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    • Aug28

      StarMade Hotfix v0.199.172 - Ship Core Destruction & Server Fixes

      Hello citizens, ~

      a small hotfix has been uploaded:

      ~ Fixed servers with lots of blueprints freezing when a player saves a blueprint (Uncontrolled multithreading caused too much memory being consumed)

      ~ Fixed cores being destructible on client side (didn't affect servers, so it had no direct gameplay implication)

      ~ Fixed orientation resetting for damaged blocks on client side (also didn't affect servers, so it fixed itself on reload)

      ~ Changed entity saving method to possibly fix issue of playerstates resetting on some systems. Also increased log output on that should it still happen.

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ the Schine team

    • Aug27

      New Launcher Release

      Greetings, Citizens ~ 

      Terra here. After many months of working on the new launcher, I’m excited to finally announce its release! 

      The new launcher is a pleasant departure from our previous, rather utilitarian version. It’s beautiful, very user-friendly, and should help resolve many issues. (Though, should you prefer using the legacy launcher for any reason, you may still do so.) 

      Please note that we are only releasing the launcher on Steam at present. 
      A standalone version will follow soon. 

      If you want to use the new launcher outside of Steam now, head over to our downloads page and hit the “DOWNLOAD NEW LAUNCHER” button http://www.star-made.org/download . 


      Here are a few of the major points: 

      Bundled Java

      One of the primary benefits of the new launcher is that it comes already bundled with Java. Not only will this allow users to launch the game on systems without Java installed, it also ensures the correct bit version for their system. (While using 32bit Java on a 64bit OS is possible, doing so causes significant performance issues.) Furthermore, we specifically picked the Java version we’ve bundled for its better performance, so using the new launcher should improve gameplay experience, at least slightly, for most players. (Should you prefer to use your own installed Java version instead, you may specify it within the launcher options.) 

      On a related note, there’s a relatively rare but difficult-to-troubleshoot problem that has plagued many players in StarMade and other Java games alike: the _JAVA_OPTIONS environment variable. When present, it overrides any settings passed to Java, often causing crashes or extremely poor performance. The new launcher warns you when it is present and allows you to alter its value if desired. 

      These two features should resolve the majority of pre-launch issues. 


      Steam Linking


      Steam linking is considerably easier now: when running the launcher via Steam, it will ask if you want to link your Steam account after you’ve logged in. The option is also available in the launcher options. 


      Memory Settings


      Continuing with the theme of thwarting potential problems, the memory settings window will not allow you to choose invalid memory values, and has sensible defaults. The input boxes allow fine control over values, while their spinners and the slider allow you to change values quickly. 


      Moving Forward


      As the launcher is freshly out of beta, there may be some lingering bugs. If you discover any, please restart the launcher with the --verbose option (via the console, or within Steam via “Properties > Set launch options…”), reproduce the behavior, and attach launcher.log to the bug report along with the usual information. I will be happy to squish them for you. 

      Speaking of options, passing --help to the launcher will give you a list of options that change its behavior, including bypassing the autoupdate feature, or capturing the game’s output for troubleshooting purposes. 

      I will continue updating and improving the launcher, and already have several additional features planned. Furthermore, we here at Schine are planning on releasing the launcher’s source in the coming weeks, so if you’re keen on forking it or helping out, you can! If you just want to poke around, that’s fine, too. 


      Stay tuned for more updates! 


      And as always, thanks for playing StarMade 
      ~ The Schine Team

    • Aug26

      StarMade v0.199.169 - Faster Chunk Loading, Lag Correction, Physics Optimization, Cannon/Beam Hit Optimization

      Greeting citizens, ~

       

      Since mainly we are working on the NPC factions feature at the moment, which is a big update with a lot of planning, design, and architecture, the updates during this period will contain smaller features, fixes, and optimizations.

       

      However, this doesn’t mean that the updates won’t have any impact. The latest optimizations make ship battles, including capital ship fights a lot more fluent.

       

      Faster Chunk Loading

      One major bottleneck of the old system (even more so with the new chunk32 system) was the final step of loading or generating chunks for the game. The step of putting the blocks in the game physically and updating all logical dependencies as well as center of mass, tensors, and other metadata.

       

      Since this step was done in the main thread, it often caused fps drops, and/or stalling (small freezes). This was mostly visible when starting up.

       

      Most of the work has now been put into the generator threads that load the chunks. This archives much faster chunk loading as it utilizes multicore processors.

       

      The data that needs to be in sync with the main thread is prepared and applied in one step per chunk.

       

      It doesn’t eliminate all the short freezes on startup, but it makes it considerably better. It also improves general loading speed by about 30%-40% (reported by our testing team).

       

      Bandwidth Optimization

      Positional data is now sent dynamically based on where the players are. The further away an object is from you, the fewer position updates you will receive. This will improve bandwidth usage on bigger servers by a lot since the positional data is at least 50% of the total data sent.

       

      Lag Correction

      As you all know, when going fast and trying to hit an equally fast ship, stuff starts to jitter around. This is now fixed. The new lag correction algorithm does a much better job at smoothing client and server differences out. Speeds up to 300m/s had no noticeable jitter on the official test server.

       

      However, sector changes still cause your ships to jitter, that’s a different issue.

       

      Physics Optimization

      Although physics performance on single entity ships is in a much better place now, stuff gets to a crawling halt when two bigger ships with docked entities meet.

      This is now optimized to run several times faster (from around 1fps on two big ships with 200+ entities colliding to around 40-60, coming from 80 fps).

       

      Cannon/Beam Hit Optimization

      Block modifications in general, but especially block damage and removal caused by cannons, damage and salvage beams have been sped up considerably.

       

      Volleys from capital ships will no longer turn the game into a slide show. From testing results, weapons that used to freeze your game for several seconds per volley, barely affect your FPS now.

       

      This combined with the physics optimization should make ship battles a lot more enjoyable.

       

      Bug Fixes

      T1830 Block information for Russian/Traditional Chinese cause freezes

      T1025 Joystick and Gamepad support broken

      • Fixed a layout issue for the Pixel texture pack.

      • Turret power sharing (for AI) now looks at every chain before it stops firing. The threshold is still 35% of max power capacity (but per chain now).

      • Fixed an issue where destroyed blocks would re-appear (client side only) in some cases.



       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ The Schine Team

       

       

    • Aug16

      StarMade v0.199.161 Lighting optimization

      Hello citizens ~

      we just uploaded a small update that will increasy lighting calculation speed by ~30%. That's the time of a recalculation when you place a block, or turn light on/off. The chunk32 update introduced a bit of delay on it since it is doing 8 times the work now. There are more optimizations planned in that regard very soon.

      Also, a lighting bug has been fixed. It caused the lighting switch to distance lighting to be a hard edge, so chunks appeared to be suddenly darker when coming closer.

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ the Schine team

    • Aug14

      StarMade Hotfix v0.199.159 Asteroid Resources fix

      Greetings citizens, ~

      this is just a small update to fix the resources in asteroids. They should be more than 8 times as much raw resources in asteroids, and the veins should be spread more evenly. This fix will only apply to unchanged asteroids of course.

      Additionally there is a small fix to the light bars which blocked players from walking through its block sized hitbox. Also, there is a small fix to wireless logic when the recipient isn't loaded in yet.

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ The Schine Team