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    • 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

    • Aug12

      StarMade v0.199.152 Optimizations, Memory optimizations, and fixes

      Greetings citizens,~

       

      This update should bring more stability to the game, and multiplayer servers in particular.

       

      Optimizations

      Physics

      Physics are heavily upgraded now, as promised in the last update. Colliding or getting close to bigger structures should show a drastic improvement. This will bring down general load, and remove some of the high ping issues.

      The only remaining bottleneck is two structures getting close with lots of smaller rail docked entities on them, but that should also be fixed soon.

       

      Blueprints

      There was a problem with blueprint handling in the last update, where a change to the Catalog would cause a full read of every entry, causing high pings for a long period of time.

       

      Memory

      Several memory issues have been fixed. One was that, as mentioned before, the catalog read and cached every ship, which resulted in a lot of wasted memory.

      There were also some other minor to medium leaks that caused high memory usage such as when using lots of missiles at the same time, and physics data sets not being cleaned up properly when thrown back into the pool for reuse.

       

      Model Export

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Ships can now be exported as 3D models (.obj format) that can be read by most common 3D editing programs (3ds max, maya, blender, etc). With how our game engine works, most of the necessary elements were already there so we decided to turn it into a feature.

       

       

      To export a ship, go to your catalog as if you want to save a ship and click on the export as 3D model button. You can then choose a name for the export which will be added to the modelexport folder in your StarMade directory.

      Make sure, when loading it up in a program to use the alpha channel of the textures to get transparency on blocks and sprites.

      Smaller Changes

      The game will now automatically set the resolution to what the desktop resolution is on first start on a fresh install.

       

      The game will now warn you if you play with in 32bit.

      Bug Fixes

       

      • T1807 Dropped meta items stack when picked up

      • T1791 Creative mode can’t be turned off in singleplayer

      • T1785 Shipyard fail to load designs

      • T1782 Can no longer dock to a shipyard with core beam

      • T1698 Log files have an unexpected file extension

      • T1692 Catalog manager deletes wrong blueprints when not sorted as numbered list

      • T1689 Settings reset when starting a dedicated server

      • T1641 Collision detection in docked entity pilot mode has severe performance issues

      • T1544 Shoot out rail undocks too soon after direction change

      • T1407 /destroy_entity and overheat despawning makes some entities non physical

      • T1198 unfactioned ships will get stuck on pickup rails when re-docked without a pilot inside

      • T1148 Tooltip shows incorrect names for swapping meta item places

      • T574 Improper orientation of blocks when using undo in advanced build mode

      • Several typo fixes

       

      T1698 means that our log files have changed names.

      ~ log.txt.# changed into logstarmade.#.log

      ~ serverlog.txt.# changed into serverlog.#.log

       

      We’ve also changed the asteroid size server config value from chunk to block radius.

      Default value is set to 64:

      ~ ASTEROID_RADIUS_MAX = 64 //Asteroid max radius in blocks (from -x to +x)

       

      Furthermore, due to fixes in the FactionConfig.xml, servers might have to adapt their custom configs. Should the custom config fail to load, the game uses the default as a fallback.


       

      As always, all languages have been updated to the latest translations. Thanks to all the translators on http://translate.star-made.org/!


       

      Thanks for playing StarMade,

      ~ The Schine Team

       
    • Aug2

      StarMade v0.199.132 - Huge performance upgrade for chunks, also now supporting Portuguese-Brazilian Language

      Greetings, Citizens ~

       

      As mentioned in our previous Dev Blog, this is an optimization update where we are improving the chunk system, among other changes. We expect performance gains of up to 50%, in the best cases even close to doubling frame rates on some structures.

       

      Chunk32

      With this update, all worlds will use the new chunk format, which (among other things) increases the chunk size from 16x16x16 to 32x32x32.  Code wise, this was probably one of the biggest changes in a long time because it affects such a huge portion of the codebase: we needed to update pretty much every area that interacted with chunks. Not only that, but we also had convert old worlds and blueprints and make sure everything is still fully functional.

       

      A new object always starts at the center of a chunk, so moving to 32-block chunks means all blocks in every object had to be shifted by 8 blocks in all dimensions. But not only that: all logic, connections, rails, and a lot more had to be adapted as well.

       

      The reason for centering objects within their chunk is simple: small objects only consume one chunk (instead of eight), not only saving memory, but significantly improving the performance of nearly every operation (physics, lighting, etc.) as well.

       

      This change also requires converting all files, which happens while initializing the universe.  All existing blueprints are fully compatible with the new system, and are converted while initializing, or when used in-game if needed. They will also migrate on the fly if you upload an old version of a blueprint, or if you copy one directly to the blueprint directory.

       

      Note: Converted blueprints are not backwards-compatible; however, the game retains backups of the chunk16 blueprints, so downgrading is not an issue.

