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!

Staxel Reporter – Issue #10: Gathering & New Furniture Set

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Staxel Reporter – Issue #10

Hey all, in this issue of the Staxel Reporter you’ll learn some of our plans for the ‘gathering’ system and get a sneak peak at a new furniture set!


Gathering

With such a rich world and a host of different environments, gathering becomes almost second nature, and the sooner you get started the better! A good deal of Staxel’s gameplay hinges on the various things you’ll be picking up as you navigate the world. Building, for instance, will require the crafting of materials, most of which are created with resources that can be harvested from your world like stone, wood, clay etc.

Many cooking ingredients will also have to be sourced by foraging around looking for things like berries, fruits, mushrooms and fish. You don’t have to grow everything on the farm when nature provides it for you. And if you come across a particular flower you like the look of, why not just pick off the seeds and grow some yourself?

fish
‘Beta fish’ mock-up

Gathering is also going to be the first step you take towards completing any collections you decide to start, and with some of the “collectables” only being available in certain seasons you’ll be outside gathering all the time!

Finally, you can always make a little extra money from gathering. You’ll be able to sell a lot of the things you pick up on your travels to the vendors in town. This will come in handy, especially early on when you’re just starting up and need a bit of cash to keep things ticking over.

mushroom

So there you have it, a little bit of insight into the possibilities that good gathering techniques will open up for you. So remember, any time you’re out exploring you could be catching bugs, mining for materials, picking fruits and flowers, fishing and collecting all sorts of other things to your heart’s content. Just make sure to bring the right tool for the job!


New Furniture Set

Ever walked into your home and thought “I really wish there was a Contemporary furniture set”? Well have I got news for you!

World-renowned designer RazzleberryFox has just revealed her latest range of furniture, affectionately named “The Contemporary Furniture Set”.

ContemporarySetFull

This set contains the following pieces of furniture:

  • Table
  • Large Table
  • Side Table
  • Coffee Table
  • Single bed
  • Double bed
  • Wardrobe
  • Dresser
  • Chair
  • Arm chair
  • Love seat
  • Sofa
  • Vanity
  • Stool
  • Long stool
  • Futon
  • Credenza
  • Lamp
  • Foot lamp
  • Desk

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Gee Liam, that’s a whole lot of furniture, how will I fit it all into my freshly built home?”

I have no idea, maybe expand your house? That question is really outside my area of expertise.

Screenshot_1

This new furniture set will be arriving in Staxel in the coming week, so keep an eye out for the next update!


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

Remember, Staxel’s price will be raised to $10 USD on May the 1st  (2016).

Thanks for reading!

-EGadd

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The Staxel Reporter – Issue #8

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Staxel Reporter – Issue #8

Hey everyone, this issue of the Staxel Reporter shows off our new village built especially for GDC and a brand new furniture set!


GDC Village Demo

As many of you will no doubt know the Game Developers Conference is currently in full swing in San Francisco! Some of the Staxel team have made the trip to see check out what’s new and catch up with some other devs and we thought this would be a good opportunity to build a new village just in case they bump into anyone who wants to have a look at the game.

So here’s a little showcase of the “GDC Village”! See if you can spot the new items:

farm new
Firstly we have a picture of the farm, we tried to keep it a bit more civilised than the last farm with a nice rustic cobblestone path between plots. To the right we have the tunnel entrance which leads out  to the main village. Outside of the shot to the left is a paddock and barn, complete with some of the new long grass objects that are also now available in game.

overview-1-new

This is the view we have of the new village. Upon exiting the tunnel from the farm you’ll be greeted by a handful of cottages in this sleepy village. But don’t let the olde-worlde chic fool you, each home is outfitted with the latest modern appliances and most comfortable of stylish furniture. Overlooking the village is the mayor’s house, feel free to drop in and take a look, he’s never home.

townsquare-new

Here we have our local amenities surrounding the town square. On the left is the village store, catering to all your most extravagant needs (and with prices to match!). In the centre is the village hall and on the right we have the tavern, complete with tea garden!

well

Lastly we have a postcard-worthy picture of the town well. Beautifully restored to it’s original condition, RazzleberryFox whipped this up for us on request and it looks great!
If you want to check it out for yourself you’re more than welcome to. It’s currently on the “alpha” server.

