A Sci-Fi Building Simulation from Double Fine Productions
Spacebase DF-9 Buy Now Early Alpha Access

Case File 101204 Excerpt Index # [07] 06 05 04 03 02 01


Log Entry: Senior Technician Grelnash, Outpost ZZ-113 (Puce Quadrant), 9410.11.28
Visibility: Private

I am promised demotion.

Savoring this happy possibility, despite bleak present. Unsure of I’s trust in promises of Base Administrator.

Upon immigration to ZZ-113, Administrator assigns I to Technician duty. No doubt sees I’s high competence rating based on pre-Seed experience. Incomplete narrative.

I spawned near shipyards of Fzzt escape fleet, spent first 800 vree of current existence working on machines. Machines speak to I, their complexities transparent. Problem = machines hate I. Feeling reciprocal. Each day an ordeal: problems with no permanent solutions, maddening tedium. Constant suspicion of I’s substandard performance, disappointment of pals. Pals assure me opposite is true.

Marti Mazewski = Terran female duty pal. Meaningful communications ensue frequently. Demotion first suggested by she during exchange of compassions at The Rusty Killbot. Alcohol intake fails to allay frustrations.

I climbed into Base Seed pod 200 vree ago. Only possession was Gwarlek, favored animal toy (Centauri Cuddle Beest) of I’s youth interval. Marti Mazewski understands frequently but Gwarlek understands always. Some rest intervals spent overcome with [translator best fit] -=misery=-.

Demotion from Technician duty strongly desired - Administrator promises to consider. Demotion to Miner duty I’s suggested possibility. Enduring dream of I to commune with vastness of cosmos while extracting valuable resources for good of Outpost ZZ-113.

Surely suffering is finite. I await.

Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 5e released

  • Better “flee from oxygen-starved room” behavior.
  • Fixed: Turrets shoot through floors.
  • Fixed: Research assignment crash on reduction in number of research zones.
  • Fixed: Invalid linecodes in event alerts.
  • Fixed: Incapacitated characters in airlocks don’t always get healed.
  • Fixed: Characters that get sucked into space spawn corpses.

Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 5d released

  • Fixed: Occasional performance hitches relating to turrets.

Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 5c released

  • Derelicts now “float away” if they remain undiscovered/dimmed for too long.
  • Characters have affinities for rooms, and use them to make decisions.
  • Tweaked wording of “no valid airlock” hint to specify an airlock must be space-facing.
  • Re-added “you can force open an airlock” hint that was accidentally removed.
  • Citizens will treat airlocks with incapacitated citizens as non-functional until a Doctor can heal them.
  • Citizens whose sleep is interrupted still get partial benefit from the amount of time they slept.
  • Starvation happens at lower hunger level (-90).
  • Added some Famous Citizen names to credits and citizen list.
  • Population cap is now stored in the config file.  Modify at your own risk!
  • Fixed: Projectiles don’t sort well with their surroundings.
  • Fixed: Issues relating to derelict spawning.
  • Fixed: Unresearched diseases almost never occur.
  • Fixed: All module spawns get identical types & diseases.
  • Fixed: Crash relating to space corpses.
  • Fixed: Wall-mounted props attached to destroyed walls don’t properly construct on load.
  • Fixed: Many pathfinding issues.
  • Fixed: Builder gets stuck trying to build.
  • Fixed: Players receive more matter when they vaporize objects than it costs to build.
  • Fixed: Hang when picking a random conversation topic.
  • Fixed: Citizen inventory isn’t preserved across save/load.
  • Fixed: Builders have trouble vaporizing tiles inside unclaimed rooms.
  • Fixed: Event controller triggers stale events, causing many “ship passed without stopping” messages.

As Alpha 5b finishes, work on Alpha 6 is underway!  So far, we’ve decided that the broad area of focus will be making the people simulation matter more to gameplay.  Above, a shot of one such feature: citizens now have different affinities for each duty, shown as smiley/frowny faces, as well as their skill rating shown in stars.  This means that a citizen might be skilled at a job they dislike doing, or vice-versa, and because this affects their morale and skill advancement rate you’ll sometimes need to weigh their needs against the greater good of the base.  We’ll talk about more features like this soon.

Additionally, Alpha 6 will add the long-overdue Power system, so that Fusion Reactors finally do something!  More details on that once we’ve got the system on its feet - basically, you’ll need to build reactors to provide all your base’s machines with power.  If you load an older save game in Alpha 6, there will be a “grace period” in which you have to build power reactors for your base before the power simulation kicks in.  To make this transition easier we’ve re-enabled the reactor in the Construct menu so you can build them in now, though they won’t do anything until Alpha 6 ships.

Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 5b released

  • Overhauled how needs affect morale.  Depression spirals should be less common now.
  • Benefits of citizen environment satisfaction to morale now taper off after a point.  A citizen will only become ecstatic if everything is going really really great for them.
  • Fusion Reactors have been re-enabled in the Construct menu, in anticipation of Alpha 6 which will finally add the Power system.  They won’t do anything until then, but this will let you build and plan bases accordingly.
  • Doors have moved into the “All Zones” section of the Object menu to make room for the above change.
  • Doctors now prioritize corpse cleanup higher than routine check-ups.
  • Fixed: Various crashes.
  • Fixed: Doctors don’t store citizen health when they treat a broken leg.
  • Fixed: Door placement issues.
  • Fixed: Various airlock-related issues.
  • Fixed: Dead bodies globally affect citizen environment satisfaction, instead of just people in the same room.
  • Fixed: Some derelict and hostile immigration events fail silently.
  • Fixed: Citizens stop posting Spaceface updates after reaching 100 posts.
  • Fixed: First immigration event occurs too soon.
  • Fixed: Erroneous “Hostiles have entered your base” alert when a hostile is under your base.
  • Fixed: Bad alpha on Spaceface icon.
  • Fixed: Citizens spam Spaceface with logs about being on fire and being injured.  WE GET IT DUDE IT HURTS.

Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 5: “Doctors With Boarders”, has been released!  See the patch notes for an eye-wateringly detailed list of changes.

This update is easily our biggest yet.  It’s also taken much longer, and we apologize for that.  We did some underlying tech work to support all the new features, and we think Alpha 5 is a really solid step towards version 1.0 of Spacebase - you heard right, we’re gonna finish this game someday!

Lots of these features relate to combat: raiders laying siege to your base with breach ships, building turrets to make getting in harder, fighting out in space as well as indoors.  Others relate to base health: citizens can now be injured or sick, so we added Doctors to help keep everyone healthy.  The new Research Assignment screen gives a nice global overview to the research system we added in Alpha 4.

Ace programmer Ben Peck rebuilt our “event system” responsible for queuing up things like immigrants, invasions, and meteor strikes; it’s now a lot easier to tune and predict how difficult or easy a game session will be.  We’d love to hear feedback on the game’s overall challenge in our forums.

We’ll probably have an Alpha 5a build out in the next few days with fixes for some of the known issues and anything we get from crash reports. So please, intrepid Early Access players, dig in… and good luck staying alive out there!


Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 5a released

Mac OSX and Linux builds are included in this.  Very sorry for the delay!

  • Fixed: Several common crashes.
  • Fixed: Some turrets point the wrong way after loading a savegame.
  • Fixed: Shuttles don’t fly away after dropping off immigrants.
  • Fixed: Diseases that require cure research only occur after a very long time.
  • Fixed: “No Refinery” hint shows up if you only have Gamma-Class Refineries.
  • Fixed: The dreaded GHOST HELMET bug, in which white untextured helmets appear randomly on character heads.
Important note for 64-bit Linux users: If you don’t hear any audio, try installing the 32-bit ALSA libs - this command works in Ubuntu, other distros’ equivalents may vary:

sudo apt-get install libasound2-plugins:i386 libasound2-plugins-extra:i386

The silver lining is that if you’ve encountered other Steam games with no audio on your system, this might fix them.  Thanks to this post on Valve’s issue tracker for the info.

Spacebase DF-9 Alpha 5: "Doctors With Boarders" released

Video and announcement post coming tomorrow.  Due to some recent core tech changes we’re having some issues getting the Mac and Linux builds ready, so we’re releasing the Windows build of Alpha 5 today with Mac and Linux soon to follow.

