Whoa! PAX Aus! It was a thing! It’s a week later and my feet still hurt! What’s the deal with that? Despite that, it’s back to work for me and the rest of the Staxel team (who were still at work during PAX anyway). We had a huge amount of awesome player feedback, and, let me tell you, it’s certainly informing our work on what’s shaping up to be one awesome game, if I do say so myself! With that in mind, I’d like to give you all some insight into the development process by listing a few things that we’re improving in Staxel due to player feedback. Disclaimer: it’s all ideas at this point!
This sounds pretty mundane, but it’s something that almost everyone at PAX ran into: apparently setting the B button on the Xbox controller as “Drop Item” is a terrible idea. Fellow devs, never do it! In light of that, we’re also looking at reworking the way that the player picks up items. Formerly, you had to look at an item on the ground and press a button (left trigger, in our rushed PAX control scheme), which… isn’t super intuitive. We had lots of feedback on that one, and one group of playtesters even took turns hitting the drop button to throw out all 425 admin-mode inventory items!
(The game didn’t crash, which was encouraging!)
Our current UI has been in the game for “too long,” according to Liam, who I’m in a Skype call with as I’m writing this. I’d say it’s been around for approximately 8 dog years, which is equivalent to 16 cat years, which is… pretty close to just over 1 human year. Anyway, point is, it’s pretty outdated, and luckily enough, we’re working really hard on giving it both a redesign and a facelift. For example, here’s what our character creator looks like now:
And here’s what Conor’s work-in-progress mockups are looking like!
As you can see, we’re going for a naturalistic vibe with our our interface, which we hope reflects the fun and friendly nature of the game. We’re always open to feedback, of course, so if you’ve got thoughts on that, please pop on over to our forums and let us know what you think!
In Staxel, you can already cook, go on picnics, hunt bugs, catch fish, and explore for secrets on the island, alone and with friends. But at PAX, the players wanted more. They wanted something extreme. They wanted… Staxel 2?!
Actually, no, they wanted beacons. And we’re happy to put those in the game! We’re thinking that each player will have a small number of beacons that recharge over time, so you can let your friends know exactly where you are on the island, no matter how far away you are. Because, hey, we don’t want to get in the way of you having fun with your friends. That’s a major part of our game design: letting you have fun, unobstructed!
There were plenty more points that players brought up at PAX, and most of them are things that we’ve either considered already or, even better, we’re working on already! It’s super exciting to know that we’re on the same path as the players with regards to game design and expectations, and it tells us that we’re doing just fine when it comes to getting this game ready for everyone to play.
Soon? Maybe. Who knows? We know. You wanna know? You’ll have to wait! Mwa ha ha!
By the way: there’s a secret hidden in our reveal trailer. Did you find it? We’ll be letting you know about the second part of that before the year ends. Look out for it!
Happy travels, friends!
– Damon, narrative designer on Staxel
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!
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
Great news everyone, Staxel has been greenlit!
We wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your support and helping us with our greenlight campaign! All your comments and interest in Staxel has been amazing, the whole team is incredibly pleased.
Right now we’re working very hard on the next step for Staxel, and we can’t wait to show you all some more Staxel stuff. Don’t forget, you can follow Staxel’s development through our Forums, Twitter, Reddit, or Facebook. Again, thank you all for your support!
P.S Feel free to pop into our IRC channel and say hello, most of the team hangs out in there and we’re pretty active.
Hey, everyone! Big news, coming your way!
Firstly, we’ve been truly humbled by the huge response to Staxel’s Greenlight. All of you are giving us amazing feedback, and all of your kind comments make us feel all squishy inside, in a good way. And it’s not just your comments that have been helpful – your votes have been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve broken the top 5 on Greenlight!
Because of this, we thought we’d give you, our fans, some exclusive info on our plans for Staxel. In this installment, we’ll be talking about…
For Staxel’s score, we’ve enlisted the services of the immensely talented Curtis Schweitzer, who you may know from his roles composing the scores of games such as Starbound and Airships. He’s got a distinctive, expansive style, and we think his music is a perfect fit for the game.
“But, Staxel devs,” you say, “where can we listen to this soundtrack that you’re saying such nice things about?”
This is the point where we say, “Right HERE!“
Check it out! Let us know what you think: we’re always listening.
Speaking of listening (and talking)…
Did you know that we have a Staxel community forum AND a chat channel? It’s true! Check out the links below, and come hang out with both other fans and developers of the game!
That’s all for now – once again, thanks so much for your support. It means a lot to us, and it’s amazing motivation to make the best game that we possibly can.
P.S. Who likes cats?
Hey everyone, big news! After our many weeks of work, preparation, sleepless nights, five dozen reshoots, and sleepless nights we are finally ready to show Staxel to the world!
We have officially published our Steam Greenlight page, which includes the long promised first Staxel trailer!
If you’re interested in supporting Staxel and want to see it on Steam, please show us some support and vote for us on Greenlight.
Hey everyone! This is going to be a quick little update to tell you all what’s been happening.
We’ve all been working very hard since the last blog update. We’re working towards putting out our first ‘proper’ gameplay video, and we’re hoping to have it done and uploaded fairly soon so keep an eye out!
Anyway, there’s a lot I could tell you guys about features we’ve added and all that but a lot of them are going to be in the upcoming video, so instead I’m just going to gather some tweets the team have been putting out there regarding the game/video so they’re all in one place.
House for sale!
— Damon Reece (@demanrisu) July 23, 2015
— bartwe (@bartwerf) July 20, 2015
— Staxel (@StaxelGame) July 11, 2015
— Damon Reece (@demanrisu) July 25, 2015
Testing out the new camera feature
— bartwe (@bartwerf) July 21, 2015
Regarding the very last tweet, Bart made an awesome camera feature that allows us to create awesome, cinematic shots. It’s incredibly easy to use and will be in in-game feature that anyone can mess with! (Will most likely require the user to be an admin or something, we don’t know those super fine details yet. 😉 )
Hey guys! The team just got back from showing Staxel off at Minecon and I thought now would be a good time to update you all on how things are going.
We’ve been quiet for a while but we’ve been actively working and have been making good progress! We had to crunch for the last 3 weeks to prepare for Minecon and
got a huge amount of work done.
Our team has grown too, which we’re very excited about! Check out our team section to see the updated team list here.
Minecon went above and beyond with our expectations, everybody loved the game and we got fantastic feedback. People especially loved our unique crafting system, which is what the next blog post will be about, so make sure you’re following us on either Twitter, reddit, or our forums!
We met so many fantastic people, and plenty of dedicated and passionate game developers. We had a great time playing all their games and having them play ours. (Which I’m sure they enjoyed immensely. 😉 ) Seriously though, their feedback was very encouraging and greatly appreciated!
Keep checking back as I’ll be posting more blog posts regarding what’s new in Staxel soon!