Come and visit today but remember, we only open access to our test server periodically so you’ll have to hurry if you want to make your mark!


Groovy Furniture Set

Tired of keeping up with all the latest trends? Shelling out every two weeks to get the latest version of exactly the same thing?

Well now you can get an incredibly old version of exactly the same thing with the all “new” Groovy Furniture Set!

 CdNwYc4WwAEEAd6

The set is available in-game now and contains the following pieces of furniture

  • Double Bed
  • Single Bed
  • Table
  • Chair
  • Armchair
  • Couch
  • Floor lamp
  • Small lamp
  • Stool
  • Cupboard
  • Dresser
  • Chest of drawers

Acclaimed designer Conor had this to say about his latest set:

“The Groovy set is super wild, check it out and get your disco on yo!”

groovy

We dared to ask this accomplished fashionista what else we can expect from his upcoming range.

“I’m going to try a new style soon, thinking something dark and Gothic, but maybe it’s just a phase.”

Well there you have it folks, straight from the horse’s mouth. Expect to see a gothic furniture set in the near future!

Follow us on twitter, facebook, reddit, our forums or subscribe to this newsletter for the latest updates on Staxel!


That’s it for this issue of the Staxel Reporter. Remember, you can grab ‘Staxel – Seedling Edition’ at www.playstaxel.com/store

Thanks for reading!

-EGadd

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The Staxel Reporter – Issue #5

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Staxel Reporter – Issue #5

 

Hey all! In this issue of the Staxel Reporter we announce some exciting news and give you a little insight into our plans for Staxel’s flowers.


Introducing A New Team Member

 

Let’s start with some great news, the Staxel team has just gained a new member! More specifically, we’ve brought in an additional artist.

She’s currently working closely with SteampunkStein and they’re coming up with all sorts of exciting new things to add to the game. So, without further ado, here’s RazzleberryFox!

“Hi! I’m Razz… I am a 3D Modeller and digital artist. I have been making 3D models for a few years now.

I started in University and never stopped. I made models and art mostly for Minecraft, I worked closely with quite a few mod makers, also made a mod of my own, Decocraft, and decided that video games were more than a hobby to me, they were my passion and I have been working toward making games look pretty ever since!

Checkered

When I heard the Staxel team was looking for a new member and considered me I was super excited, and now I can finally get to doing something I love and sharing it with all of you!

So feel free to follow me on twitter @razzleberryfox and talk to me! I will try my very best to work with SteampunkStein and the rest of the crew to make Staxel as beautiful as we can!”


Flowers

 

SteampunkStein is currently doing a lot of work on the flower models and on implementing growth stages, so I thought this would be a good time to give you some insight into our plans for flowers in Staxel.

Flowers work differently to crops in a few ways. Firstly, flowers won’t wilt if you forget to water them, this will make it a lot easier to create your stunning garden without having to think about the upkeep of all the plants in it.

flowers

Secondly, colours play a more important role when it comes to harvesting seeds. At first, flowers will only be available in their standard colours but eventually you’ll be able to grow flowers using a wide spectrum of colours and combinations.

Staxel’s extensive collection of flora is designed to give you endless possibilities when creating your gardens, but you’ll be happy to know that they all follow the same growth pattern. To keep things simple all you really need to do is plant the seeds and then water them until they’re fully grown.

I haven’t mentioned everything to do with the features we’re thinking of but I hope this gives you all a better idea of how this system is going to work.


Well, that’s it for this issue of the Staxel Reporter. Remember, you can grab ‘Staxel – Seedling Edition’ at www.playstaxel.com/store

Thanks for reading!