       

      The new format considerably reduces both the amount and size of files stored in the database, resulting in a significantly smaller overall size.  As an example, the test server shrunk from 49GB to 9.2GB with the new format -- 81% smaller!  Other servers can expect similar reductions.

       

      The migration process automatically creates a backup of all old databases and blueprints in the installation directory before touching anything, preserving your data should anything go wrong. The migration might take awhile depending on the database size, so expect updating servers to be down for a bit. (The test server takes between 60 and 90 minutes)


       

      Note for servers:

      If you have already made backups yourself, you can turn off the automatic backup by adding the following lines in the server.cfg, if not already present:

       

      BACKUP_WORLD_ON_MIGRATION = false

      BACKUP_BLUEPRINTS_ON_MIGRATION = false

       

      We’ve also renamed ASTEROID_SIZE to ASTEROID_SIZE_MAX. We’ve lowered its default value from 4 to 1 because of the new larger chunk sizes.  (Addendum: as it’s a radius, it doesn’t include the center chunk. We will switch to a by block radius in upcoming versions)




       

      On top of all the conversions, we needed to make sure the new system can work with every prior version of the game as well. One of the hardest things to adapt was the planet generation, which in its current state may not see performance gains. However, the update greatly improves frame rates while looking at already-generated planets.

       

      The new chunk size also made it difficult to adapt physics, requiring large changes and improvements to get everything to work.  However, we’ve already surpassed the previous performance for turrets and rails. The same performance update will follow for the regular (non-rail) physics in the coming update.  This will improve performance for collisions, and things such as flying inside a hangar.  There are still a lot of ways to optimize the physics engine, so we can continue to improve performance in the future.

       

      You may ask, “Why stop at 32-block chunks? Why not 64, or even 128?” Apart from diminishing returns, the biggest reason against this is that the gains from larger chunks begin to negatively affect any operation that looks at chunks as a whole. Not only would a larger chunk have more wasted space, the size would significantly slow down other lighting calculations, meshing, etc. The 32-block chunk size is the sweet spot, providing significant gains with only minimal performance losses.

       

      The only thing that may temporarily suffer a bit is the lighting calculations.  If the slowdown is too much, or if you’re having too high CPU when objects are loaded in visually, you can reduce the ‘Block light quality’ in the in-game options. We’ve already planned methods to eliminate any performance loss from this issue, and will include them in a future update.

       

      One last thing we did, was implementing and upgrading the shaders to be able to handle the larger chunks. The new shaders make use of more modern Open-GL calls, speeding up drawing even more. However, as always, there is a fallback for older graphics cards.

      New translation

      We’ve added Portuguese-brazilian to our supported languages. A big thank you to all the contributors on our Crowdin project!

       

      Anyone can contribute translations, we’re currently working on 21 languages and need all the help we can get! Sign up to our translation site here: http://translate.star-made.org/

      Gamma

      The gamma setting is now available in the ingame graphics options.

       

      Bug Fixes

       

      What comes next

      We will be looking at NPC factions, and doing an overhaul of the the fleet system.  We plan to make fleets much more stable and functional, and further: to also allow NPCs to use them for their own ends.  Nefarious pirate armadas, here we come!  We will also include bugfixing rounds along the way.






       

      As always, thanks for playing StarMade!

      ~ the Schine Team


       

    • Jul18

      StarMade v0.198.485 New Tutorial Videos, Fixes, and Optimization

      Greetings, Citizens ~


       

      This is a small update that adds a new tutorial series to the game meant especially for new players.  These tutorials should provide players with enough information to understand the basics of the game and begin building.  We will update the tutorials and release additional videos as the game progresses.


       

      Furthermore, we’ve implemented some fixes and optimizations:

       

      ~ Inventories pulling large amounts of items previously caused immense server lag, visible even in single player. This release almost completely eliminates the lag, therefore squishing yet another cause of the dreaded server lag popups. This fix not only improves the speed of pulling, but of all inventory operations.

       

      ~ The visual glitch of placing LoD shapes (such as console and light bar) onto transparent blocks has been fixed

       

      ~ Significantly improved the rendering speed of structures comprised of many transparent blocks (e.g. ice asteroids and certain ship/station designs).  A bug in the drawing engine caused this by drawing concealed faces (such as the hidden face between adjacent ice and rock) despite the player being unable to see them.  This lowered frame rates while viewing the structures due to the large number of unnecessary polygons being drawn.

       

      ~ T1670: Fixed importing sectors

       

      ~ Previous news post mentioned 2 outdated config values but it is different in-game as you probably noticed:

      • Fixed Trading guild share is 5%, not 20%

      • Trading guild share per system is 1%, not 2%



       

      As always, thank you for playing StarMade!

      ~ The Schine Team