Major Features / Enhancements:

  • Turrets can now be constructed on both the interior and exterior of your base.  Turrets fire on any hostiles the way a citizen assigned to Security duty would.  Turrets have a limited field of fire, so place them carefully.
  • Raiders can now enter your base via Breach Ships, which attach and drill through floors.  If you can damage a Breach Ship before its crew reaches your base, you’ll face weaker resistance.
  • A new Malady system allows citizens to be injured and affected by illness.  Illnesses can spread from person to person through direct contact or shared contact with world objects such as food replicators.  Illnesses can affect different attributes, such as a citizen’s energy levels and sociability.  Some illnesses require research in a Research Lab before a cure can be administered.  Illnesses have randomly generated names such as Centauri Bat Mumps, Green Cough, and Neo-Australian Scaly Pox.
  • Citizens can now be assigned to Doctor duty.  Doctors treat field injuries, scan your citizens for illnesses and treat them if a cure is known.
  • You can now designate rooms as Infirmary zones, where Revivabeds can be built.  Doctors use these to treat advanced illnesses and remove parasite infestations.
  • A new Research screen allows you to track global research progress and assign different projects to specific Labs.
  • Citizens can be incapacitated, which prevents them from moving until a Doctor can treat their wounds.
  • Doctors will dispose of dead bodies by recycling them in Matter Refineries.
  • Antiviral Air Scrubbers can now be built in Life Support Zones.  These devices reduce the chances of disease transmission in the surrounding area.  Multiple devices bring this chance down further, to a non-zero minimum.
  • Characters can now be tagged with Beacons.  Security personnel will keep watch over this person if they’re a citizen, or target them for attack if they’re hostile.
  • Characters can now fight in space, firing weapons and performing melee attacks.
  • The game’s event controller system has been overhauled, which orchestrates the timing of events such as invasions, meteor strikes, new citizens immigrating, etc.  Game pacing should be improved, and difficulty should ramp over time: more dangerous events, such as large numbers of enemies with tougher weapons, will only happen later in a base’s lifetime.
  • When a new ship hails your base, a window no longer pops up to force a response.  Instead, you receive an alert and can choose whether to respond to it or not.  Likewise, the camera does not force-move to any new ships that appear.
  • The Windows version of Spacebase now uses the SDL2 video/audio/input library used by Broken Age, which fixes a variety of hardware compatibility issues.  All versions use SDL2 for input handling now, removing dependency on the older FreeGLUT library.
  • The game now launches into a new pause screen, welcoming the player with a Message of the Day.

Minor Improvements:

  • Improved alert interactions and visuals.  High-priority alerts now pulse.
  • Improved Security priority for Beacons, greatly lowering response time in some cases.
  • Health, Morale, Room, and Activity lines in Citizen Inspector are now clickable links to the Stats tab, Psych Profile tab, currently occupied room, and new Action tab, respectively.
  • Clicking on a citizen’s illness in the Stats tab opens the Research screen.
  • Carried objects can now be dropped in space.
  • Removed “bodies disappear after X seconds” behavior now that Doctors dispose of them properly.
  • Research Lab tooltips show current research project, if applicable.
  • Rotated the Builder job icon so it’s more distinct from the Miner job icon.
  • Citizens post to Spaceface when they witness combat or a room being breached.
  • Citizens post to Spaceface when they’re patrolling on Security duty.
  • Un-hardcoded various UI strings to help with possible future localization efforts.
  • Objects can now be built in space.  Currently only turrets are allowed here.
  • Objects can now be flipped about the Y-axis.  Currently only turrets support this.
  • Characters now use an outline effect when spacewalking behind the base instead of using the old temp purple effect.
  • Improved “dead body floating in space” animation.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed: Game performance suffers while unpausing after having been paused for a long time.
  • Fixed: Running characters move at the same speed as walking characters.
  • Fixed: Modified Oxygen Recycler uses the wrong UI portrait icon.
  • Fixed: Asteroid chunks can be demolished.
  • Fixed: Citizens suffer the “slept on floor” morale penalty for starving.
  • Fixed: Various cause of death misreportings.
  • Fixed: Refridgerator 2.0 doesn’t store food.
  • Fixed: Spaceface logs are stored indefinitely, created unreasonably large save file sizes.
  • Fixed: Many pathfinding bugs and crashes.
  • Fixed: Cursor in new base galaxy map screen is offset.

Known Issues: (soon to be fixed in build 5a)

  • Sometimes meteor showers miss the base.
  • Frequency of diseases requiring cure research is too low.
  • Body bags vanish on load if you save while someone is carrying one.
  • Broken leg shows up under “Illnesses” in Stats tab instead of “Injuries”.

Alpha 5 is close, but after some unforseen delays - in a true show of dedication to research, I came down with a terrible space virus last week - we’ve decided to push it into next week, no later than May 28th. As consolation please enjoy the above: final art for the raider boarding ship by Jeremy Mitchell. Mean lookin’!

We sincerely apologize for the delay, but rest assured we’re making good progress. The pizza icon from the previous post is now gone. Alpha 5 is going to have a lot in it. SOON.

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