-EGadd

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Modding Guide

Hey everyone,

We’ve just pushed an update that got our Asset Manager into a working state so I figured this would be a good time to make a guide for basic modding. We want people to really take advantage of the possibilities that modding opens up, and this means getting your own items and reskins into the game should be as simple and straightforward as possible.

First off, you’ll be happy to know that mods in multiplayer only need to be installed on the host’s server, if you want to join a modded server you don’t have to install any of the mods yourself! Secondly, before we begin it’s worth noting that you will need to reinstall your mod after any updates as the “mods” folder will be cleared, so make sure to keep backups of any content you create or download. And lastly, at the moment, any modded installation will be considered as failing validation so don’t panic, you haven’t done anything wrong!

Okay, let’s get started.

Making the voxel model

The first thing you’ll need to do is get yourself a voxel editor. Our artist, SteampunkStein, uses Qubicle (http://www.minddesk.com/) but MagicaVoxel (https://voxel.codeplex.com/) is a good free alternative. We’ve also heard some great things about VoxelShop (https://blackflux.com/node/11) from our modders. Basically any editor of your choice that can export to .qb format. Our wiki is going to be updated with more info regarding different voxel editors and the differences between them soon.

Quick note regarding “layer names”. If you’re modding heads, clothing or character items the layer names have to be correct. As we’re just making a simple object you can place in the world we don’t need to worry about that.  Like I mentioned before, our wiki will be updated with more information regarding this soon, but one thing you should make note of is that MagicaVoxel doesn’t support multiple layer names.

Now it’s time to start making the items you want. There are no colour restrictions, but it’s best if you try and stick to multiples of 16x16x16 grids. For example if you want to make your item taller than one block, you’d use 16x16x32, longer than one block would be 32x16x16 etc.

When you’re finished designing your model you’ll need to save it to the mods folder as a .qb file. The default path to the mods folder is “%localappdata%/Local/staxel.launcher/gamedata/content/mods” and while not completely necessary, it would be a good idea to make a new folder for each modpack you create to avoid any confusion later on.

mushroom

Now that you have your .qb model you’ll need to generate a .tile file to accompany it in your mod folder.

There a two ways to generate .tile files.  Firstly, you could write one yourself in your favourite text editor, (which is what we’ll be doing in the first example) we’ll call this “Method A”. Secondly, you could use Staxel’s Asset Manager (we’ll call this “Method B”). This option will make the process a lot easier for players who don’t have much experience with modding. If you are still struggling to get your mod into the game after trying both of these options then you should have a look at the “modding wiki”. This wiki can be edited by anyone so, although there isn’t much info on there at the moment, it will be a constantly growing article with the latest relevant information available.

Method A – Writing a .tile in a text editor

Okay so, the easiest way to start writing your own .tile file would be to have a look at the .tiles already available for Staxel’s own assets. You can find them in “%localappdata%/Local/Staxel.Launcher/gamedata/content/staxel”. Try to find an asset that behaves similarly to the way you want your item to be used in the game. We’re making a mushroom so we’ll use a flower .tile (in this instance “Allium_blue_1” which can be found in /content/staxel/plant/flowers/ Allium_blue_1.tile).

Start off by making a copy of the .tile and pasting it into the mod folder that contains your .qb file. Now open it up in notepad (or the text editor of your choice) and you should see something like this:

not

It might look confusing at first but it’s actually pretty easy. For a simple item the only properties you need to change are the following:

“code” is the I.D of the asset, you can change this to anything you want but it’s encouraged that you use “mods.” as the prefix for your mod assets to avoid any filename conflicts with Staxel’s own assets.  It’s good practice to always make your asset code reference it’s directory as well. For example our mod has the path “mods/testmod/LargePinkMushroom”, so we will give this mod the asset code “mods.testmod.LargePinkMushroom”

“voxels” is the file location (within the “content” folder) of the .qb model that you want to associate with this .tile file. You’ll need to change this to point to your own .qb so we’ll change it to “%localappdata%/Local/Staxel.Launcher/gamedata/content/mods/testmod/LargePinkMushroom.qb”

“categories” are the keywords that the in-game inventory’s search function will use to filter items from the catalogue, pick some words that describe your item’s design and replace the ones here with those. Since we’re making a pink mushroom we’ll use the tags “mushroom”, “toadstool”, and “pink”.

