a completely new addition to the world-gen. We felt that, although roaming a massive, unspoilt island was a beautiful concept, it needed the human touch of hard work and industry.

Let’s have a look at how he’s getting on, shall we?

That’s a pretty large-scale operation going on there.
Let’s take a closer look, but keep your voices down, we don’t want to interrupt his flow.

It definitely seems like there will be interesting stuff to find in there whilst exploring, but I think we’ll leave that for another day. Let’s get out of here before Winters hears us snooping around.


Steam testing

A lot of you will know that we’re getting very close to releasing Staxel on Steam. Nerve-wracking as it may be, we need to knuckle down and make sure we’re ready for it, and that means fixing all the bugs and finding the ones we don’t know about.

We’ve recently started sending out Steam keys to a small number of people who’ve already purchased Staxel on the website. This has already given us invaluable information and some great feedback to work with.

If you haven’t received a Steam key yet, don’t worry! It won’t be long until you get yours when we launch on Steam. In the meantime, if you have found any bugs or issues you think we should know about, or you just fancy hanging out with us, why not come and join the Staxel Discord where we have a dedicated #testers channel to help with the cause!

You can find the link to the Discord at playstaxel.com or just click on the image below!

Discord-LogoWordmark-Color


Doors

Yup, you heard it right. Thanks to Moocow (and the masses of you who’ve requested it over the last couple of years) we finally have working doors implemented!

You can see a piece of the action in the .gif below.

Door gif-min

Inspiring, isn’t it?

The doors currently open and close automatically when you approach them. This might change in the future but it was the easiest way to get them in quickly without having to put the NPCs through “How to Open Doors 101”.

One resident in particular will definitely benefit from the added privacy this feature brings.

PottyHumourJpeg


That’s it for this issue of the Staxel Reporter. You can grab ‘Staxel – Sprout Edition’ 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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EGadd

Staxel Reporter – Issue #36: Pumpking Feast Festival & Updated Tavern

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Staxel Reporter – Issue #36

Hey everyone, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’ll be talking about the first festival, ‘Pumpking Feast’ as well as take a quick look at the new and improved tavern. Enjoy!


Pumpking Feast

The first festival has been added to Staxel! I’m very excited to finally be typing up this article.  I’ve been excited for festivals for the longest time, and oh boy, what a festival it is! This festival is the first of many, and since it isn’t in the public build yet I’ll give you all a lil’ sneak peek.

Screenshot_8

‘Pumpking Feast’ happens once per year on the island. The story goes that at this time of year, emissaries of the Pumpking pay the island a visit in order to prepare for a grand feast celebrating the harvest season. This happens every year early in Autumn. With that, prepare to have a blast getting involved with all the games and activities that come with Pumpking Feast!

There’s so much to do, and only a couple of days to do it! I started with the maze myself, got lost a few times and then eventually found my way back to the entrance. Now, I’m not going in there again, but maybe you’ll have better luck with it!

After that I decided to help out a bit. They were running short on sweets, so I made some toffee apples! One of the emissaries of the Pumpking gave me the recipe after all, it was the least I could do.

Screenshot_2

I finished up the day with some good ol’ fashioned pumpkin carving! Now my Jack O’ Lantern may not have had the best face, and sure, maybe I had to take a trip to the emergency room… but at the end of the day I had made a pumpkin with a face and so technically I still made a Jack O’ Lantern. Okay? Next paragraph please.

It was a long day, but after getting involved with each activity I was rewarded with the Pumpking Emissary outfit. I was told very clearly this does NOT make me an ‘official’ Pumpking Emissary, but I’m not buying that. I would make an excellent Pumpking Emissary.

That’s pretty much it for a quick overview on this festival. I encourage you to check it out in-game when it hits the public build! The festival begins on the 5th of Autumn and lasts a couple of days. Just remember, when carving Jack O’ Lanterns, carve in a clean, dry and well-lit area.


Updated Tavern

Winters has been hard at work creating new structures and worldgen items to make the island more interesting. His latest endeavour has been to give the Tavern a complete overhaul! No longer will you have to spend your Friday nights sitting in a stuffy, outdated, and reportedly unhygienic establishment (the Standards Agency are still currently investigating claims of questionable cleanliness practices made by a certain blonde-haired, fastidious resident). It’s time to bring a little class to this village!

We have a sneak preview of the new Tavern so take a look for yourself and see what you think.

Tavern1

As you can see, the new hang-out spot is definitely a cut above the old one. It even has a room available for residents who, for whatever reason, can’t spend the night at home.

Tavern3

And just look at that interior! The best part is, everything is now up to code. The second story even has bannisters! There was just something a little worrying about having a second floor in a tavern that had no safety railing.

The new tavern is the first of many building overhauls you can expect in the coming weeks. It’s not in the public build yet but should be relatively soon. We’re so happy with it, and Rowan is too! Now his tavern is fixed up, the next step is keeping Farm Fan out of the good stuff.


That’s it for this issue of the Staxel Reporter. You can grab ‘Staxel – Sprout Edition’ 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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EGadd

Staxel Reporter – Issue #35: Tokyo Game Show & Set Pieces

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Staxel Reporter – Issue #35

Hi everyone, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter we’ll be talking about how Tokyo Game Show went, and the new ‘set pieces’ we’re working on. Enjoy!


Tokyo Game Show

We’re back from Tokyo Game Show, and it was awesome. Hopefully this article will give you a little taste of the magic we experienced while we were there! (It really won’t, but probably still worth a read. )

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Tokyo Game Show went incredibly well for us. We’ve had so many gamers of all ages coming up and giving Staxel a go, and it really seemed to strike a chord with them! It’s so valuable watching people play Staxel who have never heard of it before. We’ve played it so much over the years that it’s hard to tell what people will struggle with and what they will enjoy. We made a lot of notes watching them play, and we’re currently addressing the issues that the players found!

Like Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show showed us that we’re getting so close to what we have envisioned for Staxel! Just a few more features and dash of polish and we’re good for steam! Well, maybe cup of polish… or a barrel.

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Something we learned pretty quickly was that in Japan, the ‘A’ and ‘B’ buttons that we know and love are swapped around. We had to do a quick fix so that the gamers there could use the controller the way they’re used to. It brought up the good point that while we have so many language translations, there may be other differences we’ll need to take into account when releasing Staxel all over the globe. Time to crack out the books!

All in all we had a blast in Tokyo. We met some Staxel fans, hung out with the other devs and saw the beautiful city!


Set Pieces

We’ve recently begun working on something we’ve ever so affectionately called ‘set pieces’. These set pieces are a wide range of different structures that will spawn throughout the Staxel world. Let’s take a deeper look at what I’m talking about.

hermit_shack_1_ext1.jpg

The hermit’s hut is an example of a set piece that you might stumble upon when exploring the island. We want to have a variety of different, random things that you might find when exploring beyond the village.

Set pieces aren’t restricted to buildings and structures, they also include more natural things like lakes, boulders, tree stumps and so on. Just a few extra things to add a bit of spice to the island. Along with that, we’re also planning on adding 20+ new tree variations, as we only have around 3 or 4 right now.

swamp.jpg

One other thing I want to mention is the beach specifically. So far the beach has been pretty bare and boring, however, we’re also going to be adding a bunch of set pieces to spawn there too! This includes a fishing dock, a lighthouse, a beachhouse and plenty more!

I hope that gives you a better idea of what to expect when we push set pieces. They’re not in the public build yet but should be added in one of the next updates!


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

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

Thanks for reading!

Subscribe

 

EGadd