Cloudy with a Chance of Games

It was a pleasure to speak to Dylan West and Dave Oshry from Rocketwerkz about Stationeers. The game was recently onto GeForce Now so we reached out to find out more about the game, GeForce Now, and how the development process is going. You can pick up Stationeers on Steam and is currently in Early Access.

If you were describing Stationeers to someone completely new to the game how would you?

To non-gamers we’ll fall back to the simplicity of a ‘Nerdier Minecraft’, but to those more familiar with the genre it’s probably easier to say it’s a complex space base, systems building and management game. You’ll not just be responsible for keeping yourself alive and mining resources and building your base, but also the framework that will power, pressurize and automate it.

You have brought your game to GeForce Now how was the process bringing it to the platform?  

Painless! 

All we had to do was sign an agreement with Nvidia and Valve and check a box in Steam.

What’s your opinion on cloud gaming and do you have any plans inbringing Stationeers to Stadia or other cloud platforms? (I seen you have Stationeers running on Linux in your FAQ but have not released it)

Cloud gaming is great in theory, we just need the infrastructure to meet the need. By that, we mean better, more affordable internet the world over. And we’d happily bring Stationeers to any platforms we feel could offer players a great experience with the game. GeForce now was a no brainer. (We support a dedicated server for Linux, not the game client though.  We have done fixes in the past to resolve issues with emulators like Proton or WINE as well)

What feature(s) in the game are you most proud of?

The atmospherics and logic systems are really the backbone of what you can achieve in Stationeers. Some of the creations we’ve seen from players have gone so far beyond what we were prepared for, which as a dev, is one of the highlights of making systems-based games. In early testing we had a bug where everyone would seemingly explode between 15 and 20 minutes into playing the game. After much head-scratching we found the decision to have players’ tools all visible on their belts meant that the fuel tank on your welder was often in direct sunlight.  This was heating the contents of the tank up over time, and in our simulation in the vacuum of space, the heat had nowhere to dissipate to so the tank would get hotter and hotter –  until eventually the fuel mix of hydrogen and oxygen would explode!  Luckily once we were able to explain the issue, it was largely met with laughter rather than anger.

You are updating the game very regularly. What is the one thing you wish people understood better about game development?

We love player feedback, and we are very open with the community about what our goals and limitations are.  However, sometimes there will be factors that mean a suggestion is unfeasible because it conflicts with other plans we have, or there’s a technical blocker at the engine-level or something, or we just don’t have the resources to solve it in our largely junior team.  Some people get it, but it’s tough when people don’t.  There is a really talented team working through some tough circumstances on the game right now and overall the community support we’ve enjoyed has been amazing.

You other games have been VR based and Stationeers isn’t.  What do you feel about VR and will you go back into the VR Space in the future?

VR is a lot of fun to work with and is constantly evolving. We don’t have any current plans to work on any new VR games but after recently updating our Out of Ammo™ titles for modern headsets in 2020… we’ve had some discussions about getting back into it. Stationeers VR is unlikely but not out of the question.

Stationeers can be played in CO-OP and as a Single player.  Has been finding the balance between the two been difficult?

Stationeers was built from the start as a multiplayer game, to the point where if you start a single player game it is effectively a multiplayer lobby ready to go (but it’s not advertised by default).  The game can be very challenging, and while having to do all the tasks yourself is especially hard, you also get the bragging rights if you manage to do it all solo. The advanced automation systems in the game also help solo players take care of some of the manual tasks they might otherwise have to manage, like monitoring and maintaining their base and even things like mining.

What can we look forward to next in Stationeers?

The most recent addition of rockets and interplanetary travel opens us up to really expand what you can do off-world.  For example, all mineable ores and ices have been available on every planet.  With this change, we can now look at doing things like moving rare minerals onto particular planets so you have to travel to find them.  A couple of updates ago we also added a research system, and now we can look at gating certain late-game technologies behind items you must find on other planets.  So essentially we’ll now be entering a phase of back-filling some of our more recent systems with content, as well as a focus on the new-player experience, revised tutorials and a whole bunch of quality-of-life improvements and bug-fixes. Stationeers is selling and reviewing better than ever with more people playing it than ever before so we’re excited to continue working on it with our growing community of players.

Come join them at Discord.gg/Stationeers 

Thank you to the Stationeers team for allowing us to ask them some questions.

By Duncan Baxter

I have been playing since the Commodore 64 days and have basically played every console going since then including the Ouya! I have been a fan of cloud gaming since the Onlive days and that was my favorite platform. Cloud gaming will revolutionize how we play games going forward and it is just a matter of time when it takes off.

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