Now save the .tile file with the name that matches the .qb file.

At this point you should now have the two files you need in your mod folder and you’re ready to get them into the game. For this last step you’ll need to use Staxel’s Content Builder (default location is “%localappdata%\Local\Staxel.Launcher\gamedata\bin\Staxel.ContentBuilder.exe”). All you need to do is start the program, click “Validate Resources” and if you’re putting them on a server click “Upload to server”. This will also create a cache file for the asset in your mod’s folder (this step applies to installing 3rd party mods as well after placing them in the “mods” folder).

And that’s it! Your first Staxel mod should now be available in the game so all that’s left to do now is go and try it out!

Method B – Generating a .tile with the Asset Manager

The Asset Manager does what it says on the box. You can use it as an interface to see the locations and configurations of all the assets in Staxel. For this tutorial though we’ll just be covering a simple way to get your items working in the game, a more in-depth guide will be available at a later date so again, keep an eye on the modding wiki at http://wiki.playstaxel.com/Modding.

Firstly, you’ll need to open the Asset Manager (default location is “%localappdata%/Local/staxel.launcher/gamedata/bin/Staxel.AssetManager.exe”)

In the Asset Manager‘s main window you would open the “View” menu, and depending on the type of asset you’ve created, select the appropriate option. We’ll be using the “Tile Assets” type in this example. Choosing this will open a list showing all of Staxel’s assets of the “Tile Assets” type. So right now, at the top of this new window (below the menu) we have a drop-down list with different kinds of Tile Assets. We’ll select “Flowers” as they’re the most similar to the mushroom we’ll be modding in.

You can use this opportunity to have a look at the properties for all the flowers in the game, but for now we’ll just pick one to clone the configuration from that will be used to generate the new .tile file for your asset.

Once you’ve chosen one you’ll need to clone it by clicking “asset->add->clone asset” and then in the box that opens up we’ll change the settings to what we need for our own .tile file.

“Asset code” is the I.D of the asset, you can change this to anything you want but it’s encouraged that you use “mods.” as the prefix for your mod assets to avoid any filename conflicts with Staxel’s own assets.  It’s good practice to always make your asset code reference it’s directory. For example our mod has the path “mods/testmod/LargePinkMushroom”, so we will give this mod the asset code “mods.testmod.LargePinkMushroom”

“Asset path” is where the new generated .tile file will be saved. You need to change this to the same folder as your .qb file and then add the new name of the .tile (it should be the same as the name of your .qb file). For the example we’ll change this field to “%localappdata%/Local/Staxel.Launcher/gamedata/content/mods/testmod/LargePinkMushroom.tile”

“Kind” We’ll leave this as “Flower”.

And with all the information replaced we’ll click “Ok”

Now we can take a look at our new asset which will be in the list of flowers. When you find it, click on it and you’ll see the configuration displayed on the right. Here you can edit all the information about the object you’re working on. Each parameter is pretty self explanatory. Now, we’re nearly done, we just need to tell it what .qb model to use so scroll down the config list until you find “Voxels” and then click on the filepath to change it to the .qb file in your mod’s folder. We’ll be using “mods/testmod/LargePinkMushroom.qb”.

assetmanager

The next step is to save the asset in the main window’s menu by selecting it from the list of flowers, and in the menu clicking Asset>Save>Asset. Finally we just need to build the asset, on the main menu click File>All Assets>Build and Validate assets.

Congratulations, our mod should now be in the game! That’s how to add a custom item using the Asset Manager.

mushy

The mod files we created for this tutorial can be downloaded here: playstaxel.com/mods/Staxel_Example_Mod.zip

That about wraps it up. Remember to check out the still growing modding wiki for more information on modding. If you have any questions or need any help feel free to post on our forums, or join us in our IRC channel.

Thanks for reading, now get out there and make some awesome mods!

-EGadd

Staxel Seedling Edition is out!

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here, we’re live with our first publicly available build, affectionately dubbed the “Seedling Edition”!

Now let me take a moment to give you a clear idea of what you can expect from the Seedling Edition. It’s essentially a ‘Creative Mode’ building experience, there’s a nice variety of blocks and items to make use of and an unlimited open world to put them in. The Seedling Edition will give you an idea of our game’s visual style, and let you get to get a bit more hands-on by trying out the building mechanics we have in place so far.

You will also be able to do a little bit of modding. We’ve made it very easy to mod in your own content, so if we’re missing a hairstyle you’d like to use you can just add it yourself!

Screenshot_5

Speaking of hairstyles, you have the option to customise your character with a range of available hairstyles and clothing. This is going to be a huge feature for Staxel and the items available to you right now are only a sneak peek at what stylish attire you can expect in the future!

Right now the game is exclusively available at the store page here on playstaxel.com/store for just $5.  Buy today and when the finished game arrives on Steam you’ll receive a steam key too!

That’s all folks, hope you have a blast with Staxel’s Seedling Edition!

The Staxel Reporter – Issue #4

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Staxel Reporter – Issue #4

 

Hey all! This issue of the Staxel Reporter only has one article, a pretty exciting announcement!

 


Staxel ‘Seedling Edition’

 

We have a big surprise for all of you, tomorrow Staxel’s “Seedling Edition” is going to be available to purchase! What’s in the ‘Seedling Edition’?

Now I need to make it very clear, the ‘Seedling Edition’ is a very early look at Staxel. The gameplay we have envisioned for Staxel isn’t there yet!

What is there, however, is ‘creative mode’ building. In this mode, you’ll have unlimited access to a huge variety of blocks, furniture, and objects.

You’ll also be able to get a feel for Staxel’s visuals and atmosphere and maybe get an idea of what kind of game we’re envisioning.

Screenshot_92
How much is it going to cost?

We’re putting the Seedling Edition up for $5. We feel like this a good price as it rewards players for getting involved so early. Whoever purchases the Seedling Edition will also get a steam key of the full version of Staxel once it’s complete.

Seedling Edition will be updated while we are building towards the full version of Staxel.

Where can I buy it?

The ‘Seedling Edition’ will only be available on our official website http://playstaxel.com/, so make sure to keep an eye on it!

 


Well, that’s it for this issue of the Staxel Reporter! Thanks for reading!

-EGadd
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Quick update

Hey all, we just wanted to give you a general update on what’s going on over here at Staxel.

We’ve been a little quiet since around mid December owing to the holiday season. We decided to take a couple of weeks off and now that everyone is nice and rested up we’re getting up to speed again. Good thing too, now that we’re all under a big crunch getting Staxel ready for the January early-alpha build we’ll be putting up!

Damon and I are currently working on a video which will give you all a little idea of what you’ll be able to do and create in the upcoming January version.  We’ll be pretty loud about it once it’s out so as long as you’re following us on twitter, the forums, or facebook you shouldn’t miss it!

screeny

Finally, we here at Staxel would just like to take the opportunity to wish each and every one of our followers the best for the new year! This is going to be an very exciting time for us and we couldn’t do it without your support.

Thanks everyone!

– Liam

The Staxel Reporter – Issue #3

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Staxel Reporter – Issue #3

Hey all! In this issue of the Staxel reporter we announce something really cool, and I did a pretty slick interview with Staxel’s musician, Curtis Schweitzer.


Staxel Pre-alpha

Okay so, we’ve got some pretty big news for you all today!

We’re planning on releasing a super early version of Staxel for you to try your hands at. In January 2016 (as long as all goes to plan) you will be able to purchase Staxel pre-alpha from our site playstaxel.com

Now, I should emphasize that at this early stage functionality will be very limited. This is a way for you all to get an early look into Staxel, the visual experience, a little taste of the creative potential that will be available to you upon full release. You will be able to build with all the assets we currently have in game. Host a server for you and your friends to play around on, or just have a wander around on your own! Just keep in mind that the actual gameplay isn’t there yet.

forest_house

This will also give us a chance to get some feedback and suggestions from the community while we continue developing.

I should probably mention that this build is going to be a lot cheaper than the price planned for release, and on top of that if you purchase at this point, you will also get your copy of the full version for PC when it’s out!

So stay tuned for more news on this. As long as you’re following us on any of the social media platforms we’re on you won’t miss it.


Interview with Curtis Schweitzer

This quick interview is with Curtis Schweitzer, the man in charge of creating Staxel’s awesome music.

Q: Let’s start with a technical question, what kind of software or tools do you use to create your music?

A: My primary DAW (digital audio workstation) is Apple’s Logic Pro X. All of our instruments are digital samples— for Staxel I’m also relying on some really great software synthesizers. Most of the synths in the Volume 0 OST are from u-he’s Dark Zebra synthesizer, with patches from The Unfinished’s beautiful Kronos, Serenity, and Humankind patch libraries. The piano samples are from East West’s gorgeous QL Pianos library, and all of it is hosted in Vienna Ensemble Pro 5, on a sample server from Puget Systems.

Q: Obviously music is incredibly important when setting the atmosphere for any game. What kind of atmosphere are you aiming to set with your music, and how have you approached that goal?

A: Staxel is really laid-back and relaxing, and we’re definitely hyper-aware that music can either help or hurt you get into the game’s intended feel. Everything in the Staxel soundtrack is composed with this in mind— we’re avoiding any sound that could engender feelings of conflict or stress. We really want players to be buoyed along by a score that helps them feel warm, happy, and above all, peaceful.

Q: So you’ve worked on a few other projects, what’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed when creating tracks for Staxel compared to your other soundtracks?

A: One of my big “selling points” as a composer has always been my orchestral work— even though most of my scores are produced from samples, I’m usually trying for as organic a sound as possible, using mostly a standard orchestral palette. Staxel is different in that we’re going for a sound that is a bit more “digital” from the outset. We’re still relying on organic, real instruments (particularly piano), but there’s definitely a lot more emphasis on purely electronic sounds and textures. The voxel-based world of Staxel definitely needs a soundtrack that is aware of its digital roots.

If you want to give Staxel’s music a listen, Curtis has just uploaded ‘Staxel Volume 0’ to Bandcamp, so make sure to check it out here!


Well, that’s it for this issue of the Staxel Reporter! Make sure to subscribe if you want to be the first to get new issues. Thanks for reading!
-EGadd

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Fresh out the oven: Baking in Staxel!

Hey everyone!

Today we’re gonna talk about Staxel’s crafting system: specifically, baking!

In Staxel, all the cooking is done through our state-of-the-tart in-world crafting system, without the drudgery of dragging and dropping items between menus. For example, say you want to bake a cake! First, you place your mixing bowl on any counter, then add your ingredients. You’ll be cracking in eggs, pouring in flour, adding a little bit of butter. Basically, all the standard stuff that goes in a typical cake.

Mix it all up, add the mixture to a cake tin, and throw it in the oven. Don’t leave it in too long, though, otherwise it might burn!

caku(1)

Bam, easy as pie! You think we’re done thought, right? You ain’t seen muffin yet!

Now, while there will be in-game recipes you can follow, which you can read from a recipe book of sorts, we want to encourage experimentation. We want you to be able to make a standard cake mix and think, “Hey, let’s throw in some jam!” which in this case, would result in a delectable jam sponge cake! Yuuuummy!



We’re hoping that most crafting systems in Staxel will follow this pattern, whether you’re cooking for a three-course dinner party or crafting a stylish Elven fence.

That’s all for today’s post! Let us know what you think on the forums, or tweet your ideas at @StaxelGame!

– EGadd, The Muffin Man